Hasbro Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF) leader class is definately the most movie accurate representation of Optimus Prime in both the 2007 and 2009 Transformers Movie.
This toy easily outdone any Takara masterpiece Transfromers in term of details, complexity of transformation and playability. Out of the box, Optimus Prime is in his robot mode ready to be pose with various pose. Transforming Prime into the SemiTruck is very complicated and it shows superb engineering of current toys compared to the G1 transformers.
A look at Optimus Prime alternate mode which is a SemiTruck, the mode is almost perfect.
Only the back of the Truck , the coach and the bottom view show the robot parts. Overall, Optimus Prime is more than 90 percent recognizable as a SemiTruck.
The bottom part of the truck would transform into Optimus Prime pelvic and the legs. Where the cab and the engine part forms Optimus Prime upper body.
The only sound effect of the truck mode is roaring of the SemiTruck engine. Which the button is properly hidden at the back of the SemiTruck cabin. The sound effect button face has an engraved triangle .
Batteries are included with Leader Class Optimus Prime. Too bad the default batteries does not carry any well known brand. The good thing is the screw has a valve or a piece of plastic attached, there is no worry of screw gone missing after changing batteries. It is easy to conclude that this toy design is to make battery replacement easy as well as conforming to child safety standards.
In this review, Leader Class Optimus Prime were in its alternate SemiTruck mode. The following are the transformation sequence from SemiTruck mode to robot mode. By default from the package, Optimus Prime is in its Robot mode.
The first part in which is recommended to tansform is the upper body, overall the SemiTruck upper part of the engine and the cabin is Optimus Prime body.
The most important part of the transformation is to detach side of the cabin apart to start the transformation.
After the lower part of the cabin is detached, gently pull the side of the cabin upward, the side of the cabin is locked by a simple peg.
Most of the part is held by plastics pegs and latches. However, the plastic is durable and is not hard and brittle.
Plastic pegs has its matching connector in both mode to ensure that Optimus Prime remains in its mode after transformation.
On the transformation, all the details such as simulation of robot circuitry and internal structure is molded on the plastics. Which is really nice to see and behold how much effort the design team of Hasbro and TakaraTomy has worked to develop this product. I could not imagine how many man work hours put in developing this toy.
At this point of the transformation, all part of leader class Optimus Prime uses just the right type of plastics for the transformation. It is a bit flexible but it hold to its original shape.
The top part of the smoke stacks is made of soft PVC bendable and able to retain its original shape. You will not get a deformed smoke stack while it maintain child safety standards.
Even the rivets like detail is not left out in the mold. This is really a WOW factor for a mass produced toy.
Another critical part of the transformation, you need to push the engine block downwards and the semi truck grill need to be pull away from the engine block to unlock the arms.
Lift the back of the cabin to separate the cabin into 2 parts the upper body and the lower body.
To separate the arms that forms the engine block, at the seam push downwards into the seam slowly.
Once the arm is expose pull the arm away from each other.
Once the arm is move away, the cabin wind shield should be pull all the way back and arms all the way to the side. It will expose the head. The most annoying part of this transformation, Optimus prime voice electronics is sensitive enough to be activated by exclaiming it existance with the phrase “I am Optimus Prime”. The only way to avoid such annoyance is remove the batteries before the transformation. However, if you do so, you will miss another sound effect.
Folding the arm could be tricky I have created a sub part on folding the truck engine cover to form the arms.
Only 4 simple steps to transform the arm.
Continuation of the body transformation, once Optimus Prime head and neck is put proper.
Without its chest piece, Optimus Prime will look like it suffers from beer gut. The chest piece is really the wind screen of the SemiTruck, in which it is designed to pay homage to the G1 Optimus Prime transformation.
The final step of the body transformation is pretty tricky, you need to attach the plastic tab at the end of the chest piece to the upper side of the beer gut belly.
As demonstrated on the photo, the plastic tab of the chest piece can only be fit in to the belly from the side at the top. In which the gap is larger to fit in the plastic tab. Do another attachment the other side. The transformation of Optimus Prime upper robot body is complete.
Transformation of the upper body of ROTF Leader Class Optimus Prime is the hardest transformation. The legs tranformation is more straight forward, you would not need a transformation manual to make the conversion.
Continue from the body tranformation, you will notice that the entire lower part of the SemiTruck is actually Optimus Prime leg and its lower body.
The first step is to split the legs. The it is all folding and defolding the truck lower part to form the feet.
The transformation is almost done. Only left is making a few final adjustment. The final phase is locking the upper body and the lower body together. Followed by touching up the back of Optimus Prime.
Attaching the upper part and the lower part of the body gives the 80s transformation sound effect. Which I think is the coolest sound effect for this toy.
The final touch up of the transformation phase is folding the back wheels mudflaps and lock it onto the back.
Finally transformation is completed. The new feature of the ROTF toyline is the mech alive. By flicking of a lever or button, it gives impression that the robot is alive. The feature requires pushing down the lever which masked as part of the abdomen piece the gears in the chest piece move and the chest piece seems to move upwards. Prime will exclaim his existance by saying “I am Optimus Prime” . At the same time , the chest will blink with red led lights and the eyes will flash with yellowish green led light.
Its a shame that the TakaraTomy version did not exclaim “Watashi wa Convoy Sama” 😛 Direct translation would be I am Master Convoy.
The accuracy of the head is very closely resemble Optimus prime in the movie. Unfortunately due to the chest piece design the articulation of the neck is limited. You need to lift up the head to improve the articulation.
The chest details attempt is very commendable, articulation are actually added to the shades at the windscreen.
Another piece feature is the energon sword used to impale to kill BoneCrusher in the 2007 movie.
There is a hidden feature for Optimus Prime at the legs. I discovered it from the internet.
In the articulation department, only the legs has more articulation. There is no articulation at the waist, to make things worse the arm articulation is hindered by the energon swords.
The detailing at the hand and the energon sword is the feature and also the down fall that limits the robot mode articulations.
The legs articulation is good, that you can simulate Optimus Prime got a chicken leg.
I had tried a few limited posing without using any support. Bear in mind that the upper body of Optimus Prime is heavy. Leaning too much front or too much back will make him fall.
In a summary, ROTF Leader Class Optimus Prime is an excellent toy to be added to any toy collector inventory. The only reason that I can think an avid fan of Transformers skipping this toy is because of too fanatical and head strong that G1 design is better than Michael Bay Transformers.
If you have not get yours today, I would highly recommend you to get your piece today 😀
Till the next post.
P.S. : I am still waiting for my leader class JetFire 🙁