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with Sparkplug

Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Super Base
Year: 2002

Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.
Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots and a powerful force of goodness, courage and wisdom in the battle against the evil Decepticons. He comes to the aid of all living creatures whose freedom is threatened. He first tries to find peaceful solutions to conflicts, but when battle lines are drawn, he becomes a fierce warrior capable of overpowering vast enemy forces to achieve his goal. Will Optimus Prime succeed in his heroic and life-saving mission to get the Mini-Cons before Megatron can capture them?

Robot Mode: As a robot Optimus Prime has the classic Optimus look, but appears more stocky and powerful due to his broad shoulders and forearms. He is very posable and his chest (atypically not the truck's windshields or a fake thereof) opens up to show the (non-removable) Matrix of Leadership, which is a nice detail. Optimus can either carry the large blaster rifle he also uses in his super mode or make do with the smaller guns attached to his forearms, which can be removed and combined into a single gun. Bottom line, a very good robot mode.

Alternate Mode: Optimus transforms into a red truck (what a suprise) with a blue and grey trailer. Unlike earlier generations the truck has a hood and looks more streamlined than the old semi-cap version. The trailer looks futuristic and a bit ungainly, but all in all he looks like a decent truck.

Combiner Modes: The real play value of this toy lies in the many ways he can combine into alternate robot modes. First and foremost he can combine with his trailer into a super mode (called Monster Convoy in Japan), much like the G1 Powermaster version could. This much bigger robot looks cool from the front (if you don't mind the very Anime-like head), but looking at it sideways you see a big gap between his upper body (the smaller robot transformed) and the back of the trailer, which somewhat ruins the look. Also, the legs are completely immobile in this mode, making him a brick from the shoulders down. A bit more effort should have gone into this mode.

Optimus can also combine with Armada Jetfire and Overload into another super-sized robot, Jetfire becoming the legs, Overload transforming into a huge double-barrelled weapons pack that attaches to Optimus' shoulders. (Note: Overload can also combine with the super mode Optimus, where the trailer forms the lower body instead of Jetfire). This mode looks pretty cool (again, more from the front than the side), but the Jetfire legs are a bit too long and thin, IMO, especially when Overload gives the upper body of Prime so much added bulk. Still, it's cool just to put together the robots.

Overload can also combine with Optimus' trailer in base mode, giving the battle platform added firepower. It can also fit onto the lower body of Prime's supermode, but that variations does look a bit forced and strange and I'm not sure it was intended.

Finally Prime, Jetfire, and Overload can also combine in vehicle mode. Overload can carry Jetfire's shuttle mode and latch on to Optimus Prime's trailer as an additional load.

Partners / Add-Ons: Optimus Prime comes with his trailer, which opens up into a battle station (pretty much like all the earlier incarnations did) and his own Minicon Sparkplug (named after the G1 cartoon character, Spike's father). Sparkplug transforms into a small yellow sportscar and is pretty posable for such a small robot. He can also powerlink to Prime's shoulder, but doesn't do much in the way of unlocking additional features.

Remarks: Every Transformers toyline needs an Optimus Prime and this is the Armada version. Personally I like the small robot version best, because it looks cool and is very posable. The various combiner version offer a lot of fun in figuring out how many different ways you can put them together, the finished products leave something to be desired, though, in regards to posability and stability. All in all, a great toy and a worthy successor to the name Optimus Prime.

Rating: B+

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