Transformers – ROLL OUT! Roll out to the ULTIMATES! line, that is. The long-awaited first series of Transformers ULTIMATES! is shipping from Super7, and we have a series of First Looks lined up to share the newest residents of Energon.
The Super7 x Hasbro partnership is preparing to bear fruit in ULTIMATES! for everything from Power Rangers to G.I. Joe, but Transformers are kicking everything off with the release of the first series this month. Focusing on the animated designs, Optimus Prime anchors this first series, and seeing how he is by far the most popular and recognizable Transformer, we are starting our previews with him. My nostalgic hold on Transformers is not as strong as some of the other ULTIMATES! properties, but getting clean designs of the robot forms is something I have wanted to add to my collection for a long time.
As you probably know, and likely due to the licensing, these Transformers do not transform, and I know that can be dividing line within the Transformers community. I most certainly respect both sides of that line, and for the few transforming Transformers I do own, the most I have actually transformed one is once. With the rare exception here and there (I am looking at you, Grimlock) I most certainly prefer my Transformers in robot mode. So, clean lines and designs based on iconic looks is definitely more my speed, so this line appeals to me for the fact that these have been made as action figures as the primary objective. More so, as I am more familiar with classic cartoon than anything, those like Prime who take their looks directly from the show is what I have been looking for.
These new Transformers figures follow the basic formula of ULTIMATES! as the other properties. They fit in the approximate 7-inch scale (Prime clocks in at just under 8 inches) with about 20 points of articulation. The accessories are what make this figure particularly fun though, with:
- 2 Head sculpts
- 3 Pairs of hands
- Matrix of Leadership
- Spike Witwicky figure
- Energon binder
The extra head and hands have become the standard in ULTIMATES!, but Prime’s character-specific items like the axe, blaster, jetpack, and Matrix are certainly required fare for a release like this. My personal favorites are the episode-specific offerings like the basketball and freakin’ surfboard, and this is the first time an Optimus Prime figure release has included those. Sure, if you want to keep your display classic, all of the required friends and weaponry are there, but if you want OP to take on Michael Jordan in a game of hoops, you are now in luck, my friend. There is an extra hand that has a plug for the ball so Prime can palm a pass with ease.
Now, I know the articulation scheme and range of movement is something that many have been waiting to see and overall, it works well within the ULTIMATES! parameters. Remember, this line balances articulation without sacrificing the aesthetic. The shoulders get great range of movement, as do the neck, and hips. All of the joints are strong on this figure and there is most certainly no floppiness. He does have (like the other figures int his assortment) a well-hidden abdominal crunch joint that gets fairly good back and forth (the back is better), as well as knees that get about 90 degrees, and rocker ankles.
I will say my issue with the figure does come with the elbow joints. They are designed to be able to move with good range, but unfortunately there isn’t enough allowance in the cutout of the forearm to allow much more than about 45 degrees. The other three figures in this series do not suffer from this limitation, so it Prime falls short against the rest. It’s not a huge deal, but it is noticeable for some poses, and with the rest of the articulation working well, it’s kind of a bummer.
Overall, this is a great animated Optimus Prime and a solid start to the Transformers ULTIMATES! line. Super7 is taking the road not often traveled with several of their announced releases, but getting an anchor like Prime in this series (and Megatron in the next) makes this line an accessible jumping off point for Transformers fans. There are several new lines under the ULTIMATES! umbrella that are debuting this year and it is cool to see Transformers join the likes of MOTU, ThunderCats, and TMNT under a cohesive style. As I mentioned, this series is starting to ship now, but if you did not get an order before, you can still do so at BBTS and Dorkside.
Don’t worry we will be back soon with looks at Prime’s series mates – this is an eclectic line-up.
*Thanks to Super7 for sending long this figure for a First Look, we really appreciate it.