Transformers Optimus Prime 20th Anniversary DVD Edition

For the 20th review on TBC, I thought what better figure to review than the 20th anniversary DVD edition Optimus Prime. At last, the big man himself makes an appearance!


Optimus Prime first appeared in 1984 when the Generation One (G1) Transformers TV series cartoon was screened. Even though Transformers began in the 1970’s with the Japanese toy lines Microman (ミクロマン) and Diaclone(ダイアクロン) by Takara, the characters were not given their respective names and personalities until 1984, when Hasbro partnered with Takara.

Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots from the planet Cybertron in the Transformers universe. Optimus Prime 20th Anniversary He leads the Autobots in battle against the evil forces of Magatron and the Decepticons for the control of their home planet, and for peace in the universe.

Optimus is a great warrior with a strong sense of justice and righteousness. He feels strong compassion for all sentient beings, particularly the inhabitants of Earth, and will fight with unyielding resolve and give his life to protect all others.

The original Optimus Prime transforms into a cab over truck, he has vast strength and is armed with a laser blaster rifle. He carries the Autobot Matrix of Leadership which is passed down to the Autobot Leader from generation to generation.

Name: Optimus Prime
Manufacturer: Hasbro / Takara
Line: 20th Anniversay DVD Edition / Masterpiece
Scale: Non-scale
Material: ABS, Die-cast
Release: 2006
Original Price: $99AUD / $83 USD
Secondary Market Price: $80USD – $199USD
Height: 300mm / 11.8inches


Depending on how you look at it, the packaging can either be good or bad. If you look at it in terms of how well it protects and displays the contents, then it’s not too bad. Optimus can be seen clearly through the window and you can even try out the talking display stand through the “Try Me” hole.

20th Anniversary packaging

However, when compared to the MP-01 Master Piece Convoy packaging from Takara Japan, this thing starts to look a bit cheap for a not so cheap toy. The MP-01 packaging looks like a worthwhile collectible box, where as this is something you’d probably chuck away straight after you’ve taken the toy out, not to mention it took me a good 20 minutes to get all those annoying twisty ties off – there are so many of them!!


Optimus comes with all the weapons featured in the cartoon series, his blaster rifle, energon axe hand attachment and also Megatron in gun mode. He also comes with the Matrix of leadership which can open and close, and the talking display stand. The only thing I did not like about the accessories was that this version came with a blue blaster rifle – it should be black.

  • Megatron Gun
  • Blaster Rifle
  • Energon Axe
  • Talking Stand

The talking display stand has 6 programmed lines, 1. “Megatron must be stopped”, 2.”All we need is a little energon, and a lot of luck”, 3. “Chichikuchiku” (Transforming sound robot to vehicle), 4.”Kukuchichichi” (Transforming sound vehicle to robot), 5. “Autobots! Transform and roll out!”, 6.”I want you to make a special run to Autobot city”. The voice isn’t quite the same as the G1 cartoon series, it’s not as low as it should be but it is close, and it’s always fun whenever you walk past Optimus to give it a press.


The first thing you’ll notice with this figure is the size of it. It is absolutely huge, even compared to the movie Transformers Optimus (MA-21 Japanese version shown), it is clear that this figure is a larger scale.

  • Optimus and Movie Bumblebee
  • Optimus and Movie MA-21 Optimus

Second thing you’ll notice is how closely it resembles the G1 cartoon Optimus, sure there are a lot more detail on the toy than the drawings but the proportions, colours and overall feel is very close. The 20th anniversary DVD edition isn’t quite as nice as the Japanese MP-01 version, the red is a lighter shade, there are no chrome bits, the smoke stack is shorter (I have changed the smoke stacks on my model, original smoke stack shown later), the eyes and tail lights are painted (not clear), and there are various differences in the paint work. At half the price of the MP-01, the Hasbro version is still a nice figure despite the differences. This figure is nice and heavy, lots of diecast is used here which all adds to the impression of quality. Main diecast parts are the upper chest, and lower leg section.

20th Anniversary DVD Edition Optimus Prime front and back view

In the vehicle alt mode, it doesn’t look quite as nice as the robot mode, but it’s fairly good. All you need to complete the truck look is the trailer / command centre, unfortunately that is sold separately.

  • Optimus truck mode with friends
  • Optimus truck mode back


Wow, for a figure of this size and complexity, it is very well articulated. There’s a good 24 joints in this figure, plus all his fingers are individually articulated as well. This is not including all those pistons throughout the figure and flaps on his waist that is also articulated. This guys is just full of moving parts and can pull off any pose imaginable – well almost, but you really feel as if it could and he looks great in all of them! All the joints are nice and tight and make clicky sounds as you move the parts. When doing the kicking pose, I had to prop the legs up with another stand (photoshopped out) as the diecast leg was too heavy.

  • Optimus Prime on display
  • Optimus Prime showing Matrix of Leadership
  • Optimus Prime takes aim
  • Optimus Prime talking to Megatron
  • Optimus Prime looking cool
  • Optimus Prime thumbs up
  • Optimus Prime high kick
  • Optimus Prime super upper cut


Not so much paint here to speak of, most parts are moulded in colour. Paint application on the whole is not great, lots of little areas of paint work applied quite poorly with uneven coverage and fuzzy edges. You’d expect a bit more for something at this price range, but being a Hasbro release this is something I’ve become accustomed to – shabby paint work and poor quality control. COME ON HASBRO!

  • Most parts are moulded in colour - swirl marks visible
  • example of fuzzy paint work


In truck mode, the wheels have suspension both front and back and the tyres are actually made of rubber. The truck cab opens at the front to reveal a seat, not quite mechanically correct (where’s the steering wheel?) but good little detail. There is also a peg hole provision made for the trailer for those of you that want the “complete” Optimus Prime. Another detail worth mentioning, those vents beside the peg hole open up in robot mode and can be activated by pushing prime’s legs downwards against the table.

  • Suspension up
  • Suspension down
  • Truck Seat
  • Trailer peg hole & leg vents

In robot mode, there are even more gimmicks and features. There’s a button beside Optimus’ head when you press it, the Matrix of Leadership will light up, neat! You can also press another button on the back of his head to make him move his mouth piece as if he is speaking.

  • Matrix of Leadership light up
  • Optimus speaking
  • Communicator in the forearm

Both of his arms have a flip up communications screen, on one side is his arch nemesis Megatron on screen, the other is Grimlock his fellow Autobot. Planning a party perhaps? There are a ton of pistons all over Optimus, on his elbows, in the wrist, the knees, and the ankles which really adds to the realism of his design.

  • Elbow pistons
  • Knee pistons

I really love that his feet has an extra joint, making a lot of the more dynamic poses possible. As mentioned earlier, this particular version comes with the shorter smoke stacks, which I couldn’t stand so I got some replacement ones – much better…

  • Feet articulation
  • Short smoke stack vs Long smoke stack


This has to be one of the most well designed transformers figures I’ve seen, it is so simple in the way the parts move, yet so complex when you see exactly how they move. It is also one of the best renditions of Optimus in my opinion, keeping all of his classic G1 design elements whilst adding all the little details to make him realistic.

Whether you get the Takara MP-01 version or this version, you will not be disappointed, but if you’re a perfectionist I’d suggest you spend the extra for the MP-01.

Thanks for reading my toy review!

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    is the mp04 trailer compatible with the 20th anniversary edition of optimus prime?tnx!

    • hi cocoy, i’m 99.99% sure they are compatible as they are the same mold as far as i am aware…

    Hi! I just got this is the mail recently and I’m so excited to have him!! But where on earth can I get those larger smoke stacks? The most customization I’ve done to a Transformer is either paint him or use a Dr. Wu add-on. Thanks!

    • Hi Kyle, I got mine off eBay years ago but I think you can still get them. Just search for Masterpiece Optimus smoke stack. Goodluck!

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