Optimus Prime is the courageous and wise leader of the Autobots. He feels his role is the protection of all life. He transforms in a red over-cab truck with large grey trailer. He has excellent leadership and decision making skills and is one of the Autobots’ greatest leaders. Optimus Prime is also one of the most recognisable cartoon characters of the 1980s.
Name: Optimus Prime (convoy)
Manufacturer: Takara/Time House
Price: First released – unknown. Now – around 15,000 YEN minimum.
Scale: 11.5 Inches in height
Accessories: Ion Blaster, spare matrix of leadership (clear), spare head (clear face) and spare hands.
On my first trip to Japan, when I first visited Nakano Broadway, in their display window on floor 2, I noticed the anime version of Metalforce Optimus Prime, what I also noticed was the sign next to him saying “Not for sale” too. Still I was determined to own this Prime figure someday.
The next trip he was still there, still not for sale.
On my third trip, he wasn’t in the display window any more. When I walked inside the store there was the figure with box now for sale. Now, I don’t know if this was the exact one that was always on display, but it’s still the same version at least, bought from the same Mandarake that had him on display and worth the wait too.
There is also a metallic paint version of this figure released (I’m assuming it was released first or at the same time) and unfortunately there are knock off versions of this figure too, but it’s pretty bad re-cast, however it is out there, so be aware if you are hunting your own Metalforce Optimus Prime!
This is an amazing Optimus Prime sculpt! The one thing I love the most about it is the commanding presence of the pose, coupled with the size, makes you take notice of him, there is a bit of styling with Prime’s proportions, but it doesn’t distract from the figure. It’s obviously very anime and G1 comic inspired. Also the chest windows can be removed to reveal the inside chest compartment of Optimus, where another cover can be removed to reveal the matrix inside Prime’s chest, just like in the original 1980s movie!
The figure has excellent paint application and it is one thing that really caught my eye. The paint is very neat and very crisp with hardly any slop. Most of this figure was cast in white vinyl and then painted. Only a couple of small pieces were cast in the colour they are mean to be. But that isn’t an issue as the painted parts are very professionally done and they match the casted colour parts quite well. The white base really helps the colours pop and really hammers home the anime vibe!
Even for a vinyl figure, Optimus Prime has a decent amount of articulation: Ball-jointed head, swivel arms (at the shoulders) swivel biceps, ball-jointed wrists and swivel knees. The articulation helps a little bit, but you are mainly going to keep him either with arms down by his sides or one arm raised with rifle. The leg articulation is only there to help keep him upright and once you have fixed his legs, it isn’t even needed. The arm articulation however, is well thought out and quite handy, making his arms a joy to pose. Even the ball-jointed head is a great addition.
Optimus comes with a small number of accessories: mainly some spare parts or alternate hands. However, he does come with one very important accessory – his Ion Blaster! Unfortunately you do have to trim a lot of excess molding off the two separate sections and then assemble it yourself. The same can be said for pretty much all the other accessories – they have plenty of excess molding that will need to be removed if you want to use them.
The other parts besides the rifle really aren’t needed, but it’s nice to have some options. The extra clear face and matrix are a little puzzling, but I guess you can make a version of the head with a ‘light piping’ effect, if you really wanted.
Only very minor issues with Optimus- being slightly bent smoke stacks and slightly bent-in legs – which appear quite common with this figure. However, these are easily fixed with a hair dryer and cold water, which is what I did. Now my Optimus Prime is pretty much near perfect.
I’m pretty sure the price wasn’t too bad for this figure from Mandarake, but in all honestly the price was never going to be an issue for me, I saw the figure, finally on sale and I wanted it, no matter what!
It was great to be able to finally get hold of Metalforce Optimus Prime, even better to get one for a decent price, in Japan (also to be sure I wasn’t buying a knock off!) Although it doesn’t Transform, I think it really captures the look and feel of how Optimus Prime appeared in the cartoon series and comic books released back then. The addition of articulation really helps add variety to the poses. If you are looking for an almost perfect representation of G1 Optimus Prime, then this is it.
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