During the final gasps of the Robots in Disguise line, many toys were made as store exclusives. Toys R Us lucked out by getting two; The Decepticon Scourge and Air Attack Optimus Primal. This holdover from the Beast Machines line finally lives. This time, Primal is not a commander, but an Autobot spirit guide. Sure, the story in his tech specs may violate some continuity, but at least this wonderful toy finally sees the light of day.
Autobot: Optimus Primal
Function: Spirit Guide
“We will win if we believe in ourselves and out unity!”
He is a hero from the future, whose courage, skill and wisdom are needed again, to lead the Autobots in their fight against Megatron and his evil plans for the planet Earth. Wise and strong, Optimus Primal councils Optimus Prime in the ways of defensive combat and serves as custodian of freedom. Helps others find their own strength to keep fighting despite the odds. Brave and intelligent, he believes wholeheartedly in his cause and lights the fire of justice and truth in others.
Strength: 10 Intelligence: 10 Speed: 9.5 Endurance: 10
Rank: 10 Courage: 10 Fireblast: 9.9 Skill: 10
Above all else, the best feature about this toy is its accuracy to the character model on Beast Machines. It’s not 100% completely accurate, but it’s a lot better than the deluxe version. Standing at 11 ¾” in height, Optimus towers over most other Transformers. Megatron Megabolt doesn’t even come up to his waist and Scourge, at his highest point, is even with Primal’s four-pack abs. His primary colors are dark brown and gold with blue highlights on his feet, legs, chest and face. His face also features some red on his jaw and “ears.”
Primal sports thirty-two points of articulation with half of those in his hands alone. Each finger features two joints each, making Primal able to perform all sorts of hand gestures. Not that I’m advocating having him give anyone the bird, mind you. The rest of his joints are in the hips, knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, and neck. Not too shabby.
What Primal lacks in complexity, he more than makes up for in action features. Unhook his right shoulder pad, pull it back and let go to activate his power-punch. It can take a little practice before actually looking good. The downside of this is that he loses a point of articulation in the elbow. But, that’s not too bad. He also has a disc launcher in his abdomen. Pressing a button on his lower back fires it. There’s only one disc though, so be careful not to lose it lest you leave Primal with a small gap in his torso.
Next up are the light and sound features. Press his main chest button, etched with a faint Beast Machines Maximal insignia, to activate a powering-up/humming noise. Once that’s on, you can press down on the robot head to hear him cycle through a Primal scream, “Maximize!” and “The Seeds of the future lie buried in the past.” His chest has a constant red light while his forehead and eyes will flitter green, matching the sound at the time.
Also, by pressing a smaller button on his upper right back, you can activate the jetpack. If the sound features are on, you will be treated to engine lights and sounds that vary depending on Primal’s position. If he’s facing up, it sounds like he’s soaring. Face him downward and it sounds as though he’s diving. Keep him horizontal and you get a fly-by sound. Should also note hear that the disc launcher also has a firing sound when the sound features are activated.
While somewhat involved in places, transformation is rather simplistic for a toy of this size. The chest panel and hands flip around. The entire torso rotates 180 degrees at the shoulders to swap heads. The shoulder pads flip down and the legs bend back at the knee and swap robot feet for gorilla feet. Sound simple? Well, it is, but there are a lot of smaller steps left out so as not to get too detailed.
Hunkering down to a mere 7 ½” on all fours, Primal is one mean looking gorilla. Color wise, not much has changed with the exception of the red highlights in robot mode. They’ve been replaced by orange. His chest is now a little furrier in appearances with an orange painted circle highlighting the Maximal symbol in the center.
Primal has thirty points of articulation in this form, having only lost articulation in the knees. The rest are in his shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, hips, neck, waist, and ankles. The power punch still works in the mode as does the disc launcher, though is fires from his gorilla neck now.
The light and sound still function as well. Press the chest button and you get the same sounds as in robot mode. However, pressing down on the gorilla head will produce two new sound clips. There’s a more primal roar this time as well as “Optimus, Maximize!”
Was it worth the wait? Definitely. The only thing that could have been improved upon is the face in robot mode. His mouth is gaping and not in a screaming way either. It looks more like he can’t believe it’s not butter. But, outside of that minor complaint, Air Attack Optimus Primal is a must have for fans of the Beast era of toys. As Cobra Commander once said, “He’s well worth the price.”
|Date||July 2nd 2002|
|Score||(10 out of 10)|