Thursday, March 24, 2011

Transformers Reveal the Shield: Legends Class G1 Optimus Prime

You'd think a Legend class would be HUGE, bigger than a Voyager and a Deluxe for sure, and beating out the Supreme Class for size.  But in actual fact, a Legends class figure is smaller! How much smaller?  Try the whole way!

Yes, that was one of the things that really appealed to me when I spotted this single Optimus Prime in a sea of Legend Class Megatrons.  He's so tiny, he just had to be full of surprises!  The other thing was that I'd never seen this class of Prime (nor knew that they produced this G1 version) and I'm an Optimus addict--I just gotta catch 'em all! (That phrase is eerily familiar...;P)

But from the get go, this figure turned out to be full of surprises, the biggest one of which wasn't at all good.  Hit it to find out more!
Dislike: That my lil' Prime broke apart when I first swiveled his waist to tray and transform him.  The first rotation loosened the ribbed metal "screw," and the second created a separation between the chest and the lower torso. Try as I might, I couldn't press it back in.  So I thought instead of forcing it and breaking itty bitty Optimus, I'd slowly remove the top half from the bottom half and re-screw it in.  Alas, this wasn't to be because:

1) The metal screw that I thought was a screw was actually a ribbed metal "nail" that had been hammered into the plastic of the lower torso.

2) The "screw" hadn't been hammered in straight.  That meant that while I could fit it back in the hole, the upper body wouldn't swivel correctly, instead rotating at an angle that would cause the top half of the figure to spill over itself.

What I dislike about this the most is that it's gonna take a helluva lot of work to fix this! How, you ask me?  Well, I'm clueless too! :'(

Like: That it's a really tiny Prime that can transform and has some itty bitty articulation.  The upper body is actually pretty decent, with Shoulder hinges, a ball joint, and elbow balls. These facilitate the transformation, but they also really give this tiny guy some serious motion.

The gap you see is due to the screw.  Argh!
Like: That his vehicle mode is pretty tight!  Yeah, his legs clip together well, his arms and forearms tuck into and under his chest well.  It's good enough that you wouldn't be able to tell it could transform (If you didn't know about Transformers and couldn't identify with Prime's iconic red and blue coloring.)

Dislike: That he doesn't have leg articulation below the hip/leg joints.  while I know it had to be cheaper to mold the whole leg with no joint, couldn't they have included just a basic knee hinge? It doesn't have to be a fantastically flexible joint, but as long as it bend, I'll take it.  As a result, his straight-leg syndrome severely restricts his stances and takes away from the potential of his great arm PoAs.

Also, his leg joints are limited.  This quite a waste because they're actually balls but have been severely blocked by the leg sculpt.  You get about 45 degrees out to the side, which isn't too bad.  You get about 30 degrees backwards, but only about half of that out front.  Yup, this means no sitting or front kicking.  Even stepping forward is tough because Prime just looks like he's strolling in the park when you put one leg forward and another back.  Better to leave him in a heroic wide stance. Heh.

Like: The sculpt is very well detailed for a figure only 3 inches high.  He's got great detail on his face, legs and abs, although the paint is pretty basic.  I guess it's ideal if you're up for some paint customizing!

I also love the Reveal the Shield sticker on his left forearm.  It's tinnier than any I've seen before and works just as well--you don't even have to rub/press it--just breathe on it. ;)


Aesthetics: 7/10 - Great sculpt for its size and aside from his "missing back" and the forearm kibble, he could rival some of the newer Optimus Primes out there.  He's surely better looking than the G1 release of Prime from way back.

His painted parts are: the red head panel, the blue helmet and silver eyes and mouth.  The smokestacks are also painted silver, while the lower front half of the truck mode below the window is cast in silver and painted red.  His thighs and fuel tanks are silver over a dark blue cast plastic and his chest windows are stickers.  All in all it's a decent amount of paint on the smallest class of Hasbro TF, so good effort.

Poseability: 5/10 - It's just tough to get lil' Prime here in any decent action poses because of his
straight leg problem.  Besides wide-legged and normal stances, the only other thing he can do is a walking stance.  Hm.  More's the pity that he's got good upper body articulation that can't be fully exploited because of the stiff legs.

Fun: 8/10 (5/10 if it breaks like mine) - Hey it's Prime! (Hey he broke right out of the package!)

But in all seriousness, there's something fun about these pocket-sized Transformers.  It's just more than cool that they are so small and yet can transform better than those G1 figures we used to play with in the 80s.  Or at least this lil' Prime is better than his 80s counterpart.  This is a toy that's simple enough that I would transform him again and again.

But in order for that to work the toy has got to be sturdier than what it was.  And I'm not even a rough little rug rat who tore apart his Prime because he was too eager to read the instructions (though I feel like it.) Some quality control is in order here, especially for a figure as rare as this.  How rare?  Well, he's the only one I've ever seen in the wild, the wild which is flooded with Megatrons and Starscreams.

 Value: 6/10 - I paid S$11.90 ($US 9.15) and breakages aside, it has no accessories.  Prime's clearly got two hands to hold stuff with so where's his iconic laser cannon?  What is Optimus without that sweet armament that always seems so full of Decepticon decimation potential but never seems to injure them that much?  Kinda naked, that's what.  Oh well, at least he's got some paint on him and a good sculpt.  Add to that a tight vehicle mode and Prime is more or less satisfactory.

Overall: 6.5/10 - I really never thought this fella would turn out to the be-all-and-end-all of Optimus Primes.  I did indeed expect him to fall far short of Deluxe and Voyager figures.  He did surprise me in many good ways but there was one major nasty surprise that just really ruined the enjoyment for me.  He'd probably get bumped to a full 7/10 if he didn't break and if I took that fully into account, he'd be less than a 5.

But I have to stay objective--Prime is as good as any Legends you can find.  The fact that he's our old fave G1 Autobot leader just makes him worth having.  I can't say that you'll have to be careful when selecting your Primes, because in this instance, it's impossible--you can't just bust open the package to check all his joints.  I guess it's just my luck.  Here's hoping that you have better if you find him! :)


  1. Aww poor little guy. Henkei looks great though ;)

  2. Yes. Sigh. I'm glad the more expensive stuff doesn;t break like that. Heheh. :)

  3. I weep for your Optimus! But I can't say I'm surprised -- just about every Transformer I get these days either has mismatched parts or is broken or is guaranteed to break with a few transformations as indicated by heavy stress marks right out of the package. Between that and the higher prices, I've significantly scaled back my Transformer purchases as of late.

  4. This makes me want to dig out my G1 Prime and see how he matches up!

  5. Yeah, good call Wes. I have both Henkeis and Hasbro TFs and I can safely say not only does the Japanese produced stuff look better re paint apps, but they're also much more sturdy and doesn't do the whiting out/breaking thing. Another good reason to fork out about another 25% more for the quality stuff, since we get both Henkei/TF United and HAsbro here. :)

  6. @hockstylin' - Hey dude! Long time. :) Yeah, you should! ;)


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