Dan Hancock

I’m an attorney in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, who practices in health care, regulatory matters and government investigations, and business litigation, with a smattering of intellectual property and tech law. I’m building expertise in e-discovery technology and techniques. I’m also a runner, a collector, and an unashamed geek who was once internet-famous for a website about action figures.

New Video! Transformers War for Cybertron: Seige Optimus Prime review

Let's talk about Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege WFC-S11 Optimus Prime! Oh boy, that's a mouthful.

It seems to me that the main purpose of the Siege line is just to sell Transformers to grown ups. There's no accompanying fiction, there's nothing to embed these characters into the minds of kids – this is all relying on our nostalgia from the 1980s. But it's following a trend from the 80s of taking Optimus Prime further and further away from his original toy depiction and making him look more like his animated depiction.

And that's OK.

But let's take a look at the original Optimus Prime. This guy is obviously a truck first, and a robot second. His chest is obviously his robot cab, full stop. Now compare that to the first opportunity Hasbro had to release a brand-new Optimus Prime, in which they took a lot of steps to make him look much closer to the original character model, including putting the cab on his back and creating a whole new robot chest that looks kinda like the cab. And that trend has been carried through to Siege Optimus Prime. This guy looks just like the animation model, or as much as you can get in this price point – look at that tucked in torso and the incredible head sculpt. I mean, this is the best head sculpt on an Optimus Prime that we've seen in this scale, bar none. In fact, the only real comparison is Henkei Optimus Prime from the early aughts which took a lot of liberties with the original Optimus Prime headsculpt but created something new and cool and dynamic. In fact, it kind of looks like a cat.

But this is actually a great back-to-basics Prime. His transformation is incredibly fiddly, especially for a figure at this price point. But that's necessary to get him from a blocky truck to super trim, buff robot that looks like the G1 animation model. For all that though, he's really well articulated. He's got ankle tilts, he's got elbow tilts, his smokestacks flip out of the way so you can articulate him a little bit more. He's got waist articulation. All in all, this is just a neat figure that looks a lot like Optimus Prime's character model. And carrying on that comparison, he's got that giant ion blaster, that classic Optimus Prime gun. I'm kind of glad to see that, it does an incredible job of homaging the original generation one gun.

But then there's another thing that isn't present in the original generation one model that I didn't think that I would like. But it's this jetpack. Prime doesn't have a jetpack except when he steals one from Sideswipe or somebody else. But, what they've done here is – this whole jetpack assembly functions to hide his cab-mode kibble but they've taken translucent blue plastic that is present throughout the cab and added it to the bottom of these vent things. And so it actually looks like it's got some like rocket blasters with the reflective material and the clear plastic. So it looks like Prime can just shoot off into space at any time! And that's pretty neat.

And because this is the Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege line the gimmick of which is that everything comes with a bunch of extraneous weapons and contact points, this comes with a battle axe. Which is a thing that Prime sometimes has, at least since Transformers Animated? And he can hold it. It turns into a fancy shield – you pull the blades in. So that's kind of neat. And then it fits into all of these different contact points all over Prime. He's got them on his arms, on his back, he's got them on his legs so you can peg this shield into his leg and then he can like do a kindergarden-style leg block. Because that's a thing that Prime does.

But this figure isn't without its flaws. This one, as you can see here, the windows don't exactly sit flush so you can see there's always a little bit of unevenness in his robot mode. That said, that was something I could see when I bought it – I could see it in the package that those windows weren't exactly aligned. But since I've been looking for this figure for a month and a half, by God I was going to buy the first one I found regardless of whether its windows aligned. Another pain point that is mainly an effect of this price point, I think, is he's got all of this underarm kibble. Now, obviously, it's substantial but it's not as substantial as Classics Optimus Prime's kingdom of arm kibble. But it doesn't look too bad, it's at least color-coded so it doesn't break the line of his forearm.

But let's talk about the elephant in the room of the Siege line, and that is this battle-damage – these paint applications that look like they are just silver splatters all over this figure. Or not even all over this figure – it's just silver splatter on his arms, on his cab, and on his thighs. There's no silver splatter on his hands or his lower legs. And you know what that looks like to me? No, get your mind out of the gutter. What that looks like to me is that Prime sat in the second row at a Gallagher show and forgot to bring his poncho. I mean, if the paint applications on this figure looked like the picture that is rendered on the back of the box, this battle damage, that would be neat. But you know what? That's like five or six really detailed paint applications and we're not going to get that at this price point. So instead, we get random silver splatters. And what I'd be really curious to know is whether or not these are actually random or whether these are like – this is a programmed scheme of applications – you'd have to compare that to other Primes and again – I've been looking for this figure for a month and a half and just have the one.

So now let’s talk about his transformation. I sped this up a ton because it took me forever to do but basically you flip the wheels on his legs around so that they’re on the outside. You have to flip up these tiny little panels on the back, er, the front of his legs and you can see I broke it off as I was trying to flip it up because there’s not really a good place to grab it to flip it. Then you open his chest, you pop his head down in there. You don’t actually close those windows there, I screwed that up. And you just basically fiddle with getting his arms in the right place. They kind of peg in the side like the classic Optimus Prime arms. You have to pull those tires down first. Then the cab stuff flips out from the backpack and you kind of crunch it down overtop of everything else. And then you peg in all over the place. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you transform Optimus Prime while completely ignoring the directions after having done it one time. Alright.

So let’s talk about this vehicle mode. It’s – it’s ok. It’s kinda eh. I mean, that backpack that turned into the top of the cab really kind of throws off the truck look for me. But it does add, I guess, to the space truck aspect of this. He’s got these front bumper things going on, he’s got all this translucent blue plastic that looks pretty good. But, I mean, this is not a figure you’re going to display in vehicle mode. Let’s just put it that way.

SPAAAAAAAACE TRUUUUUUUUUCK!

So I’m in the middle of transforming him back to finish the video and I just can’t get his head out! I mean, like, it just won’t come out – it’s hurting my fingers! And it’s frustrating and I don’t understand why. So here we go: Siege for Cybertron, er, War for Cybertron Siege Optimus Prime. Greatest figure ever. Oh, ok no wait I’ve figured it out. It’s because I stuck the wheels in too soon and doing that made them like hold the head in place so as I pull these wheels out, ok, yep, yep, there we go.That’s the problem.

So that’s it. That’s War for Cybertron: Siege WFC-S11 Optimus Prime. It’s a cool figure. They do a lot at this price point to make it look like the original Generation One character model but I kind of question the wisdom of that, frankly. Because it’s not like Hasbro doesn’t know that the Masterpiece line exists. There’s where you’re going to get your perfect character-model Optimus Prime. I really like what they did with the Classics Prime where they kind of took Optimus Prime and used it as inspiration for a new figure. So I think it’s a little bit of a shame and a little bit of a missed opportunity that are kind of slavishly recreating G1 at this point. But that’s ok.

But this figure, for itself, I would say, I would give it an 8 out of 10 if it weren’t for the goofy battle damage paint job which I really do not like and I figure you have to knock off a point for that. So let’s give it a 7 out of 10.

So thanks for watching! This is the first obviously of the review videos that I’m hoping to do. I’m learning as I go so I’d appreciate any constructive criticism. I’d also like to hear what you’d like me to look at — I’m thinking about going back in time and just doing reviews of the figures that I enjoy. So anyway, you know the drill: like and subscribe! If you’re looking for my stuff, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter: @despotes. can find my personal website at despotes.org. That’s d-e-s-p-o-t-e-s dot org. And as always you can find the videos at Near Mint Condition and we will see you next time!

All of this copyrighted content will be lost to time, like tears in rain.