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Series: War for Cybertron: Siege
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2018

Prelude: A new toy line, a new Optimus Prime figure. It’s pretty much a universal rule. I think we can count the number of TF toy lines without at least one Optimus Prime (or Primal) figure on one hand. So Siege, the first installment of the War for Cybertron Trilogy, naturally gets an Optimus Prime figure of its own, meant to portray the Autobot leader from before he ever came to Earth. No matter how much his vehicle mode might look like an Earth vehicle. So here we go, Siege Optimus Prime!

Robot Mode: Let me start by saying that this is a very nice-looking Optimus Prime figure. It looks almost like a miniature Masterpiece Optimus at first glance, as if it just stepped out of the G1 cartoon series. The figure is extremely well articulated, including ankle swivels for really dynamic poses. The figure is very lean except for a rather wide backpack. It’s flat and doesn’t hinder the figure in any way, but it kind of breaks an otherwise very nice silhouette. The detailing is also very nicely done, which brings us directly to one of the more controversial things about the Siege line: the “battle damage” detailing.

Optimus Prime has silver pain flecks to simulate battle damage on his chest, his arms, and his thighs. I don’t really mind it on the chest or arms, though I could have done without it. On the thighs, though, it doesn’t look good. Too much of it and only on the front side, leaving the other three sides of the thighs completely clean. So while it’s not a big thing, I really think they should have either left it out entirely or applied it a bit more evenly.

In terms of weapons Optimus comes with his trusty black rifle and a black and grey axe that folds together into a kind of shield. The rifle is a must, naturally, and the axe is nice. I’ve seen better axes for Optimus, but it serves its purposes and looks cool, both in axe and shield mode. Both weapons can be stored on his back. Also, as we’ve come to expect from Optimus Prime figures, you can open up his chest to show... uh... nothing? Just a big empty space? Well, that big empty space is actually for the transformation, Optimus’ head goes in there. One would expect to see a Matrix of Leadership here, though, right? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need every Optimus to have a Matrix inside his chest, but it’s kind of strange to have the opening chest and the chest cavity, but no Matrix.

So bottom line: an excellent robot mode with a few minor problems. A very fun figure and great Optimus toy.

Alternate Mode: Optimus Prime transforms into what is basically his classic G1 alternate mode, a red and blue cab-over-engine semi-truck. Some elements have been added to make the truck somewhat “Cybertron-y”, but it’s still a red Earth truck when you come down to it. It has additional pods at the rims suggesting guns, while additional headlights are on top. That’s about it in terms of Science Fiction style elements, though.

Like many Optimus Prime truck modes this one, too, has a bit of trouble hiding the fact that the rear is actually two robot legs, but it still looks good. Not sure why the rear wheels are almost completely hidden. If you open up the windshields, you actually see a sculpted Matrix of Leadership here. Would have been much nicer to see it in robot mode, though. Optimus’ weapons can be mounted on the truck, with the rifle either on top or on the side and the shield plugged into the trailer hitch. Also, you can sort-of give Optimus a hover-mode here by folding all the wheels down so they are horizontal to the ground. Not sure if it’s intended or not, but it works (kind of). So bottom line: not a bad truck mode, but nothing spectacular, either.

Remarks: At this point we don’t have any sort of storyline for the Siege toy line, so there isn’t much to say here. The artwork for the toy line suggest we’re on Cybertron before the Transformers ever came to Earth. The Ark is pictured, so I’d say the second or third part of War for Cybertron will include heading to Earth, but that’s something only Hasbro knows so far. The IDW comics relaunch is apparently set on Cybertron before the war and cover previews we’ve seen suggest they’re using at least some of the Siege designs, so maybe we’ll learn more there.

What have we learned about this figure, though? Well, as is the case roughly 80 to 90 percent of the time, a new Optimus Prime figure turns out to be quite excellent. The robot mode is superb and offers little to complain about. The vehicle mode drags the figure down a bit, not because it’s bad, but merely because it’s simply average. So bottom line: a very nice figure. Probably not a must, as we’re not exactly hurting for great Optimus Prime figures, but certainly well worth getting.

Rating: B+

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