Transformers the Movie Robot Heroes: Optimus Prime & Blackout

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The original Transformers Robot Heroes line was based completely on the Transformers animated movie from the 80s. It never made a whole lot of sense to me, release figures for 3 year olds but based on designs that are over two decades old. Or it was an elaborate ploy to get parents who remembered loving the Transformers to buy the toys for their little kids.

But the other side was the upcoming Transformers movie! At the time, I was rather excited because as long as vehicles transformed into robots, I was happy. Plus seeing a line in the credits saying the movie is based on action figures made me giddy. Well, that and the fact that Peter Cullen came back to voice Optimus Prime.

Transformers completely redid the character designs but of all of them, Optimus Prime stayed mostly the same. He’s red, he’s blue and he transforms into a tractor trailer truck, a Peterbilt 379 to be specific. But the immediate oddity is the idea of trying to blend the Robot Heroes style with the new designs and it has mixed results.

Optimus Prime is in a near identical pose to his original figure, only this time he’s got a fist instead of pointing and a giant arm cannon instead of a gun. But unlike the boxy style, he’s covered in little details and mechanical parts.

Movie Prime moves at the neck shoulders and waist and does a great job blending aspects of both versions of his character. His head is clearly Generation 1, while his body draws more from the movie with his clawed feet. Though in an odd movement away from the Heroes-style, he’s sporting five fingers on his left hand that’s clenched in a fist.

The paint on Optimus Prime is a well done representation of his movie colors. He’s mostly blue with some silver parts and red details. From the front, he’s immediately recognizable as Optimus Prime. All the paint is clean and crisp down to his gold rings on his chest and light blue windshield chest. But from the back, Prime has a lot more in common with the Mini Power Rangers since he’s barely painted at all! His back is almost solid blue with only his waist and gun showing off any color. It may be accurate, but it feels like a cheap way to get away with less.

Like the other Robot Heroes packs, this one follows the simple plan of one Autobot and one Decepticon and it’s a great way to ensure that every pack is an instant battle! Paired up with Optimus is Blackout! He’s a helicopter than shot out Scorponok! If the concept of a Transformer shooting out another Transformer sounds familiar, it’s because the original draft had Blackout actually being Soundwave!

In his robot mode, Blackout clearly shows remnants of his transformed form as a Sikorski MH-53 Pave Low helicopter. Behind his arms you can see the folded over blades that give him a cape that resembles Mr. Sinister. But unlike Optimus, Blackout isn’t covered in nearly the absurd amount of detail. He almost looks like he could blend in fairly well with the animated Robot Heroes. Blackout looks more savage than Optimus too with his hunched over back and the fact that he has only three fingers on each hand reminding me of a Ninja Turtle.

Articulation is basically non-existent on Blackout. His neck and shoulders are articulated, but his “cape” prevents his arms from moving much. He can basically have his hands in the air our outstretched like a zombie. That’s it. And Blackout feels oddly short; he’s a head shorter than Optimus Prime!

Paint isn’t terribly exciting but it does its job. Blackout is mostly gray with some black and silver. For some odd reason, his shins are white and he’s sporting a Decepticon insignia on his left shin. It’s like these figures were designed and then they decided on where to put the symbol. It’s odd and feels really out of place.

As the first pack of the Transformers Movie Robot Heroes pack, this one is pretty decent. Optimus Prime is basically his original figure just done to look more like his movie version. As for Blackout, he’s a decent figure but being basically unarticulated hurts him a fair amount. But still, it’s solid start and thankfully neither of these figures are sporting giant grins on their faces.

Written by jestergoblin

September 5th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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