Age of Extinction Leader Class Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Leader, Movie (2007)

Age of Extinction

Leader Class Optimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: May 12, 2014 (Online); May 17, 2014 (Stores)
Price Point: $44.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Sword of Judgement, Vector Shield

Images:

*Images and text below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
Optimus Prime has long believed that freedom is the right of all sentient beings. He has never wavered from his belief, no matter what has befallen him in battle. Once again ready to defend the people of his adopted planet, the unyielding Autobot Commander prepares for the battle that will allow the Autobots to reclaim their role as Earth's honored protectors.
Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This mighty Optimus Prime figure is a high-powered commander whether he's in robot mode or semitruck mode. With his Sword of Judgement in one fist and his Vector Shield on his arm, he's ready to take down any foe in robot mode. When he converts to semi truck mode, he'll plow through enemy forces and keep on going! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out!

  • Includes figure and accessories.
  • 2-in-1 Optimus Prime figure converts from robot mode to vehicle mode and back.
  • Semitruck mode.
  • Includes Sword of Judgement and Vector Shield.
  • Changes in 18 steps.
  • Ages 8 and up.
  • Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Over the course of three live action movies, Optimus Prime never changed his form. Sur ehe was given enhancements here and there. In "Revenge of the Fallen" he merged briefly with Jetfire to take down The Fallen and in "Dark of the Moon" we saw Optimus Prime get himself a trailer and snazzy flight pack. However, through each movie his core form remained the same, with his alternate form being a Peterbilt tractor trailer truck cab. For Optimus' fourth outing in a live action film, the designers have changed things up considerably. This time out, he's a much more futuristic and sleek looking Western Star custom truck. This meant a redesign of his robot mode as well, giving fans an all new Optimus Prime design for this film.

This figure represents the Leader Class Optimus Prime in the "Age of Extinction" toy line. This should not be confused with the previously released "First Edition" Optimus Prime. While the two share many design elements, they are different toys and sculpts altogether.

Robot Mode:
I mention above that this figure is not a simple re-release of the "First Edition" Optimus Prime but rather a whole new sculpt. To give a bit more detail around that, this figure is slightly shorter and less wide than the "First Edition" version. If I were to place the "First Edition" version in some type of classification, it would be between your traditional Leader Class and the old "Supreme" Class (which itself varies by series).

Many of the thoughts I have on the design of this figure carry over from the "First Edition" Optimus Prime since the two are similar in design. My thoughts on the design still haven't changed, especially after seeing him in action in trailers. There is definitely a "suit of armor" appearance being used between Optimus Prime and the Dinobots. His sword and shield weapons only help enhance this connection. This toy also has the various design influences carried over from previous Optimus Prime figures including the design of the head with antennae on the side and a mouthplate, wheels on the sides of the legs and even smokestacks on his back pointing up (which echo G1 Optimus Prime's shoulder mounted smokestacks). If sculpted detail is what you're looking for, this figure delivers in spades. Every part of this figure has a nice combination of overlapping armor details that overlap at varying angles. There are even details like tubes running along his thighs and a distinctive "collar" like detail on either side of the head. I really like the intricate designs that have been worked into this figure.

While I may think the figure looks great, I know some fans will disagree because of the vehicle mode kibble on the figure - and it's a fair point. The worst offender is the huge back pack on Optimus which takes away from the more streamlined outline of the figure as seen in trailers.. Much like the "First Edition" Optimus Prime, the back of the figure winds up with the rear of the vehicle mode stuck to it. There are also wheel wells on his lower legs which take away form the more streamlined appearance of the character shown in trailers. As such, many fans have decried this as a "lazy" design but I don't agree. Just having seen examples in the past of what Hasbro and Takara Tomy are capable of, I'm sure they could have designed a figure where the "back pack" collapsed more or maybe even the wheel wells on the sides would slide back or something. However, the cost of doing so would probably make this figure far more pricey than anyone wants to pay. I can sort of imagine how it would be done, with some of the "back pack" folding in, collapsing around the sides of the waist and hips perhaps.

Personally, I don't think the "back pack" is enough to "ruin" the figure. It's just a design concession to keep costs at a particular level while trying to replicate the look of the CG model as much as possible, and in that respect I believe it succeeds.

In terms of color, there are no big surprises here. Optimus Prime is cast in the traditional "Optimus" colors including silver and metallic flake blue plastic. The blue makes up most of the figure, including the lower legs head, "back pack", hip armor, waist armor and shoulders. The silver is used on almost everything else including the torso, arms, thighs and feet. Several parts are vacuum metallized silver including his chest armor and smokestacks. There are two types of paint used on this figure. The more traditional paint comes in the form of silver and red details. The red is used on the forearms, mid-body and ankle area, offering some of Optimus' more traditional color into the mix. The silver is used on the robot head, painting in the mouth plate, vent and crest details. It's also found on the lower legs, right in the front. The other kind of paint used is found on the vacuum metallized section of the chest, where red and blue is used to help bring more of the traditional Optimus Prime colors into play. Overall this figure has a very "clean" appearance, like Optimus just rolled off the assembly line. I could definitely imagine a more "battle damaged" deco with black wash on the silver parts bringing out more detail. I like the deco but (as always) I find myself wishing there was just a bit more here and there.

Thare are twenty points of articulation on this figure. This includes four in each arm and leg, waist and head articulation. Several of these points, especially on the hips and shoulders are ratchet joints which move into place with a very satisfying click each time. To provide a good range of articulation, the joints generally have one swinging out and the other up and down. The knee articulation is limited due to the panel that rests on the back of his leg, but it can still bend back to a degree. This also counts his thumbs, which can swing out to better accomodate his sword weapon, but they are able to swing in and out. The waist articulation was a nice surprise given how much armor there is overlapping that area. Optimus has four connection points with 5mm ports: the fists and forearms.

To help him fight evil, he has the "Sword of Judgement", a long, pointed sword which shares the same design as the one included with "First Edition" Optimus Prime, but at a smaller size. The sword is long and intricately detailed, with lines running from the hilt all the way to the top. The hilt section has silver, red and blue paint details while the sword itself is cast in bright yellow plastic. The slot that stores his weapon in vehicle mode acts as storage in this mode, but you flip that piece up so the sword rests at a dramatic angle. The other weapon is a combination weapon/shield. The "Vector Shield" is round with a tear drop type shape with nifty designs in the middle, but the end is a barrel of a weapon giving Optimus Prime some firepower on top of having a sword! The shield is cast in silver with red details painted along the length of the shield. The shield has a 5mm peg that can be attached to the side of Optimus' forearms or held in his hands.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons if attached.
  2. On each leg, rotate the wheel well piece so the wheels point forward, this keeps this piece out of the way for the next step.
  3. Swing each foot back, then rotate these sections around so the panels that form the front grille of the vehicle are now where the feet were.
  4. Swing each of the grille panels down.
  5. Lift up the waist panel and rotate the lower body around.
  6. Swing the robot legs up and push them together to form the front of the vehicle mode.
  7. Push the robot head down.
  8. Swing the chest armor up.
  9. Push the arms forward, then swing the forearms back, bent at the elbows.
  10. On the "back pack" section, swing each side with the spare fuel tanks back.
  11. Pull the top of the back pack up.
  12. Swing the back piece down.
  13. The front of the "back pack" winds up near the front wheel well, there are clips there, push them into the tab at the back of the wheel wells.
  14. Swing the panels that form the sides of the truck up.
  15. Push the shoulder armor pieces together.
  16. Push the top section down.
  17. There is a slot on the underside of the vehicle, slide the sword into it for storage.
  18. The shield can attach to the hitch section on the back of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Optimus Prime's new vehicle mode is a Western Star truck. Much like his previous Peterbilt form, he is a tractor trailer cab - but this time a much more sleek and rounded looking one. The front end has a huge grille with a curve that leads to a nose that sweeps back at an upward angle. This curved sweep continues up to the middle section where smokestacks flare out to the sides at angles. It's a really dynamic and futuristic looking shape. Running along the sides are spare tanks and the back section has two wheels on each side.

Smaller details are present as well including a row of lights above the windshield and a small Autobot symbol sculpted on the center section of the grille, a carry over detail from his Peterbilt truck form. Among my favorite details are Autobot symbols sculpted on the rim of each wheel. I also appreciate the smaller details such as handlebars on the sides for a driver to hold on to when getting into the truck. There's even a small "W" representing the Western Star brand in between the two wheels in the back.

The blue plastic takes center stage in this mode. From front to back you'll find the blue plastic making up most of this form. Vacuum metallized parts also feature heavily in this mode. It's used on the front grille, the lights over the windshield, the spare tanks on the sides and the smokestacks on the back. The main paint color used is red, which forms a flame pattern on the nose all the way to the sides. Red is also used for an Autobot symbol on the left side of the vehicle near the smokestack. Interestingly, the windows are cast in the same translucent yellow as the sword. The rims on the wheels are silver while the tires are black.

One really interesting detail to note: Optimus Prime's tires are rubber. This was very surprising and a welcome addition to a "higher end" figure in the line. Recall that even Masterpiece figures don't have rubber tires anymore, so seeing the classic material used on a modern day figure in this day and age of tight costs and budgets was a real treat.

Final Thoughts:
If you're looking for a 100% screen accurate Optimus Prime toy, then this guy isn't for you. There are some design compromises made here that I don't have an issue with, but others might. If the "back pack" in particular doesn't bother you, there is a lot to love in this detail. Optimus looks powerful and different than the previous versions, the vac metal looks cool and the sculpted details are fantastic. I do "subtract" some points for the back pack because ignoring its effect on the figures' profile would just be disingenuous. Overall, I found this to be a stronger figure than the "First Edition" Optimus Prime and a worthy addition to any "Transformers" collection.