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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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numbat's review of: Spychanger Optimus Prime

Name: Optimus Prime (Spychanger)
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Leader
Sub-Group: Spychanger
"We will put out the fires of evil!"

Optimus Prime is the wise and courageous leader of the Autobots. He loves all creatures and will fight with every last spark of energy to defend the plant Earth and its inhabitants from Megatron and his evil plan of conquest and destruction. He dreams of a lasting peace on the planet and in the universe. He has battled the Predacons many times and saved countless lives. His ferocity is legendary - his anger against injustice blazes like a six-alarm fire within him.

The Spychangers are an interesting phenomenon. Many people hate them, while others quite like them. I have to admit, despite my love of small Transformers, I was not originally interested in the Spychangers. All of those I own have been presents at some point or another. That said, they have turned out to be pretty fun, and now have a special place in my heart (‘awwww’ I hear you groan…). In fact, I was quite wrong about them – they are worthy of my collection, and I have every intention of adding to their numbers in the future.

Optimus Prime was the first of the Spychangers I was given, and, along with Ultra Magnus, is rather large and unique in comparison to the others. Of course, the full size RID Prime is one of the greatest Optimus Prime / Convoy toys of all time, and there is no way conceivable that this version could ever live up to that. It isn’t trying to. This is just a wee pocket-money toy, that does its damndest.

Alternate Mode:
The Spychanger Prime, like his larger counterpart, turns into a fire engine – originally a rather controversial move with very mixed opinions, which I think has proven itself to have been a great idea in retrospect at least.

This version is around 4” (10cm) long, and for all intents and purposes looks just like the full size toy. In fact, in some ways it is superior (‘Heretic! Heretic’ the chant goes…). For instance, he doesn’t have the drawback of a head jutting out along the rear of the truck…

The ladder can be moved – both by pivot and up and down – which is a nice touch.

Given the super detailing – especially considering the price bracket of the toy – the only negative is the single solid molded wheel. Not only does this not turn, but it is missing the detail of the ‘real’ wheels, and is just solid black. An unfortunate oversight (or money-saver) given the overall quality of the toy.

Robot Mode:
After a very few pulls and twists, we arrive at a miniature version of Battle Mode RID Prime. Given the mode of transformation, the effect of a miniature doppelganger is only possible if viewed from the front, but the designers have put the best efforts into detailing this tiny toy, and the time has paid off.

Even the head is superbly sculpted – and interestingly possesses a pair of blue eyes, rather than the larger version’s copper.

The only real omission is the lack of Autobot symbols on the shoulder pads – but then, some of the full size toys were missing them as well.

Articulation is better than most Spychangers – with arms moving at the shoulders, and where the pads join the torso, rotating head, and the legs being individually moveable (albeit to the sides only).

All in all, not bad for a 3 ˝” (9cm) tall version of Battle Mode RID Prime. He certainly is fun, pocket sized, and looks great in a collection of small Transformers.

Transformation: 3 – It is easy – but give a little credit to the fact it’s not quite as simple as it could have been, or as most Spychangers.
Durability: 10 – This figure is solid, and small, so I can’t see much going wrong unless you stamp on him with a pair of steelies.
Fun: 7 – Surprisingly fun!
Price: 10 – Cheaper than a bag of chips. You can pick this guy up from $1 (60p), carded.
Overall: 5 – He’s not a must have, but at the price, you could do a lot worse!
 
 
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