First Strike Optimus Prime

I am NOT a freaky fish guy!

Warning: Pic heavy review

Toy Story
Not to go off on a rant or anything, but I’ve never liked Bayformers. I have only a relatively small collection of Bayformers from the movie itself and the rest are either repaints of previous lines or those designs that never got it into the movie proper. Because the actual movie Transformers are HIDEOUS. Which works for Bonecrusher, but god, everyone’s butt ugly.

And it’s partly for this reason that I never got the Movie Voyager Optimus Prime. Not until recently, with First Strike OP here. This mold’s been reused quite a few times, and I’ve been hoping for a Nightwatch version of it, since I already had the definitive Prime in Classics Voyager Prime. Alas, that repaint never came out, and so, with the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen coming out soon, I figured I’d just pick up First Strike, who has been a shelfwarmer since its release in late 2007/early 2008(?).

Story-wise, FS is the regular Movie Prime, but infused with the power of the All Spark. Thus getting a more G1 paint scheme and pretty much becoming a living god. The bio’s pretty weak actually, and pretty much panders to the G1 crowd in that the G1 Prime colors represent the embodiment of a god.

But despite my general distaste for Bayformers, I gotta admit, First Strike Prime looks dang good. And the reason for that is definitely, the shade of red used. It’s such a vibrant red that plays off well with the All Spark Blue. Personally, I find the flames on Movie Prime to be tacky, and while there may have been various reasons for breaking up the truck’s colors for the movie, it still doesn’t change the fact that it was the Transformers equivalent of someone with a loud yellow Hawaiian shirt… with flames.

Prime is well sculpted with lots of details that don’t make sense but still look good. Let’s call this “Cybertronian Detailing” shall we? It’s a lot of tech detail in a nonsensical and “organic” pattern. As I said, it looks good, I’ll give it that, although I don’t dig the frikkin’ blood veins he has in some parts, such as within the shoulder pads. But at least the truly organic bits are few and hidden.

Another thing that held me back from getting Prime until now has been the head design, or more specifically, the huge ass eyes. They don’t look that bad in person though, and have good light piping. In fact, while I’m still torn on him have retinas, I kinda like the eyes now, and the head looks great despite being horrendous looking in the movie for me.

The big drawback with the 2007 Movie Voyager Prime though, is his backpack. This is the one big critique everyone has of him, and it’s a fair critique. I appreciate that the toy designers did try to minimize it, but unfortunately, it’s still there. Large and in charge. Personally, I don’t mind the backpack too much, though it does affect certain poses you can put him in. While I do wish you could just completely detach his trunk hood, there’s a little playability there (that I’ll get to) that helps to offset its negative impact for me.

All in all, this is a good looking figure. He’s not Bay Prime, nor is he G1, but as a standalone, I think he looks better than the regular Movie Voyager Prime.

FS Prime’s articulation is pretty good. He has no waist or chest articulation, which hurts his cause a little, but makes up for it by having all the other important points, and even balljointed wrists. The flaps connecting his arms to his torso can be slightly floppy, but it’s not like they fly all over the place. The backpack does make him back heavy, but fortunately, he has huge feet and movable heels. The ankles don’t really do anything, as their articulation is strictly restricted to the transformation and is otherwise, pretty useless.

All in all, a solid articulation model that’s not uber, but there really isn’t much room for improvement.

Prime comes with smokestacks that can be turned to guns to be held or mounted on the back of robot mode. They’re okay. They’re required for a solid vehicle mode.

This here is where Movie Voyager Prime surprisingly shines. I’m always fond of toys with options. That’s why I absolutely love the 2006 Classics Voyager Optimus Prime. Movie Voyager Prime is not quite on that level, but he’s not too shabby either. We’ll leave the little and known details like the guns out though, and instead, focus on the backpack.

As seen in the Bandai Motion Revive Series (MRS) Monster Hunter Kado Karyudo G Kirin X (A variant) trading figure review/pictures, the backpack makes a pretty comfy seat for your 3.75″ figs. Also, you can totally store army men in them (whether with them exposed by leaving the hood untransformed, or hidden with the hood closed up) and even “deploy” them by snapping the hood down. You can probably even put a small Minicon in there.

I dunno why, I just love that aspect to this toy. It’s very super robot-ish, regular robot-ish and Prime-ish as well to carry tiny fleshlings in a protective casing.

Addendum: Prime also has one of the best, if not the best use of “Automorph” in the line. His lower legs have a lot of panel flipping action which is made both fun and easy thanks to the Automorph. I just love transforming this Prime, primarily for the legs. That is all.

I regret waiting this long to get First Strike Optimus Prime. Others have said he’s the weakest of the Movie Voyager Primes, but I disagree. He might not have movie accurate colors, but he’s not meant to. Granted he doesn’t pull off the G1 look that well either, but he really is a very good looking figure in and of himself. Coupled with good articulation and play value, and we have a winner here.

3.6 out of 4.0

0.0 – 0.0 = I’d pay to get rid of it
0.1 – 0.5 = I’d give it away
0.6 – 1.0 = I wouldn’t take it for free
1.1 – 1.5 = Very Bad
1.6 – 2.0 = Bad
2.1 – 2.5 = Average
2.6 – 3.0 = Good
3.1 – 3.5 = Very Good
3.6 – 4.0 = Excellent

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5 Responses to First Strike Optimus Prime

  1. Mark says:

    Great review man. I personally am not a fan of the movie toys. I have too agree with you that Calssics Prime is an amazing figure. One of the best Transformers toys they have made in years, no stupid gimmicks just a great toy.

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