Friday, August 30, 2013

Review: United Black Optimus Prime

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Takara Tomy
Origin Series: Transformers United
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 18cm tall
Original Price: 5,000 yen


Black Optimus Prime is a Tokyo Toy Show Exclusive product and thus, his box is quite unique compared to your standard United Voyagers. It's quite unique as it's printed in black and white (and gray maybe?) It still feature sthe united logo along with the trademark Optimus vs Megatron design, the front features both his bot and vehicle modes and then his name along with his title which is labeled "Autobot Tyrant". The sides feature the two modes and both with the name labels.

Now what I love from the United line is that the boxes/packaging has really neat product feature at the back by making them posed for some kind of scene, Black Optimus is featured to be coming out from flames (or smokes?) armed and looking very menacing. His tech specs are at the back as well as a neat little Bio for Black Optimus to give us some sort of background for him. Technically he's THE Optimus Prime but disguised a decepticon to infiltrate their forces but his bio also mentions him becoming more violent in this form like a real Nemesis Prime would. Pretty neat actually and I'm glad they gave a Bio this time as it helps me think of appropriate poses unlike the previous Tokyo Toy Show Exclusive I reviewed, Darkside Optimus Prime

Anyway, enough of the packaging (I enjoyed it) and let's head down to the figure itself!

Details - Vehicle Mode:

Black Optimus uses the good ol' Classics/Henkei mold and for me, it is still one of the best looking Prime molds there is, and I certainly am glad Takara decided to release this righteous black deco; Black Optimus features your typical Nemesis Prime colors, the black, silver and teal details along with red windows. This is a very nice update from the one with SDCC Universe Nemesis Prime which had blue windows, dark gray highlights some dark blue plastic. Anyway, enough comparison as this is my first tackle on the mold XD

Black Optimus's vehicle mode is a sleek truck with stylized curved roof, bigass grill and teal lines all over it to give it more detail, the truck mode really works and I love the fact that only 1 shade of black, teal, silver has been used for the figure's colors, which makes it more compact detail-wise. The overheadlights are in teal and the rims on the wheels in full silver which makes this a pretty detailed piece of truck.

Details - Robot Mode:

The classics mold have some fine headsculpt going on, it certainly is different from the G1 Prime head but it does give the feel of an updated G1 look, Black Optimus features a dark gray color on what's supposed to be silver on the regular Prime.

Body wise, the mold has a fake grill going on his lower torso, achieved by rotating his torso joints, the real grill folds in his back as neatly as it could and IMO, the folds on the supposed kibble make it look like a very clean back detail for the mold.

Probably my only gripe on the bot mode would be his arms, while it looks nice still, am kinda disturbed by the fact that his Decepticon Insignias on his shoulder pads have a hole pierced on them and that his forearm house a big kibble from the truck's doors; though it doesn't look that bad really unless you look it from the sides.

Going on to the lower portion, his crotch piece is well detailed as well as there are more teal highlights there which helps prevent the figure from looking bland. His legs are really just the back section of the the truck with some folded down or up that makes it a very clean leg piece that also hides the truck wheels from a side profile view.

Lightpiping on this guy also works wonders as just a mere glimmer of light can make this tyrant look so menacing with his eyes glowing an evil red glow.


Not really accessories but they are his weapons as his smokestacks and truck roof both transform into blasters and I really love how the stacks form a double barreled blaster, the roof blaster looks a bit weird though.

Additionally, the two can be combined to form an overhead cannon which can plug in the 5mm port on the bot mode's back, by raising it up from its folds, it becomes an overhead cannon for the Autobot Tyrant.

Articulation Points:

Black Optimus' head is just rotates on a swivel but it's completely unhindered; additionally, thanks to transformation you can use the hinge used to reveal his head as means to tilt his head down and give him a much much more menacing look.

His shoulders can fully rotate forward or backward on a 360 motion; the sides can raise to a 90 degree bend as it will be hindered by his classy shoulder pads at that point. His has bicep swivels and his elbows bend to 90. Unfotunately, he has no wrist swivels.

Again due to his transformation, he gets a delicious waist cut! Additionally, his mid torso also gets swivel cut as well, so he is really decently articulated for an old mold.

The hip joints can split sidewards to a 90 degree bend, they also can move forward to a 90 but the backward movement is slightly less since you'll bump into the folded bumpers. His knees allow you to swivel the lower half of his legs and additional bend it to a little more than 90 degrees. Lastly, you can push his ankles downwards due to transformation.


Black Optimus really has a ton of very well placed articulation points that help make him a very good articulated transformer. He can do the kick pose properly, growl like a violent tyrant and also punch things and all his joints will just go in place to make him as expressive as possible in the eyes of the camera lens.

Tilting down his head really gives him that tyrant feel and just regularly pointing his blasters can look pretty badass already. Personally, I don't like to use the roof gun so I usually store on his back port which still works and it doesn't make him back heavy to top it off. The overhead cannon also swivels on its port quite nicely so you can do a decent firing pose for that setup as well. Lastly, the non-existent wrist articulation hardly makes a negative effect on this guy since well, he doesn't need it.

Black Optimus Prime screams badass all over and he really does win in the poseability part despite the old age of the mold. Dynamic poses are very possible with this guy's articulation points and just a few adjustments, he's all set and ready to be awesome.

In case, you don't like the rood gun, you can always give him other weapons if you so choose like the TFC led gun in my case; although it proves a bit loose on the port holes for me, but you can indeed port other weapons since his hands are standard 5mm ports as well as his back's port  hole.

Playing him around with other Transformers work very well and you can indeed make really good scenes of him crushing his "fellow" Decepticons like a true Autobot Tyrant!

His overall color scheme and mold build truly crowns him as a tyrant, it really just works so well and in character for this figure that I can't believe I enjoyed the shoot a little too much.

A little combat with his nemesis, Megatron also works (but I forgot to bring out United Voyagers Megs for this review so I used G2 Megs)

Final Thoughts:

A truly wonderful release by Takara, you all probably know by now that I love Black Primes especially ones that are following the traditional RID Scourge/Car Robots Black Convoy colors as he started the trend on these black and teal trucks. Takara just hit the mark with this release, the mold that I love so much, the paint job, the red windows, the bio, every pieces form the very essence of being called a Tyrant. Seriously, if you want a Black Classics Prime, you cannot go wrong with United Black Optimus, I highly recommend it since for me, it patches up all the things that went weird with Universe Nemesis Prime. (and they both have Decepticon logos so, you repurpose as needed)  Mold wise, the classics mold is true must have but scheme and character wise, I'd really say this is the Nemesis to pick! They are both exclusives anyway, so, yeah, take your pick carefully. XD

And before I end the review, I bought this badass bot from GreatToysOnline!

I give this destructive tyrant a dreadful 5 out of 5


  1. Curious, did he include a tech spec card or did they omit one for this?

    1. Sadly, they omitted the card for this, the only tech specs you'll see would be on the back of the box.