Revenge of the Fallen Gravity Bots Optimus Prime Toy Review
Release Date: June 2009
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Locking pin
- On Card
- Official Photo (Vehicle Mode)
- Official Photo (Robot Mode)
- Scan of Card
- Vehicle Mode
- Vehicle Mode (Side)
- Vehicle Mode (Back)
- Robot Mode
- Robot Mode (Side)
- Robot Mode (Back)
- Robot Mode (Close up)
- Robot Mode (Angle view)
Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
The brave leader of the AUTOBOTS has promised to protect Earth at all costs. He helps lead a team of human and robot warriors on a quest to track down and destroy the last remaining DECEPTICONS on the planet.
Tilt this super-cool figure back and watch as it automatically converts from robot mode to a tough truck in vehicle mode! Let your imagination roll out with this must-have figure for your collection!
Gravity-Bots are a new sub-line of Transformers product. The name refers to the primary gimmick of the toy: it transforms by itself. For years, fans have often wondered what an "auto" transforming figure would be like, and while we've had the likes of Battlechargers and Jumpstarters in G1, those mechanisms were relatively simple, requiring only one or two parts moving to complete the transform. Gravity-Bots are more complex, and they utilize the force of gravity as part of their transformation, hence the name.
Gravity-Bots are definitely aimed at a small sub-sect of the collecting population. Their appearance is rather bulky and dare I say it, "cute". The auto-transformation feature may seem like a novelty to some, but others may miss the complex play of moving parts around themselves to create the figures' alternate form.
The basic design of a Gravity-Bot has the front of the vehicle mode splitting to form the robot arms and the cabin section rotating around to form the chest. This means many of the vehicle mode parts show in this form in more complete pieces than they would if this were a more conventional movie universe figure. You'll see this the most on his arms, where each arm is almost entirely made up of the front halves of the vehicle mode. The robot mode details that appear are his forearms, with each hand in an open palm position with the digits of each finger sculpted carefully, including a circle representing a hinge in the middle of the fingers. This sounds like a cheat, and really, it is one, but a necessary one given the design of this figure. It still looks good however thanks to a lot of the paint details applied to the arms (more on that in a bit).
The chest design incorporates several elements from the movie CGI model. Here the chest panels have the glass windshields in the front, complete with windshield wiper designs sculpted in and windows on the side. A small panel slides out undernetah the windshields with grille and headlight designs. His legs also carry details from the movie CGI model including the slightly curved armor on his lower legs and rounded joints at the hips.
While a lot of Optimus' details are compressed or simplified, one detail that could easily be put onto any Optimus Prime figure in the toy line is the head. The head sculpt represents Optimus with his battle mask up and it has all the requisite details including the antennae on the side, central crest and eyes set in a thin stare. The head sculpt is kept relatively slim to the rest of the body, making it look decidedly "un-cutesy".
Optimus Prime is cast in metallic blue, red, black and silver plastic. The blue and red make up most of the body, with the silver used for his forearms and small wheels on his back. Black, as you probably already guessed, is used for his wheels. Paint applications are done up in metallic light blue and silver. Silver is found on the shoulders, robot face, chest and legs. The metallic blue is mostly used for the flame details which show up most prominantly on his upper arms in this mode. It is also used for his eyes. The colors are really striking, and it is amazing how much of a difference some metallic flaking can make in the plastic colors. The blue not only looks rich thanks to its dark color, but the metallic flaking gives the impression that this is truly a figure made of metal. One final detail is a tampographed Autobot symbol in the center of his chest, a nice, bright touch onto a figure with a cool deco.
Gravity-Bots really have no articulation to speak of. Their primary gimmick is in their auto transformation. To prevent Optimus from transforming in robot mode, a pin is included with the figure that inserts into a hole on the back. The hole is on the lower left side. It's a pretty small piece so be careful not to lose it.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Be sure the pin on the lower back side is not inserted.
- Lay the figure down on a flat surface, making sure the small wheel in the middle of the back presses against the surface.
- The arms will swing up automatically, covering up the robot head.
- Simultaneously, the middle panel will rotate around and the silver panel on the chest will slide in.
More than his Fast Action Battler incarnation, this vehicle form is truly a chunky representation of the Peterbilt truck that Optimus Prime transforms into in the movie. Still, even though this figure is chunky, it's not super oversimplified. There are quite a few sculpted details you'd find in larger representations of this Optimus Prime including:
- The front grille has the requisite vertical grile lines and headlights along with the small row of raised circles on the front panel under the grille.
- Raised circles run along the edges of the vehicle's front end on either side of the hood piece.
- Each door is outlined with sculpted detail including door handles.
- Underneath each door is a row of raised circles representing lights.
- The smokestacks are sculpted nicely with rows of horizontal lines running up the lower portion of each smokestack.
- On the underside of the vehicle you'll find all sorts of raised mechanical details including curves that correspond to his axles.
- The cabin has a row of lights running along the top.
The same colors used in the robot mode appear here, but now the flame details come together a lot more in the front and take center stage. Red paint is used on parts such as the top of the cabin to paint in the flame details on metallic blue plastic, which looks fantastic. You'll also find red flames painted along the covers over the rear wheels. Overall it's a fantastic paint job that goes above what I had expected from a "cutesy" figure in this line.
Gravity-Bot Optimus Prime is one of those toys that you have to get out of package to really appreciate. He looks almost silly on card, but once you get him out you can really appreciate the sculpting, deco and the fun gimmick that makes him a Gravity-Bot.
One blanket statement I can make about Gravity-Bots is that they are really fun to have on your desk at work. I brought a few in and left them on my desk and coworkers could not stop messing with them. There's something amusing and almost calming about the repetitive auto-transformation as you play with the figure. As one coworker said, it's like a more complex "squeezey ball". I can also imagine these being great for younger kids who are not quite ready to deal with Legends or Fast Action Battler figures, but still want a toy that transforms.