Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: First Edition Optimus Prime -Voyager Class-

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Takara Tomy
Origin Series: Transformers Prime
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 20cm tall
Original Price: 4410 yen


The first edition voyager packaging for both Hasbro and Takara features this weirdly shaped "box" (forgot with the shape is called haha), which is pretty much around 80% of clear window plastic which lets you inspect the figure instantly along with the labels "FIRST EDITION" on the front's top. What makes the Takara packaging for voyagers differ is that it has a sticker of Takara Tomy with the japanese text for Transformers.

The sides contain a cg look of Prime in the series and also mentions an included display stand which is just a cardboard riser of sorts lol. The back has your two modes product shots as well as his wavemate Bulkhead along with Team Prime standing off a cliff haha.

I think that's about enough of the boring package talk and let's awaken the last of the Primes!

Details - Vehicle Mode:

Prime's truck mode is very sleek and well made though there is one major gripe that I have for Prime in this mode, if you look carfully, the red on the panels that hold the smokestacks and the roof are uneven with the rest of the beautiful red finish that Takara used on FE Prime. Gripe aside, I think it's really well done, the Hasbro version looks neat already and Takara just visually improved on it with the darker tone of red and blue. 

The head lights and windshield are in very vibrant clear blue plastic, the overhead lights are painted in yellow and the grill and bumpers have a glossy dark gray finish; the back part of the cab is merely covered in wonderful dark blue as well as colored trailer hitch. I do wish the mags were painted instead of leaving them full black but overall the Takara first edition really captures a collector's figure feel with it's majestic finish.

The back section actually has 3 5-mm ports, the trailer hitch and two more near it and basically you can indeed use the 2 ports to store in his weapons when in Vehicle mode but I prefer not to since it looks weird and awkward but just for show, check out the pic below.

I don't really have trailers but just to show that the trailer hitch works, I've latched the Battle Tanker onto Prime's trailer hitch and basically, you can port any trailer/tanker/etc so long as they have 5 mm pegs in there.

Details - Robot Mode:

Going to robot mode, this is pretty much the most screen accurate Optimus Prime figure you'll ever get from the Transformers Prime releases; the head sculpt looks dead accurate and again, Takara's use of darker red/blue/gray really makes the bot mode look a lot better. I really how there's a touch of circuitry on his chest windows and that the yellow bits were even painted fully, the silver autobot logo on his right shoulder pad looks great on top of the glossy dark red finish. The bot mode doesn't have much kibble and the only kibble he has would be at the back and they are folded up in a very neat finish while also allowing the view of Prime's smokestacks. Overall, the robot mode looks damn majestic as it screeches Prime Prime all over it!

The most striking and decent bit of detail comes back to Optimus' head, the head itself is lightpiped but to my surprise, aside from just glowing, his optics are ridiculously detailed inside that glowing clear plastic, bits of his chest windows also possess lightpiping gimmick and it works ridiculously well.

A good point about the First Edition releases would be their scales, Voyager Prime does not suffer from the recent shrinking we get from the toylines and for a fact, he's even taller than some of the old voyagers (whose heights are being used for comparison basis), to show off the how big First Ed Prime is, below would be some comparison shots with Anna, Black Optimus Prime and Arms Micron Nemesis Prime (who uses the RID Optimus Prime).


Prime doesn't come with much accessories but you get the best of both worlds I guess, we all know that Prime in TF Prime can shift his arms to turn into a blaster or a blade, and what they did with the First Edition release was give us one of each; what's nice about these weapons is that even though they are still 5mm peg weapons, once you fully slide them into Prime's hands, they generate an illusion that it is connected to his arm just like how the show does it! Adding to the appeal of the blade, though still rubbery plastic, Takara decided to also give it a darker gray color so it looks pretty decent compared to the usual unpainted gray plastic Hasbro usually pulls on us.

Articulation Points:

After applying the quick fix on FE Prime's neck joint, you now get a full on use of the ball joint and Prime can definitely look way up also also rotate sideways freely, you also get some minor downward look but it's very very limited.

Arm articulation-wise, his connector is a swivel with a hinge, the swivel allows you to freely move his arms forward or backward while the hinge allows you to raise the arms to around a 90. His elbows possess a hinge which can also bend to 90 degrees while also possessing an unhindered swivel joint beneath the hinge; lastly, his hands are in a swivel but you can only turn them to one direction only (clockwise for right, counter clockwise for left).

Sadly, Prime doesn't have waist joints; technically you rotate the waists during the transformation but for posing, you can't use it since it click turns and also the fact that once the waist has been turned, the body proportions get messed up big time.

The hips use balljoints which can let Prime split to a 90 forwards and back, while giving him a decent range of sideways splitting (around 50-60 degrees I guess); knees go on a 90 degree bending hinge and like his elbows, they also possess a swivel point beneath the hinge and lastly, you can tilt his ankles via a swivel at the connector as well as giving you the option to flip his "toes" thanks to transformation.


Prime's joints are not bad, I actually think it could've been perfect for a TF if we could've at least utilized his waist swivel without messing up his proportions. Thanks to his accessories, Prime can definitely pull off a lot of action poses with both the blade and the blaster. He is also capable of doing dynamic poses which is neat but you'll have to get used to his joints first.

As an individual toy, he is neat to play around with and to my surprise, he can easily do a kick pose; although, for a little nitpick, I think giving 2 swords or just 2 guns would've worked for me a lot better as an individual toy. (there are 3rd parties doing these though so it might be a good idea to grab  them)

Of course, the fun doesn't stop there, Prime's dynamic poses work better with scenes. Like for one instance that he is fighting off hoards of vehicons!

Or better yet, having a brawl with the Decepticon Tyrant himself!

Final Thoughts:

Again, the first edition is the most screen accurate Prime you'll ever get from the Prime toys, it doesn't really matter if you get either Hasbro or Takara since like I always say, it's personal preference and I really do not mind paying extra for a much better finish. The articulation is great, the two modes look really neat and the scale is godly, seriously, this is THE Optimus Prime toy for the Transformers Prime line and I definitely recommend this if you still don't have the mold; if you can fetch this guy for a good price, then definitely grab and buy him as he's totally worth it! 

I got my hands on this great Takara First Ed Prime from my good friend and supplier, omniclone!

I give the heroic leader a triumphant 4.5 out of 5.

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