Saturday, October 19, 2013

Transformers Optimus Prime FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit

Presenting the Transformers Optimus Prime FW-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit.

For the uninitiated, in the Transformer Revenge of the Fallen movie, the recently brought back from the dead Optimus Prime gets his ass handed to him by the Fallen. A mortally wounded aging Jetfire starts throwing his parts at Optimus Prime declaring that his parts will help Prime defeat the Fallen. The Autobots Rachet and Jolt provide an electrical conduit that magnetically combines Prime with the parts of Jetfire resulting in a really cool incarnation of Optimus Prime that he sadly just shrugs off after he beats the crap out of the Fallen - then again Jetfire's parts by that time were really beat up.

Though he does get to say "Let's Roll!!!" before leaping up into the sky.

Unfortunately Hasbro never thought about how to properly translate this into toy form. What they did instead was simply have the ENTIRE Jetfire piggy back directly onto Optimus Prime. The result being a really crappy looking toy that did not resemble the Optimus Prime/Jetfire gestalt. The gestalt could barely even move - as can be seen here.

Hasbro even tried creating what they coined to be the "Ultimate Optimus Prime" which did not make an appearance in the movie and looked just as bad.

A few years later, third party toy maker FWI (Fan's Wanted It) comes up with this beautiful upgrade kit, the FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit - that involves "parts" of Jetfire that combine with Optimus Prime to quite closely form the required gestalt between Optimus Prime and Jetfire.

Of course it's 3rd party, frowned at by Hasbro and bears no traces or hints to the manufacturer to avoid law suits.

But it's really, really cool!

What's to like about the Transformers Optimus Prime FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit?

The FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit makes a wonderful tank!!!!

Naturally your first impulse would be to combine him with Optimus Prime - any of the DOTM or ROTF variants will do by the way. Remember how we talked about how we talked about how the DA-28 Striker Prime could not take the DA-15's Jetwing because his canisters would not come off? The FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade kit is flexible enough that I've been able to combine him with both and the Buter Prime.

But I digress. Alone, the FWI-3 looks like a tank straight out of the Terminator. It just looks so sharp and menacing. A crudely put together gunship with little armor that moves fast and punches hard like a Hetzer - if you play Battletech, not the WWII version. Sadly I forgot to see if someone like Bumblebee could ride it into battle.

But the true joy happens when you combine the FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit with any ROTF or DOTM Leader Class Optimus Prime. I initially combined him with a DA-28 Striker Prime, but switched to a Buster Prime instead.

Note the movie accurate detail. The back-canted legs, the huge cannon with ammo feed, the SR-71 Blackbird engines whose casings spread out like wings.

The only non-movie accurate item on the Optimus Prime to your left right now is that in this case, I opted to mount his wrist-cannons - which do appear in the movie - on his shoulders instead of on his wrists.

It's just nice to know you have options.

I love how shiny the Buster Prime is.

Even the flaps on the back of Optimus Prime is movie accurate:

Note how the Buster Prime can still extend it's wrist blade despite having the FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit wrist blasters attached to Prime's forearms. 

But the nicest thing about the FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit, unlike the Jetfire/Optimus Prime gestalt that Hasbro released is this: Optimus Prime can move!

What's NOT to like about the Transformers Optimus Prime FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit?

Well to say that the FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit makes Optimus Pruime top-heavy is an understatement. Add to that the warning that comes with the box that says that certain parts of the FWI-3 are fragile - the... nosecone projections off his shoulder in particular - and you end up with a kit and figure for display purposes only. One you really wouldn't want to mess with because you might break it.

True enough half of my shoot with the FWI-3 Upgrade Kit was a test of catching it before it falls, gritting my teeth and praying, or leaning it against the wall.

The next thing that's not to like about the FWI-3 Upgrade Kit is what happen when you combine the "tank" with Optimus Prime's truck mode. It look like a road-accident. Like something from a swamp crawled out and tried to mate with a truck.

The Transformers Optimus Prime FWI-3 Jet Power Upgrade Kit set me back PhP 3,200 (Roughly US$ 72.72). But I got an additional discount by purchasing it from Greattoysonline's brick and mortar store in Festival Mall. It is not available on Amazon. Ebay would be the best place to look for it.

I love it. It's a must have for Optimus Prime collectors despite the minor drawbacks.


  1. hello! i have an ultimate optimus prime figure and want to know if this FWI-3 upgrade kit fits the ultimate optimus prime? really appreciate for an answer! thanks!

  2. Hey Will! Ah.... You know I haven't tried that but I'll go out on a limb and say no, it won't fit. The Ultimate Optimus Prime is waaay too small for that.

  3. I figured that and wanted to confirm before buying the FWI-3 upgrade kit, by the way, great review, thanks!

  4. That looks so sweet, man! Congratulations on this one. Really looks so much better than that horrid one that came out during the movie's run.

  5. Great review, my question is, can this upgrade kit combine with the original ROTF Leader class Optimus Prime which the canister can't take out? Thanks.

  6. Hi Tel! I've tried combining it with the DA-28 Striker Prime whose canisters also don't come off. No problem with the connection. The canisters are pretty clear :)


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