Monday, October 21, 2013

Orion Pax

Picture it - millions of years ago on Cybertron, a young dock worker is introduced to a charismatic Decepticon named Megatron.  Megatron duped this young 'bot into giving him a tour of the dockyards.  As thanks for the tour, Megatron did extensive damage to the 'bot, nearly killing him, his best friend, and girlfriend.  Thanks to the timely intervention of a kind tinkerer, the young 'bot was reconstructed into a new, more powerful body - Optimus Prime.  Megatron had just created his own downfall.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Optimus initially looked like this in his former life:

Perms aren't just for women...
Picture it - millions of years ago, on Cybertron, a young police Captain made a name for himself by battling corruption and standing up for what was right.  One of those acts was releasing a falsely imprisoned Megatron and telling him to keep up the good work.  After raising the ire of the corrupt Senate, this young policebot was befriended and mentored by an honest Senator, given an upgraded body replete with a Matrix cavity.  This would prove to be fortuitous, as this policebot would become Optimus Prime.

Riding dead comrades is one way to battle corruption
 Did you know that both of the above 'bots are one and the same?  The name of that robot who would one day rise to become Optimus Prime?  Orion Pax.  The first version of Orion Pax was introduced in the classic G1 cartoon "War Dawn" episode.  As you can see, he looked nothing like Optimus Prime.  Other than the rockin' 'do, the most obvious thing about Orion Pax is that he has a mouth.  After his evolution in to Optimus Prime, he would get a faceplate.

The funny thing about the IDW version of Orion Pax is that he starts out with a faceplate, but after some modifications by Senator Shockwave, he's given a mouth.  And then he becomes Optimus Prime and gets the faceplate back.  For reasons.

Upgraded with new and improved mouth!
Which, when you think about it, is pretty funny.  He went form looking like Optimus Prime, to getting upgraded to new body with a Matrix cavity that looked nothing like Optimus Prime to yet another upgrade that made him look like his older self.  The reason for this is, of course, is artistic gaffe or decision by IDW.  Still, I kind of chuckle when I think about it.

So, thanks to IDW and Hasbro, we know have a figure based on the middle version of Optimus Prime's evolution - the Orion Pax with a mouth.  Honestly, I had a few reservations about this figure once I saw preview pictures of him online.  For starters, he looked so small.  Frail, even.  To top it off, that head!  It was tiny!  It was as though a kid had put his dad's suit on.  Would this figure be released with such a tiny noggin?  Would Hasbro actually release a sickly precursor to the great and powerful Optimus Prime?  In short, yes, yes they would.

Here's Orion Pax as he is in package - robot mode.  You can see the similarities to Orion Pax and Optimus Prime in this figure.  First you have the obvious red and blue color scheme.  There's a window on his chest to boot.  Hmm...that rifle looks familiar as well.  Prime doesn't carry an axe, so that's Pax specific.  As are the blades on the side of the arm.  Note the miniscule head.  Still Hasbro did an amazing job of capturing the comic version's likeness. 

I did have some reservations about this figure's ability to strike a pose, as I've had with every other figure from this assortment.  After some fiddling around, I was able to get some fairly decent poses out of Orion Pax.

They aren't perfect, but I like them. The head is still a little jarring, but I can live with it.  Like the rest of his assortment cohorts, Orion Pax's head does not look up or down, only left and right.  As evidenced by the photo above, the axe that he comes with features an extremely long handle.  Apparently, like Drift, Orion Pax can hold the axe with both hands.  However, I could only get it to look like he was swinging a bat or something, not like he's about to chop off an opposing criminal's arm or head.
Did you know that Orion Pax transforms into a truck?  I find it hard to believe!  A version of Optimus that's a truck?  Innovative and out there, I know.
Here's a bit of a top-down view for your enjoyment:

I really do like this mode.  It's a reminiscent of the War for Cybertron truck mode.  Man, is it sharp.  In the included Spotlight: Orion Pax issue that accompanies this figure, Orion at one point hauls a trailer.  This has, naturally, led to a 3rd party company creating said trailer.  I'm good with just the cab.  I think that the trailer will also come with a new head of ol' Pax as well. 
See the hole on the side rear of the truck?  There's another one on the opposite side.  Unlike when I was a kid, Hasbro has been kind enough to incorporate weapon storage in vehicle mode for most of it's figures.  The rifle and axe can attach to these ports for an attack mode.  I'm not too fond of how the axe looks when it's attached, but that's just me.
When I first saw the preview pictures of Orion Pax online, I was troubled with a lot of things about him.  Small head, articulation, mouth, and figure size all made me doubtful that this would be a decent figure.  After playing with him for quite a bit, I think that he may be my favorite figure of the assortment.


  1. I think the gun is the best part of this figure. I'm indifferent to the vehicle modes for this assortment. The size and hollowness of these figures are definitely negatives for most fans, but overall the Orion Pax figure is a pretty cool one.

    1. Yeah, the hollowness isn't great, but overall, a solid figure.

  2. I'm a big fan of this figure, size notwithstanding. Very interested in what you say about the 3rd party trailer as well, I'm going to look into that...

  3. I doubt I'll get the trailer. I prefer Pax not having one. It just feels right.