Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kabaya: G1 Optimus Prime Review

Greetings readers! Welcome to another edition of SAIBAA NICHIYOOBI!

I'm not a hardcore collector of G1 Transformers toys like a few of my friends, but I do have a tiny (only 5 pieces) collection of figures. This one one of them: Kabaya's G1 Optimus Prime.

Kabaya: G1 Optimus Prime
This item is a candy toy that is usually sold in grocery stores (I bought him in a local hobby shop) from Japan. In case if anyone is wondering why these Japanese toys come with some say "terrible," tasting candy or chewing gum? You're gonna love this! Kabaya sells a piece of candy with the toy as a free bonus to avoid general taxes in Japan. I read another theory that there's a law in Japan that prohibits toys from being sold in grocery stores, which started the candy toy trend. It's like buying cereal, or in this case candy or gum with a free toy inside. These decisions are common business practices among most, maybe all toy companies. But still, to pay around $5-$7 for candy that tastes nothing like smarties, thank goodness we have these "free" toys for our consolation.

I kept the box of the toy because the pictures, colors, and texts are eye catching. The toy is all plastic and when you open open the box, you have to pop the pieces of those plastic err trays or rack..whatever it's called. Like a Gundam model, you have to take the pieces of that tray thingy. Any way, you then take the loose pieces and snap them together. All of the pieces snap on easily and will not fall apart unless you choose to break them by some other means. The instructions inside the box are written in Japanese, but the pictures are easy to follow. When Optimus is fully assembled, you can then put the stickers on for added detail.

Alt Mode:  Optimus Prime in his vehicle mode to me looks okay.

Remember this is a cheap toy that you normally buy in a grocery store. Some collectors might not like the look of it for whatever reason, and that's okay. The colors are definitely a reminiscent of the cartoon in our childhood days. The wheels cannot roll because everything's molded in plastic. Furthermore, the wheels are colored blue and the only thing black are the stickers (side of the wheel). His gun can stick into one out of two holes on the back of the leg. I think the gun would look better if it was in the center and not in the left or right side of the back.

Transformation:  Once again I've provided some pictures to aid as a set of instructions for you. CLICK ON THE THUMBNAIL FOR HIGHER RESOLUTION

Robot Mode:

Optimus Prime stands around 4 inches tall. He looks pretty cool in robot mode; he definitely has that blocky, nostalgic look that I like. At second glance, Optimus' chest does seem more bulky on this toy like he's hulking up only half-way through. Did I mention before that the stickers adds better detail to this toy?

Articulation:  His legs bend backwards at the hip due to transformation, the elbows bend upward at 90 degrees, his head rotates 360 but can pop off easily, and his shoulders bend backwards due to transformation. Unfortunately, the knees do not bend.

Size Comparison:  The only size comparison I could make at the moment is between Kabaya's G1 Optimus Prime with Hasbro's G2 Megatron. Megatron stands about 3/4 the size of Optimus Prime.

Final Thoughts:  The pose ability is not there, but he looks pretty cool standing straight on your shelf or desk. If you love to piece toys together like Gundam models, or enjoy imported Transformers toys from Japan, I'd recommend this guy. However, this toy is definitely not meant for everyone, especially those who don't like partsformers. I like the Japanese novelty and this toy is good too have when I'm too stressed from studying. I sometimes leave Optimus Prime on my desk to transform between alt and robot mode during breaks. This toy can also be a great addition to your collection, if you're interested in figures coming from companies other than Hasbro or Takara.

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