Transformers Review: Knight Morpher Commander KM-01 (Hearts of Steel Optimus Prime) (Rewind)


            In recent years, especially after the release of the 2007 Transformers Movie, Transformers has finally become mainstream again, to the delight of us hardcore fans. For years, collecting Transformers have been quite underrated if compared to collecting Star Wars merchandises and figures in Malaysia – despite being one of the largest and successful franchises all over the world. Since 2007, it seems that Transformers have finally reached the height where it belonged. Transformers fans, I dare say, are some of the most passionate, if not the most passionate fans of all. We stick by the brand through thick and thin, and we will always be that way, no matter what. Hence, there are many so called fan clubs mushrooming all over the world, and some of these clubs even creates their own figure renditions. One of these are Fansproject,  whom although so far have never release any figures prior to 2010, they did however release several accessories attachment to existing Transformers line, such as the Starscream’s Coronation Set (1986 movie-esque shoulder armor, cape & crown for Masterpiece Starscream) & Armor Accessory/ trailer set for Classic Optimus/Ultra Magnus/ Nemesis Prime figure. Both have been very good releases and we still await more good things to come.
            Another fan club who has recently joined the fray is Mastermind, and as their very 1st Transformers figure in their line, they decided to explore one of the most underrated Transformers comics of all – the Hearts of Steel (HoS). In that story, which supposedly took place during the revolutionary era, way before the original G1 timeline, it was said that the Transformers stranded on Earth briefly awoken, and took the forms of one of the most prevalent icons of that era – the locomotive, and what better figure to release than that of the legendary leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime.

Alternate Mode:
 Optimus Prime takes the form of a locomotive engine. Optimus is predominantly grey with more red in the front portion of the cab. The detailings are quite amazing, especially considering that these guys do not have the expertise (perhaps) or the technologies available to both Takara-Tomy and Hasbro. I really like how they actually carve the door, ladders and grills onto the figures, and the color applications is quite commendable. If you flip the figure over, you could see that Optimus has the turn-able locking device underneath it which enables you to connect other cabins, should there be any other cabin releases. The smokestacks look awesome as well, as if really accentuating the essence of the revolutionary era. Still, though the figure looks quite good, I kinda have a slight issue with the wheels. Somehow, it just doesn’t feel like it could roll freely on all its wheels. Apart from that, I don’t have any other major issues with this alternate mode.

Robot Mode:
            Let’s admit, this is the reason why we whack this figure in the first place – the robot mode, and what a robot mode it is. The figure looked awesome and has tremendous articulation. It can perform incredible poses that would put a lot of Hasbro or Takara-Tomy’s products to shame, such as karate kicks and stuffs. 
             Transforming HoS Optimus from vehicle to bot can be a bit tricky. It’s not to say the transformation is complex, but I kinda have a bit of difficulties trying to transform the arms. The plastic there doesn’t seem to be that sturdy as I would’ve like it to be, and it kinda scares the living daylights out of me trying to apply any slight pressure on that portion of the figure. It’s quite an effort to transform the arms, if you asked me, but once you get it all done, he looks marvelous.
             He is predominantly dark red, with a lot of grey and silver. He is slightly smaller than your average Voyager-class figures, but definitely more superior in terms of design and finishing to most of his Hasbro and Takara-Tomy’s counterpart.

             For a Voyager-class figure, HoS Optimus Prime sure packs a lot of gimmicks and accessories. First of all is of course the battle deck, which is formed by the back portion of the locomotive. There are also slots underneath the deck where you could store the extra pair of fists. The battle deck consists of a long-barreled cannon that you could also dismantle to form a medieval lance and jet packs. A piece plastic of the back of the locomotive can also be used as a shield, sort of portraying Optimus as a medieval knight of sorts. 
            The chimney of the locomotive is also detachable and is able to form Prime iconic ion blaster. It’s also worth to mention that the ion blaster bears spitting resemblance to the original G1 Prime’s, which is awesome, in my opinion.
            Mastermind also provides an armor visor, which comes detached from the entire figure. I’m not sure whether it’s a common quality control issue, or if it’s just with mine, but the visor is literally useless since it can’t really stick to Prime’s head. In fact, it is better that you just keep it properly aside rather than risk losing it. But either way, with or without the visor, it won’t affect the general look of the finished product. 
            Finally, in my opinion the best of the lot, would be the crafted Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which is stored in Prime’s chest compartment. Despite the fact that it’s quite detailed in design, it ashamed that the Matrix is fixed to the chest. It would indeed been an extra bonus should it was made detachable. 

            Overall, I think Mastermind did a fantastic job with their first ever action figure, and its quality even rivals those of Hasbro or Takara-Tomy. The decision to depict the Optimus Prime from Hearts of Steel has definitely paid off for them, and the fans can finally get their hands on an actual HoS figures. The designs are intricately detailed, and the whole finished product looks and feels sturdy enough.
            I feel that FansProject really got a competitor on their hand, and I think Mastermind can really give anybody a run for their money, should they keep their standards high, if not improving on them.

            Final verdict: 9/10. 

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