Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Evasion Mode Optimus Prime DX9 Armor Upgrade

Presenting the DX9 Armor Upgrade for the Evasion Mode Optimus Prime.

To be more specific this is a DX9 Armor upgrade placed upon a Platinum Edition Evasion Mode Optimus Prime. We don't have the regular Hasbro version. We have the Takara version which you can check out in the Platinum Edition review, but somehow given all that chrome, the Armor Upgrade seemed best combined with something that had a lot of chrome as well.

The upgrade also technically doesn't create an Optimus Prime. It creates a Transtector - an empty shell body of Optimus Prime that's being animated by a Human Power-Master - hence the red eyes instead of the baby-blue eyes of leadership - or a PowerMaster Optimus Prime at best.

The blister pack doesn't actually say anything about the DX9 armor set. It does promote other products from DX9 and there are tech-specs but we honestly don't think they are relevant unless there is a base and there isn't.

It's a pretty package though.

Let's get the white elephant in the room out of the way first though. Yes it looks like God Ginrai, the one who uses the "God Cannon" that utilizes the "God Fire Guts" attack. But to look this way, it would require the God Bomber. The DX9 Armor up does not have a Tachyon Missile Cannon nor a separate robot that combines with PowerMaster Optimus Prime to become a bigger robot. BUT the DX9 uses a chest plate that is quite close to the one that PowerMaster Optimus Prime gets from God Bomber.

And for good measure, here's the Platinum Edition Optimus Prime combined with the Xovergen Armor Upgrade compared to the DX9 Armor Upgrade. The Xovergen Armor Upgrade is a "Phase 1" upgrade for God Ginrai. Sometime this year there will be an upgrade to the Xovergen Armor released that will complete the Powermaster God Ginrai look. We're looking forward to that. 

So the DX9 Armor Upgrade seems to create a character that's both unique and incomplete. Maybe DX9 will come up with another upgrade to combine with this one in the future.

What's to like about the Evasion Mode Optimus Prime DX9 Armor Upgrade?

FIRST:  It looks AMAZING!!!! We're already in love with the Evasion Mode Optimus Prime, and this is a very fine upgrade for it. One of the problems we cited the Evasion Mode Optimus Prime as having was that it came with a pretty lame weapon and we wished it had something much better.

A few months later and it's Christmas wish granted! We must have been nice.

The DX9 Armor Upgrade set comes with what you see here:

  • A Pair of extended Ion Cannons
  • A backpack that extends into wings
  • Feet pads that make Optimus Prime's feet bigger - including a gray set, but we felt that the blue looked less distracting. 
  • A new groin guard
  • Shoulder upgrades with a pair of dual cannons attached reminiscent of the smokestacks/guns of the PowerMaster Optimus Prime. 
  • A pair of smokestacks
  • And a brand new head for Optimus Prime - that replaces the AOE Evasion Mode Optimus Prime's head with the red-eyes Transtector Optimus Prime head. 

We actually considered leaving the original head - in hind-sight perhaps we should - as this technically is a unique character and not God Ginrai. Well we can always replace it.

Yes, there is a trade off. Unfortunately you do lose some articulation if you get the DX9 Armor Upgrade, particularly in the hip area - this becomes quite evident when you try to have him kneel. Also naturally the wings also get in the way. But the trade off creates one kick-ass well armed Transformer with very high articulation:

SECOND: That's a mean looking Alpha Strike when you bring up both cannons and then bring-down the two shoulder mounted double barrels on each shoulder. 

THIRD: the DX9 Armor Upgrade makes the Evasion Mode Optimus Prime truck mode look like a truck straight out of Mad Max.There's actually room back there to load a smaller transformer as a gunner:

What's to like about the Evasion Mode Optimus Prime DX9 Armor Upgrade?

FIRST:  DX9 made the armor upgrade using quite brittle plastic. Early on we were warned that we would have to shave off portions of the leg pads in order to be able to both get the pads into Optimus Prime's feet and to get the pads off.

If you don't shave off some of the excess plastic, the pegs will stress and break - leaving you with a pad that you cannot stick.

What the early reviews did not mention is that you have to do the same thing to the groin guard. Ours broke. The DX9 groin-guard that you see here is attached via blue-tack - which in turn became a boon because with the groin-guard peg broken, some of his leg articulation is returned (Without is really being visible that the groin guard moves). We feel that an unbroken groin-guard will eventually break with play.

But Optimus Prime still looks like crap now when he kneels because he has to really spread his legs now:

Still DX9 succeeded in making one hell of a great looking toy look even greater.

This particular Evasion Mode Optimus Prime DX9 Armor Upgrade was purchased from the TF HK group on Facebook for PhP 2, 650 (Roughly US$ 58.88) It is not available on Amazon. The price is roughly under what it cost us to get a Platinum Edition AOE Optimus Prime, but we feel it was worth it.

The Platinum Edition AOE Optimus Prime won the Dungeon's 2014 toy of the year award.

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