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Dark Lord Dungeon Toy Reviews

Friday, July 15, 2011

Transformers Dark of the Moon: Ultimate Optimus Prime

Presenting The Ultimate Optimus Prime from the Transformers Dark of the Moon franchise. I know what you're thinking! "My God! His head is so small!!!"  That may be true, but I say "Look at the size of his feet!" and I'm sure you're all green with envy.

Bad jokes aside, Hasbro makes three very bold claims with the Ultimate Optimus Prime. There's the name of course "Ultimate", then there's the big violator on the package that says "Biggest Optimus Prime Toy" (THEY'RE NOT TOYS!!!), and there's the Level 3 transformation classification involving the Ultimate Optimus Prime and its three modes - Power Up Mode, Robot Mode and Trailer Mode.

I purchased this particular Ultimate Optimus Prime duting a Transformers DOTM toy launch courtesy of Toys R'Us at Robinson's Galleria for PhP 5,999.75 (US$ 136.37, surprisingly cheaper on Amazon where it's only US$ 89.99 plus shipping).

I'm sure you've already seen the film, then you know that despite the hype with Michael Bay holding this particular figure, Ultimate Optimus Prime never appeared in the movie. Ultimate Optimus Prime's trailer did appear and I was actually hoping that it would be as detailed as the trailer in the movie - i.e. LED running blue running lights - but sadly no such luck.

Ultimate Optimus Prime's box reads "Over the Years Optimus Prime has proved himself to be not only the a great leader, but also one of the most powerful warriors in the universe. He is trained in the use of almost any weapon, incorporating them into his combat tactics without effort. He is a walking arsenal with unstoppable combat capabilities"  


You should also take a moment to take note of the lower left hand corner of the rear of the Ultimate Optimus Prime box which contains a preview of Transformer Prime from the new animated series.

Ultimate Optimus Prime comes with at least 24 mounts (Those are, at the very least, the mounts that I can find and count, there are others that look like mounts, but I can't really tell if they're official)  for Mechtech weapons; the aforementioned trailer which transforms into his Omega Combat Armor; and an Ultimax Super Cannon! 

Before we go on I have to make this note: I thought long and hard about how to write this review by breaking it up into pros and cons as I used to. However for practically every pro, there was a con, so there's simply no way I can do this in my usual format.

Here's Ultimate Optimus Prime in his trailer mode: 

Let's take a moment to note that I obviously haven't taken the time to fully flush the panels of the trailer into it's proper form. I did so because after several transformations, I grew to realize that Ultimate Optimus Prime was not difficult to transform, he does however border on being fragile.

If you have this particular Transformer you will feel what I mean, flush everything completely into place i.e. studs into locks, and you will feel the strain when you try to pull the studs out of the locks. I even sincerely doubt that you can transform Ultimate Optimus Prime without certain parts of him coming off - particularly his trailer.  

Ultimate Optimus Prime stores his main weapon, his Ultimax Super Cannon, under his trailer. Unfortunately, you cannot mount the Ultimax Super Cannon atop the trailer like some kind of super weapon - though that would have been cool. The trailer also cannot stand on it's own as it does not have a front stand.

Further bad news is that the Ultimax Super Cannon - at least as I transformed it, cannot fully become flushed under the trailer. The mechtech activator of the Ultimax Super Cannon drags underneath the trailer so that only one set of the trailer's rear wheels touch the ground at any time.

The problems do not end when you remove the Ultimax Super Canon. The rear wheels of the trailer are jointed and fold. Strangely, you do not have to use this folding when you transform Ultimate Optimus Prime. In fact Ultimate Optimus Prime looks way better when you don't fold the rear wheels, so I don't understand why they had to joint them. The joint causes the trailer wheels to fold in when you play with Ultimate Optimus Prime in trailer mode. This causes the trailer to buckle and tumble to a side. It's actually more stable with the Ultimax Super Cannon because at least when the rear wheels buckle, they don't buckle all the way.

Here's is Ultimate Optimus Prime's cab. The cab itself has six mechtech ports, three on each side and is quite easy to transform from Robot mode. I wouldn't say that it is the most movie accurate version of the movie Optimus Prime, and that gap between the cab itself and the back of the cab is disconcerting, but it'll do. It's definitely no Leader class Optimus Prime though and is much closer to a Voyager class in detail, stature and transformation.

Here is Ultimate Optimus Prime in robot mode. As you can see, he definitely is no more than a Voyager class Optimus Prime. His articulation is also very Voyager class. Though happily his robot mode is cleaner than most Leader Class Optimus Prime - particularly his back.

On the downside you have his "Hatchet" hands. Ultimate Optimus Prime's forearms are practically un-transformed and they're quite bulky. I call them hatchets because the front bumper is reminiscent of a hatchet blade with the forearm being the hilt of a weapon.

Articulation is so-so. Ultimate Optimus Prime can't twist his hip and most of the articulation is in his arms. His legs bend at the knees but because his feet don't bend forward or back, his pose-ability is severely limited unless you have a stand or are content with leaning him against a wall.

Here is Ultimate Optimus Prime next to one of the original Leader class Transformers Optimus Primes

Which brings us to the Omega Combat Armor:
The Omega Combat Armor is a power-armor upgrade for Optimus Prime, creating the Ultimate Optimus Prime. This is what gives Ultimate Optimus Prime the boast of being the biggest Optimus Prime. It's a bit of a cheat though because he's technically big only because of his wings which span him to a length of 22 inches. from point to point when fully extended.
The downside to this power-armor is that it makes Ultimate Optimus Prime's head really small in comparison with the rest of his body. Articulation is also reduced. His arms can still move - which is quite an achievement - but forget any leg movement whatsoever.

Here is the Ultimate Optimus Prime next to the ROTF Optimus Prime/Jetfire hybrid.

And next to the Armada Optimus Prime (Jet Magna Convoy) combined with Overload and Jetfire. As you can see, fully extended,  Ultimate Optimus Prime barely towers over him.

However if we assume that the Omega Combat Armor is an accessory, then the tallest Optimus Prime is anyone carrying a TAW Sword. 

Ultimate Optimus Prime's 3rd mode is his power-up mode which involves flipping his Ultimax Super Cannon up and forward, in the process giving Ultimate Optimus Prime a helmet with a painted on targeting system. This is the only time when his head actually looks right. Unfortunately you can't keep him in this mode. 

There are two studs towards the back of the Ultimax Super cannon that start off two sets of lights and sounds that are akin to machine-gun fire and missiles being launched. Pull that red stud back on the Ultimax Super Cannon and the quite phallic looking head of the cannon opens up and fires with a rather weak sound effect unfortunately followed by a quite small explosion and, only occasionally, Ultimate Optimus Prime saying "I am Optimus Prime." This should have been improved. 
I still do not recommend getting the Ultimate Optimus Primeunless you are the type of collector who can't live without a complete set of Optimus Primes - like myself. I really don't think it's worthy of the name "Ultimate Optimus Prime" and I have other Optimus Primes that are waaay-waaay-waaaaaay cooler than this.

Get it only if you really must.

Also it really, really reminds me of a Paru-Parong Bukid (Farmland Buterfly). I mean look at those wings! And every time I see it the old Philippine folk song just starts playing in my head. I can't help it. So for all of those who understand FIlipino but grew up in an age of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, here's a taste of what your parents and grand-parents listened to back when music was music (Say what you want about the song, it's actually very well written).
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