Toy Review - Transformers: Age of Extinction Preview Edition Optimus Prime
You know, for as many as I have in my collection, I'm kind of amazed that I'm only just now posting my first Transformer photoshoot and review! And there was never any question in my mind, the first Transformer I'd ever put on this site had to be the one, the only...Optimus Prime!
So before us today is Optimus Prime as he'll look in the upcoming fourth Transformers film. Of course, every nerd out there has an opinion (mostly negative) about Bay's Transformers films...and I'll post mine in time (Spoiler? It's mostly positive). But this is not the time for that discussion. No, this is toy time.
Hasbro came right out and said about the toys associated with the upcoming movie that they would simplify the transformations. I had two words in response to that: Thank God! Hey, I've been in the Transformers game since it started back in '84...so I don't mind a good complex transformation. But only the Movie TFs have driven me to the point that I would contemplate all the blunt force trauma I could inflict on these toys. I mean, seriously, the movie toys are the only Transformers that have driven me to the verge of toy-icidal rage. Does this Prime break that trend?
The box advertises that it takes 15 steps to get Optimus into his Semi mode...and 14 of 'em go without a hitch. That last step though...getting the sides of the torso to line up EXACTLY with the pegs on the side of the Semi's cab?
(Yeah, I know, I've sworn on this website before...what's with the "cartoon language" now? I thought it'd be funnier, smartass. Now that the joke's been ruined...moving on...)
Anyway, yeah, it doesn't go well. And yes, I considered a hammer...taking us back to the rage inspired by past movie toys. But still, 14 steps without a hang-up is indeed progress, so let's hope Hasbro has this all ironed out by the time the main line toys hit come May.
Transformation aside, there are a couple of flaws with the toy. First off, I'll never be able to touch him again. You see, he's coated with vaccuumized metal...so Prime's likely gonna develop a bitchin' case of dandruff in a few years. Sigh. I mean, sure, it looks cool...but honestly? It's not worth it. Second, this isn't such a big deal to me but I know it drives some TF collectors up a wall...yeah, he's a shell-former. Much of the actuall semi is Optimus' backpack in robot mode. Maybe it's the price to pay for having a transformation that mostly doesn't induce HULK SMASH!
Poseability is about what you'd expect for modern era Transformers, the only hinderances coming from semi bits on either the backpack or the sides of the legs. You'll see from the pics that it's not too terrible though.
Overall, while he has his flaws, I still feel this Optimus is a step in the right direction. In terms of transformation, I'm not sure anything has topped the perfect balance struck by the leader-class Optimus from the first movie...and while he's the most like his movie counterpart, I'm sooooooo glad we've moved away from the sheer transformation hell that is the leader-class Optimus from the second film. This newest Prime feels like it's geared toward someone that's right around 13-ish, which, I'll be damned, is the target audience (in spite of what the internet would have you believe!). So while it's mission accomplished for them...it'd be nice if they just go a slight step further for the main line once it arrives. Is he worth picking up? As much as I want to say yes...I can't. Not with the vac-metal. You know that's coming off...it's just a matter of when. If you're cool with that, or have an impulse control problem like me, then sure, yeah, go get him. Otherwise, wait for the main line.
Now quit reading and head over to the Toys section to see the pictures!