Two for Thursday! Hasbro's Mark Maher follows The Nemesis spotlight with another BIG figure, the hulking Armada Universe Optimus Prime Commander figure. Get the inside scoop on the making of this update that brings everything up to date in Legacy Evolution. Read on to see @markclonus's full report with official in-hand images to follow.
When I kicked this character off to TT, I actually sent over the Wondercon Takara Tomy prototype image that was shown at that event. They explained to me that the grey model their domestic team showed off did not have the super mode combining ability. The amazing Hasui san took the bull by the horns and just went wild!
The Armada style was always super interesting to me, I didn’t view the series until after I played with some of the toys. I actually never got my hands on this og toy, but watching the show, the ting in Primes voice really struck a cord with me. I feel like the series didn’t really hit me hard until I got to work with @archermonster_creative inside the halls of Hasbro.
The bulky tires, the powerlifter build, the design and great heroic features he displays makes me want to play with this toy for hours. This figure demands a respect whether you dig Armada or not, he is just such a perfect addition to the Legacy multiverse.
Highlight reel: dark blue op on the faces to differentiate from the helmet adds extra depth and details, silver 5 mm smokestack blasters, sculpted decoed autobot badge, clear matrix, supermode transformation feels so good, ratcheted leg and shoulder joints, articulated ab crunch…I’ll stop there.
Feels good to be apart of Transformers right now and just you wait, more insanity on the way!
The grey prototype from Wondercon literally has the supermode fists in the lower legs where they should be and the pelvis can split like it should. You can even see the transformation joints to turn the legs into the super mode arms inside the torso as well as the openable shin flaps that would be needed to turn the legs into arms and the ports on the shoulders to connect the top to the bottom. So I think was was meant was that the prototype itself wasn't able to combine and not that they design itself wasn't able to combine. Otherwise why have the super mode hands there at all?
I went back to this story to read it myself when I heard a Youtuber talk about it in their video the other day that it was NEVER meant to combine into super mode at all. I guess you can interpret what Mark said either way if you wanted to but it literally says that it's the grey model itself that isn't capable of combining. I mean, it's a greyscale prototype afterall. It's not meant to do everything as it's a proof of concept and it was probably glued into place. But it was always meant to combine into super mode once it was finished.
So something was either lost in translation when Mark asked them about it, it was such and old prototype that whoever in Takara answered his question about it didn't actually know or that it's just a single sentence and Mark being from Massachusetts butchered the English language so badly that he fumbled it all or something before moving on in the next sentence.
Yeah, that's what I thought. It is in between Super Ginrai/Star Saber and God Ginrai/Victory Saber in height. That's very unfortunate. I want it to be one or the other if anything. I guess the designers who like to stick to a certain scale didn't work on this one like they did for Star Saber. It's just weird that they even mentioned that Star Saber will be in scale with older figures like Super Ginrai as a selling point but then don't do something similar for Armada Optimus. Not that G1 and Armada have the same scale to begin though. It's just that it's the perfect height. Hopefully the upcoming Armada Megatron will at least scale with this if nothing else.
I just can't possibly make GUOP any taller and have it still look good though. I have the new feet upgrade to make it look more like the super mode feet from Cybertron Optimus Prime. I have the DNA legs. I even have thigh extenders as well. There's nothing else available to make him any taller. Yeah Cybertron Optimus Prime is almost all legs but that's as long as the legs can get on GUOP. As is, my fully upgraded GUOP and Cybertron Optimus are pretty similar proportion wise. So adding another set of thigh extenders would push past that and it would really look silly at that point. Not that the thigh extenders can even be doubled up as I don't think they're designed to do that but I haven't tried yet. I have quite a few sets around and two right next to me. I'm going to try so wait a minute...and I'm back.
Short answer is nope.
Long answer is that the ones I have on GUOP are different than the ones I have on Tenseg Optimus. They're not compatible. The ones on GUOP can definitely not be doubled up. The top port that attaches to the hip is a different direction to the bottom port that attached to the original or DNA thigh. So the thigh extenders just can't double up. The ones I have on Tenseg Optimus/Kingdom Ultra Magnus/Magna Convoy might be able to double up as the port directions are the same. It's just that since they're not designed to do that, some slight modding would be required. Since that modding would be on the front of the thigh, I won't try it though. Also, the right thigh extender was already broken when I grabbed Optimus and the left one broke when I took the leg off to even try to see if the thigh extenders could double up. So I didn't even bother trying to take the thigh extenders off the legs to fully see as that could've broken them more. The legs still stay on and I can even hit them with some glue but damn I hate most 3D printed stuff. Most pieces just do not have long term stability. Or even short term as I haven't had this set for long when compared to the set on GUOP. I thought with these newer models they'd be sturdier than the ones that broke quickly on Siege Ultra Magnus a few years ago but I guess not. Oh well.
i changed my mind on this guy, he looks great! also i LOVE how they did the combination sequence like in the show! that was soooo cool
Finally some actually good, meaningful shots and comparisons.
Now that we have a clear look at how that front skirt works for super mode; yeah, it needs to be replaced. I really wish Hasbro would stop thinking that it's okay to have the entire front skirt be one piece instead of three. It looks so stupid when you move one leg up and the entire skirt has to move with the leg. Admittedly they tried to mitigate this by having a swivel in the middle but it's still dumb. I fixed SS86 Ironhide's skit by cutting it into three pieces so that the whole thing doesn't move all at once. I want to try something with the Earthrise Seeker but it wouldn't be simple and I wouldn't want to mess up some of the more expensive versions of that mold. I really think things like this are what DNA should be upgrading when it comes to certain figures. I'd pay for every single ER Seeker to have a better skirt.
And now that I see some size comparisons I think the super mode is perhaps a little too tall. It's taller than Star Saber, Super Ginrai, Star Convoy, Dai Atlas, Optimal Optimus, PotP Rodimus, PotP Optimus, TR PMOP and CW Ultra Magnus but not as tall as Victory Saber and God Ginrai. I'd want it to have been slightly smaller to match those other Autobot leaders. Or just be as tall as God Ginrai and Victory Saber. Just not in between. I even have enough kits on my Siege GUOP to make him as tall as the rest as well. So that makes it worse when Armada Optimus being taller than Cybertron Optimus.
With the better look I see that they could've given the super mode some nice forward butterfly joints had they done something with the translucent side windows of the cab on the chest. There's more than enough room between the red roof/chest and the gray parts of the shoulder assembly that should allow those to swing forward quite a bit instead of stopping where they are for the standard shoulder position. It's just that the windows are the only things in the way and since they're pretty small, it's not like there's much to move out of the way. Being translucent plastic though, I doubt they would've put hinges on them to get them out of the way. But since it's not like there's anything to even see inside the cab, the windows never needed to be made of translucent plastic to begin with. It just kind of bothers me that it's such a small piece that's preventing a major boost in articulation. But even getting rid of the windows wouldn't allow for the forward movement as there's other things preventing it too since it was never conceptualized to move that way to begin with. Once I get it in hand I'll see if it's actually possible by shaving down a few other pieces.
I like the overall look better than Naval Commander. Naval Commander looks puffy like a Pat Lee drawing whereas this Legacy version doesn't. Also the core robot has the giant shoulder pads unlike Naval Commander. However, they's still something off. That Takara prototype was the best looking update. Shame that will probably never get made now. I think there's something I don't like about the core robot's torso but it's nowhere near as bad looking as Naval Commander. I also don't like how long the pelvis is. It looks kind of like Titanium Soundwave aka Diaperwave. So yeah, the Legacy core Optimus kind of looks like he's wearing a droopy diaper. I'm nitpicking now though as I really do like it and very much want it now. I also hope Cybertron Optimus Prime gets a commander figure too. I know supposedly Hasbro considers him "done" because Siege GUOP exists but I hope they reconsider like they have with Ultra Magnus and his rumored SS86 commander figure.
The knees! They bend!!!!
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