Since Optimus Prime is the big daddy of Transformers, his toys usually reflect that. He may not be the biggest figure in any given TF line, but he's right up there. Of course, with great size comes great
|responsibility pricetags, so if you want Prime, you have to be willing to pay. Usually.
Now we've got the Legends of Cybertron line, which offers bite-size versions of some of the larger Cybertron figures, including Galaxy Force Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime is a leader in the best sense of the word, taking point on every mission and never sending his team into any situation he wouldn't go himself. Dedicated to the protection of all life and the preservation of freedom for all sentient beings, he serves as a role model for his fellow Autobots. It is through his keen intelligence, even hand, steady nerves and endless compassion that the Autobots continue to frustrate the Decepticons evil plans again and again. In a desperate race against time, Optimus Prime has been forced to send teams of his best soldiers into unknown parts of the Universe in search of the lost Cyber Planet Keys, ancient artifacts with the power to save Cybertron and the rest of the universe from the giant black hole formed from the implosion of Unicron.
In robot form, Prime is just over 3" tall. The design definitely draws from the classic G1 version, but it's more stylized and angular.
In fact, he seems to pull design elements from several Autobot leaders. Like Super Ginrai, his chest is actually not the windshield, but is on the back of the cab. The big legs and the general slope of the body are reminiscent of Star Convoy. This is a Transformer that knows its history.
Articulation is minimal, but that's a given considering his small size. He moves at the hips, shoulders and elbows. The color scheme is good - it's all blue, black, red, white and silver, so you recognize him straight away. The four Planet Key symbols are printed on his shoulders, but if they confuse or infuriate you, they're pretty easy to ignore.
Transformation is simple and straightforward. The back of his legs fold around to the front, and his arms twist back behind him. Push his head down and straighten the whole thing out, and you're done. You've got... a weird-looking truck... thing. Yeah. Now, the full-sized version has a big trailer that helps balance things out, but it's absent here, so the cab gets all the scrutiny.
The truck is 4 3/8" long, and has two sets of rolling wheels.
As far as Transformers go, the vehicle seems to be in the same general scale as the Minicons, so it's not like he's a complete oddity in the world of Armada/Energon/ Cybertron. But really, this is more a display piece than a play piece - or maybe the type of thing you'd play with in the car on a long trip, or serruptitiously at church when you were tired of drawing in the edges of the bulletin.
The Legends of Cybertron line is a nice little offering. For four bucks, you get a working Transformer that is almost an exact duplicate of its big cousin - sort of allowing you to try before you buy. This will probably never be your "main" Optimus Prime, but for value-minded shoppers, the Legends of Cybertron version is a nice little choice.
Which Optimus Prime is your all-time favorite? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.