Usually I don’t go for smaller versions of big characters, but sometimes I’ll cave and do it. After the spectacular new Transformer Voyager Megatron, I needed an Optimus at about the same size to take him on. It really wouldn’t be fair to put such a small Megatron against the Leader Optimus, now would it? I’ve considered getting the Wal-Mart exclusive version because of his price and bonus figure, but after watching the movie, I knew which one I had to get:
I needed an Optimus figure that came with his awesome axe.
Fireburst Optimus Prime turns into a modified Peterbilt truck, now sporting the crazy solar panels Nitro Bumblebee, the Wreckers, and Jolt have. On this redeco, these parts end up in translucent orange, taking Prime’s flame deco to a new level. At first I was turned off by how he looked in this mode because the publicity photos made his windshields look INCREDIBLY orange. In person, though, it looks much better. The subtle changes between this vehicle mode and the previous deco are pretty neat.
Though I have to wonder what was going through their heads when they designed this part. Seriously, what? There’s like nothing on the back of his cab! He has a very nicely designed trailer hitch, but that’s about it. It looks HORRIBLE.
He has five MechTech ports in this mode, plus a sixth on his gun.
Prime has a medium level of transformation difficulty. There are a few things that threw me the first time around, like the hinges that connect his shoulders to the body. Mine were on so tight that I had to take a screwdriver to get them out the first time! I was afraid something was gonna break…
If you were nonchalantly looking through all the Voyagers at a store, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the Fireburst Primes apart from regular Primes at first glance: The color schemes in robot mode are nearly identical. The biggest difference between the two is the shade of blue: Fireburst Prime uses a MUCH deeper shade of blue, which I always thought looked striking on Optimus. It accents the red very nicely and makes it “pop”.
The figure’s design leaves a lot to be desired, however; with large portions of his cab becoming his forearms, fake chest, and VERY LONG LEGS. His hips even have extra wheels sculpted on them! Why not just accept the lack of accuracy and leave them off? It looks really silly. The overall look isn’t too bad, especially with the fuel tanks on his backpack. Still, they just cut way too many corners on this figure.
Even the head feels simplified. It’s lacking quite a bit of detail compared to previous figures. Also, this figure has neutered light piping because of the molding with the orange pieces. Wouldn’t want Movie Optimus to be even scarier with orange eyes, now would we?
His articulation is fairly decent, with all sorts of double joints in his arms plus ball-jointed wrists. Unfortunately, his arms are LOADED with kibble which makes them difficult to pose. I do like his ankles however, which gain a rocker joint, allowing him to stand even in some weird poses.
Of course, the selling point of this set is his MechTech weapon. It starts off like a very Gundam-esque beam rifle, but can be transformed into the totally awesome axe. Unfortunately, it’s kind of hard to get him to hold it properly because of the weapons width and all the crap on his arms. Still, it’s a very awesome little accessory.
If you want to get some version of this mold that’s readily available in the US, go for this one. The color scheme is more interesting and the weapon is really cool. If you already have the regular version, I’d say skip it because it isn’t that different. My suggestion is to get this one, then get the upcoming repainted Deluxe mold with the first Voyager’s MechTech gun, and give it to Fireburst. If you’re just looking for cool figures, though… skip him. He doesn’t have too much to offer for besides that axe.