Figure Friday: Optimus Prime Lives

It is Figure Friday…because I will it so. This was the week that I lost track of the days so realizing that I had a date-centric column to write was both a surprise and a joy.

As luck would have it, I was able to procure a new item to write about so everything worked out just fine. Time to talk about some toys!

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Transformers Earthrise Leader Class Optimus Prime

A couple months back I had written about finding this figure right before I went to C2E2 and not wanting to pick it up because I was going to a place that was literally packed to the rafters with toys. Of course, when I returned home the figure had disappeared from store shelves and then everything else went crazy.

I managed to procure one through my friend’s small business so I could practice what I preach and, you know, support them instead of ordering from Amazon or another online retailer. Toy hunting is going to be weird going forward. The option of spending an evening of hitting every retailer in a 20 mile radius and hunting for toys isn’t quite as appealing as it once was.

What can I say about Optimus Prime though? It’s a great figure of perhaps the greatest Transformer ever. If you’re a G1 Transformers fan this is probably the Optimus Prime you’ll want to buy if a Masterpiece version isn’t in your budget. Seriously, those things are in the hundreds of dollars…buying one of those is like a status symbol.

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This figure made me retroactively regret buying the last Optimus Prime that was released as part of the Transformer Siege line last fall because it improves on some of the issues I had with that release and as a Leader Class figure it has just enough extra stuff to warrant the $50 price tag.

For starters it’s a close to a classic G1 Optimus Prime design as I’ve ever seen. There’s just enough detail added to the sculpt of the figure so that it doesn’t look like the collection of rectangles and squares he was on the cartoon. As far as the toy goes, it’s a hybrid of the last Siege release I mentioned above and the BumbleBee Studio Series version that came out last year. It manages to improve upon the things I didn’t like about those figures and deliver a solid figure.

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Also, this Optimus Prime comes with a trailer! Yeah, I know, he’s a truck and he’s supposed to come with a trailer but in recent years that’s not always a guarantee. The trailer opens up into a repair bay you can place Prime in or just lay him down for a nap. I will say that the trailer is a bit on the flimsy side…so it’s just like the 1984 version was. I’m counting that as a win.

The quibbles I have with the figure are extremely minor. While he comes equipped with a removable Matrix of Leadership (so cool!) they could have added a couple of more accessories that will no doubt be made by Third Party companies in the near future. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the inclusion of Roller as a mini-bot to go with the trailer and giving Prime an energy-axe attachment for his arm would have been awesome.

The Earthrise line of Transfomers have been pretty great so far since they all appear to be definitive takes on the classic Generation One characters that fans managed to keep buying and re-buying for nearly forty years now. You’ll definitely want to pick up this Optimus Prime…until the next one comes out and makes it obsolete.

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