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Ultra Prime - Combiner Wars Generations - Combiner Figure Review

Height: Approx. 30cm to top of head.

Articulation: 20 total points - ball-joint neck; 6 points each arm: double-jointed shoulder, upper arm swivel, double-jointed elbow, swivel wrist; swivel waist; 3 points each leg: Universal joint hip, hinged knee.

Colors: See individual reviews below for color breakdowns.

Accessories: Gun.

Release Data: Released December 2014.

Author: RAC

We've looked at everything else at the Deluxe and Voyager levels, but now it comes down to the one we found out about first, sort of: Ultra Prime, the combiner who hid in plain sight. For the purposes of this review, Ultra Prime consists of:










Optimus Prime,











Torso

First you pose Optimus Prime as though he's powering up for a big DBZ fight, except you turn his arms around backwards. Then you turn his waist around backwards too, lock his thighs down with the flaps on the sides of his legs, open up the backpack, and swap heads. Voila! ...it's actually just a slight more complicated than that, but what you need to know is that it all locks down relatively well. Relatively- the shape of Ultra Prime's legs makes the thigh flaps not quite enough to hold the whole thing in place, but it's easily fixed.






Ultra Prime

Again, it's as simple as locking the Combiner Wars tabs into the sockets. They stay just fine once they're in there - in fact they stay a bit better than they do on Silverbolt. It can take some extra pressure to get the locking mechanisms to get out of the way on the leg.

Ultra Prime is big- slightly taller and significantly wider than Superion. But he lacks Superion's streamlined and natural design- Superion doesn't look like a robot trying to be a torso, and Ultra Prime does. The face is the high point- it's a much better looking head than the head for Optimus Prime, in fact. The instructions show you opening the chest- which reveals the Energon-esque details beneath - but it looks just as good closed, if not better. It looks like it's missing something just sitting there open. Because it is! There are a pair of posts for attaching Combiner Wars Legends-class figures- specifically for attaching the upcoming Blackjack to the upcoming Motormaster to complete the upcoming Menasor. With nothing attached, they look a bit... uh... well, Prime looks kind of cold, is the best way to say it. So I generally prefer to leave the torso closed. It looks fine as a chest, if a bit rectangular because of how the blue and red parts break down.

His thighs- longer than Superion's, which leads to sub-optimal proportions - look very much like what they are, which is legs turned sideways and bent at the knee. With his feet sticking out to the sides, his upper and lower legs are about the same width. There's an alternate transformation created by Allspark member "Leave it to mii~" that looks a bit better, and also gives Ultra Prime slightly narrower hips and thighs to help alleviate the proportional squareness of the toy. So you have some options on how to arrange Ultra Prime, but out of the box he's just not as good looking as Superion.


Articulation

Because the Deluxes are largely uniform in how they operate as limbs but there are small variances in how the articulation plays out based on which Voyager core you're using, it seemed right to save the articulation breakdown for the combined forms. Ultra Prime is similar to Superion but, again, just not quite as good.

The head is ball-jointed, but it's very, very loose on the joint, and the way you have to arrange it for transformation leaves it very vulnerable to bobbleheading. It can look up a bit but much farther down- and if Ultra Prime's trying to make eye contact with anyone but Metroplex, that's what you're going to need. The shoulders rotate just fine, but Dragstrip in particular is a bit obstructed here just as he was on Superion- the arm clashes with Optimus' robot mode fists sticking up, and can actually start to force the tab out of the socket. Considering Dragstrip is more or less designed to work with the Motormaster version of the mold, that's an issue. Beyond that everything is the largely same above the belt- upper arm swivels, double-joint elbows, and swiveling wrists.

Optimus' waist does still swivel, but it's actually to the detriment of the stability of the figure, and because of the skirt armor plate being attached to the upper torso, it doesn't add that much in the way of useful articulation either. The default hip configuration kills thigh swivel, though the rotating pegs in the limbs allow you to rotate the lower legs. Navgating the L-shaped thighs around the skirt armor doesn't do basic hip articulation many favors either- functional but awkward, with a wonky center of gravity. It's also very easy to push the skirt plate up, which never really looks good. The plate's also good at popping off its friction-based hinge. The knees themselves work fine, but Ultra Prime's leg articulation is markedly inferior to Superion's both aesthetically and functionally.


Accessories

Ultra Prime does have a leg up on Superion in the accessories department. His combined gun looks very thin in the massive combiner hands, but it has a longer peg and can be held more firmly. And it also has two sockets to Superion's one. If you use the guns separately, you can plug Dragstip's sword into the barrel of the one gun. On top of which, Optimus Prime's fists are just hanging out on the shoulders, being fists - so there's actually space for Ultra Prime to store and/or use all of his components' weapons at once. That's a major plus!









Closing Remarks

Ultra Prime is functional, if a bit ugly and underarticulated as compared to Superion. He's closer to what you might've expected after Fall of Cybertron Bruticus, though still better proportioned and articulated than that. As a developmental midpoint between Bruticus and Superion, Ultra Prime both makes sense, and makes me extra eager to see more about the next Voyager mold. On his own merits, he is Very Good on the Figurereviews.com Non-numeric Rating Scale.



ReviewerRAC  
DateJanuary 20th 2015  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  
Reads10007
LinkCombiner Wars Ultra Prime Gallery  


Combiner Wars Ultra Prime Gallery Image Gallery


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