Posted September 24, 2010 at 12:42 am
The Transformers Animated toyline is undoubtedly done in the States, but Japan's still cranking out what remains of what we didn't get over here. Good news! Also, bad news, since their stuff is not often compatible with our stuff, what with the metallic paint coating.
Nonetheless, I decided to chip in for Takara's Wingblade Optimus Prime, which gives Optimus his flight powerup that we saw in the final episodes. Originally, these parts were supposed to come with a battle-damaged-less version of Deluxe Class ($12) Optimus Prime and be sold as a Voyager ($20). But because Hasbro made sure that the upgrade was equally compatible with Voyager Optimus Prime, Takara opted for using the bigger Prime with their Wingblade release.
(I don't have access to my Deluxe Prime, so no pictures of the new parts on him just yet.)
Prime's mine because even if he ended up not fitting in with the rest of my Animated display due to his clashing deco, he'd still make a pretty good solo display piece. Takara released the newer, more-in-scale Bumblebee at the same time, but I declined to order him because, well, the whole point of getting the more-in-scale Bumblebee is to stand him with other dudes... and he's in colors that definitely won't mesh well with my other dudes. So dang. Maybe I'll pick him up at a BotCon if I get needy.
Takara already released a Voyager Optimus Prime in metallic paint, so they decided to make the base figure of their Wingblade Prime release in translucent plastic. Parts of him are still painted metallic (probably the parts they couldn't cast in translucent plastic), but he's still mostly translucent. Thankfully, his Wingblade parts weren't done in translucents, probably just so you could combine the parts seamlessly with the original metallicky release if you wanted to.
Let's get something out of the way. I don't like the metallic paint. Why? Because these things are shipped tangled up in twist-ties. Not the new paper ties Hasbro has recently changed to, but the old plastic ones. These like to scratch up metallic paint something fierce.
It's a bad idea.
The parts snap on easy enough. Obviously this upgrade wasn't planned from the beginning, since the add-ons are done pretty creatively. Did the original toy have some sort of random tab or groove somewhere? Guess what, that's getting used! The arm parts fit over the previous arms, pegging into the fistholes. The jetpack plugs into the flashers on Prime's back the same way the flashers plug into the top of the truck roof during transformation.
Now, the new truck mode is where it gets kinda sloppy. Basically, all you do is pile everything onto the back of the vehicle. In layers. It doesn't really create anything pretty. It's a truck with wings and a pair of forearms on it. There is a Magnus hammer shoved somewhere in there. It's inelegant, but it serves its purpose. And, really, nobody is going to care that much about this mode.
I thank God that the new parts don't stand out that much when plugged into my matte American Voyager Prime. That's what I was hoping for, anyway! Sure, some of it's shiny, but it doesn't matter all that much. They were hastily-added upgrades in-fiction as well, so I can even justify it like the continuity nerd I am.
Even if Denton Tipton looks down his nose at me for being so.