Now I know that the toys are designed first, but I have to say that I dislike the amount of liberties that were taken by Mainframe and Alliance when they designed their model of Optimus Primal for the Beast Machines cartoon. The Optimus Primal that kids watch every Saturday morning on Fox Kids is only loosely based on the Optimus Primal toy.
Standing at roughly four inches in height in beast mode, Optimus is mostly a dark brownish-black color with translucent blue parts throughout and some gold highlights. Moving the head forward and lifting the middle of his back up reveals his beast mode gimmick. By pushing the back lever in and out, Primal's mouth opens and closes while his chest opens to reveal his Spark crystal. His shoulder also do the equivalent of a shrug when the lever is pushed, though the instructions make it sound as though he should be able to beat his chest.
Transformation is simple. So simple in fact that if they made him a little smaller, he could easily pass for a basic sized toy. Hide the gorilla head in his back, move the gorilla arms together to form the robot legs, swing the rear legs out and around to form the robot arms and there you have it (more or less).
As a robot, Optimus Primal stands a little under 5 1/2 inches tall. The colors don't do much more for him in this form as they did in gorilla mode. What I do like is that the robot head closely resembles his show self, minus details that were not painted. Otherwise, this toy looks nothing like how Mainframe animated him. Popping open the left hip, you can remove a green throwing star that, when placed in his right hand and pulled back, can be tossed a good distance. The only thing to bear in mind while doing this is that his thumb is very fragile and excessive force could find him with only four digits on his right hand instead of five.
Beast Machines Optimus Primal is an all right toy. It's just hard to believe that the cartoon animators were looking at this toy when putting together the cartoon.
|Date||October 31st 2001|
|Score||(5 out of 10)|