Transformers Review: Optimus Prime (Toyota FJ Cruiser)

            Optimus Prime – the ultimate leader of the Autobots – and we all love him, don’t we? There have been loads of other versions of Optimus Primes, ranging from traditional trucks and fire engines, to the more unorthodox Nike shoes and baseball caps.
            This time around, we are served with yet another version of Optimus Prime, which are not affiliated to any series whatsoever. Takara-Tomy, apparently worked together with Japan’s car manufacturing giant – Toyota – and released a version of Optimus Prime, based on the hugely popular FJ Cruiser model.
            This set however is not exactly your typical Transformer figure. This time around, some assembly is required. The set requires us to fix and assemble the chassis onto an existing core robot, just like what we had back in 2007 with the movie Trans-scanning sets. But unlike the Trans-Scans, whose robot modes looks like something contraption from the Terminator movies, Optimus Prime’s core body already looked presentable.
Optimus's Core Body
            We are given the options of assembling the car in either two different variants – white or yellow. For the sake of this review, I have only fixed up the yellow variant of the car, thus leaving the white parts untouched.

            So, now that we got that out of the way, let’s get on with the meats and potatoes…

Alternate Mode:
            Well… like I’ve said earlier, he’s a Toyota FJ Cruiser, any more questions?
            I’m actually that that this car was picked as Optimus’s alternate mode – it’s actually one of my favorite cars. I just love four-wheel-drive.
             Choosing your favorite color scheme is essential before you actually assemble the car – decisions, decisions, hmm…
            I chose yellow, because it looks much nicer, but the white is quite nice too, so it’s really up to your personal preference.
            The roof of the car is still white though, which is very accurate to the real thing.
            The car is quite tiny, which is about the size of your regular Deluxe-class figure. It might be made from totally plastic, but I am quite pleasantly surprised by the slight heft that the figure has.
Spare Tyre
            The car looks good on the outside, but you can forget all about the undercarriage, which is wreaked of kibbles; as well as its interior details, or rather their lack thereof.
From left: Alternity Optimus, FJ Optimus, Alternity Bumblebee
            As far as I could tell, the car is very accurate to the real thing. It even has the word TOYOTA embossed onto the front grill like the real thing, instead of the company’s emblem like in almost all of their models.
Unmistakably Toyota
            The wheels are made from hard plastics and the front wheels don’t turn left or right.
            The overall outlook of this car really reminds me of the now defunct Transformers: Alternity, with the exceptions of detailed interior and rubber tyres.

Robot Mode:
            The transformation can be surprisingly tricky the 1st time, if you decide to go without the instructions. Half the time when you try to fold some parts, you constantly fear that you might break something.
            Yes, some of the parts feel brittle.
            After some twisting and turning, you will end up with a 5-inches tall figure that wields an axe. Yup, an axe formed by the spare tyre on car mode.
            Despite the non-traditional color scheme, this figure is unmistakably Optimus Prime. The head sculpt itself is a dead-giveaway, although the “ears” may look a bit funny.
            Articulation-wise, this figure has a bundle of it. The head is on a ball-joint, but can’t really turn his head too far right or left, due to the designs of his chest/ shoulders.
            The shoulders are on universal joints, which can move in all directions. The elbows are on nice ratcheting joints, while the arms rotate slightly below them. The hips are on tight ball joints. The knees bend quite nicely, and that’s all for the articulation.
            Though the articulations might not sound much, but it actually works for this figure, and you can really get some nice poses out of this guy.
His Axe, formed by his own spare tyre
            Did I mention that this figure really does remind me of Transformers: Alternity? Well, the way how the legs are designed, they are almost similar to Nissan GT-R Optimus Prime.
            I do wish, however, that the feet would’ve been more versatile, it would’ve added more to the posing actions. Still, not a big issue at all.

It’s a really nice set that would probably appeal to both Transformers collectors, as well as model kits builder. Now can we have Megatron, please?
Highly recommended.

            Final verdict: 9.5/10. 


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