Sunday 13 July 2014

Classics Optimus Prime

Going back a few years (2007) for this one as I go through my toys I am rediscovering how cool some of them are.  One of the figures that I thought was the bee’s knees was this Optimus Prime from the Classics line.  The line that reimagined the original G1 characters and toys with the technology available today.

Optimus Prime here is of the Voyager class size and packaged as such.  Sadly he wasn’t at all near to the size of Voyagers that we were used to, in fact he only looked a little more bulkier than a deluxe sized toy of the time. My how things have changed.  Although some of the Classics line have dated a little, I still rather like this Optimus toy and he is my leader of the contemporary Autobots for my little collection.

He is a flat nosed cab over engine truck, sadly lacking in a trailer though, which is sad.  I would have been happy to pay a bit extra (say make him a leader/Ultra classed toy) and have a trailer included, since it is a line homage to the originals.  But it was not to be.  Fansproject managed to make a very nice trailer however…  What we get for our bucks is a cab with a windbreaker and that’s it.

There’s a lot to like about this guy, from the powerful and large looking bumper bar, the details sculpted in on the side of the door and the silver stripe that I see as a homage to both the original cab with the silver strip and the original trailer’s strip in the way it bends.  Very clever.  There is a lot of Hasbro grey on the front of this and I have since acquired a Takara version which has a nice chromed grill on the front.  The trailer bay is interesting considering how it’s just the exposed robot legs and not even a hint of a trailer hitch there.  Poor old Optimus.

If you have a look at the door on the side, it’s obviously unscaled, anyone trying to get in would have some troubles, although I do see that he as some steps craved in underneath.  It’s still a rather high door however.
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The thing I likes about the classics line the most though was that they brought back the heat activated rub stickers!  Now call me old fashioned, or perhaps just immature but I bloody love these things and was so glad to see them make a comeback, and even continue in the Reveal The Shield line. 

You may have noticed that the smoke stacks are rather unrealistic.  That’s because they become his weapon, as doe the windbreaker on the top.  This Optimus rather cleverly has his weapons all contained on his vehicle mode! Nice!  The lights are a bit high up and his engine grill appears to be HUGE, along with a tiny windshield to see where your driving.  Oh well.

There are some nice details on this guy though.  His windows have moulded wipers, inside you can see a steering wheel, there are lights on the top of the cab and he has rivets and panel lines sculpted in to add to the illusion.

Annoyingly though the windbreaker on top doesn’t sit flush with the roof of the cab, but it’s only really noticeable close up.
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The smokestacks and windbreaker come off for transformation living a rather incomplete truck hanging about.  In fact the windbreaker covers up his rather obvious robot head!  Normally the only paint on the windbreaker is the silver.  I added the Autobot symbol via a left over sticker myself for reasons I will cover later.
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Transformation is fun and clever with a nice hint back at the original toys with the arms flipping out the side of the cab, but it improves upon it with some nice touches allowing for a better abdominal section (through a chest spin) and overall very nice proportions.  It manages to keep the standard Optimus colours in all the right spots too!  You end up with a nice, although slightly leggy robot mode.  Who also has the option of storing the windbreaker on his back.

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In some aspects the end result is very nice.  I really like the way the cab panels wrap around his forearms, but I dislike the way there is the big side panel left hanging off.  I like the twist around using the (in truck mode) covered robot waist, but I dislike the way the wheels, bumper and grill are hanging off his back.  to be hoest though they don’t stick out that much unless you look at him straight on.  If you stick the windbreaker on his back, then you can pretend it’s a backpack for a reason.  Despite my misgivings about the grill and wheels, I don’t think it looks too bad and to be honest it isn’t that bad at all.

That reason being it can hold his smokestack gun and turn it into a rather powerful looking over shoulder gun pod thing.  It’s interesting as I look over these images again, in that before the colour never really bothered me that much, but as I look at them now, that yellow just jumps out a bit too much, perhaps because is ends up being rather central on the body?
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He does have some nice light piping and a very nice updated head making it new and yet classic at the same time.
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While the sculpt is generally nice to look at, one thing that rather bothers me is the generic way they have done his hands.  In know they could have done better, as these just look like blobs with the laziest semblance of thumbs and fingers in them.  Weird since the rest of the toy is nicely done.  The only thing I could think of was so they could fit in the vehicle mode, but even then they could have done better.

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Now Let’s have a look see at his weapons.  The smokestacks transform niftily into a double barrelled rifle, I love the look of this thing, and the windbreaker transforms into a single big rifle.  If I remember correctly the windbreaker is classed as his Ion rifle.

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I really love the double barrelled gun.  It looks like some kind of automatic machine pistol, like Robocop’s gun.  The other one though, I prefer to leave as a shield.  It looks good on his back, covers the wheels rather well and can be mounted on his hand.  Kind of.

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When I was playing around with my newly acquired Ultra Magnus of the Classics toys (back in 2007) I came across a shield config, which I see Funpub have adopted for this year’s Botcon set (of which I will not be getting)  With their knights Vs pirates theme, they have used this mould for a knightly version of Fire guts Ginrai, and made it a horrid orange colour and he is a knight because he can use the windbreaker as a shield.  enough ranting about the crappy Transformers Collector’s Club.  I feel I have made my feelings about them clear enough on this blog previously. 

Arrange Optimus’ arm like this to get the hand heady for holding the windbreaker when it’s not a gun and then stick the peg in the fist for the shield like so:
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From the side it looks pretty crap and the truck panel hanging off makes it look a bit dodgy as well.  It is.  But from the golden angle it looks bloody AWESOME!
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Then pair him up with a pal for some super coolness!!

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The figure as a whole is rather nice with more than adequate articulation and lots of lovely ratcheted joints.  The proportions are good and the large chest makes him very heroic looking.  Even though I said his legs look a bit long, they obviously add a bit to height and don’t look bad.  I really love the way there side panels fold down over the wheels on the side of his legs to hide them as well. 

This Optimus is a very clever update to the old G1 figure, there is enough to give you little reminders of the original in the way he transforms and also manages to improve in the overall look of the figure as well.  The way the weapons integrate with the vehicle mode is very nice and the sculpted detail kicking around his body is a pleasure to behold.  I think looking back at him now, he may look a little chunky and simple, perhaps a tad out of place with the current Generations figures (Springer et al.), but I don’t think it is so much so that he can’t be with them.  This therefore made me dig out some toys.  Darn...  The truck mode is powerful and a good update of  a prime mover that one would see kicking around the roads now.  I really recommend this figure.

I have had a look at him with other Classics/Generations figures and have to say he doesn’t look half bad at all!


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