Alternators Optimus Prime

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Scantron, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    Alternators Optimus Prime (Complete Review)

    Surprised to see that there doesn't appear to be a feedback thread for this figure yet. Just received mine in from BBTS today and, while I'll write a more detailed review later, some general thoughts:

    Positive:

    - A lot more poseable than I'd expected. Has true knees and proper arm articulation.
    - Probably the best engine gun yet released in the Alternators line.
    - For all the "he transforms just like a Spychanger!!!" complaints...no. No, he doesn't. The alignment of some pieces at the end is about the same, but there's a lot of intricacies in the arms and legs. The transformation also has some unique twists not seen in the Alt line so far.
    - Both modes are big and bulky.
    - The pick-up truck looks nice and it's great to have another non-car alternate mode.

    Negative:

    - The gun's great but, like most Alt weapons, it'll fall out of the figure's hand with even a little disturbance of the figure.
    - There's too much stuff that doesn't connect tightly. The torso doesn't snap together (unless I missed a step somewhere) and just holds in place thanks to gravity. There's a couple of spots they could have added clips, and the chest/crotch plate can be knocked out of alignment while moving the legs. The shoulders also don't lock into place and tend to move on a couple of the transformation joints when the arms are adjusted.
    - WAY too much kibble on the arms. It doesn't impair the articulation much, but the running boards can get in the way of the hands and parts of the shoulder pads are easy to disrupt.
    - Vehicle mode has some minor instabilities. On mine, the doors and hood are a bit tough to close.
    - Parts of the front bumper can pop off during transformation.
    - Leg joints are a bit loose (I took this out of the box 5 minutes ago); looks like another Alt Grimlock in the making.
    - Could use some more silver paint applications on the shins and groin in robot mode.
    - Instructions are severely lacking, as they seem to miss some steps and make others difficult to follow.
    - This is directed more at Dodge, but what's with a spoiler on a pick-up truck?

    Overall...meh, it's not bad. I wouldn't say this is the weakest Alternators mold (that 'honour' goes to the Mustang mold still, for the moment), but there's a lot of room for improvement. I'd very slightly recommend it, but be aware of the issues.
     
  2. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus Your opinion was noted. Now get lost. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I just got mine from BBTS a couple days ago and I have to agree with all of your positive and negative statements. The leg joints on mine are a tad loose as well, but it's nothing a little nail polish won't fix I'm sure.

    Personally, I think this guy is great for the price that he's retailing at and he looks really good in both modes. The only personal complaint that I have with him is that his instruction sheet seems to be missing some steps in the transformation. But that seems to be par for the course with the Alternators line of late doesn't it?
     
  3. NotoriousBIC

    NotoriousBIC Prime Suspect

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    I agree with your positives and negatives too.

    A personal plus for me is that the legs are a nice hommage to both G1 Prime AND G2 Laser Prime.

    A ran into a problem though and I was wondering if it's an unique case or common to all Alt Primes.
    I'm having lots of difficulties with the shoulder hinges. Folding them outwards when transforming from truck to robot is a bit stiff, but folding them back inwards is a right pain in the buttocks. It seems like the central pin on which the engine compartment and hood hinges is just a tad too long and hinders the shoulders. I can clearly see marks on the hinges from the pin.

    Anyone else have this problem?
     
  4. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like it might just be your copy, as I haven't noticed any problems with the same joints on mine.

    Finally got around to doing a complete review of this figure. No pics yet, but I'll have some for when I eventually paste this into the 'Articles' section:

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Optimus Prime

    Vehicle Mode

    In this form, Optimus Prime is a Dodge Ram XRT-10 pick-up truck. The main colour of the vehicle is red and the shade is consistent over most of the body, with the grille housing, spoiler and connector between the cab and bed being a little brighter than the rest of the toy. Black is used for the pick-up bed, door handles, interior detailing, side mirrors, front grille and areas surrounding the windows. The exhaust pipes, hubcaps and detailing on the front grille are silver. Clear translucent plastic provides the cover for the head and taillights, with the headlights backed by chrome and the taillights having a silver background. Each headlight has an orange paint detail for the turn signal, while the taillights each have two metallic red details for the brake indicators. Chrome stickers are applied to the side mirrors to add a realistic reflective appearance. Silver also appears as lettering in a number of places: A small Dodge ‘ram’ logo is located atop the front grille, “VIPER” is written on each side of the hood, “RAM XRT-10” appears on each door and “DODGE” and “XRT-10” are written in raised silver lettering on the driver’s and passenger’s side of the tail gate, respectively. The vanity plate has a white background, with Autobot symbol on the driver’s side and “Cybertron PRIME” on the passenger’s side (‘Cybertron’ in red cursive, ‘PRIME’ is bold black). The brake pads, visible between the spokes of the hubcaps, are mostly light grey with some red. Molding detail is very good, with all the cut lines and intricacies one would expect to see on a realistic pick-up truck, including the door to the gas tank on the driver’s side, vents on the hood and the molded door handles. Most of the sculpting is reserved for inside the cab, with a dashboard having the level of detail typical of an Alternators release. A glove compartment, full radio faceplate, central console with gear shift and cup holders and steering wheel with molded Dodge ‘ram’ logo are all visible. Flipping the vehicle over reveals some additional mechanical detail, in amongst the robot kibble, that can be seen only in this mode. Another point to note is that this figure is in scale to the other Alternators, making it somewhat larger than a typical release in this line. Overall, Optimus Prime has a very nice aesthetic in this mode. My only complaint inherent to the figure is that some silver paint in the interior of the cab would have been nice to make the molding detail more visible. While I don’t really care for the appearance of a spoiler on a pick-up truck, that’s more a problem with the vehicle on which Prime is based than the toy itself.

    In terms of functionality, Optimus Prime has typical articulation for an Alternator in vehicle mode. All four wheels can rotate freely and allow the truck to roll very well over smooth and rough surfaces. Like a number of other Alternators, this figure has a rudimentary suspension connecting the front wheels which, in theory, should allow the front tires to both turn in the same direction by pushing one. However, Optimus Prime’s suspension doesn’t work at all; at best, moving one wheel will cause the other to jiggle a little. The front wheels don’t turn very far individually either, preventing Prime from really turning at all. The vehicle hood can be raised about 45 degrees to reveal the engine and engine compartment. Optimus Prime’s engine is mostly black with silver flanks and “VIPER” written on the flanks in embossed writing. Unfortunately, the engine consists a flat panel, leaving a large empty space beneath the engine that is required for the transformation. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, but the way the grille hangs down from the hood obscures much of the engine panel from view and leaves the big space beneath obvious. Having the engine positioned a little differently to hide this gap would have significantly improved the vehicle’s appearance with the hood open. Another issue is that the hood is a bit of a nuisance to get closed properly, as a couple of notches need to be aligned correctly. Closing the hood also typically results in the front bumper partially coming apart. To get a better view of the cab interior, Optimus Prime’s doors can open about 60 degrees, exposing some more mechanical detail flanking the seats and some intricacies on the doors themselves. Like the hood, the doors take a bit of massaging to get closed properly and, on my copy at least, the passenger’s side door always ends up sitting a bit slanted. Finally, the figure’s tail gate can swing down 90 degrees, allowing items to be loaded in the truck bed. Given the position of the spoiler, it’s necessary to push the tail gate from the interior to get it open, unless one has long enough nails to get between the bottom of the spoiler and the top of the tail gate.

    8/10

    Transformation

    To transform Optimus Prime from vehicle to robot mode:
    (1) Open the hood and remove the engine panel. Set this piece aside for now and close the hood again.
    (2) Flip the vehicle over. Beneath the truck bed are four panels that all need to be raised about 90 degrees. Once all the panels are raised, rotate each pair 180 degrees.
    (3) Swing the robot feet down 90 degrees and close all four panels against the undercarriage.
    (4) Now, pull the truck bed back until it clicks, extending the robot legs. This requires a significant amount of force and typically ends up dislodging some other part of the vehicle.
    (5) Split the truck bed in half to form the legs and bring the tail gate halves down as heels. Fold the spoiler halves down to brace the heels.
    (6) This step is omitted from the instructions, but flip down the panels at the front of truck bed 120 degrees to free up the figure’s knees.
    (7) Open the vehicle doors and hood as far as possible and push the front wheels together, telescoping the suspension bar inward.
    (8) Separate the front bumper halves. These pieces are not attached tightly and one or both will typically detach at some point during the transformation.
    (9) Swing each side of the vehicle out and back 90 degrees. This step is a bit tricky, as there’s a lot of kibble in the way and the joint that needs to be used isn’t immediately clear when transforming the figure for the first time.
    (10) Rotate the arms down so the Autobot symbols on the shoulders are visible. Turn the vehicle seats, attached to the underside of the robot wrists, around 180 degrees and fold the seat backs down.
    (11) Fold down the center console and steering wheel (not mentioned in the instructions) and raise the back of the cab 90 degrees. Push the cab and roof against the robot back.
    (12) Rotate the robot head 180 degrees and swing the front grille up 90 degrees.
    (13) Bring the entire hood and wheel assembly down 180 degrees to form the chest and groin plate.
    (14) Rotate the pieces of the front bumper down 90 degrees to roughly complete the shoulder pads.

    In general, the transformation is fairly good. Although there were a number of concerns that the transformation was identical to that used for the small Spychanger figures, there are enough twists and turns to add the expected level of complexity for an Alternators figure. I particularly liked the panel rearrangement on the legs, as it’s something that wasn’t really necessary but is more interesting than just raising a panel to deploy the feet. I also like that this figure has some departures from the ‘arms under the hood, legs under the back of the vehicle’ template that’s been used for the majority of the Alternators line. While there is no step in the transformation that’s overly complex, the conversion has just enough difficulty to still be entertaining. The instructions are terrible, missing a few steps and spending more time on the leg transformation than the trickier steps involved in rearranging the torso. Converting the figure back to vehicle mode isn’t any more difficult than the forward transformation, but it can be a bit frustrating trying to massage all the parts of the vehicle shell into the correct alignment to make everything connect up perfectly.

    7/10

    Robot Mode

    In robot mode, red is still one of Optimus Prime’s main colours, but blue and black are now also prevalent. Red is used for the torso, shoulder armor, shoulders, lower arms and leg armor, while black appears on the feet, shins, collar, wrist guards and elbow joints. Blue is used for detailing on the feet, shins, collar, hands and visible joints in the shoulders and groin. The helmet is mostly blue with a silver forehead crest and faceplate and light blue eyes. A small Autobot symbol is heat-stamped on each shoulder. Molding detail is fairly good, with a number of mechanical details, cut lines and armor plates. The shin guards, especially, have some very nice patterns and there are some interesting piston designs on the wrists. A lot of the vehicle kibble is hidden when viewing the figure from the front, with the most noticeable pieces being the front wheel wells forming the shoulder pads, doors flanking the arms, hood on the chest and truck bed sections on the legs. The vehicle seats also hang off the undersides of the arms but are concealed well enough in most arm positions. Comparing this figure to the original G1 toy, there are a number of parallels. Besides the head sculpt, which is the most obvious link, the colour choice on the arms, hands and legs are similar. The molding on the shins resembles the vents that appear on the legs of both the G1 original and the more recent 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime release. Some have commented that parts of the shin molding resemble G2 Optimus Prime, but I don’t really see much of a connection myself. This figure is more of an update that other Alternators that were direct homages, such as Tracks, Prowl or Meister, but it captures the character of Optimus Prime and has a number of essential elements that one would expect to see on a toy of the Autobot commander. However, I do have some problems with the aesthetic in this mode: One issue is the gaps in the torso, with each side having a space between the chest plate and the shoulders. These spaces are partially obscured by the large shoulder pads, but repositioning the arms makes the torso appear too hollow. Secondly, there is a lot of vehicle kibble on the arms. Although a number of Alternators have vehicle doors flanking their arms, they usually form ‘wings’ or a similar structure, while Prime’s doors just hang down and don’t seem to serve any real purpose. The seats on the undersides of the arms, while not as distracting as I’d originally expected, don’t really look convincing as armor, weaponry or anything useful. I also don’t like how the shoulder pads are designed. It’s not so much the size, although they are rather tall, it’s the fact that half of each shoulder pad sticks out half an inch further than the other half. As a result, the shoulder pads don’t look like cohesive pieces of armor and are distracting. It also doesn’t help the front bumper pieces of the shoulder pads come out of alignment easily and need to be readjusted. Finally, there a number of areas that could use some silver paint applications to bring out the molding detail. The groin plate and shoulder pads are the most obvious, looking flat and dull with the sculpting partially obscured by the brighter background colour, but silver applications on the shins would have also been nice. While Optimus Prime’s aesthetic in this form isn’t terrible, there are a number of places for improvement.

    Optimus Prime has the following points of articulation in this mode:
    - Heels can swing down 90 degrees, but the joints aren’t strong enough to support the figure.
    - Toes can rotate about 90 degrees and tilt up 45 degrees.
    - Knees bend back 90 degrees.
    - Mid-thigh swivel allows the legs to rotate 360 degrees.
    - Hips are universal ratchets, allowing the legs to raise 90 degrees to the front, side or back.
    - Waist rotates 360 degrees.
    - Groin plate can be raised to accommodate leg motion.
    - Head rotates 360 degrees at the neck and can ‘wiggle’ a little, but can’t tilt in any direction.
    - Shoulders can swing out 90 degrees using one of the transformation joints.
    - Arms can be raised 45 degrees at the shoulder before running into the doors.
    - Elbows have two joints, allowing the lower arm to bend up a total of 120 degrees before running into the shoulder pads.
    - Hands can rotate 360 degrees at the wrist and can wiggle a little on their ball joints.
    - Fingers can open, with the index finger on each hand being a separate piece.

    While this toy has average articulation for an Alternator, there are a few problem areas. The most annoying is that the joints in the upper legs are loose, frequently causing the figure to tip over backwards while being manipulated. The worst offenders seem to be the mid-thigh swivels and knees, but the hip joints could stand to be stronger as well. Fortunately, Prime has a low center of gravity and broad feet, so this toy isn’t quite as prone to falling over as either of the Mustang molds (Grimlock and Wheeljack). However, the fact that the joints are already this loose fresh out of the package is worrying as they could easily become floppy with a lot of manipulation. The second issue is that the shoulders don’t lock in very tightly and frequently end up moving on the transformation joint that isn’t supposed to move. This is particularly noticeable when swinging the arms forward. As mentioned above, the arm kibble gets in the way of a few of the joints in those limbs. The black guards along the lower arms can also bump into the hands, but the wiggle room in the hand ball joints means this isn’t a major issue. Overall, Prime is capable of taking on a number of dynamic poses and holding them stably, but the joint problems are a nuisance when manipulating the figure, either during play or while trying to find a stable pose.

    While not a major stability issue, per se, I don’t like that the chest assembly doesn’t lock in place. None of the pieces, including the vehicle wheels/suspension and hood, clip or peg in position and are merely held by gravity. While the interior of the torso is heavy enough for gravity to be sufficient most of the time, manipulating the legs often dislodges the hood a little, especially when the legs bump against the groin plate. I would have preferred a couple of small tabs and clips, just to hold everything together a bit more securely.

    5/10

    Weapons

    Like the majority of the line, Optimus Prime’s engine is able to transform into a weapon that can be used in robot mode. To convert the engine to weapon mode, begin by swinging the stock down 90 degrees. Rotate the silver flanks forward 90 degrees and fold the entire engine in half. Peg everything in place and the gun is complete. This is by far my favorite weapon out of the entire Alternators series. Rather than just being an engine with a stock and rough barrel attached, the rearrangement of parts makes this look like a believable, powerful pistol. I also like the arrangement of colours, with black forming the body of the gun and silver along the length of the barrel. Hopefully, we’ll see more innovative engine gun transformations like this in the future.

    Unfortunately, the gun does have a couple of problems. One is shared with most Alternator hand weapons, in that the pistol is very difficult to get to stay in the figure’s hand. Even closing Optimus Prime’s fingers around the stock is enough to cause the gun to fall out of the hand most of the time. In addition, the location of the peg on the gun stock is such that, when Prime’s fingers are closed, the trigger finger ends up below the pistol’s trigger. This isn’t really noticeable from a distance, but moving the peg higher on the stock would have made the location of the trigger a bit more realistic, although it may have made the gun virtually impossible to get pegged into the hand. Finally, the rotation joint that connects the handle to the gun is loose. This is more a problem in vehicle mode, as it allows the weapon handle to hang down from the engine, but it can allow the gun to tilt while being inserted into the figure’s hand in robot mode. Since the gun is dislodged from Optimus Prime’s hand so easily, having to adjust the pistol on that joint can be enough to cause the weapon to come free of the hand.

    8/10

    Overall

    After completing this review, I actually ended up giving the figure a higher grade than I was expecting. Like many Alternators, the vehicle mode is the highlight, with a very nice aesthetic and a great change of pace from the car-centric releases thusfar. However, the vehicle has some minor colour matching problems and a few stability issues that get annoying. Transformation is interesting with some subtleties, but not different enough from what we’ve seen previously in the line. The missing steps in the instructions and propensity of some parts to come off take away from the fun of the conversion. The robot mode is definitely the weak link, with a number of aesthetic, stability and functional problems. The aesthetic has grown on me a little, but the kibble and issues with the leg joints remains a nuisance. The weapon is innovative but not the easiest for the figure to use. Overall, I’d slightly recommend this figure on the strength of the vehicle mode mostly. It’s got some unique features and isn’t nearly as bad as all the buzz on various forums has suggested.

    7/10
     
  5. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    despite some bad reviews, from pics, this guy has grown on me, kind like energon prime has. prolly pick this guy up once it saturates the market. looking fwd to it.
     
  6. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Thanks for your instructions, I was forever stuck at this step until I read this.:redface2:  Prime was like Prowl was to me: Alot better in person than in pics. I LOVE his head sculp. Thankfully mine came out with decent paint aps on it, unlike my Sunstreaker... I really think Hasbro kind of dropped the ball with the plain look of this figure. The tops of his arms and his waist-plate are both screaming for additional paint aps and would have really made a huge difference in the aesthetics of the figure. Perhaps a reprolabels set is in order for this figure? -I'd seriously consider buying one. Overall I guess I'm happy with the figure. Best part is definitely the gorgeous truck mode.:thumb 
     
  7. rattrap007

    rattrap007 Insert witty comment here TFW2005 Supporter

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    I like mine very much over all. nice and big. Looks good in both modes. I'd give him a 8.5/10.
     
  8. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I just lost some brain cells trying to transform the bastard back into truck mode...:( 

    There are some parts that just scare me... I feel like I'm gonna snap SOMETHING off...

    But MAN, I'm liking him... His face has got a "I'm gonna KICK YOUR ASS" look to it...
     
  9. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    you forgot the "and then I'm gonna kick back and drink some beer" part
     
  10. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I thought of that part after...:p 
     
  11. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I saw that the rear window had NO PAINT APPS for the black rubber stripping that's on the real car so...
    [​IMG]

    I also painted the two vents where the screws are on the crotchplate... Much better that the screws aren't as noticeable...
     
  12. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    well why didn't you take a picture of the crotchplate vents then? :p 


    in all seriousness, I like the rear window :)  I'm definitely going to be adding several paint aps to him WHENEVER the hell I find him!


    Andy
     
  13. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Looks good RW!
     
  14. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I was too lazy to transform him again...:p 
     
  15. NotoriousBIC

    NotoriousBIC Prime Suspect

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    Lol, seems to happen alot with ALts/BTs
     
  16. Deathy G1

    Deathy G1 Such a trustworthy being!

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    Those directions earlier in the thread helped me alot more than the instruction pamphlet did.

    All in all I like him. Good in both modes and quite big too!
     
  17. Astoriacrew

    Astoriacrew Well-Known Member

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    I also like Alt. OP. Picked him up yesterday for $26.99 ($29.25 with tax). Love the truck mode, but the robot mode is awesome. My latest alternator in 3 months. Didn't even bother with the instructions, and it took me about 30 minutes to transform. My only gripe is Prime's hood when going back from robot to truck mode. Don't like Prime's gun either, the G1 version's better by a long shot.
     
  18. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    I like this 'bot. I've been looking for him from the first sightings. While I enjoy the head sculp, the gun, and the transformation, I'd still rather thishad been Ironhide. He does look very 'Prime-ish' in robot mode, though.

    -Tony!
    Likes all the Alts...even Rollbar.
     
  19. Mutt

    Mutt Well-Known Member

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    I really want this mold but Prime would clash with my MP so I want to wait to see what happens with Nemesis Prime

    But I wanted to ask, have you guys taken pictures or seen any where Prime is kept next to the other Alts? Im wondering on his size and how he compares when next to the others.
     
  20. Renidragon

    Renidragon Toys on my table!

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    Is this price across the board? Is Prime actually more expensive than other alts?
     

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