"Timelines" Botcon 2015 Exclusive General Optimus Prime Toy Review
Release Date: June 18, 2015
Price Point: $89.00 (Two Pack with Sgt. Hound)
Retailer: Botcon exclusive
Accessories: Launcher, missile, missile pod, pistol, rifle, rifle stock/large pistol, cannon/rifle scope
The theme of Botcon 2015 is "Cybertron's Most Wanted". This doesn't just refer to the story where the boxed set had a group of criminals in it, it also refers to toys that represent characters that fans have wanted for a long time - with a new spin of course. One of the themes of this set involved having updated versions of unreleased toys from previous eras. One of these was the unreleased "Generation 2" Autoroller "General Optimus Prime" toy.
General Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Voyager Class Roadbuster figure released in 2014. Normally I would have reviewed that figure beforehand, but I didn't get to it just yet so this review will be a full review focusing on the figure's design, deco and functionality.
General Optimus Prime is sealed in a bag with Sgt. Hound, representing the "other" unreleased Generation 2 Autoroller Autobot. The packaging includes their tech specs and instructions. The bag identifies them as "Lowetech Security Force General prime and Sgt. Hound", a reference to the area in Axiom Nexus that is watched over by these two. Both figures are packaged in vehicle mode.
A lot of the play value in this set comes from its accessories. Most of the weapons are cast in grey plastic with some black parts such as the missile and the handle of a pistol. Here's a rundown of the weapons:
- Missile Pod: Cast in green plastic with the rockets painted yellow, this has a 5mm peg sticking out on the right side.
- Rifle: This rifle looks great and the sculpt includes details like a magazine clip towards the front. It has one 5mm peg to hold it towards the back. There is a handle on the top that you can attach the scope accessory to. The rifle also has a 5mm hole on the right side to attach an additional accessory.
- Pistol (Large): This pistol is a thick one with a handle at the end that has a 5mm peg on the bottom. The handle allows the weapon to swivel up and down. This piece can be attached to the back of the rifle by sliding it in to the back. Since it has a 5mm peg hold on the left side, this allows you to increase the firepower of the rifle.
- Pistol (Small): This smaller pistol has a 5mm peg that allows Optimus to hold it. On top is a 5mm hole so you can attach another weapon to it.
- Rifle Scope: This piece is basically a tube with one narrow end and one narrow end. Towards the narrow end is a 5mm peg. The top has an indentation allowing it to attach to the top of the rifle.
- Missile launcher: The missile launcher is the largest accessory. Even without the missile in it the weapon would look like a formidable blaster. It has a handle with a 5mm peg on a hinge so it can swing up and down. The right side has a 5mm hole on it. The end of the barrel also has some green plastic while most of the weapon is grey with black on top.
- Missile: The missile is meant for use with the missile launcher (it doesn't have pegs or anything to stand on its own). It has a nice design with a lot of raised sections with designs cut into them.
Overall this is a really impressive set of accessories for one figure. While the Roadbuster/General Prime sculpt may not have the sheer complexity of the previous year's sculpts (such as Springer) it does have an impressive array of weapons to mix and match.
In Generation One Roadbuster was a futuristic looking jeep. Using that as a starting point, this mode looks more like an off-road vehicle. This fits the idea of a "General Optimus Prime" giving him more of a military flare than the truck modes he is usually associated with. This is quite different than the dump truck that the original Generation 2 "General Optimus Prime" figure would have transformed into, but the theme of a powerful vehicle capable of handling different types of terrain remains intact.
This vehicle form is very sleek. The front end curves up to the cabin section and then the lines move straight back, but there is a curve on the sides. The rear wheel well angles upward, adding an interesting design flare. The wheels look like serious business with huge treads set at angles. There are a lot of small details on the figure as well. The front has a coil in the center with armor plates on the sides. There are armor plates from front to back with small circles in the corners that look like bolts or rivets. The top of each half of the cabin section has a small hatch and towards the rear are tube designs that I can imagine being anything from part of a fuel system to thrusters. I really love the futuristic military look of this vehicle.
General Optimus Prime is cast mostly in a dark green military color. The windows are translucent yellow and several parts are black such as the aforementioned tubes in the back and the wheels. These base colors are inspired by the unreleased G2 General Optimus Prime figure. That figure was going to be mostly dark green with translucent yellow parts as well. Also borrowing from the unreleased G2 figure are several camouflage patterns painted on the figure in brown. These are most prominent on the front end of the vehicle. Another detail borrowed from the unreleased G2 toy is a military star on the center of the hood and the word "Army" under it.
Other paint colors on this figure include silver, which is used on the front armor and the coil in the center as well as the top of the vehicle towards the back. Some yellow paint is used on window like details on the sides in the back. I was very happy to see green paint (matching the plastic color) painted onto the rims of the wheels (a detail often neglected nowadays). Staying true to "Generation 2" tradition, Optimus has a G2 style Autobot symbol (resembling G1 Optimus Prime's head) and the word "Autobot" printed in white over each wheel well. I love this particular detail because it is so retro and in its own way, over the top. This color scheme works beautifully as a homage to the unreleased G2 "General Optimus Prime" toy and I love how it looks.
This vehicle mode rolls on all four wheels, and since they're big there's plenty of clearance underneath the vehicle so no worries about scraping robot parts on the ground. Now if you're going to include a ton of accessories with a figure, you have to give it the ability to use those accessories in vehicle form as well as robot mode. To that end, this vehicle has six 5mm holes to attach weapons. Two are on the sides, two are on the top of the rear section and the other two are above the rear wheel wells. This gives you plenty of places to attach all his weapons (I recommend attaching the scope/barrel piece to one of the other weapons). He looks really impressive with all the weapons attached and I love mixing and matching the weapons to put them in different places.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Pull the sides of the vehicle out, revealing the robot arms.
- Swing each of the small armor plate pieces in the front in so the two pieces cover up the coil in the middle of the vehicle's front end.
- Swing the rear section of the vehicle back.
- Split the rear section of the vehicle in half to being forming the legs.
- On each lower leg push the wheels in to fill in the back of the lower legs.
- Push the black robot feet up, then rotate them around to point forward.
- Push the front of the vehicle down, revealing the robot head.
- Rotate each arm down, then pull the forearm back and down to straighten out each arm.
- You can attach weapons on the shoulders, the upper arms, the fists and lower legs.
There was no retooling done to this figure for this release, so it's pretty awesome how well the Roadbuster head sculpt actually has some design similarities to the unreleased G2 General Prime figure. Both head designs have visor like eyes, with a mouth area that protrudes out a bit and a curved helmet section on top. Of course, this head being Roadbuster's, it has many key elements of that character's head design including "U" shaped pieces on either side of the head that are part of the helmet design. Still, it is pretty cool how well this head sculpt looks like a reimagined version of the G2 Prime head.
Unlike the bulky G2 General Optimus Prime figure this body sculpt manages to look tough and sleek at the same time. He has broad shoulders and a lot of hard angles on his chest and legs. However the curves from the vehicle mode carry over on the forearms and lower legs, giving his design a futuristic edge. There are some nice intricate details revealed in this mode. There are vent like details on the shoulders and armor panels with horizontal ridges on the thighs. I also really like how nicely the hands are sculpted. Each finger has small sections showing faux hinges that looks really cool. The only thing I wish the designers had done differently would be finding a way to hide away the wheels on the forearms. They're large wheels so they really stick out in an awkward manner. Other than that the sculpt looks fantastic.
Like the vehicle mode green makes up most of the colors in this form. You'll find some grey plastic on the forearms and thighs. This color is a callout to G2 General Optimus Prime who also had grey on his legs and claw hand (yes, claw hand). The camouflage patterns carry over nicely into this form, appearing on the upper body and arms. The eyes are translucent yellow with some nice light piping. Silver is used on the shoulders and fists as well as the shoulder mounts for his weapons. The silver from the rear of the vehicle carries over into this form on the lower legs. The Army Star detail shows prominently on the chest, another detail carried over from G2 General Optimus Prime. While the deco in this mode does owe a lot to the vehicle mode it looks great and is a cool homage to its G2 roots.
There are twenty three points of articulation on this figure including five on each arm and six on each leg. There are eight 5mm connection points on this figure, allowing you to attach all his accessories. Two of these are on either side of his head, two are the fists and the other four are on the lower legs. The ones on the lower legs are more for storage than anything else and I found the larger weapons look somewhat awkward stored there. It is possible to combine the weapons so you only use the connection points on the upper body. When you have all the weapons connected the figure looks very impressive.
I never thought I'd see a homage to such an obscure, unreleased figure but here it is and it looks very cool. The choice of Roadbuster for this character was a surprising one, but it actually works very well. I have minor quibbles with the sculpt, but overall this is a very cool Transformer to add to your collection. If the cost is an issue, then I'd go hunt down a Roadbuster so you can at least have the sculpt!