Price: $19.XX ($19.87, I think)
(Sorry for the lack of pictures. My digital camera is broke. I will provide them when it gets fixed.)
I got this with some Christmas money. I actually paid full price for this one, which I don't usually do for Transformers over the $9.99 price point if I can help it. I'm glad I did, because this is an excellent figure with only one REAL complaint I can think of.
Optimus is in his classic vehicle form, a tractor (as in tractor-trailer, not as in farm) with a mainly red and blue paint scheme. However, instead of his usually, boxy, flat-nosed, cab-over-engine appearance, Optimus has been given an appearance that is a tad more streamlined. Instead of his cab being shaped like a box, the windshield and front bumper are rounded off at the corners, and he also comes with a nice big wind vane over the cab. This wind vane can be removed, but it covers up the area where Prime's head is stored, so it helps with his appearance. There are some silver details painted on the sides of the cab, wind vane, and the rims of the wheels. The front bumper is molded in plastic gray, and I wish this had been painted in silver to match the rest of the truck, but this is a minor complaint. There is a separate piece that forms the smokestacks. In all, I think this is a very good "modern" interpretation of the classic Prime we children of the 80's grew up with.
Optimus shares a standard transformation scheme with most of his predecessor. The rear portion of the tractor folds down to become the legs, the arms unfold from the cab, and the head flips out of the top of the cab. The legs must be rotated 180 degrees once they are folded down in order for his feet to be facing the correct direction. The neat thing here is that rather than have the rotation occur at the hips, the rotation actually occurs on a joint just below the chest section. The result is that Prime's big blocky front bumper and tires are also rotated behind his body, leaving a nice, slender waist and keeping Optimus from looking like a tractor cab with legs and arms (Energon Optimus, I'm looking at you.) The wind vane is angled back and is either left there as a sort of back armor, or can be removed and transformed into a long-range looking blaster. The head is simply flipped up out of the top of the cab. My figure had the face facing up, but I turn the head around 180 degrees and have the face looking in, that way I can remove the wind vane and still have Prime's face hidden in vehicle mode. The smokestacks are removed and folded together, this forms Prime's main weapon, a double barreled blaster. The blaster is molded in black plastic, but the main barrels are painted in silver. The only real complaint I have here is what happens with the forearms. The side window portion of the cab is folded out and over the forearms during transformation and they just sort of stick out on the sides. This leaves Optimus with the only bit of "kibble" (parts of from vehicle mode that just sort of hang off the side, but serve no function) on an otherwise sleek looking robot mode. Again, a minor complaint. Prime's eyes are clear blue plastic, and are light-piped. Prime's "helmet," as usual is molded in blue, so the clear blue portion on the back of the head that pipes light to the eyes does not stand out. However, because the blue is such a dark color, the light-piping effect is minimal in normal ambient light. You have to be looking head on to get the effect at all. Again, minor complaint as the eyes could have just been opaque blue plastic.
My one REAL complaint with this figure? There's no Autobot symbol! Sure, there's a heat sensitive "mood" sticker that, if you place your finger on it and wait...oh...about 5 minutes, the Autobot symbol shows up (these mood stickers don't work as well as the original G1 stickers.) But even this is stuck on the side of the cab and seems like an afterthought at best. Sure, I understand the whole "Robot in Disguise" motif, and I don't want my 'bots going around in vehicle mode screaming "I'm an Autobot/Decepticon!" But because of Prime's transformation scheme, that red Autobot symbol would have been perfect if they had put it in the usual place, his shoulder, as the symbol would be hidden in vehicle mode. Hasbro, this is Optimus Prime we're talking about. Leader of the Autobots. He needs to wear that Autobot symbol proudly.
Even looking at that minor gripe, I can't find any reason not to tell you to run out and buy this figure, now. Except for the Masterpiece Optimus, it is probably the BEST Optimus Prime figure ever released domestically. With all the other lines OP's (Armada, Energon, Cybertron) being around the $40 price point, it certainly is the best bang for your buck.