TRU OP vs Megs...
For some reason, it never occurred to me that this box was the same size as the box on regular OP & Megs, I guess because they're $40 and this 2pack is only $25. Inside is one of the worst tangles of twisties I've ever seen, and I collect Star Wars 12" figures posed on vehicles in window boxes! I guess part of that feeling comes from a lot of the twisties being inside the interior bubbles rather than all the way through the cardboard tray, makes it very hard to cut these things off - this is total twisty overkill. I don't have either full-sized version of these Energon figures, neither appealed to me, especially at their $40 pricetags, so this set filled the need for those leaders without breaking my wallet.
Megatron is a little cooler than I had expected, I definitely would have been honked to pay $40 for the full-sized version, but this one is nifty and I'm told almost as large. The alt mode is too thick and a little too much of a mish-mash to be totally believable, but it's not a disaster and quite well armed - the only thing I really can't get past is the head sticking way out the bottom. Transformation is pretty simplistic, but the trick for the feet and the slide-out chest sides make it satisfying.
Bot mode stands taller than I had expected, dwarfing the poor Optimus included in the set. MiniMegs could have better articulation though, it's ok (neck, universal shoulders, hinged elbows, forearm swivels, universal hips, and hinged knees) but bicep and thigh swivels would have helped immeasurably. The sword sheath should sit closer to the body, there's too much bulk the way it is. The sword is ok but there's no reason the bottom couldn't have had a standard peg molded into it, leaving this off so only the tank can hold it is unacceptable (the openings near the bottom can slip over a standard peg, but Megs doesn't have one near his hands).
The tank drone is ok, nothing to write home about, it's too big to make a reasonable sword-holder, I guess as a forearm-mounted weapon it's alright though - I prefer the forearms rotated fist-up so the tank is hanging down below.
Optimus Prime is kinda silly, the fig is small even for an Energon deluxe figure, and in this set it's too funny to see Megs twice as tall as Optimus. Alt mode is a good representation of the original except for a gap in the side and the robot mode head(s) hanging off the back, though at least Optimus' face is rotated out of the way. Like Inferno, I wish the designers had made just a smidge more space on the underside, it could have very easily been stowed totally out of the way. The truck seems to be in the same scale as Tow Line, Rodimus, and Inferno, so it doesn't look terribly out of place with those alt modes even though it still looks like the runt of the litter. Transformation is fairly straightforward and simple except for freeing the arms from the rear truck section, I kinda fumble with the wrists until things get free.
Bot mode is downright shrimpy even though he's not much smaller than any other deluxe figure, I guess it's because he is Optimus Prime and not supposed to be this small - hell, he's actually TALLER than Armada deluxe Prime, yet because of the puny head and fat body here he seems less like OP. He's fairly well articulated for a deluxe (head, universal shoulders, hinge elbows, universal hips, swivel upper thighs, hinged knees, and hinged angles) though swivel upper forearm and/or bicep articulation would have really made poseability a lot better. As for colors, I would definitely had preferred the white chest area have been red, but can't win 'em all. The chrome bumper and grill part doesn't lock into the chest parts very well, so the chest is a tiny bit out of alignment. The figure has some nice sculpted small details, I especially like the underside of the feet and the tech bits on the chest behind the headlights. OP's pistol is ok, dark blue and pegs to the truck backpack for storage.
Some folks have suggested sliding the thigh covers down and rotating the backpack up to alleviate the "fattimus" effect a little, and they are right, but the designers could have almost totally eliminated the "fattimus" effect by using the foldy bits already included for powerlinking better: the backpack should have been able to slide up the back halfway to look like a REAL backpack and the panels holding the front wheels that can slide inwards in powerlinking should have able to slide in for bot mode as well.
Both powerlinking transformation schemes have some clever stuff, but the end results are not all that good. Powerlinked as pants, Prime is almost laughable, big hanging bits off the side and back, head up the wazoo.... It's actually better without a figure on top, looks more like a battle drone, maybe this is Proptimus Decoy and when enemies get close enough, he turns from robot decoy to muderous drone! YEEHAW! The chest panels become huge skirt pieces, might be able to put a minicon on there. Anyway, Tow Line looks best wearing the Optimus Pants, quite the armed maniac in this config really.
Powerlinked as a shirt, I don't really like this mode much at all. He slaps on the helmet for the bigger head and gets huge floppy shoulderpads with weird semi-arms, they're the regular arms that end in guns instead of hands now and hang down strangely.
Mini-OP is not a terrible figure, though if you are jonesing for more powerlink partners you may be disappointed. I like a lot of what's going on here, he makes me smile, but he's far from greatness. Go Proptimus Decoy!