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Series: Masterpiece Hasbro Edition
Allegiance: Autobot
Year: 2004

Robot Mode: This version of the legendary Autobot leader stands much taller than any of his predecessors (except for some combined forms), almost as tall as Scorponok. With his partly metal torso he is also quite sturdy and heavy. Fully posable, he comes with loads of possibilities such as his chest opening up to show the Matrix storage compartment. His eyes glow, so can the Matrix when in his chest. His hands are almost as posable as Unicrons with individual fingers and thumbs. His forearms open up to show communication screens. This particular version shows some signs of battle damage on his torso.

Vehicle Mode: This oversized Optimus can be transformed into Truck, but in doing so you quickly realize that the emphasis of the creators was on the robot, not the vehicle. The transformation is difficult, takes some time, and the resulting truck does look good, but a little strange due to its many click-together plates and such. Prime is a lot more interesting in robot mode. One fun gimmick, though: When opening up the cockpit, you see that the antennas of Prime's head have turned into armrests for the driver's seat.

Add-Ons / Partners: Optimus comes with multiple extras. Chief among them is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which can fit inside his chest and also be opened like in Transformers the Movie. When inside his chest, a switch on Optimus' shoulder causes the Matrix to glow.

Optimus also comes with an energon ax that can attach to his arm when the fist is retracted or a small version of the Megatron gun, a memento to those few times when the two leaders were forced to work together against a common foe. Finally, Optimus' rifle is also included, the familiar weapon fitting into his hand quite nicely.

Remarks: Twenty years of Transformers and Hasbro and Takara decided to issue a special edition of the favorite Transformer of them all. The design closely mirrors the original G1 cartoon version, including his many extras such as the communicators in his forearms or the Matrix in his chest..

The creator's emphasis was clearly on making the robot as posable and faithful to the original as possible, leading to a workable yet slightly awkward alternate mode and transformation. All in all, though, the creators did themselves proud, producing a kick-ass Transformer that towers over all the others (except a few).

The only thing missing would be Optimus' trailer, but for a robot this size it would have to have been a monster, so I can understand why they didn't include it (though the idea of a large battle station emerging from it does hold a certain interest). The Japanese version of this toy apparently included a cardboard trailer.

To sum it up: This is the ultimate Optimus Prime, better than the Powermaster, better than the Armada version, better even than the original. A must-have for all Transformers fans.

Rating: A+
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