"Generations" Orion Pax Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: August 2013
Price Point: $14.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Energon Axe, Ion Blaster

*Images with asterisks and text in italics from Amazon.com:
Long before the burden of leadership was forced upon him, Orion Pax was a great thinker and an intellectual revolutionary. He spent his life plugged into a console sorting, parsing and filing historical data. As the world outside grew darker and more bleak, he saw hope for the future in his world's past. He saw, when no one else would, that Cybertron could once again be free – and he has clung to that dream even through the dark times since. The battle between Autobot and Decepticon is never over and this Orion Pax figure is the next generation of awesome Transformers action. Your Orion Pax figure is armed for big-time combat with his Ion Blaster and Energon axe, but he can convert to truck mode when the battle calls for it. Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his Decepticon enemies dish out.

In Summer of 2013 a wave of "Generations" figures was released featuring several characters as they have appeared in the IDW series of comic books. One of these releases was Orion Pax. For those not familiar, Orion Pax was the identity of the Autobot who would become known as Optimus Prime. Originally introduced in the first "Transformers" TV series, the character has appeared now and then in many forms including a toy that was a redeco of Kup and a more recent Arms Micron figure that was a redeco/retool of Voyager Class Optimus Prime from "Prime". This is the first figure representing the character that is not a redeco or retool of a previous figure. Instead, it is a new sculpt/design based on his appearance in IDW Publishing's "Spotlight: Orion Pax" comic book.

The new style of "Generations" packaging features a card back with the G1 inspired "grid" pattern and a small "Transformers Generations" logo at the top. Most of the "art" in the background is provided by a cover of a comic book exclusive to this toy. In this case it's the "Spotlight Orion Pax" comic book with a printing created just for this release. On top of that is the figure in robot mode with its accessories. It's a nice packaging design, but I think it would've been better if the "Transformers Generations" logo was larger on the card or even printed right on the comic book.

Robot Mode:
When he was originally introduced in "Generation One", Orion Pax showed many features of his "future self" including a windshield on his chest and a blue and red color scheme. Some of the same thinking went into this redesign of Orion Pax in the "Spotlight" issue. Unlike his previous appearance in "Autocracy" (which was more aligned with the Optimus Prime most folks know), this design offers a middle ground between the "Generation One" cartoon design and the "Autocracy" design. Indeed, the issue even makes it a point to indicate this is a new body for Orion. This figure has many of the design elements from the comic book including:

Orion's head has a regular face, complete with a mouth instead of the familiar "mouthplate" on Optimus Prime. The helmet section also has hints of design elements of Optimus Prime's head including parts on the sides that will eventually become his "antennae" and the large central crest.
The chest is an angular design with a windshield, foreshadowing Optimus Prime's "windshield chest" design.
The forearms are rectangular and feature an arrow with two thin strips above it, a design Optimus Prime has featured in many incarnations since Generation One.
The middle of the torso features a line of horizontal silver plastic and then a piece going down vertically in the middle, both of which are details that harken back to G1 Optimus Prime.
The waist section has indentations in the middle and sides, with the ones on the sides in triangular shapes. These are callbacks to similar designs on G1 Optimus Prime's animation model.
The leg designs are intended to mirror Optimus Prime's blocky legs with indentations, but in this figure it's mostly the feet that look like G1 Optimus Prime's.
A row of lights can be seen on the top of the chest section, a detail found on the original Optimus Prime figure (and many incarnations after).
The "Energon Axe" weapon is a callback to G1 Optimus Prime having an axe that came out of his forearm, and the rifle is a direct design homage to G1 Optimus Prime's rifle as it appeared in the animated series.

Overall, the designers did a great job of bringing the comic book design "to life" in this figure. There are some differences of course since the figure has to transform. The legs have sections of the vehicle mode on the sides and knees, something not seen in the comic. Also, he has silver armor panels on the sides and bottom of the underarms that "disappear" for the character's robot mode in the comic. He also has a large panel behind his head that does not stick up as high in the comic. While the forearm design homages G1 Optimus Prime very well, it actually differs from the comic book where Orion had a segmented forearm, with one part set higher than the other. Finally, the Orion design in the comic had wheels on the sides of his hips and legs, none of which appear here. This is by no means a criticism, I'm just pointing these differences out for posterity. I think the fact they got this figure so close to the comic book drawings while also paying homage to G1 Optimus is fantastic.

Orion is cast in the standard "Optimus Prime" colors of red, blue and silver. The red makes up most of the top of the body while the blue is concentrated on the lower part. Silver offers "in between" detailing such as the thighs and elbow sections. A bit of translucent plastic is used on the chest for the "windshield" section, allowing you to see the silver details underneath and an Autobot symbol in the center. The paint job on this figure is pretty sweet. Silver is used for detailing in the chest, on the head and legs. Yellow fills in details like the indentations on his waist and the triangle/strips on his forearms. Light blue is used for the eyes, following the convention of Autobots having blue eyes. The Energon Axe accessory is cast in translucent orange plastic with the handle painted black. Meanwhile the Ion Blaster is cast in black with no paint applications. Overall I really dig the deco on this figure. He's immediately identifiable as the robot that will be Optimus Prime.

There are twenty two points of articulation on this figure in robot mode. This includes six points in each arm and four in each leg. He also has waist articulation, which is most welcome! Four in each leg may not sound like a lot, but the hip joint is a ball joint, so his range of motion is really good. This articulation is good enough that it allows you to have him hold the axe weapon in both hands and raise it overhead! Each of the weapons have 5mm pegs (or a handle in the case of the axe) allowing Orion to hold them in his hands.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons if attached.
  2. Rotate each foot around and push it up against the back of the lower leg.
  3. On each arm, swing in the robot fists.
  4. Swing the robot arms up and out to the sides, then back.
  5. Pull the upper torso section (chest/arms/head) up.
  6. Swing the wheels on the back forward.
  7. Push the robot head down.
  8. Push the shoulder armor from each arm forward, tabbing into the panel with the robot head.
  9. Swing each robot arms traight back, with the silver panels facing outward.
  10. Rotate the figure around at the waist.
  11. On each leg, swing the panels on the sides out.
  12. Connect the two legs together in the middle.
  13. Push the robot chest/arms section down.
  14. Swing the panels from the sides of the legs completely together, connecting them in the middle using the tabs.
  15. On the rear section, push the robot arms down so the pegs on them connect to the holes on the legs.
  16. The weapons can be attached to either side near the rear wheel wells.

Vehicle Mode:
Orion Pax's vehicle mode is a longnose Cybertronian truck. Taking some influence from his live action movie counterpart, Orion has rounded front end leading to a more squared off middle section. This design is similar, but not an exact replica of what is shown in the comic. The figure looks relatively long and sleek whereas the comic book shows a more compact and bulky looking truck. There are also designs on the side of the truck (including a circle leading to a rectangular shape) that don't appear on Orion in the comic book.

Some of the key details are there however including a grille on the front end, two headlights on each side, an air intake towards the back of the middle section and a cabin section that slopes down slightly. Like the comic book version, he also has four angled armor panels on the back.

Orion's robot mode colors carry over into this mode. Mucho f the side panels are painted red, with some silver details on top. Yellow is used for his headlights. Amazingly the rims on the wheels are painted silver as well. Overall he looks great and in terms of color he matches up very nicely to his comic book counterpart.

As mentioned earlier, the Energon Axe can attach to the side, looking sort of like a machine gun barrel while the rifle can attach to the other side. I'm glad this "weapon storage" was worked into the figure and that the weapons manage to look cool instead of being visually intrusive. Any 5mm peg weapons can attach to these holes, so feel free to arm up Orion with the weapons of your choosing! The truck rolls on four wheels, not the six that some might expect from an "Optimus" truck cab.

Final Thoughts:
Orion Pax is one solid figure. I think he's one of the strongest pieces in the line, and after so many years of getting Orion just as some type of redeco, it's great to finally have a definitive Orion Pax figure that was made to be an Orion Pax! I love the look of the figure, its fidelity to the comic book and its play factor. Highly recommended!

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