"Bumblebee" Power Plus Series Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Bumblebee Movie, Power Plus Series

Energon Igniters

General Information:
Release Date: September 2018
Price Point: $12.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: None

Optimus Prime

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
The lifeblood of Transformers robots, Energon fuels the epic action on earth and beyond.

Now, imagine harnessing the Transformers energy source with energy igniters figures. Convert this energy igniters power plus series Optimus Prime figure between robot and truck modes in 7 steps. Then plug the energy igniters core included in pack into the vehicle and push down to unleash driving action. This Optimus Prime figure stands at a 5-inch scale with eye-catching detailing. The energy igniters core unleashes the power in all Energon igniters figures (each sold separately).

when Optimus Prime converts into truck mode, his roaring engine signals a powerful threat to enemies ahead. No matter the obstacles, he charges forward to defeat the evil Deceptions.

Harness Energon igniters Tech and unleash the power within.

In September of 2018 Hasbro launched its "Bumblebee" toy line based on the live action movie. Much of this toy line was aimed at a younger audience, relying on the "Energon Igniter" gimmick. More complex and detailed figures for the movie would be folded into the "Studio Series" and "Masterpiece" lines instead. The "Energon Igniter" gimmick was spread across several classes of figures including the "Power Plus Series" which consisted of figures that were roughly 5 inches (12.70cm) tall with very simple transformations. Optimus Prime was one of the figures included in this assortment.

When the trailer for the Bumblebee movie was released, fans were happily surprised to see Optimus Prime appear (and voiced by Peter Cullen, no less!). While his appearance in the trailer looked very "G1", the figures released as part of this line so far appear to be more based on the "Evasion Mode" Optimus Prime.

Packaging:
The Energon Igniter Power Plus figures are packaged on a bubble card. The backing card features artwork of Bumblebee on it regardless of the character packaged inside. The colors on the packaging use Bumblebee as their inspiration with the focus on yellow, black, blue, white and beige. The vertical Transformers logo is set on the right side with the "Energon Igniters" logo above it. The figure itself is packaged in robot mode with the Energon Igniter core accessory next to it. The insert set in front of the figure features Optimus Prime in vehicle mode using the Energon Igniter to activate an extra burst of speed.

The back of the packaging has the instructions on the left (showing an 7 step transformation) and Optimus Prime in his various forms. The lower part of the card features tons of legal information in various languages.

Robot Mode:
Using "Evasion Mode" Optimus Prime as its inspiration, the design of this figure features several details which were seen on-screen in "Age of Extinction". These include:

  • The chest design features angled windows on it with a grille section in the middle.
  • The shoulder sections each feature small, vertical panels.
  • The thighs are curved, with lots of curved, mechanical details on them.
  • Each foot features two "toes" sticking out in front.
  • The arms and legs both feature many raised, mechanical details.

All that said, this figure is a "simplified" version of the "Evasion Mode" Optimus Prime, so there are many design compromises made. For instance, the shoulders are kind of gigantic because they form a good chunk of the vehicle's top section. Each forearm also has a wheel hanging off of it. Also, the transformation scheme involves a hinge at the shoulders, preventing the arms from moving up and down. Also, due to the gimmick on this figure, the legs have no articulation other than being able to swing out to the sides.

Optimus Prime is cast in red and dark blue plastic. The red is mostly focused on the top while the blue makes up the legs. Paint colors on this figure include silver, light blue and dark blue paint. Most of the paint is focused on the top of the robot mode, with the front of the legs left unpainted.

Optimus has six points of articulation. I am counting the hip joints, but they cannot do much other than swing out to the sides. Each fist is designed with a 5mm port, allowing him to hold weaponry. Oddly, Optimus has a 5mm port on his back, which allows for weapon storage - except he does not come with any weapons. You can attach the Energon Igniter Core to the back, but that just looks awkward and serves no real purpose.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the chest panel open and push the head down, then swing the panel back into place.
  2. Swing each forearm up.
  3. Rotate the forearms around so they are pointing back.
  4. Swing each shoulder section forward.
  5. Swing the forearms forward to form the front wheels.
  6. Swing the heel pieces up.
  7. Swing the legs and waist hinge up.
  8. Connect the heel pieces together.

Vehicle Mode:
Optimus Prime's vehicle mode is heavily based on his Generation One counterpart's vehicle form. This includes details like two circular headlights on both sides inside an oval, a high front grille, cylinders on the sides and smokestacks in the back. He even has horns and lights running along the top. In many respects this is the nicest part of the sculpt.

The red and dark blue plastic features again in this form. The front half is red while the back is dark blue. The wheels are black plastic. The headlights, grille, fender and cylinders on the side are all painted silver. There is also a white Autobot symbol on the left side. There is a nice blue spray op on the cylinders, echoing the "Energon" power from the Igniter Core.

Push the Energon Igniter Core into the back section of the vehicle and then press the grey button to send the vehicle moving forward. This works really well and the vehicle rolls very smoothly.

Final Thoughts:
In the pantheon of "kid oriented" Optimus Prime figures, this is not a shining example. The sculpt is okay (but not great) and the lack of articulation is definitely a turn off. The vehicle mode does look cool and the Energon Igniter Core gimmick works great. However at a $12.99 price point, this figure is mildly recommended at best.

Pros:

  • Cool vehicle mode sculpt.
  • Fun gimmick.

Cons:

  • While detailed, the robot mode sculpt is not particularly good looking.
  • Very limited articulation.
  • The overall figure does not justify the price point.