Thursday, 20 June 2013

[Toy] Protoform Optimus Prime

Toy has posted a new item, 'Protoform Optimus Prime'

This was one of the first Transformers released for the first Michael Bay
Transformers movie, as part of the preview wave, it consisted of this Protoform
Optimus Prime, Protoform Starscream and a Bumblebee if my memory serves me
correctly.Being a sad man that loves hi Cybertronian mode Transformers, I
naturally had to get the two Protoform toys. I wasnt expecting much since they
jut transform into a large turd, but they are surprisingly surprising.I wasnt
expecting much from this guy and as a result, I have grown to like him a fair
bit more than I thought I would. Wahddaya know hey?Considering how this is
Optimus, it is surprisingly lacking in many typical Optimus traits.

The base body looks a lot like the body that emerges from the kids swimming pool
(On a side note, between the first trailer and the second, they changed the
colours of the robots eyes). Well as far as one can tell anyway. There is
obvious kibble hanging off the back but really the rest of the robot mode is
clean and sleek.The fact that the majority of the kibble is hanging off the back
works in Primes favour. The joints are not obstructed and he has great
articulated joints in all the areas where you want an articulated joint. The
arms are fairly standard with bicep swivels, wrist swivel and a single elbow
joint, but the love for this guy is in the legs. Each joint is free of kibble,
allowing some excellent movement possibilities. The knees can fold up really
high, the hips are connected to the thighs via a ball joint and also have a
swivel in the thigh as well. His large feet with spread toes are connected by a
ball joint too, grip well and are unhindered by the sculpt.

The aforementioned feet and toes add some extra lovely dimensions to his balance
making it easy to get a one legged stance.

Body sculpting is pretty interesting, he doesnt appear to have what long time
Transformers fans would call a matrix as such, but there is a shining emblem
thing in the middle of his chest, he does have 'wheel details sculpted onto his
legs and chest windows, so I guess there was no chance of him becoming a tank or
an aeroplane. Although I would find it cool of these details were left-overs
from his Cybertronian mode. Like if he had to abandon his previous form to form
the comet mode for interstellar flight. So once again, if he left Earth like
this (However he did before without a ship) he would have to lose his flaming
truck, but part of it would be imprinted on his body (such as the paint work).

I like the shoulders and the paint apps, while not too complex do the trick. I
do quite like the silver that has been brushed on in places, its a really nice
silver paint and adds great effect to the figure. His head is most unlike
Optimus and about the only familiar part is the mask over his mouth and the
crest in the fore head, which is sadly undetailed. He does have some very nice
light piping though.

The gun folds away into the alternate mode, and is in fact an integral part of
this mode. As a result, it is pretty cool and adaptable. The stock of the gun
can flip down for a complete rifle mode, or you can leave it away for a, um,
long.. barrelled pistol? The flame of the alternate mode can be slapped onto the
barrel of the gun, but it does look a bit odd and not much like a firing effect
at all.

On top of that, you can store the gun in his back kibble if you want too. I like
that, least the kibble has a use in robot mode.

Transformation is fun and fairly intuitive. He has a now fairly common twist the
pecs around to get the arms back, and the rest is pretty much flip up the legs
and cover with back kibble. It clips together well, but the gun can be a bit of
a pain sometimes and can be prone to falling out at the most inopportune
times.He does have little wheels moulded into the legs for this mode, but since
it is by and large a meteor of sorts a stand is required.Oh my! A meteor? Could
this have been a move into Rocklord territory?

It looks a bit like a big, blue flying bus to me for some reason.

It has an obvious Autobot symbol on the top, as the leader of the Autobots
should have but you can see that the truck influences are strong in this mode.
Oddly the headlights arent used at all for the robot mode and just hang off the
kibble at the back.The flame effect works a bit better for this mode, after all
it was probably designed first for this mode over the robot mode. It plugs
loosely into the bit just above the toes area and is prone to falling out.

The paint details in this mode are nothing spectacular, but there is the nice
brushed silver all over the place, which kind of adds to the travelling through
space feel of this toy.

The moulded detail is also pretty good in this mode with no boring bits to look

About the same time, TakaraTomy came up with the Transcanning series (well, a
series of two toys) which consisted of a base stick-type robot (like a skeleton)
and a load of parts to plug onto the aforementioned stick. It has protoform
parts as well as an Earth mode vehicle parts. Optimus took a large deviation
from the way he looked in the movie, but I thought the robot mode was pretty
cool. Theoretically it was supposed to transform as well, but thats another post
as I am going off track. What I mean to say is; Here are some comparison
pictures of the two protoform Optimus Primes that were around at the time.

I think I prefer the Hasbro one a it looks more like anything else, whereas the
Taktom one looks like a skinny robot folded up. Same for the robot mode, Hasbros
one looks more like a Transformer, whereas Taktoms, looks like any generic robot
with armour pieces tacked on.Protoform Optimus Prime is a pretty sexy little
beast. It lacks a lot of the usual Optimus trademarks, without being a
completely different robot and I quite like that, the robot mode has some
excellent articulation and makes a great action figure and a fun toy. The
alternate mode, well, it looks a bit like a blue poo, but I suppose that is
acceptable all things considered, but you cant deny that since it is designed
purely as a comet mode, it gets the job done effectively enough.I was really
surprised by this figure as I wasnt really expecting much, but it is a lot of
fun. I have Starscream somewhere as well, sadly he isnt quite as good, so I
guess I will get to him sometime. I am not too sure I would recommend him
though, as he doesnt really fit into any collection in a way and he doesnt
really look all the Optimus-y( To me, his robot mode feels rather Transtech in a
way). I guess by default he is a movie figure, but his aesthetics are a fair bit
different, but I am willing to look past that for the fun poses that this guy
can do.

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