"Generations" Cyber Commander Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2015, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyber Commander, Generation One, Generations

Generations

Optimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: July 2015
Price Point: $19.99 (MSRP)
Retailer: Limited Release
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from the Official Transformers web site:
This Optimus Prime figure won’t stop until all of his evil Decepticon enemies have been defeated! He’s a big-time Autobot powerhouse and it only takes 6 steps for him to change from powerful robot warrior mode to rumbling semi truck mode. Will any Decepticon be brave enough to take him on? There’s only one way to find out!

2-in-1 Optimus Prime figure. Figure converts from robot mode to semi truck mode. Converts in 6 steps.

In March of 2015, some interesting listings popped up on the Official Transformers web site for "Cyber Battalion" figures. These appeared to be simplified figures that resembled upscaled Legends Class figures. However, these figures were not present at both Toy Fair 2015 and they were not part of Hasbro's presentation at Botcon 2015. Still, sightings of these figures in areas of the world like Latin America and parts of Asia popped up online. In July of 2015, Ben's World of Transformer sponsor Bigbadtoystore listed several of these figures (including their larger "Cyber Commander" counterparts) and they sold out fast and a week later the listings were gone from the web site.

While the Hasbro web site lists an MSRP of $19.99 for Optimus Prime, I wound up paying $29.99 since I wasn't sure when I would ever see these for sale again (note: at the time I am typing this review, there are zero listings for these figures on ebay or any other retailer I normally frequent). It is very unusual for figures to make it to the official web site, get a limited release and then seemingly vanish from the market so this review is a bit of an anomaly among the other "Generations" figures. Perhaps they will see some bigger release down the road but nothing official has been announced at this time.

Packaging:
Unlike most Transformers packaging on the market nowadays, this figure comes in a rectangular box that has no window, so you can't see the toy inside. Instead the front has photography of the toy in both modes with a white and grey grid behind it and a Autobot symbol in grey. Cut in a triangular panel is artwork featuring Optimus Prime based on his G1 appearance. To the right is the vertical "Transformers" logo with the "Generations" logo above it. The back of the packaging features the figure and instructions along with a brief bio blurb in four languages (including english and spanish). Towards the bottom is safety information, but interestingly on my box there is a sticker slapped over this section with Chinese writing and citing Hasbro's China web site. This box is taller than the ones used for the Cyber Battalion figures like Starscream.

Open the flap on the side and you pull out a cardboard tray with the figure attached by plastic ties. This explains why there's no window box. Basically money was saved by not having to print a fancy background for the tray. It's just plain cardboard. My guess is given the simple nature of the figure, the designers figured most folks getting this would ditch the packaging anyhow. What I like about the packaging is that it is reusable and easily fit onto a bookshelf. There's even character art on the side with the character's name so you can line them up!

Robot Mode:
This design is an interesting mash up of Optimus Prime features but overall it skews most towards Generation One influences. Here's a rundown:

  • The head design has the iconic crest, mouthplate and protrusions on the sides, but the design is also a lot more stylized and the smaller points flanking the crest stick out the back at an angle instead of sticking straight up.
  • The chest features windows along with sideview mirrors, carrying over vehicle mode details into the robot mode.
  • The mid-body area has a grille on it.
  • The thighs have storage tanks sculpted into the sides.
  • The lower legs feature a couple iconic designs from the G1 toy including vent-like designs in the middle and thick feet that have a trapezoid design on top.
  • There are wheels on the sides of the lower legs, though in this version there are three on each leg as opposed to the two on the original.

All that said, a lot of the detailing on this figure is unique to this sculpt. The arms have a lot of beveled layers and line designs that give it a complexity you would not necessarily expect from a figure with such a relatively simple design. He also has smokestacks on either side of his chest instead of on the sides of the shoulders. I mentioned earlier that the head design differs from the original even though it has G1 influences and I have to say I really like it. It looks like a futuristic take on the classic "Prime" head design and it looks very cool.

Being a simpler figure aimed at a younger market there were some design compromises made on this toy that I'm not crazy about. First the arms are hollow plastic pieces. This is not apparent until you look at the figure from the back. It seems like the least they could have done was put panels to cover the hollow parts or sculpt the pieces so they looked "covered" all the way around. Also the figure lacks knee articulation, though it is sculpted to look like there are knee joints which is a pretty cruel tease.

For those wondering how this figure measures up to the smaller Cyber Battalion figures, the Cyber Commander Optimus Prime figure is slightly taller than the Leader Class Megatron figure. In terms of weight it weighs in at about 10.8 ounces (roughly 306.1 grams) while Megatron is about 11.2 ounces (about 317.5 grams) so the two are actually comparable in that respect. So roughly speaking a Cyber Battalion is like a Voyager while a Cyber Commander is like a Leader Class in this sub-line.

Optimus Prime is cast in metallic red, blue, silver and translucent blue plastic. These are all classic Optimus Prime colors so there are few surprises here. The red is used mostly on the upper body while the silver and blue are used for parts of the torso and legs. The head has translucent blue plastic for light piping on the eyes, and his chest windows are also translucent blue. The red color is particularly rich and looks great. Silver paint is the most heavily used color. It's used on the face, the smokestacks, mid-body and legs. Red is used on the chest to paint armor details since it's made up of translucent blue plastic. His forearms have light blue paint and the deco is rounded out by Autobot symbol stickers on his shoulders. While nothing sounds particularly amazing about this deco, I will say that it looks really great. The colors really pop and I appreciate the use of metallic plastic.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. That includes four on each arm and two on each leg and the head. I mentioned earlier there is no knee articulation, which is unfortunate since it would give the legs a lot wider of a range of poses for the figure overall. The shoulders and hips have ratchet joints, so he's very stable. The feet actually swivel in and out a bit, allowing him to balance when you move the legs outward. His fists have 5mm ports in them so he can hold weapons from other "Generations" figures. He's fun to play with and he's very stable, but the lack of knee articulation does rob the figure of some play value.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Swing the fists into each forearm.
  3. Swing each arm up to the sides.
  4. Rotate the top part of the chest around.
  5. Push the robot legs together.
  6. Swing the back.
  7. Hold on to the torso and swing it forward.
  8. Swing the arms together, then attach the clips on the forearms to the corresponding slots on the legs.

Vehicle Mode:
Optimus Prime's truck mode is one impressive looking machine. Like the robot mode, the design has some very strong looking features and other more sleek and futuristic looking design elements.

This vehicle mode is a long nose style truck. The front end extends forward, but the headlights section angles back severely, giving it a very sleek appearance. A grille section in the middle has an Autobot symbol on top, echoing the designs from the live action movies and "Prime". The windshield section also angles back, leading to the chunky looking middle and rear section of the vehicle. Adding to the appearance of power are the six wheels on the back of the vehicle and the use of more angled sections in the back. What also helps the appearance of a formidable vehicle are the thick smokestacks on the sides.

I really love this design. It's very much an "Optimus Prime" vehicle mode, but it's rather unique in its smaller details and overall shape. Some of the details echo Star Convoy a bit to me, but it's still a very unique design all its own.

Much of the red metallic plastic winds up in the front and top of the vehicle. The silver and blue make up most of the lower part. The wheels look dark grey instead of being pure black. This is a nice touch since it gives them a distinctive look despite being unpainted. The front windows show off translucent blue.

Red paint is used on the front windshield section to paint in the section that covers the cabin section. Silver paint is used on the front grille, bumper and smokestacks. A small Autobot symbol is tampographed to the top of the grille. The Autobot symbol stickers from the robot mode shoulders wind up on the sides here, boldly declaring the character's alliance. The light blue from the forearms also shows on the sides, which adds a nice splash of bright color to that area. Overall the deco looks good. It's a very traditional color palette for the character and the use of metallic plastics helps it shine.

Optimus rolls on all eight wheels (six in the back, two in front). That's about it for functionality, but hey - he's a big chunky truck that can run down Decepticons. What more do you need in a basic figure?

Final Thoughts:
Cyber Commander Optimus Prime is a simple figure, so if you're looking for super complexity this isn't for you. If you're looking for tons of articulation, this isn't for you. If you are looking for a well detailed, powerful looking and easy to transform figure this should definitely be part of your collection!