Sunday, October 9, 2011

Transformers: SDCC 2011 Exclusive Optimus Prime (Matrix Prime)

Presenting the new Animated Optimus Prime from the recently concluded 2011 San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), AKA the Matrix Prime. The SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime is the precursor of the new line of Animated Transformers toys that are supposed to be released in the market  in December of this year - following the year long expansion of the animated mini-series Transformers Prime from a simple mini-series to a full fledged animated series with already 2 full seasons in release.

Basically Hasbro wanted to further hype the release of the toy-line by giving a teaser of the good things to come in December. The toy has gained the moniker "Matrix Prime" because of it's packaging. SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime comes in a box; inside the box is a replica of the Animated - not the movie - Autobot Matrix of Leadership (The one we've all grown to love and adore, especially if you enjoyed watching Ultra Magnus blow up like I did); inside the Matrix, is Optimus Prime. Hence the moniker "Matrix Prime"

What's to like about the SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime? 

THE PACKAGING!!!! The packaging itself is a toy! Let's start with the box. The box, as shown here, is sealed by a disc that reads "Transformers Prime first Edition Optimus Prime" with the Autobot sigil.

You can tear off the disc, and chances are that's what you'd do when you first try to open it. If you do so, you'll automatically feel the pull of magnets. You'll ignore it after that because what's inside is interesting as I did, but while trying to pack up the  box after I discovered that the disc was actually a very interesting lock. To open the box all apparently I had to do was twist the disc and it will slide off. BUT THERE'S MORE! Slide the disc back into the general area where you found it and the disc will guide itself back into place locking the box again.

The box of  the SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime bears the 2011 San Diego Comic Con silver seal opens to reveal Prime and in the Matrix and it reads "Transformers Prime First Edition: The Decepticons ran rampant across Cybertron destroying or subverting all for which the peaceful population of the world had worked. The planet lay in ruins, growing darker and colder as the energy requirements of the vast armies that huddled in the rubble of once great cities sucked it dry. The survivors, desperate to stop the destruction of their home world, found themselves on the run and leaderless. In was in this dark hour that Optimus Prime arose. He took control of the faltering army, stopped the enemy's advance, and mounted a desperate counterattack that broke the back of the Decepticon forces. Despite the victory, Optimus Prime was forced to lead his comrades in an evacuation of their home world, hoping to allow the planet the time and peace it needed to recover from the long and destructive war. But before he left, Cybertron bestowed on him the legacy of the Autobots - a powerful artifact known as the Matrix of Leadership."

The back of the box reads "One day, an Autobot shall rise from our ranks, and use the power of the Matrix to light our darkest hour."

Yes, that's a Matrix of Leadership. Yes those are straps. Yes I did try it on.

SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime transforms into a semi-truck - with an opening for a trailer mount, so expect someone out there to make an add-on soon. The transformation is set at intermediate level, but it is actually quite challenging to transform SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime - his feet end up as the air-dam up on top. This is the only form that SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime reveals an Autobot sigil. Note the mounting of Matrix Prime's Ion-Cannon at the rear. 

In robot form SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime's size is comparable to the Cybertron Optimus Prime - and even shares some of the flexibility and bulkiness pitfalls of the Cybertron Optimus Prime - including, come to think of it, the transformation difficulty.

With it's bulky chest, and shoulder pauldrons, and bulky forearms SDCC Matrix Optimus prime definitely has more in common with the Cybertron Optimus Prime than the Animated Series Optimus Prime. 

There are two more pluses in favor of SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime. First of is it's solid feel. He looks just as good from behind as he does from the front. In fact the only "holes" in the figure would be in it's inner upper thighs. It even actually looks as if SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime can pull out his Smokestacks from behind and use them as swords - which I'm sure some third party toy-maker out there is already considering along with his trailer. 

Next up is the flexibility that this particular SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime enjoys. Yes, there are some issues with the fact that his chest juts out like that and he has issues with his fore-arm plating and shoulder Pauldrons, but otherwise, he is quite flexible. 

You may find that SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime may have really long arms - especially if you don't lock the fore-arm guards in place for added flexibility.

I was so impressed with SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime's flexibility that I realized that he would look great wielding Cybertron Optimus Prime's Battle Axe.

You have to admit that's pretty awesome.

What's not to like about the SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime?

There are only four things I don't like about the SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime. First up is his very spartan looking trailer mode.

I'm not even talking about the flame-paint job that became popular thanks to the movie. As you can see, most of his gray and silver lining is gone in this mode and you're left with that very plain looking body-work. Personally I'm thinking of getting some silver chrome stickers, or maybe pin-striping SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime the old fashion way.

The second thing that I'm not to fond off is that flat-screen TV on his chest that's broadcasting static.I can't say I'm too fond of it.

I'm not too fond of that and the sculpting of SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime's head which makes him look distinctly Japanese - which is strange considering that this particular SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime was made in China, and it reached the Philippines via Hasbro New Zealand (A branch of Hasbro Australia Ltd), carries US trademarks for a company that's in Canada.

But I feel that the biggest defect of the SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime is that the Matrix Prime does not have the Autobot Matrix of Leadership - it comes in one, but doesn't have one and no, that twin flat-screen on his chest will not open.

This particular SDCC Matrix Optimus Prime was purchased via Victoyoyos on Ebay for PhP 2,299.00 plus shipping (Roughly US$ 53) and is available on Amazon for between US$38.99 to US$ 43.79 plus shipping. 

As I said, I just had to try it. 

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