Optimus Prime - the way Japan likes it

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Schide, May 18, 2008.

  1. Schide

    Schide Buyer of Too Much

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    We all know Optimus Prime, that much should be obvious. In his first incarnation his totality in robot mode was the bad of a semi. His trailer was only used as storage for roller and a gun and sometimes other Autobots. Over the years however, his different incarnations have included some designs where his cab robot mode has been able to combine with his trailer, producing a "super" mode, if you will. In addition, he has also been able to combine further with certain partner bots in order to create the most powerful forces in his respective series'. Join me as I show you the five variations that this theme has produced over the years, at least in toy form, using the versions that I own.

    First off, here are all the Optimus variations in this discussion in their vehicle modes. From left to right we have Powermaster Optimus Prime from Generation 1, called Ginrai in Japan's Super-God Masterforce series; Optimus Prime from Robots in Disguise, called Fire Convoy in Japan's Car Robots series; Optimus Prime (Powerlinx) from Transformers Armada, called Convoy Super Base (?) in Japan's Micron Legend series; Optimus Prime from Transformers Energon, called Grand Convoy in Japan's Superlink series; and Optimus Prime from Transformers Cybertron, called Galaxy Convoy in Japan's Galaxy Force series.

    [​IMG]

    Powermaster Optimus retains a similarity to his original G1 toy, although with more large guns and an obviously different trailer to provide for the upgraded transformation. RID Optimus differs in that he is a fire truck instead of a semi, similar to his G2 Hero toy, where he was a small fire truck like truck thing. Armada Optimus goes back to being a semi, except that he also has a little Minicon friend, and that his trailer is pants. Energon Optimus is some sort of space truck with a large oblong trailer where he stores his mindless robot drones which act as his arms and legs in super mode. Cybertron Optimus is also sort of a fire truck like object, I think. His vehicle can fly too.

    [​IMG]

    Here is shown each Optimus in their basic robot mode, Armada and RID Primes are reversed because I am stupid. Powermaster Optimus still looks a bit similar to the original G1, except the transformation differs significantly, in that his chest is actually the back of the cab instead of the front. He doesn't have much articulation either. His Powermaster is Hi-Q, who is actually Ginrai in Japan, where the entire Super Ginrai robot is not self-aware. Armada Optimus is beefy, he has been lifting weights. His minicon is called Sparkplug. RID Optimus suffers from Popeye syndrome and has a shiny chest. Energon Optimus ate too many Energon shakes. Cybertron Optimus is on steroids.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now we have each Optimus combined with their trailers in their respective super modes. First off is Powermaster Optimus. He has an arsenal on his large upper body, but his stubby legs make his head look overlarge. This time the actual front of the cab is displayed on his chest. RID Optimus is looking pretty buff, but not stupidly so, his ladder can also function as a rocket launcher, which is good for blowing things up. Armada Optimus can't walk because his legs are held in place. He is also very tall. Energon Optimus is colorful. Fortunately his arms and leg robots are drones because they don't have robot modes. It would be creepy if they did. He also wears a hat. Cybertron Optimus can fly and can also blow you the god up.

    Now let's meet each Optimus' respective combination companions. Starting at the top left, first up is Apex Bomber which was only available in America with the reissue Powermaster Prime set, called Godbomber in Japan; Ultra Magnus from RID, called God Magnus in Japan; Overload and Jetfire (Powerlinx) from Armada, called Overload and Jet Convoy in Japan; Wing Saber from Energon, still called Wing Saber in Japan; and Wing Saber again from Cybertron, called Sonic Bomber in Japan.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Apex bomber is basically just another trailer for the back of Optimus' trailer. He is supposed to have a cannon but I don't have it. Ultra Magnus, of course, is a car carrier, similar to his G1 counterpart, although his role in RID is different. He has much the same color scheme as G1, and he has a rather large gun on the top, which has two different turrets and two missiles ports. Overload is some kind of carrying thing I guess. His truck in the front is another separate toy, actually pretty much a headmaster, called Rollout, Magnus in Japan. Jetfire is a space shuttle. Energon Wing Saber is the Green Goblin's glider, and Cybertron Wing Saber is an A-10 Warthog fighter jet with missiles and chain guns.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Apex bomber's robot mode is gray and a brick. Ultra Magnus has a respectable robot mode. He doesn't have any articulation in his legs, but his large gun can transform itself into various combinations and can be held several different ways. Overload is red and ill-proportioned. Jetfire has a detachable gun and shield, and also comes with a minicon named Comettor. Energon Wing Saber is very patriotic but can't really move his arms or legs too much. Cybertron Wing Saber can, however, and has the missile launchers to prove it. Or something. He also has a gigantic rocket launcher on his back.

    And finally, we come to the fully combined super robot ultra mega modes.

    [​IMG]

    Powermaster Optimus fully combined, called God Ginrai in Japan. Apex Bomber separates into different parts and attaches onto the super Powermaster Optimus figure. his arms become extensions of Optimus' arms, his legs becomes Optimus' new feet, his back becomes Optimus' new chest, and his chest goes on Optimus' back. Plus Optimus has wings now. In this new mode, Optimus' chest is very shiny, and his head looks much more proportionate to the rest of his body. There isn't much articulation to be found here, just hips bending out and arms moving up and down and swinging out a tad. This can however be forgiving due to the time of this figure's production. Overall it's a very fun figure to mess around with, transforming it back and forth between different robot and vehicle modes, plus the fact it has a base mode. I also like that every part of both figures can be incorporated into the combined mode, which is unfortunately lacking in later models.

    [​IMG]

    About what I just said, originally all the components of RID Optimus' super mode aren't incorporated into his combined mode, Omega Prime, but I like to mess around and add them on my own. Now, this figure would have pretty good articulation if not for the overall weight of it. Unfortunately you can't really put the legs in different configurations because then he just falls over, mainly because his hip joints are kind of loose for his size. His arms have better articulation and can be configured in multiple ways, although the parts on his upper arms restrict their movement somewhat. Overall it's a wonderful looking figure, superbly designed with a complex transformation for all components.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the combined form of Armada Optimus, Overload and Jetfire. Jetfire replaces Optimus' trailer as his pants, which renders his trailer as extraneous. It can be used for a base though, but I usually just put it somewhere else. This incarnation probably has the most firepower out of all the supermus', especially since I added the Star Saber, Requiem Blaster and Skyboom Shield to his arsenal. However, with everything on his shoulders and his legs not being able to move, this Optimus can't actually do anything except stand there and shoot and hope he hits something. He doesn't really have any articulation so it's kind of pointless to talk about it. Overall I kind of like this one just for the overwhelming power it represents, and for the fact that two other toys combine into it. Otherwise it's not exactly the best one out of these.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As can be seen, there are two ways to combine Wing Saber with Energon Optimus. The first way is called the flight mode, which give Optimus wings and toe guns. The other configuration, called fight mode, gives him shoulder guns and arm blasters and sneakers. There is also one more combination for Energon Optimus, with Omega Supreme, but all that really does is replace Omega's head with Optimus' and sticks the drones on various parts of Omega. I like the look of the flight mode better, as I think wings usually make things look cooler. Plus the colors flow better for me, the top half of fight mode is virtually all blue, while the red can barely be seen. Neither mode can bend at the knee and both have a slight problem with balance, as for some reason his hips keep wanting to shift around while standing. His arms in either mode don't really want to bend that much either. Overall this is neat because it gives you two different ways to combine them, and both modes look pretty nice. He is probably the shortest of these Optimus' in either mode. Another problem is that now the drones and trailer are left out and you pretty much just have to store them somewhere else because they can't really combine on their own.

    [​IMG]

    For Cybertron Optimus, Wing Saber provides Optimus additional speed as a flight backpack, while at the same time giving him more firepower and swords, which are always welcome. Wing Saber's chest also slips on over Optimus', which I think looks very nice on this mold. His trailer however is useless now, as there is no official way to still have the trailer backpack part on with Wing Saber. Although you can put his backpack on and then sort of put Wing Saber on top of it and put his chest piece on, but then Wing Saber flops around a bit. This version offers the best articulation, as both his arms and legs can bend at different angles, although balance would be in issue in posing him. Overall this is a great mode that doesn't really offer that much of a different mold look than normal, just sort of a replacement for the trailer piece. In addition, the Cybertron toy Leobreaker (and Nemesis Breaker) can be combined with Optimus as well as his arms, but i don't have either of those.

    Thank you for reading. Unless you didn't. Then you're a jerk. Maybe you at least looked at the pictures though. I guess that's good enough.
     
  2. shadow panther

    shadow panther Mechanically Insane

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    you forgot Leo Breaker which can combine with Cybertron Optimus and Omega Supreme which can combine with Energon Optimus.
     
  3. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    Very entertaining. It was nice seeing all those Primes together, too. Comparison shots between generations are few and far between.
     
  4. Schide

    Schide Buyer of Too Much

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    It didn't forget them, I did mention them, I just don't have Leobreaker and didn't want to bother with Omega (I only have Sentinel now).
     
  5. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Never knew you could add-on RID Prime's spare "trailer" parts onto Omega Prime.


    ...I guess you do learn something everyday. Thanks man.
     
  6. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Wrong. Sorry for being blunt but I just have to say: he has rotating hips, back and forth and side to side. He has swivels in his thighs and knees. He has great articulation, it saddens me nobody ever thinks to utilize it.
     
  7. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    The problem is that it's a bit easier to talk about the changes the US made to the Japanese characters.

    Fire Convoy is not, nor was ever intended to be Optimus Prime/Convoy. He was a member of the Convoy Council and one of many to bear a Matrix of Leadership, as a continuation from the Beast Wars series, where there were multiple Convoys and Matrices floating about (Which itself has elements as a continuation of the Zone/Zodiac idea). When RiD got ported and dubbed to the US, Fire Convoy was changed to Optimus Prime and all his past/character was wiped clean to make room for the generic Prime template, just as his nemesis Gigatron was badly changed to Megatron. The entire subplot througout the series about them being from the future and the war and all that was lost in translation.

    Since I mentioned that, I'll also point out that God Ginrai is also not an Optimus Prime/Convoy in the Japanese series, and is instead a human transtectors who uses a device to control a larger robot shell. The resemblence wasn't accidental, but that's why the toy has red eyes. Also, the Japanese version and the US version had different fists at the time.

    Micron Legend's Convoy is Micron Convoy. (Not the most original naming nomenclature given Micron Legend has Micron Convoy, Galaxy Force has Galaxy Convoy, etc.) On the other hand, it does make it a bit easier to remember, and far easier to tell them apart. "Do you have Optimus Prime? No, but I have Optimus Prime and Optimus Prime." vs "Do you have Grand Convoy?" "No, but I have Micron Convoy and Galaxy Convoy." Lastly, his Minicon Partner is Prime in Micron Legend, not Sparkplug.

    Nice pictures though. :wink: 
     
  8. Schide

    Schide Buyer of Too Much

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    You just have to find a peg or hole that will fit and stick em on somewhere!

    Really? I'll have to go transform him back and test that out.

    Yeah, I knew about most of that but didn't want to go into that much detail about how the Japanese Optimus Primes aren't actually aren't all Primes, and how when they ported all the Japanese stuff to America they basically just call the Optimus looking good guy Optimus and the evil guy Megatron no matter if they actually are in Japan or not. I was mainly just trying to give the Japanese names of the ones I knew about. But I didn't and couldn't find the Armada names, so thanks for letting us know about those.
     
  9. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    That's the thing! Both those joints are used in transformation, which is why I'm always baffled when people say he has none.
     
  10. Dropshot

    Dropshot Transform your destiny

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    Haha, I like this review, as some said, it's not common to see the evolution of the characters.
     
  11. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    It's more an issue that with no heel spurs, he has problems standing in all but the most basic of poses. Those hollow feet do nothing for his extremely heavy upper body, and his long legs. It's quite doable, just not worth the effort a lot of the time.
     
  12. DELTAsnake

    DELTAsnake Decepticon

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    Wasn't Energon a Hasbro made serise, not Takara. Dyansis keeps saying in his videos it was a crappy serise made by the Americans. Is he wrong?
     
  13. Silent_Magnus

    Silent_Magnus Taint of Primus

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    Th entire unicron trilogy was pretty co-designed by both hasbro and takara.
    Although takara was the one that controlled the fiction (I think).
     
  14. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Cybettron/Galaxy Force Optimus is my favourite.

    The two in this photo i also own are Cybertron and RID.
     
  15. Powersa

    Powersa Car Robots

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    Precisely :) 
     
  16. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    There was a trick I used to do with the feet but I can't remember. Still, the point is he has the articulation, It's like when people say G1 Prime has no knees.


    And I don't see what you mean about no worth it. Back when I first got him he was my favourite fig to play with and display. It helps that in the fiction he can fly, as I always pose him in the air.

    Very wrong. Takara, as with Armada and Cybertron, but less with Cybertron, was "in charge" with Enegon. Animated and concieved in Japan as Superlink.

    Actuallly Takara pretty much had a leash around Hasbro's neck for all of A/E/C from what I've been told.
     
  17. XJunky

    XJunky Howdy Ho Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Just wanted to say that I thought this was an excellent review. Nice job!
     
  18. aussiehippy

    aussiehippy Au contraire, Blackadder.

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    Cool review!

    I like how I think that out of all the Prime's you covered, God Ginrai still looks the best.
     
  19. Schide

    Schide Buyer of Too Much

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    Thanks for the kind words, guys.

    Got a couple more pictures for you. First off is Energon Optimus combined with Omega Sentinel, with some added Wing Saber pieces of flair.

    [​IMG]

    And finally a group shot as I will be displaying them for the near future.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Seawing

    Seawing Lurker of the depths Moderator

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    great review. good job :thumb 
    I like Prime combined w/Sentinel vs Supreme. the colors look better.
     

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