Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Transformers Age of Extinction AD01 Optimus Prime Takara

Presenting the Takara AD01 Optimus Prime from the Transformers Age of Extinction Toyline.

We were one of those that severely lambasted the Transformers Age of Extinction First Edition Optimus Prime, and we have still yet to get one. We believe that it's till over-priced and an insult to Transformers collectors worldwide - that being said, we will purchase it if its price falls to between PhP 500 and PhP 1,000 (US$ 11 to US$ 22).

We almost didn't get the AD01 either given that early pictured depicted that the AD01 Takara and Habro Optimus Primes all had those blocky untransformed backs that reeked of budget cuts.

But he wasn't as bad as the First Edition AOE Optimus Prime - who looks like he has a bed attached to his back (Here in the Philippines there are actually people who walk around peddling full size wooden Beds or shelves on their backs, the First Edition AOE Prime reminded us of them).

So we got him. And because everything Takara is better (Bias), we got the AD01 Takara Optimus Prime.



The Transformers Age of Extinction AD01 Optimus Prime's blister card reads: "Optimus Prime has long believed that freedom is the right of all sentient being. He has never wavered from his belief, no matter what has befallen him in battle. Once again ready to defend the people of his adopted planet, the unyielding Autobot Commander prepares for the battle that will allow the Autobots to reclaim their role as Earth's honored protectors."

The Takara AOE Optimus Prime comes armed with the Sword (Longsword) of Judgement (We wonder why they just didn't give him something canon like the StarSabre?); and the Vector Shield - which... isn't just a shield. We'll discuss later.

But first off, let's talk about how different the Takara verion is from the AOE. They are virtually the same. Packaging wise, it is only clear that it is an AD01 Takara because of the Japanese subtext on the lower left hand of the front. The biggest and most obvious difference between the two is the chrome/silver paint job that the AD01 Takara AOE Optimu Prime has. The Hasbro version sticks mainly to Prime's traditional colors:




Now most of us would scream and wonder why Takara - who is known to be a stickler to detail - would lambast Prime's image by changing his color scheme. The answer can be found in the Transformer 4 Age of Extinction trailer which reveals that Prime has already changed his paint scheme, ditching most of his baby-blues for a metallic sheen - so Takara actually got it right.


What's to like about the TF Age of Extinction Takara AD01 Optimus Prime?

We gotta give a nod to just how much he looks like a medieval knight. If that's what his designers were aiming for - a Knight Lord who goes out slaying dragons (Dinosaurs), then they hit is spot on.

We love how expresive Takara made his paint-job - did you note above how he has two separate blue paints for his face and his eyes? His eyes are sooo good, they seem to float.

Optimus Prime's head is mounted on a balljoint so given it's ability to cant and twist, it's quite expressive. We also love how his facemask is not lazily solid, but looks like it's stuck between mid-transformation. The added texture is appreciated.


Gotta love the baby-blue metallic paint on his chest as well.

True to Hasbro's announcements, the Age of Extinction line is easy to transform. It takes a mere 20 steps to change Optimus Prime into his truck form and if you would rather not follow the instructions - which are actually quite hard to follow, it's easy enough to figure out how to do it on your own:

The AD01 Optimus Prime's truck mode is quite solid, no flaws, no cracks. It even almost looks like you can open the door (You can't):


Love that grill. The Sword of Judgement and the Vector Shield can be stored in Optimus Prime's truck mode:

Speaking of the Vector Shield, it's too small and flimsy to be used as a traditional medieval shield. As a buckler, yes. Anything hitting low on this incarnation of the Vector shield will just throw the wielder out of balance.


But we're still down with it because the Vector Shield is not just a shield, it's a weapon. Check out the three barrels here:


The Takara AD01 Optimus Prime' articulation is so-so. We enjoy the ability to twist at the waist, but a lot of his leg action is hampered by his "back-pack":



No the AOE AD01 Optimus Prime from Takara cannot kneel - even without the backpack, he just doesn't have the joints for it.

Lastly, Takara gave him an articulated oppose-able thumb allowing him to grasp all sorts of things - though they did not bother articulating his wrist.
"C" is for Cookie that's good enough for me. 
What's NOT to like about the TF Age of Extinction Takara AD01 Optimus Prime?

Aside from the low articulation in the leg ara, that backpack is a real killer. As mentioned it smacks of budget cuts i.e. "why spend money to design it to fold or disappear when this looks acceptable? Beside management said transform in 20 moves."

Have we become so lazy as a society that we find transforming a toy too tedious that we have to demand for simpler toys?

As for his design, Prime has extremely thin arms. A far step away from hi beefy DOTM look. He's also only about 75% of what we've come to accept as "Voyager Class"

I hope you have 3rd party upgrades coming

Also you can store the Vector Shield and Sword of Judgement on his backpack, but there is no way he's reaching that.

Overall, it's decent. It's not mind-blowing like the DOTM Optimus Prime, the complexity and wonders when you think of the possibilities that you can do with it is gone. But it is a passable action figure. Let's hope a nicer one will be released. Already we're seeing simple mods done what with people removing the back-pack.

This particular Transformers Age of Extinction AD01 Optimus Prime from Takara was purchased from Patrick's Toy Store in Greenhills for PhP 4,500 (Roughly US$100). He is available on Amazon for US$ 71.99 (Roughly PhP 3,295.55 plus shipping).


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