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Series: Fans Hobby
Allegiance: Autobot
Year: 2023

Prelude: Repaints are a given in every Transformers toyline, be it official or third party. So just like Hasbro’s Armada Optimus Prime was repainted into Powerlinx Optimus Prime, so did third party company Fans Hobby repaint their Naval Commander into Power Commander. So here he is, a Masterpiece-scaled third party version of Armada Powerlinx Optimus Prime. With Hasbro’s new take on Armada Prime just around the corner, let’s take a look at this unofficial version here. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Seeing as I wrote a rather lengthy review about Naval Commander less than two years ago, this review here will focus mostly on the changes made. For the full low-down on the mold itself, read the other review first.

Done? Okay. Let me say first that there are no tooling changes to Power Commander when compared to Naval Commander, so the weird design choices I remarked upon in my earlier review are still present here as well. The plastic chains holding the chest plate, the locking waist swivel, and the plates standing up behind his head. All of which aren’t deal breakers, of course, but still: weird design choices.

The only thing that has changed is the color and I do have to say, I love these new ones. Or old ones, rather, as they are basically the colors of the old Diaclone Powered Convoy (predecessor of Ultra Magnus) and they look awesome on this figure. Optimus in robot mode is now mostly blue and grey with some silver, red, and golden highlights. There are two different faces that come with this figure, one with a standard silver mouthplate (as seen in the cartoon and on the Takara toy) and one with the red one (sported by Hasbro’s Armada Powerlinx Prime). Personally I prefer the red one, but that is, of course subjective.

So bottom line: still an excellent robot mode, very nicely articulated, and looking fabulous in his new colors.

Alternate Mode: The truck mode is still the same, too, of course, except for the coloring. The mostly blue tractor pulls a trailer colored red and dark grey. The trailer retains all the gimmicks, including the rocket launchers, the transport boxes, and the ability to open up into a base mode. Still not a big fan of that base mode, to be honest, but it’s there and it looks good in these colors. Not really anything else I can say here.

Partner: Much like Corona Sparkplug, the partner of Powerlinx Prime, was a shiny golden version of the earlier Sparkplug figure that came with Armada Prime, Power Commander’s Mini-Con, too, is a repaint of that of Naval Commander. Now colored a gold instead of yellow, it’s still the same little robot that can hold the Matrix over his head and transform into a tiny race car. A decent Mini-Con, no changes except the color.

Supermode: The primary purpose of this figure was, of course, to fix up the frozen-from-the-waist-down supermode of the original Hasbro figure. Fans Hobby did great here, turning a trailer into a fully articulated part of legs with a very stable stance. Commander turns into the upper body of this super robot and the result looks fabulous and can move very, very well. Unlike the mostly blue smaller robot, the super robot has a nice mix between dark blue and red. Naturally Power Commander retains all the gimmicks of the supermode of Naval Commander as well, so nothing new here except the colors.

Bottom line: to me one of the best Optimus Prime super modes ever, taking the great-looking but mostly immobile Armada figure and making it move. Great job and this is how Power Commander stands on my shelves from now on until the end of time.

Remarks: During the Unicron Trilogy, the rule was that a power-up or upgrade came with a change in color. Be it Megatron turning into Galvatron, bots receiving Powerlinx upgrades, or Optimus Prime … well, just switching colors spontaneously, the result was a repainted toy. In Armada, Optimus Prime was a captive inside Unicron during the show’s penultimate episode, with the Chaos Bringer attempting to convince him to willingly merge with him. When Optimus broke free of his restraints, he changed colors without any real explanation (probably something to do with Mini-Cons or something) and proceeded to have his final duel with Galvatron. In the Dreamwave Armada comics Optimus also got a power-up, but in that case it was the power of the Mini-Cons of an alternate Cybertron that was consumed by Unicron.

After having gotten Naval Commander as a loan for my review of him, I debated long and hard whether to purchase the figure myself. Then Fans Hobby announced their Power Commander repaint and the debate was over. Despite some weird design choices, I really like this massive figure and in my personal opinion it looks so much better in these colors than the original ones. So bottom line: a great figure and definitely worth getting for any fans of Optimus Primes, Armada, and cool supermodes. Just be aware that it’s expensive and has a few weak points in its design.

Rating: B+

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