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Series: Toyworld
Allegiance: Autobot
Year: 2013

Prelude: Legal stuff first as always. This figure here is not an official product from either Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not legally a Transformer. It’s from third party provider Toyworld and clearly depicts Optimus Prime, more exactly the Optimus Prime design from Don Figuera, which has been Prime’s look in the IDW comics since the beginning of the Transformers ongoing series right up to the current Dark Cybertron arc (and possibly beyond). For legal reasons, though, this figure can’t be called Optimus Prime or even Orion Pax, just Orion.

Robot Mode: Let’s get my one complaint about this figure out of the way first. The first figure Toyworld released was Hegemon, a dead ringer for Megatron, followed by Orion here, clearly Optimus Prime. And while the two figures do work well together, it does sting a little that Orion is the taller of the two. Traditionally the two opposing leaders are either the same size or Megatron is bigger (requiring Prime to occasionally powerlinx with others or put on powered armor of some kind). It’s not that big a deal, as Orion is only a bit taller than Hegemon, but given that these two figures are from the same company and released in relatively quick succession, I’d have liked to see them be the same size.

Really, though, that’s my only minor complaint about this otherwise awesome figure. Now I have heard that some buyers had quality control problems with their figures, but I can only speak for myself and my Orion is just fine, thank you very much. Some of the joints are very tight, but the plastic quality is fine. One time one of the chest windows popped out, but it’s easily snapped back into place. So no complaints from me on the quality front.

The actual robot pretty much perfectly captures the look of Don Figuera’s Optimus Prime design, much better than Hasbro’s Legends-class version of it. He’s big, he’s bulky, and he’s just so Optimus Prime, it’s hard to describe. Articulation is fine, hampered only slightly by his general bulkiness, and his feet easily provide a stable platform for various poses. He has articulated hands, too, which hold his classic Optimus rifle. The wing plates on his back are on ball joints, so you can pose them straight up or at whatever angle you like.

As has become standard for most larger Optimus figures, Orion has a matrix chamber in his chest. Opening the chest panels, including the smaller central panel, unveils a small Matrix sitting in his chest. It can be removed and held in hand (even both hands at once, if you like).

What else can I write here? Just look at the pictures and you’ll see that this is one great Optimus Prime figure, not really sure what else I can say. If he were just a tad shorter (or Hegemon a tad bigger) he’d be perfect. Still, a great Optimus robot mode. Two thumbs up!

Alternate Mode: At least nine times out of ten any given figure of Optimus Prime (including third party figures not legally allowed to carry the name) transform into red and blue trucks. Classically it’s a cab-over-engine semi-truck, which is the case here as well. Don Figuera’s design gives the truck a bit more mass, though, by adding a sleeper compartment. A surprisingly complex transformation (I recommend using the instruction sheet the first time) folds Orion into a very nice semi-truck with an extended rear cabin, including sculpted doors.

I especially like how they solved the problem with the legs, turning part of the bulk sideways so that the wheels appear and you almost have something resembling a solid platform out back. There is a raised knob for attaching a trailer and apparently he works fine with Fansproject’s G3 trailer, though I haven’t tried that one out yet (it’s in a box in the attic somewhere). The only thing that’s not so great is how Orion’s rifle is stored here, as it just sticks out from the back of the semi. No idea how else you could have done it, but it’s better to just leave the rifle aside when Orion’s in truck mode.

So bottom line: a great truck mode. It takes some doing to properly align all the panels during the transformation, but the result is well worth it.

Remarks: For a long, long time there was but one undisputed champion when it came to selecting an Optimus Prime figure for your collection of Classics / Generations style Transformers, and that champion was Classics Optimus Prime and his many, many repaints. Now, though, Classics Prime finally has some competition and it’s not a figure from Hasbro, but from Toyworld. Orion comes at a steep price, naturally, so he’s not for everyone. Other than the price tag, though, there really is nothing bad I can say about him. He and Hegemon are a good match despite the slight size difference, so in future collages of my C.H.U.G. style Transformers, it’s a safe bet that Toyworld will field the leaders for both factions. Recommended to all Optimus Prime fans who are not put off by the price.

Rating: A

Update 2014-06-13: As promised, pictures of Orion linked up with the Fansproject G3 Trailer were added to the gallery.
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