Transformers Tuesday - Transformers Go! Optimus Exprime
So, remember that time Optimus Prime turned into a bullet train?
But back in 2014, while Transformers fans here in the States were tuning into the third and final season of Transformers Prime, subtitled Beast Hunters, fans in Japan were treated to Transformers Go!, a story focusing not only on the new beast characters introduced in the American cartoon, but also introducing Japan-only Autobot combiners and the MacGuffin Legendiscs. The leader of these new combiners? Optimus Exprime! There are two things to keep in mind here. First, this Optimus is supposed to be the same one we saw throughout Transformers Prime, only now with a new appearance due to the new alt-mode he’s scanned. Second, he’s a combiner himself, able to merge with both the leaders of each of the two new combiner teams.
Starting off with that new alt-mode, we can see that we have another Japanese-exclusive train-former here and it’s a mighty fine train at that! Pretty solid with very little in the way of kibble…unless you’re trying to store the swords in vehicle mode, then you’ll need one of the kabutos, helmet and chest piece combo, he comes with to make it work and honestly, it’s not worth it. Disregarding that, the only way to really tell if this is a Transformer is to look at the back of the train, where we see the robot mode thighs just kinda hanging out back there.
In mentioning the kabutos, I do have to at least write up something about what they’re used for. Optimus here combines with Kenzan and Gekisoumaru…the leaders of the Samurai and Shinobi team combiners (also Japanese exclusives). In this combination style, Optimus forms the core of the body while one of the other bots forms the head, arms and upper torso and the other forms the waist, hips and legs. The kabuto changes depending on who’s on top. Yes, I know how that sounds. The other use for it is Optimus’ new dragon mode…and…well, we’ve selectively forgotten about the dragon mode, so you’ll see no pictures of it here.
Once we get into bot mode, you can see the toll the triple-changing and combining gimmicks have taken on this mold. It’s not necessarily a bad toy, after all, I’m really kind of fond of it…but there’s no denying that there’s plenty to nit-pick here. The shoulders and biceps are a little too spindly to support the far more appropriate forearms and fists. The codpiece is restrictive and not too terribly tolerant of any sort of leg movement…although it does pop out of place to allow for posing. Anyone that hates robot modes with backpacks will find plenty to complain about here, as lights and sounds for the combined modes reside there, making for one huge backpack. For the most part, there’s nothing here that’s too partsformer-y…unless you count the kabutos, but since we’re forgetting the dragon mode, nope, no partsforming! So at least that crowd will be happy!
Still, there’s something about this design I really dig. Perhaps it’s because it’s so different from the countless other Optimus Prime toys I’ve bought. Maybe it’s because the designers took the time to make his feet tiny little bullet trains. Or maybe it’s the sheer ambition of this mold, trying to do so many things and, well, at least it pulls off one of them! While I don’t see it happening, I gotta admit, I’d love to see the current Legacy line take another stab at this design and see what they come up with. I think if you simply eliminated all the gimmicks and just made it an Optimus that turns into a bullet train that has these massively huge swords, you’d have a pretty solid toy on your hands. As it is though, given its numerous flaws, I can only recommend this to any die hard collectors out there or any Optimus Prime completionists. Sure, I may actually love him, but objectively, even I have to admit that it does way more things wrong than it does right and as such, I’ve got to give him a Plain Cat rating.