Transformers nostalgia week continues here in the toy room, thanks to a trip to the Toys ‘R’ Us in the big Kurashiki City shopping mall (about 40 min. outside of Okayama). I found several of the aforementioned “Classics” Bumblebee there, and the other characters from the line, too… and when I saw this new version of Optimus Prime, I couldn’t resist. How cool is this?
Thanks to Hasbro’s “light-pipe” technology, the eyes refract any light from behind or above the figure through the blue-tinted plastic piece that forms the back of Prime’s head. Is that awesome or what? I’m so impressed by the proportions of this figure, and the articulation; it makes for some very cool poses. Even non-transformable Prime action figures never look this cool, and this one just-so-happens to transform into a stylish little cab:
The chrome grill and bumper identify this as the Japanese “Henkei” version of the toy, as opposed to the ugly US release. Note the smokestacks, that become Prime’s gun in robot mode — like the “Binaltech” line, these Transformers have fully-integrated parts (something the toy line sadly lacked back when I was a kid, when leftover parts like weapons were often lost or misplaced). The Spike figure is included for scale again here, beside the “Classics” Bumblebee. Turns out Bumblebee wasn’t the only cool new toy in this product line!
Hoping for another winner, I also bought the Hot Rod figure:
Not quite the triumph of design his “Classics” brethren represent, Hot Rod still makes for a pretty cool robot, and far more sophisticated than any previous incarnation of the character. Gotta love those light-pipe eyes!
The parts don’t fit together as tightly as I’d like in vehicle mode, but the gold-plated spoiler is a nice touch:
Look closely, and you’ll make out the steering wheel and the seats sculpted into the body of the vehicle (giving the illusion of depth that isn’t really there).
I wasn’t so fond of his simplistic cannon accessory, but again, it’s well-integrated into the vehicle mode:
It’s designed with a spring-launch mechanism and a silly missile accessory, which explains the cross-shape of the opening. Since I had no interest in play features like firing missiles anyway, I hollowed out the opening and painted it to look more like a jet engine, something like the modern Batmobiles feature.
It won’t have much resale value now, but I think it’s a definite improvement.
Now, if any Transformers toy collectors are reading, can you tell what minor modification I made to the Optimus Prime figure above?