"Cyberverse" Warrior Class Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Warrior Class

Cyberverse

Optimus Prime

General Information:
Release Date: July 2018
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: None

*Images and text below from BigBadToyStore.com and Amazon.com:
“Picture this: me, on Earth, still cooler than everyone this side of Optimus Prime, but I’ve got zero memories. Now I’m on a mission to recover my memories and discover all of my awesome powers. I’ll have to battle Decepticons, outrun an explosion or two, and be heroic- basically, I’m in for one epic ride across the Cyberverse.” -Bumblebee Noble Optimus Prime leads the heroic Autobots on a mission to defend the universe. Convert and attack with Transformers Cyberverse Action Attackers! Change figure from vehicle to robot mode in 8 steps. The last step of conversion automatically activates Optimus Prime figure’s signature Energon Axe Attack move! Once converted, attack move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps. Look for other Action Attackers figures, each sold separately, to discover the signature attack moves of favorite Cyberverse characters! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Includes Optimus Prime figure and instructions. Figure scale: 5.4 inches

Heroic Autobot Optimus Prime
Function: Noble Leader
"Optimus Prime? Of course, I know Optimus Prime, he’s legendary! He and I are actually close personal friends. I’m practically his right-hand bot- which proves he’s got really good taste. Optimus is the best leader an Autobot can ask for, and the worst nightmare a Decepticon can imagine. If you’re looking for a hero, this is your bot. Autobots, roll out!... is it not as cool when I say it?”
- Bumblebee

In late 2017 it was revealed that a new Transformers cartoon would be replacing "Robots in Disguise". The series focuses on Bumblebee with partial amnesia attempting to regain his memories. A blend of G1 and modern characters combined with a more kid-friendly animation style results in a show that leans more towards a younger audience than even "Robots in Disguise", something which is reflected in the toy line. The toy line was released in countries outside the United States such as Australia around late June 2018. A few weeks later it would be released in North America.

Among the first waves of figures released were the Warrior Class figures. The Warrior Class was first introduced in "Robots in Disguise" as a sort of compromise between the more complex Deluxe Class figures from "Generations" and the simpler figures offered throughout the rest of the "Robots in Disguise" line. This "new" Warrior Class assortment however is not a continuation of that Class of figure despite sharing the same name. Instead, these figures are more akin to the "Power Attackers" from "Age of Extinction" such as Vehicon and Galvatron focusing on a single action feature or gimmick with some detail that you would have expected from a past Warrior Class figure.

Packaging:
Warrior Class "Cyberverse" figures are packaged on bubble cards. The cards have a new design which takes cues from more recent Transformers packaging. There is still a vertical "Transformers" logo on the right side, above it is a symbol (Autobot or Decepticon based on the character) and the character art is at the top of the packaging with the "Cyberverse" logo under it. Perhaps the most distinctive part of the packaging design are the colors, which utilize yellow and light blue helping them stand out against the black and red colors used for "Generations" packaging on shelves. The back of the packaging features the figure with its action feature called out. In Optimus' case it is the "Energon Axe Attack" feature. The packaging also calls out his cosells (Bumblebee, Starscream and Shockwave) and his transformation is listed as 8 steps.

The insert on the packaging notes a recommended age of "6+" which is important to keep in mind with this Class of figure. Contrast that with a "Generations" Deluxe (such as Jazz or Sunstreaker) which have recommended ages of 8+. This age recommendation is more along the lines of "Robots in Disguise" Legion Class figures such as Bisk. The insert also features Optimus Prime's artwork, while the side has the term "Action Attackers" on it (above the words "Warrior Class") along with artwork featuring Optimus Prime, Windblade and Bumblebee.

Robot Mode:
Let's start this part of the review off on a positive note. I really like the animation design for "Cyberverse" Optimus Prime. After years of "Transformers: Prime" Optimus Prime being a sort of animation/live action movie compromise the design of the character has slowly shifted back to the more "G1-esque" Optimus Prime design, and this one is sort of a logical end to it. Once again Optimus' torso and arms are nice and blocky. The vehicle mode windows are found on his chest and he has a grille in the middle of the body. His legs feature vent-like structures on them and his feet even have a circle and rectangle sculpted into them (a callback to the sticker on G1 Optimus Prime's feet). From a foundational point of view, this figure has a solid base to start from.

However, the actual execution of this design into a plastic figure is where things fall a bit short. First off, for those curious (since this is a "new" take on the Warrior Class), the figure is about 5.4 inches (about 13.71 centimeters) tall. That makes it actually slightly taller than "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class Optimus Prime who measures about 5.3 inches (roughly 13.4 centimeters) tall. That said, this Optimus Prime figure weighs in at about 2.2 ounces while "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Optimus Prime weighs in almost entire ounce more at 3.2 ounces. On average, this figure is priced at $14.99, which is about the same price as the Warrior Class figures from "Robots in Disguise". As I wrote this review, I checked on HasbroToyShop and their average price for a "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class figure was still $14.99. So from a pure "How much plastic am I paying for?" perspective, there is an issue of value here that is only somewhat mitigated by having a gimmick.

Let's look at the gimmick. The gimmick is a callback to Generation One where Optimus Prime had the ability to switch his hand out for an "Energon Axe" weapon. Over the years, some Optimus Prime figures have been given axe accessories as a homage to this, but this is one of the few times an axe has been made to replace a hand on a figure. When I say replace, I mean the left arm literally has no hand, not even a fake one sculpted into the end. The designers could have done this easily but for some reason they chose to just leave that section without a hand, making it look like Optimus lost his hand in battle or something unless you have the axe deployed. This is a bad and unfortunate design choice in my book, but your mileage may vary.

The left arm is one solid piece (no elbow articulation). To set up the gimmick, you set the arm so the smokestack points up. Make sure the axe itself is swung back into the arm. Now you fold the panel on the back in half, pushing the piece on the bottom half in between the torso and left arm. When you push it, it should push against the grey tab on the inside of the left arm. This causes the axe to swing out. Now, push down gently on the smokestack to raise the arm, then let it go and Optimus "chops" down. Overall, it is not a bad gimmick and this, I confess, is where the divide among younger and older fans may come into play. As an older fan, I am more inclined to want more articulation with an accessory over a gimmick that removes both those elements. However, these figures are play tested with their intended audiences so I can only imagine that younger fans were into this feature, otherwise I doubt it would have made it into production.

From a color perspective the designers chose really nice colors. The main plastic colors are a rich, metallic red, metallic blue and grey. The biggest concentration of paint is on the upper part of the figure. There you will find the robot face and mouthplate painted silver, the windows and lights painted light blue and the panel above the windshield and wipers painted black. In particular I am fond of the black paint as it really contrasts nicely against the red plastic. The lower legs have some black paint on them. Sadly, some details such as the circle and rectangle on his feet are unpainted, so the details kind of get lost in the mix. The Energon Axe weapon is painted orange, another homage to G1 Optimus Prime's axe. The right fist is painted black.

This figure has only six points of articulation, which is not great if you think of the "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class, but it is normal if you think of this more as a "Power Attacker" figure (which traditionally have less articulation). Unfortunately, the hip joints on my copy of this figure were fairly loose. If I pick the figure up and shake it a bit the legs flop around. Fortunately the figure can still stand.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the axe weapon back if deployed.
  2. Swing the right forearm up.
  3. Push the robot head down.
  4. Swing the back panel out, and straighten it out.
  5. Rotate the waist around so the back of the legs are facing front.
  6. Swing and push each arm into the cab section.
  7. Swing both legs up, making sure to attach the edge of the axe weapon to the right robot leg.
  8. Swing the back panel down.
  9. Push both legs together.

Vehicle Mode:
After years of being a "longnose" style truck cab, this Optimus design brings him back to basics as a more boxy "flat" truck cab. From an aesthetic point of view, the truck mode benefits from various details on the figure coming together into a more compact form. The top looks like it has a row of three lights towards the back. Meanwhile the small details including the windshield wipers and headlights add some nice visual variety to the design. There are other small details I appreciate like tire tread detailing on each wheel and some nice line details on the sides. My main reservation about this mode's design are the robot feet, which just stick up in the back and look very obtrusive. It would have been nice if they could have swung back G1 style.

All the robot mode deco carries over into this form, but now all the details for the truck mode including the lights over the windshield area, the windshield windows and the headlights come together very nicely. The Autobot symbol from the left shoulder is now on the side. I do wish the smokestacks had been painted silver. They are nicely sculpted but get a bit lost in the canvas of red metallic plastic.

Final Thoughts:
This figure is...okay. I cannot give it a bad rating since it does what it sets out to do. It has a gimmick that is character appropriate, there is some nice deco and colors and I do like the design of this Optimus Prime. However the use of the term "Warrior Class" and the size of this line of figures set my expectations in a very specific place: namely the "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class, and by that measure they fall very short. I have no doubt kids will enjoy this figure, but it is not worth the $14.99 asking price. If you are going to buy it, I would try to get it on sale.

Pros:

  • G1-esque Optimus Prime design is very cool.
  • Some deco points such as the front of the truck mode look great.
  • Very nice plastic colors.

Cons:

  • Relative lack of articulation.
  • Price point is too high for what you get.