Transformers Prime – SE FE Optimus not so Prime?

If you’re a transformers collector, you probably already know about the huge debacle over the Transformers Prime First Edition series. Hasbro showed off some great looking figures that were complex and for the most part very screen accurate, announced their release date, and then they barely got released.

It was a TRU exclusive, with only Canadian TRU’s getting the voyagers. Online stores even had to cancel preorders because of it. Meanwhile, in Asian markets the First Editions were shelfwarming.

But wait! Hasbro heard fans complaints. They were going to do a shared exclusive rerelease with BBTS and TRU. Fans could buy Bulkhead and Optimus at retail instead of ebay.

While that’s great, when I got my Second Edition First Edition voyager Optimus there was a problem. And it’s a problem with all of them.

From what I can tell in online pictures, Optimus’s bot mode paint is still the same. The colors were a bit darker than I was expecting, but that could just be variance in computer displays.

The alt mode, however…

Optimus Primer

Can you spot the difference?

Here’s a picture of the first edition First Edition on

The torso is brown, and the parts of it that show in alt mode are supposed to be painted red.

I emailed BBTS about it, and this is the response I got back from them.

Hello Matt,
Thank you for the the detailed information and photos, they were very helpful. This information is always welcome so that we can assist our customers accordingly. With regards to the Optimus Prime figure, I have contacted our Product Department and was informed that the piece is brown on the run that we received. We have also contacted the manufacturer about this matter as it is rather disappointing. If you would like to return the figure please let me know and I will set up a return for you. If you wish to return the defective Bulkhead figure for an exchange we will need the entire figure returned.
Once again I apologize for this inconvenience and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Have a great day!

All of BigBadToyStore’s rereleased First Edition voyager Optimus Primes lack that red paint in alt mode. It’s likely that the stock at Toys R Us will be the same.

BBTS has great customer service, and I appreciate that they actually checked up on all of their SE FE Optimus Primes. They even updated their product page with a note about it.

So does this bother me enough to return the figure? Nope!

My SE FE Optimus Prime is otherwise in great condition. The bot mode paint apps are all the same and the plastic is good. And while I do like to transform Transformers, they are usually displayed in bot mode, where the lack of paint on Optimus can’t be seen.

But that is exactly the reason why I wanted to warn people about this. The packaging is the same, right down to the copyright information, and Optimus is packaged in robot mode. Because you can’t see the lack of paint apps, there is no way to tell if you’re buying a FE FE or a SE FE.

Should you let this problem stop you from getting one if you want it? I don’t think so. If it bothers you that much, you could paint those parts red.

FE Optimus has a lot of hype, and while it’s a cool Transformer, I don’t think it’s worth anywhere near the $100+ it was selling for on ebay. It is a nice design, though, and I very much recommend buying one at retail.

As for the Bulkhead mentioned in that email… That’s a bit more complicated, and I’ll explain in another post.

~Matt Booker

6 thoughts on “Transformers Prime – SE FE Optimus not so Prime?

  1. I can tell you that the colors for First Edition Optimus weren’t changed between the initial release and this one…apart from the missing paint apps on the sides shown. He’s always been a tad duller than previous Optimus Prime figures and even the First Edition Entertainment Pack’s Optimus.

    Alternatively, one could wait for Reprolabels to make up a set of stickers for him, but at least the figure is still otherwise fine.

  2. Do you think it will be easy enough to match the paint? Aside from that, I see a hinge, does this move of bump into enough things to make painting impractical?

  3. Detective Barricade, I read that about the colors too. In most pictures it comes off as a brighter red and a really vibrant blue, but the red is almost maroon and the blue is dark.

    A Reprolabels set would be a great idea! I’m at least glad that the bot mode looks the same, though. And one change that was made for the better is that the sword is not as bendy as the FE FE.

    Romorini, someone posted on TFW that Model Masters Insignia Red is a match for the paint.

    So far as the hinge and clearance issues, I think you could paint all of it but the parts that would rub and it would look fine. Otherwise the ends of the hinge (the parts where the pin is inserted) would need sanded, but not the longer side as it has plenty of clearance.

    ~Matt Booker

  4. My son saved up for the original FE Optimus and bought it off eBay. Now he can’t find it, so he was thrilled when I told him about your posting here saying it’s going to be available at TRU :)

  5. Is Optimus’ head actually on the ball joint this time around, or do you have to open his head and pop it on yourself?

  6. At first I thought it was, but I took the head apart just in case and it wasn’t.

    It is a really tight fit to get it in there, and the easiest way is to turn the back half of the head so what would have been the front of the face is pointing down, and press it straight down onto the balljoint.

    Once the head is on there, the articulation increases DRAMATICALLY.

    ~Matt Booker

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