Thursday, 18 October 2012

Legends Optimus Prime & Motorbreath

Reveal The Shield Legends Optimus Prime

While not the first Legends Optimus Prime - Cybertron, Movie and Animated versions have been done so far in this size - The new Legends Optimus Prime is the first modelled after the 1984 Version. In fact it's a bit of a surprise that it's taken this long to do one with the original Optimus Prime being ignored through four waves of original mould Universe Legends.

The toy comes moulded in red plastic, with black wheels. He has a painted blue head & lower legs and painted silver fuel cylinders, exhaust pipes, upper legs, visor, grill, lower chest and bumper. The windows are a pale blue. On the robot's left lower arm is an Autobot rub sign, making a return to the RTS toys and a debut on the Legends size with this initial wave. Proportionately to it's height this Legends version is wider than the original. His articulation is good: ball jointed hips, elbows and shoulders which also bend back at the body. However bending the arm exposes that under each one is a wheel which looks odd. It'd be nice if we had knees like on some other Legends but... He stands with his legs apart meaning that the feet are slightly sloped from one side to the other.

Transformation: Fold the head down and rotate the upper chest 10 degrees. Peg the legs together and fold the waist forward 90 degrees. Bend each arm 90 degrees, fold the shoulders back and swing the arms in to form the sides of the cab. Push the shoulders together and make sure the arms have locked into place.

Well I've seen worse Prime cabs on larger toys - Robot Masters Convoy and Classics Deluxe Optimus Prime spring to mind. Not a bad go but you feel some knees could have been easily done.

Optimus Prime shipped in Reveal The Shield (RTS from here in) Legends Wave 1 with Megatron, Starscream and Gold Bumblebee where all were two per case. They reshipped in Wave 2, the box that actually reached the UK, at one per case alongside Trailcutter and Prowl which were two per case. Needless to say Asda had a lot of Trailcutters and Prowls leftover for a while!

EZ-Collection Optimus Prime

The first Japanese release of the Optimus Prime legend came in the EZ-Collection volume 1. Essentially the same toy as the RTS version it looses the rubsign replacing it with a small Autobot symbol on his left shoulder/side of the cab.

This toy was released blindboxed in EZ-Collection volume 1 in a case with a repainted gun Megatron (from the same RTS Wave as Optimus Prime), Jazz (from Universe Legends Wave 2), Bumblebee (from Universe Legends Wave 4), Trailbreaker (Trailcutter from RTS Legends Wave 2), Thundercracker (a repaint of Starscream from RTS Legends Wave 2) and Movie Optimus Prime & Megatron (both from Revenge of the fallen) .

EZ-Collection Generation 2 Optimus Prime

I was a bit surprised to see another Optimus Prime Show up in EZ-Collection volume 2, expecting a white Ultra Magnus or black Scourge/Nemesis Prime instead. But back he comes, this time as a G2 version. We loose the blue paint off the front of the legs, replacing it with black legs, get a nearly black painted head, a slightly brighter shade of red plastic and a small G2 Autobot symbol on his left shoulder.

Not hugely different then. Didn't set my world on fire. An odd choice considering that Generation 2 Optimus Prime wasn't released in Japan. One of the alternate colours/characters mentioned above would have been much better for my liking.

This toy was released blindboxed in EZ-Collection volume 2 in a case with Starscream (RTS Legends Wave 1), Prowl (RTS Legends Wave 2), Hound, (Universe Legends Wave 2), Rodimus (Universe Legends Wave 5) Generation 2 Megatron/Archforce (a purple repaint of Tank Megatron from Universe Legends Wave 2), Skywarp (a repaint of RTS Legends Wave 1 Starscream) and Streak (Bluestreak/Silverstreak, a repaint of Prowl from RTS Legends Wave 2).

Generations Legend Optimus Prime

Sold through the Dollar General chain in the USA on a Generations Cardback this legend is effectively a western re-release of the EZ Collection Generation 1 Optimus Prime listed above.

It was released alongside Starscream (using the EZ Collection Volume 2 repaint), Tank Megatron (from Universe Legends Wave 2) and Bumblebee (a new repaint of the toy from Universe Legends Wave 4). Very few people took any notice of this assortment on release.... and then a while later something *VERY* interesting happened......

Generations Legion Motorbreath

Motorbreath? Was Hasbro unable to use the names Motormouth or Motormaster when looking to name this toy?

Although a black repaint of Optimus Prime is usually Scourge/Nemesis Prime there is a history of Optimus Primes becoming the Stunticon leader Motormaster..... and not always with the correct name! In 2007, Legends of Cybertron Optimus Prime was repainted in the Motormaster colours as Legends Menasor, using the name of the Stunticons combined form Menasor. Then in 2011 the Botcon exclusive set of Animated toys made Motormaster from Animated Voyager Optimus Prime.

The toy is moulded in black plastic now with off white used for the lower robot legs/flat bed. The windows and petrol tanks are now purple. Silver is used for the exhaust pipes and robot mode visor but there's an odd discrepancy between the robot and vehicle modes: the vehicle mode grill and bumper is painted silver but the robot mode grill and waist aren't with the silver now moving to the torso at the sides of the grill.

But changing the colours isn't the only thing that's been done to this toy: he's had a remould to enable him to use 3mm handled weapons. Starting with the introduction of Cyberverse for Dark of the Moon, just after the RTS Legends were released, and continuing into the Transformers Prime Cyberverse line Legends toys were given the ability to use a standardised weapons size. With the "Asia Exclusive"/ GDO (stands for Global Developmental Organisation) Legends wave Hasbro took the opportunity to retool the four moulds repainted in this wave (the others were Trailbreaker as Hoist - the only other colour scheme 100% new to this size in this wave - Starscream as Thundercracker and Prowl as Bluestreak - both of which has previously been done in TakaraTomy's EZ-Collection) In vehicle mode the toy gain a 3mm hole on the top of the cab, on the back of the panel that folds back to reveal the head, while in robot mode the hands are retooled into 3mm peg hole fists. Now the hands on this toy had always looked like they were open a little too much anyway so this retool is actually an improvement for the robot mode. They've also given the toy a sword to hold, very similar in shape to the one held by the original Motormaster/Menasor. Moulded in black plastic it seems to be or a slightly more flexible rubbery material that the rest of the toy so I don't think it comes on the same sprue as the rest of the toys parts. It has a 3mm peg hilt for him to hold in robot mode and a 3mm peg hole/peg combination in opposition to each other through the base of the sword, allowing the sword to be mounted lengthways on the vehicle's roof or stored on the back of the robot mode. But of course you've already got a stack of 3mm peg Cyberverse weapons so you can go raiding your parts box for extra goodies for Motorbreath to use.

Top top upgrade for the toy.

For a toy that's only been out a short time Motorbreath has already racked up an interesting release history: Originally released on an English language Generation card to Hasbro's Asian markets it has now been released through Toys R Us as an exclusive with the card now sporting additional Chinese text (possibly as a sticker). Motorbreath then was released in the Ultimate Giftset alongside Legends Thundercracker, Street Rally Jazz (repaint of RTS Deluxe Jazz) and Combat Hero Optimus Prime (repaint of RTS Deluxe Optimus Prime.

Motorbreath appeared at 3 per case in the Generations Legends case alongside 2 each of Thundercracker (repaint & remould of RTS Legends Wave 1 Starscream) & Hoist (repaint & remould of RTS Legends Wave 2 Trailcutter) and only 1 of Bluestreak (repaint & remould of RTS Legends Wave 2 Prowl)

EZ-Collection Gum Optimus Prime

I nearly skipped the EZ-Collection Gum wave: When the promotional images of the toys first appeared only the Megatron tank in metallic purple appealed to me. The what look liked chromed Starscream actively put me off and I really didn't need another Prowl, Optimus & Rodimus. Then in hand images of the toys emerged which completely changed everything. For a start the Megatron was fab. And, contrary to the publicity images which showed the original versions of the moulds, Optimus, Starscream & Prowl used the modified Asia Exclusive/GDO Legends moulds with 3mm clip hands. A pass transformed into a must have in seconds!

Unfortunately Optimus' deco turns out to be quite disappointing in the plastic. The red used isn't as mettalic as I was expecting and what's worse is there are two distinct shades of it used culminating in an odd effect between the sets of parts which is slightly off putting. But what I hadn't twigged from any of the photos I'd seen was that this Optimus was the G2 version of the toy again: his arm once more sports the G2 logo and his legs are black but this time the head is blue.

Slightly disappointing. Buy only if you need an Op with the G2 logo and the 3mm hands.

Optimus Prime was packed in the apparently blindboxed EZ Collection Gum wave in cases of six. However each toy is numbered: Optimus is 1, Rodimus is 2, Prowl is 3, Megatron is 4 and Starscream is 5. In both the case pictured at the link above and in the one I received there were two of the Optimus Prime figure and one each of the others.

Generations Legend Optimus Prime Variant

So back to the Dollar General Generations Legends... The toys had been in circulation, and largely ignored bar a small interest in the Bumblebee variation, when this post appeared on the 2005 boards on 23rd August 2012. Now Transformers has had it's fair share of variants over the years but this is the first time I can remember a toy being changed mid run. Both Optimus and Starscream, while keeping the same deco, now use the tooling used for Generations GDO Legion Motorbreath and Thundercracker. So the best deco of Optimus' Generation 1 form now gains 3mm C-Clip hands and a red version of the Menasor Sword. Generation 1 Optimus isn't known as a sword wielder so I've got him a black gun from my Cyberverse parts box. Meanwhile the sword has gone to Motormouth who's using it to do a Scourge impersonation while Optimus also holds Motormouth's black version.

Best version of the Legends Optimus toy out there so far. It'll only be topped if Hasbro redo it with a 3mm version of the Optimus Blaster.

Future Repaints

There's two obvious repaints of this toy which I'm surprised haven't been done yet: all in black as RID Scourge and in white as Ultra Magnus spring to mind. In fact add some joints at the knees and a trailer and you could be on as the centre of a Powermaster Optimus Prime or combined mode Ultra Magnus. For a more insane version how about the colours used for Combat Hero Optimus using the colours for the abandoned G2 repaint? 2 packed with a Universe Legends Wave 2 Tank Megatron repainted as the unreleased G2 Combat Hero repaint would make a great set!

Wouldn't surprise me to see the sword again serving as the sword that came with The Japanese version of the original Megatron when RTS Legends Megatron gets retooled. Or indeed in red/pink/purple (preferably clear) with an all black version of this toy as RID Scourge.

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