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Series: Legacy
Allegiance: Autobot
Category: Leader
Year: 2022


Optimus Prime fights bravely and selflessly for the freedom of all life forms.

Signature weapon: Energon Sword - Combines with Energon Axe to form an indestructible weapon that can slice through any material.

Prelude: While Generation 2 was not an huge success overall, it produced arguably the best Optimus Prime figure of the 20th century, Laser Optimus Prime. Now we have already seen several new incarnations of this classic design, but the most current one is from the Legacy series. Can Legacy Laser Prime measure up to his famed G2 predecessor? Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let us welcome the second entry in our series “good bots with bad shoulders” (might make a special tag just for that). Following my review of Legacy Armada Megatron, we now have another bot with lots of stuff on top of his shoulders, which means that raising his arms above eye-level is a no-no, even though the original figure could do it. G2 Laser Optimus Prime had no trouble rotating his shoulders and raising his sword above his head, but for some reason this new figure is unable to do so, as the actual shoulder joint is not connected to the big shoulder pieces. Bad design choice and almost enough all by itself to make me put this figure aside.

Being a huge fan of the original Laser Optimus, though, I really do want to like this figure, so let’s look at the rest of it. Overall the figure strongly resembles the figure it pays homage to, though it is a good deal slimmer and the backpack isn’t quite as big. G2 Laser Prime was, for his time, one of the best-articulated Transformers figures ever and – except for the shoulder thing – Legacy Laser Prime does him proud. Ankle tilt, hip swivel, rotating wrists, opening hands, he has everything you need. Some of the leg engineering seems to have been taken directly from Earthrise Optimus Prime, just in case you were wondering. As long as he is content with not raising his arms above eye-level, Optimus can move with the best of them. The only slight flaw here is that his upper arms (once you see them emerge from those shoulder flaps) are rather thin in comparison.

Unlike the original figure, this new one here comes with a Matrix of Leadership in its chest. Flip open the chest panel and you can (with some effort) remove the Matrix inside. Thanks to his opening hands, Optimus can hold it, too. Again, as long as he does not want to raise it above eye-level. Optimus also comes with multiple weapons. A transparent blue sword and disc-shaped axe (which can combine into a bigger sword) and a twin-barreled gun that is stored on top of his trailer (more on that below). The disc-axe is a bit silly, but the other weapons work just fine. He can also flip open his big shoulder pods to show sculpted missile launchers below, which are compatible with blast effects. By the way, this led me to discover that the original G2 Laser Prime is also compatible with blast effects (see picture 27).

So overall I do like this figure, which makes me resent the shoulder thing all the more. Just like with Legacy Armada Megatron, I have a hard time understanding why it wasn’t possible to do something the much older original figure could easily do. And while we are at it: why is Laser Optimus Prime sporting a G1 Autobot symbol instead of a G2 one? So bottom line: potentially a very nice robot, but with one massive flaw dragging it down.

Alternate Mode: Long before the 2007 Movie, Optimus Prime already transformed into a long-nosed truck for Generation 2, more specifically a Western Star 4964EX from the mid-90s. He still transforms into that mode and the transformation is similar, if a bit more detailed in certain steps. The resulting tractor looks pretty good. Like many Optimus Prime trucks he has a bit of trouble disguising the fact that the rear is a pair of robot legs, but otherwise he looks just fine. Nothing wrong with the tractor itself, a nice vehicle and a fun transformation.

Now everything I have described so far is just the robot, which is basically a Voyager class figure. The reason he is sold at Leader class price point, though, is the accompanying trailer. And I have to say: that thing is not worth the higher price. Not even close. Now granted, I am not nor was I ever a huge fan of trailers unless they turn into some kind of super mode, but the original G2 Laser Prime had a huge trailer that unfolded into a cool battle base with multiple play features (a disc launcher, a pumped missile launcher, a light-up laser cannon). Legacy Laser Prime has a trailer that… well, unfolds. That’s pretty much it. You can open up the trailer. The middle part can fold in half and the laser gun on top can turn. There is a small red repair arm you can unfold, too. But that’s it. That’s the whole reason for the upgrade to Leader-class price. Again, so not worth it.

I could have lived with the Leader Class price if we had gotten a trailer base at least somewhat on par with the original, but this cheap little thing here is probably going to end up in a box somewhere for all time.

Remarks: Despite being one of the most famous and recognizable figures from Generation 2, Optimus Prime never did appear in any cartoon or comic book in this form. Mostly he is famous for being the template for a famous bad guy, namely RID Scourge aka Car Robots Black Convoy. Naturally this figure here was also repainted into Scourge as part of the Velocitron subline.

I have mentioned the bad design of the shoulders several times, so I think you know my thoughts on that. Overall, I think Legacy Laser Prime could be a nice figure, but he is overpriced at Leader-Class. The trailer is barely worth the plastic it’s made from. A better, larger trailer would have made it work or alternatively he could have been sold without one at Voyager price point. As things stand, I can only recommend this figure to Optimus Prime fanatics and die-hard fans of the Laser Prime design. And even then, better wait for a sale, because this guy is not worth it at full price. Sadly, he does not live up to the glorious original.

Rating: C-


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