Transformers Animated Armor Up Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Transformers Animated


Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: December 2009
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Activators are a sub-line of Transformers aimed at providing simpler transformations with a fully functional and posable Transformers figure. Activator transformations are primarily accomplished through the pressing of a switch or tab and manipulation of a few extra parts. Such transformations are much akin to the early "spring loaded transformations" used in many Beast Wars Transformers figures.

As new sculpts slowly trickle out of the "Animated" toy line, several previous releases are being given new decos to bolster the assortment numbers. Late 2009 saw the release of a redeco of Activators Optimus Prime. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Robot Mode:
Many of the characters and designs that found their way into "Animated" were fan favorites or more obscure characters that were put in thanks to one of the men responsible for "Transformers Animated", Derrick Wyatt. Thanks to him, the likes of Grandus and Flareup received visual references in "Animated" when those characters had largely been ignored over the years. Following suit with this "obscure Transformers inspired" path is a redeco of Optimus Prime that is inspired by a Japanese exclusive release known as "Star Convoy". Star Convoy was a version of Optimus Prime released in Japan that transformed from a truck to robot to battle station. He was notable as a Micromaster sized base, and he included a Micromaster version of Rodimus. The design was inspired by classic Japanese robots and even included a star shaped symbol sculpted onto the chest. Indeed, some of the design of "Animated" Optimus Prime was inspired by Star Convoy, in particular the robot chest which has a very angular shape to it instead of the more traditional box-shaped chest of other Optimus Primes.

Armor Up Optimus Prime uses the basic "Prime" colors of red and blue, but they are different shades of those colors than the ones found on the first Activators Optimus Prime. The red is much brighter, and more in line with the red used on Star Convoy. The blue is basically the same shade as the one on the first Activators Prime, but it is metal flaked plastic instead. The wheels and the panels attached to them are still black, and the silver parts from the first Activators Prime are now metallic flake blue instead. The robot head and a bar on the back are cast in a metallic blue-silver color that stands out quite a bit against the red and blue colors that make up most of the figure.

There are quite a few paint colors used here, more than I expected. Silver, light blue, yellow, black and blue are all used to paint this figure. The silver color is used to outline a T shaped section where the grille piece on his waist is located. It also outlines the section with the headlights. The headlight sections are painted yellow, a borrowed color element from Star Convoy. Most significant among the yellow decos is a star shape painted onto the center of his chest. This is a visual callback to a similar design on Star Convoy's chest. His waist and feet also have yellow designs on them, filling in a lot more detail than the previous release. The robot head is cast in an interesting shade of metallic blue with a silver edge to the color. It looks really nice, but it stands out in an odd way against the rest of the figure. Look directly at the head and you'll see its eyes are painted light blue, matching the "Autobots with blue eyes" aesthetic from G1 as well.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the wheels from the inner leg out, straightening out the panels both wheels rest on.
  2. Swing the robot feet down.
  3. Attach the peg on the wheel panels to the holes on the upper legs.
  4. Slide the large tab on the right leg into the flat grooved piece on the left.
  5. Pull the silver parts on the back of the figure back. The arms will tuck in a bit but you may have to help them.
  6. Swing the front cab section over the robot shoulders/elbows section and tuck the fists in, forming the fender sections underneath the headlights.
  7. Swing the siren section forward and lock it into place bo pushing the tabs underneath the sirens against the tabs on the top of the cab.

Vehicle Mode:
With so many of the vehicle mode parts on Optimus visible in robot mode, there aren't many newly revealed parts in this form. What we do get to see is how some of the detailing is reminscent of G1 Optimus Prime, especially with the silver color on the headlights section wrapping around to the sides. The front section's star shape is very prominant here, matching up with Star Convoy's design. The sirens on the top of the vehicle are now painted metallic blue and the panels on the front end are silver. The colors are a perfect homage to Star Convoy and I'm really happy with how it all came out.

Final Thoughts:
I've always been a huge fan of the Star Convoy design and it's great to see a modern day Optimus Prime serve as a homage both in sculpt and paint deco to the character. If you're into redecos at all, this figure is highly recommended.