R.E.D. Optimus Prime G1

Walmart-exclusive RED (Robot Enhanced Design) G1 Optimus Prime has started showing up at Burlington, so let’s see what makes this figure tick and whether it’s worth tracking down.

Found this guy at Burlington today, the most random find. For $8 I caved. The boxed experience looks pretty good. Getting it out of the box reveals how Hasbro the package is, not only does the package get incredibly unfun from the way it comes apart (which it can totally go back together just fine, I simply found it peeking behind the curtain to see the the creaky gears and leavers, and old man who runs them) but it deforms a bunch of parts with 2 chintzy trays everything’s wedged into.

The paint is decent, the eyes are very light blue which my phone’s zoom lens couldn’t pull out but does look alright in hand. The figure moves alright, not even bothered by the blue pins in the knees, but the lack of butterfly shoulders is pretty limiting, and it looks like an upper elbow joint was costed out so he only has 90 degrees despite effective double-jointed knees with tons more range – I would have gone the other way, double elbows and single knees; the rocker ankles are ok but barely move.

The Matrix is tiny but not terrible, though it’s not a great look in the chest most of the time, only the “chest open” looks. The ion blaster looks decent, the barrel is sagging slightly from the stupid tray. The energy ax is, you guessed it, slightly sagging from the stupid tray, although it is hinged at the wrist peg. The two extra sets of hands are a bit confusing, two kinda light grasping hands, a right pointer hand, and a right trigger hand, but no hands that are designed to open The Matrix, no left pointer hand, no left trigger hand, so he can hold the ion blaster 1- or 2-handed but he can’t hold the blaster and point, for example. The quality doesn’t feel worse than Ultimates, which is not a good thing for Super7’s product that costs twice this much.

Then again, I did get hit by the Hasbro QC bug on this guy…

Overall, not as bad as I expected, it even convinced me to buy the RED Megatron at Ross for $12 when I found him. It’s got some charm and a little more design to get more of the articulation doing that extra work would have taken it over the top.