Transformers: Generations is a toy line that started in 2010. It took up the Transformers: Universe (which was also the successor of another toy line, Transformers Classics) in Hasbro's line up, which was to cater to the fans of the entire Transformers franchise by featuring characters based on the different Transformers continuities and properties. This included the Generation 1 cartoon, the IDW Publishing comic series, and the video game, Transformers: War for Cybertron.
Seeing as the War for Cybertron video game was successful, and considering that without the movie series in theaters, it's Hasbro's big cash cow (aside from toys of course), it's little wonder that we're already seeing toys from its sequel, Fall of Cybertron.
I’ve already discussed all there is to discuss about the packaging of the new Fall of Cybertron Deluxe figures in both my Jazz and Shockwave reviews, so if you’d like, click on the links at back read. Suffice to say, I like ‘em.
The figure is based on the computer model for the Optimus Prime character in the video game, which is fairly different from the one he sported in War for Cybertron:
He looks far more 'boxy" now, closer to his Generation 1 looks. I'm not sure it's an improvement really, since the toy isn't able to capture the bad-assitude as closely as the first version did. Here's what he's supposed to look like:
Here's what the new figure looks like:
The first version (at the rear) was able to capture the model's breadth across the shoulders and chest. Even if the separate plates of his shoulder armor don't meet, it's still a good approximation. The new Prime's (front) whole silhouette is different from the source material and doesn't carry the same weight. A lot of that has to do with the figure's tiny waist and the missing mass around his torso, but it's also the width of the shoulders.
The lower quality materials used on the new figures is also very noticeable on the Optimus Prime toy. Red has always been a bad choice when it comes to toys, as unpainted red plastic always looks relatively cheap. This time around, the plastic is more translucent and feels softer than the older toys. I've got a feeling that this one won't last as long as it's predecessors.
Articulation is one area where this Prime wins out though. The War for Cybertron figure really gets killed in comparison as many of its joints are limited by the various pieces of kibble hanging from him. Due to a much simpler transformation scheme, Fall of Cybertron Prime doesn't suffer the same drawbacks. About the only limitation his existing joints have is that his arms won't swing out from the shoulder because of the smokestack housing.
Speaking of which, I haven't mentioned who awesome those stacks are. Take a look at this photo:
They're supposed to fold up so that they point backward as they do in the game, I love that they look like a missile rack. Anytime they give more weapons to the Autobot leader, it's a bonus point to Hasbro.
As I mentioned, his transformation process is relatively simple. His chest and arms are the cab of the Cybertronian truck, and the legs hang out at the back. His alternate mode would make more sense if he had a trailer to haul around, but at least you can mount his rifle back there.
While the War version was overly complex and somewhat frustrating to transform, this one is over in under a minute. That's actually frustrating in itself since you don't get any satisfaction at all. You'll also notice they don't make a lot of effort to hide his kibble. His feet basically sit right on top of the bed, and his fists are there right under the smokestacks. This goes for robot mode as well, since his front fender just hangs off his elbows.
Fall Optimus is also smaller than most Deluxe Class figures, including Fall of Cybertron Jazz. This is a huge disappointment and makes me wish that some enterprising Chinese factory owner will take this shrimpy bot and up-size him like they did with his older brother.
Another thing that I do like is that he's got several 5mm ports all over him so that you can deck him out with weapons from your Cybertron, Armada, or those from your movie line toys. If you've got any "Mechtech" stuff around, go nuts:
Anyway, this is probably my least liked figure among the three Generations toys I picked up a few weeks ago. Though it's articulation is great, it just doesn't have the impact that an Optimus Prime toys should have. Prime should be big and imposing, a figure that other figures look up to.
If he's shorter than Bumblebee, it just ain't gonna work.
Let's just hope Hasbro gets it in their heads that the Fall of Cybertron continuity is still a gold mine of product. I can't wait for that Voyager Class Grimlock, and the Soundwave and Soundblaster. I'll pass on the Bruticus, but hell, if they want to go and make us a Metroplex, I say, "Bring it on!"