Cybertron Galaxy Force Optimus Prime: Somewhat acceptable vehicle mode. Nice and stocky in robot mode, suitably epic in Super Mode. Short gorilla arms and somewhat limited articulation, but otherwise Recommended.
Sonic Bomber: Good jet mode. Robot mode is decent for a glorified accessory pack. Mildly Recommended.
Sonic Convoy/Prime: Strangely more epic than the regular Super Mode. Recommended.
Transformers Cybertron Leader Class Galaxy Force Optimus Prime is a repaint of the Leader Class Prime figure from the Cybertron line. You can clearly see which version is being reviewed here, but if you had to explain it to someone, the whole “Galaxy Force” thing might confuse some people, since that’s the name the line was marketed under, in Japan. Obviously, regular Prime is red and blue, this guy is red and black.
Sonic Bomber is an Ultra Class toy. The American version is named Wing Saber, and I believe there was a greenish repaint named Wingblade. Obviously, at first glance, the most noticeable difference between Sonic Bomber and Wing Saber is the chromed chest. However, early versions of Sonic Bomber had a badly sculpted face, where the grid iron across his face was aligned weirdly, partially obscuring his eyes in an unattractive manner. The American Wing Saber did not have that problem, and the version I have has dealt with the problem via a running change.
Galaxy Force Optimus Prime
So, the regular Leader Prime from the Cybertron line was blue and red, and he looked good. This guy was later released as Galaxy Force Prime, though of course, he’s not the actual Japanese version of the toy, which was identical to the American version. Here’s a tip, Cybertron Prime’s pretty pricey on the after market, so if you must have him, feel free to go with the cheaper, American version. Paying more for the Takara version is pretty much a rip off.
Additional Note: While some Galaxy Force toys were indeed better than their Cybertron counterparts; for the most part, they were either identical or the differences were minor and a matter of preference. Incidentally, Crosswise (Hasbro) is categorically better than Autovolt (Takara) due to a slight mold difference which lets the former use his back kibble as railguns. But the Takara Vector Prime certainly looks better than the Hasbro one. Just sayin’
Anyway, this guy obviously has black where the original was blue. Another notable difference is that oddly, for an American Autobot toy, he doesn’t bear the Autobot insignia for some reason. Even stranger is that he’s Prime. He has the emblems for all the planets the Transformers visited over the course of the 2005-2006 TV series, but not the Autobot symbol, which is a rarity amongst American TFs. Personally, I like this, as it opens up more story possibilities in my head for the fella.
Differences aside, let’s talk on the toy itself now. Vehicle mode barely passes for a “futuristic fire truck”, but it’s still a cool, fictional vehicle. Transformation is simple, yet you don’t feel like you’re ripped off by the simplicity. The regular robot mode looks terrific. He’s well articulated though you probably won’t use the articulation too much, because he’s got such a strong presence, he seems more imposing just being a brick. But if you need him to do a one legged kick, it’s no problem at all.
He’s got good play value as well. His mask can be folded up or left down, so you can have either a more classic Prime look or you can reveal his face for some Primal action. His chest opens up to reveal a removable Matrix, and his trailer works as a nice battle platform you’ll probably never use.
Super Mode is suitably epic. It’s really just a pair of wings and a couple ma-hu-sive cannons, but they work wonders for his epicness. The wings are very God Ginrai-esque as well.
As for negatives, the proportions are a little wonky in either mode. This is especially true for the regular mode, where his gorilla proportioned arms are very noticeable and his compressed chest makes it seem like he has no pelvis. This is less evident in Super Mode for some reason, despite gaining an extra inch of length to the legs. Go figure.
But the downside of Super Mode is that the Giant Cannons of Overcompensating Everything, restrict articulation quite a bit, unless you store them to the back, where they don’t look nearly as cool when deployed.
So how does he stand against the original blue and red? I think he’s pretty good. I admit that the original colors do look better on this mold, but it’s not nearly as bad as some people try to make it out. My theory is that because this Prime is highly sought on the after market, a lie has cropped up regarding this mold. Which is that the Takara version is superior to the Hasbro version (untrue) and that this black and red repaint is horrible (also untrue).
This is a good toy, but can be pricey on the after market despite not having the original colors. I wouldn’t recommend him unless you can get him for not too much more than the original retail price or you’re reasonably able to spend a little more than you strictly should.
Pros: Impressive looking robot mode with good articulation and play value. Epic in Super Mode.
Cons: Barely adequate vehicle mode. A little wonkily proportioned in robot mode. Super Mode restricts articulation. Hard to find for original price.
Rank: B+ (aftermarket)
SSonic Bomber, or Wing Saber in the US, is one of the few Cybertron/Galaxy Force toys where differences in the American and Japanese versions are significant enough to warrant choosing one over the other. In this case, the Takara version has a chromed chest, while the Hasbro version has a pretty flat yellow chest. It’s hard to deny that the Japanese version looks better in this case. Early releases of the Japanese version did have a slight problem that the American one doesn’t have, in that the nose guard on Sonic Bomber’s face partially covering up his eyes. It wasn’t a pretty sight, I’ll tell ya that. But otherwise, they’re both pretty similar. I’d recommend getting the Sonic Bomber version if you can afford it, as it does look better.
As for the toy itself, Sonic Bomber’s plane mode looks really nice. It’s heavily armed and although it does have undercarriage, you don’t really care that much about it, since Sonic Bomber is an over glorified add on pack. Still, plane mode is good. Transformation is decent if not particularly fun. It gets you from point A to point B though.
Robot mode looks good but the arms are attached to the wings, which are attached to his back. So arm articulation is limited unless you don’t mind it looking really weird when you lift it straight up. Also, I wish the wings had more articulation. It’d help both Sonic Bomber and his combo with Prime if his wings could fold back or up or something. Like Prime, he’s got lots of weapons and play value, and overall, is a decent toy. It’s not exceptional, but it’s good.
If you can get him for the original price, he’s good, but after market pricing will pretty much knock him down to Not Worth the Price. If you’re paying secondary market prices for Sonic Bomber, I recommend you get Prime first. Otherwise, as a standalone, he’s only average, veering on good.
Pros: Good plane mode. Adequate transformation and robot mode. Good play value.
Cons: Arm articulation is weird.
Rank: C- (aftermarket)
I don’t know how, but adding Sonic Bomber onto Prime makes the resulting Sonic Convoy/Sonic Prime mode much more epic than even Prime’s Super Mode. This is a case of quantity (MOAR guns) actually beating quality (BIGGER guns).
Articulation is improved from Super Mode as well, despite the increased back heaviness of the figure; since the Sonic Convoy mode doesn’t have the huge cannons getting in the way. And here’s the thing…
Galaxy Force Optimus Prime, this black and red version, actually looks BETTER than the regular blue and red version, when combined with Sonic Bomber. The reason is that his black blends in more with the dark brown of Sonic Bomber, while the original color scheme resulted in a noticeable clash of colors.
The Super Mode backpack once again becomes useless though. But oh well. You win some, you lose some.
Prime’s good, Sonic Bomber’s okay. But THIS… is… SY-NER-GY! *kicks Persian into bottomless pit*.
A case of the sum being greater than the parts, I can’t really explain it, but Sonic Convoy is actually able to surpass Super Mode Prime in terms of presence.
Again, price is going to be a factor in the scoring for this guy, but if you have both the Leader Prime and Sonic Bomber, the price becomes a little more justified, particularly for Sonic Bomber.
Pros: Distilled EPIC-ness.
Cons: Nothing significant… except the after market price.
Rank: A- (aftermarket)