Toy Review: ROTF Optimus Prime

Hey, I'm doing another review! Neat! So, despite not being terribly keen on the ROTF film, and finding the toys a bit disappointing after Animated (I fully expect that more than half of my 2007 Movie toys would not have been purchased if I'd seen the Animated stuff first), I did pick up a few ROTF toys, mostly (okay, pretty much entirely) on sale. And hey, for half price, how could I go wrong with this Leader-class figure? I'd heard it was pretty nice (and maybe now I won't be so chicken about trying an LED swap on the 2007 version - if McDonald's can put blue LEDs in their toys, why can't Hasbro?), and it looked good in the box.

This figure is packed in robot mode, which is good, because this robot mode is awesome. He's covered in little tech details from his wonderfully sculpted head to his detailed (but sadly, not articulated) toes. He's got the "Mech Alive" gimmick going on in his biceps (there's a little hole in his bicep where you can see details moving around as you rotate his elbow, but sadly, in what I consider his "default" pose, it's blank), and in his chest with a bunch of random gears and stuff that move around when his chest moves. It would be nice, though, if there was a little more motion in there when you pressed the lever to activate his lights and sounds, and nicer still if the LEDs made a bit more sense (green eyes? random red chest glow? were blue eyes and light up headlights/foglights that hard?) and if he had more than one phrase. Actually, the sound on this figure was kind of a letdown. The Animated Leader-class figures had three phrases each (Bulkhead has even more if the Headmaster Unit is connected) in addition to transformation and vehicle sounds, while this figure has just one phrase, with no additional sounds elsewhere to balance it. My daughter has taken to getting annoyed with it, because she already knows that his name is Optimus Prime, dangit. The detailing on this robot mode is really, really nice, but the posability is a bit uneven. Balljointed ankles - score! Non-balljointed head - disappointing, but inevitable with LED eyes. Balljointed sunshade and posable wheels - neat! Enormous non-removable swords that collide with arm kibble - lame. If the swords came off, I'd probably say this figure had perfect posability, but they don't, and they're annoying me, because they're sensitive. Also, on a random note, how come those fin things on his shoulders are silver like his hubcaps, but the rest of his robot bits are grey? And what's with those red toes?

His transformation is a lot of fun (25 steps or so, with some steps involving multiple substeps), and bound to be frustrating the first couple of times. It seems like his arms/chest/hood/cab doesn't seem to want to fit with his legs/undercarriage, but I do like that it seems much more consistent with the (very internally inconsistent) transformations seen onscreen. Once you've got him into truck mode, he's got a good roll, and is as detailed and accurate as you'd expect from a movie toy. His headlights and taillights are molded from clear plastic, so he's begging for some extra electronics. I've gotta hit Dollarama now. His posable sunshade provides some extra fun in vehicle mode; I like to give him "angry eyes" or "sad eyes" just for kicks. He's got a button on his back (the box art had me looking on his side panels for it) that activates an engine idling sound. I'd expected some extra sounds, since "engine idling" isn't exactly an action sound.

Once I get him out of the box, I'll have to review his combined form with Jetfire. Hey, half price is the same as two-for-one, right? Yeah, I know it's a short review. I just can't think of much more to say about this guy.


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