We've been living in a world where LEGO Optimus Prime 10302 has been available for over a week already, and yes folks, it's taken us that long to gather our thoughts together to make today's post.
First off, if you're a fan of the Transformers franchise, then there's no doubt in our mind you'll be a fan of this. But if you're mostly interested from a LEGO perspective and you want to try out a different style of build, well, you'll probably want some more info before you part with your cash, right? And that's where our LEGO 10302 review comes in handy.
Today we'll cover everything there is to know about the LEGO Optimus Prime 10302 set, so you can decide if it's a set you want to add to your collection! Ready to find out more? Then it's time to join the Autobot forces as we fight alongside Optimus Prime on a LEGO adventure like no other!
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LEGO Optimus Prime 10302 is LEGO's latest version of Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobot forces from the Transformers franchise. But Optimus Prime figures and toys are a dime a dozen, so what makes LEGO's version stand out?
Well, for the Transformers fans amongst you, the fact that this is a depiction of Optimus Prime in his G1 (or generation 1) form is going to be really important. And the details on offer here are outstanding - from his jetpack to his ion blaster, and his Energon axe to his transformed truck appearance - LEGO gets everything right, and the result is a stunning replica of G1 Optimus Prime in a rough 1:32 scale.
Released on June 1st, 2022, this 1508 piece set is available right now, and fans are already flocking to get their hands on this impressive set. Standing at 13.5 inches tall, this also marks the set as being one of the largest transforming Optimus Prime figures ever made (that's across all toys and brands), so if you're looking for an Optimus Prime display piece that captures every detail of his G1 carnation, transforms, and looks amazing no matter how it's posed, then this LEGO set is perfect for you!
Of course, we never do reviews like this without talking about the price, because in 2022 with the cost of living going through the roof, price really is everything. And considering this LEGO Optimus Prime 10302 set will cost a huge $169.99, some of you might write it off as being too pricey. And 'too pricey', it just may be...
Roughly, each brick on offer here is setting you back a little over 11 cents, when you divide the price by the 1508 bricks. That's expensive. But of course, the whole is always worth a little more than the sum of its parts when it comes to LEGO sets because things like how the overall model looks, the building experience, and the play/displayability all play their parts.
Overall, would we say this Optimus Prime LEGO figure is worth the price tag? Yes, we think we would - but only just. Below we'll talk some more about the figure and point out our sticking points and pros, so you can decide if you think the price is right.
Warning: we have a feeling many of you will disagree with us and will say it's overpriced - and we can see why you would too.
The building experience isn't revolutionary, so those of you reading this as LEGO fans primarily, you won't find any new or interesting building methods with this set - and we're really disappointed by that. If LEGO were ever going to push the boundaries of their bricks with something innovative, then there's really no better set to do it than a Transformers one, right?
So the fact that this set only uses very simple, straightforward building techniques feels disappointing. Are they tried, tested, and easy to follow? Of course. Does that help considering how complex the set is due to its transforming capabilities? Probably. Even so, as consumers, it'll leave you wanting more like it did for us, and that might leave a sour taste in your mouth considering the price.
Still, it's worth noting that there are plenty of printed tiles here (not lots of stickers, which is good to see) and there are a few unique bricks you'll come across that aren't included in every set from LEGO, so that makes rebuilding MOCs a very real possibility for those of you who like to explore beyond the building instructions.
Overall, the build is easy, and it's not especially exciting, but the finished product? We've got plenty to say about that...
Figure Deep Dive
Usually this is the section of our review where we discuss the minifigures, but since LEGO set 10302 doesn't have any, we thought we'd concentrate on the finished product - the large, transforming Optimus Prime figure. And let us tell you, this is where it gets exciting, and this is where you start to understand that $169.99 price tag.
First, let's talk about that transforming feature. With LEGO, you might expect a partial rebuild to be able to transform Optimus Prime into his truck form, right? Wrong! The entire set transforms without having to remove a single brick (actually, you can remove one tile at the front which is Optimus Prime's belt buckle tile and replace it for the front bumper tile of the truck, but that's optional - so technically you don't need to remove a single brick).
Is the transformation seamless? Absolutely not, but it is effective, and we can't help but feel it'll become smoother the more times you do it as you learn which bricks need to twist, fold back, or turn in to complete the finished transformation. There's even room on the back for Optimus Prime's ion blaster to fit in the truck bed, and his jet pack can even fit on top of that, creating a supercharged, super fast truck if you needed it for storytelling play.
Speaking of the accessories, the finished set comes complete with his ion blaster and jet pack as discussed above, but also his infamous Energon axe too. Place the accessories aside, though, and this Optimus Prime LEGO figure still looks incredible - both as a truck and an Autobot - and we really feel that LEGO has captured the essence of the character with each brick here.
Better yet, the figure works for play and display. Could the figure be more stable? Sure, but then you might lose some of that playability, and we think the set would suffer as a result.
Overall, this G1 Optimus Prime by LEGO is seriously impressive, and we'd argue it makes up for the lackluster building experience when you see the finished set and transform it for the first time!
So, we're nearing the point where we need to give our final verdict, but before we do, let's consider the goods and the bads, so we make a fair judgement:
- The accessories are AWESOME - both in terms of how many there are and how faithful they are to the original G1 Optimus Prime. It feels considered, and any Transformers fan will be grateful for that consideration.
- The plaque looks great - we've gotten used to the plaque pieces with these display-style sets now, but this one sums up Optimus Prime perfectly and looks great next to the Autobot or truck figure (however you choose to display it).
- Playability - any display piece with playability is always a big check in our boxes, because it keeps things fun, and ultimately that's what LEGO is all about.
- Really expressive figure - we had to mention how expressive the face is (thanks to the ball point joints) and how poseable the body is (thanks to a bunch of different ratchet joints) because it really makes the figure come alive. With 19 points of articulation, you can play with and display this figure however you like!
- Transformable - not only is it transformable, the figure looks great as both truck and Autobot.
- Even looks great from the rear - we didn't necessarily think we'd ever find ourselves staring at Optimus Prime's rear to determine how good it looks, but hey, that's the beauty of LEGO! Seriously though, LEGO have even thought about how this figure looks from the back (and that's quite rare from LEGO) and the inverted tiles that are used to give Optimus Prime a smoother finish really makes a difference.
As ever, there are a few negative points we need to consider:
- The build - seriously, for a 1508 piece Transformers set, we expected better from LEGO. Something new, something fun, something exciting - just something... Instead, it's just a standard build that happens to be able to transform. Fun? Sure. But not fun enough.
- Stability - yes, this is primarily a display piece, so we can't badmouth its stability and sturdiness too much, but it's a point we need to make. When you transform Optimus Prime into his truck form, everything feels a little less sturdy, and for play purposes that could be a problem. Even if you're just planning on displaying the figure, though, it has a tendency to lean forwards. Yes, you can find a position where it doesn't fall, but it will take some care and time (especially when he's holding his Energon axe instead of his ion blaster). All the points of articulation for posing is great, but not if it means the display figure is less stable as a result.
- Fiddly - the transforming capabilities, whilst great and HUGELY appreciated, requires a lot of movement and fiddling around to get it right. Hopefully, this will improve with time though, or else customers might just not bother with transforming Optimus at all...
Yes, it's pricey. Yes, it's not perfect. But yes, we'd buy it again, and we'd recommend you guys do too! We had to write our LEGO 10302 review with two clients in mind - the Transformers fan and the LEGO fan. Whilst we definitely think this appeals more to the former, there's still plenty on offer here for LEGO fans too, so we have to recommend it.
It's fun, it's playable, and it looks amazing on any LEGO display shelf. If you have your own reservations about buying it, though, we understand. Perhaps waiting for the price to drop is best if you're on the fence. But if all you were looking for was a little nudge to go and buy it, then consider today's post that nudge, because we don't think you'll regret it!
LEGO Optimus Prime Light Kit...
No LEGO Optimus Prime can be complete without one of our lighting kits, can it? Come on, imagine how much more exciting your Optimus Prime figure would be with a LEGO Optimus Prime light kit from us here at Lightailing.
Whilst we don't currently have a complete kit available (at the time of writing this, but watch this space...) you can always make your own by heading to our Accessories page where you'll find everything you need for a DIY light kit of your own. Trust us, Optimus Prime in lights is something you'll want to see, and it'll certainly make your LEGO Optimus Prime stand out from everybody else's!
I absolutely loved this set, my only real gripe about it is a small one. The design of the matrix of leadership accessory is ridiculously basic and poor, especially when compared to the finely detailed design of the ion blaster and axe, it really feels like it was designed as an afterthought.