Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Optimus Prime

Hey, you know what Transformers fans don’t have enough of? Optimus Prime toys. You can’t have any new toyline (or branch of a toyline) without shoving OP into the first wave, even if the big guy isn’t even a main character in the source material. But kids know and love Optimus Prime, so he’s pretty much a guaranteed sale. That’s why Silverbolt’s accompanying Wave 1 Voyager is not Motormaster, but a retool of the upcoming Motormaster as good ol’ Optimus Prime.

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Vehicle Mode

This time around Optimus takes the form of a sleek, modern-looking semi truck. It’s big, beefy, and really wins out over the old Classics truck mode, at least in my opinion. The toy may have been designed as Motormaster, but the colors do sell this altmode quite well as an Optimus. He’s really missing some silver stripes and some proper window paint apps, but it’s not that big of a deal. His weapon storage isn’t even too bad, managing to look like some kind of engine block… with gun barrels sticking out.

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Transformation

Yeah, it’s pretty much the standard Optimus transformation, but hey, it works. No fancy tricks here, just straightforward and effective. The way his head flips out is kind of different, I guess. Enthusiasm!

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Robot Mode

When the first images of this guy came out at (I think) Botcon 2014, everyone pretty much agreed that he looked awful. This is due to two primary reasons: one, he was initially reported as an IDW Optimus Prime, which is not even remotely accurate. Secondly, this toy has a bad habit of looking pretty terrible when photographed. In person… well, I guess it’s still in the eye of the beholder. It’s a weird design; mile-long shoulders, flat chest, huge legs, tiny crotch and thighs, rounded head, and bulky arms make for a very different Optimus Prime. He looks like one of those gross-looking bodybuilders who look more deformed than anything else.

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His articulation is entirely adequate: universal shoulders and (very tight ratcheting) hips, thigh and bicep swivels, ball-jointed neck, waist rotation, and single-jointed elbows and knees. Due to the sheer horizontal mass of the toy, the waist joint is very effective for posing, and every other joint works reasonably well, except for the hips. Forward and backward motion is fine, but outward motion is on an insanely tight ratchet with only about three detents, which makes posing difficult (though does help for torso mode, so I can’t entirely fault it). Like Silverbolt, he lacks wrist swivels, though given the bulkiness of his arms, I don’t think he needs them.

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Prime comes with two weapons: one is largely based off of his traditional Ion Rifle with some additional engine block detailing, and the other is a rifle that looks like half an engine block with a tube stuck into it. Both guns have weirdly long handles due to his arm design, and they can connect together, but it looks really weird and unimpressive. They’re adequate firearms, I suppose.

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Overall

At the end of the day, I actually like this toy. It’s certainly not for everyone, though. He is yet another Optimus Prime, and while I think he’s probably a better toy than the old Classics voyager, I doubt he’ll be replacing the ’06 Prime on anyone’s Classics shelves. It’s a fine toy, but not a great one. Considering this mold is coming out as Motormaster (its intended character) in the next wave, the majority of people would probably prefer to skip Optimus. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you don’t mind another Optimus and think the toy looks cool in some way, I’d say he’s about exactly what you expect.

Where to Buy

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