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Series: Age of Extinction Generations Collector Series
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Leader
Year: 2014

Optimus Prime has long believed that freedom is the right of all sentient beings. He has never wavered from his belief, no matter what has befallen him in battle. Once again ready to defend the people of his adopted planet, the unyielding Autobot Commander prepares for the battle that will allow the Autobots to reclaim their role as Earth's honored protectors.

Robot Mode: Let’s get one thing out of the way first. After the brilliant engineering marvel that was Revenge of the Fallen Leader-Class Optimus Prime many fans considered the absence of a new Leader-class Optimus Prime figure from the Dark of the Moon toy line to be evidence that this figure simply couldn’t be topped. And that may be true, but the Age of Extinction Leader-Class Optimus Prime (one of two, given that there is a second Leader-class mold available as the First Edition) doesn’t try to outclass ROTF Prime. It tries to out-fun him. And in that, it may well have succeeded.

The basic design of this new Optimus Prime figure is very different from previous Movie Primes. Gone is the windshield / chest plate (not even a faked one). In fact you don’t really see much of Prime’s vehicle mode in robot mode at all, as he is mostly a shell former. The entire underside of the truck hangs on his back, the truck front becomes his feet and some truck kibble becomes his hip and shoulder plates. The rest of the robot has no vehicle parts at all. And before someone mentions it: yes, I know that the truck wheels on Optimus’ lower legs can be turned around to face backwards instead, but I wanted to see at least some truck parts in robot mode.

Anyway, despite his big backpack, the robot is very nicely articulated and can adopt all kinds of cool poses. Of course the fact that he carries a sword and shield as weapons helps make the cool poses even cooler. Not sure why the sword blade is yellow translucent plastic, to be honest, but otherwise: a very nice visual. The shield also doubles as a gun, so Optimus is ready for close and long range combat. And when he doesn’t need the sword, he can store it in a sheath on his back.

Finally, the detailing. Very nice. A bit too much chrome maybe – which is usually Takara’s thing, not Hasbro’s – but otherwise, nicely done. So overall what we have here is a nice, fun, very playable Optimus Prime figure. Not perfect, but definitely fun. Thumbs up.

Alternate Mode: Optimus Prime has a new truck mode for the fourth movie (two actually, considering his Evasion Mode), now transforming into a Western Star 5700 OP concept truck. The transformation is words easier than that of previous Movie Leader-Class Optimus Primes, but nevertheless ends up with a nice-looking truck with no visible robot parts (unless you flip open the roof). The sword can be stored underneath the truck and the shield/gun thing can be mounted on the back. Not much more I can write here, to be honest. The truck looks good and pretty wholesome, so no complaints.

Remarks: Optimus Prime spends the first act of the Age of Extinction movie in hiding, utilizing a rusty old semi-truck as an alternate mode. On the way to meeting the other Autobots, though, he scans a new vehicle mode (which also gives him instant-repair of all his damages), and that is how he goes into the battle against the assorted bad guys of the movie. The bad-ass sword he carries doesn’t appear until later in the movie, but it fits him well.

To be honest I was fully prepared to hate and condemn this toy from the pictures I saw. He looked like Backpack-Shellformer-Prime and would certainly not be anywhere near as good as ROTF Prime. That he starred in what I consider the most mind-numbingly boring and overlong Transformers movie yet didn’t help, either. But then he was unexpectedly on sale at German Rossman branches, I had a coupon for 10% off, and now he’s here. And having him in hand I must say, I like him. I mean, he is certainly nowhere near as brilliant a figure from an engineering point of view, but given his great articulation, cool look, and far, far easier transformation, I actually do consider him the better toy in terms of play value. So my bottom line here: if engineering, complexity, and sheer epicness is your thing, go and get the ROTF Prime (if you haven’t already). But if you’re looking for a cool-looking Optimus Prime to pose and play with, then this guy here might actually be the better choice.

Rating: B+
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