Primal Prime - Beast Machines - Figure

One of the rarer TF toys in recent years, Primal Prime was given a heavy boost of fame when 3H made him the leader of the new Wreckers in the BC2001 comic book. Thanks to my good buddy and sometime doppelganger Superspy for getting me one.

Beast Mode
A recolour of Optimal Optimus, Primal Prime is a huge Transmetal gorilla with an armspan of 38 cm(15") and a height of just over 20 cm(8") tall when standing upright. In contrast to the very garish OpOp, PP is a nice, rather patriotic blend of milky white, royal blue, and various shades of red, with red vac metal for his upper arms, shoulders, and hubcaps, blue vac metal for his shins, translucent red for his blast-off armour, torso, and backpack, and assorted dark gray parts. His gorilla teeth, toenails, and an airbrushed splash on his chest are metallic silver. His blue hands and feet have some nice airbrushed white on them.

While he's by far the most mechanical-looking of all the Transmetals, PP does boast patches of white and blue fur on his back, arms, and thighs. And wowie, he's certainly one powerful-looking primate. His massive arms end in gigantic hands that can actually grip smaller figures thanks to their articulated knuckles and thumbs. He also has joints at the wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, hips, knees, and ankles.

The first of PP's gimmicks is his blast-off armour. Pressing the small black tab on either forearm causes the armour plating to fly off and separate into three pieces for a nifty battle damage effect. The second is his light-up backpack, requiring two AA batteries. Press the black tab on the right side of the backpack to lower the twin gun barrels into firing position. Press the large white button on the bottom of the backpack to make it light up. This white button is a key feature, as it was not on the original Optimal Optimus toy. Its addition makes PP a much safer toy, since you no longer have to worry about shooting yourself in the face with the missiles when you want to use the light up feature. The gun barrels and transparent missiles light up red while the gorilla eyes light up yellow. Pull back on the exposed grey tab to fire the missiles. PP comes with four missiles, two of which snap on to his shins. They don't fire very far, sadly.

Although PP is meant to be a BM toy, the mould still has the familiar BW Maximal insignias etched into its upper arms. Also, a BW rub sign sticker is plastered on the underside of the gorilla head.

Difficult the first few times, but fairly easy after that. Transforming the gorilla to robot mode is the probably the most complex, but transforming it to vehicle mode is easily the most frustrating since it takes ages to get the bloody thing to look like it should in the box photo. Errgh. In cruiser, vehicle, and robot modes, the missiles fire by pulling back on the grey thrusters at the very rear of the backpack.

Battle Cruiser Mode
About 28 cm(11") long, with a wingspan of over 46 cm (18"), yowza! From the top or the sides, the jet looks fine, but from below it looks like Captain Chimp coming to save the day (Tra-la-laaa!). The cockpit canopy opens and there's enough room inside for a Zoids or Diaclone sized-figure.

All Terrain Attack Vehicle (ATAV) Mode
Best description would be a 33 cm(13") long five-wheeled Cybertronian car with 50s style fins and a huge battering ram mounted in front. An ungainly, but powerful-looking conveyance. Indeed, it looks like a big, BIG brother to G1 Pretenders Landmine and Groundbreaker, whose vehicle modes are just as funky-looking. Rolls quite nicely on both smooth floor and carpet.

Robot Mode
Now here's the jewel of the package. Standing an impressive 23 cm(9") tall, PP's robot mode is coloured to look just like the original Optimus Prime, with a mostly red upper body, blue fists, white thighs, and blue shins and feet. His head is red with blue sides, white trim, and metallic silver on the crest, face, and mouthplate. Pushing the white button on the backpack causes his eyes to light up green, no matter which way the head is turned.

In this mode, PP has all the articulation he had as a gorilla. His guns unfortunately cannot retract like they can in the Botcon comic; they're stuck straddling his torso. PP comes with a large translucent red laser rifle that's airbrushed with metallic silver. The rifle butt attaches to a post mounted on either of PP's wrists. The rifle can also attach via a hole on either side of his backpack.

Suspsy Sez: Like many recolours (Cryotek, Sky-Byte, RID Galvatron, TM Tarantulas, etc), Primal Prime is more visually attractive than the original toy on which he is based. But aside from that and the added white button, he's the exact same as OpOp. Hence, if you're not a completist or if you're strapped for cash, plunking down $30 US on a toy you essentially already own might not be the wisest or most satisfying choice. But if you don't have OpOp, and if you're a big fan of the original Optimus Prime, then Primal Prime is definitely a recommended buy. And a fun one at that.


"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." -Primal Prime

DateApril 3rd 2002  
Score 9 stars (9 out of 10)  

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