Height: 13.5cm overall height. Vehicle Mode 14cm long.
Articulation: 27 total points - double joint neck; 7 points each arm: triple joint shoulder, upper arm swivel, hinge elbow, double joint wrist; Swivel waist; 5 points each leg: Ball joint hip, thigh swivel, hinge knee, double joint ankle.
Colors: Molded purple, black, dark grey, metal-flake clear yellow; Painted black, gold, silver, metallic purple, lime green, silver, white, red.
Accessories: "G-Metal" sword.
Release Data: Released with Kick-Off in a bagged souvenir set available for purchase exclusively at Botcon 2012 at a price of US$95.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend Botcon this year in Dallas. I didn't attend as a preregistrant, and a majority of the regular exclusive toy set's offerings didn't really catch my interest. However, the add-on souvenir sets began to call to me almost the moment I saw them in the display case when I arrived Thursday afternoon. Alas, Fun Publications knows their craft and paired really excellent toys with slightly less thrilling ones, and so I had to buy two sets to get the two figures I most wanted. But that just means that I can bring you an even greater series of Botcon toy reviews and galleries!
The new Shattered Glass Optimus is made from the Reveal The Shield G2 "Laser" style Optimus Prime, having the 2008 SG Prime deco mapped to it. I feel like this deco is most striking in its use in vehicle mode, starting with the intentionally scraped and chipped looking oversized Autobot logo represented in white outline against the toy's purple plastic that immediately sets the tone of the toy and character. Along with the painted on edges of large cracks on a panel of the windshield, it's immediately clear that this is not the fresh, pristine normal Optimus in any way. The stylized lightning bolt paint apps in front of the smokestacks have the same chip/scrape styling as the Autobot insignia, and the only tampographs not put in that style are the "I shall stand... ...the rest shall fall" along the edges of the hood. Prime also has a lot of silver paint wipes. On the purple, these tend to look a little bit like someone just spread silver paint with a fingertip where it falls on the hood and fenders. What saves it is the black plastic parts, where the same level of application does what they obviously intended it to all along, and it looks like old, worn metal. The fuel tanks below the doors are the only place where purple plastic and successful execution of this idea can be found to coincide, since the raised detail surfaces catch the paint more correctly and help it get the desired result. Finally, the windshield, and any other clear plastic on the toy, is metal-flaked, giving a nice sparkly effect.
While I cannot speak to the build quality of Shattered Glass Ultra Magnus, I can say that Prime seems to be suffering of plastic tolerances that RTS Optimus did not originally have. This is most evident on the rear end. Mainly you'll see that the robot legs in waiting just do not hold together firmly in vehicle mode, and so it's not difficult to have them split apart. In the same way, I've found that the forward set of the rear wheels can run up against the guard panels behind the fuel tanks since there's fairly specific places everything needs to sit and it relies on friction of joints and tabs to accomplish that, and it's not happening here. Plus the trailer hitch which similarly relies on friction to not jiggle all over the place is without that benefit, and I can't find any place where it could be pressed further or otherwise have a solution to actually catch in place the way it's supposed to work. Thankfully the front end of the truck ends up fitting together more solidly and isn't such a falls-apart hazard, so it's entirely possible to simply roll the toy around and not get anything splitting open. The back end is mainly a problem when picking up the toy, and can be worked around if you're careful.
What I can really appreciate in a general way is that versus RTS Optimus Prime, the colorscheme is laid out in a much more unified way, since it doesn't need to map all the typical Optimus Prime colors. So where RTS Optimus has multiple colors backing up to each other in places that normally you wouldn't expect, SG Prime runs a solid color all along the length of the hood and cab, only being broken up a little by spots of green for the various lights. At least in doing that, it's a more pleasing color scheme to look at, I think. And one odd little note is that the rubsign is retained on the roof where it was on RTS Prime. So far as I know, it's the first and only instance of a rubsign on a Shattered Glass toy which wasn't officially repurposed from a previously existing toy.
The plastic tolerance issues that make it hard for the back end to peg solidly together at least make it easy to start transforming those pieces. If anything, most parts feel like they'll move a bit easier in transformation than the original use of the mold, with maybe an exception for the pieces that fold up as the backpack, which feel really uncomfortably stiff to move between modes.
Like in vehicle mode, the coloring is more unified and focused, and it pulls off a stronger appearance for it. Many of the parts exclusive to the robot mode are black or a dark, cool grey, which make for a good contrast to the saturated purple. Places where the purple is painted on are done in a darker metallic shade that looks really pretty over the black plastic beneath. Thankfully a little of the silver paint wipe is present in robot mode. The black plastic thighs do a great job of bringing out the worn quality just as did the other surfaces in vehicle mode, and I'm happy to see some of that retained for the robot. But since none of the rest of the legs, nor any other part on the robot features this, it looks a bit odd to have just the one area covered by the weathering effect like that. Varying the locations of paint applications versus the normal Optimus Prime has really helped to distinguish the two, by bringing out different details and how you see them. Extra gold and silver painted areas on the legs help to call out different shapes in the sculpt, just as one example. Though the toys are physically the same, a lot was done to keep them from looking just alike.
SG Prime still has the Matrix detail in his chest, and between the lighter windshield color and the bright purple plastic the Matrix is sculpted in to, it's much easier to see in robot mode. You still need to find just the right angle to see it, since the metal flecks in the transparency will catch light easily and obscure anything behind. One thing I'm disappointed by is the hands are still too small to carry the sword as produced, and will stretch and take on stress lines the first time you place the sword in the hands. This seems non-destructive, and I don't know of anyone who has had these hands break just by normal insertion of the handle, but I would have hoped by this time it could have been corrected for.
Generally speaking, the toy's joints are tighter than the original release, though the hips are a notable exception. It's not enough to impact the figure's ability to stand, or hurt its poseability in any way. The arm joints are very tight, and will probably take some fiddling to manage fine adjustments to poses. SG Optimus still has clear plastic running through the shoulder batteries which were meant to make them glow, but the truck grill has been painted over, completely neutralizing the effect. It's a shame, I bet that sparkly plastic would have looked good lit up like that. Likewise, the eyes have been painted over in red, killing the glowing eyes as well. I guess Prime with red eyes was more important than being able to have them be all glowy and evil.
So where the original sword was grey handled and an orange clear blade, the SG version is black handle and a clear yellow metal-flake blade. Unfortunately, the concentration of sparklies in this plastic for the sword seems lower than was in the windshield, and the effect is just pretty weak in general. An interesting thing I've noticed is how the tip of the sword is more rounded and blunt than the original retail version. It's very subtle, but the change is evident when the two are side by side. While the hitch piece was loose in the vehicle configuration, everything fits together snugly when lined up as the sword. Sadly as noted before, the grip and hands still do not get along together very well.
The black and yellow combo looks really good on the sword, but I still have to regret that it doesn't benefit more from the metal-flaked plastic since I feel like that could have really brought out the blade a little more and caught the light instead of passing it through, the same way the windshield ends up working.
For many, this is probably the least interesting piece from the souvenir sets, since it represents a toy they may already own, or may otherwise not care about. But for others it's a way to help people who missed the 2008 convention set to finally have a chance at a figure of this character, and I'm sure some more recent fans of Shattered Glass fiction were happy to see this. Setting aside any such matters, I can say that this toy is very nice looking in how the colors were laid out, and the execution of some of the paint work. There are places where the weathering effect comes off really nicely on the toy, and even though it falls flat in other spots it's a small piece of a larger, complete picture that just really works.
This isn't my favorite Optimus mold, but I have to admit this deco really makes it more appealing. If you're in to the associated fiction and need a Prime, the little details like this probably won't matter too much to you. But if you aren't invested in the character or setting, I hope that if the deco is attractive to you, you'll give this a chance despite where it comes from. Bear in mind, this figure by itself is pretty expensive at resale currently, but in its set with Kick-Off the price is a bit lower. If you're after a Kick-Off, this is not the worst thing in the world to get along with it. 2012 Shattered Glass Prime ranks in as a Very Good on the Figurereviews.com Non-Numeric Rating Scale. But no, seriously. These colors on this mold are amazingly pretty. I'd Motormaster the hell out of this sucker if not for the tampographed Autobot logo on the hood which I hate the thought of defacing after I paid what I did for this...
|Date||May 8th 2012|
|Score||(8 out of 10)|
|Link||Botcon 2012 SG Optimus Prime Gallery|
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