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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Orion Pax is getting a lot of attention lately, why not a little more?

Ever since Transformers: Prime has been on the air it has been exploiting a new refined and updated continuity that Hasbro has decided to use to unify its different Transformers properties instead of having a bunch of different aspects of the same property in different 'Universes". In effect what this means is that every fiction to come from Hasbro since 2010 or so has been with this new continuity line. Fortunately for fans who enjoy G1 this continuity borrows heavily from it, and that means before Optimus Prime there was Orion Pax. This was showcased heavily in the recent three-part TF: Prime serial, the aptly named "Orion Pax: Parts 1, 2 & 3".

The idea of Optimus being rebuilt from a smaller, weaker robot originated in the original G1 episode "War Dawn", a fan favorite. It is actually one of the few episodes I remember watching from my childhood. In the episode the Aerialbots travel back in time 9 million years before the great war to discover a lowly dock worker named Orion and his friends, Ariel and Dion. Soon enough "new" flying Transformers show up that we already know are the Decepticons, but Orion is tricked into helping them and in the process is fatally wounded by Megatron. He is recovered by the Aerialbots and taken to Alpha Trion who rebuilds him into the future Autobot leader. The whole point of the episode was to teach the Aerialbots just how bad of a guy Megatron was, but in the process it ended up creating a very interesting backstory for Optimus. Subsequent media has altered Orion's original function from dock worker to Archivist and have pretty much removed the physical differences between Orion and Optimus, except for maybe a few minor details. But originally the character was a completely different robot from Optimus and unfortunately he was one of those obscure guys that we never received in toy form.

Orion's original Animation model (with Ariel)
Until 2004. Takara had just re-released Kup and Wheelie in a two pack as part of their TFC Book Style series. Shortly after E-Hobby released an exclusive repaint changing the colors on Kup to match Orion Pax and the colors on Wheelie to match Dion. Amazingly, it works really, really well. Orion's original Cybertronian vehicle mode was a pickup truck, just like Kup so that was a no brainer. But the robot mode fits pretty well for being nothing other than a repaint. (Dion not so much.) The head is still a little too Kup-ish and I have seen some custom heads that really add a lot to the figure. However this was back before additional head molds were the norm, so the likely hood of anyone producing one today is pretty slim. Especially since this figure really isn't available any more. However, Reprolabels has created a custom sticker sheet that helps tremendously with the appearance of Orion. Once applied, he looks a lot less like Kup.

Orion and Dion

The stickers were especially meant to echo Prime's own stickers

It really isn't that much of a stretch to imagine it.
I really wish in the updated and revised continuity they would have made Orion a different figure because I enjoy looking for the little similarities between the past and future versions of the same character. Although as we have seen in Prime (at least) that probably isn't going to be the case. In this new universe Orion is basically the exact same as Optimus except without the Matrix of Leadership. But at least we finally got Orion in a G1 incarnation, that is a lot more than we can say for Ariel or even Elita-One.


  1. Oh my, I want those stickers. Never put anything on my Orion, but that's gonna have to change.

    1. Make that two naked Orions. Guess I'll be looking into these stickers too.

  2. Nice post. Now, I'm going to have to dig out my set, which is still MISB, open it and get those stickers too =)

  3. HAHAHA! Yes! I secretly work for Reprolabels, and this was nothing but a ploy!

    Ok, not really.