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Optimus Prime and Megatron

Transformers: Prime
by yo go re

Optimus Prime and the Autobots are once again faced with a growing threat. Megatron has harnessed the power of Dark Energon and is determined to conquer Earth, and then the galaxy. The only things defending Earth from conquest are the heroes of Team Prime.

In the story of Prime, Optimus was simple data clerk Orion Pax, who worked as an assistant to Alpha Trion, one of the 13 original Transformers. Alpha Trion recognized Orion Pax's potential, and served as something of a mentor, setting him on the path to becoming the next Prime. Of course, that's the story of Optimus Prime in pretty much every continuity, but then, that's the point of Prime: to be a clearinghouse for all Transformer fiction.

This Optimus is more or less "Deluxe" sized - the smokestacks coming off his back are just about 5½" tall. He has a balljointed head, swivels and hinges at the shoulder, swivels at the lower biceps, hinges at the elbows, balljointed wrists, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees and ankles that have two hinges: one going front-to-back, and one going side-to-side.

The design is very true to the cartoon renders, which means he passes the Optimus Prime squint test: blue legs, red upper body, and a chest made out of widows. The head owes a lot to the movie, with "vents" on the forehead and cheeks. Thankfully, he's got his mouthplate up, for that classic Prime look - it's been showing up for years now, but we still can't get used to Mouthimus Prime.

There's a bit of kibble to be found here, but at least he doesn't have clear light-up arms, right? The worst part is the big slab of plastic that just sits behing the torso and messes up his silhouette. Other than that, it's just some extra plastic on the underside of the forearms and on the back of the feet, so that's not really too bad. And it's kind of crazy, but despite the fact that the truck's cab becomes the robot's chest, he still has a fake pair of windows covering the real windows. So basically, he's stuffing. Stuffing like a teenage girl.

Optimus comes with a gun that has no name and no kind of play features. It's just a "gun." It's light gray with a few darker elements and a blue stripe down the sides of the barrel. It actually has two different handles: one is set farther back and higher than the other, so he can either hold it like a gun, or make it look like he's morphed the gun out of his arm (as the characters are now wont to do).

The truck mode is pretty cool. It, too, takes cues from the movie by making Prime into a long-nosed cab, but he's not covered in painted flames this time. As in G1, the front end is red and the back end is blue. The grill and smokestacks are gray, but there's a bit of silver above the windshield, on the doors and all over the hubcaps. The truck is 5" long, 2½" wide and 2⅞" tall. The gun plugs into the truck's trailer hitch, which adds a little bit of length to the whole thing. Overall, this is a nice presentation.

We've already reviewed one Transformers Prime Megatron because, as you know if you remember that review, I'd given up hope of getting this two-pack. That turned out to be a dumb move on my part, not just because I obviously did get this two-pack and because this Megatron is better than that one, but because my dog straight-up MURDERED that figure. She got ahold of it and chewed it to pieces, which means I might as well have lit that $20-some on fire.

Megatron stands 5¾" tall, so he's just a litle taller than Prime. He has hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel wrists, swivel/hinge elbows, balljointed shoulders and a balljointed neck. He doesn't technically have a waist, but there's a hinge used for the transformation in there, so you can bend him backwards like he's trying to limbo. Not that you'd want to, but you can.

Somehow, this Megatron has a crisper, more threatening head sculpt than his larger Voyager cousin. There's a stronger delineation between the face and the "helmet" he wears, and deeper details in the face. The colors are nicer, too, with more silver on the body and a lot less translucent plastic, so he looks more like the cartoon.

While Optimus was very blocky, Megatron is much more rounded. And therefore cuddly! Wait, no, the big hooked spikes on his shoulders, knees and waist say "don't try to give this guy a hug." There isn't a ton of obvious kibble here, since he doesn't turn into anything obvious. Really, the only kibble to be found is on his back, and even that folds up so nicely that it looks like it was meant to be there. That's good design, and Voyager Megatron can suck it.

Megs comes with his fusion cannon, and it plugs onto the back of his right arm, as you'd expect. For some reason, the instructions don't show that, though: they would have you fold down the handle from underneath the gun and put it in his hand. What? No one is ever going to do that, not when there's a tab right there on the arm that's clearly meant to mount the gun.

The proper use of Megatron's cannon isn't the only thing the instructions get wrong. When going from space jet to robot, they have you line up his back kibble the wrong way; and when going from robot to space jet, they leave out the last few steps, sticking you with an incomplete design. If you were to follow the instructions, the altmode would have no wings!

Correctly transformed, Megatron's ship mode measures 7⅓" wide, 6" long and about 2½" tall. The robot head still pokes out of the upper fuselage, but that seeming mistake comes straight from the animation renders, so it must be the way they intended him to look. The gun plugs in up here, too.

Despite the many times we're refered to this set as a two-pack, it's not. It's an "Entertainment Pack" that just happens to have two Transformers in it. It's also got a DVD of TF Prime episode six, "Masters & Students." And for some reason, it refers to this as the "series premiere." It was the first to use the full title sequence (since it's not part of the opening five-part miniseries), so maybe they got confused. Anyway, in addition to the TFs and the DVD, the set also includes the Autobots' three human child allies: Jack Darby, Raf Esquivel and Miko Nakadai. They're each wearing their standard outfit, and move only at the neck. They're in scale with each other, but not with any of the toys. Any of the toys.

This Entertainment Pack is a good deal. You get a decent Optimus Prime, the best Megatron, and three of the human allies. Oh, and an episode of the show! The only drawback is that the set is so hard to find: like the other "First Edition" releases, it had terrible distribution - in fact, it never even came out in America, just in Canada. I only have it because I never officially cancelled the order I placed at Big Bad Toy Store, and they randomly found some stock to ship out. Months later, TRU announced they were "importing" some of these sets for Giftsmastime, and the Entertainment Pack has just started to show up. So yes, I paid more than I should have, thanks to shipping and handling, but at least everybody will have a better chance to own it now.

-- 11/13/12

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