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Series: Prime First Edition
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe Convention Exclusive
Year: 2011

The Decepticons ran rampant across Cybertron, destroying or subverting all for which the peaceful population of the world had worked. The planet lay in ruins, growing darker and colder as the energy requirements of the vast armies that hudled in the rubble of the once great cities sucket it dry. The survivors, desperate to stop the destruction of their home world, found themselves on the run and leaderless.

It was in this dark hour that Optimus Prime arose. He took control of the faltering army, stopped the enemy's advance, and mounted a desperate counterattack that broke the back of the Decepticon forces. Despite the victory, Optimus Prime was forced to lead his comrades in an evacuation of their home world, hoping to allow the planet the time and peace it needed to recover from the long and destructive war. But before he left, Cybertron bestowed on him the legacy of the Autobots - a powerful artifact known as the Matrix of Leadership.

Review by Laserwave13:

Prelude: It doesn’t happen very often compared to the usual exclusives which are mostly „mere“ repaints of existing figures. But here we have something totally new. The first of the Transformers Prime toys ever released. And who else could it be than Optimus Prime, but this time he’s Deluxe-scaled. The exclusive part is actually the whole set rather than just the figure alone. It was only available at the San Diego Comic Convention 2011 and the box itself is just beautiful. The figure’s differences compared to the upcoming retail version will be, as far as we know, only a few minor paint apps like the blue windows on his chest. Those are missing here but that is screen-accurate by the way. The retail version will most likely have the blue windows. Is it worth buying this figure and this set just because of that? Well, let us see about that.

Packaging: The box is the highlight of this set all by itself. Pretty oversized for a deluxe toy, but required to fit the Matrix packaging which holds the figure inside. This is a real eye catcher. The front gives you the typical Optimus chest with the windows, which open on both sides and are sealed tight with some sort of magnetic patch. Pretty neat. Inside and on the back you can find the rather well-known stories about Prime and his Matrix lighting the darkest hour and such. The Matrix itself is removable and can be carried around your neck if you so choose. That works via a soft textile sling which is held together by Velcro and needs to be removed to open the Matrix and take the figure out. All in all a very neat and highly glossy premium package with some very nice artwork around it. Well worth it for all packaging enthusiasts.

Robot Mode: Yes, this is definitely Optimus Prime, despite the - for him - uncommon deluxe scale. And yes, there will be a voyager version as well and it will probably be the better one. But does that make the deluxe superfluous or not? I think not. As far as we have seen, the overall design and the transformation will not be that different between the two. The voyager version will have more details and a little more complexity, but that’s it.

Be that as it may, the deluxe version does do its job pretty well. You instantly recognize Optimus Prime from TF Prime. He has a lot of details and great posability, having just about every joint you expect from a modern-day figure. The joints themselves are pretty tight overall and will handle every pose you want easily. Only the waist rotation is hindered a little by the plates that close up the back. But the ball-jointed hand will compensate for most of that. The arms themselves look a bit too long for the figure, but it helps if you turn them toward the inside to give them more bulk.

One thing everyone talks about and most dislike are those fake windows that are present mostly because the real ones end up somewhere else on the bot. Not this time. The fakes actually sit over the real ones and I guess they went with it to get the mirrors next to them for screen accuracy and for transformation. Keep in mind, it’s only a deluxe toy. And it does not take anything away from the figure, either. Everything else seems to be in the right place and you get a pretty good picture of what he looks like on the TV screen. Only the heel pieces are not so great, they are a little too big. A sacrifice made for transformation and I can live with it, since as far as I’ve seen the voyager will have that problem as well.

Very nice to look at: the beautifully detailed head, they did a fine job with it. For weaponry he has his on-screen gun, which of course does not flip out, but is pegged into the hand. The mold, once sitting in the hand, does almost completely cover it, so you get the impression of the gun coming out of his arm. And it has a blue stripe on it, neat.

All in all a very nice robot mode, not without flaws, but that is something you just have to live with when it comes down to deluxe scale for a figure that should be voyager at least. Size-wise he is between the RTS G2 Laser OP, which is smaller, and the recently released DOTM deluxe OP, which is taller. An almost perfect fit for size comparison is the WFC OP, which has more bulk but the same height. So, a pretty nifty deluxe Optimus Prime and a nice display piece.

Transformation: Briefly said, very innovative and resourceful. Very well thought trough in my opinion, integrating some new stuff, and still not too hard or even frustrating, but rather satisfying. Just how it should be. Both modes, truck and robot, look great and whole. Only the truck cabin when viewed from behind is not perfect since it is filled by half a leg. Only the front parts of the legs flip up to fill this gap and that is not perfect, but okay. This point may go to the DOTM OP but on the other hand he carries his whole truck front on his back. Guess the two things cancel each other out in some way. Otherwise pretty screen accurate and a typical OP transformation, where the arms make the hood, the body becomes the body of the truck, and the legs make up everything up to the rear tires. He even has a trailer hitch. If any trailer does actual fit in there, I don´t know, never tried, but it might be possible.

Alternate Mode: The truck is pretty much the exact replica of what you saw on screen. Not much more needs to be said. Done right, this little thing. Yes, he is a little small, but well detailed and looks pretty nice. Wholesome except for the little flaw on the backside, but it’s not too bad and other figures have it worse. In this mode he has his typical blue windows and even on the windshield and rims they did give him some silver painting. Sadly they missed the exhaust pipes and the whole front, but the gray fits together nicely with the all red and blue. A perfect fit in vehicle mode, even if you just buy him to have his truck mode next to the voyager in robot mode. Size is once again somewhere between RTS G2 Laser OP and the DOTM OP and for comparable body mass, take the WFC OP. His gun can be mounted on the trailer hitch but as always, it looks stupid. Otherwise, a fine, complete looking truck. He rolls and he is detailed enough. Small, but pretty neat.

Conclusion: To sum it up, this is a deluxe scale figure where a voyager should (and will) be. The exclusive painting will, as far as we know, be restricted to the fake chest window, turning it from gray to blue. So is it really necessary to get this set, which will probably in many cases cost more than the upcoming voyager on retail? You can display him next to the voyager, but do you need him now? Even if it is TF Prime we are talking about? So is it a must-have?

No, definitely not. To be honest, it is the first TF Prime toy, but what you really buy with this is the whole set. The box, which is awesome looking on its own, and maybe because it is an exclusive to the SDCC. That is the reason. The Optimus Prime toy itself is a very nice figure but if you’re planning on the voyager, then you may probably skip him. Personally I´m pretty fond of the TF Prime toys and I like what we’ve seen in pictures from the different conventions like SDCC and BotCon. And I got this set pretty cheap. So for me, it was worth it.

To all the others out there who do not care for the box and only want a deluxe version of Optimus Prime for vehicle mode display next to the voyager or would only take him cheap, wait for the retail version. I think after the retail is released and a little time has passed you may be able to snatch him up for a good price. It is a good and solid figure and a very nice set overall. But recommended only if you can get it cheap, otherwise just wait for the retail version if you want him.

Rating: B
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