Transformers Optimus Prime
Transformers Optimus Prime
Transformers Optimus Prime
Transformers Optimus Prime

Ever since Generation 2 Optimus Prime's generally wangled more toys than everyone else in every line. Then Laser Rod Optimus Prime and Go-Bot Optimus Prime were released in the same calendar year. Come 2000 and Robots in Disguise saw the floodgates open and we had the same Prime design released in both full-size and scaled-down Spychanger forms. Since then it's been pretty much accepted that we'll get a few toys of Optimus' latest incarnation, and the Movie line was no exception.

Even listing the things would take up a Hell of a lot of space and be incredibly boring, so I'll just mention that an all-new Leader class mould was created for the Revenge of the Fallen line (one which could combine with Jetfire), intended to recreate the CG model with greater accuracy than the similarly-sized version released alongside the first film. And I went and bought it. And am now reviewing it. Any second now.


Prime's truck mode caused considerable controversy in 2007 which I never really understood. While there'll always be a place in my heart for the original red truck, the Movie version does look stunning. The greater prominence of blue and silver just works so much better on screen and the flame pattern plain looks cool. This is all captured pretty well on the toy. Grey replaces most of the silver (a silver version was recently released in Japan, known as Buster Prime - if I can get the money I'll be after one of those) but overall the effect is undiminished.

The cab is huge, nearly a foot long. This means it dwarfs most of the other Autobot toys and is just a little bit too big to fool the eye in group displays. However, this does at least meant it's beautifully detailed, covered with rivets and panel lines. Even the wheel hubs are nicely sculpted. The mode is also very solid - the rubber tips of the smokestacks can get knocked out of place quite easily, but don't fall off or anything and are easily realigned. Overall it's bordering on faultless (though the Buster version obviously looks even more impressive with its' silver). The electronics gimmick is rather superfluous - a tiny button on the back of the cab activates what the box claims is an engine sound, though it more closely resembles a Tommy gun being fired into an empty oil drum. It also bizarrely makes the cab flash red. However it's unobtrusive and can't really be triggered accidentally, so it does no harm.


Optimus Prime's transformation actually captures the feel of his onscreen conversions (and being Optimus Prime, these tend to be the most detailed) in being very complex. It's a long job however much practice you have due to the sheer number of moving parts. However once you've thrown away the instructions (something which have failed to keep pace with the engineering side of the line in recent years, a trend that might well reach its' nadir here) it's rather good fun. There are a couple of frustrating points - reassembling the nose of the cab for returning to vehicle mode can be a bit tricky with the swords popping out a little too easily, while either way the robot mode sound effect function has a habit of triggering without you wanting it to. Nevertheless it's suitably cinematic, especially little touches like the wheels moving slightly on the hips or the windows on the chest moving into place. The resulting robot mode is worth the journey too - it looks like Prime has just stepped off the screen.

There's so much detail on the thing that the figure looks pretty spectacular just standing there. It's not 100% accurate to the CG model of course but it's about as close as you're realistically going to get with a plastic toy. The swords are activated by buttons on the wrists, and even the blades are nicely detailed. Optimus isn't the most dynamic of Movie figures, but retains a natural poise regardless. Most of his vehicle mode parts fold away nicely enough too which gives the figure a nice athletic build. When stowed, the swords do restrict arm articulation a little - making them (easily) removable would perhaps have been nice while it's a shame a handgun couldn't be included as well. The sound gimmick is good fun - even if the one line ("I am Optimus Prime") might wear a little thin it's Peter bloody Cullen, which is nice.


Prime is maybe more of a display piece than a play piece due to both his complexity and his slightly restricted movement but due to his looks and balance he does this well. The toy looks stunning in both mode, and while the complicated transformation won't be to everyone's taste, there's a sense of value for money to a sequence which will at least take up considerable time. The toy has a few niggles, a couple of which are addressed by the Buster version - which could well be worth a look. But really it's minor stuff and the figure's successes far outweigh its' weaknesses.