Transformers Movie (2007) Spychanger Optimus Prime

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Movie (2007), Robots in Disguise (2001), Spychanger

Transformers Live Action<br />
Movie

General Information:
Release Year: 2007
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Price: $20 (Depending on importer)
Accessories: None

Images:

Optimus PrimeMoreso than the United States, Japan often features action figures as give aways when promoting television shows or movies. In the case of the 2007 live action "Transformers" film, Japan offered fans the chance to get a "Spychanger" Class version of Optimus Prime sporting a deco based on the movie character. This came with a preorder of the movie DVD. I was able to obtain one of these at Botcon and thought it was high time for a quick review.

The history of this sculpt is a pretty interesting one (for fans anyhow). In the Generation 2 era, an Optimus Prime figure was released called "Laser Optimus Prime" who was a tractor trailer truck with a big oil tank as his trailer. He sported a new design complete with missile launchers on big shoulder packs and a sword while still sporting iconic Optimus Prime features such as windows on his chest and the "mouthplate/big crest" head design. More recently, "Laser" Optimus Prime was given a homage as "Reveal the Shield" Optimus Prime.

Years later, the Car Robots toy line would take this sculpt and repurpose it as "Black Convoy", an evil clone of Optimus Prime. Once the "Car Robots" line came to the United States as "Robots in Disguise", a Spychanger version (think a size class between the current Legion and Commander classes) of Scourge was created. Later this would be repurposed as Optimus Prime. This is the sculpt that ultimately wound up being given a new deco as "Movie" Optimus Prime for this release.

Unfortunately, none of my previous reviews of this sculpt are up right now, so I'll treat this one like a brand new review.

Vehicle Mode:
I remember when it was first announced that Optimus Prime would be a "longnose" style truck in the 2007 movie a lot of fans collectively balked at this, wanting him to be the more "boxy" flat front cab seen in the Generation One TV show. I never understood the big deal since Optimus Prime had taken on so many forms after the original series including a longnose truck in Generation 2. Using the "Laser" Optimus Prime as its inspiration, this sculpt features Optimus with a longnose front end and some of the key details seen on the live action movie Optimus Prime including cyclinders on the sides (vertical and horizontal), a platform for a driver to "step up" on, smokestacks on the sides and a rear section designed to look like a trailer could hitch on. For a sculpt this size, it's really nicely detailed complete with a front grille and headlight layout in front and a row of lights on top of the cabin section.

Optimus Prime is cast in red, dark blue, silver and black plastic. The dark blue makes up a lot of the vehicle mode's center and rear section. The front end has red and silver plastic. The wheels are cast in black. Tampographs and paint are used together in an impressive fashion to form details inspired by those found on the live action Optimus Prime. This includes a beautiful gold spray pattern in the front with blue flames on top, red flames in the center and a pattern that creates "blue flames" over the rear wheel wells. Silver is used for a lot of details including the front grille, smokestacks, side cylinders and the edges of the windshield. Some vacuum metallized silver is used on the sides of the wheels. It's an absolutely gorgeous deco if you're into the live action Optimus Prime at all.

In terms of functionality, this figure was designed as part of the "Spychanger" line, a series of small "Hot Wheels" sized cars that had "high speed racing axles", basically wheels that could spin fast when used on track sets and other such playsets. I won't vouch for these moving as smoothly as a real Hot Wheels toy, but it's a neat idea.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  • Pull the rear of the vehicle out.
  • Swing each of the shoulders down.
  • Swing the robot head up.

Robot Mode:
This particular robot mode doesn't really look like the movie Optimus in shape. It has huge shoulder armor and is a bit chunkier than the movie Optimus Prime. That is of course because of its origin as a homage to G2 Laser Optimus Prime. Still, it's kind of a cool homage in its own way. The design is really cool in my book. The shoulders have circles in them that I've always imagined as rocket launcher tubes, the torso has the traditional Optimus Prime features including windows on his chest and a grille on his mid-body. The legs have raised sections that help give the figure some depth. The head sculpt has a huge crest with the traditional Optimus Prime face including thin eyes and a mouthplate. It may not be a 100% accurate movie sculpt (nor was it meant to be), but it's an awesome looking version of the character.

Optimus' colors from the vehicle mode carry over here, but now you get to see the red and silver plastic working together to form most of the upper body and thighs. The lower legs are dark blue and his black wheels show prominently in this form. The deco is as impressive in this mode as the last given the small size of the figure. Silver is used for the crest, mouthplate, fists and feet. Red paint is used to outline the chest while metallic blue ciricles the parts of his thighs that connect to the waist section. More blue appears on the bottom of the shoulder section. The eyes are painted light blue. To give him that "movie" feel, blue and red are used on the windows on his chest to create a "flame" pattern. Overall this guy looks awesome and it's not often you see such a super detailed deco on a figure of this size.

Optimus pretty much only has two points of articulation in this mode, his forearms. They can swing up and down and that's about it, but that's no shock for anyone familiar with the "Spychanger" class of toys.

Final Thoughts:
I think the designers did a stellar job on this figure. It's an incredible work of deco given that it was meant as a freebie and not a mass release. If you're a Spychanger or Optimus Prime enthusiast, I highly recommend adding this guy to your collection!