Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Combiner Wars Optimus Prime (2015)

If Hasbro has learned one thing in the past 35 years, it is that certain Transformers characters consistently sell toys, and that if any one character sells toys more consistently than any other, that character is Optimus Prime. The TFWiki suggests that Generation One Optimus Prime "has received the largest number of toys for any single Transformers character," and I see no reason to contradict that observation. While it perhaps isn't a guarantee that every new Transformers sub-line will contain at least one new Optimus Prime toy, one has to look fairly hard to find the exceptions.

Combiner Wars Optimus Prime is, in many ways, a fairly standard Optimus Prime toy. Red and blue with grey and/or white highlights, with two windows comprising the bulk of his chest. Indeed, these chest windows are such an iconic part of the Optimus Prime design that many toys incorporate them into Optimus Prime's robot mode even when they do not form the windows of Optimus Prime's vehicle mode. Combiner Wars Optimus Prime is one such toy with "faux chest windows."

Optimus Prime's vehicle mode also follows what is, in many ways, the standard pattern, in that he transforms into a predominately red truck with a blue back end. Most modern Optimus Prime toys no longer come with a trailer, as many older or collector-oriented Optimus Prime toys have done, but it is still unmistakable that this Combiner Wars version is an Optimus Prime toy.

What sets this Optimus Prime toy apart from others is that (unlike Combiner Wars Megatron) it can become the core of a combined robot. Combiner Wars Optimus Prime's instructions suggest four other specific Combiner Wars toys (one of which is actually a Decepticon!) to team up with Optimus Prime to form "Ultra Prime." While I have all four of these other toys, I consider three of them to belong to other combiners (instructions notwithstanding), so what you see here is simply an example of what you can do with the Combiner Wars play pattern with other Autobots (Alpha Bravo, seen at Ultra Prime's leg, is the only one of the stated components I retained for Ultra Prime). Combiner Wars was intentionally set up in such a way that pretty much every Deluxe-sized toy in the line could be become a limb (either an arm or a leg) for pretty much any Voyager-sized toy capable of becoming a combiner core. This is an intentional homage to the "Scramble City" style of combiner from Generation One, but Combiner Wars really took the concept to a whole new level.

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