Saturday, June 13, 2009

Roll Out! But Don't Transform!

I am one of maybe 3 people who actually liked the first Transformers movie (of course I'm joking, as the movie was a tremendous success and continues to drive the franchise). I didn't think it was high art or anything-- I just thought it was a really fun romp with characters who pretty much embodied characters I loved as a kid. It wasn't perfect, but it was very fun. No matter what they did with the movie Peter Cullen's performance as Optimus Prime was golden. He was the reason I stuck with the property through all its changes, and he'll be the reason I watch this new one. Optimus Prime is the heart of the Transformers universe. If you drastically change his character, you kill the story to me.

One thing that I really loved about the movie were the insane designs of the robots themselves. They are beautifully complex automatons that are believably rendered and yet totally alien in shape and function. I knew when I first saw them that they would be impossible to replicate in any transforming fashion. You would either have great vehicular modes with questionable robot modes or vice-versa. I think Hasbro did an admirable job translating the robots from screen to plastic in transforming models, but they just don't really capture the look of the characters in the film to a "T."

Enter the Robot Replicas line. They are small plastic versions of the movie characters that do not transform but are more accurate to the look of the film characters than their transforming counterparts. The first series employed mimic Revolver joints much like the joints that Kaiyodo patented for their Revoltech line of super-articulated figurines.

I had been wanting a Robot Replicas Optimus Prime since the first movie, but I'm a skin-flint, so I avoided paying the 11 bucks for a figure that was basically the same size as the old Toy Biz X-Men figures. Little did I know that GIJOE sized Marvel characters would be almost 10 bucks a couple of years later. Sheesh. I went out a week or so ago when the new Transformers stuff from the new movie came out and saw the new series of Robot Replicas. 13 bucks. Yes... 13 bucks for a figure that was smaller than the first series and had less articulation and no accessories. These figures are smaller than the transforming figures, less articulated, and, again, lack the ability to transform. Needless to say, I skipped buying them. I managed to snag an Optimus on ebay last week for 8 dollars with free shipping. You can't beat that deal, no matter how hard you try!

So? How is the figure? Read on...

Click Images to Enlarge


Toy Line: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Robot Replicas
Figure: Optimus Prime
Producer: Hasbro
Action Feature: None
Height: Just under 5 inches
Retail Price: $12.88 (Walmart)
Cheap Skate Price: $8 (with free shipping on eBay! Zoinks!)


It didn't have any, which is just fine by me. I have seen the package in the stores and it's ok... shiny and colorful and who gives a crap? Gimme my toy!


Very nice job, to whoever did this. It has a LOT more crisp sculpt that the RR figure from the first series. That one looked kinda like one of those cheapo anime PVC figures they charge too much for at Suncoast. This one actually has a great deal of detail and very sharp lines.

Most of the plastic is pretty soft, but the core of the figure is harder plastic. It gives the figure a great deal of strength and the softer plastic allows for some flexibility without being too rubbery.

My one annoyance with the figure is that he only has one hand... his right hand is replaced by the sword he used to delete that big robot on the highway in the first movie. You remember that one scene where you went nuts even if you hated the scene because Optimus popped out that blade and killed that guy? Yeah... that sword. I would have rather had a detachable hand with the sword as an accessory (along with maybe a gun), but this isn't the end of the world. At least the sculpt on the sword is very nice. It seems a tad small, but it's a pretty small figure, so it's hard to judge.


A good chunk of the figure is sculpted in colored plastic, but what paint apps are there are pretty nice. There are some sloppy spots, but nothing godawful. The flame deco is particularly nice, and the eyes are well done. Nothing to write home about... nothing to fuss about.


The figure has 20 points of articulation. It's not Marvel Legends level articulation, but it is nicer than some other figures. One really cool thing he has that is kinda interesting is inner chest articulation. The two halves of his upper torso are ball jointed so that they have a good bit of range, and they allow for some very expressive poses.

He has a ball jointed head, the chest halves are ball joints, the shoulders are pin and post ball joints, the elbows are hinges, and the forearms are ball jointed to that elbow hinge. The waist is ball jointed, but the sculpt limits the range of motion somewhat. The hips are pin and post ball joints, the knees are hinges, and the ankles are ball joints. He's a really expressive little figure, and he holds poses rather well. He balances pretty well due to his HUGE feet. The joints are nice and tight, but are fluid enough to allow for easy posing. My one issue here is the lack of swivel joints at the biceps and upper thighs. It limits some critical posing options... think of a GIJOE figure without the Swivel Arm Battle Grip, and you can see why I have an issue with the lack of it here.


Nuffin. He has his sword... all the time. No hand shaking with this guy. He really could have used swapable weapon hands, and at the retail price he should have at least had one accessory. Shame on you, Hasbro. SHAME!

Final thoughts

This is a fun little guy. I say little a lot because... well... he's pretty tiny. He stands just under 5 inches, so almost every Transformer from Scouts on up to Ultras will be looking down on old Prime here. Eh... that's cool... I didn't really buy him to fit in. I wanted a poseable Prime to stand on my shelf next to the Titanium alt mode Peterbuilt I bought on clearance when the last movie was out.

He might fit in with some of the smaller Scouts and the Legends class figures... I'll have to look into this... I'm not exactly sure what the scale on the Revoltech Transformers figures is, but he may fit in with them. I'd like to have a G1 cartoon accurate Prime to stand next to him on my shelf now. Hmmmm...

If you can get him at a reasonable price like I did, I'd fully recommend him. If you have to pay 13 bucks for him, I'd say avoid him like the freaking plague. He's nice, but not 13 bucks worth of nice.

Now... I intend on doing some modifications on the guy that will improve some of his issues. I'm going to give him at least the Swivel Arm Battle Grip... maybe the thigh swivels. We'll see. It might mess up the sculpt to break it up at the thigh. I am also going to give him new swappable hands and maybe a gun. Everything else is just fine by me.

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