Concluding my Trifecta of Cheap Animated Transformers from Ross is my look at Voyager Class Optimus Prime from the TF: Animated series. Even before I started buying any of these Animated figures, I was pretty sure I would wind up with Prime here sooner or later, as the one constant display in my Den is a shelf with all my Optimus Primeseses. For a while I was content with just displaying the smaller Activators Animated Prime, and until I get a bigger shelf, he’ll have to continue to represent Animated in my Prime display. I simply have no room on the shelf left for this bigger version. I made the faux pas of shredding the package before taking a shot of it, so I’ve got no In-Package picture for you. Suffice it to say, the figure comes boxed in his truck mode and looks really nice amidst the bright colors of the box. The back shows the toy in both modes and has some assorted facts about Prime’s character. Animated Prime seemed to me to be more influenced by G1 Rodimus in his overall archetype. He was a bit of a loser who didn’t want the job, but he eventually stepped up and turned out OK in the end. Let’s start with his alt mode…
Prime’s truck mode is a bit at odds with the cartoon. He looks like a truck cab with a light bar on top and a little gun sitting on the back. In the cartoon he seemed to vacillate between being a full fledged fire truck and something more like this toy form. Then again, I’m no expert as I’ve only seen a smattering of episodes. Either way, the discrepancies don’t really bother me as I like this toy’s alt mode a lot. He has a creative and super-stylized look and the red, blue, and gray colors look great and give this new design a familiar feel. The extra yellow paint hits on the bumper and the recessed head lamps are a nice touch. Unfortunately, my figure has a tiny bit of paint chipping on the front, though.
As with Lugnut, converting Prime requires you to remove a fairly sizable piece from his back. These become his axe and gun. Some may cry foul and parts-forming and all that jazz, but I’m cool with it because they come off to become weapons. Unfortunately, I’m just not a big fan of these weapons, but I’ll get to those in a bit. Bottom line here is that the engineering on this toy doesn’t stray too far from Prime’s toy roots. The hitching area becomes the legs, with all four wheels cleverly packing into the ankles, and the arms and head all fold out from the cab.
Nonetheless, I’m surprised at how much I love this Prime’s robot mode. It helps that it is nowhere near as exaggerated in proportions as his animated counterpart. He’s definitely got some stylized deformation going on, but it’s not as extreme as I thought it might be. The proportions are pretty good and articulation is serviceable. The coloring is beautiful with that same classic Prime red, gray and blue that we saw in the alt mode. There’s even a little more of that yellow to make him pop. I really like the circuit etching behind his windshield, too.
Prime’s head features a classic-style mouth shield, which can drop down to display a regular mouth, which is more in line with his animated counterpart. It’s a pretty spot on likeness for the Animated look.
As mentioned, Prime comes with two weapons: His axe and gun. The gun is kind of dopey and doesn’t look like it’s really designed to be held. Apparently it can be filled with water and squirted to further the idea that he’s supposed to be some kind of firetruck. Meh.
The axe is ridiculously huge, ungainly and doesn’t look too good to me. Then again, I’m guessing kids will love it.
Despite the goofy weapons, I still really like this Optimus Prime more than I have any reason to. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I like to display the various versions of the character, and this guy certainly adds to that diversity. It’s a beautiful blend of stylized new ideas with the tried and true design that I’ve known and loved since I was a kid. And speaking of which, I’m guessing that kids who are fans of the show will probably adore this figure as he captures the character pretty well. Either way, I’m pretty glad I picked him up.
*This Feature was updated with new photos on 6/12/16.