Sunday, December 11, 2011

Transformers Dark of the Moon: DA-15 Jetwing Optimus Prime

Presenting, Takara's DA-15 Jetwing Optimus Prime from the Transformers Dark of the Moon Series.

Now unlike the Ultimate Optimus Prime (Which for some strange reason is sooo popular on this blog, despite the bashing that I gave it), DA-15 Jetwing Optimus Prime actually appeared in the 3rd Transformers movie - albeit it was a lame appearance and Prime ended up hanging upside down on suspension cables where he had to be rescued by the Wreckers - which makes the DA-15 Jetwing armor pretty lame I suppose (Wait for the DA-28 review) but you have to admit it still looks cool - waaay cooler than the Ultimate Optimus Prime in my opinion.

This particular DA-15 Jetwing Optimus Prime was purchased on a trip to Singapore for roughly PhP 6,600 (Roughly US 153) that was a thousand pesos cheaper (Roughly US$ 23 cheaper) than the price of the DA-15 Jetwing Optimus Prime here in Manila's blackmarket. Here in the Philippines, the Jetwing Optimus Prime sells for as much as PhP 7,800 on the blackmarket (US$ 181 plus shipping).  Jetwing Optimus Prime is available on Amazon for a whopping US$207.99 (Roughly PHP 8,943 plus shipping). So I got a steal.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I'm shooting with a new camera - Hey you people at Sony - and I cant' figure out why the photos turn grainy yet. So forgive me.

I have to admit that upon reading the blister card on the package, I started to wonder if I had stumbled onto a very very nice Chinese knock-off, which sent me scurrying about the web looking for box sides just to read the text. Apparently, the grammar really is horrible. It read" Jet Wing Optimus Prime: Optimus Prime is master of strategist yet skilled warrior. His ultimate armor jet wing was made by N.E.S.T. after the last war. For the diverse battlefield he takes, the JetWing can be detached rapidly." Aaaand that was really weird, but I suppose not all of us want to buy him for the box so let's move on to the inside. As you can see, he was a pain to get through customs and back to the Dungeon in the Philippines.

Now let's start with DA-15 Jet Wing Optimus Prime's truck mode:

DA-15 JetWing Optimus Prime is a slightly re-tooled version of the Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Leader Class Optimus Prime - let's take a moment to note that the DA-15 classifies this Prime as a "Supreme Class", but I take that's because of the jet-pack.

So as you can see, there's nothing to distinguish DA-15 from the ROTF Leader Class Prime in truck mode. They even both have the same button at the back which makes the same noises.

In fact when you put the two side-by-side, I challenge you to tell the difference between the two. My personal answer is that there the only real difference is the fuel tanks of the DA-15 which is "cracked" because it's based upon the ROTF Buster Prime's fuel tanks which combines to become a cannon. The original ROTF Legends class Prime had no such weapon. 

But of course you want to see what happens when you attach the Jet Wing. The Jetwing attaches neatly to the "docking collar" at Prime's back - it's where you would normally hitch a trailer to. Simply invert the JetWing, fold in the gatling guns, attach the leg braces, lift the shoulder pauldrons and there you have it: A kick-ass truck that looks like a pain to make turns with, but comes with enough hardware to make people get out of the way. You can even add mechtech weapon to the more than 20 visible mounting studs on the wings and on the two cannons.

If the wings become an issue, simply fold them back:

But what's so nice about DA-15 Jet Wing Optimus Prime's truck mode is that because the shoulder pauldrons are raised at the back, you actually have a very nice gun-platform where another Autobot can sit and happily fire away at anything that Prime can't turn fast enough to face with his gatling cannons:

Moving on to DA-15 JetWing Optimus Prime's Robot mode:

Again as with his truck mode, at first glance there is no difference between DA-15 Jet Wing Optimus Prime and the ROTF Legends class Optimus Prime.

But there are changes. The most notable of which are the aforementioned fuel tanks that can be twisted and combined to form Optimus Prime's ion-cannon. While this feature appears in the ROTF Buster Prime, it does not appear in the original ROTF Optimus Prime.

But I've always had a theory that this transforming fuel tank was nothing more than a reaction to the Fansproject Gears of War Pack 2 where the very nice add-on that you see on my ROTF Optimus Prime was first released.

The other major difference is that DA-15 JetWing Optimus Prime does not have the snap out wrist blades - or hooks - of the ROTF Optimus Prime.

Another major difference is the detailing when it comes to Optimus Prime's inner chest. DA-15's chest has a dark gray more organic feel (Reminds me of crab gills) compared to the plain light gray mechanical interior of the ROTF Prime. As with the ROTG Prime, simply pull down a small tab on the lower stomach of Prime, press down and his face will light up and Prime will say "I am Optimus Prime."

The last major difference between the two Primes is the fact that you cannot remove the Fuel canisters of the ROTF Optimus Prime. This unfortunately prevents you from combining the Jet Wing to the ROTF Prime. For shame.

Now that we have the back view, please also note the slots on DA-15 Optimus Prime's arms, these are absent on the ROTF Prime and also help to prevent it's merger with the JetWing.

The canisters of the DA-15 Jet Wing Optimus Prime can be removed and stored within the actual JetWing as we can see here in the image below.

Finally on to DA-15 Jet Wing Optimus Prime's Supreme Mode:

And he is AWESOME!!!!!! Worth every penny - even if this mode had a pathetic showing in the film. In fact the JetWing armor is completely gone within 15 seconds of its use after that whimp Shia Lebeouf screams "OPTIMUS!!!" (Why he keeps screaming that is beyond me) in the fight scene after Prime is finally freed from "hanging around

In fact, Optimus Prime reverts to using his blades and spiked knuckles - which would have been a lovely add-on - to finish off Shockwave as can be seen here:

But to be fair, he did wipe out most of the heavy-hitter Decepticons and save the day in under 1 minute. It's just that he didn't use the Jet Wing through most of that minute.

Also, we should probably take the time to point out that the DA-15 JetWing Optimus Prime is not movie accurate. Note the guns Prime uses in this clip and the fact that the wings in the movies have are not straight edged, they have a slant to them:

Still. I suppose they're close and cool enough. And you have to admit DA-15 looks really good! And just like the movie version, DA-15 Jet Wing Optimus Prime's wings are fully adjustable - providing Optimus with greater control and maneuverability as well as bursts of speed or greater lift, 

And again, remember that you can still mount mechtech to those wings. Further, each of the four jet-nozzles are articulated and can be positioned - not by much however. 

Next up are those two gatling laser that did NOT appear in the movie - if you want to be a purist, you can probably rip the arms of an APU from the Matrix, recolor them a bit and attach those (Though another nice add-on would be to take the APU's chain-link ammo feed and attach it to the current Gatling cannons).

The Gatling cannon are first unlocked from the original booster rocket. They are attached to the booster rockets by the same clasps that lock the cannon to DA-15 JetWing Optimus Prime's arms.

 The Gatling cannons have "firing studs" that slide into Prime's hands and then are locked into place by the swivel lock above the "firing stud".

Happily, despite their considerable weight, the Gatling cannons can be moved around thanks to these locks, but their overall articulation is both supported and hampered by the flexible support arms that extend from the booster rockets.

And what you see here is roughly the extent of his arm articulation:

Let's take the time to note that DA-15 Jet Wing Optimus Prime is top heavy, and the feet extensions that they gave him that snap on, also snap-off with downward pressure so there is some issue with Prime's legs buckling with the weight and either you keep them spread, or you keep them bent. 

And those cannons ARE heavy. Expect to see JetWing Optimus Prime's arms popping out of their shoulder mounts every now and then. There may be a structural point of weakness here because Prime's arms are attached to his body by just a small piece of plastic. 

Finally close this review of  DA-15 Jet Wing Optimus Prime with a comparison:

DA-15 JetWing Optimus Prime is the shortest of the three movie Primes that combine: the Ultimate Optimus Prime and the Optimus Prime/Jetfire combo from Transformers Revenge of the Fallen. 

But he is the coolest and the most agile of the three. 

Nuff said, you know you want one and the cost of one just keeps climbing so far.


  1. They say that there is a black jetwing and the guns are chrome not plastic gray.

  2. Here is the site

  3. Ah, the Nightwatch!. Yup. Knowing Takara it was only a matter of time before they came up with a chrome version. The Jetwing should combine nicely with the Buster Prime.


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