As the number of sets released has increased, the harder it has been for stores to parcel out their shelving space. In order to make more sales, decisions have to be made as to which sets will be carried. Not every store can carry the whole product line (not even all official LEGO stores carry the whole product line). This process will favor the sets that drive sales the most, such as the licensed sets. The traditional boxes of bricks are pushed out of the way for the more profitable lines.
Armada Built to Rule Optimus Prime transforms into a fair approximation of his vehicle mode, but the robot mode is quite inaccurate, due to the very broad, flat Trans-Skeleton with thin, stick-like limbs attached to it. The set came with a very simplistic "Mini-Con" Sparkplug partner kit that did have a more dedicated "Powerlinx" connector than the standard construction pegs, though these are a bit too thin to be used as attachment points for regular Mini-Cons (they stay, sort of, but it's a very loose connection). The 101-piece set also features pressure-launch missile-firing "smokestack" cannons.
(As an odd postscript to this tale of footwear-induced madness, although the promo pictures all showed the shoeformer as a white and navy blue sneaker that transforms into a white and aqua blue robot, the product actually released sported much darker colors for all the robot-mode parts, with a deep teal instead of aqua, and almost all the white replaced by an icky tan/cream/grey color, including the head. Basically, the figure looks like the promo picture viewed through really dark sunglasses. Although this certainly doesn't make it look any more like Prime, you might argue that it looks a little less like Magnus. Sorta. Maybe. Not really.)
This Optimus Prime is a new Voyager-sized Triple Changer mold, which transforms from robot to tanker truck to plane and back. His robot mode is heavily based on Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime, whilst the deco appears to draw from Star Convoy. His Titan Master partner Diac transforms into his head (but any Titan Master figure is compatible). Like all Titans Return Voyager class figures, he has built in mechanisms to "bulk up" his noggin. In his case these are spring-loaded pylons. His robot mode also features fake truck windows.
In this universe, Optimus is a veteran military commander and second in command who wields an ion blaster and a double bladed energon axe. He became the leader of the Autobots after Zeta Prime fell in battle, but is not certain he wants the responsibility. The war with the Decepticons was going badly, and it looked like there was no end in sight. He vowed to himself and to the warriors under his command that he would never surrender, never retreat, and never stop fighting until the Decepticons were defeated.
The figure has diecast in its feet, shins, and abdomen. It features pinstriped flames, articulated fingers, a headsculpt with a face that can rotate between masked and unmasked modes in a method identical to Armor Knight Optimus Prime's, and an abdomen that opens to reveal a chamber housing a diecast Matrix of Leadership. He comes with said Matrix, his Ion Cannon, and a pair of Energy Swords that tab in behind his wrists (the hands unfortunately have to be bent forward to accommodate these). All three weapons can combine and store on the fifth wheel in vehicle mode.
Following our last article on in hand images of Studio Series 38 Voyager Class Optimus Prime (from the Bumblebee film), TonTon Reviews (who put up the in hand images), has come through on what they said and posted their review! This review allows us to get the best look at the toy yet, as well as its surprisingly complex transformation. We see the ion blaster included stores between his legs in truck mode to fill in the gap and hold it togethyer. The backpack in robot mode also has 5mm - Read More
Nonetheless, I remain a big fan of Lego and although I think they have somewhat moved away from their roots with the excess of licensed products (and the earlier licensed products were, in my opinion, not very good because they contained too many specialized non-generic pieces that weren’t useful for generic building. But that situation is improved and in particular we have found the Star Wars sets to be of most value for generic building, because they generally have very few really specialized pieces (although to be fair the sets are most useful for building other spaceships, etc).
When Highbrow was captured by the Decepticon leader Scorponok, Optimus Prime agreed to surrender himself to ensure his fellow Autobot's safety. Naturally, though, Prime did not expect Scorponok to hold up his end of the bargain, and he had Hosehead and Fizzle rescue Highbrow while he allowed himself to be imprisoned. Their mission successful, Hosehead and Fizzle then sprang Prime from his cell, and the team beat a hasty retreat. Autobot Hostage
The paint deco is... unfocused, to say the least. In vehicle mode, the grill, headlights, and bumpers (and thus his feet) are painted silver, yet the red in the small Autobot insignia has been removed. There is silver paint on the fuel tanks (toy battery cover), but not on the other tool boxes and equipment in the same location. There is also silver paint on all 6 wheel rims, the air cleaners, and the windscreen visor. In robot mode, the silver paint is mainly located on his thighs and crotch, though in order to save on costs, the dark blue and gold paint on his thighs and knee joints have been sacrificed.
The Monster XL also features not one, but TWO barrels with 6 different nozzles per barrel. That adds up to about 36 different ways to put out your best friend's eye. The ludicrous weight and the fact that it takes 43 fucking pumps to get the water up to pressure offer up reasonable disadvantages, but since water gun fights are always half water gun fight and half "who brought the biggest dick" competition, none of that really matters.
The Hasbro website explains it best: "The rogue DARK NINJA MASTER was exiled to a cave beneath Arashikage Mountain for betraying the ninja clans. After finding the Moon's Blood, a mystical stone of great power, he was able to channel the energy of dead ninjas, making him almost unstoppable. Seeking revenge, he has emerged from his subterranean prison to destroy all ninjas. Only two people can stop him: STORM SHADOW and SNAKE EYES. The two adversaries must join forces, for only by working together will they be strong enough to defeat this evil super-ninja."
If Cosmos radioed his findings to Optimus immediately, Optimus’s convoy moved in to investigate a nearby Decepticon base. En route, the Autobots passed near a human town, but began floating in mid-air before being able to reach it. Optimus quickly deduced that this phenomenon was caused by an anti-gravity beam, courtesy of the Decepticons. Worried about the nearby humans also being affected by the lapse in gravity, Optimus had to decide whether he would order his troops to stop and help the townspeople, or to continue forward and attack the Decepticon base.
Equipped with knowledge of the future and the danger that would soon be threatening the transformers, Ravage's machinations included trapping Megatron and a large army of Decepticons in a spacial rift with the intention of protecting the Decepticons from the approaching Unicron and forcing the Autobots to face the planet-eater unaided. The Decepticons would then be in a position to conquer the victor of that battle.
2. Piece diversity: Today the total range of piece types and the number of new piece types introduced every year has skyrocketed since the decade of the 80s. As a kid, the new pieces introduced every year were indeed one of the great answers to my parents’ pleas of “don’t you already have ENOUGH Legos?!?!” However, the quantity of new piece types again coupled with the broad color diversity again requires much more Lego to be purchased to attain that “critical mass”.
Thanks to fellow Seibertron user, Sabrblade, we have discovered some new in-hand pictures of the forthcoming Transformers Studio Series #38 Voyager Class Transformers Bumblebee Optimus Prime figure! These come couresty of YouTuber TonTon Reviews, presumably as a preview of his next review. For comparison, they have put this new entry into the Studio Series with MP-10 and Takara Tomy's Movie Advanced series "Classics Optimus Prime" (Evasion Mode Optimus Prime). This gives us a good - Read More
Forming a roughly 11-inch figure when fully assembled, Diablock Convoy is highly articulated, using 12 ball-jointed block pieces, giving him a range of motion similar to Masterpiece Prime, with the exception of the head, which can only move up and down, not side-to side. Speaking of the head, it is by far the most stylised aspect of the figure, with no real attempt to approximate Prime's face or mouthplate inside a simplified helmet, mainly featuring only a reversed block that gives the odd impression of a cycloptic eye. It is possibly intended to actually represent his forehead grill, as a yellow block inside his head construction remains barely-visible through a slit in his face, possibly intended to represent the classic toy's yellow eyes.
An undocumented transformation step includes flipping Optimus Prime's knees out in vehicle mode to form a back bumper with tail lights. Oddly, the toy itself and the package art show Optimus Prime with four fingers on each hand, while he has 5 fingers in the video game. The vehicle mode pictured here is minimally mis-transformed: The exhaust pipes have not been rotated to hide the indentations against the vehicle body. The instructions show the rifle being plugged in by its shorter peg, but the packaging depicts the rifle stored by its grip, which keeps the weapon higher off Prime's body, but is also more secure.
In a break from tradition, Energon Optimus Prime's large mode resembled a configuration similar to Voltron or to the Super Sentai action figures. This design was unpopular with many fans due to design issues with the toy. The small robot's body was large in proportion to his arms and legs which made the figure appear fat, earning it the nickname "Fatimus Prime" or "Obese-imus Prime". The 4 vehicles that combined with the robot were small, lacking the intricate detail that made other toys in the line popular. Fans were also angered by early releases of this toy in which the head was molded with a mouth rather than the traditional face plate design. Later releases of the toy eliminated the visible mouth feature.