Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Transformers Titanium: War Within Optimus Prime (Cybertron Heroes)

If you can remember back to the 1984 the Transformers toys had some heft to them. They seemed a little beefier and held up to rigorous child's play. They were made of sterner stuff...die-cast metal baby! Eventually however we would see Hasbro move away from using die-cast metal in favor of more plastic. It wasn't long before most Transformers toys lacked any metal parts outside of screws.

For years fans kept clamoring for new Transformer figures that featured the use of die-cast metal. Enter the Titanium series. Released in the mid 2000's, this line was expanded from the Micro Machines subline that contained micro Star Wars ships and vehicles to include Transformers and other properties Hasbro owned. For the Transformers the line consisted of two different size points. You had non-transformable 3 inch figures called Robot Masters and 6 inch transformable figures called Cybertron Heroes. I don't believe either one of those size class names ever appeared on the packaging however.

I vividly remember this line and like many collectors I eagerly bought up just about anything I could find. However I soon learned what others had already known when I finally opened my Cybertron Heroes figures...the quality was less than exciting.

Titanium Optimus Prime photo 342_zps0a143328.jpg   Titanium Optimus Prime photo 344_zps6467fdef.jpg

Let's take for instance this Dreamwave Comic's War Within version of Optimus Prime. Now sculpt wise most of the figures looked pretty good. However trying to stand them, let alone put them in some sort of dynamic pose was more difficult that you may imagine. When Hasbro decided to bring back the use of die-cast metal, boy did they use it! These figures are fairly heavy...heavier than most G1 toys of similar size. This is also where the problems lie. The limbs, chests, shoulders, etc. were so heavy that it put a lot of stress of the thin plastic "joints" or connecting pieces. This led to floppy arms and legs, almost as if the Transformer were now a marionette puppet. Some figures were worse than others. This version of Prime was decent, but not problem free.

Titanium Optimus Prime photo 343_zpsc62e5948.jpg

I believe this figure was based on the artwork of Dreamwave artist, Don Figueroa. If you are familiar with the War Within comics, then I think you could agree that the look of this figure is pretty spot on. It really is a beautiful figure, it's just a shame that it is plagued with problems.

I should also point out that the Cyberton Heroes Titanium figures were not designed or had any input from their partnership with Takara and very little input from anyone on the regular Transformers team. This explains a lot of the liberties taken with many of the characters.

Titanium Optimus Prime photo 346_zpsdde70aa1.jpg

In vehicle form the figure looks pretty cool. I always did like the overall design by Figueroa. He did a good job capturing that Cybertronian feel, while yet retaining those classic G1 Optimus Prime elements. Where in robot mode the joints were a little floppy, in vehicle mode the parts don't always want to stay pegged into place. The arms especially wanted to drop down and out of place. Look at the cab and you'll see that it didn't want to peg properly in place. At least the wheels were large and free rolling making this a fun toy to mess around with in vehicle form.

Titanium Optimus Prime photo 349_zps860fad9b.jpg

One nice touch with this figure is that while in vehicle form his rifle can be stored just behind the cab. Overall this figure, like many of the others in the series, are just plagued with flaws...most of them due to the heft of the die-cast metal. It's no surprise these figures didn't sell very well and that Hasbro moved on after a few waves of figures. While they have their place in the mythos of Transformers toys, they simply aren't worth owning in my opinion.

Titanium Optimus Prime photo 348_zps0bc64b52.jpg
Should've been a statue


  1. I have some of these, bought because of die-cast nostalgia, and they fall apart constantly. Such a shame. I miss metal toys painted in glossy primary colors.

    1. If there was ever a line of Transformers to keep sealed in package, it would be these!

  2. Add in the paint chipping on the metal parts and this line was a fail on so many levels. I still can't believe that the g1 Ultra Magnus of this line sells for what it does.