Revenge of the Fallen Activators Optimus Prime Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Movie (2007), Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: June 2010
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
OPTIMUS PRIME believes that freedom is the most important thing in the universe. He battles to preserve the liberty of all creatures from the evil of MEGATRON. He dreams of peace, but he will never stop fighting until the cosmos is safe.

Spring into action with this quick conversion vehicle-to-robot hero! With just the press of a button, this mighty OPTIMUS PRIME figure changes from truck vehicle mode to robot mode through super speedy spring-loaded action. Convert him back to vehicle mode and push the button to convert him to robot mode again and again as the robot battles rage on! Ages 4 & Up.

It has become accepted over the past few years that Transformers need to be marketed to several age ranges, not just the standard "7-12 year old" crowed. Over the years, simplified Transformers have taken on many forms including the now defunct "Go-Go-Gobots" line as well as the Fast Action Battlers. This year introduces an old name with a new concept into the mix, aimed at a younger audience. Activators, a term used for simplified, but show accurate versions of characters from "Animated" now has been recycled for use as a sub-line of Movie based figures. Among the first of these releases is Autobot Leader Optimus Prime, based upon his movie appearances.

Robot Mode:
Optimus Prime is a bit of a tricky character to work into a figure meant for a younger age group. He's generally considered a heroic character but unlike Bumblebee, he's not really meant to be "cute" by any definition of the word. However, for the Activators aesthetic, Movie Optimus Prime does get a bit of a kiddified treatment via an interesting arrangement of proportions of his body parts. His robot head is largely out of proportion with the rest of his body, with the sculpt about the size of heads seen on Leader Class figures. The his chest is rather small, looking almost like a size between the Deluxe and Scout Class scales while the arms and legs look more in line with the Deluxe Class of figures. The cumulative effect is an Optimus Prime who looks a bit super deformed, as if he was drawn for an interlude in a Transformers Anime cartoon. I detail this particular feature first because I think it's important for fans to understand that this is not your typical Optimus Prime figure but really an exaggerated version of the character.

The danger of simplifying or changing a figure to make it appeal to young children is the past tendency to simplify details on the figure. Happily, like Activators Bumblebee such simplification has not occurred. Indeed, this is a very detailed figure that benefits from not having an overly complex transformation. Instead of relying on several parts coming together to form details, much of the detail is simply sculpted into parts like the arms, chest and legs.

The head sculpt is a good starting point. Designed with Optimus Prime's "battle mask" mouthplate up, it has all the trappings of the iconic Optimus Prime look including his central crest, antennae on the sides of his head leading to circles and the now often seen vents on either side of his mouthplate. It's a great sculpt that would be worthy of being on any Optimus Prime figure. His arms each have the drums from the vehicle mode attached to the shoulders and like the CGI model from the movie have circular shoulders leading to the rest of the arms. The chest has a lot of detail concentrated into one spot including windshield wipers on his windows, the grille on his abdominal area and several of the circular details found on the CGI model of the Autobot Leader. The legs are perhaps, the most sleek and simplified section of the robot, with the deails focused in the thighs where curved sections appear to have layers of armor over machinery. Harking back to more classic Optimus Prime figures, he has fuel drums and wheels on the sides of the legs, adding a bit more bulk to the figure.

Optimus is cast in red, black, blue and silver plastic - no surprises there. the silver makes up a large chunk of this mode, including his arms, chest, thighs and feet. The blue plastic is used for his head and lower legs. As you'd expect, black plastic is used for his wheels and the red plastic is mainly found on his vehicle mode bits.

Paint applications are done in red, light blue, dark blue and silver. The dark blue matches the blue plastic used for his head and lower legs. It is also found on the arms where it colors the forearms and the panels on the sides of the arm. Silver is used heavily on the robot head where it paints the lower part of his crest, leading to the nose and mouthplate. His chest panels are painted red, with light blue used for the eyes and windows on his chest. It's a simple, yet very effective color scheme. You don't feel deprived at all color-wise and the focus of the paint applications is given to all the correct parts. The result is a solid looking paint scheme.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. Each one gives you just enough movement to pose the figure and for kids to have some good adventures with the toy. The arms and legs each have three points of articulation, and meaningful ones at that. His hip joints are ball joints and his arms can swing up and down as well as outwards. There are no weapons included with the figure, which is a bit of a tradition with the Activators line going back to the "Animated" versions so this is no surprise. Personally I miss them and would have at least like to have seen some type of weapon perhaps sculpted into the figure like the blades from his arms. This is more of a disagreement about design choice on my part than an actual defect by any stretch.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the robot feet up.
  2. Straighten out the robot arms and then fold the forearms up over the upper arms.
  3. Connect the lower robot legs together.
  4. Swing the front end of the vehicle over the robot head, then push back and lock the vehicle mode into place.
  5. Swing down the smokestacks to help keep the robot arms in place.
  6. Push the robot legs in to complete the transformation.

Vehicle Mode:
Like the robot mode, the vehicle mode has some kiddified aesthetics to it. The truck seems compressed overall, with the cabin section nowhere near as tall as it should be and the back end feeling a bit shortened in porportion to the rest of the vehicle. Instead of thin, sleek looking smokestacks, these are fat cylinders that look rather bulky. Still, many of the core elements of the vehicle mode are there including the long nose design, the aforementioned smokestacks, the steps to get into the cabin and even the small Autobot symbol section on the top portion of the front grille.

There are some nice sculpted details including the row of "bolts" on the lower front section of the vehicle, the lines etched into the smokestacks, the row of lights above the cabin section the panels sculpted into the sides indicating where the doors would be to enter the vehicle. Kiddified or not, this figure is definitely recognizable as Optimus Prime just based on its sculpt alone.

In this form, the blue plastic dominates, making up most of the rear and middle sections of the vehicle. The black wheels are quite prominent while the silver plastic is seen on the smokestacks as well as the button on the top of the vehicle that initiates the transformation back into robot ode. The same paint colors found in robot mode are used here with one additon: yellow. The blue paint is mostly found on the front end where it is used to paint the now infamous flame patterns. Light blue is used for the windows and red is used for the Autobot symbol on his "Activators" button as well as the front of the truck. Silver paint is quite prominent as well, found largely on the front grille and the horizontal drums on the side of the vehicle. The yellow color is found on the front end of the vehicle where it is used to paint the round parts of the headlights.

Final Thoughts:
While largely faithful to the design of the movie CGI model and given a nice deco, I can see how some fans would not be into this figure. Personally, my only gripe with the figure is its complete lack of anything resembling one of Prime's weapons, but other than that I think it's a really neat toy for kids and a curiosity piece for older fans. Recommended!