Transformers Review: 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime (DVD Edition)

Back when I started collecting original Transformers figure, my funding were very much limited (and not that it’s not that limited now), but nonetheless, I had this rule set upon myself, that I wasn’t going to buy any Takara figures, unless Hasbro didn’t have any version of them (Well, that rule had changed since then). Anyways, I’ve seen the MP-1 Optimus Prime before, and boy, did he look great. I wanted to get a hold on him, but he was just too darn expensive. And so I thought, I had no choice but to let him go.
Then months after, I heard the news that Hasbro was going to release its own version of the figure, but unfortunately, the figure never really did came down to Malacca, so I thought, what will be, will be. Then on a surprise trip to Alamanda, Putrajaya, I suddenly came across a figure that I didn’t expect to find – 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime!!! But the strange part was that it had the statement “DVD Edition” etched on the box. Nuff said I got him without ever thinking twice.
DVD Prime, as I like to call him, is actually the 2nd Hasbro release, of Takara’s Masterpiece Optimus Prime MP-01 mold, and there are some obvious differences between these versions, which I will touch on them later on. And to be honest, DVD Prime was my first ever G1 Optimus Prime figure.
Yes, yes, I know that it’s a sin by itself, but back then, G1 Optimus Prime figure wasn’t that easy to come by, then again come to think of it, it’s not that easy to find one now neither. It was not until Takara-Tomy released the Encore Optimus Prime, that I would finally have the original Optimus Prime mold.
Anyways, I was excited as hell, for getting my first G1 Optimus Prime figure ever, so was it worth the wait?
The Package:
Unlike the Masterpiece version, which came in a black box, DVD Prime came in a big box with a see-through window. Unlike the 1st Hasbro release, the box doesn’t transform into a battle deck. Nothing much to comment about really.
Robot Mode:

DVD Prime comes packed in robot mode. If you stand all 3 versions side-by-side, you would be able to see several significant differences.
1) The Masterpiece version has more die-cast on it, and the red color seemed very vibrant. The red color on both Hasbro’s releases pales in comparison.
2) DVD Prime have the shortest smokestacks compared to the other two, and it do not have the battle damage details that was prevalent in the original 20th anniversary Optimus.
Anyhow, differences aside, I really like everything about this figure, and by far, as far as I am concerned, one of the best figures ever made. The figure itself weighs a ton. Although it doesn’t contain as much of die-cast as it Japanese predecessor, it has quite a hefty feel nonetheless.
The aesthetics and articulations are simply amazing. The head is on ball joints; the shoulder is on 2 points-articulation (1 point that allows it to swivel, while the other is a ratcheting joint that allows upward and downward motions); the elbow joint is looks and feels fantastic, especially with the functioning pipes and pistons; the hand rotates and the fingers are individually articulated, but not to the standard of Primus; it has waist movement, and ratcheting hip joints. The knee articulation is probably the best feature of this figure, and it is simply amazing, that I can’t even describe it in words. Just refer to the photo, and you’ll get what I mean.
DVD Prime also has ankle articulation, which is also more than meets the eyes (I’ve always wanted to say that). When you press against the heel, there is a set of air vents that opens up.
Standing at a good 1ft tall, DVD Prime is huge, and even taller than the ROTF Optimus-Jetfire combo. Looking at it, DVD Prime literally screams toughness. His muscularly blocky body really accentuates his leader status. The only thing that I would complain here are the smock stacks on his shoulders, which should have been longer, no thanks to those regulations in the US.
DVD Prime is literally the spitting image of its animated depiction, and I really love it.
The Transformation:
There’s not much to say about it. It may be a bit difficult at first, but once you transform him once, you’ll definitely get the hang of it, and definitely not the nightmare Masterpiece Megatron is.
Alternate Mode:

One word describes DVD Prime’s truck mode – awesome!!! The 6 rubber tyres, each with the carving “Formula Desert Dog”, and all of which have really detailed grooves, really grants DVD Prime a smooth ride in his truck mode. In order to mimic the real world, each wheel also has a suspension that is a really nice bonus for collectors. On the back of the truck, there is a space to peg in a previously-unavailable trailer.
One neat thing that is worth mentioning is that, when you open up both front windshields, you can actually find a driver seat in the cockpit. Yes, although I have to admit about the odd placement of the seat, it is really nice and very detailed, that it even has armrests on them, which is obviously formed by the antennas on Optimus Prime’s head.

Gimmicks & accessories:

Now, similar to Masterpiece Megatron, DVD Prime comes with tons of accessories. First and foremost is the display base, which Hasbro claimed to be that of Peter Cullen’s. Well, I don’t think so. By pressing the button on top of the insignia’s forehead, the following sound effects can be heard:
1) Autobot transform and roll out!!!
2) I want you to make a special run to Autobot City.
3) Megatron must be stopped.
4) All we need is a little Energon, and a lot of luck.
5) Sound of transforming into alternate mode.
6) Sound of transforming back to robot mode.
I think the gimmick laden display base was a nifty idea, but poorly executed. I mean, most of us won’t probably be so upset if they hadn’t claimed it was Peter Cullen’s voice in the first place. Another thing that worth a mention about the display base is the carved patterns where Optimus Prime would be standing – it’s a carving of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which is a very welcoming move.

The Autobot Matrix of Leadership itself is pretty nifty, and I personally think it’s the best looking matrix so far that I’ve known. Nice job. And the best part, it’s even opens up just like the real thing!!! Now once you put it into DVD Prime’s chest, there is a button on Prime’s left shoulder that you can pressed, which will then produced a blinding light that will shine through the matrix – another positive point.

On both of Prime’s arms, there are communication panels that can open up to reveal who Optimus Prime is talking to. On the right hand, it is Grimlock, while on the right, it is Megatron.
DVD Prime’s mouth-plate also moves as if it is talking when you press against a well-camouflaged button at the back of Prime’s head, which is very neat.
There are also Prime’s iconic ion blaster, the energy axe, and lastly, but definitely not the least, a miniature Megatron’s gun mode that Prime can use to replicate some of most memorable moments from the animation series.

Overall, I think DVD Prime is an excellent figure. Yes, it maybe a little bit inferior to its Takara-Tomy’s predecessor, but still, for the price, it’s an excellent figure. This is undoubtedly, the best Optimus Prime figure and also the most show-accurate figure to date and it’s really difficult for them to top that. I know a lot of people have said how the ROTF Optimus Prime, or Galaxy Convoy or RiD’s Fire Convoy is the best Optimus Prime figure ever, but personally, I beg to differ. As far as I am concerned, Optimus Prime will always be the flathead truck, and for HasTak to really put in their creative genius to bring to you this figure, I salute all of them. While all those other version of Optimus Primes are unique and awesome in their own way, this particular mold is definitely a must have for Optimus Prime’s fan, G1 fans and even normal Transformer’s fan who never even watched the original G1 cartoon before!
This mold have been replicated and reproduced for so many times, i.e. Masterpiece Ultra Magnus, Optimus Prime with Trailer, Prime’s Sleep Mode and even Nemesis Prime.
Simply awesome.
I would also dare to go on record to say that Masterpiece/ 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime are truly the best Transformer figure ever made, who have truly managed to encapsulate both modes of G1 Optimus Prime without sacrificing any on looks and appearance!!! 

Final verdict: 10+/10. (Simply the best, ‘nuff said)

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