My graduation present came today. I was thinking I wouldn’t be getting any deliveries, since it’s a holiday.
Optimus comes in robot mode in the box, which makes sense since that’s what they really want to show off. Also, interestingly, the inside of the box is printed with images of the inside of the original trailer. The Japanese version, I have read, comes in a box that can actually be turned into a trailer; this one just sort of hints at it.
I have become familiar with Hasbro’s twist-tie method of packaging Transfomers in recent years, and I finally decided not to waste time untwisting them. I got some scissors and just cut them.
You can read the customer reviews on the Amazon page to get all the details, so I’ll just cover my own impressions and discoveries. My favorite details are the vents on the shins (which open when you press the feet in), and the pistons on the ankle and elbow joints.
At first, like any Transformers fan, I tried to figure out how to transform it without looking at the directions. I made some headway, but soon gave up. The transformation is quite complex to achieve the cartoon-style robot mode, and I soon found that there are some things I never would have figured out on my own, especially the way you’re supposed to twist the feet around.
Another favorite detail is the way the hands extend and retract. Most toys like this would have a sliding lever on the forearm, but this is much classier. A hinged panel opens (don’t confuse it with the “communicator” panel) and effectively becomes the sliding lever. After sliding it, you fold it back the other way, and it becomes all but invisible again.
The energy axe is cute, but I wouldn’t have cared if it were left out. It was only used in one episode of the cartoon, and I always thought it made that scene a bit silly. Anyway, the key thing about it is that it is not a solid piece of plastic, as you might at first think. It can twist, which is good because the way it shipped was at a 90° angle to what would have actually looked good. I was trying to figure out how to attach it at the desired angle until I discovered the joint.
Another key which took me a minute to discover: when you’re collapsing the legs for truck mode, you have to push in those barrel things, and the key is to push on the lower ends of them.
The main disappointment is the short smokestacks. I had read that they were shorter than the Japanese version, but they really are stubby - shorter than in the pictures. I kept re-checking the box for some extensions to snap on. But it doesn’t bother me that much, since the rest of the toy is so darn cool. This is my fourth Optimus, after the Power Master, Robots in Disguise, and Armada versions. I’m tempted to pick up the G1 re-release just to complete the set.