"Authentics" Optimus Prime (4.5 inch) Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Authentics, Autobot, Family Dollar Exclusive, Generation One

Authentics

Optimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: March 2018
Price Point: $4.99
Retailer: Alternative Channels (Family Dollar etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro.com:
Transformers Authentics figures feature popular Transformers characters at a 4.5-inch scale. Experience the excitement of Transformers conversion play with this Transformers Authentics Optimus Prime figure. It changes from robot mode to truck mode and back in just 4 easy steps. Choose a side and collect other Transformers Authentics figures to stage epic Autobot vs. Decepticon battles (each sold separately. Subject to availability).

Optimus Prime is the legendary leader of the Autobots known for his wisdom, courage, and strength on the battlefield. He fights to protect the freedom of all beings in the universe, ensuring his friends and allies are safe from evil Decepticons.

Transformers Authentics figures bring the exciting conversion play you can come to expect from a Transformers figure. Transformers Authentics figures are a great way to start any Transformers collection.

  • Includes: figure
  • Transformers Authentics figure
  • Choose your side: the heroic Autobots or the evil Decepticons
  • Awesome Transformers converting action
  • Convert from robot mode to truck mode in 4 steps
  • Lead the Autobots with Optimus Prime
  • Figure scale: 4.5 inches
  • Ages 6 and up

In 2017 word came through the online grapevine that a line of Transformers was being released known as the "Authentics". These figures are simpler, lower priced figures aimed at the "alternative channel" stores such as Family Dollar. In early 2018, the "Authentics" were released in "Family Dollar" stores. As of March 2018, these figures have only been found at "Family Dollar" stores but it is possible they will find their way to other stores as the year progresses.

"Authentics" are separated into two sub-lines of figures. One is a 4.5 inch (about 11.43 centimeters) size and the other is a 7 inch (about 17.78 centimeters). This Optimus Prime figure is the 4.5 inch one. Size-wise this places it somewhere between a Legends and a Deluxe Class figure from "Generations".

Packaging:
"Authentics" figures come on a bubble card. The bubble is shaped like the figure and the insert. Each figure is packaged in robot mode with the insert showing its alt-mode. The card has a vertical Transformers logo on the right and the character's artwork towards the top to the middle. Overlapping the character art is a circle with numbers around it. The artwork used appears to be from the "evergreen" designs which feature classic characters in forms that are not unique to any particular toy line.

The back of the packaging is interesting because it illustrates some of the low cost philosophy of the "Authentics" line. Like many Transformers toy lines the figure is pictured on the back in both modes with a multi-lingual description of him as a "Heroic Autobot Leader". It also mentions he transforms in four steps. The interesting thing is that the back is entirely black and white, which I am guessing saved on the costs of printing it in color.

Robot Mode:
Optimus Prime's design appears to be a mash up of two different Optimus Prime figures: the "Classics" Voyager Class Optimus Prime and the more recent "Combiner Wars" Optimus Prime. Like "Classics" Optimus Prime he has rectangular windows on his chest (as opposed to the more traditional square windows) and the waist area has some circle designs on it. The "Combiner Wars" influence comes in the form of the head, which has a very "rounded" helmet and the head looks slightly smaller than it should, which has the interesting effect of magnifying how big the body looks. In a fun nod to G1 Optimus Prime's animation model, there is a sculpted Autobot symbol on the left shoulder.

There are some very intricate designs on the arms and legs. Among my favorites is a triangle on the forearms which call back to G1 Optimus Prime's design. The legs have an interesting design including knee armor that come sup over the thighs a bit and the familiar overlapping panels on the legs have ben replaced with a series of chevrons. These are interesting design choices and they definitely help make this Optimus unique.

Keeping in mind this figure was created for a lower price point, there are design choices made that were clearly meant to keep cost down. The insides of the arms are hollow (though the panels on top hide it well). Also the lower legs are hollow (but again, the panels hide it well). The only thing that bugs me are the halves of the vehicle mode bumper that just hang off the fists. They wind up creating hook-like designs in front of the fists which look awkward. No doubt on a larger and/or more expensive figure this piece would have folded in or something.

This figure is cast in metallic red, metallic blue and silver plastic. Under the right light these metallic plastics shine beautifully. Black paint is used on the legs while silver and light blue are used on the head. Light blue is also found on the windows on his chest. The Autobot symbol on his shoulder is painted red. This is a good deco and I really love the choice of plastic colors.

There are seven points of articulation on this figure. This includes the shoulders, hips, knees and head - all of which are on ball joints. The fists have 5mm ports, allowing them to hold weapons from other figures.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Swing the arms up, then push them in.
  3. Lift the back panel and swing it forward.
  4. Swing each of the lower legs forward.

Vehicle Mode:
While the robot mode used modern day Optimus Primes for its design inspiration, this mode has detailing that is largely based on G1 Optimus Prime's vehicle mode. The big giveaway are a series of raised circles that look like rivets running across the front and sides of the cab section. Also, behind the front wheel well is a triangular section with horizontal indentations inside that look just like details on G1 Optimus Prime. Other cool details include a ladder in front of the rear wheel wells and windshield wipers on the front windows. For a lower cost figure there is a lot of detail packed into it.

The main issue with the vehicle form is, of all things, the height. The boxy, cabin section should really be much higher than it is. Because it sits so low, the proportions of the vehicle mode look off. The rear section is also way too thick compared to the rest of the vehicle. This is not to detract from the sculpting, but the truck does wind up looking a bit funny because of these design choices.

This mode mostly shows off the metallic red, metallic blue and black plastic. The windows are painted light blue and the grille and bumper are painted grey. The black from the robot mode legs show on the back of the vehicle but that's it. Sadly, while there is a lot of detail on the sides, most of it is unpainted so it is easily lost in a sea of metallic red plastic.

Final Thoughts:
I feel like if I had seen the original concept drawings for this figure I would have really liked it. I actually love a lot of the sculpted detail in both robot and vehicle modes (more so the robot mode). I also respect the desire to create a lower priced figure that is larger than a Titan Master or Legion Class. However the "hook hands" and oddly proportioned vehicle mode keep me from recommending this figure. For the price, the Legends/Legion sized one at the same shops as this figure is actually a better toy overall. If you want a larger, but cheap Optimus, then this is the figure for you.

Pros:

  • Low price makes for an easy entry into the Transformers toy line.
  • Size gives the figure a more substantial appearance than Legion Class figures.
  • Very cool G1 inspired details in both forms.
  • Nice robot mode deco (especially the metallic plastic colors).

Cons:

  • Vehicle mode looks a bit "flattened".
  • Odd "hooks" formed on hands from the front of the vehicle mode.
  • Limited deco in vehicle mode.