Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 1, September 1984 / Issue 80, July 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 11, February 9th 1985 / Issue 281, August 4th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 1 (Season 1 #1), September 17th 1984 / Episode 98 (Season 4 #3), November 11th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1984
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro/Fansproject
Toyline - Classics
G3 Trailer by Fansproject
- Added Autobot symbols to the cab
- Added Autobot symbols to the shoulders , covering the tampographed ones
- Added large Autobot symbols to the front of the trailer
- Added the ArtTek Designs Hero Rifle
Optimus Prime. What hasn't been said about Optimus Prime by many other people in more eloquent ways than I am capable of? Not much. Everyone knows that he had a habit of dying quite a lot, that he was awesome, swatting aside Megatron on more occasions than the erstwhile Decepticon leader would care to remember. The rich timbre of Peter Cullen's voice, the way he descended into Autobot City and took out half the Decepticon army before Megatron sneakily killed him, the legendary game of chicken with Motormaster, the list goes on. Even Bumblebee is eclipsed by the amount of Optimus Prime figures available, and elicits far less hatred. Cut this chap in 2 and he would bleed Autobot. He was my favourite toy as a child. I wasn't allowed him until Christmas but I convinced my mum to let me wheel the damn box around because I was that desperate to play with him. I'm not a religious man. Where others ask 'what would Jesus do?' I ask the same of Optimus Prime. If I was gay and had a fetish for giant transforming robots then I would marry Optimus Prime and back Obama all the way. It's fair to say that I am fond of Optimus Prime. So it's fair to say that only the best figure would be fit to represent him in my own modern G1 universe. No pressure then!
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
This is one of what must be hundreds of Optimus Prime toys that have been 'rolled out' since the inception of the Transformers. What I like about this particular mould is that it attempts to modernise Prime, while preserving his overall look. So while not a G1 carbon copy, it still epitomises the Autobot Leader. Despite being kibble heavy (half the cab just sits on his arms) I am a big fan. However, I was never a fan of some of the seemingly random yellow paint apps which were seen on the 'classics' version of the mould. This Henkei version is much cleaner, with more G1-inspired paint which gives the figure a cleaner, more minimal look. The arms are red all the way now, and the upper legs are silver as opposed to a mixture of blue and light grey - it just works so much better. One issue with the Henkei mould however is the darker tone of red used for some of the plastics - this causes a bit of a mismatch although the impact is minimal. Also, the Henkei version is resplendent in chrome across the bumper and grille. One thing I feel lets down this mould is the weaponry - it was very clever to have integrated weapons but I felt too much of a deviation from Prime's iconic rifle. So I plumped for this new version by ArtTek designs. The rifle is very good quality and really cements this as Optimus Prime proper.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 10/10
I only give this a 10 because of the FansProject trailer, which is magnificent. An Optimus Prime without a trailer is like a Megatron that is not a gun - plain wrong. The trailer also opens up to reveal a modernised Roller, plus the 'repair bay' can be transformed to a gun platform, which most TF's can operate (provided that they are tall enough). There is even a 'stealth mode' which attempts to explain away how the trailer just dissapears in the cartoon - basically mirrored panels fold out which just love fingerprints. This aside, the gimmick works very well. The truck itself is really nice, I like the wind vane and the way that the gun transforms into the smoke stacks. The chromed bumper and grille look suitably regal.
Optimus is a lot of fun to transform, he is deceptively simple but satisfying nonetheless. His legs unsurprisingly are formed by the rear of the vehicle with the front forming his torso, legs and arms. A nice touch is the fake grille which rotates around, once and for all eliminating the need for a boxy or 'thick in the middle' appearance. He is a shell-former to an extent. Shell-forming leaves a lot of useless kibble hanging around but it is also quite fun, if I can be so bold. The way his weapons integrate is also clever, although I am unconvinced about how good a weapon the wind vane makes. One word of caution is that if you transform his arms in the wrong sequence then they can collide, causing deformity to the edges of the upper arm.
So from top to bottom he has head swivel (but no tilt), Lateral and side-to side movement in the shoulder, bicep swivel and elbow joints. No wrist swivel though. He also has waist swivel, 2 points of articulation in the hips, thigh swivel and knee joints. He has big feet which help with balance, but is a shame that his ankles can't tilt. A mixed bag really which is disappointing for a voyager-class figure - this mould is starting to show its age in this respect.
Besides the potential for damaging his arms by mis-transforming him, this mould feels very solid indeed, with all the plastic being good quality. He has the reassuring click of ratchet joints in places, which are a dying breed in some of today's toys. Even the clear plastic parts feel thick enough that brittleness over time should not be a problem.
Overall - 41/50
Optimus Prime has some flaws which stop him from being a great Transformer. I would also have marked him lower on his alt mode were it not for the FansProject trailer. That said, he is still a good figure who is heads and shoulders better than the abominable deluxe class figure, which is tiny and pathetic, with the worst alt mode that I have ever seen. Voyager Prime is the mould to go for if you want someone with enough stature to lead the Autobots, just be aware that you may prefer the Henkei version because the paint apps are better. I had the classics version and was never really satisfied with it. Although if the rumours of a forthcoming IDW-based figure are proven to be true, then this figures days may be numbered in my collection. As long as the replacement can hitch to the FansProject trailer, that is.