Retro Review! Movie voyager "Robo-Vision" Optimus Prime

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Wars, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. Wars

    Wars I ate the WHOLE plate!

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    For a toy that's barely thirteen years old, "Retro" doesn't feel like quite the right word. But for lack of a better one, here's my review of the Transformers movie voyager Robo-Vision Optimus Prime!

    I've seen a few of these retro style reviews in the feedback forums recently, so I hope this alright. If not, do what ya gotta do, mods. But I got this guy off eBay about a month ago, and I've been really enjoying him, so I wanted to share my thoughts with the good people here!

    To start off, this figure is a repaint of the mass-release Transformers movie voyager Optimus Prime figure, and was sold as a Target exclusive in the US. I didn't get a box with this guy, but if it's anything like his wave-mate, Deep Space Starscream, it's a tall hexagonal box with Optimus packed in robot mode, as opposed to vehicle mode, which was more standard at the time. This version of the toy features a much brighter red and blue paint job, which, while not necessarily more accurate to what we see on screen, is a lot more visually appealing. He's also got silver paint, as opposed to grey, on his upper legs, upper arms, torso, face, and various parts of the truck, which help him pop that little bit more on the shelf. At roughly 7.5" tall, he's got the height to rival some of the recent War for Cybertron leaders, but he's definitely not nearly as hefty

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    In terms of sculpting, all the key details from the CGI model are there, though somewhat flattened or distorted in some areas, particularly on the upper body. You can even see on his head-sculpt, his battle-mask is quite flush against his face, which looks a little odd from some angles, especially when compared to more recent figures

    Speaking of the head, I didn't get a photo of this unfortunately, but he does have some really nice light-piping. I miss light-piping sometimes

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    Optimus' accessories consists of two ion blasters, which can convert into the fuel tanks and smoke-stacks in vehicle mode, but more on that later. I think this is such a cool feature, especially seeing as it's something we wouldn't see replicated again at this price-point for another three years, and then never again on a movie voyager Optimus. They're far from screen accurate, but they do the job, and they're fun. They have a firing missile function, which is powerful enough. Certainly "lose it on the other side of the room and never see it again" powerful

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    What's kind of interesting is that, rather than having posts that plug into his hands, the weapons attach via 5mm peg-and-port on to his wrists, with a little "handle" that fits between his thumb and index finger to keep it pointed straight. His weapons can also be stored in robot mode using those same 5mm sockets, by plugging into the foot-step that they attach to in vehicle mode. However, due to the way they attach, it means they poke way up over his head, and it looks less than desirable. You could fold them down so that they point to the ground, but I don't think that looks much better to be honest

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    Speaking of his back, the back-pack is probably the biggest flaw on this figure. The entire front end of the truck is just sitting there. It can make him tilt back a bit much sometimes, but it's manageable once you know how to properly configure him. And, too Hasbro's credit, this was their very first attempt at translating this design to a voyager scale, so it's understandable that there would be compromises, and it's not terribly obtrusive from most angles either, so personally I don't think it's that much of an issue

    [​IMG]

    Articulation is decent. Nothing particularly amazing, but he's definitely not a brick. It's mostly swivels and hinges, with some ball-jointed wrists. The only major articulation that he's lacking is a waist swivel, which is down to transformation more than anything, and some ankle tilts. That said, most modern movie figures don't have those articulation points either, so I'm not gonna knock any points off of this guy for it. One thing you could also do if you wanted was unlock his shoulders to give him a butterfly joint, which is a neat though definitely unintended feature

    He holds most poses well, and looks pretty good doing it, and I think that's what matters most

    [​IMG]

    A few quick comparisons with some more recent movie voyager Optimus figures. While he's certainly taller and heavier than these more modern figures, he's definitely not as screen accurate, or as complex. I guess that's the trade-off for movie figures?

    [​IMG]

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    Moving on to vehicle mode, the transformation for this guy is plenty fun. I mentioned he's not nearly as complex as the likes of the Studio Series voyager Optimus, and in this instance I think that goes in his favour. I'm a big fan of the Studio Series line, but you can sometimes spend a few minutes converting a figure between modes. With this guy, it's like thirty seconds, and honestly that's just fine. I do enjoy a complicated transformation, but I also have a lot of fun flipping a simple figure between robot and vehicle mode, sometimes absentmindedly

    The legs are definitely the most interesting part of the transformation on his guy. They open up and then collapse on themselves (with some help from the auto-morph gimmick) to from the rear of the truck. Auto-morph, as a gimmick, was a bit of a mixed bag (I hated it on the concept Camaro Bumblebee), but here it's a joy

    The transformation produces this rather nice looking truck mode. It's not licensed, but none of movie Optimus' toys are. As a result, it takes some artistic liberties, particularly at the back of the truck. The hitch section is a bit on the short side, owing to the compromises made for transformation. The most rear part of the roof, where his feet end up hiding, retains the details from the knee pads, which they form in robot mode, which is obviously quite different from how the actual truck looks. It also doesn't sit perfectly flush, as a result of the auto-morph gimmick, so it always looks a little gappy in places. But it's serviceable, and definitely looks the part!

    [​IMG]

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    Perhaps the coolest feature in this mode is the "disappearing driver" gimmick, which is something I don't think had been seen before, and certainly not since in a Transformers figure. The driver is a cowboy hat-wearing man, presumably based on Peter Cullen (unfortunately limitations of the sculpting means he doesn't have Cullen's iconic mustache). How this gimmick works is you open the driver-side door, and the driver folds away inside the cab in a fraction of a second, leaving the cab of the truck empty!

    It's a totally unnecessary but super satisfying feature, and something that I have way too much fun with. More stuff like this please

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One last feature of this mode is that you can fold the smokestacks and fuel tanks into their gun configurations, and then flip them forward to be positioned as they would in robot mode for an attack mode. It's nothing special, but it's unobtrusive, so I'm not gonna complain

    [​IMG]

    Overall, this guy holds up pretty well over a decade later. He feels like more of a toy than a collector's piece, like a lot of the Studio Series figures do, and honestly I think that's a good thing. As I mentioned already, it's nice to have fun and simple versions of these designs that you can fiddle with at your desk. He's got a lot of the key sculpted details, he poses really well, the transformation is unique and interesting without being complex. I'd happily recommend this figure (or any of its many, many variations) to any movie fans or Optimus Prime fans, or even to anyone just looking for a simple and fun Transformers figure

    Thanks for reading!

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  2. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Emergency Food Connoisseur

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    Great review!
     
  3. Beastwarsfan95

    Beastwarsfan95 Also known as Cheese House

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    Nice review! I'd love to see more retro-reviews of the original Movieverse toys.
     
  4. SuperRock7

    SuperRock7 Gone for some milk

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    Mah gawd the Nostalgia! great review.
    upload_2020-8-18_12-32-5.gif
     
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  5. RetrogradeMercury

    RetrogradeMercury Well-Known Member

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    Can’t believe how old this figure is already. Puts into perspective how long I’ve been buying toy robots.

    I have a fondness for these early movie figures that aren’t the most accurate but still cool in their own way. This guy has a unique transformation that’s atypical of most Prime figures. The converting smokestack guns and disappearing driver gimmicks are fun too.
     
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  6. Warpshard

    Warpshard Well-Known Member

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    I really love the toys from the first live-action movie. Most of them don't look a whole lot like whoever they're representing (except arguably Megatron, Bee, and Bonecrusher), and it gives them this mildly goofy presence that just endears me to them. They're trying their hardest, and this guy is no different.
     
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  7. darthsutius

    darthsutius Minor Sith Lord

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    Yep, I had this guy (or a repaint of him) and it was one of the best examples of that era.

    Certainly better than the shit-heap that was '07 Jazz...
     
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  8. coinilius

    coinilius Well-Known Member

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    I always loved this figure, it was a favourite of mine back in the day.
     
  9. jaws

    jaws Well-Known Member

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    So amazing how the figures have improved since TF1. I have a couple copies of this figure in my collection, looks so out of place when compared to SS BB OP.
     
  10. artiepants

    artiepants Transformers '84!!!

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    despite its non-accuracy, or maybe because of it (it looks a bit more "traditional Transformer") I really liked this mold. nice review!

    I had totally forgotten the driver gimmick.
     
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  11. SharkyMcShark

    SharkyMcShark Hi. I'm better than you

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    I love this figure and miss this era of collecting. Retail Transformers began to peak around this time, so far as I'm concerned. From 2007 on we were heading into the era of ROTF/Nest Alliance/HFTD/TF2010 for the movie stuff, Universe 2.0 and early Generations for Classics, and the whole of the Animated line. What an era.

    You're right about the packaging.
     
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  12. Shin Densetsu

    Shin Densetsu I WILL DESTROY YOU Content Contributor Veteran

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    Great figure that I appreciate more now than I did when I initially got it in 2007. My only issues are the automorphing door tends to automorph on its own now and 1 of the missles tends to fire on its own too. Hopefully those are easily fixable. Aside from that, an overlooked figure at a pleasant size and a cool exclusive to kick off the movie line.