Review: Transformers Titans Return Optimus Prime

I’ve mentioned before how Hasbro has gotten very good at making retools of their toys. They’ve also gotten very good at getting us to buy them. Combiner Wars was the first indicator of this, where Optimus Prime and Alpha Bravo came out well before the characters whom they were designed to be, Motormaster and Vortex. But, since the molds were new, we bought them anyway. It’s terribly clever of them. Titans Return has continued this trend to devastating effect with releases like Blurr and Sentinel Prime, but never have they been so obvious as with the two Wave 3 Voyagers, to the point where fans were more excited about yet-to-be-revealed Blitzwing and Octane toys than the actual Megatron and Optimus Prime. So, since I’m a sucker, I bought a toy knowing I’m going to buy it again next year.

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Tanker Mode

As easy as it is to write this toy off as a simple cash-in on a mold by painting Octane in Optimus Prime colors, there is some cleverness to be found in this figure. The tanker truck altmode is not new for Optimus, and as we’ll see this toy is heavily homaging G2 Laser Optimus Prime. The colors on the toy, however, are straight-up G1 Prime, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. As far as altmodes go, it’s not bad, just a little plain – some paint apps or Reprolabels would go a long way here. He’s also rather small, comparable to DOTM Megatron in truck size (though unlike Megs, the trailer cannot pivot). There’s also no good weapon storage other than the ports on each side of the tanker, which is lame.

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Jet Mode

Yeah, this sure is a jet…! You can tell that it’s trying so hard, and I’ve got to give it credit for that, but this isn’t what most people would call a good altmode. It doesn’t help that Optimus Prime turning into a jet, especially one as awkward as this, just feels wrong. Even worse is the fact that the truck halves just kind of sit there without locking, and the wings are supposed to secure with tabs, but it’s tenuous at best. Now’s also a good time to mention the stickers, which make up the Autobot badge and trailer striping. I’m happy to report that they’re only peeling in a couple of corners, and if you think that’s bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet…

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Just for the sake of consistency, I’ll mention that Optimus has the requisite cockpit for his Titan Master to ride in. Since the orientation of the cockpit reverses between truck and jet modes, there are two square holes on either side of the floor so that the Titan Master can properly face the right way. That’s neat.

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Titan Master

Optimus Prime’s Titan Master is also pretty neat. His name is Diac and he’s a straight-up Diaclone homage, right down to the silver head and grey feet. It’s a fun reference and makes Diac just a little bit unique among the crowd of nigh-identical head robots, but otherwise he’s just more of the same.

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Robot Mode

Despite very obviously being designed for Octane, Optimus Prime’s robot mode manages to… not look much like Octane at all. The design is a strange amalgamation of G2 Laser Optimus and, oddly enough, Star Convoy. It’s cool to see something unique rather than a straight-up G2 Prime, but this is honestly more jarring than anything. Still, he definitely does look pretty good thanks to his solid proportions and decent amount of paint apps. In case you couldn’t tell, the two little blue ear spikes are spring loaded additions. They look fine when he’s looking straight ahead, but there’s not a lot of neck rotation going on with those up.

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Prime’s articulation is more or less good in his arms and legs, lacking only a wrist joint to make best use of his accessories. He also lacks a waist joint, which is a real shame. I wouldn’t be a responsible reviewer if I didn’t point out that he’s got a fairly chunky backpack of folded-up airplane wings, and his rotation joints in his shoulders and hips are very loose, at least on my copy. It’s still not Skullcruncher’s hips-bad, but it’s very irritating, and I’m not sure if the floor polish fix is applicable here.

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Optimus Prime comes with two weapons, both very G2-referential. One is a double-barreled rifle with a built-in seat, which is boring. The other is a super cool clear yellow sword, which is awesome. It reminds me of how much I like Alpha Trion’s sword, but I think this one might actually be a bit better. It’s just a shame he doesn’t have the wrist joints to pose with it.

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Overall

This figure is a strange mix of homages and references, all piling onto what I would honestly call a mediocre toy. To be fair, a lot of what bothers me is the loose joints, which could just be a problem on mine. The jet mode is sort of indefensible, but I kind of like its pitiful appearance. Maybe it’s the fact that we have a fairly recent G2 Optimus homage that does it better, or just because this is another Optimus Prime toy. To its credit, it’s trying to be different and unique, but I’m afraid it doesn’t do enough. On the upside, it’s still miles ahead of the old Universe Tankor/Octane, so at least we’ve got that to look forward to!

Where to Buy

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Comments
3 Responses to “Review: Transformers Titans Return Optimus Prime”
  1. There will probably be a black Nemesis/Scourge repaint with a red sword…

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    • Loremaster Prime says:

      I plan on skipping this toy, but if they make a Nemesis Prime (Scourge), I’d probably pick that up. Wished they hadn’t nerfed shoulder cannons though, I doubt they’ll bother to fix them for the back repaint either.

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  2. Loremaster Prime says:

    It’s not a G2 remake, Laser Optimus Prime was POST Generation 2, he came out between Generation 2 and Machine Wars. Referring to Laser Optimus Prime as “G2” is a classic mistake though, you have to be a real die-hard transformer fan to know that he’s not.

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