Rescue Bots Optimus Prime (Dinosaur) Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Cybertron, Dinobot, Rescue Bots

Rescue Bots

General Information:
Release Date: July 2014
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text in italics from Amazon.com:
Your little hero will save the day with this Rescue Bots hero! It's easy for his little hands to convert his Optimus Prime figure from fierce robot warrior mode to T-Rex mode. Then he can send his Optimus Prime dino stomping after the foe! He'll love converting his robot warrior back and forth for awesome Transformers adventures! Playskool, Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Rescue Bots continues in its third year as the segment of the "Transformers" line aimed at kids 7 years and below. Unlike last year's line, which focused on a bulk of the characters being retools and redecos of the previous years toys, this year introduces a whole new set of sculpts along with a new size. The new primary size is smaller than the figures from last year's "Energize" line, but they are larger than the more "Legion Sized" figures of Blades and Heatwave as dinosaurs released earlier this year. One of these figures is Optimus Prime in a new form.

Robot Mode:
Optimus Prime's new form is a really interesting one. While the design has very obvious dinosaur inspired sections , there are also still several details that come from his old truck mode. These include the "windshield windows" on his chest, a grille on the center of the torso and even a raised section with horizontal lines in the middle of the lower legs. Of course, the iconic head design is intact as well complete with the famous central crest, mouthplate and "antennae" on the sides. The figure is very distinctly Optimus Prime in design.

The dinosaur inspired parts are hardly subtle. The right arm is the head of the dinosaur mode, recalling characters such as "Beast Wars" Megatron. The left arm is a drill/tail piece (poor Optimus, no real hands this time out). Also, his feet each have three claws rather than the rectangular shapes a "regular" Optimus Prime would have. Like the smaller sized Blades and Heatwave dinosaur figures, he has a "scale" like pattern on the top of the right arm/dinosaur head and he has a Rescue Bots symbol sculpted into the left shoulder. Overall I like the mash up of design elements and I find the design connection to "Beast Wars" Megatron somewhat off kilter in an amusing way.

Optimus is cast in red, blue and light blue plastic. Red makes up most of the upper body while blue makes up the left arm and lower half of the body. It's also used for the robot head. The light blue is found on the top of the beast mode head and the dinosaur arms (both of which are prominent in this form). Silver and yellow paint are used to provide detailing. Silver is the most extensively used color. It's found on the right arm/dinosaur head as smokestack "ears" and on the teeth. Silver is also used on the Rescue Bots logo, the waist area, the thighs and the claws on his feet. It is also (of course) used for this crest and mouthplate. Yellow is used more sparingly. You'll find it on his eyes (both the robot and dino ones) and in the middle of the torso. Overall the color scheme, like the sculpt is very much tied to the traditional look of Optimus Prime.

As you'd expect, there's no real articulation to speak of here. The left arm can kind of flop down and it springs back up. However, you can use the dinosaur mode's "chomping" action by pressing the light blue section on the top of the arm and the mouth opens and closes while the smokestacks move.

Transformation to Beast Mode:
Hold on to the chest section and the leg section and twist the lower body around. The figure with "automorph" into the dinosaur mode. During this process the robot head will swing down, the left arm will straighten out as a tail and the beast mode head will straighten out as well.

Beast Mode:
The dinosaur mode really doesn't show anything you couldn't already see in robot mode. However, it does put them in a slightly different context. Now Optimus looks much more like fellow Autobot Grimlock or maybe even T-Wrecks from "Beast Machines" with a large dinosaur head that's hunched down slightly. His tail reaches straight back and he has small T-Rex arms dangling in front of his main body. Something about this mode makes him a lot more fierce. It's probably the loss of his robot head as character context. Here he just looks savage and there's something wacky and cool about that at the same time.

Another detail I noticed are the series of "handles" from the top of the figure to the base of the tail section. I can imagine rescue lines being tied to them or human members of the Rescue Bots team hanging on as Optimus races to the scene of an emergency. It makes for some fun imagination play and I found it to be an interesting design choice.

All the same deco you could see in robot mode appears here, though a bit more attention is drawn to the silver on the sides of his legs and some of the silver "slobber" painted onto the lower jaw of the beast mode head. It's a funny detail and just makes this interpretation of Optimus Prime that much more amusing in my book.

Functionally the jaw opening/smokestack moving action works just fine here. There is no other articulation on the figure.

Final Thoughts:
This is a rather unique and interesting interpretation of Optimus Prime. It makes total sense that he is a T-Rex since he's the leader and the mash up of design sensibilities if fun. It's not for everyone of course but I dug this figure.