At first glance, DA-28 Striker Prime seems to just be a colored variant of the Transformers Dark of the Moon Leader Class Optimus Prime and Takara's DA-15 Jetwing Prime. I'm actually not quite sure what to make of it because he has distinctive parts from both variants.
We first broke news about the DA-28 Striker Prime in October. What I failed to realize back then was that in the movie, Optimus Prime was holding his shield with his right hand, not his left. Also, like DA-15 Jetwing Prime, Striker Prime's shield is not movie accurate. Watch the movie and you'll see that Prime's shield is closer to Sentinel Prime's shield than to the shield that DA-28 uses. Also in the movie, Optimus Prime wields his trademark wrist swords against Shockwave's Driller. DA-28 does not have the wrist swords.
This particular DA-28 Striker Prime was purchased through Victoyoyos on E-bay for PhP 7,000 plus shipping (Roughly US$ 159 plus shipping). His blister card reads: "Mechtech technology allows Optimus Prime to achieve the ultimate in both speed and power while in vehicle battle mode. This amazing prowess on the battlefield earns this edition the special title of "Striker." His primary armament, the Mega Striker is the combination of the Eliminator Gun and Assault Blaster and fires Electromagnetically Accellerated Bullets. Even his battle shield converts its shape, for use in both defense and offense during close combat."
By the way, note that DA-28 Striker Prime does not come with batteries. Be prepared to have a pair of AA batteries for him.
DA-28 Striker Prime's Truck mode:
DA-28's truck mode is exactly identical to the DOTM Leader Class Optimus Prime and the Jetwing Prime and the and the apparent difference between the three is cosmetic. Offhand you can already note the cosmetic differences.
Both the DOTM Leader class and Jetwing Primes have the light-gull gray finish versus the almost gun-metal gray which I really do like. Also, DA-28 Striker Prime's paint job is noticeably not as bright as that of the other two Primes. It has a dull finish that extends not just to the red-flame job, but to the blue.
They will however make the same engine noise and their cabs light up with a red glow, when you press the small button on their backs. Though personally their engines sound like they're in need of tune-ups.
Let's also take the time to note that DA-28 Striker Prime's fuel tanks, a with those of the DOTM Leader Class and unlike those of the Jetwing Prime's cannot be removed, nor can they be twisted and combined to form a super-weapon.
You've probably noticed by now that DA-28 Striker Prime can store his shield, Eliminator Gun and Assault Blaster behind him simply by attaching the shield at that hole and pin at the back where a trailer would normally go.
But of course you're here to see the shield in place up front where DA-28 Striker Prime can use the shield to barrel through any Decepticon dumb enough to stand in his way (If they survive the withering fire from his cannons).
Note how the side-panels of DA-28 Striker Prime's cab pop-up. The Eliminator Gun and Assault Blaster are mounted on the gas canisters (Not so smart, but then they don't really use gas do they?).
I love this particular form because it's as intimidating as the Jetwing Prime but has the added bonus of screaming "Get out of my way or else!"
DA-28 Striker Prime's Robot mode:
You know you're a toy-collector when it doesn't bother you that you have three of one particular toy because you know that they are NOT the same - and relish the fact that you know they're different and "ordinary people" can't get or appreciate that.
Already you can see the aforementioned differences between the DOTM Legends class - wrist blades - and the Jetwing Prime (Gas canisters become cannons).
DA-28 Striker Prime also shares the same "Crab-gills" chest area that Jetwing Prime has. Both the Jetwing Prime and DA-28 Striker Prime also have small mech-tech ports on their wrists.
The last major difference between the two is that activating the lower chest switch (Or pulling Prime's head back) on both the Da-15 Jetwing Prime and the DOTM Legends Class Prime makes them declare "I am Optimus Prime!" while doing the same thing for DA-28 Striker Prime generates a more militant cry of "We must stop the Decepticons!"
DA-28 Striker Prime comes with two mech-tech hand held weapons - an Eliminator Gun and Assault Blaster. Unlike most mech-tech weapons, DA-28 Striker Primes weapons have locks to keep their "transformed" versions in place.
Untransformed they look like snub-nose pistols in the hands of Optimus Prime. Personally I think they look much better when they're extended.
Neither of these weapons appeared in the movie just in case you're wondering.
The shield is actually just a small buckler thanks to Prime's size. It's reminiscent of the Philippine moro-warrior "Kalasag" (Shield) down to the two prongs at the bottom of the shield which is used to hold an enemy's head in place before you chop it off.
On an un-related topic, the Kalasag is also used in the logo of the Philippine National Police. But they have theirs upside down and no one has noticed save for this one blog that hopes that it will one day be corrected. This error probably explains the high incidence of corruption in the Philippine National Police.
Note in the picture the two combined blasters. There is only one way that the two can be combined - via pegs. The order cannot be inter-changed and only one of the blasters can be transformed/extended.
And just so you know what it looks like in the movie:
There are two ways that you can attach DA-28 Striker Prime's shield once you rotate out a small handle. You either mount it into the mech-tech port above his hand, or have DA-28 Striker Prime hold the shield.
Now if you want the "authentic movie look" then take the shield and give it to DOTM Legend class Optimus Prime and extend his sword. As previously mentioned, DA-28 Striker Prime does not have blades.
But I think that DA-28 Striker Prime looks great with another weapon - the War for Cybertron Battle Axe.
This brings us to the question that's been on everyone's mind since DA-15 Jetwing Prime and DA-28 Striker Prime became publicly known figures: "Can DA-15 Jetwing Prime carry DA-28 Striker Prime's shield?"
And the answer is.... kinda?
DA-28 Striker Prime cannot carry the Jetwing of DA-15 Jetwing Prime because you cannot remove the gas canisters from DA-28. So instead you have to give the shield to DA-15 Jetwing Prime. However, if you own one, then you probably already know that you cannot fold back either of DA-15 Jetwing Prime's gattling cannons. The shoulders get in the way.
So how'd I do it? Pop the arm out and extend it. It's slightly dangerous because Prime's shoulder joints are these small itty-bits of plastic which reminds me of Robotech figures released in the 80s which were notorious for breaking at the shoulders. The rest is simply photographing from the right angle.
Note I also attached DA-28 Striker Prime's combined blasters in DA-15 Jetwing's wrist mechtech mounts.
But there's SOMETHING BETTER!!!!!!
While it may be awkward to combine DA-15 Jetwing with DA-28 Striker Prime because of physical limitations, there are no such limitations in his truck mode!
If you thought that DA-15 Jetwing's truck mode was scary and intimidating, now you have one that has that much firepower, brings on even more firepower, probably has the capability to fly, can mount more mechtech on the wings, and now has a front that can ram without fear.
And there's still room for a Bumblebee to ride shot-gun and fire-away at any Decepticon smart enough to get out of DA-28 Striker Prime's way.
So do I recommend that you get a DA-28 Striker Prime? Honestly I was a little disappointed at how small his shield is - it's barely functional unless he's in a physical conflict and DA-28 doesn't have weapons. You have to give him weapons. But I find the color scheme different and appealing. Get him if you have the extra cash to spare or are a die-hard collector. But don't kill for him.