"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Optimus Prime Toy Review
Release Date: November 2018
Price Point: $29.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Rifle; Shield/ax
Official images and text below in italics are from BigBadToyStore.com:
Build the ultimate battlefield with Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege toy figures. Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and Decepticon battle to control Cybertron. The Decepticon resistance army and the Autobot counter-resistance fighters gear up with the C.O.M.B.A.T. (Cybertronian Omnifuctional Modular Battlefield Assault Tech) System, the universe's most advanced modular weaponry.
The WFC-S11 Optimus Prime figure features story-inspired battle-worn deco and is equipped with a W-50 Dual-Mech Energon Strikeshield weapon accessory with converting ax and shield modes and a W-M3 RF Ion Blaster accessory. The 2 weapon accessories mod-lock together to form the larger Sentrystrike Ultra-Blaster. Multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapons ports in bot and vehicle modes allow fans to attach weapons to figure in custom weapon configurations.
In 2018 the "Power of the Primes" line finished off the "Prime Wars Trilogy" which had begun with "Combiner Wars". To kick off a whole new G1 inspired series of "Generations" figures, a new line known as "War for Cybertron: Siege" started in late 2018 (with a planned wide release in 2019). The traditional Voyager Class of figures continues in "Siege". "Siege" deals with the war on Cybertron before the Transformers leave their home planet. With that in mind, it is no surprise that Optimus Prime is one of the first figures in this line.
Hasbro and Takara Tomy really stepped up their game for the "Siege" packaging. This window box is no longer the rectangular shape of previous Voyager Class figures. Instead, it is rectangular on one side and then the left side features an angled section that sweeps backward. The middle features a large window with the figure in robot mode. Set vertically over the figure is a chevron with his name, rank symbol and alpha numeric designation. Under that is the large "War for Cybertron: Siege" symbol which looks gritty and striking. The Transformers logo is set vertically on the right side with the "Generations" and Takara Tomy logos above it. The angled section on the box shows off Optimus Prime's package art while the other features what looks like a poster for "Siege" including the Ark blasting off into space.
The back of the box shows the figure in both modes, indicating a twenty seven step transformation. It also shows Optimus Prime using Battle Masters and their Fire Blast effects.
There is a fun, hidden feature on the side of the box. Shine a Black Light there and you will see Cybertronian glyphs. These glyphs can then be entered into Hasbro's "Teletraan-1" web site. Optimus Prime's glyphs translate into "Iacon". Entering "Iacon" into the site mentions accessing "Database Content" on January 3, 2019 (complete with a countdown clock). Since this review is being written in December of 2018 I am unable to include just what this "Database Content" is just yet.
Optimus Prime includes two accessories. The first is a rifle based on G1 Optimus Prime's primary weapon. The rifle features the same vertical piece in the back and thick barrel in the front seen on the original cartoon. It is a bit hollowed out (probably to save money on plastic) but overall it looks good. The rifle features a 5mm peg on the bottom and a 5mm port on top. On top of that the end of the barrel is also a 5mm port. These connection points all allow you to combine this rifle with other weapons from not only "Siege", but any weapons with 5mm pegs and ports. On top of that, the 5mm port at the end allows you to connect Fire Blast effects to the end, making it look as if the weapon is firing! This piece is cast entirely in black plastic with no paint applications.
The other accessory starts out looking like a shield. The shield is thick and attached to a handle piece with a 5mm peg. The center of the shield has a very nicely sculpted Autobot symbol. On top of all that, there are three hard points on the shield that allows you to attach Fire Blast effects to make it look like the shield is being hit with blasts. Interestingly enough, the grey handle has a peg at the very end allowing you to attach another Fire Blast piece if you wanted to use it like a blaster. To add some play value, the shield can be transformed into an ax weapon! Swing out the grey handle, then swing out the black blade pieces on either side and you wind up with an ax on a long handle. This is, of course, a reference to G1 Optimus Prime's build-in ax weapon. The ax weapon is cast in black on top and the handle is grey. Silver deco is used on the top half to provide detailing.
With a price increase of the Voyager Class to $29.99, some fans may be wondering about the size and weight of this figure. From a height standpoint, this figure is about 7 inches (about 17.78 centimeters), aligning him fairly well with the two previous Voyager Class Optimus Prime figures (though "Combiner Wars" Optimus is much bigger). However, from a mass standpoint there is definitely less material making up this figure than previous Voyager Class Optimus Primes. While both "Combiner Wars" and "Titans Return" Optimus Prime are over 6 ounces, "Siege" Optimus Prime weighs in at 5.3 ounces. This is not ideal, and if that is enough to chase you away from getting the figure I can't say I blame you. However, I wrote about this up front to get it out of the way because there are a lot of good things about this figure.
First, let's talk sculpting. In the first two parts of the Prime Wars Trilogy there were Voyager Class Optimus Prime figures, but many fans felt those did not quite "look right". The design of this figure is heavily based on Optimus Prime's G1 animation model. Compared to the Voyager Class Optimus Primes from "Combiner Wars" or "Titans Returns" this Optimus is much more streamlined and it is very impressive just how much of the vehicle mode's parts are either hidden or nicely integrated into the robot form. This includes the front wheels, which are integrated into the waist area Of course, he has wheels on the sides of the lower legs, but even those are partly covered up by armor plating. The rest of the figure looks like it jumped out from the G1 animated series including the head sculpt, the design of the torso and even the hip area featuring rectangular designs in the front.
All that said, there is a lot of smaller detailing on this figure that adds a lot of texture to its appearance. What is awesome is how many of these details come right from previous interpretations of Optimus Prime (especially his G1 incarnations). These include:
- There are raised circles on the shoulders that look like bolts. There were similar details on G1 Optimus Prime's toy.
- Each forearm has a small triangle near the wrist.
- There is a thin, rectangular section in the middle of the lower part of the chest. This is similar to the same section on the G1 Optimus Prime figure.
- The waist/hip area features a series of rectangular shapes similar to those on G1 Optimus Prime's animation model.
- The sides of the forearms have detailing similar to the same area on the G1 figure. It is also shaped similar to the G1 Prime's forearms.
- The thighs feature an outline running from the hips down. This is based on a similar detail from the G1 animation model.
- The knee area has an unpainted, sculpted detail that looks like a rectangle with a triangle and two smaller rectangles inside of it. These are based on stickers from the G1 Optimus Prime figure.
- The front of each foot has a rectangular section with a series of horizontal lines and a vertical line. This is also based on a sticker from G1 Optimus Prime.
There's more detail on top of all that, but I think you get the idea. This figure's sculpt is very impressive and it looks fantastic. Some fans may have a couple issues with the figure. One would be the smokestacks, which are short for safety reasons. If they had been longer, it is likely the designers would have had to use soft plastic, which can warp and break easily. The other is the back pack. Now, personally I have no issue with the back pack. Optimus had a "back pack" in the G1 cartoon and this reminds me of that. Even cooler, the "lights" from the vehicle mode on the bottom of the back pack wind up looking like rocket boosters. To me this is a plus, but not all fans may agree.
Optimus Prime is cast in metallic red, silver, blue and translucent blue plastic. These are classic Optimus Prime colors and they look great, especially the red. The paint colors on this figure include silver, white, yellow and metallic blue. These colors are used perfectly on the figure. Silver is on the head, smokestacks, torso and legs. White is used on the horizontal lines on the mid-body while yellow is used on the torso and waist/hip area. I was particularly pleased with the metallic blue on the eyes. It shines beautifully if you shine a flashlight on it. As part of "Siege", the deco on this figure includes "battle damage", done in silver paint. The damage is actually spread across the body nicely. You'll find it on the arms, the chest and thighs. I do wish there was some on the lower legs, but overall it looks good and not excessive.
There are twenty six points of articulation on this figure. By today's standards that is an extraordinary number. This includes six on each arm (including wrist swivels!) and even ankle tilts on the legs! Even better, the joints are all really nice and tight. It really feels like Hasbro and Takara Tomy have worked hard to improve its quality control. I am very impressed and happy.
Optimus Prime has twelve 5mm ports: two on the back, four on the arms, two on the legs and four on the bottom of the feet. Then throw in two more ports in his fists. This allows for a remarkable number of combinations with the Battle Masters, Micromasters and Weaponizers from "Siege". You can really load Optimus up with weaponry and armor. Similar play patterns have existed with Transformers figures before, of course ("Armada" and "Energon" for instance) and I have always liked it. This figure is no exception. This figure features an additional bit of functionality in the form of four hard points (one on each shoulder and leg) which allows you to attach Fire Blast effects. This makes it look like Optimus is being hit with weaponry and it is both dramatic and looks great.
There is one (perhaps) unintentional bit of unexpected functionality. The chest panels can swing open, revealing a compartment in the chest. This is actually where Optimus Prime's head folds into in vehicle mode. However, in this mode it is actually just the right size to fit a Matrix from "Power of the Primes"! It takes quite a bit of effort to get it to sit "just right" (it took about ten tries to get the photo I took for this review), but it looks great if you can get it done. Even cooler? The panels on either side of this compartment actually have Matrix handles sculpted into them! This is a fun Easter Egg feature and I really dig it.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the chest panels open.
- Swing the head forward and down into the chest compartment.
- Swing the back panel up and rotate it around.
- On the back panel, swing out all the collapsed panels.
- Swing the robot legs (including part of the hip area) back.
- Pull the wheels above the hips out, then swing them down.
- Swing the back panel over the front of the torso and fold the chest panels over it to lock it into place.
- On each arm, swing the lower sections of the forearms forward, then swing up the panels that form the side windows of the truck mode.
- Tilt the front wheels down a bit, then swing the arms back and the forearms forward to form the sides of the truck. Push the various panels from the arms against the sides of the vehicle.
- Swing the front wheels back up.
- Fold the two halves of the feet together.
- Rotate each lower leg around.
- Swing the panels on the sides of the legs out and forward. Push each panel into the sides, then swing the grey panels against the underside of the truck.
- Swing the wheels out on the legs.
- Push the lower legs together.
- The accessories can be attached to the back of the truck by flipping the left knee panel out, revealing a 5mm port.
The transformation is easily one of the most satisfying parts of this figure. It is intuitive, fun and in many ways unique for an Optimus prime figure.
I imagine that the process of designing "Siege" Optimus Prime's vehicle mode involved starting with G1 Optimus Prime's basic vehicle mode and then adding on weaponry and armor, making it look less like a civilian vehicle and more like a machine built for war. There are iconic Optimus Prime vehicle mode bits including two windows in the windshield area, smokestacks in the back, a grille in the middle, white lines flanking the grille and three wheels on either side. However, the designers added on several sections not present in G1 Optimus prime. This includes two huge floodlights on the top, small gatling guns under the headlights and a line of armor panels along the side. The end result looks awesome in my book. Some fans were not happy with the floodlights on top, but I think they add a bit of extra bulk to the top of the vehicle. I can imagine Optimus with those lights on, blinding Decepticons in front of him as he smashes his way onto the battlefield, clearing the way for Autobots behind him.
The red plastic mostly winds up in the front half of the vehicle while the blue winds up in the back. The wheels are black plastic while lots of translucent blue plastic shows in the front. Plenty of parts are painted silver including the smokestacks, the armor panels on the sides and even the sides of the wheels! From a deco standpoint this mode reflects Optimus Prime's traditional deco very well.
There are nine 5mm ports in this mode: two on top, four on the sides, one on each smokestack and one in back. You can store the rifle or shield/ax by themselves in the back or you can connect the shield/ax to the rifle and store it in the back. You can attach a pretty crazy amount of weaponry to this mode and I encourage you to mix and match parts from Battle Masters, Micromasters and Weaponizer parts for maximum fun! Some people have said that Optimus should not have wheels if you want a "true" Cybertronian form. Well, with this figure you can! Swing the front and rear wheels down and they sort of form "hover engines" to create a "hover mode" for the vehicle! This is unofficial but it's fun.
"Siege" Voyager Class Optimus Prime is a fantastic figure. He looks great in both modes, he has plenty of articulation, cool accessories and plenty of G1 callbacks. Could it have been better? Sure (any figure can, really). However I have no hesitation in highly recommending this figure!
- Fantastic sculpt in both modes.
- Fun and intuitive transformation.
- Plenty of connection points in both modes for other figures.
- Cool and fun accessories.
- Great deco in both modes.
- Some fans will want the smokestacks to be longer.
- Still more fans may not like the "floodlights" on the top of the truck.