Review by JoshB
Good old Armada Optimus Prime has seen better days, but he's such a great toy. I can't believe I slept on the entire Armada line back in the day.
Armada / Micron Legend was the current toy line when I first visited Japan in 2003, and I remember this line being prominently on display at all the department stores. Man, I was tempted to bring them home, but they were too big, and by the time I got home I sort of forgot about them.
Fast forward to 2019 and I bought a big lot of Transformers and Gundam off of Craigslist, and in it were a few near-complete Armada toys, one being Optimus Prime.
I was amazed at not only the quality of the plastic, but also the sheer volume of play features that this toy has. I really kicked myself for writing it off years ago.
So why is this toy so great? Lets dig into it...
Truck mode is Prime with his trailer. It rolls freely, but does not do a lot in this mode.
The trailer has a battery operated feature that causes it to unfold into a base mode. But we'll get to that in a bit.
The cab can be detached and rolled around. The button on the roof triggers a light and sound effect.
I don't like how obvious the big hands are sticking out the back. But otherwise vehicle mode is solid and sturdy.
The cab is a self-contained robot. It's a brick of a robot, with good articulation, clicky joints, and a clear weapon.
There's a little lever on the back of the head that you can push down and make Optimus's face plate move like he's speaking!
There's a non-removable matrix behind the chest plate, but I forgot to photograph it.
The clear weapons on the arm can be left in place, or combined to form a clear pistol.
In this mode, the trailer can unfold via an electric motor and form a base. The thing is packed with little gimmicks and suprises, some activated via mini-con ports.
These levers push out a minicon underneath.
This cannon pops up.
At the top of the tower is a spring loaded cannon that pops out much too easily. The large gun also detaches and can be used in the combined mode.
All of these rails also pop off easily.
Prime comes with his own minicon named Sparkplug. Sadly mine is missing the head, so we'll keep him in vehicle mode.
There's a pop-up cannon that can launch a missile (which is missing of course).
In the middle, there's a flp up targeting scope that lights up when the button is pushed. To either side there are small tabs used to click in Optimus prime to man the canons.
Optimus prime can combine with the trailer to create a super robot mode. The trailer unfolds more to become the legs, and the cab gets reconfigured to form the top part of the figure. The connection between the two is weak, so don't pick it up from the top.
It looks great though, at least from the front.
He's a brick in this mode, with the only articulation at the neck, shoulders, biceps and elbows. The electronics brings the light up feature to the right fist, and pressing a button on the side causes the weapon to light up.
From the side there's a huge gap on the back that is very distracting. I wish there was a way to close up this gap, but for now we have to live with it.
Of course mini-cons can attach to any of the ports on the figure.
An alternate color scheme was released, dubbed Powerlinx Optimus Prime.
I really love the play value in this toy, and that gets better when you comine him with other armada toys such as Overload and Jetfire. Check out those upcoming reviews to see these combinations.
Comments3 comments posted
The cartoon is horrible, and the comics are good, but the toys are where it's at. I have every figure from the first three waves, and some of the fourth. It's cool that the electronics let the trailer transform into its part of the combined mode alone.
Will be curious to see if Takara ever goes forward with the new version. Last news byte was that they weren't sure if they wanted to do him as a Generations Selects release or go ahead and make a Masterpiece figure. I'd be happy with both.
I'd rather Takara makes him a Generations Selects. The Masterpieces have had so many quality control issues that I avoid them like the plague. Just look at the horror shows that are Masterpiece Bayverse Optimus, G1 Hound, or Beast Wars Megatron.
This guy suffers from a bad case of exploding elbows. Beware!