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Series: DX9
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Upgrade Set
Year: 2015

Prelude: The DX9 Armor Set is not a product released by Hasbro nor Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformers item. It’s a third party upgrade set for Age of Extinction Evasion Mode Optimus Prime to turn him into a homage to Masterforce God Ginrai, but for legal reasons it can’t be called Apex Armor or God Armor.

Robot Mode: The DX9 Armor Set contains a number of parts that apply to Evasion Mode Prime in robot mode. First, there is a new head, replacing EM Prime’s Movie-based noggin’ with a more G1-based one. You need a small screw driver to make the switch here, but it’s not terribly difficult. Next up you have a silver / chromed chest plate and a winged rucksack with smoke stacks, both of which attach easily and solidly.

Not quite as solidly attached: the new shoulder pads with their double-barreled cannons. They look cool, but they are not really all that solid and can fall off when the arms are moved. Not a big problem, though, just something I wanted to mention since it’s pretty much the only flaw here.

The set also comes with two long black rifles to replace the Megatron-ish shotgun, a black hip plate, and two separate ‘soles’ for Prime’s feet, one in grey and one in blue. Choose carefully which one you wish to apply (I decided on blue) because once attached, they are very, very, very hard to remove again.

Overall the finished, armored-up Prime strongly resembles God Ginrai, the only differences being the missing big missile launcher and that he has shoulder guns in the style of Super Ginrai, while the armored-up God Ginrai has those guns on his feet. Still, a very nice look for an already great robot and while not one hundred percent perfect design-wise, it works quite well and gets two thumbs up from me.

Alternate Modes: Almost all the new parts from the Armor Set have their place in vehicle mode, too. The new soles form a solid platform on the back of the truck, where the hip plate and the winged rucksack combine to form a sort of mini-trailer. The chest plate and shoulder pads combine into a kind of weapons platform that is plugged onto said trailer. The only parts left over are the two big rifles. You can attach one of them on top of Prime’s truck cabin, but the second one is resigned to subspace, I fear.

Overall, though: nicely done. Everything holds together well here and while the resulting truck mode doesn’t exactly look inconspicuous, neither did the truck forms of Super or God Ginrai, so that’s fine with me. No problems with the truck mode, thumbs up here as well.

Remarks: Only two good things really came out of that whole Age of Extinction mess. One, the overlong, boring movie made over a billion dollars, which is a good thing for the studio. And two, the accompanying toy line gave us Evasion Mode Optimus Prime, a good thing for the fans. And for all those who think that Evasion Mode Prime isn’t G1-like enough, well, the DX9 Armor Set fixes that up really well for you.

Is this upgrade a must? Probably not, but it makes an already very good figure even better and it is far from the most expensive upgrade set ever, so I do recommend it to everyone who owns a version of Evasion Mode Optimus Prime (a blue and red version, preferably) and doesn’t have some kind of aversion against God Ginrai / Apex Armor Prime.

Rating: A
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