Happy New Year all. What 'better' way to ring in 2018 than a PotP ramble. And it's the big lad! Oh man! I'm actually reviewing the big one. The mother fucking original Optimus Prime! The most iconic Transformer (at least for farts of my generation) and a total and utter design classic. As an essential a toy to a kid of the early to mid 80's as the Millenium Falcon or Castle Greyskull. There's a bit of me thats always resisted Optimus worship, especially when I was a kid. He was just a little too good, and noble. I disliked Superman for the same reasons. Ironically his biggest weakness is that he cares just that little bit too much and winds up doubting himself, when he's truly the purest of all. Give me Grimlock any day of the week. But I'd be talking out of my arse if I told you I didn't thrill to stories like "Prey!" or "Distant Thunder", rewatch Prime's fight with Megatron from the '86 Movie over and over, or try and do my best John Wayne accent and say "Stick it in neutral Megatron". I think I got Optimus Prime for my birthday in 1985. It was either that or Christmas the same year. No, it'd have been my birthday. My Gran had got me three Transformers (Grapple, Ironhide and Prime) and my parents had hidden them in the wardrobe in their bedroom, way up high. Unfortunately I was a nosey and resourceful child and soon spotted the boxes and pulled them down to have a look. I remember that more vividly than I do opening the toys. Don't worry, I got them back up without being caught. I still get what I believe young people refer to as 'the feels' when I pick up a G1 Optimus. Even with all it's daft flaws, which were just limits of the time really, it's perfect. I don't care that you have to plug the fists in, or the ganky forearms, or the open back. I just love it. Does anyone really want to read an objective review of G1 Optimus Prime? If so you probabaly should have stopped reading a paragraph back. I love the look of this guy. I've got a deep affection for those early UK comics from before the artists had the TF bible, with it's cartoon character models. As much as I love the 'proper' design for Optimus, I love the weird, alien headsculpt on the original. It's something we lost when we moved past those early Diaclone designs. And the detail is fantastic. Rivets, windscreen wipers, the wee horns on his roof. And the chrome! Oh, the chrome and the rubber tires. Much like the Dinobots, Optimus was one of the best scaled and proportioned early TF toys. Of course, with this being an old Diaclone design the vehicle mode came first, in terms of design priority. Maybe a truck with a trailer isn't as sexy a vehcile mode as Porsche or a Datsun, but I seriously doubt there was anyone that had this that didn't love that alt mode. Even now when I see that kind of truck I can't help but imagine it rising to it's feet with it's arms pulling out from the side. The trailer was inspired play value. Admitedly there was a little nagging voice in my head that would say 'this doesn't make sense. Why does Roller have seats? What's the point of the repair drone having a canopy that opens so someone can sit in it?'. Of course now I'm an adult and I know about things like Diaclone pilots and what have you. It was all part of the package that made this such a brilliant toy when you were a kid in the '80's. I saw the reveals for the Leader Class evolution gimmick, Rodimus first, and thought "oh, ok that could be interesting." At first glance Optimus looked good and the Orion Pax trick was...nice. Especially with Elita-1 and co. coming down the line. But then I looked at it a bit more. It's a neat idea but I really can't reconcile that the truck doesn't turn into Optimus. You know, Optimus, with the blue legs and the front of the lorry for his big red chest. That this whole section of the toy becomes, arguably, a different character just does not compute. The only reason his trailer should transform is when we're having a good old fashioned Power Master Optimus Prime, so it's a bit of a pity they shot that load in Titans Return. Maybe if Orion had transformed into a smaller Cybertronian vehicle that integrated with the trad alt mode I'd be more satisified? Probabaly not. And you know what, it doesn matter. The above complaints all amount to "it isn't like I remember it when I was a kid so I'm unhappy" and that's not really that great a position to review a toy from. So let's actually try and look at it with no preconcieved notions of what it 'should' do. I was really surprised when I opened up the delivery package and sw this guy in his box. Even through the packaging, he exuded some serious class. No photo I'd seen had really done justice to the quality of the guy. There's a certain depth to the paintwork. I fear I don't have the vocabulary to properly express it, but it's a slightly darker, more natural tone that your typical Prime paintjob. There's a sophistication to the detail, from the various rivets and bolts to the details behind the chest windows, that's kind of rare to see in the Generatiosn line and feels kind of like a Masterpiece-lite release. He's also very, very nicely articluated. I think there's something kind of 'next level' about those ankle tilts. they're able to get the guy to go very, very far with the splits and still hold the figures weight well. I've had all kinds of fun making him look like he's fighting gravity with odd walks. That said, the gap between feet and shin is hideous. When I first saw it I assumed he'd been mistransformed. No such luck. I still don't have any great conmnection with this Orion Pax. As any old school UK TF fan will tell you, we barely saw the cartoon. the odd epsiode butchered into little chunks on morning television and a few VHS releases. I don't think I even saw the episode with Orion Pax until I was in my late 20's. So I look at this toy and go 'ok, that's fine'. And it is. While still having the quality detail and paint on the chest and head, the legs and arms are a bit weak. But what do you expect when you're getting a twofer. Of course, giving us a twofer invites the criticism so... It felt right to pull out the old T:30 Orion Pax and put them side by side. While I was always kind of fond of the T:30 version he does seem like a relic from a simpler time. Yer PotP Orion Pax is a masterpiece of elegance and sophistication compared to the older version. Where I think this toy really drop the ball is the truck mode. I'm trying to find something positive to say and all I can come up with is that the wheels roll quite well? I didn't really mind all the panels on the arms and legs, but the trailer just looks awful. It's tabby and weird and totally unconvincing. It's a pity, I was pleasantly surprised by how uncompromised the execution of such an ambitious had been up to this point, but it really fumbles badly at this last hurdle.