"Generations" War for Cybertron: Kingdom Core Class Optimus Prime Toy Review

11/24/20

General Information:
Release Date: Q4 2020/Q1 2021 (Estimated)
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Rifle

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

  • DISCOVER KINGDOM: Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever
  • 3.5-INCH CORE CLASS SCALE: This Optimus Prime collectible figure stands at the new Core Class scale! The 3.5-inch mini-figure allows fans to collect a mini version of the iconic character to pose out with other Optimus Prime figures at larger scales! (Each sold separately, subject to availability.)
  • CLASSIC G1 EARTH MODE: This Core Class Optimus Prime toy converts to G1-inspired Earth truck mode in 11 steps. Autobots, roll out!
  • CLASSIC G1 ACCESSORY: Comes with classic Ion Blaster weapon accessory
  • GREAT GIFT: This 3.5-inch Optimus Prime makes a great gift for both kids and adults!

Beastify the battlefield! Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever.This Optimus Prime collectible figure stands at the new Core Class scale! The 3.5-inch mini-figure allows fans to collect a mini version of the iconic character to pose out with other Optimus Prime toys at larger scales! (Each sold separately, subject to availability.) This Core Class Optimus Prime figure converts to G1-inspired Earth truck mode in 11 steps and comes with a classic Ion Blaster weapon accessory. Autobots, roll out!This 3.5-inch Optimus Prime makes a great gift for both kids and adults!

Disclosure:
This action figure was provided by Hasbro as part of a Kingdom unboxing event. BWTF thanks Hasbro for its generosity.

Optimus Prime is one of the first figures in a new class of Transformers known as the "Core Class". This class hovers somwhere in between the "old" Legends Class and the "modern" Legends Class. However, the designers definitely ramped up the detail and articulation resulting in a unique class of figures all its own. Some may wonder why a "slot" was given to Optimus Prime, a character who appears in other size classes regularly. When asked, Hasbro felt that fans (and kids especially) should all have the chance to get an Optimus Prime figure without having to spend $30-50 USD. This offering also allows kids to have a quality Optimus Prime figure at an affordable price point, a similar concept to the Authentics line.

Packaging:
The Core Class is now the only class of figures in Kingdom that are carded with a traditional clear bubble on top of a card. The card itself features gorgeous artwork showing Optimus Prime in Robot mode aiming at an unseen enemy against a background that includes the Ark on top of a volcano. Optimus Prime's name is printed vertically on the left side while the now familiar vertical Transformers logo is on the right. The insert features the Kingdom logo set at an angle. Right under that is a small image of the Ark on top of an erupting volcano. The artwork is all in a beautiful painted style that evokes the G1/Beast Wars era of packaging.

The back of the card features Optimus in both modes and an Autobot symbol towards the top. A Transformers logo is found at the top with the classic "More than Meets the Eye" tag line under it. Optimus stands on top of graphics that look like a portal which likely plays a role in the story idea of having G1 and Beast Wars characters mix.

Robot Mode:
There have been many examples of a smaller, simplified Optimus Prime figure before including the more recent Authentics Optimus Prime. Often time to meet the price point some aesthetics are sacrificed. This time out however, the designers really seemed to want to do the character justice in a smaller size class. Between his detail level and silhouette, this figure reminds me a lot of a mini-MP-10 Optimus Prime. He has a bulk that I really like but he doesn't have an entire truck cab on his back or anything. He also has al ot of intricate detailing, especially on the torso and legs. One of the most obvious examples are the overlapping panels on the front of the lower legs. These could easily have just been a series of lines etched in horizontally, but they instead look like a series of vent panels overlapping each other. I absolutely love the look of this figure. It feels like all the smaller versions of Optimus Prime have been leading up to this one.

Optimus is (as you'd expect) cast in red, silver and blue plastic. His rifle is black plastic. Paint details include silver and light blue which are liberally distributed throughout the figure from the head to the shoulders to the torso and the lower legs. In the past, Hasbro has cut costs by leaving parts unpainted such as the smokestacks on the shoulders, so I was very happy to see they did not do that with this figure. The finishing touch is an Autobot symbol on his left shoulder.

There are nine meaningful points of articulation on this figure. If you want to include the fists you can bump that up to eleven. Most of these joints are ball joints, so his range of motion is good for posing him out. Each fist can fit his rifle which has a 3mm peg. You can also attach the rifle to a port on the back (behind the waist section) for weapons storage. Interestingly, if you swing his fists in, there is a 3mm port on the back of the hands/wrists. The answer to why this is there is found in the instructions which features Optimus Prime with an axe attached to his wrist.  Most likely this is either an abandoned feature or something that will be included in a future redeco.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the blaster and set it aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the red piece on the back up (this is a precautionary step as this piece can easily go flying if pressed by another piece).
  4. Swing in each fist.
  5. Swing the forearms up.
  6. Swing the arms up.
  7. Rotate the waist around.
  8. Push the robot head down, then swing the back panel over the opening where the head was located.
  9. Push the legs together, then swing them and the waist section up.
  10. Swing the front wheel panels up.
  11. Push the arms down, then swing them back. On the bottom of each forearm is a port. These connect to the small pegs on the robot thighs.
  12. The rifle can be attached to the back of the vehicle between the two lower legs.

Vehicle Mode:
Like the robot mode, Optimus Prime's vehicle mode is really nicely detailed. There's a lot going on here from the lights lining the top of the cab to windshield wipers at the base of the windows to rounded headlights in front. The only oddity in this form is a matter of proportion. The front of the cab section winds up looking a bit elongated vertically since it has to form the robot mode. This does not ruin the aesthetics, but it does nudge them in the direction of being less than ideal.

Some of the parts in the front of this form were hidden away in robot mode, so it is great to see that they received a good amount of silver deco. This includes the grille. There is a lot of silver paint being used here given the size of the figure, something that surprised me.

In another surprise, this vehicle mode actually has size rolling wheels instead of say, four rolling ones and two "fake" ones. As mentioned above, you can attach the rifle to the back to give Optimus some firepower in this form.

Final Thoughts:
This figure is not a "must have" in the Kingdom line but in terms of being a small, cheaper option to have an Optimus figure it does the job well. For older fans I think this is an awesome "deskbot" to accompany you at work (assuming you have a desk at work) while kids can easily toss this in their back pack and have adventures with the Autobot Leader. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Excellent design featuring lots of nice sculpted details and a bold looking silhouette.
  • Good articulation.
  • Really good deco.

Cons:

  • The vehicle mode looks slightly out of proportion.
  • Be careful with the back panel, it can pop off fairly easily if pushed.