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Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2008

While I function, Earth is under my protection.
When Optimus Prime crashed to Earth with the rest of the Autobots, he didn't really know what it meant to be a hero. He spent most of his time in space dreaming of glory, but it wasn't until he was first faced with the terrible decisions that inevitably come with leadership that he finally understood. He became a true hero - a being who does what he does not for glory or fame, but because no one else can do it.

Robot Mode: Let's get the one bad thing about this version of Optimus Prime out of the way first: His weapon sucks! It's supposed to be an Ion Axe, but it doesn't even remotely look like any axe I've ever seen. The one thing I can think of it resembles is those ceremonial flags that feudal Japanese warriors used to carry around with them. It's got a hole in the middle where you can place Optimus' squirt gun. I really don't know what possessed the designers when they gave Prime this weapon. The less said about it the better.

Thankfully the rest of this robot is more than good enough to make up for that deficiency. And if you are in the lucky position of owning Battle Begins Optimus Prime, then you have the ideal battle axe to replace that horrible contraption with. Voyager Prime looks like he was born to wield the Battle Begins Axe and it looks great on him, thus I've included it in the pictures above. Now I just need to buy a second Battle Begins pack to give BB Optimus his weapon back... well, maybe.

With or without any battle axe, though, Optimus Prime is a superb robot. He looks great, that's all I can say. It's like someone took the pure essence of Optimus Prime and poured it into a streamlined figure. I love him. Scale-wise he works well with the Deluxe-sized Autobots, though he's now a bit big when compared with the Leader-sized figures. Still, scale-wise I'd say he's the best Animated Optimus yet. His posability is great, even though he does lack one feature that both smaller Animated Prime figures have: His elbows aren't double-jointed, so he can't really pull off that pose where he rests his axe on his shoulder. That's just about his only limitation, though.

Optimus' head features a removable mouthguard, so the figure can pull off both looks Prime sports in the Animated cartoon. When pulled down the mouthguard somewhat elongates Optimus' chin, but since big chins are the big thing in the Animated series, we can hardly complain about that one, can we? Personally I like him better with the mouthguard up, but that's up to each of you, of course.

Another potential problem Prime has results from the so-called gravity spin conversion he features. Basically when you transform him from truck to robot mode you spin him around his hip and he rightens himself up. It's not a bad feature, but it does leave Optimus a little loose in the hip. It's not really a problem, you just need to keep it in mind when posing him. Here's hoping that spin thing doesn't wear out his hip joints with excessive use.

Optimus' actual weapons can be put to some use, though, even though the so-called axe and the squirt gun do little for me as weapons. You can put the axe on Optimus' back and it looks like he's wearing a jet pack. This 'flight mode' can be made even better when you take the axe blades off the actual axe and put them on Optimus' upper arms, essentially giving him wings. That looks pretty cool and somewhat redeems that dreadful Ion Axe, at least a little.

So bottom line: A very, very good robot mode. If they had given him a better weapon to begin with and if I didn't have some second thougths about his hip, he'd easily get an A+ for this mode. As it is, it's still awesome.

Alternate Mode: Once again Optimus Prime transforms into a red truck. Just like with the other Animated versions, it's supposed to be a fire truck and here there is actually a bit more to that than just some lights on top of the cab. Optimus' dreadful Ion Axe transforms into a... well, the back of the package calls it a trailer, but it's more like an extra compartment. It puts Optimus' squirt gun on the back of the truck, making him look more or less like a fire truck with a big water gun on the back. Granted, I've never seen a fire truck that looked even remotely like this, but with a little imagination it can work.

Still, in my opinion Optimus' truck mode looks better without that extra compartment, leaving us with the big red semi truck we're all familiar with. There really isn't a whole lot more you can with Prime in this mode, so let's leave it at saying that he pulls off his truck mode very well, with or without extra parts.

Remarks: The third Optimus Prime figure to come out in the Animated series can probably be considered the 'real' Autobot leader of this particular Transformers brand. Both the Deluxe-sized Primes are fine figures, no doubt about it, but Voyager Optimus tops them in terms of good looks and scale. He's got the Earth mode without any 'battle damage' and except for his terrible axe there is nothing really wrong with him. A very good toy counterpart for the inexperienced Autobot leader we've come to know and love in the first two seasons of the Animated series.

So what else can I say here? This figure would get a straight A from me without any problem if it wasn't for his weapon. But still, if you're a fan of Animated and/or Optimus Prime, then go buy this figure and buy the Battle Begins pack to give him a proper battle axe, then you have the perfect figure to lead your Animated Autobots into battle against the evil Decepticons. Transform and roll out!

Rating: A-

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