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Series: G1 Reissues Commemorative Series
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Leader
Year: 2002 (original from 1984)

Freedom is the Right of All Sentient Beings.
Optimus Prime is the largest, strongest and wisest of all Autobots. Feels his role is the protection of all life, including Earth-life. Fights unceasingly to defeat the Decepticons. Splits into three autonomous modules: 1) Optimus Prime... the brain center known as the Commander; 2) Roller, the Autobot scout car... a spy who operates up to 1200 miles away; and 3) Autobot Headquarters... the combat deck equipped with a versatile mechanic/artillery robot. Injury to one module is felt by the other two.

My Review:

Robot Mode: A true icon, as I doubt there is any child of the 80s who doesn't know this robot on sight. In robot mode Optimus Prime carries a black lasergun that is hard to fit onto his arm, but otherwise looks very impressive. For a Transformer from that time his posability is pretty decent and his looks are classic, no doubt about it. In this re-issue the exhaust stacks on his upper arms have been shortened due to present-day safety regulations. Otherwise he is identical to the 1984 version. As a fun gimmick you can open up his chest (exposing the driver's cabin of the truck mode) and fit the Autobot Matrix of Leadership (from 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime) inside to complete the look of the Autobot Leader.

Alternate Mode: Optimus Prime transforms into a red semi-cap truck. The cockpit opens up to show two seats for small pilot figures (a remnant from the old Diaclone toyline that preceeded Transformers). He pulls a grey trailer. A decent truck mode with nothing to complain about.

Partners / Add-Ons: Optimus Prime's trailer opens up into a command base, along with a mobile scout unit called Rover. The trailer's main feature is the artillery / repair drone in the centre (also offering a seat for a Diaclone driver). There is also a knob where Prime's weapon can be stored, which is a nice detail. When closed, the trailer can be used to transport one or two of the classic G1 Autobot cars instead of the Rover drone.

Remarks: Without a shadow of a doubt the most often reproduced Transformer of all time is Optimus Prime, the fearless leader of the Autobots. Also one of the most impressive toys in my humble opinion. Apart from his badly-designed gun this classic really doesn't offer a lot to criticise.

When I first bought this on ebay I first thought it was the original from 1984, which would have been a steal at the price. I'm not too upset over it being a re-issue, though, as it looks identical (except for the exhaust stacks). Well worth the money, seeing as no Transformers collection is complete without the original leader of the Autobots.

Rating: A-

And for a second opinion, a review by Tobias H.:

Prelude: There have been many Transformers over the years who reappeared in many different series. This group of 'repeat offenders' includes characters like Starscream, Hot Shot, or Red Alert.

But none o fthese figures has been produced in so many different variations as Optimus Prime, the legendary leader of the Autobots. I have no idea how many different versions of him there are, but one thing is for certain: They all started with a big red semi-truck, whose contribution to the overall success of the Transformers can not be denied.

Even today, more than twenty years after his first release, one can honestly say that the original version of Optimus Prime is neither outdated nor forgotten. Again and again it was reissued, the latest of which being the Japanese Encore release. More than enough reason to give the greatest leader the Autobots ever had a review of his own.

Robot Mode: Optimus Prime was among the first Autobots ever released. For many figures that would be a more than adequate excuse for any flaws or short-comings in terms of sculpt or posability. Optimus does not need any such excuses, though.

His posability is good even by today's standards. His legs can bend at the knees, something that not many Generation 1 Transformers were capable of. His arms are articulate in the shoulders and the elbows. All of which makes Optimus one of the most posable figures among the G1 ranks. His look is nothing to scoff at, either. Optimus is well-proportioned and both his colouring and his general appearance are pretty close to the character we saw in the cartoon.

He even features a pretty neat extra, as Optimus' chest can be opened. Okay, the opening mechanism isn't as we saw it in the cartoon, where the windshield panels opened sideways while here the entire front of the cab opens forward, but that doesn't hurt in the least. The mere opportunity to pretend that Optimus would take the Matrix from his chest and use it to squash Unicron, Galvatron, or whatever other cosmic menace comes along, is pretty exciting for a kid (and I know, because I did it back in the 80s). And even today it makes a nostalgic tear run down my cheek.

Nevertheless I can't deny that there are some things about Optimus that should have been done a little differently from today's point of view. His hands, for example, are not an integrated part of the robot, but rather additional parts that are simply attached to the headlights of Optimus' truck mode. Little parts such as these have the unfortunate tendency to get lost and disappear without a trace. And getting replacements is far from easy. Also, Optimus has got an 'open' back. You can practically look right through the entire robot by spying through the windshields on his chest.

But all these are minor issues and can be disregarded. Optimus robot mode is as perfect as it could be done back in the 80s. And in his case that means pretty much perfect, period.

Alternate Mode: Optimus' alternate mode is a big red semi-truck. Younger Transformers fans won't be surprised, seeing that this is the usual form of the Autobot leader, but please keep one thing in mind: This here was the first alternate mode of Prime, the first red truck. This mode started a long tradition, which brought forth such fabulous figures as Armada Optimus Prime or just recently Movie Leader Optimus Prime.

Whatever the case, here we have a semi-truck with a very square shape, almost looking like a simple cube. But that was the look trucks had back in the 80s. Optimus' truck mode looks pretty hefty, especially with his big trailer attached. The latter being a very soothing grey with a stand-out stripe on each side, which gives the truck a dynamic air despite its mass. Of course the trailer can be detached, too. Even without it the semi-truck looks pretty good.

The trailer offers more than meets the eye, though. The support struts on the bottom can be folded forward, so that it stands horizontally even without the semi-truck. You can open the rear hatch and one or two other Autobots can enter the trailer for transport. I tried this out with G1 Smokescreen, for example.

That's not the end of it, though, because so far this is nothing that other toy trailers can't offer, too. Something no other trailer has, though, is that little switch on the front part of the trailer. Before flipping it you should open the rear hatch and have it point AWAY from you, because flipping the switch launches Roller into action, a small drone (blue or grey depending on which version of Optimus you have) on six wheels, which emerges with surprising force. Roller is just a hint of what other surprises wait inside the trailer, though, but more on that later. Maybe some people wonder what the little hole in the roof of the trailer is for. Again, though, more on that later.

All in all Optimus' alternate mode is one of the best vehicle modes the early Transformers had to offer. It offers plenty of play value and looks pretty great at the same time. What more do you want?

Extras: As mentioned before Optimus comes together with his trailer. That trailer contains much more than meets the eye, though. It can be transformed as well. The trailer opens into a kind of mobile repair base. Roller launches on his missions from here. Apart from Roller there is a kind of corbel, complete with a cockpit on top, posable radar dish and posable grappling arms. Additionally you can launch small missiles from it.

This is also the reason for the small hole in the roof of the trailer, because you can position the corbel in such a way that it emerges out on top of the closed trailer, ready to blast any and all Decepticons during a high-speed car chase or something. As far as I can remember, though, this particular variant was never seen in the cartoon.

Apart from his trailer Optimus also has a big rifle. The weapon looks good, but it does have one major problem. It doesn't really fit into his hand all that well. If you push it into his fist hole all the way, he can only hold it at an angle, because the forearm is in the way. You can attach it so that it's straight, but it doesn't sit very solid in that case.

Remarks: With this version of Optimus Prime you don't just get a piece of nostalgia for your collection, but also a very good Transformer. Keeping in mind that Optimus Prime is over twenty years old and that his roots go back even further into the old Diaclone-time, one must admit to a certain amount of awe.

This figure offers quite a bit, especially for a G1 toy, and does honor to the heroic leader of the Autobots, idol of many children of the 80s. It combines a very good robot mode with an equally excellent vehicle mode. The result is a true masterpiece of the early Transformers days.

My final rating takes into account that Optimus is easily as good as many of today's figures and he did it over twenty years ago, so his few minor flaws can be disregarded. For any fan of Generation 1, this version of Optimus Prime is a must-have, period.

Rating: I award a heart-felt straight A.
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