“Transformers: Age of Extinction” Autobots Wave 1 Galleries!

I like a Bumblebee movie figure and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” movie Autobots are fun.
That is a line I never thought I would write.  After the last three lines of movie figures, I have to admit…I was tired of the movie aesthetic.  Honestly though, I don’t think I realized what was really getting to me.  There was nothing wrong with the way the movie figures looked.  They just weren’t fun.  Between panels and appendages that just would not peg in or had no way to peg in to the body, 50+ step transformations with confusing images in the instructions, and parts that were even so thin or weakly made that they snapped, I was not happy with movie Transformers as a whole.  It wasn’t until the pseudo movie sub-line “Hunt for the Decepticons” hit that I even had a desire to buy them.  I was fully expecting more of the same.  Then we get AoE figures…
As I opened the 6 initial figures I had purchased of this new movie line, I started with what I assumed would be the worst: Bumblebee.  Sadly, this guy has had so many figures on the shelves and in such abundance that the character we want to love has become a tad bit shunned in the toy aisle.  I say no more!  Transforming him was easy, a pleasant surprise as I decided to eschew using the instructions to test the difficulty in a natural way.  Gone are the 50+ nerve-wracking steps, and what we have is a figure that is pleasant enough to transform without sending kids crying to their parents…who also can’t transform a figure.  During the process, I was happy to find that his chest parts locked into the abdomen.  I was very happy about this, as they looked like they were just floating as I stared at him in the package.
In car mode, Bumblebee looks great, has clear windows (even though you can see the robot parts inside) and pegs together nicely, leaving no large breaks in the sculpt.  He rolls nicely across flat surfaces and all four tires make solid contact with the “ground”. Another one of my personal pet peeves is when you have a tri-wheeled car with four wheels.  You know what I am talking about.  In robot mode, Bumblebee has great articulation, poses well, and has little to no floating parts that don’t lock in solidly to the body.  This is a HUGE improvement in my eyes.  He is fun in both modes.  He is fun to transform.  Did I just hear a horn signaling the apocalypse?
The same was the case for Evasion Mode Optimus Prime.  I think he is quite possibly not only the most fun movie line Optimus we have ever gotten, I think he is the best looking.  The current color scheme is G1 Prime, but we will be getting a more movie styled scheme later.  The only minor flaw in the vehicle mode is the gaping back of the cab, but I think the fact that they otherwise pulled off such nice figure mitigates that flaw.  I can overlook it, and I can guarantee most kids will as well.
Robot mode Prime is amazing.  He has great articulation and poses well.  Even though he is a solid figure, he pulled of the edges and extra bits we are used to in the movie aesthetic.  I love his weapon, and would probably love it more if he didn’t carry it by what looks to me like a clip.  I realize they added a trigger there, and the gun would not have worked with a normal handle due to the curved stock, but it bothers me a tad just the same.
Like Bumblebee, Prime sports another simple transformation.  Both he and Bumblebee officially have 18 steps.  Personally, I found him slightly more challenging than Bumblebee, mostly in dealing with the robot sides and arms becoming the cab.  I figured it out without the instructions, but I have seen a few posts of frustration.  I don’t think we come anywhere close to any of the first 3 lines in terms of difficulty, though.  Once you have done it once, it’s easy going from then on.
To add to my surprise, I find that I even like Crosshairs.  I did not think he would be very good at all, considering he sports a “coat”, which basically means his car bits wrap around him and float in robot mode.  I really expected him to be the biggest disappointment.  I was wrong again.
In robot mode, he is surprisingly fun to pose.  This is in spite of some minor issues where car bits hang a little, and that is mostly in the shoulder area.  That does not make him impossible to pose, though, and I think more children will get the hang of how to move him very quickly.  He legs are fairly unrestricted, so no problem there.  The coat does not bother me nearly as much as I expected, but there is one area of concern: I think the rubber tabs that peg the parts into the chest will wear out easily over time.  Fortunately, I won’t be transforming mine much, but I can imagine some kids will have this happen down the road.  The face sculpt is rather nice, and I wish the goggles were moveable, but I think in this case it was a good idea to make them part of the face sculpt with everything else that has to move closely together to get this guy in car mode.  Speaking of which, the last 2 steps are a little challenging.  Be sure to fully push the arms back at the elbows (be careful not to stress the black plastic) and make sure the back of the car is solidly snapped together before you tab the forearms in place.  Once you get there, put pressure on both sides of the parts that have to tab together.  I have heard of a few breakages at this step, but it does not seem to be a rampant problem.  Once in car mode, Crosshairs looks amazing, though there are some larger breaks in the sculpt than there were with Optimus and Bumblebee.
All in all, I am very happy with my first 3 “Age of Extinction” movie figures.  Hasbro has brought the fun back, simplified the transformations and provided us with solid figures with parts that lock in well and that look great in both modes.  I eagerly wait for the rest of the line, and will be buying much more movie related merchandise this time around.  I highly recommend these figures.