Finally starting with my Armada line-up, figured it would be appropriate to kick off with the series’ most loved and iconic character. Remember that giant bin of Transformers goodness from over a year ago? (You probably don’t, it’s okay the link is there to refresh your memory.)
I’ve sold pretty much everything from that bin sans the Armada stuff. I made a small mention of it in the post proper, but I essentially grew up watching and breathing that series, therefore making the toyline a more precious and nostalgic one for me than most. Given that, I still have my entire childhood Armada collection (featured in proper here), which has since been supplemented by the giant super haul.
I never had the chance to pick up this particular Optimus Prime as a kid; I only owned the Leader Class version that could transform into a Super Mode.
This Deluxe-sized Prime is a bit smaller than the actual Leader Class one, and is actually smaller than ‘bots like Red Alert, whom he should be on par in height with. Basically, this is an odd non-scale figure in the lineup, but scale’s always been a frowned-upon topic in Transformers anyway.
I suppose it’s wrong of me to juxtapose this figure with the Leader Class when the latter hasn’t even gotten a photoshoot yet, but I’ll just mention that one of this Prime’s biggest assets over the larger version is its articulation range.
The Armada lineup is known for anything but its articulation. Most figures are little more than bricks, perhaps in homage to their G1 roots.
This Prime is one of the few exceptions though; while still fully transformable, it has a surprisingly impressive range in the upper arms and shoulders. The legs are a bit more restricted thanks to design (those giant butt-skirt things) but aren’t overtly terrible.
I should also mention that those little gray/silver blasters on his forearms are removable, though for no real purpose. On the Leader Class, they could be removed to combine into a small handheld gun. Here, they’re little more than loose chunks of plastic.I kinda wish the barrels weren’t flat, but what can you do.
The chest compartment opens as necessitated by transformation, but no Matrix of Leadership is included, even in molding. This Optimus isn’t the true leader of the Autobots.
Prime’s Mini-Con partner (who’s not really his Mini-Con partner…that would properly be Sparkplug, but work with me here) Over-Run is also included.
Despite Armada being pretty much my all-time favorite Transformers series, I was never really fond of the Mini-Cons or their little gimmicks. This is ironic in the fact that Armada pretty much had the Mini-Cons as the main series anchor and selling point.
Over-Run really isn’t much as a figure on its own; its real worth comes from being able to transform into Prime’s gun…which still looks like a folded up plane. It looks more like Prime’s gonna bludgeon someone to death with the poor Mini-Con than he’s actually going to be able to shoot anything out of that nosecone.
As always, Optimus transforms into a truck, though this figure includes no trailer. I’m pretty fond of the vehicle form, though the plastic makes it look more toy-ish than usual.
Prime’s form here is pretty good with the kibble if only for the fact that his transformation is so simplistic; you can pretty much tell where everything goes and what he transforms into just by glancing at his biped form.
Everything is generally fairly flush here; nothing too outrageously broken or misaligned. It’s a plain vehicle form, but done well in all the essentials. At least all the stuff like the cab windows and head lights, along with the wheels, are painted in for you.
So all things considered, despite its age, I’d say this Optimus holds up really well for what it is. Now, keep in mind I’m a complete Armada fanboy, so you can take my analysis with a grain of salt, but I do still thoroughly enjoy this figure.
As the Armada lineup goes, this Prime has got to be one of the most dynamic, and quite honestly I’m impressed with the quality of the paint apps from back in the day. The figures from the more recent Transformers Prime series don’t even have painted details that look this good.