"Reveal the Shield" Optimus Prime (Legends) Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: January 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

*Text below and images from Transformers.com
Race into action with this fierce OPTIMUS PRIME figure! Press the button to reveal this figure’s robot allegiance and then prepare him for a battle. In robot mode, this fighter is already as tough as they come. When it’s time to chase down his enemies, convert him to truck vehicle mode so he can “tear up the streets” in hot pursuit! Ages 5 and up.

The "Reveal the Shield" line of Transformers has taken the reigns from the "Generations" line and continued the tradition of creating new versions of characters from the original Transformers series. This wave included a classic Autobot: Optimus Prime! Prime has been done on the Legends scale before, but not in this classic Generation One incarnation. Based directly off his Generation One animated model, this is an all new sculpt.

Robot Mode:
It sounds almost odd to say about a Transformer who is meant to be large and powerful, but there is a very simple elegance to the original Optimus Prime animation model design. Think about it, he's really just a pile of rectangles and squares for the most part. There are some more sleek and curved parts such as his head, but that's really it. That made it almost a perfect Transformer to reinterpret year after year. Optimus Prime designs may get complicated and crazy as the years go along, but this is the design they all based themselves on.

This Optimus Prime figure has all the classic Prime elements. His head has the large central crest with antennae on the sides of his head with thin eyes and a mouthplate. His torso is basically the entire front section of a truck cab, complete with windows, a row of lights at the top and a grille section in the middle. Following the lead of the animation model, the sides of his waist section have panels that angle inward, then straight down. His hip section has a section in the middle that extends out slightly with rectangular and triangular designs on the sides. His arms have the classic smokestacks on the sides (and thankfully at this scale they don't have to be turned into stubs). The upper body is extremely wide compared to what I'm used to seeing on a Prime figure and it gives him a powerful and bold appearance.

This wide design aesthetic continues on the legs. The thighs start off regular enough, but his lower legs are thick and he is set at a wide stance. So wide is this stance that his feet are sculpted at slight angles so he can stand properly. Like the upper body, the legs have several details directly inspired by Optimus Prime's Generation One animation model. The thighs have horizontal rectangles on them while the lower legs have a series of vent lines sculpted into them. On the sides of each leg are cylinders near the knees. Even his feet have a rectangle divided into two sections in the front, a detail inspired by the G1 toy sticker on the same area. Overall, it's a really nice sculpt considering the relatively small size of the figure.

Optimus Prime is cast in two plastic colors, red and black. The red makes up most of the upper body while the black makes up the lower body and the wheels (which are super obvious in this mode). Paint applications are done in silver, dark blue, yellow and metallic blue. The silver color is found on his waist area, mouthplate, the smokestacks, upper legs and the canisters on the sides of his legs. The dark blue is used for the front of his legs (the back of the legs are left unpainted so they're black) and the helmet portion of his head. The eyes are painted yellow and his chest window panels are painted metallic blue. Sure there could be a few more paint applications, but he already has plenty for a figure this size (especially the way the silver is distributed). The blue is much darker than I expected, putting him more in line with the appearance of the G1 figure than the animated character. Overall, I'm very happy with this color scheme.

Optimus has seven points of articulation. This includes ball joints at his elbows and hips. The unusual point of articulation is his chest, which can turn around thanks to the transformation scheme. Thanks to his super wide feet, Prime is able to stand really well with no instability issues.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Push the robot head down.
  2. Connect the two legs together and swing them back.
  3. Swing the upper body back.
  4. Bend the arms at the elbows.
  5. Swing the robot arms back, then swing the forearms forward to form the sides of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Optimus Prime's vehicle mode has all the classic stylings you would expect from a figure inspired by his Generation One design. The vehicle is the cab of a tractor trailer truck with a boxy shape instead of being a longnose. The front angles a bit in the middle, giving it a touch of sleekness but the sides and back section are flat. The general shape is inspired by G1 Prime as well such as the smokestacks being on the back, the cylinders on the sides and three wheels on either side (though only two on either side actually spin).

There are lots of smaller details on this figure also inspired by G1 Prime. The two windows in the front and the grille are obvious. He also has oval shaped headlight sections with two smaller circles inside. His front bumper have several shapes sculpted into them including rectangles and cricles. The sides of the vehicle have both side windows and ladders to climb up into the truck. He even has vertical side view mirrors sculpted into the sides. This is a nice and intricate sculpt that is worthy of praise.

The red and black plastic colors are almost split down the middle here, with the red making up most of the front and black in the back. The blue painted details on the robot legs face up here, so you get to see them instead of the black plastic. The only newly revealed parts are the grille, headlights and bumper which are all painted silver. In this form you'll find the heat sensitive rub symbol on the left side of the vehicle. Like the other Legends figures in this wave, it is a smaller size than the ones used on Deluxe "Reveal the Shield" figures. It is worth noting that some earlier shipments of this figure did not ship with a sticker attached, so keep an eye out for it when you buy it. It should appear on Prime's arm (as he is packaged in robot mode).

Final Thoughts:
I always enjoy seeing characters in different size scales, and this is a classic form to make part of this G1 themed Legends wave of figures. The design has a lot of nods to the different versions of G1 Prime, which is very cool to see. It's also neat to have a Prime other than the movie version in thi ssize scale for a change. Highly recommended!