The GeeksverseREVIEW | Transformers: Age of Extinction Evasion Mode Optimus Prime (Hasbro)

REVIEW | Transformers: Age of Extinction Evasion Mode Optimus Prime (Hasbro)
Published on Thursday, June 19, 2014 by
We take a look at another Transformers: Age of Extinction figure in our review of Evasion Mode Optimus Prime.

  • evasionmodeoptimusprime_006Figure name: Evasion Mode Optimus Prime
  • Line: Transformers: Age of Extinction
  • Manufacturer: Hasbro
  • MSRP: $24.99
  • Manufacturer’s description (from packaging bio): Optimus Prime and the Autobots are faced with a new kind of war. Alliances that once were strong now stand in doubt. Nonetheless, Earth needs their protection more than ever. Optimus Prime adapts, redesigning his alternate mode so he can move unrecognized. If he cannot fight the battle with firepower on the front lines, he can fight it with covert maneuvers from the edge. Gear up for massive Transformers action with this awesome 2-in-1 Evasion Mode Optimus Prime figure! This powerful leader of the Autobots is a terrible powerhouse in robot mode, firing blasts at the Decepticons with his ion cannon. But he’ll mow them down when he’s in rumbling truck mode! Convert him back and forth as the battle rages on! Can any enemy stand against him? There’s only one way to find out!

There is a great divide in the Transformers fandom when it comes to the live-action movies and their designs. Personally, I’m not too crazy about the way most of the Transformers look in the films, and that goes double for when those designs are translated into toy form. But sometimes there are some diamonds in the rough—is Evasion Mode Prime one of them?

Let me preface this review by saying that I love Optimus Prime, particularly the original Generation 1 version. Optimus Prime may in fact be my favorite 1980s cartoon/toy character, and I have a large collection of Optimus Prime figures. Yes, Michael Bay kind of made him very un-Optimus-like in the films—he almost comes off as bloodthirsty (or whatever passes for bloodthirsty for a robot… oilthirsty?)—but damn if it isn’t cool to hear Peter Cullen voicing the character again.

I haven’t even seen the third live-action Transformers film, but I’ll get to watching it eventually, I guess.

Packaging

This particular version of Optimus Prime is a Voyager Class figure, and comes in what seems to be the standard packaging for that category. I do really like the package design choices that Hasbro has made for the movie line—the result is very bright, colorful, and eye-catching.

 

The window packaging shows off the robot mode Prime really well. There is also some nice artwork of what I’m assuming is the character as he appears in the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction, leading me to think that the figure isn’t especially screen-accurate. The rear of the packaging features images of Prime in both robot and truck modes, a cross sell image of Transformers: Age of Extinction Grimlock, a brief biography of the character (reproduced above), and a note that states that transformation from one mode to another takes all of 18 steps.

Design and Articulation

The figure’s robot mode similar to previous movie designs, but having seen the decidedly different-looking Leader Class Optimus Prime figure, we can probably assume that Optimus Prime gets an upgrade in the looks department at some point in the upcoming film.

In any case, this is a cool-looking toy. The headsculpt features clear light piping as opposed to the expected blue, but it works. I’m not crazy about the fact that they went with a Prime without a faceplate, though, and in all honesty, while the head itself is sculpted well overall, the face doesn’t really look very good. I think Hasbro’s sculptors could have done a bit better, but this could be more of a problem with the design they had to work with and not an issue with the actual sculpting.

 

As far as the robot mode articulation goes, Evasion Mode Optimus Prime is quite poseable. The figure features a ball joint on top of a “neck,” ratcheting swivel-hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, single-pin elbows, swivel wrists, a swivel waist, ratcheting swivel-hinge hips, single-pin knees, and single-pin ankles.

One thing to note is that some of the truck kibble on the arms limits some of the range of movement, but not terribly so.

The truck mode, however, is the real star of the show, and most likely the reason older Transformers fans will want to pick up this figure. As a vehicle, Evasion Mode Optimus Prime is clearly intended to be a recreation of the Generation 1 incarnation’s Kenworth K100 cabover truck, and I have to say kudos to Hasbro for making this, because it is fantastic. I do wonder if we will see a trailer for the figure at some point, whether from Hasbro or an aftermarket third-party manufacturer.

 

As far as the transformation goes, the toy is packaged in robot mode, but for some strange reason, the packaged instructions show the transformation steps from vehicle mode to robot mode and they aren’t particularly clear. Maybe I’m just getting old, but working backwards from those instruction to change the robot to to a truck wasn’t as easy as I anticipated it would be.

Accessories

Evasion Mode Optimus Prime includes a spring-loaded Ion Cannon and a launching missile. The cannon can be held by the figure in robot mode or mounted on the truck cab in vehicle mode.

Paint

Evasion Mode Optimus Prime has little in the way of detailed paint applications, as most of the figure is cast in the appropriately-colored plastic. I think that this is probably a way to keep costs down due to the rising cost of materials. Still, the color scheme makes for a a very vibrant toy.

Final Thoughts

As a fan of Optimus Prime and Transformers: Generation 1, this toy was a no-brainer purchase for me as it is an homage to the original figure. Overall, I find it a fun action figure that is worthy of a spot on my shelf. But if you aren’t a fan of the live-action movie robot designs, you may want to skip it or wait for it to possibly hit the discount stores.

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