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Today we are quickly interested in the content of the LEGO set 10302 Transformers Optimus Prime, a box of 1508 pieces which will be available at the retail price of €169.99 from June 1, 2022.
Might as well make things clear right away, Optimus Prime fans in version Michael Bay Cinematic Universe will perhaps be a little disappointed with this model: this is a reproduction of the toy marketed in Japan by Takara under the Diaclone brand in 1980 then in the USA by Hasbro in 1984, delivered here without the trailer. It is therefore immediately less shiny than the version seen on screen in films released since 2007.
The promise here is ambitious, LEGO committing to allow the passage of the Autobot from robot mode to vehicle version without having to disassemble anything, or even remove parts. And yet I want to say that it's the least you can do for a manufacturer of construction toys: to offer a model that pays homage to a mythical toy for an entire generation implies respecting even the major functionalities that have it makes success. This was the case with Voltron in the set 21311 LEGO Ideas Voltron Defender of the Universe, there was no reason that Optimus Prime could not benefit from the same treatment.
I'm from the reference toy generation and I vaguely remember having had many more or less transformable vehicles in my hands, probably copies of Hasbro products for that matter. Some necessarily remember several toys from the Transformers universe that are almost impossible to "transform" without getting upset because they don't have the documentation at hand. This is somewhat the case here, it will be necessary to refer to the instruction booklet for the first manipulations but the process which is broken down into about fifteen steps on paper is memorized quickly.
To achieve the expected result expected by fans of the franchise, there was only one solution: to massively use the full range of Ball Seals, notched axles and clips existing at LEGO. And that's what the designer did, with the arrival of a robot that has 19 points of articulation and that transforms well into a truck without spending hours on it or dismantling everything.
In reality, in a few manipulations, Optimus Prime is converted into a truck. Going back from truck to robot is in theory at least as easy by taking the instructions backwards, but LEGO doesn't explicitly document the transformation in this sense.
The first transformations can quickly be a bit annoying, we try to adjust the different modules to get the best possible truck and it's sometimes a bit complicated. There is always a space here or there but the result is overall very satisfying and you will impress your friends on occasion.
The assembly of this Autobot only takes a few hours and does not hold any notable surprises. We quickly realize that the limbs and torso of Optimus Prime have been designed to withstand the manipulations necessary to transform the robot into a truck, nothing comes off inadvertently and there are only a few sub-assemblies like the thumbs of the hands which will be a little fragile on arrival.
In the end, the robot is massive, a little "massive" even, but it's for a good cause. It was designed with the need to be able to handle and convert it without breaking everything in mind. There are still a few sparse spaces at the junction between the shoulders and the forearms and several surfaces with a very rough finish in the back or at the level of the inside of the arms, but we will do with it.
The head of Optimus Prime seems to me successful and well proportioned even if it seems a little "detached" from the body under certain angles. LEGO cleverly masks this feeling on official visuals by often presenting the construction from a low angle.
As on the reference toy, we find here some "chrome" parts which give a little cachet to this exhibition model. The grille, the side tanks, the front of the legs and the mirrors are metallic. Too bad for the two chimneys behind the cabin, they would have really benefited from a little shine rather than being satisfied with these two gray pines of a distressing sadness.
Optimus Prime has no knees, we will have to do without. It will therefore be impossible to exhibit the model with, for example, one knee on the ground, but the rigidity of the legs is somewhat compensated by the possibility of spreading them apart to vary the poses and with both feet on Ball Seals always remain perfectly in contact with the ground and do not slip thanks to the small orange rubber inserts usually used on the tracks of LEGO Technic vehicles. This is enough for an exhibition product that is not intended to end up in the hands of the youngest.
It will be necessary to stick three stickers on the robot without counting that of the descriptive plate but the sheet provided remains very reasonable and many elements are pad printed. I'm not drawing you a picture, everything that is not on the board that I scanned for you is therefore pad-printed: the eyes and the front of the Optimus Prime helmet, the rims of the wheels or even the logos on the shoulders and the yellow patterns on the forearms.
Some accessories are provided, just to be able to vary the pleasures by exposing Optimus Prime: an Energon ax which is fixed on the right arm by threading a Technic axis after having removed the hand of the character, an ionic blaster which was present in the toy of reference and which ends here either in the hand of Optimus Prime or in the back of the tractor, a removable jetpack borrowed from Sideswipe (the Lamborghini Countach in the original series, a Corvette Stingray in the films) which gives a little volume on the back of the construction and which significantly improves the finish, a simple but effective Energon cube and the Matrix of Power (Matrix of Leadership) which is stored behind the windshield of the vehicle.
This last accessory is summarized here in its simplest form, but its presence is appreciable. Everything is accompanied by a small presentation plate which as usual amplifies the collector's side of the product and tries to justify the price. Nothing crazy about this plate dressed in a sticker, it just lists the different abilities of Optimus Prime.
For those who are wondering and who have not bothered to check: Optimus Prime is a little smaller than Voltron, 35 cm against a little over 40 cm high.
Personally, I am really convinced by this product even if its overall aesthetic is not perfect. It is indeed a Transformers as Hasbro proposed it in 1984 and the contract is also completely fulfilled with the possibility of transforming the Autobot into a truck without complicated manipulations and that is the main thing.
Did this robot deserve to be stamped 18+ and to be presented as an exhibition model? It will be up to everyone to judge according to their affinity with the Transformers license and their perception of the tribute paid here to a toy that is nearly 40 years old. Many fans would no doubt have appreciated a version based on the films released in theaters since 2007 but it will not be for this time. This derivative product does indeed deal with the same subject but from another era and the few minutes devoted to learning the conversion phase of the Autobot into a truck are in my opinion well worth the investment in this product which gives pride of place to the nostalgia of a whole generation of fans.
Note: The set presented here, provided by LEGO, is as usual involved. Deadline fixed at May 22th next at 23:59 p.m. Just post a comment under the article to participate.
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