Dark of the Moon Activators Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Activators, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Movie (2007), Robo Power

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: May 2011
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None


*Images and text below in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
OPTIMUS PRIME has defeated many dangers over the years. Now he faces his greatest challenge, as MEGATRON returns once again to threaten Earth. The AUTOBOT leader has defeated his archenemy once before, and he intends to do it again, this time for good!

Spring into action with this easy-conversion vehicle-to-robot hero! With just one click of a button, this mighty OPTIMUS PRIME figure changes from truck vehicle mode to battle-ready robot mode. Click the button again to convert him back to vehicle mode so he can chase down his enemies. As the battle rages on, keep clicking to convert him back and forth — and face whatever his enemies throw at him! Easy, button-activated conversion! Ages 4 and up.

For years now, Hasbro has worked hard to introduce Transformers to kids at younger ages. Part of this involves releasing Transformers that have simplistic transformations and have few to no accessories, making them an easy to understand, single package of fun. The term "Activators" has been used in the Transformers line before. Originally these were from Transformers Animated, representing simplified, but show accurate versions of the characters. This line is different however, representing a much more simplified transformation scheme and much more squat and cute looking versions of the characters they represent.

The first wave of "Dark of the Moon" Activators includes Autobot leader Optimus Prime. It's an obvious choice based on who the character is, though I find it funny that he gets a figure up front and not Megatron!

Vehicle Mode:
In "Dark of the Moon", Optimus Prime is still a Peterbilt truck cab. Fans of the past couple of movies are quite familiar with the form by now, so you'll recognize a lot of the main features of the vehicle. This includes a tall front grille, a row of lights abve the windshields, smokestacks on the sides and canisters on the sides. Being part of the Activators line however, the proportions of this vehicle are extremely chunky, and it works a bit against the overall appearance of the vehicle because it looks very brick like as a consequence. The light blue piece sticking out the back doesn't help with this impression.

One of the saving graces of the sculpt is the front end, which looks just right and not too blocky and has lots of detailing including the large vertical plate under the grille with bolts in it. The deco also helps quite a bit. Optimus is cast in red, dark blue and black plastic. Painted in silver, light blue, dark blue and red paint, the flames fans are familiar with are found on the front and middle area. Silver paint is used on the back section, the smokestacks, vertical containers and the row of lights on the top of the vehicle. It's also heavily used on the front end, making it the most oft used color on this figure. Light blue paint is used for the windows, offering some brightness to a figure with the darker red and blue colors.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Press the light blue section and the figure will complete most of its transformation by itself.
  2. The sides of the vehicle's front end swing up to reveal the robot arms.
  3. To reverse the transformation, move the arms back into place and then press the light blue section in the back again.

Robot Mode:
Being a figure meant for a younger crowd, I don't often expect good sculpting from these figures because frankly, they don't need it 100%. However, it always feels good when I look at a figure of this kind and find plenty of detail to like. On Activators Optimus Prime, several of the elements from his CGI model appear including:

  • The windshield windows (and wipers!) are sculpted on the chest.
  • The middle of the torso has a grille pattern, similar to the one that will appear on Prime in the film.
  • The leg designs are shortened versions of the ones from the movie, down to the feet with two "toes" in front.
  • The head sculpt has all the familiar Optimus Prime elements including the central crest, antennae on the sides and mouthplate.

Some minor embelishments were made either out of choice or necessity. The arms for instance are sculpted onto the insides of the vehicle's front half. They don't look particulary impressive nor can he hold anything with them. However, it is cool to have the arms be able to move up and down rather than a figure that is just stuck in one position.

The red and blue plastic colors are most heavily used in this form, with most of the light blue "Activator" switch pushed into the legs. Silver and light blue are used to give the figur esome color in this form. Silver is found on his nose and mouthplate area along with the torso and thighs. The light blue color is found on the windows on his chest and his eyes. It's a simple color scheme, but it looks good at the same time.

Final Thoughts:
Activators Optimus Prime has a much stronger robot mode than vehicle mode, I'll give him that. The vehicle mode is a bit too blocky for my tastes, bringing down the rating of this figure a bit. Still, for what it is I do find this to be a good figure. Again, this figure is being rated on its own merits and not in comparison to say, a Deluxe or Voyager Class figure. It's for a younger age group for sure and for older collectors will largely just be a curiosity. Recommended with some reservations.