As I mentioned in the last post, I came across something wonderful at the Comic Collection. That something wonderful was Robots In Disguise Optimus Prime (aka Fire Convoy). Now the last Transformers series I really got into was Beast Wars, and after that My interest declined a bit to the point where I didn't watch the shows and just sporadically picked up a figure here and there. Only since my obsession's been rekindled have I realized what I missed out on, and Fire Convoy was on the top of that list. I'm always scouting around online for it, but the cheapest I could find the toy was $50 on ebay, and most of the time it'd be more and it'd be used. Today was different, though.
Yesterday, I walked into the Comic Collection and headed towards the glass case in the back. I noticed a Robots In Disguise style box that I missed last time, obscured by open G1 figures in plastic baggies. With some help from one of the guys that runs the place, I managed to find RID Optimus Prime MIB for only $30.
Besides being the catch of the day, I'd have to say this toy is one of my favorites. I like the idea of Prime as a fire truck, because it goes along with the themes of saving lives and fighting for good better than a tractor trailer. The Fire truck mode is nice, with a swiveling/extending ladder, flip out nozzles and missile launchers, and working sirens with lights, sounds, and voice clips. My only complaint, and this is really minor, is that the truck's cab is very easily detached from the ladder portion, and can easily detach during play. Interestingly enough, the front, driver's side part of the cab has some Japanese characters with the word "cybertron" below. The wheels are all chrome coated, and it looks much better than the standard grey plastic that's more commonly used.
For those unfamiliar with this iteration of Optimus Prime, The front portion of the fire truck transforms to become Optimus Prime's robot mode, and from there he can combine with parts of the truck for extra weapons and armor, or the entire thing can combine to form Super Optimus Prime, or Super Fire Convoy. So technically he has something like 5 modes: Fire engine, Optimus Prime, battle station + Prime, Prime w/ missile launchers/bigger hands, and Super Optimus Prime. As an added bonus, he can also combine with RID Ultra Magnus to form Ultra Optimus Prime, a truly enormous figure.
I love the more modern, simplistic design of Prime's regular robot mode, especially the "wings" that are formed by the siren lights. His chest is panted with a metallic, chrome-like coating, and it definitely adds a lot of style to the figure and makes it look like a more quality piece than matte paint would have. Prime's very poseable in this mode, allowing for some nice display possibilities. My only complaint here is that while Optimus Prime usually has some sort of rifle/cannon as a primary weapon, this version has a comparatively dinky pistol. Granted he can also have shoulder mounted rockets and hand mounted lasers, not to mention the array of arms on his ladder, but it just doesn't feel right without a mean, hand-held cannon.
In "Super" mode Prime is huge. God Fire Convoy, as he's called in Japan, is a monster. He's not quite as huge as Armada's Super Optimus Prime, but he's much, much nicer to look at, and unlike the latter is not a total brick. Super Fire Convoy is red...very red. Almost entirely so, with some orange, black, and silver highlights. He's pretty poseable for a figure of his size, but since alot of the pieces (ie: head, feet, and arms) snap onto pegs, there's always a little risk of instability when posing him. Also, his head sculpt is nicely detailed, but I feel like they skimped on the paint. It just feels a little lackluster for a figure that big to have a head that's almost entirely red, molded plastic.I didn't bother with the "base" transformation mode, in which the ladder and back end of the truck become a weapons base, and prime stands at it...I don't know, I've just never been a fan of the gimmick in which trailers transform into bases. It worked with G1 Prime, but with figures like this and G2 Laserrod Optimus Prime, you can tell they just tried to justify the trailer with some gimmicky features. Thankfully this figure continued the trend of combining with the trailer that started with G1 Ultra Magnus.
So I'm definitely in love with Robots In Disguise Optimus Prime/Fire Convoy, and now I'll have to hunt down RID Ultra Magnus to complete the package...and one of those Sam's club exclusive yellow Prime variants would be nice
As usual, click the link below for the image gallery.