Saturday, September 30, 2017

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime

Takara TLK-15 Calibut Optimus Prime with his shield.
The Shield of Optimus
The Takara TLK-15 Calibutr Optimus Prime is the toy maker's way of saying to its fans: "I see what you did there."

When the Transformers Age of Extinction Optimus Prime came out, both the Takara and Hasbro and Takara versions had these use backpacks. This heralded the age of the personally despised "Shell-former." We hated it because it smacked of laziness.

Even our beloved Takara Armor Knight Optimus Prime came with a backpack.

Then the internet started filling up with a simple user solution: "Get rid of the backpack." Which we didn't do because - even if it was just one pin - getting rid of the backpack also  meant getting rid of his thigh armor - his skirt - which made him look downright anorexic.

This: the Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime, is Takara improving on that simple user's solution.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP

The Transformers TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime's blister pack reads: "When Legends face to each other, as is often the case, the field will suddenly turn into an insane battleground. Fire power has no meaning, but only their savage physical strength counts. Calibur Optimus Prime is one of the most adjusted close-combat style shape to survive this insanity"

That probably sounds better in Japanese.

Now let's get the elephant in the room out of the way: The Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime is indeed a rebuild of the Takara Armor Knight Optimus Prime:

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime & AD 31 Armor Optimus Prime
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime & AD 31 Armor Optimus Prime

We use the word "rebuild" instead of re-mold because the TLK-15 is not simply the result of a pin being removed. A lot of thought went into him to make this possible:

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
Optimus is beside himself
Further, instead of a gaily colored version of the movie sword and shield that accompanies the  Takara Armor Knight Optimus Prime, the Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime comes with a more movie-accurate sword, an axe that doesn't appear in the movies, a more traditional movie sword that is actually meant for the Masterpiece Movie Prime, and; his rear-end that changes into a shield.
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime gear
Weapons of war
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
I am Optimus Prime.... KNEEL BEFORE ME!!!!!
WHAT'S TO LIKE ABOUT THE TAKARA TLK-15 CALIBUR OPTIMUS PRIME?

FIRST: Back - more of a two lifetimes ago - when we read the Iliad, we noted how Homer liked to describe shields - the more insanely intricate, the better for Homer. He also liked to describe how thick they were - which is really hard to fathom thanks to how thin those bronze shields used in Hollywood tend to be.

Our favorite was that of the mighty Ajax, whose shield was described as "a shield of bronze with seven folds of ox-hide—the work of Tykhios, who lived in Hyle and was by far the best worker in leather. He had made it with the hides of seven full-fed bulls, and over these he had set an eighth layer of bronze." And we remember wondering in class just how thick that was.

This is thicker. 

The nice part is that - while it may make Calibur Prime top heavy, tends to keep falling off and is in general unwieldy - because of Calibur Prime's ratcheted arms, he can actually support and use the shield (Within limits).

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
“He who does not walk against the arrows
cannot talk about the strength of his shield!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime

SECOND As with the Takara Armor Knight Optimus Prime, we love the detailing that went into the creation of the Calibur Prime, especially the detailing that went into his face - which retains Armor Prime's face switching ability (Mask on, mask off).


THIRD: The Calibur Optimus Prime can carry all his weapons - including the little sword that was not meant for him but rather meant for the Movie Masterpiece Optimus Prime.

Here he is with everything meant for him mounted on his back:

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime

Here's what he looks at from the side:

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime  Side view

Here is the Calibur Prime with the MPM Optimus Prime's sword mounted on his back:


Here he is without the shield. Note the gaping holes behind his knees. We didn't notice that with the Takara Armor Knight Optimus Prime because of the shell-forming back-pack, but apparently it's there too.

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime

FOURTH: The Calibur Optimus Prime's sword is a work of art. It's simply beautiful and we're glad that, again, Takara seems to have noted how collectors preferred the 3rd party realistic swords over those tackily-colored children's toys that they issued in the past. But we do have to note that Prime's axe is... still tackily colored.

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime  Sword
Sharp
FIFTH: As with the Takara Armor Knight Optimus Prime, the articulation of the Calibur Optimus Prime's excellent. He still can't kneel, but he can be made to pose quite nicely.

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
As with the Takara Armor Knight Optimus Prime, Calibur Prime can dual wield his sword.
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
Are you ready?
Here he is dual wielding his axe:

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime: Cutting things down to size since 1984
But the Takara Calibur Optimus Prime truly shines when he dual wields his sword and axe:

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
Not someone you want to meet on the battlefield.
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime


SIXTH: Though we're not really impressed and it's nothing new, Calibur Prime's truck mode is pretty solid:

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime

Note the shiny Western Star Logo on the side.

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
MUST.... REACH....!!!!!
WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THE TAKARA TLK-15 CALIBUR OPTIMUS PRIME?

FIRST: The reason why we never bothered removing the shell-forming backpack off our Primes is that his waist is really thin. This is more of a nitpick from us that Takara didn't address this.

SECOND: Despite the heightened articulation thanks to the loss of his shell-forming backpack, Calibur Optimus Prime still cannot reach all the way back there to get either his sword or shield. His huge shoulder pauldrons simply won't allow it.

THIRD: Takara provided for the storage of Calibur Prime's weapons underneath his chassis in his truck mode. However they're so low that they scrape the ground and hamper any true movement.

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime

The Takara Calibur Optimus Prime is available on Amazon for US$ 73.99 (Roughly PhP 3,773 plus shipping).

Takara TLK-15 Calibur Optimus Prime
You may lose your faith in us, but never in yourselves
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