Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Japanese Generations TG25 Part 2 – Orion Pax.


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After having covered Megatronus, a rather nice little figure, here is Orion Pax; the figure I really wanted.  I specifically awaited for Orion Pax…  In all his super sexy painted glory.  The Japanese version has an infinitely nicer paint job over his Hasbro brother’s plastic colouration.  Let’s check him out and see how he goes!
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Nice enough box for these two, but when I did get them out of their container, I did a little double take as these guys looked tiny!  Also the tech-specs on the side are a little hard to read.  There are a few extra lines that aren’t needed making the stats look a bit odd.  For example, there is a line right before the ‘1’ line, making it look like the 1 line is 2, but they don’t have ‘half’ lines, so it’s just a bit on the squinty side to see what’s going on.  Nice artwork and simple toy placement.

Out of the box and they still looked pretty small.  To my eye I put them in the scout size class, but in reality, they are about the same height as a deluxe of yesteryear.  A shorter deluxe that is.  They are about the same height as Animated Sentinel Prime.
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They do however lack the bulk, which is where the small feeling comes from.

The bio of Orion Pax is a little bit different to what I initially envisioned.

Orion Pax: 
Before he had the responsibilities of Leadership, Orion Pax was a great thinker, innovator and righteous man.
He had a dream of freedom for all sentient robot life on Cybertron.  After he became the Autobot Leader Optimus Prime and the Great war with the Decepticons intensifying, he resolved to never forget that dream.
He was given a newly strengthened body after becoming the  Rodeon City Police force commander In order to face the hostage negotiations, by the Autobot leader at the time, Zeta Prime.

Strength: 3     Intelligence: 9     Speed: 4     Endurance: 4     Rank: 2     Courage: 10     Fireblast: 1     Skill: 9

This bio conflicts with the general consensus of the Orion Pax story in that Orion Pax is Optimus Prime before the war and  Orion Pax is an innocent and more specifically, Neutral character before the Transformers war.  I think what Takara Tomy have done is make him into a ‘Optimus Major’ (of Animated type Major) type character.  Which makes a bit of sense, since surely Mr Pax wouldn’t go running around with a gun and axe if he was an innocent party.  Having said that, on the Hasbro side of the toy line, these guys come with a comic that apparently explains their situation (although Bumblebee’s didn’t do that too well) and these Japanese versions don’t have the comic.  Regardless, I am willing to move on from Pax and accept him in his changed mode(despite the conflicts with many universes lore…).  I like that his stats are relatively poor, except in the mental faculties.

Righto, on to the TOOOOYYYYZZZ!
His vehicle mode is a rather nice looking ute looking vehicle.  This is the mode that most attracted me to this figure.  I’m not sure why, but I just LOVE this vehicle mode, I suspect it’s because it looks a little retro futuristic in a way.  The bonnet, the windows and the panels on the back.  Could they be smoke stacks?  Possibly.  The way it kind of looks like a guy from the 1950s would design a car from the future adds to the charm immensely.  It gives Orion a pre-Transformers feel to him. 

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The red paint is just sensational, it looks shiny, fresh, vibrant, YOUNG even.  the same goes with the blue on the bonnet.The only real let down is this plastic section which become his shoulders, it’s red plastic which is strikingly different to the paint colour.  I like that he’s a ute/pick up truck.  Could be considered a junior version of a semi trailer truck. 

There’s some great detail on this mode too.  Actually, another problem with making an Orion Pax, I don’t think he’s supposed to Transform, if I remember correctly, thinking back to War Dawn.  But, I don’t really care as I have this delightful vehicle to play with now.  Back to the details.  Yellow front lights, roof lights and some enginey parts with an Autobot insignia on them in the wind shield.  Well, no-one is going to be sitting there are they?  The windshield is a nice light blue (dare I say All-Spark blue?) which allows the nice well coloured silver inside to show the details. Thumbs up whoever chose these colours!  Even on the side panel where the door would be, there is a silver section that is reminiscent of the line going around Optimus’ cab.  Naturally he has the blue at the rear and the silver panels, which now I think of it seem to hint at a trailer type feel to me. 

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This next part deserves its own paragraph.  The top of the roof has that black square on it.  For no reason it would seem. But remember back to your G1 Optimus Prime toys?  They had a heat activated rub sticker on the roof of the cab that just happened to to be black when cool.  Homage? oh god I hope so!!  Hnnnnng! Nerdgasm right there folks!
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Sadly though the back of the vehicle isn’t as nice as the front, with a gap there where the hands have folded away.  On the plus side, you can’t actually see any robot parts as such, it’s just not terribly elegant.  Another little waste I think is under the hood.  There’s just a big gap.  I think it could have been productively used for some weapon storage.  It is nice to see that they added some sculpted ambient detail under there though, as they did on the front side panels, which mostly hide away in robot mode too.

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Even though his package buddy Megatronus has a rather cleverly designed weapons storage, Orion’s isn’t as good.  Although he does come with more weapons and without making them extra parts that would detract from the figure, I don’t know how they would have done them otherwise.  Sadly they just plug into the holes on the side of the vehicle and look ridiculous.  He comes with a rifle and an axe, which just like Megatronus are nameless once again.  I am going to assume they are his trusty Ion rifle and and Energon Axe.  more on them later.

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The axe doesn’t stick out much but looks pretty silly, and the rifle just juts out like a sore thumb.  Bleaurgh! Take them off! 

Overall though a pretty sexy looking vehicle mode, which requires some manipulation to get all the parts in place as he’s made of non-locking joints.  Once together you’ll have to give him a bit of squeeze and fiddle to get the parts in place properly.

Transformation is pretty easy with the typical unfolding of the shoulders, flipping down of the legs and what not.  Going from vehicle to robot mode is easy.

Robot to vehicle mode on the other hand…  Sheesh.  The steps are easy enough, are easier to follow than Megatronus, but one section, with his chest had me sweating bullets the first AND second time I Transformed him to vehicle mode.  You have to pull up his chest from the abdominal section.  It is joined with a ‘Z’ style joint that needs to be straightened.  Now, I don’t know if it’s just the one I have, but that Z joint just does not like to move.  I could just not get the bugger to budge.  I checked YouTube videos on the way to do it, maybe I was doing it wrong?  Nope.  I was doing it right, just the bugger would not go.  All the force I could muster would not move the chest as it needed to go.  I was afraid I’d snap him in half I was putting so much pressure on there.  I ended up having to lever them apart with a nail file just to get past that initial inertia.  Man it was terrifying!!  I suspect in the future, snapped in half Paxs will be quite populous!
There are some really nice touches though, in the steps of transformation.  The bonnet of the car cleverly hides the gaps that hold the feet in vehicle mode giving him rather chunky looking legs.  They also mostly cover the wheels there, adding to the Optimus homage.  The grill becomes his knee guards and the vehicle door mirrors become fairly ineffective shoulder pegs.

Anyway, now that I have successfully  got him in both modes (still nervous and require a tool for the robot to vehicle though) let’s have a look at this sexy beast!

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The Optimus influence is immediately noticeable in this guy.  From the little arrows on the wrist, blue legs, silver groin are and forehead crest.  I like it!  In the usual way of good guys and bad guys, Orion gets a lot more articulation then Megatronus with wrist swivels, thigh swivels, waist, ball jointed head and ball jointed ankles just to name a few.

Starting with the chest and head, we can see how nice it looks.  There is effective light piping in there, once again slightly hindered by the panel at the back of the head but the lighter blue eyes manage to cope with the obstruction of light a lot better than Megatronus.  He has a head that resembles Optimus, but just looks younger.  No mask over the mouth, yet he still retains the crest in the forehead, cheek, side and ‘ear’ bits.  Weirdly, I’d say it works really well as a young Optimus, but wouldn’t work as an older Optimus with no mouth mask.
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His chest is suitably heroic and a lot like Optimus’ as well.  The ‘trailer’ section of the vehicle mode just hangs off his forearms, but since we appear to have an action orientated Pax, they could well be shields.  I love the inclusion of the arrows on his forearm, and the waist and abdominal area design.  It has the silver line on the chest, a fake almost engine grill and the bumper bar and headlights turned groin that the G1 Cartoon made (look like pants.)   Even the sculpting on his thighs is similar to what I’ve seen on Optimus before.
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He comes with a couple of weapons, the aforementioned Ion rifle and Energon Axe.  Which are both quite nice in themselves.  The rifle is a bit pudgy and looks like a smaller style of rifle than what we’re accustomed to Optimus wielding, but I really like it.  It’s almost like it’s a ‘chibi-anime-rifle’ or something.  The energon axe looks pretty cool and probably wouldn’t look astray being wielded by FOC or WFC Optimus. 

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Best of all the weapons lend themselves quite naturally to abusing the excellent articulation this toy contains!

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Brilliant!
The axe has a long handle that allows for two handed wielding, but due to the size of his chest he can only hold above his head.  It doesn’t look so crash-hot.  Nice that the option has been included though.  If you don’t want him holding the axe, it can be stored in between the wheels on his back, there is nowhere to stash the rifle. He also has some detailing on the bottom of his feet.  Although I suspect this was more a case of strengthening the plastic more than anything else.  Like all recent deluxes, Orion is very light with gaps in areas one would think are solid (such as thighs).

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In conclusion, I actually found this figure to be very enjoyable.  There are heaps of little hints at who he will become later, the paint colour is just gorgeous, the transformation fun, parts usage clever and the the articulation is very nice indeed.  Sure he is a small deluxe (or that should now be regular size deluxe?), but considering how Orion Pax is a younger version of the Mighty Optimus Prime, I am actually fine with him being a bit smaller.  Megatronus on the other hand…   My only complaints are the tightness of that damn Z joint in the chest and the terrible difference in the red on his shoulders, and thereby the roof of the vehicle.

I’d recommend getting the two pack very much.  Orion Pax is very nice, as is Megatronus.  It’s just a shame Megatronus does not actually appear to be THE Megatronus and is therefore too small a figure for a Megatron( In the TetsWorld, he will be THE Megatronus.).  I’d even recommend the Hasbro version of Orion Pax.  Although I have seen some with some horrid face paint where they have just blobbed it on, making the facial feature rather indistinct, so please check before you buy.

2 comments:

  1. Megatronus refers to megatron's younger days as a gladiator in the kaon pits, before he was technically a decepticon. it explains this in transformers: exodus. orion pax develops a liking to him and i think finds out that they are brothers. i haven't read the whole book. megatronus prime upon his awakening finds out about the gladiator using his name and decides to train him to become the new decepticon leader. but being a gladiator, the megatronus figure is definitely too small

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    1. Ahhh, Of course. It's referring to TF Prime story line (or the 'aligned' thingamajigger) I am too set in my G1 ways. Thanks Westen. I read that Exodus book too. It wasn't very good... I guess that would make the weapon a fusion cannon (since Megatronus IS Megatron) and not the requiem Blaster though...

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