Siege Optimus Prime, Wave 1 Autobot Micromaster and Battlemaster Gallery and Review!
Joining us in the Allspark Studios today is the strongest and wisest of all Autobots, Optimus Prime! Will he fulfill his role of protecting all the life on your toy shelves, or will he split into three autonomous modules and spend the day watching Nextflix with himself? Tune in after the break to find out!
At this point, you could basically fill a small museum with all the different versions of Optimus Prime. Each one has its own personality of design, with high points and limitations of the era within which they were created. Having been a fan of the franchise for most of my life, I have owned nearly all of them, minus G2 Go-Bot Optimus Prime, which still leaves a void in my collector’s heart. Every time I buy an Optimus figure, there has been a moment of reckoning, as I look at the new figure and compare it to the Optimus Prime in my head; the spirit of the character, as interpreted by my once 7-year-old’s mind as he watched cartoon Optimus in awe every Saturday morning in the 80’s. While each figure is essentially him, none of them have ever truly come close to glory of the cartoon aesthetic of Optimus Prime while maintaining the ability to transform. While we may be getting an official MP (and some 3P) that will do just this, finding a figure at the average collector’s budget just didn’t seem likely…then Hasbro dropped Siege Optimus on us. Let’s see how he measures up!
There are a lot of really good things going on in this vehicle mode, even if it does not perfectly embody G1 Prime’s cab mode. It has the right basic square cab shape, clear-ish windows, tires on metal pins, and a nice amount of red, blue and silver with just a bit of white thrown in. From a bit of a distance, it comes really close to getting things on the G1 dot, but there are a few elements that break the illusion. Most of the non-slavishly G1 elements come out of looks versus function needs, and I am OK with that.
The smokestacks are not the “right” proportion, and if they were, they would get in the way of transformation and posing/play. The “overcab” light section that also contains the grill, headlights, and bumper is needed to turn a heroic torso section into a flat-faced cab front. All things considered, the only design element I find a little off-putting is the grill, which is covered in the same translucent blue plastic as the windows and lights. I would have preferred for this section to have been grey or silver, but that is easy enough to correct with some touch up paint if it really starts to bother me.
The paint ops are nice enough on this mode, with the exception that the “battle damage” was not clearly designed with this mode in mind. There is a little bit on the front just under the windshield, and the shoulder damage is still in view, but aside from that the rest of the vehicle mode is devoid of this random detail. I understand budgets come into play, and perhaps this was the best medium between all or none in both modes, but it leaves the vehicle mode with random markings that just seem out of place.
One feature of the Siege line that I love on this figure is all of the 5mm ports. Between the deluxes like Cog and Six-Gun, the Micromasters and Battlemasters, a creative young (or old) fan can turn Optimus into a veritable “battle convoy”. It is even possible for Headmasters and Titanmasters to get in on the fun, if only as pilots for the added weaponry. This is a great move on Hasbro’s part, and I think most fans will love it as much as I do.
Truck Mode was great. Robot mode is where Siege Prime really shines. First off, he has the right look. Except for the wheels at his sides, the “overcab” panel (which could be looked at as a jetpack) and the panels on his forearms (which are way less obtrusive than the panels on Classics Prime), he is basically cartoon Prime. Get rid of the battle damage paint and swap most of his greys with his whites, and he’s there despite those other details, all for the cost of a voyager (local pricing policies may apply).
One of the things that really pushes this Prime to the top of my personal list is the insane amount of articulation. He has:
- Ankle tilts
- Knee joints
- Lateral knee movement
- Lateral thigh movement
- Hips on rotating swivels
- Waist movement
- Backward shoulder swivels
- Shoulders on rotating swivels
- Lateral bicep movement
- Swivel fists
- Swivel neck
- Partially moveable head on ball joint
He can do lots of awesome poses, such as the classic scene from the ‘85 movie where he transforms and blasts Decepticons from the air as he leaps above them.
This is truly one of the most iconic Optimus Prime figures ever, especially at anywhere near an affordable price for most fans. If you throw in the added fun from all the 5mm ports and the ability to add weapons and other figures into the mix, he is well worth the cost.
While I was able to transform this figure back and forth without the instructions, the first time through was a bit of a learning curve to get all the parts in the right place. While I enjoy a mildly challenging transformation, this might make Prime a little difficult for younger fans. Don’t be surprised if you gift him to one of the kiddoes and find yourself being asked to switch him back and forth. At least he’s not as frustrating as Car Robots were back in the day.
I give Siege Optimus Prime 9 blast effects out of 10! He is a packed with fun in vehicle mode, ready for action posing in robot mode, and very close to the ideal Optimus Prime with a price tag that won’t kill your wallet. While he may still need some assistance if gifted to younger fans, I still think they will love him as much as the G1 generation will. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled and pick him up as soon as you have the chance!
During my review of Megatron and the Wave 1 Battlemasters and Micromasters, I lamented slightly about how HasTak ditched the Japanese Targetmaster molds from Legends in favor of newly designed Battlemaster molds. Since then I have spent more time with Firedrive and Blowpipe and they have grown on me because of their designs. There is a certain amount of curve or puffiness in the techno-organic, Cybertronian style that the Legends figures just don’t have. Once you look at Firedrive’s shins and shoulders, you will see what I am talking about. There is something very classic to their look, and I am happier now that we got new figures because of it. I still wish Firedrive had a slight bit more articulation, but I will keep buying Battlemasters because they look great and come with blast effects.
Lionizer is a Cybertronian lion whose tail becomes a back-mounted blaster, and who can also transform into a sword/blaster (Qualta blade, #farscape). He comes with a slashing effect that also looks nice on Megatron’s sword/blaster. I think he is my favorite Battlemaster so far.
Race Car Patrol
This is a neat set of mini-figures. Both Roadhandler and Swindler maintain vehicle modes that look close to their G1 forms of a Trans-Am and a DeLorean. If that wasn’t cool enough, they have decently articulated forms for such tiny robots, and they can combine into a blaster (of sorts). The only knock I will give them is that they don’t stand very well on their own if you do much more than a vanilla standing pose.
These were the Micromasters I wanted as a kid (who was considered too old for toys by that time). Topshot and Flak are great recreations of half of the original team. There is something cool about tiny Cybertronian tanks and missile launchers, especially since they are a bit more in proportion to the city bots. Due to the way their feet are designed, the Battle Patrol is more stable in standing and action poses than their Race Car Patrol brethren. They also form a much more convincing blaster, which is almost as cool as having a DeLorean on the team.
Siege Optimus Prime
Autobot Race Car Patrol
Autobot Battle Patrol