Welcome to our review of the Hasbro Transformers Studio Series Optimus Prime. Launched in 2018, the Studio Series is a range of screen accurate Transformers from the live action Transformer movies, produced to be in relative scale with each other. They are packed in collector friendly window boxes that also includes a cardboard fold out stand with scene appropriate backdrop.
Optimus Prime is number 5 in the line, and is a Voyager class release - the next size up from the basic Deluxe releases.
The Studio Series packaging does borrow elements from Hasbro's other collector series such as Star Wars Black Series and the Marvel Legends. The box is black in base colour with a large open window to see the figure. To the side of the window is a bold red TRANSFORMERS logo on top of which is the Generations badge and a Takara Tomy logo - these are produced in collaboration with Takara Tomy in Japan.
Cut into the window is an image of the character, Optimus, and under this sits the numbering in a contrasting blue font, with Optimus number 05 in the line. The movie from which the character is taken sits to the side of this - with Optimus here as he was seen in Revenge of the Fallen. Under this is a blue band confirming this as a Studio Series release - and then we get the character name and a logo to confirm if this is a Autobot or Decepticon release.
To the right hand side of the box the spine repeats the Autobot logo and a larger image of Optimus. The larger Autobot logo near the top of this side spine is actually a cut out from the outer box to display the inner tray onto which this image is printed.
The other side spine is a combination of black and the electric blue. Here we see a larger number (#05) and a repeat of the Studio Series text. We have a head shot of Optimus and under this confirmation that this is a Voyager class release - the middle of the three sizes in the Studio Series (Deluxe > Voyager > Leader).
The rear of the box moves to a red backdrop and shows Optimus in both Robot and Vehicle mode along with the "steps" count for transformation, 35 in total. There is some brief background text about the Studio Series and about Optimus - nothing in depth.
"BIG SCREEN INSPIRED Scale, Detail, Backdrop"
"OPTIMUS PRIME fearlessly takes on the DECEPTICONS, risking it all for freedom."
The figure is accessed from the top or bottom flap. It slides out along with the backdrop diorama set. This is made in cardboard and includes a red plinth, complete with movie logo and Autobot symbol. The back of the card is the movie scene - for Optimus it is the Forest Battle scene from Revenge of the Fallen.
The two sides fold out further to reveal a deep red frame to the piece. Studio Series and the number 05 - inverted in triangle so it is now red text on black background. The opposite side carries the Transformers logo and that Autobot symbol we saw earlier through the cutout in the box package.
Optimus is securely strapped in to a further inner plastic tray with a cotton string type tie around his waist, and elasticated clear ties around arms, legs and the two sword arms. it is best to snip these with scissors.
Also included is the instructions to walk you through all 35 steps of Optimus' transformation to vehicle mode and back.
Sculpt & Decoration
Optimus is a good likeness to his onscreen Revenge of the Fallen counterpart in terms of body shape and makeup. For example the windscreens are clearly visible as part of his chest and the wheels can be seen down the legs tucked out of the way.
What is perhaps not as accurate is the colouring and the detail. Essentially each part of Optimus is cast in its base colour - predominantly blue, grey and burgundy. While there is a touch of decor on the flame effects on the arms - there is no real applied detail to enhance the metal parts to a glossy finish.
Obviously this is consistent with all of Hasbro's Transformer lines, but is worth mentioning if you are considering this as your "go to" line for movie accurate Transformer figures.
Optimus is armed with two sword arm attachments that clip into his hands. These are a very tight fit, and it is easiest - and I think designed - for them to go in the bottom of the fist so they are gripped the opposite way to what we may immediately think.
Thee are metallised a little on the frame and the blades are a nice translucent plastic.
Optimus is robot form is nicely articulated so that a variety of poses are achievable. The head can be turned slightly to either side but is probably the least mobile of the joints present.
The arms are much more mobile and can be raised up on the shoulder joints as well as then rotating at the upper bicep and bending at the elbows. The hands are fixed in gripping position but these do rotate also within the arm socket.
The legs are articulated at the hips, knees and with a form of ankle rocker to keep the large clawed feet planted on the ground.
The two swords can be swiveled in the socket of the hand and then work with the arm movement for action stance and combat mode. When not in use they can be stowed on sockets on Optimus' back.
Each Transformer released by Hasbro includes a step by step instruction for taking it from one mode to its alternative state. These instructions are not the easiest to follow as the moveable parts are not always clear and the movement needed, indicated by the red arrows, is sometimes even more confusing.
Optimus has a whopping 35 steps to move him from Robot to Truck mode. Being my first Studio Series and having read issues with fragile parts, I took my time with this - exploring and tweaking each movement.
The instructions are definitely not friendly and you may be best served seeking out Youtube help like this video from Toy Today.
Getting the truck hood to clip together and wrap up all those arms pieces was the most difficult and there are very fine margins between a smooth change and mismatched parts.
While my 40+ fat fingers found this difficult on the first round, it does become easier as you become familiar - and like my son I would probably hit a stage of being able to do this unaided at some point. It is also worth at this stage marvelling at the engineering and planning that has gone in to make this Transformation happen.
The truck mode for Optimus is the Kenworth style truck we see him use in the movies. Once Transformed it uses the same coloured plastic, so is not as glossy and metallic as perhaps the real truck would be.
You also see more obviously here the lack of paint or decor on certain items. The wheels for example are left black with no colouring on the rims which would be a nickel colour. The smoke stacks are also very plasticy and the windows very dull.
Panels lines are disguised well in places such as the doors and windows. But others like the split down the hood are very obvious.
Adding the swords to the rear is shown in the instructions but this does not add a great deal in the looks department for me.
While the Studio Series is made to a scale, this is applicable only in Robot Form. While I do not have any other Studio Series to compare Optimus against, it is clear that in Truck form our Autobot leader will be small in scale when put alongside on of the cars like Bumblebee or Jazz.
This is an acceptable compromise for me as my preference will always be to display these in Robot mode and I guess the engineering to make both modes scale was a bridge too far.
Before I sum up, the one factor we have not looked at in its entirety is the diorama piece. The idea is that fans can keep this cardboard part to display their figure.
This just about works for Optimus in truck mode, although he does overhang front and back.
The Robot mode is much more successful, filling the plinth and backdrop nicely. While this will expand the space needed on the shelf, it is an innovative way of presenting and curating a collection.
This is my first Studio Series Transformer, and on the basis I wont be buying the full line I am going after the key characters I like the most from the movies - and from my childhood.
Optimus is not necessarily an entry level into the line being of the more expensive Voyager class but he is a great centre point around which to build a collection.
The first of any line does always pose the problem of where to lay down the marker in terms of scoring. As an amateur to Transformer toys I have to score as I see it, and for me that includes positives for the packaging, the sculpt, the articulation and the engineering of that transformation - albeit fiddly.
Points I will take off are for the colouring with some big misses in terms of not painting the wheels and leaving a lot of the metal parts plain grey plastic. The instructions also leave a lot to be desired - for either collectors or kids.
At an RRP of £30, the Studio Series Optimus represents a bigger outlay than usual for a 6 inch but of course you are paying for that intricate engineering, and therefore the comparison is a little unfair.
After playing with him for some time and doing the Transformation a few times I am fairly pleased with the money spent here and will award the Studio Series Optimus Prime a benchmarking 3 out of 5 (subject to amendments when I've explored the line further)