As you can probably tell by the frequency of video game jokes in Shortpacked!, (not that often!) I am way more into action figures than I am in video games. This is, after all, a comic strip about a toy store and not Penny Arcade. I will dutifully plow through any new Super Mario game when one makes itself available, but it is not a primary interest of mine. Regardless, sometimes these two interests intersect.
Because I get an email every other day from you guys letting me know, I think it’s safe to say that it is general public knowledge that a Big Transformers Game is coming out this month. War for Cybertron is a multiplatform third-person shooter that takes place on Cybertron before the Transformers leave for Earth. Optimus Prime isn’t leader yet, he’s just “Optimus,” sans “Prime.” Everyone is in crazy alien hovertank-like modes because Volkswagen Beetles and Freightliner trucks won’t exist for another few million years. And, as Hasbro tends to do, they have some action figures of the game’s character models.
This is Optimus Prime! He transforms into an “armored tank.” This is my… third? toy of a Cybertronian-mode Optimus? First there was the War Within Prime (another pre-Earth story), then I picked up Cybertron mode Optimus Prime from the Animated toyline, and now this. We have an extra housemate this summer, necessitating the packing up of my not-on-display toys in the attic, so I did not feel like digging out the entire attic closet to search through fifteen Rubbermaid containers for these two other dudes to photograph next to my new one. You will just have to imagine them!
He comes packaged in robot mode. I have to admit, this removes a lot of my incentive to do the inaugural transformation, especially since robot-to-vehicle is always much more of a chore than the reverse. With Cybertronian Optimus Prime, this is no exception. He’s a little too complicated, but I hate him waaaaaaaaaaay less after attempting the same on his wavemate Cybertronian Bumblebee. Really put things in perspective. Prime is a deceptively complicated toy. I don’t think there’s an uninterrupted square inch on him. But things peg together well enough in each mode, so no harm no foul. The only annoying part of him in robot mode is his shoulder kibble, which likes to flair up and about when you don’t want it to. A good portion of the vehicle mode roof folds onto his back, sorta shellformery, but it packs away out of site well enough.
The most intriguing part of him is his gun. It transforms as well, from robot mode rifle configuration to vehicle mode weapon-mount configuration. There’s little springs in it that keep it in one mode or the other – there’s no pegs. In weapon-mount configuration, it wraps around itself. In this compacted mode, it’s also intended to be mounted on his forearm. (You can see it in this configuration in some concept art.)
My favorite aspect, I think, is his pink highlights. Generally, Prime has yellow highlights, but I really like the pink. It accentuates him in a different way, and it sets him apart from other Primes. And, lord, that’s the kind of thing I need at this stage in my collecting days. I have a buttload of Primes.
There’s some rumblings that War for Cybertron is going to be the established canon for future Hasbro Transformers ventures. That would include this fall’s Transformers: Prime CGI cartoon. So if you want a head start on your TF: Prime collection, this is probably it.