Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pandoras Box PB02 Mekbuda Optimus Prime Upgrade

Presenting the Pandora's Box (PB02) Mekbuda Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime Armor Upgrade - with the FOC Ultra Magnus' sword.

When the War for Cybertron Optimus Prime (WFC Prime) was released followed by the Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime (FOC Prime), they were quickly followed by a plethora of 3rd party upgrades that made the playing experience... closer.... to the game experience (Check out the FOC Sword and Shield here).

Hot on the heels of the two video game Primes was an Ultra Magnus that was basically a repaint of the FOC Prime with a new face.

A lot of people complained though that it looked nothing like the FOC Ultra Magnus that appeared in the Nintendo version of the game. So Pandora's Box made armor for Ultra Magnus, called the PB01 Mebsuta. As the two molds were similar, Pandora's Box made a re-colored version of the armor which we have here: PB02 Mekbuda

Still didn't look like Ultra Magnus from the video games.


But Pandora's Box actually has grander designs in mind. What we see here is just the weapons system of a much larger trailer that they have yet to release. The trailer's final "contribution" to either the FOC Prime or Magnus is hinted at the instruction manual where the silhouette of something reminiscent of the God Bomber can be seen.

But as the God Bomber is a result of two robots and a trailer, suffice to say, Pandora's Box is going for something relatively unique.


ASSEMBLY OF THE PANDORA'S BOX PB02 MEKBUDA OPTIMUS PRIME UPGRADE. 

Yes Prime! Some assembly is required and we love taking Transformers apart. But the assembly is quite simple, you'd need a fine blade/level, a flat head screw-driver (Optional), and a very thin Philips screw-driver.

Open up the Mekbuda package and you will find this (Note, it's actually missing something, but we need not talk about it and it's a fine warning to check everything in the future).



First order of business is the need to pop the coupling that connects FOC Prime's leg to his hip.

A small metallic "Nail" is provided to help accomplish this, but this is no easy task even with the tool. Eventually I ended up using a flat head to pop the coupling out.


Then take the long Philips Screwdriver and open up the FOC Optimus Prime. The goal is to replace the entire lower torso assembly.


But you're not done yet! Take a small blade or a flat thin strip of metal and "pop" the front (Light gray) portion of FOC Prime's original lower torso and attach it to the new dark-gray portion that came with the Mekbuda upgrade. It's not glued it place, just held together by clips. 

The new lower back torso is slimmer and slightly taller than the original piece. That's the only difference between the two.

It also properly aligns the front-torso and back-torso at the hip area (You can see the misalignment above), so that when you attach the "cod-piece" so that when you squeeze the sides to lock the cod-piece in pace, the cod-piece will seal nicely.

Here's the thing: "YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANY OF THE STUFF WE JUST TALKED ABOUT!!!!"

We went through the difficult process you see above and then we noticed this gap between the new lower torso and the upper torso.

This gap does not exist in the original FOC Prime as you can see here (Click to blow it up), so despite the upper torso being relatively heavy the tiny waist supports it. So early on we had an inkling that this particular configuration would not work unless we either had clear nail polish or some other form of adhesive to make the center ball joint as stiff as possible.

True enough, when we attached the new upper armor, the upper torso spun like a top.

So we kept the original lower torso from here on.

Transform FOC Prime like so:


And attach the lower legs and knee-pad armor:



Splay the upper torso as so:


There's a small hook in the upper torso that should slide a bit tightly where the FOC Prime's head is stored/pops out. Once that's in place, you should be able to gently coax the rest of the new torso down itnto place starting with the back portion - which is the most difficult part as you'll encounter the most movable parts in it's way there i.e. the cover of FOC Prime's head and the arms. Once the back is in place though you should be able to lock the new breast pieces into place easily.


It gets easier with practice. Yes, the armor can be removed. Add weapons and you have an FOC Optimus Prime upgraded with a PB02 Mekbuda armor.

WHAT'S TO LOVE ABOUT THE PANDORA'S BOX PB02 MEKBUDA OPTIMUS PRIME UPGRADE? 

We LOOOOVVVEEE how he makes that little guy with the big boobs so big!

We know a lot of people who think that High Moon Studios should have just maintained the War for Cybetron Optimus Prime mold in the new game - as it was really kick-ass.

We're among that group.

Just look at how kick ass a souped up War for Cybetron Optimus Prime versus a souped up FOC Prime is even with the Cold Weapons Sword ad Shield


So we really love how the Mekbuda armor made the FOC Prime so much more kick-ass to look at:


The Pandora's Box Mekbuda Optimus Prime is bristling with weapons. You have the six relatively large caliber guns on his chest, two poseable shoulder cannons, and two sets of mini-missile launchers - two on his lower legs, and another two on his chest. This should make for quite a "Gundam" style Alpha-Strike:


We love the authoritative no-nonsense head design of the Mekbuda Optimus Prime. We could have used longer ears, but we can work with that. Look at how those eyes pop!


Now, as mentioned the PB02 Mekbuda is a repaint of the PB01 Mebsuta armor upgrade for the FOC Ultra Magnus. So, you can flip his ear up, remove his faceplate, raise his shoulder pauldrons and lower his shoulder cannons for a more "Ultra Magnus" look - though there's no getting over the red.


The PB02 Mekbuda comes with three pairs of hands. A pair of closed fists; a pair of slightly opened closed fists that allow for weapons to be mounted, and; a pair of opened fists that can grasp weapons and have enough flexibility to grab larger objects if necessary (Like other 3rd party products):


Now one of the things we love about the Pandora's Box PB02 armor upgrade for Optumus Prime is that aside from having slots and mech-tech ports galore to hide/mount weapons, he actually has storage areas for the unused pairs of hands and for the two ammunition clips that accompany the armor should you decide not to use them. We appreciate this because this doesn't mean that we have to store these parts in separate areas. The armor and it's accessories can and will travel with it. We love how, should you prefer him as Ultra Magnus, the Mekbuda's backpack actually opens up to store Optimus Prime's faceplate.



Isn't that so thoughtful?

The Mekbuda Armored Optimus Prime's basic weapon is a hand-axe and the FOC Prime's basic rifle:



If that fails to scare people, you can always give him the War for Cybertron Battle Axe:


Check out that excellent leg articulation - unfortunately though, the Mekbuda / Parllax Armored Optimus Prime cannot kneel.

Now you can also combine FOC Prime's rifle with his axe for a supposedly more powerful weapon:


If that's still not powerful enough for you, pop out one of the ammunition clips from one of the lower leg storage compartments, and add the extended barrel for a killer looking rifle:


We're not done yet! What if we gave the Pandora's Box Mekbuda Armored Optimus Prime FOC Ultra Magnus' sword!

Obviously it's not meant for him and unfortunately what we're about to show you does not work with the FOC Cold Weapons Sword, but it looks great with him.

And as a added bonus, because of all his mounting ports, you can store the sword on his back or on his side:

But the real fun happens when you extend the barrel of his rifle and create a Dragon Naginata:



And even the Dragon Naginata can be stored on the Mekbuda Armored Optimus Prime's back:


The Pandora's Box PB02 Mekbuda Armored Optimus Prime can easily scare the hell out of any Decepticon when he dual wields the Draon Naginata with the War for Cybertron Battle Axe:


WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT THE PANDORA'S BOX PB02 MEKBUDA OPTIMUS PRIME UPGRADE? 

Unfortunately there's quite a few things not to like:

First: Most of his joints need to be tightened. Note that we accept that this may be unique to the one we have, our Mekbuda Armored Optimus Prime has difficulty handling heavier weapons. We will have to stiffen his joints.

Second: Why did we have to take apart his lower torso again? Speaking of, that's a really tiny waist. It was small when he was just an FOC Prime, it's even smaller now. Maybe Pandora's Box should have designed him something thicker. Look at these photos and tell me it doesn't look like Optimus Prime is an old man wearing really high-waisted pants:


Oh! And there's this third incarnation of his rifle that combines his chest mini-missile launcher and, get this, his waist which accents the problem even more:


Third: He can't kneel. Nuff said. No, just because he's a Prime and does not kneel to anyone doesn't mean he shouldn't be able to do it.

Fourth: He didn't come with the damn sword. Ultra Magnus wants it back.

Fifth:  The worst thing about the PB02 Mekbuda Optimus Prime Upgrade is that when removed, it becomes nothing. Remember when we reviewed the FWI-3 Jet Power upgrade? The add-on armor becomes a really kick-ass tank. The PB02 becomes nothing other than a mess on the floor.

Happily though Pandora's Box does tease us with a trailer upgrade for the FOC Prime that will combine with the PB02. But till that's released, it's a mess on the floor.

This particular Pandora's Box PB02 Mekbuda Optimus Prime was purchased from a Transformers forum for PhP 4,000 (Roughly US$ 91). It is available on Amazon for US$ 99.99 (Roughly 4,399 plus shipping).


Let's wait for the trailer.


4 comments:

  1. Whoever thought of this upgrade is a genius!The armor makes a bland figure pop up! If only the designers thought of this for WFC .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yap. Definitely a genius. But the production could use some work. Maybe shinier, more metallic skin. Tighter joints. And someone should really do something about that tiny waist.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hope they release the trailer.

    ReplyDelete

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