Transformers Movie (2007) Voyager Class Optimus Prime Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action Movie

Optimus Prime (Voyager Class) Review


Optimus Prime Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: September 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $21.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Guns/missile launchers x 2, Missiles x 2

Images:

Tech Specs:
OPTIMUS PRIME is defined by his optimistic outlook and the care he feels for his comrades and those they protect. Though he may seem grim when contemplating the battle ahead, he looks always ahead to victory, refusing to contemplate the slightest chance of defeat. This attitude informs all that he does, and infects the other AUTOBOTS as well, leading them all to approach each fight with absolute confidence in their ability to win. It is, in turn, this that proves to be their advantage in each and every engagement against the DECEPTICONS, for in the face of superior numbers and fearsome weaponry, the AUTOBOTS never back down, never bend, and never break.

Strength: 10  Intelligence: 10  Speed:Endurance: 10
Rank: 10  Courage: 10  Firepower: 10  Skill: 9


For a few years now it has become common for popular Transformers characters to be released in several size classes, allowing for a greater freedom of choice in price and what size a person may want to own. For example Energon Optimus Prime was released in a "Leader Class" size as well as a deluxe size. Next to Bumblebee, Optimus Prime is arguably the most popular character from the live action movie so it is no surprise he has appeared as everything from a Leader class figure to a Fast Action Battler. However, for those who may want a "middle of the road" Optimus Prime to lead their figures, Hasbro has released this Voyager Class sized Optimus Prime which uses a completely different sculpt than the Leader Class figure.

Vehicle Mode:
Optimus Prime is a long nose Peterbilt truck in vehicle form. The larger Leader Class figure tried to be very faithful to the one shown in the movie, and this one is what I would define as 95% faithful. He has all the features that audiences have grown to expect. The front grille has an Autobot symnbol above it and is flanked by two sets of headlights on either side. A large, flat, rectangular plate sits underneath the grille with a row of circle lights along the bottom. Running along the sides of the vehicle are raised circular details representing bolts and the positioning of everything from the smokestacks to his fuel tanks comes straight from the movie. Smaller details such as the horizontal lines on the smokestacks as well as the raised line pattern pattern on the section leading to his doors are present along with the circular connecting piece to an imaginary trailer is sculpted on the back.

The one fairly major change from the movie vehicle to this interpretation is the section behind the driver area. In the movie, this area is simply a flat box. However, the designers decided to spruce the look of this truck up a bit by adding a wind vane on to that sweeps back at an upward angle. I have to admit I really didn't even notice this until I looked at a picture of the movie vehicle for comparison, so it's hardly so jarring that you'll think "That's nothing like the vehicle in the movie!".

Look inside the driver's area and you'll notice a small figure wearing a cowboy hat sitting at the wheel. While fan speculation has led most to believe that this is meant to represent voice actor Peter Cullen (who is often seen with his trademark cowboy hat), a quick phone call to Hasbro reveals that this in fact is supposed to represent "Mustache Man", the generic human holographic image used by both Blackout and Barricade in the Transformers movie as "pilots/drivers". Early on there were plans to have this generic human be used by all the Transformers (not just Decepticons) but it was later dropped, however the toy element remained. If you open the door, the figure is attached to a mechanism that causes it to disappear, a really neat touch.

While faithful (for the most part) in sculpt, this figure does differ quite a bit in deco from the real life truck. The base plastic colors are red, dark metallic flake blue, grey and translucent blue. Red plastic can be found on the front and sides as well as the wheel covers on the back. Blue is used for the cabin as well as the rear section. Black is used for the wheels and the grey is used for any parts that would have been shiny silver in the movie such as the smokestacks and grille. The translucent blue is used for clear parts such as his windshield and headlights. The use of the red makes sense in the context of the character since red and blue are his defining colors. That in mind, the front end is not blue with an orange/yellow/red fade pattern. Instead, the red has blue flames across the top of the nose and on the top of the front wheel covers, but no flames on the sides - deviating from the movie design. He does have flames on the dark blue parts such as the doors in red, but they are in slightly different patterns than those on the movie vehicle. This is partly due to the way his transformation scheme works out. Since two of the panels towards the back split apart, it made sense to move the flame up a bit to avoid the detail being split. At the rear of the vehicle, the covers of the four rear tires each have blue flames on the front sections. Finally, silver paint can be found on the sides of the wheels.

While not "movie accurate" at all, if you wish you can form an "attack mode" in this form. Swing the smokestacks out to the sides, then swing the fuel drums up and forward. Then rotate the smokestacks forward and voila, instant cannons and missile launchers. It looks cheesy as all get out, but it's a fun feature for kids to use during play.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the smokestacks out to the sides.
  2. Rotate the horizontal fuel drums on the sides forward and detach them, then rotate the smokestacks forward to form the weapons.
  3. Flip the truck upside down and swing the robot arms down, along with the shoulder armor covers.
  4. Swing the dark blue section of the truck back and swing the top cover pieces up.
  5. Swing the front halves of the rear wheel covers over the rear halves.
  6. You can now see the grey feet, swing them out.
  7. Swing the blue pieces all the way back now, connecting them to the back of the truck, forming the legs.
  8. Swing each half of the feet up.
  9. Swing the robot arms out to the sides and swing the panels on his forearms so they sit on the underside of each arm.
  10. Swing the main body down.
  11. From underneath the front nose of the truck, swing the robot head out.
  12. Swing the robot arms down and place each of the guns into one of his hands, connecting it to the forearms by the large pegs.

Robot Mode:
The unique challenge the designers face when "downsizing" a character is retaining the design elements that are distinctive to that character while not just repeating the same sculpt over and over again. In that sense the designers really did some great work with Voyager Class Optimus Prime. The first thing that strikes you about this robot mode is how relatively sleek it is compared to the much larger and bulkier Leader Class figure. A lot of this has to do with the transformation scheme, which hides many of his smaller and thinner parts such as his arms and head. Since those elements don't necesarily make up outward facing components of the vehicle mode, the designers had a lot of freedom as to what they could do when designing those parts.

In terms of accuracy to the movie model, there's quite a bit. His head design utilizes his "faceplate up" look and includes many aspects of the movie head design including the extra vents on the sides and the triangular pattern of his mouthplate, indicating where the pieces separate when he is not in battle mode. The torso section has two layers of "windows" on his chest while parts of the grille can be seen under his chest along with circular tech details. His arms each have a vertical piece of armor on the shoulders as well as armor hanging off the shoulders while the armor plate on his forearms comes directly from the movie model (albeit in a slightly less jagged shape than the CGI model). His legs also carry over movie design elements including the wheels on his thighs,knee armor coming up a bit over the upper legs and his segmented feet.

Those who saw the film will of course remember that the Transformers had tons of small mechanical details all over their armor and body parts. This figure makes sure to use those details to great effect. His arms for instance are covered with sculpted details ranging from cracks in his shoulder armor to round parts that resemble gears. his thighs also have quite a bit of detail that looks great due in part to the way it's constructed. Each thigh is actually two segments, an upper part and a lower part which has armor sections that overlap the upper part. This gives an extra point of posability but it also gives him an appropriately layered look. The upper part has detailing such as wires while the lower part look like armor plating protecting that wiring. It's a fantastic sculpting job.

While Prime's vehicle mode colors wind up getting changed quite a bit, his robot mode colors align much more with his CGI model. For the most part his upper body is red while his lower legs are blue. In between are patches of grey plastic on sections such as his waist and upper arms. Paint applications are done in metallic silver, gold, blue and red. His head is cast in blue, with translucent blue on the back of the head for light piping on the eyes. The mouthplate and the vents on the side are painted silver. Silver is also used on his waist area where it makes up most of the paint detail while gold is used on the ends of some of the circles. Blue paintis found on his arms and legs while the red paint can be found on his shoulders. It's not a lot of deco, but because of the intricacy of the sculpt, you really don't notice. He simply looks fantastic.

Optimus Prime has eleven points of articulation in this form. His includes five on each arm and four in each leg. His smaller, sleeker form allows you to strike a variety of poses that would be much more difficult on the Leader Class figure. Press the buttons on the sides of his weapons and you can launch the ends of the fuel tank as missiles while the smokestacks serve as machine gun like sections on each weapon. While these weapons may not be "movie accurate", they sure are cool looking! For some extra fun, you can attach the weaposn to the pegs on the front section of the vehicle mode and aim them upwards, giving him both a place to store the weapons and shoulder cannons.

Final Thoughts:
Voyager Class Optimus Prime is a great figure. He's completely different than Leader Class Prime in play pattern but retains the key visual elements of the character. I really dig the weapons used on this figure and the posability is outstanding. The Voyager size class works perfectly as he is still bigger than the deluxe figures but managable compared to the chunkier and larger Leader size. If you want a relatively inexpensive Optimus Prime figure that looks cool in both modes, has posability and is fun to play with, this is your 'bot! Highly recommended.