That's Just Prime: A Quick Guide to "Bloated Fist" and "Standard" Optimus

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Lunar Archivist, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    When I got back into collecting Transformers roughly half a year ago, one of the first things I did was try to purchase replacement parts for several of the Generation 1 toys I'd really messed up as a kid. First and foremost among them: the big guy himself, Optimus Prime. Little did I suspect the insanity that awaited me on my journey to that wonderful place called Variant Hell... >_<;

    To spare others the frustration that I encountered, what follows here is a basic guide to telling what collectors refer to as the "Bloated Fist" Optimus Prime apart from your garden variety version. While I can't claim credit for much of what I'm about to list here - I'd say at least half of this information is cribbed from Fred's Workshop - I did spend days adding new information and taking pictures to better illustrate the differences between the two.

    Disclaimer 1: While I'm going to make reference to a "Standard" Optimus Prime in this thread (specifically the one that came with a dark blue Roller and Combat Deck with black missile) this is arguably just the most widespread, commonly seen one and not the only other variant out there. Also, I don't consider myself much of a Transformers expert - I've just had painful experiences with this particular case - so feel free to correct me if need be.

    Disclaimer 2: Forum member Notorious BIC has added:

    This is a good point. I freely admit that this guide is severely limited by financial feasability and practicality. Using Fred's information to lay the groundwork, I did cross comparisons between a couple of Standard Optimus Prime units and about three or four different Bloated Fist Optimus Prime units. This may not sound like a lot, but considering how casual collectors freely mix and match parts between Optimus Prime variants, it was the best I could do considering that, of the four Bloated Fist variants, I definitely knew that all of them had either never had replacement parts added to them or had been under the watchful eye of a collector who knew what he was doing. :) 

    This is also why I've neglected comparing the gas pump assembly hoses between Primes. The prices for those are insane. :crazy: 

    I was trying to keep "transitional variants" out of the picture for purposes of simplification, so consider this guide as being valid for the commonly-seen gray Roller/metal plates/bloated fists version of Optimus Prime rather than some of the more exotic specimens. ;) 

    Part 1: The Accessories

    [​IMG]

    I won't bother going into too much detail here because the differences are pretty self-evident:

    • Bloated Fist Optimus Prime's Laser Blaster, fists, gas pump and nozzle are all larger and more detailed than Standard Optimus Prime's. (This is, in fact, where the nickname for this variant comes from.)
    • Bloated Fist Optimus' fists have thumbs that point forward. The thumbs on Standard Optimus' fists point downwards.
    • Bloated Fist Optimus' gray rockets have two rings halfway down their shafts rather than just the one seen in Standard Optimus' black rockets.
    • Bloated Fist Optimus' Roller is gray instead of dark blue.
     
  2. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Part 2: The Trailer Door

    [​IMG]

    The differences on the front of the trailer door are subtle:

    • All the fine details of Standard Optimus' door - such as the rectangles, the handle, and even the rivets - have been slightly enlarged.
    • The holes at the top of door are slightly longer and narrower for Bloated Fist Optimus and somewhat squatter and wider for Standard Optimus. The adjacent area also has a different number of rivets: four versus two.

    [​IMG]

    The differences on the back of the trailer door are also a little hard to spot:

    • The circular areas - which indicate the attachment points of the part with the sprue, if memory serves - vary in number, size, and location.
    • Standard Optimus' door has two rectangular troughs in the trapezoidal areas towards the bottom of the door that are not seen in Bloated Optimus' one.
     
  3. ultraconvoy

    ultraconvoy Banned

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    nice work. Prime is the best transformer ever! :D 
     
  4. Solscud007

    Solscud007 Banned

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    I forget. but there is also Diaclone molde trailers, with the metal plates. But that is that the one with grey roller? I cant recall.
     
  5. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Part 3: The Trailer (Outside)

    [​IMG]

    Nothing too interesting. Bloated Fist Optimus' trailer a shallow trough behind the raised section in the trailer door area, but that's about it.

    [​IMG]

    Now things're getting interesting...

    • The circular design in the top front corner of the trailer has an arced-off-shaped area with perpendicular lines. They create a series of six gaps in Bloated Fist Optimus' design but only four in Standard Optimus'.
    • The octagonal design in the bottom front corner of the trailer is also different. It is subdivided by a series of horizontal lines in the case of Bloated Fist Optimus but is completely empty in the case of Standard Optimus.
    • The door tab is rather short for the Bloated Fist version of the trailer and much longer for the Standard version. While I can't say for certain why this design change was made, my best guess would be to reduce the chance of breakage: the shorter tabs probably gave way and snapped under stress a lot more easily than the long ones.
    • The Bloated Fist version has five conspicuous holes on the side of the trailer (a sixth is hidden beneath the factory sticker), while the Standard version does not. The significance of this will be discussed in the next section, but suffice it to say that looking for these holes is the easiest way to tell from a picture which version of the trailer you're dealing with.

    [​IMG]

    • The cylinders towards the front of the trailer - marking the end points of where the long metal rod are inserted - are capped for Bloated Fist but not Standard Optimus.
    • The two circular indentations near the cab hitch point are larger and more towards the front for the Bloated Fist version and smaller and more towards the back for the Standard version.
    • The Bloated Fist version's suspension has a small grill around halfway down the trailer. This feature is completely absent from the Standard version.
    • There are two "dimples" in the Bloated Fist version's stabilizer leg area that are missing in the Standard version.
     
  6. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Bloated Fist Optimus Prime is the one with the metal plates inside and close (if not identical) in design to Diaclone Convoy as far as I remember. :) 
     
  7. NotoriousBIC

    NotoriousBIC Prime Suspect

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    This is an excellent picture guide and would've been almost correct if not for all the transitional Primes Hasbro, Takara, Joustra, Milton Bradley and other local toy manufacturers have produced.

    For example the metal-plate trailer is always associated with bloated parts (although that's still up for debate according to some people), but the metal-plate trailer was only released in limited amounts (being a hold-over from Diaclone days). Therefore the most common Prime with bloated parts is still with the sticker inside trailer.

    My advice: Treat the trailer and parts differences separately as there's simply too many combinations of parts, trailers, cabs and mold changes thereof to keep a clear picture.

    All this nig-nagging aside (and God knows variant addicts will make this a runaway thread...), I think these pictures excellently portray the most significant mold-changes for the parts and trailer.
     
  8. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Part 4: The Trailer (Inside)

    [​IMG]

    • The launcher (actually, the entire launching system) is colored gray in the Bloated Fist version and black in the Standard version.
    • The upper front edges of the trailer shell are solid plastic in the Bloated Fist version but hollowed out in the Standard version.
    • The intricate detailing along the inside walls of the trailer are comprised of metal plates with ink and paint images printed on them in the Bloated Fist version and each held in place by six plastic tabs while the Standard version replaces them with...simple stickers. This is the reason why the Bloated Fist trailer has the conspicuous holes along the outside of the trailer: they match the positions of the tabs used to secure the metal plates in place on the inside. This is by far the most radical change in the trailer's overall design.
    A friend of mine asked me why exactly this last change was made. I responded that her guess was as good as mine. My theory is that it was a combination of cost effectiveness and mold simplification. The powers that be at Hasbro and Takara probably figured that it made little financial sense to print and install the metal plates when stickers could essentially accomplish the same thing, to say nothing of the fact that the tabs were likely prone to breaking off during unit assembly given that you have to actually slide the plates underneath the tabs to get them into place.
     
  9. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Part 5: Optimus Prime Himself

    Believe it nor, subtle changes were made to the big guy himself, but they require a keen eye to spot in most cases...

    [​IMG]

    Bloated Fist Optimus Prime's seats have a high backrest and divider and the seat themselves have a distinct "micro bump" pattern. Standard Optimus Prime has a lower backrest and divider and the seats have a "cross-hatched" pattern.

    [​IMG]

    The hole for the screw that holds Optimus Prime's head in place is small and shallow in the Bloated Fist version but larger and deeper in the Standard version. This may not be immediately apparent in some cases because the Standard version's screw hole is often covered by a rubsign.

    [​IMG]

    The pegs connecting the smokestacks to Optimus Prime's arms are distinct, large and square in the Bloated Fist version and have a dimple in the center. The Standard version is rounded and small to the point of being imperceptible.

    The differences to the front of the cab are so tiny that you need an extreme close up to see them. Please view the attachment at the end of this message to see the image in question.

    The major changes to the front of the truck are mostly :

    • The Bloated Fist version has a grill pattern comprised of four identically spaced gaps and one irregular gap. The Standard version has five identically-spaced gaps.
    • The vertical lines that run along the bottom of the grill are thinner and distinct from one another in the Bloated Fist version. In the Standard version, they are thicker and partially fused with one another.
    • The vertical and horizontal lines of the truck grill in general are thinner for Bloated Fist Prime than the thicker ones seen with Standard Prime.
    • The Bloated Fist version's headlights have larger diameter holes for the fist pegs. The Standard Fist version's headlights have smaller diameter holes for the fist pegs and a clearly-defined inner ring.
    That last point means, of course, means that, while you can stick Standard Prime fists into a Bloated Fist Prime's headlights (though it will admittedly be an extremely loose fit), you cannot do the opposite without damaging or breaking Standard Prime's headlights.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Part 6: Accessory and Part Swapping

    The design changes listed in this thread are not merely aesthetic. Since actual alterations were made to the molds themselves, including tab and peg sizes and design, this means that you cannot freely swap parts between Bloated Fist and Standard Optimus Prime units without running into several potential problems.

    Accessories and Parts Freely Exchangeable Between Units
    • Rollers.
    • The entire gas pump assembly. (I'm admittedly not sure about whether or not you can exchange the hose from a Bloated Fist version with a Standard Version. However, the gas pump units themselves can be freely swapped. Important Note: See update below.)
    • Rockets.
    • Stabilizer legs.
    • Trailer wheels.
    • The Combat Deck robots and their parts. (At least as far as I can tell.)
    Accessories and Parts That Cannot be Exchanged Between Units
    • Fists. As mentioned above, standard fists will fit into a Bloated Fist Prime's headlights but bloated fists will not fit into a Standard Prime's headlights. This is because standard fists have smaller connector pegs than bloated fists.
    • Laser Rifles. Oddly enough, standard fists can easily hold a Bloated Laser Rifle, but the holes in bloated fists are too small to accommodate a Standard Laser Rifle.
    • Trailer doors. This one took me by surprise, actually. There seems to be a subtle size difference in the trailer door that goes a bit beyond what I mentioned above. While you can effortlessly install a Standard Trailer Door into a Bloated Fist Trailer, the opposite is riddled with problems. The Bloated Fist Trailer Door appears to be slightly larger than the standard one, meaning that it makes for an extremely tight fit and installation could potentially break the Standard Trailer's door tabs if forced. Also, remember those two troughs that were present in the Standard Trailer Door but not in the Bloated Fist one? It seems that, when the trailer was redesigned, two small, rectangular raised areas were installed at the top of the trailer that fit into these holes. Since these troughs are not present in the Bloated Fist Trailer Door, this means that, even if you could successfully attach it to a Standard Trailer, you'd never be able to completely close it. It would always be partly jammed open.
    • Most trailer shell parts. The Standard Prime Trailer's redesign to elongate the trailer door connection tabs and eliminate the metal plates introduced several additional differences to the trailer shell halves as well as the entire launching mechanism. This means that, barring cutting or alteration, Standard Prime Trailers can only be fixed with other Standard Prime Trailer Parts. The same goes for Bloated Fist Prime Trailers.
    • Most truck cab parts. I must admit that this assertion is based on hearsay (and Fred's claims) because I have no desire to disassemble my vintage Optimus Primes to try and swap parts for the heck of it. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it.) However, given the changes to the grill, headlights, smokestacks, head attachment mechanism, etc. I would be surprised if this weren't true.

    UPDATE: My friend (and professional eBay seller/Transformer dealer) Iamratchet had the following to say:

    I noticed that the hose from the bloated wont fit the standard. It falls out.


    Forum member Macabremouse has added:

    So the matter is still up in the air. It would appear that the Bloated Hose is too large for the Standard Gas Pump and Nozzle, but that the Standard Hose does fit the Bloated Gas Pump and Nozzle. Curiouser and curiouser...
     
  11. mrclean08

    mrclean08 G1 FOR LIFE

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    Very informative thread. Keep this up. Would definitely like to see more comparison-type threads for other G1 characters.
     
  12. SureShot90

    SureShot90 Peace=superior firepower

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    Awesome !.
    Weren't there 3 versions of roller ? blue, purpleish, silver ?
     
  13. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    From what I've heard (and limiting ourselves to G1) there are indeed at least three Rollers: silver/gray, light blue/purple and dark blue.

    There's allegedly a fourth Roller out there: a dark blue one without the "launcher prongs" on the back. It came with a bizarre variant of the Optimus Prime trailer that had some kind of pimped-out supercharged launching mechanism that could shoot the little guy out several feet. Me wants... :drool: 
     
  14. RoboticPlanet

    RoboticPlanet Exclusively Exclusive

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    My Bloated Prime has a hose that I personally took from a standard Prime with only one owner, and it fits fine. The only hose incompatibility I've found is between G2 Prime and G1 Prime.
     
  15. redoptics

    redoptics Banned

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    the trailer that this roller belongs to has a light blue interior similar to the g2 one and im sure this roller is light blue also
     
  16. jestermon

    jestermon Well-Known Member

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    Bloated fist and gun seem to be more hardcore.
     
  17. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    It's possible. Honestly, I've never seen that particular Optimus Prime variant myself, just seen pictures of one person who happened to find one. 'Tis the stuff that legends and dreams are made of. :) 

    They certainly look nicer at any rate.
     
  18. Dormamu

    Dormamu I am Broot.

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    Dude, just give him some Gas-X for the bloating and call it a day....


    Just kidding! This should be also placed into Radicons as a tutorial for parts swapping, since it is useful for identification.
     
  19. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Wow, this could really come in handy. Thanks!
     
  20. Fe 26

    Fe 26 Well-Known Member

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    this might currently be the only place online with a clear list of differences in the early trailers. I was googling today and was unable to find the older website with details about it.

    Thanks for going to the trouble. I was looking on ebay today for parts to restore my large firsts optimus prime.
     

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