Wednesday, 5 June 2013

SuperCon Optimus Prime

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Ooooh Armada.  You create such conflict in me.  On the one hand I love the PS2 game with the great character models and the toy line had potential with the Minicon connection thing.  I Would have loved to have seen this developed a bit more, say have the Minicons become actual armour pieces for the Transformers.  How cool would this scene be:
Megatron is about to rush a posse of Autobots, he is covered in minicons.  Megatron rushes in and the Autobots open fire, they exhaust their ammunition, thinking that Megatron must be dead as no-one would be able to withstand such an intense barrage.
The dust clears, Megatron is smoking but still standing defiant and unharmed.
The minicon armour he wore has taken all the punishment.  He shrugs his shoulders and flexes his chest, disposing of the previously living Minicon armour which crashes to the ground, still smoking and spent of all energy, only to rush the Autobot posse once more.

That was a scene that I have had in my head ever since I got Armada Megatron and worked out how many plugs he has.  Sadly it has never been done like that. So much potential never realised.

This Optimus is the Super-Con size of figure.  (i.e deluxe) and was brought out about midway through the series.  I picked it up because I quite like the look of Optimus here and to actually have a decently articulated figure of his Armada self was needed. 

Plus he has a Targetmaster.

I bought this guy when he was originally out, so no box shots I am afraid to say. He did come packaged in vehicle mode though, there wasn’t all that much robot mode display boxes in those days.

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I really love the robot design.  The big shoulders, chunky chest, thick fore-arms all equal a chunky tough looking robot and vehicle mode.  The Super base(an equivalent would be leader now) was a hunky looking bot but the articulation was pretty poor.  This smaller size is less hindered by the gimmicks that Armada was known for and is a better action figure in all respects.

Optimus’ little pal Over-run transforms into a jet thing and a gun.  The jet is a bit ridiculous as the wings are all the way at the back, making him fairly un-aerodynamic.

First up Optimus.  This is one of the best toys in the Armada line.  I think Unicron is first, followed by this guy.  Even then I think my love for waiting 25 years for a Unicron toy is influencing my decisions on that.  He has the look of Armada Optimus as well as excellent articulation.

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Sure he can look a bit odd from some angles, but, meh, who cares???  He does have funny elbows though, they used a ball joint, but the socket inhibits the movement up/down a bit, but you can move it weirdly inwards though…

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The hinge you see in his forearm is only there for vehicle mode, as the large blue square bit slides back to show his hands, so bending at the elbow is rather limited.

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You can have him stand hands on hips, one pose I always like.  The Hot Rod like smokestacks on this guy drop off at the drop of a hat.  Or a smokestack as the case may be and I ended up super gluing them on.  there is no reason for them to come off.  unlike the leader class one, they don’t form a pistol so I think this is little bit weird.

Sadly the grey they used for metallic parts (and all of Over-Run) was badly mixed, so it’s all wavy in colouration. 

Although his shoulders have heaps of range in movement, the same can’t be said for his legs.  The thighs, despite possessing the potential for a lot of movement are hindered by the sculpting detail on them.  There is a blob, perhaps a rivet sculpted at the top of his thigh that stops it from being able to bend as far as it should…  Also make sure to pull the shins all the way down, they can be quite tight but make a significant difference to the knee angle range. As you can probably tell from the photos, ambient sculpting is beautiful and the only flat parts of the sculpt are outward vehicle panels.

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Check that sculpting and yep, that’s as far forward as the thigh goes.  Nice clean 90 degrees on the knee though.

Amongst the ambient sculpting, they have taken the liberty of giving quite a bit of detail to his inner chest area.  Which is nice since it isn’t really required as the chest is covered by the grill of the truck, but can be opened to show ‘inner workings’ and such.  No Matrix though.  The Super Base sized Optimus (leader class in a way) has a matrix sculpted into his chest.  Even details that would be the underneath of the truck are there too.  It’s beautiful.

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Even the underside of his, um skirt?  Butt? Loincloth?  Panels have extra sculpting.  AND the inside of his legs too!
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Now the part I really like about this dude is his head sculpt.  To this day it is my favourite Optimus head sculpt.  It’s connected via a ball joint, but they have given it a fair bit of space and the head is designed so as not to hinder movement with blocky bits at the back.

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Oh my isn't that gorgeous.

Now onto Over-Run.  A small sausage type jet that forms a robot with a MASSIVE chest made of swirly grey plastic.

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He has articulated shoulders.  That's it.  Armada as a whole was mainly focussed on the Minicons.  Let’s face it, the majority of the Transformers were so inhibited by gimmicks that they are ugly and rubbish.  But the Minicons were generally ok.  This guy isn’t one of the best. Oh no.

Sculpting isn’t bad, he doesn’t seem to have a face as such, but most of the Minicons didn’t have a face.  The sculpting over the rest of his body isn’t too bad though.


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When you transform him, you have to dispense with a little bit of logic to see that he makes a working plane.

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It’s almost a type od space shuttle in a way.  You can see the elements of his weapon mode, the handle plug in the tail and the muzzle of the gun in the nose of the plane.

Let’s chuck him in Optimus’ hand….

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Optimus looks suitably BOSS.  And Over-run actually looks fairly decent as a gun. Bravo!

Over-run can be stuck onto the minicon port on Optimus’ back and bottom for storage.  The port on his back activates his action feature, which is supposed to be a punching action.  The switch causes the  shoulders to shake in and out.  In reality though, it looks more like a shoulder shimmy than a fearsome fighting move…
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Minicon connector ports wise, this Optimus only has two.  The one on his back and one on his bumb.

So, let’s beef him up with, oh I don’t know…. Maybe more Minicon WEAPONS!

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COME GET SOME!

Sparkplug, give me some juice!

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And even though he didn’t really wield the Star Sabre much, let’s check him out with it…

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It is a little heavy though and you have to be careful with posing if you want him holding it aloft.

Now it’s time for his vehicle mode, chunky truck AHOY!

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Oooohhh baby, look at that truck.  Big chunky wheels. Oh yeah.  Sure it isn’t very realistic… but you have to admit it is pretty darn cool.   It looks like a super tough fella, you can imagine it polluting quite nicely.

There are some nice touches on the sculpt of the truck.   One that I am particularly fond of is they have gone to the effort of sculpting in a faux battery compartment that is a bit of a carry-over from the Super Base version of Optimus.
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I just love this truck mode so much.  It is so beefy.  Although this may be helped by the very cool PS2 Armada game and chunky truck Optimus.  But just look at the detail.
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From the front, it is a truck of POWER.  I like the detail on the roof and the bit that leads up to the minicon port.
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There is a hitch for a trailer, which is the proper size for hauling around the Super Base Optimus’ trailer. very nice.
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Even the tyres are tough looking.

It has limited port spots in vehicle mode as well, but they can be useful though. Especially with certain minicons attached.


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And he can be used as a mobile turret, in a way anyway.

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Take them down Cap!!

Whoooo!  This figure is brilliant.  I love it, but that is probably obvious through the amount of pictures I took.  It’s such an adaptable little figure in both vehicle and robot mode.  The truck is tough enough to handle the Decepticons and the robot is well articulated and fun to play with and a great sculpt, the head is gorgeous.  It makes a lovely Optimus Prime and is just marvellous. This figure got recoloured into a Nemesis Prime and also an Ultra Magnus as well.  Not so sure about how it works as Magnus, but I wouldn’t sniff my nose at one.  If you have the chance and the inclination, I would recommend getting one.

5 comments:

  1. This is the Transformer that got me back into collecting all those years ago.

    He's just so enjoyable. the Nemesis Prime Repaint is delicious too.

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    1. I remember going a bit crazy looking for that Nemesis Prime when he was in shops. Had an interesting appearance in the TV show too.

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  2. I have a love hate relationship with Armada. I hate most of the toys, but I love the line for introducing Mini-Cons. At least the Super-Con Optimus is better than the craptacular leader class version.

    Also, I always thought they should've swapped the names of Megatron's Mini-Con and Over-Run. Over-Run screams Leader-1 more so than Over-Run...you know?

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    1. Oh wow, yes! I see what you mean. Leader-1 was the leader of the good guys too, and a jet. IIRC he had big yellow visor for eyes too. Oh Man, I feel the need to dig out Megs and Leader-1 to see if he looks like Cy-kill or something...

      Minicons were the best thing about Armada.

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  3. i have the cybertron repaint of this, and i love it to death.
    i liked armada and energon but couldn't quite keep up with Cybertron, to complicated with all those different planets and stuff
    but of course there was an appearence of Speed planet in energon, when kicker was teaching ironhide to be a better driver
    and i loved minicons which is the biggest reason i ever bought PCC figures

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