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Optimus Prime - Transformers 4: Age of Extinction - Generations Leader Figure

Height: 22cm head height, overall 23cm tall.

Articulation: 20 total points - ball-joint neck; 4 points each arm: double-jointed shoulder, upper arm swivel, hinge elbow; swivel waist; 5 points each leg: Universal joint hip, thigh swivel, hinge knee, ball-jointed ankle.

Colors: Molded blue, silver, translucent yellow, and black (tires). Painted red, silver, and blue. Vacuum metalized parts in silver, red, and blue.

Accessories: Sword of Judgment, Vector Shield.

Release Data: Release date of May 12th 2014 to online retailers and May 17th to brick-and-mortar retailers, at a suggested retail price of US$44.99.

Author: RAC

Optimus Prime has long believed that freedom is the right of all sentient beings. He has never wavered from that belief, no matter what has befallen him in battle. Once again ready to defend the people of his adopted planet, the unyielding Autobot Commander prepares for the battle that will allow the Autobots to reclaim their role as Earth's honored protectors.

...without letting anything awful happen to Earth to prove how much he's needed this time, I hope?

Okay, so this is the second TF4 Optimus Prime we've gotten in this basic size class. The Platinum Edition figure, which ExVee reviewed a couple of months back, was a fairly simple, very chromey figure that turned into a pleasantly large truck. This one is a different mold entirely- but how different is it, exactly?


Robot Mode

The same basic design is here: a slimmer Optimus Prime with more silver on his chest, with smokestacks over his shoulders trying their best to look like little wings. As with the Platinum Edition figure, most of the vehicle parts are hanging off of the back and the legs, but they're a bit less overbearing on the overall shape of the figure. Also, while they're mostly hidden on the back of the legs the cab of the truck mode is actually integral to Optimus' foot, so it's not like you could detach all the vehicle parts to be left with a big action figure this time. The front skirt armor is much smaller too, but the side-skirt plates are pretty meaty pieces attached to the backpack. Which, frankly, despite being slimmer, is still pretty big. On an aesthetic level I'm not sure that molding the side skirt plates into the legs wasn't a superior choice, but it's a tough call and one I'm glad I didn't have to make. Optimus' redesign is meant to look knightly, and the skirt and shoulder armor reinforce that impression.

In terms of deco there is still chrome in this mode, but it's less ostentatious than the Platinum Edition preview figure. The outermost breastplate on Prime is still silver chrome with red and blue tinted highlights, but the rest of the chest is plain old silver plastic. The only other notable chrome parts of his anatomy when viewed from the front are the smokestack wings. From the back you can see the chrome grille to the truck and the cab's shade on the backs of his legs. The fuel tanks on the backpack are also chrome, maybe drawing more attention to themselves in this mode than I'd prefer. Otherwise the location and style of most of the paint applications has not changed much with the exception of the forearms, which are now red all the way around. Neither version is quite accurate to the movie poster we've seen, where the vambraces use the flame pattern from the truck cab. But they do lend more red to the robot mode, which would otherwise be almost entirely blue and silver except for red accents on the chest.

The articulation doesn't seem that different from what ExVee described. All the universal joints are nice strong ratchets. The head's a ball-joint now, and actually has a very nice range of tilt in all directions. The swivel is limited to the front arc due to the shape of Optimus' helmet. Interestingly, he has yellow light-piping as opposed to the blue optics of the final design- it's not as strong as many other recent Transformers' due to the softer translucent plastic used for all the clear parts on the figure. Nice G1 nod, definitely. The shoulders can swivel in a full circle now provided you move the shoulder armor out of the way. Which isn't difficult, as it's pretty mobile. I keep having to resist the urge to arrange it like eyebrows to show Optimus' mood. The transformation joint that the arms are mounted on provides some extra range to the arm. There's a swivel above the elbow just as on the Platinum Prime, and sadly again nothing below the elbow to allow better angling of the sword. This Prime actually has one elbow joint less, and the single hinge stops abruptly at a 90 degree flex. There's also no wrist joints, though you do get a more natural hand with an articulated thumb. Neat touch, but I do miss having a wrist joint of some type. However the thumb locks the sword in place tightly, and that I do like.

Also, hidden amongst the skirt armor plating, is a waist joint. It can be turned a full 360 degrees, but there is in practice a limited range that looks really good with the skirt armor. You also have to pull back the skirt armor to keep the hips from catching on it. The hips have good range in all directions, there's a pre-knee swivel that turns a full circle, and the knees bend to 90 degrees. The ankles are ball-jointed, but the fact that it's a deep-set joint in a very square area of the leg limit its usefulness. It does add a little something to the leg, and allows you to swivel the feet, but it's not super-great for poseability. The transformation joint that the ball-jointed part is mounted on does increase its functional range however. And between the super-tight joints and the big, bellbottomy legs, this figure does have great balance. It can stand on one foot without even breaking a sweat. If robots or toys could sweat. You know.


Transformation

Where the Platinum Edition Prime is a 15-step transformation, Generations Leader Prime boasts a full 20 steps to get from truck to robot and back. It's a bit more involved than wrapping the truck around the torso, especially in the leg area. Nothing is even remotely difficult until you get to the end of turning it into a truck, where there are a lot of tabs that have to be navigated and the arms have to be just so beneath the fuel tanks. With ball-joints and swivels that need aligned, it's tricky at times. Now, transforming him to robot mode is painless and fun, and the head pops up when you plug the chrome breastplate into place, which I like.




Vehicle Mode

This time around Optimus turns into a Western Star 4900 Phantom Custom. I'm assuming that's a special designation for this version of the truck, because most Western Star 4900s I looked up are much more square, much more akin to what Prime looked like in the first three movies. It's still in the same basic color scheme- blue, red flames, etc. -but the shape is much more elaborate and dynamic, with far fewer flat surfaces. The windshield is yellow- primarily so they could keep it to one translucent plastic I'm betting -but it's a nice change and a nice contrast compared to all the blue-windowed Autobots out there. (And the feet peeking through the windows even look kind of like seats. Uncomfortable seats, but still.) Big swaths of chrome here on the fuel tanks, the smokestacks, and the grille. Even so, it's missing paint compared to the Platinum Edition, which itself lacks paint that is present on the full-size truck. Neither version has the rear fenders painted with the flame motif, but the Platinum has the front end's headlights painted in.

It rolls pretty well and it has removable tires- something I both do and don't miss on my Transformers at turns. They're always a nice touch, and they look neat. But man, between chrome and removable tires, future thrift store shoppers will not have an easy time of finding a complete figure in good shape. The truck looks pretty sharp from the front still. But the back end is entirely framework, which explains why it felt so flexible in backpack mode. The back end looks pretty hollow, and even the rearmost fuel tanks are facades. This is likely a tradeoff both to keep the amount of material hanging off the robot's back to a minimum, and because of the extra costs involved with adding chrome to a figure. I have mixed feelings about it, but in the end I suspect the Platinum Edition figure may be a better bet if you're looking for the biggest, best-looking truck possible.

Accessories

Optimus Prime comes with a sword and shield, just to drive the knight motif home. The Sword of Judgment is a yellow European-style greatsword that's about 2/3 Optimus' height. It may even be the same mold as the Platinum figure's sword with slightly better paint, but I have no way of knowing. There's more silver on the hilt, as well as some red and blue for accents. I'm thinking this may have been designed early in the production, as the sword's design doesn't match up to the one seen in the Age of Extinction poster. That sword was entirely metallic with a red hilt, so I'm thinking that energy-based weapons were an aspect of the designs that have since been downplayed. At least we get yellow optics and windshield out of it, I suppose. There's a slot on the grip that fits into a tab on Optimus' palm, and once the thumb is closed over it you have a very secure grip. There's a loop on the back of the figure that lets you stow the Sword, it's the same loop that lets you stick it under the truck in vehicle mode. There's no documentation for this, but you can actually pop the loop up so it sits higher up and at an angle, so the sword is slung over Prime's shoulder. He can just, just reach the grip of the sword over the top of the backpack.

The other accessory is what is now called the Vector Shield as opposed to the Sentinel Shield as it was on the Platinum version. Despite this, I suspect there won't be two different shields in the final film. The shapes of the shield are very similar, though the proportions are different- and of course this one has no energy effect. The shield now terminates in a three-barreled gun. Gun shields are always fun! It looks pretty nice, and fits to the side of his arm securely. Interestingly it uses a 6mm peg instead of the 5mm typical for the line. The very tip of the peg is in fact 5mm, but that part is so shallow it's of no use whatsoever to 5mm sockets. It stores on the back end of the truck, which has the virtue of covering the empty spaces on the back of the truck, but looks kind of odd to just be sitting there, even considering it as a turret.


Closing Remarks

Overall, I expect this figure to be kind of divisive. I like how the chrome looks on the truck, though the chest piece on the robot mode I'm less thrilled with. The Hasbro design team explained that vac-metal has gotten more costly over the years with materials cost and thicker coating to prevent flaking, so chrome is mainly going to happen on larger toys with tradeoffs potentially made in other areas. I'm not big into the chrome myself, so the fact that sacrifices may have been made to bring me chrome is not as much of a plus as it may be for someone else. I like how it balances, the sculpting detail is sharp, the transformation is certainly easier and more enjoyable than on previous Movie Optimus Prime figures- especially from the Revenge of the Fallen era. That hollow back end on the truck does bug me, though. Overall I'd say Optimus Prime is Good on the Figurereviews.com Non-Numeric Rating Scale, trying as much as possible to be objective here. If you love you some chrome, you may bump that up a star- and if you don't you might move it down one.

Figure provided by Hasbro for this review.



ReviewerRAC  
DateMay 8th 2014  
Score 6 stars (6 out of 10)  
Reads12843
LinkAoE Generations Leader Prime Gallery  


AoE Generations Leader Prime Gallery Image Gallery


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