Revenge of the Fallen Fast Action Battler Double Blade Optimus Prime

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Movie (2007), Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: May 2009
Price Point: $10.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missile

Images:

Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are two of the characters that featured heavily in the first Transformers movie, and the follow up "Revenge of the Fallen" is no different. With the first wave of Fast Action Battlers, Optimus Prime leads the pack with a completely new figure.

Robot Mode:
The first thing to make note of is that this Optimus Prime figure is a brand new sculpt. Since "Revenge of the Fallen" Optimus Prime uses the same form as the previous movie, it may seem like there is no difference between the two, but everything about this figure from the sculpt to the placement of parts is different than the previous one. On this alone I applaud Hasbro for not going the cheap route and taking the first movie's Fast Action Battler Optimus Prime and just giving him a new weapon and coat of paint.

So what's so different about this robot mode? Well, due to the way the transformation works out, two wheels wind up on his legs and only the front wheels wind up on the cab section on his back. This is a bit more accurate to the CGI model than the previous FAB Optimus Prime who only had one wheel on each leg. Also, thanks to the way this figure transforms, Optimus does not have the large hinges on his shoulders from the previous version. This gives the upper body a more boxy and flat appearance that is more in line with the CGI model. Perhaps the most significant change can be found in the arms. Both his arms now have blade weapons mounted onto a hinge, reflecting weapons that he uses in the movie. On his right arm is an additional weapon in the form of a missile launcher that swings forward (pushing the fist back into the lower arm simultaneously). This really surprised me since the blades themselves would have been sufficient as weapons for this figure. Upping the ante with a ballistic weapon as well is just too cool and I was very happy to see this.

While there are many differences, there are a lot of similarities to the previous version. His chest is slightly smaller than it should be in proportion to his robot head and the arms are slightly smaller than they should be. Both of these design choices fit in with the more "kiddy" porportions used on the Fast Action Battler figures. Double Blade Optimus Prime carries over many of the details found on the previous version including the intricate stylings of his chest design complete with windshield wipers on his windows and raised grille lines, circles and other intricate designs. Indeed, on the detail level there is a lot of eye candy here. It amazes me how much sculpted detail there is in this figure. The arms have layer upon layer of detail, replicating the layered armor look of the movie. The blades have intricate line designs and several smaller shapes around the blade itself. The robot legs have the "layered armor" look along with the fuel tanks on the sides of his thighs. Even the missile included with the figure is sculpted with circle and line details, looking almost more like a cannon than a projectile (and if the package illustration is any clue, that is what it is meant to be).

Optimus is cast in silver, red and blue plastic, no surprises there. His decos are done in red, light metallic blue, dark blue and silver. Red is used for details on his arms while the light blue is used for his chest and eyes. The silver is used for grille and tech details on his torso as well as his mouthplate. The dark blue color is used on the chest, creating flame patterns that are carry over details from the vehicle mode. There really aren't many places in this form that need paint apps since the red, silver and blue are Optimus' primary colors, and while on a larger figure I'd expect more subtle spray ops and so on, this figure looks cool the way it is.

Optimus Prime has nine points of articulation in this form, which isn't bad considering that action features, not posability are the focus of Fast Action Battlers. Oddly, he has hinges on his elbows, but his arms can't bend. I pushed it a bit to see if it would give, but it didn't and frankly I'm not rich enough to go breaking toys for these reviews, so I'm going to say that for now that joint isn't meant to move. On each forearm is a small red button. Press that button and his blades swing forward. They fit over the fists and look awesome. On the right arm, you can swing the blade back to swing the missile launcher up. This pushes the fist back into the forearm and it looks like his arm has transformed into a weapon. I love this feature and how well sculpted the missile launcher is, complete with a targeting scope. Pressing the red trigger on top launches the missile. By having the two weapon options, this figure gets a lot of play factor and I think that's fantastic.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missile for now and make sure the missile launcher and blades are swung back against the forearms.
  2. Swing up the robot feet.
  3. Connect the lower legs together including the panels on the back.
  4. Hold the front cab section on the back of the robot and swing it forward.
  5. Swing the robot torso up on the central hinge.
  6. Swing the arms back.
  7. Rotate the lower arms around so the blue panels with the smokestacks face outwards.
  8. Swing the panels against the front wheels against the main body of the vehicle.
  9. Swing the blue panels on the robot legs forward over the robot arms.

Vehicle Mode:
Looking at this version of Fast Action Battler Optimus Prime, I realized that part of the idea behind this figure was not only to create a robot mode that differed from the first, but also to create a vehicle mode that is more movie-accurate than the previous version. Two of the details that really stood out for me are the row of lights above the windshields and the smokestacks. The first Fast Action Battler Optimus Prime didn't even have the row of lights on the top of the vehicle and its smokestacks were hinges that sort of formed tube-like things that resembled smokestacks. Here, those details are sculpted carefully to look just like they are supposed to be. The back portion is also more boxy thanks to the use of panels folding over each other that looks more like the real life vehicle than the more segmented back end of the first one.

In terms of smaller details, the rear section has the oval shaped design on the back that the real life truck has where the hitch would be. The other details that are well done include the row of raised circles on the front end, small raised circles representing bolts on the front and sides and a cross hatch pattern behind the raised vertical grille pieces.

The color scheme is also truer to the real life vehicle. The original Fast Action Battler colors were very bright and almost cartoony. This version has much darker colors and they work very well. The metallic light blue, dark blue and silver colors show up again. The dark blue is used for flame patterns on the front, sides and back of the truck. Silver is used on the grille/headlights section, the area over the windshield and the steps on the sides of the vehicle. It's also used on the sides of the wheels (which are cast in black plastic). The metallic light blue color used on the chest of the robot mode appears here as the colors for the windows. Not only do these colors match up better with the real life vehicle, but they're also placed more accurately. For instance, the first Fast Action Battler Optimus had a blue front fender, but this time it's painted silver like the real life truck.

Final Thoughts:
I really liked the first Fast Action Battler Optimus Prime a lot, but this new sculpt is a definite improvement over the original. Kudos to Hasbro for not just giving us a redeco or slight retool of the first and instead creating a new, more movie-accurate version of the character with multiple weapons to boot! Highly recommended.