It's another RETRO REVIEW! Today we're looking at the Hasbro Transformers: War for Cybertron Earthrise series Leader Class Optimus Prime, originally released In February 2020. I have very few Transformers in my collection, by choice. Not because I don't like the characters, but because I just can't afford to buy multiple lines of figures! (That and Mrs. ToyBox would send me to an early grave! LOL) However, there are a few key Transformers from the Siege and Earthrise series that I wanted. Optimus Prime, of course, being one of them.
"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." Such is the motto of the courageous leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. Possessing the power of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, Optimus Prime is the wisest and most beloved of the Autobot leaders. On the battlefield, there are not many who can match Optimus Prime's power and skill. He is easily the strongest of any Autobot his size. Armed with his potent Ion Blaster and energon-axe, Optimus leads his fellow Autobots into battle against the menace of the Decepticons. When not in use, his Combat Deck, and drone vehicle Roller transform into his trailer and can be stored in a subspace universe. Though his compassion for all life is his greatest strength, time and again, The Decepticons have used it against Prime, even such to the point that he has willingly sacrificed himself to protect innocent lives.
Retro Reviews are a lot of fun because we get to take a look back at some older figures and rediscover the joy, they brought us when we first cracked them open or brought them home from the store. A Retro Review can be on a figure six months old or six years old which makes them all the more fun to look back at. Readers know that we base our reviews on four categories: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability, finally combining the results into an overall grade of zero to five toyboxes, with five being a "must have" figure.
The Earthrise Leader Class Optimus Prime comes with his Ion Blaster and trailer. His chest opens and he also has a removable Matrix of Leadership. The rear door of the trailer can detach and port onto his forearm as a "shield." The fact that he comes with the trailer is a big plus, but he probably could have had an Energon-Axe to plug into his hand, which would have been a really cool effect piece. He's also missing Roller, which would have been a really nice addition to the trailer. Typically, aside from weapons most Transformers don't have a lot of "accessories" so to speak, so with that in mind and the fact that he's missing a couple of critical elements, I have to give Optimus an A- for Accessories. Roller alone would have bumped him up.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Now I have to say... this is one of the sharpest Optimus Prime figures I have seen. Yes, I know there are many out there that are far more screen accurate to the cartoons, but so many of those are also unable to transform. In either truck or robot mode, this Prime really looks fantastic. The paint applications are really clean and to see him looking as accurate as he does just put a big smile on my face. I was 13 years old when Transformers hit the states in 1984 and I've been a fan ever since. I do wish that there had been a wash inside the trailer and even on some of the gray parts on Prime's legs to bring out some more of the details. The windshield is clear plastic over a light blue background, designed to look as though the sky is reflecting off it. and when the light hits it at different angles, really makes it look like actual glass. When opening the chest pieces to reveal the matrix, the inner mechanisms are a solid gunmetal/silver, and the matrix is painted accurately. The blue crystal in the center of the matrix has detail as well and really looks sharp.
Any fan of Transformers in general and Optimus Prime in particular will see the obvious care and attention to detail that went into the creation of this particular series. The Autobot symbol is cleanly applied on his trailer. Honestly, pictures really don't do this justice. The figure is just that nice looking. I was worried about possible scuffing or damage when transforming him and have had no problem at all. Even in truck form, the cab is clean, and the lines come together nicely to hide the transformation but more important... the truck LOOKS like it is supposed to. Prime was modeled on a Freightliner FL cab-over truck and this figure is fairly accurate in the depiction. Obviously, some artistic license was used due to the specific nature of the toy, but that being said, I am very happy with how Hasbro turned out this fantastic edition of Optimus Prime. Easy A for Appearance.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
The most fun thing about this figure is how well he moves and how easy he is to transform. His head turns side to side and actually can look up just a little bit. It also sits on a base that pivots to bring his head down inside the cab for transformation. His shoulders are a dream to work with, they will allow his arms to rotate a full 360 degrees and the shoulders hinge back to move the arms wide out as well as to accommodate the transformation. His elbows bend 90 degrees and have a pivot point as well and the hands will swivel, with hinged fingers for gripping his rifle or holding the matrix. As mentioned earlier, his chest pieces hinge open allowing access to the matrix. His torso will fully rotate, which is also part of his transformation process, but there is no forward ab crunch, though he can bend backward, which is a main part of the transformation process. The legs, though, are truly amazing. They will kick forward and can do a full-on split. The knees bend quite well, in spite of their design, able to achieve an almost 90-degree bend. and his ankles actually hinge to accommodate wider feet stances. The trailer opens and TeleTran-1 inside can be raised and lowered and has two grasping claws which can pivot and move. Additionally, the trailer has a support base which swings down to support the Combat Deck when fully deployed. Prime's rifle also folds in half and can plug into his back or be ported into one of the many spots inside the trailer for concealment and, yes, all of the tires spin freely. Posing this Optimus Prime is a lot of fun, and he looks solid doing it! I thought about going through the step-by-step transformation process, but that would take far too long and many of you would probably drop the dreaded "TLDR" on me. So, with that, I'll give him his A for Articulation and move onto our last category.
When this figure was first released, the retail price was a reasonable $44.95. Now, however, being difficult to find, this figure has shot up into the $100 range and higher on the secondary market. I had the GREAT fortune of finding mine at an Ollie's close out store and paid only $19.99 for it! I did get mine a couple of years ago, but that doesn't mean you might not stumble across one in an Ollie's near you. For our purposes though, we'll base this review on the original pricing and given the overall "good" of this figure, $44.95 was a good price to pay if you were able to find one when they were first released in 2020. I definitely am biased at my $20 price sticker and can justify a high grade, especially given how much the figure has climbed on the secondary market. It's definitely not as affordable now, but if you are a die-hard collector, it's worth the price to add this Optimus Prime to your own Transformers collection. He gets an A for Affordability.
Overall, I'm very happy with this figure and have so few complaints that it's very easy, when considering everything above to give him a solid:
4 Toyboxes out of 5
The Hasbro Transformers War for Cybertron Earthrise Leader Class Optimus Prime is a super fun figure to have and looks great in any Transformers collection. Thank you so much for sticking around through the review. Don't forget to submit your email and subscribe for notifications on new reviews, interviews, and columns! Until next time... GEEK OUT!!!