"Age of Extinction" One Step Changer Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Movie (2007), One Step Changer

Age of Extinction

Optimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: May 12, 2014 (Online); May 17, 2014 (Stores)
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

his quick-converting Optimus Prime figure is geared for fans who want streamlined conversion built for seamless battle play. It features a 1-step conversion -- just press the truck's cab to change from vehicle to robot, then push down to switch back.

As part of its drive to appeal to different segments of the toy buying audience, Hasbro has introduced different sub-lines of "Transformers" figures for the "Age of Extinction" toy line. One of these are the "One Step Changers". As the name suggests, the idea behind these figures is the ability to transform the figure in one step, keeping them in spirit with G1 toys like Jumpstarters and Battlechargers. One of the first figures in this sub-line is Optimus Prime. If a simplified figure isn't your thing, you may prefer the Leader Class Optimus Prime.

Vehicle Mode:
In previous "Transformers" live aciton films, Optimus Prime had the alternate form of a Peterbilt tractor trailer truck cab. For Optimus' fourth outing in a live action film, the designers have changed things up. This time out, he's a much more futuristic and sleek looking Western Star custom truck. This form is a longnose truck which is curved in shape from the front all the way to the center of the vehicle. The design features several distinctive elements including a tall grille in front, panels above the windshield, a curved wind vane on top and exhaust pipes that come to a curved angle at the top. The sculpt even features smaller details like a small area on the top of the grille for his Autobot symbol, raised ovals that are meant to be "lights" on the panel above the windshield and horizontal lines etched into the base of the smokestacks.

In order to fit into the price point and accommodate the one-step transformation gimmick, some design sacrifices were made. Specifically, the chest panel from the robot mode and the robot arms both show in this form in the rear section. Given the simplified nature of the figure, it's not the most egregious detail to stick out. It may bother some however, so take a good look at the pics above to make your own decision about it.

Optimus Prime is cast in blue, grey and black plastic. The blue makes up most of the figure. The black is used on the wheels while the grey is used for smaller parts like the tanks on the sides. Paint details are done in red, silver and light blue. The red is used to paint Optimus' famous flame pattern on the front end of the vehicle. Silver is used on several parts such as the smokestacks and grille. His windshield is light blue. It looks good for a simpler figure but I do wish some silver had been used for the rims on the wheels.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Press the panel above the windshield and the front of the vehicle will swing down and the middle portion will open up. At the same time the chest panel will swing up to form the chest. This will also reveal his arms and legs.

Robot Mode:
The robot mode of this figure has most of Optimus Prime's details from "Age of Extinction", though the proportions are a bit different than what other figures and the on screen CGI model show. Here his arms are a bit more slim and the torso is wide and gives him a barrel chested look. Sure he looks bulky in the film, but not this bulky. Still, instead of looking bad it looks pretty solid, like Optimus has bulked up to fight his enemies (and I guess in a way he has).

A lot of the details from the CG model make it into this figure. This includes the curved armor pieces on his chest, the "loincloth" styled armor piece over his waist and the "toes" on his feet. He even has the curved shoulder armor pieces sculpted into each arm. I really like how much deal they worked into this sculpt given that it's meant to be a simpler representation of the character.

In this form a good combination of blue and grey plastic shows. The grey forms a bit of a perimeter of detail around the chest. The rest is blue. Red paint is used for flame details on his torso and shoulder armor. His face, mouthplate and leg details are painted silver. His eyes are light blue. It looks good and yes, there could be more paint details, but given the size of the figure I'm not surprised there aren't.

In terms of articulation, the arms can move up and down and the head can turn. In a way, that's disappointing (though consistent with the articulation on other One Step Changers). My disappointment largely comes from this figure being reminiscent of the "Machine Wars" Hubcap/Hoist sculpt, which had a similar transformation scheme but had far more articulation. It's not really a fair comparison since that was a very different time for both the economy and the toy line, but it's an association my brain made. Almost as a consolation prize, the ports in the fists are 5mm, allowing this figure to hold the weapons that come with many other figures including Construct-Bots. I was thankful for this as it adds some play value to the figure.

Final Thoughts:
Most older fans who are looking for complex figures will want to avoid this figure. It is neat however to have on your desk at work to mess around with or for kids to toss in their bag and take to the playground or a family trip.