"Age of Extinction" Optimus Prime Evolution 2-Pack Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Generation One, Toys R Us Exclusive, Voyager

Age of Extinction

General Information:
Release Date: June 2014
Price Point: $39.99
Retailer: Toys R Us Exclusive
Accessories: Blaster/Smokestacks, Wind Vane/Rifle, Missile launcher, Missile

General Images:

Text below in italics are from the Toys R Us web site:
Optimus Prime meets Optimus Prime in this awesome 2-pack! You can see the evolution of your favorite Autobot from then to now in these 2 Optimus Prime figures. Both your classic and your Age of Extinction Optimus Prime figures convert from robot mode to semi truck mode and back. Can the Decepticons handle not one, but 2 fighting Optimus Primes? It's up to you! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

  • Optimus Prime figure pack includes 1 classic figure and 1 Age of Extinction figure
  • Both figures convert from robot mode to vehicle mode
  • Each figure comes with blaster
  • Both figures convert in 8 steps

As part of its "Age of Extinction" toy line, Hasbro has released several "Evolution" two packs, featuring a character in two different forms. For Optimus Prime, this two pack attempts to reflect how the character has changed from the year 1984 to now. From what I understand, the original intent was to bundle a reissue of the G1 Optimus Prime figure with an "Age of Extinction" Optimus. However, the Classics Optimus Prime sculpt was selected instead. For the "Age of Extinction" version of Optimus, the Evasion Mode figure was chosen.

The Classics Optimus Prime figure has made the rounds. It was introduced in the Classics toy line which really kicked off what we know as "Generations" today. In that same line the figure was given a new deco and released with Skywarp as Ultra Magnus. Among the other releases of this sculpt were "Timelines" Shattered Glass Optimus Prime, Nemesis Prime and the recent "Cloud" Optimus Prime. Suffice it to say, this sculpt has been used a lot over the years. Check out my previous reviews of the sculpt to get my thoughts on the sculpt and design. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

For the "Evasion Mode" Optimus Prime, take a look at my review of the mass release figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

"1984" Optimus Prime Review
Classics Optimus Prime

Images:

Robot Mode:
The intention of this version of Optimus is to represent the character as he appeared in toy form in the 1980's. The designers began with the base colors. The plastic used is in red, blue, , silver, black and clear plastic. The red and blue colors are darker shades than the ones used on the first version of this figure. They are much more in line with the darker colors used on the G1 Optimus Prime toy. The windows being clear is a direct call back to G1 Optimus Prime's windows, which were also clear. Some smaller parts use silver and black. The upper arms are silver and his fists are black. On parts such as the waist and thighs the parts have been layered with vacuum metallized silver parts. This is also a direct callb ack to the G1 Optimus Prime figure which had vacuum metallized silver in the same sections. Even without the paint deco on the figure, you immediately see how it's different from its predecessors and it's quite striking.

Of course, changing plastic colors isn't enough for a full homage. The paint applications on the figure do that. One of the primary paint colors on the figure is silver. It's found on the head, forearms, knees, mid-body and feet. Yellow is used on the eyes and waist while there are red and yellow details on the knees. Black is used to paint in the vent-like details on the lower legs. Most of these details have analogous details on G1 Optimus Prime. In particular, the red/yellow details on the knees and the silver on the feet directly reference stickers found on G1 Optimus Prime. The left shoulder has the outline of an Autobot symbol in silver, also a call back to the G1 Optimus Prime figure which featured silver and red Autobot symbol stickers. The deco and colors look fantastic. This is easily one of my favorite decos on this figure to date.

All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight. In some instances such as the upper arm swivel joint they're actually tighter than Ginrai's (the most recent release of this sculpt next to the Cloud version). The figure still feels nice and solid with no floppy bits. The weapons all transform nice and clean. An interesting note: when using the Wind Vane as a shield, it holds more firmly in his right fist than the left, but this is also the case on my original Classics Optimus Prime, so this appears to be a curiosity of the sculpt.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons.
  2. Push the back of the black rifle down. Split it and swing its halves out. Swing the panels from the bottom of the barrel in to form the smokestacks.
  3. On the larger weapon, swing the end of the barrel down and back. Then swing the front half of the barrel up and back. Swing each half of the wind vane out to the sides.
  4. Push the robot legs together.
  5. Point the feet down.
  6. Swing the knee armor pieces down.
  7. Swing each arm up out to the sides.
  8. Rotate the chest section around.
  9. Swing the orange panel behind the head down, then turn the head around and swing it down. Swing the middle to back section of the orange panel up.
  10. Swing the panel under the vehicle mode's grille up.
  11. On each arm swing out the vehicle mode panels and push the fists down.
  12. Rotate the shoulder pieces so the blue sections face out to the sides, then bend the arms at the elbows so they wind up on the back. You may have to swing the panels out to the sides to do this.
  13. Swing the side panels in to form the sides of the cab.
  14. Push the robot legs up to form the back of the vehicle.
  15. Swing the red panels on the sides of the legs forward to reveal the wheels.
  16. Attach the wind vane to the top of the vehicle.
  17. Attach the smokestacks to the sections that were the robot arms.

Vehicle Mode:
Optimus Prime is a truck with a flat front end in this form (unlike many current incarnations which portray him as a "long nose" truck). This helps add to the look of the vehicle being a G1 homage. His windows are more angled, there's a sleek looking wind vane on top and details on the side look angled and slightly futuristic so he looks "modern" but there are some classic design sensibilities here.

This mode takes a lot of color cues from the G1 figure. The front half is mostly red while the back is mostly blue. The grill and front "bumper" section are vacuum metallized silver, just like the original Optimus Prime toy. There is a silver line painted in the middle of the red section from the sides all the way to the front - a design call back to silver labels on the original Optimus. The headlights are painted yellow, adding a bit of the colors form the robot mode into this mix. Finally, the sides of the wheels are painted silver, reflecting the vacuum metallized parts on the wheels of G1 Optimus Prime. The deco looks fantastic. The vacuum metallized parts really bring home the G1 homage.

"Age of Extinction" Optimus Prime Review
Age of Extinction Optimus Prime

Images:

Robot Mode:
When I reviewed the Evasion Mode Optimus Prime figure I expressed that it was a good toy, but its deco was its weakest point. While I liked it from a design standpoint, I knew it could look better and this release proves my point. There is a lot more deco on this figure and it improves it in a dramatic way.

The base plastic colors on this figure are the same as the previous release including black, blue, red, silver and clear plastic. However, in the case of the blue, red and silver the shade of those colors used on this release is lighter. Interestingly the feet on this figure are silver instead of blue as they were on the last release, which really looks a lot better since it breaks up the monotony of the blue on the lower body. his weapon is now cast in black with a silver missile. Newly introduced paint applications include silver on his elbows and thighs (on top of the ones already found on his head). Blue paint is used in many of the same places such as the fists - but his chest panels also have blue on them now (though sadly the headlights are left unpainted). He also has some flames on his lower legs, a carry over detail from the vehicle mode. Another nice set of details are yellow paint application son his waist area, which seems to be a callback to the yellow on G1 Optimus Prime. Overall, this color scheme is far superior to the mass release. There's more variety to draw the eye in and it just feels like a more well thought out deco than the mass release.

All the joints are nice and tight on this figure. This sculpt is making the rounds (with at least five different versions coming out between Japan and the US in 2014 alone) so it's cool to see it's holding up well. The missile launcher also works without a problem.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. On each hip, swing the panels with the wheels out to the sides.
  3. Push each of the feet up, which will fold the lower legs in and bring the top of the feet flat against the lower legs.
  4. Swing the back panel out.
  5. Swing the chest panels out.
  6. On the side panels that the chest panels are attached to, swing all the smaller panels up.
  7. Rotate each of the robot arms back.
  8. Swing the grille section from the chest up, which will cause the robot head to swing back.
  9. Bend the upper body forward.
  10. Swing the side panels down.
  11. Rotate the robot arms up, then bend them at the elbow to form parts of the windshield and the top of the vehicle mode.
  12. Swing the panel that formed the back of the robot up (this now begins to form the bottom section of the vehicle mode's front end, complete with the headlights. Be sure to connect the tabs on this section into the side panels.
  13. Swing the grille/robot head section down over the piece from the step above - this forms the grille and part of the windshield.
  14. Swing the windshield panels from the robot mode back and swing up the smokestack half on the right side.
  15. The weapon can attach to the top of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
The robot mode looks a little like what this truck mode may have looked like if Optimus Prime wasn't a total wreck in the beginning of "Age of Extinction". The front half is mostly red, the back a mixture of silver and blue. The wheels are cast in black. The windows in front are clear plastic. Silver is heavily used in this form. You'll find it on the top (where the lights are), the outline of the windshield, the headlights, grille and "bumper" area. Yellow is used to fill in the rectangular details on the "bumper" (again, a G1 callback). The most distinctive details are blue flames that start in the front and sweep back on the sides. The only thing that bothers me is that the sides of the wheels are not painted silver. It feels like there was a concerted effort to give this figure more detail than its mass release counterpart and that's a pretty glaring omission. Regardless, it still looks much better than the mass release version.

Final Thoughts:
Whether or not this two pack is worth purchasing largely depends on what the make up of your collection is like. If you're like me, odds are you own the "Classics" sculpt several times over already, so you have to ask yourself if you really need it again. For the "Age of Extinction" Optimus Prime, if you own it already you have to be a fan of redecos for this to be worth it. The ideal position would be if you owned neither of these sculpts - then this is the perfect opportunity to own them both. For me, I love a good redeco so even though I own the "Classics" sculpt multiple times over and I have "Evasion" Optimus Prime I found this purchase worthwhile. A good set, but whether you purchase it or not largely depends on the factors I bring up above.