Cliffbee.com: Blast Punch Primal Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Optimus Primal
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Alternate Mode: Technorganic Gorilla

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Blast Punch Primal for this review



GORILLA MODE
Height: 14cm Depth: 6cm Width: 14cm
The above figures are for a bipedal pose

   An orange technorganic gorilla with some brown on his thighs, head and shoulderpads. Blast Punch Primal shares the orange between a base solid plastic, chrome on the knuckleguards and transparent on his upper torso and upper arms. There's also some brass coloured plastic on his toes, fingers and pectorals while there's a blue paint wash on the top of his shoulderpads. The face is bras coloured with a red nose and white eyes (which lack pupils - he looks dead!) and white teeth. The colours here only vaguely match those seen in the cartoon, but they're a better match than those of the original Beast Machines Optimus Primal. They're actually taken from Optimal Optimus, although the end result is a somewhat loose match. I can't say he has bad colours, but I wish they followed the cartoon rather than having a colour scheme based on another toy.

   I wouldn't say Blast Punch Primal looks all that technorganic here - I suspect the rumoured late colour switch may have deprived this toy of some painted details which would have helped this look. His arms, head, chest and outer thighs all carry a very organic looking fur sculpting, and the digits also look organic. The waist and forearms do look technorganic while his boots just look robotic. The proportions are sufficiently gorilla-like, and he is capable of standing upright or on all fours. The head is fixed and he looks best in a very slightly hunched pose as a result, since the face will only look forward in this position.

   There's some play value here, including three gimmicks and decent poseability. The left arm contains a rather elaborate triggering system which doesn't work as well as it should - but it's easy enough to bypass anyway. Lifting the shoulderpad up and down tightens a spring inside the upper arm, when you press the spark crystal on the arm the forearm cover rotates, in theory it runs over a small brown trigger underneath activating two gimmicks. The cover can get caught on the trigger at times, but then it's easy to rotate the forearm cover to the point where the trigger is accessible, allowing you to press the trigger yourself. At any rate, when the trigger is pressed, he fires a single blue missile from the palm of the left hand and the hand itself will pop out about 1.5cm (the "Blast Punch"). The other gimmick is much simpler (and more reliable) - pressing a blue button on his head causes the face to lift up slightly, baring the teeth for a snarl - much simpler and more effective in my opinion.

   The poseability is hampered in a few places but it does what it has to. The head is fixed which limits the usefulness of some poses but the limbs are reasonably poseable and the waist turns. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the right elbows swings. The left elbow is fixed in a slightly bent position, to allow the arm gimmicks to work. The wrists rotate but the left one doesn't move that far, which robs him of the classical knuckle dragging stance. The hips are ball jointed but the knees only move to transform and the ankles are fixed. There's also a brown panel on the back which lifts up to reveal two brass coloured jets.

   A reasonably good gorilla mode, but it should have been a good one. The colours work against him slightly - more paint and less orange would have made a difference. I would have liked to see some more poseability in the left arm - I can live with the punch but the missile would have been no loss. Whilst it's far superior to the beast mode of the original BM Primal, this gorilla doesn't stack up too well to the Beast Wars versions of the same concept.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull the boots down via two hinges in the knees, flip over the feet to swap gorilla toes for robotic ones. Rotate the forearm covers, lift up the shoulderpads. Rotate the wrists, fold away the gorilla thumbs, flip over the knuckles guards, sliding his fingers under to stow the gorilla fingers and reveal robotic ones. Flip out the robot thumbs. Open up the waist and chest panels, fold away the beast head and close the chest, rotate the chest itself to reveal the robot head and close the waist panel.

   Whilst some parts of the transformation are elegant and effective - the knees are simple but very effective - others such as the forearm covers pretty much move for the sake of justifying this toy as a mega - the transformation is very simple in concept.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 14cm

   An orange robot with brown thighs and shoulderpads - Blast Punch Primal's piece haven't really rearranged any. The head is now orange with a brown mouth area and a blue mask surrounding orange eyes. His head is quite boxy and resembles the cartoon head in shape if not colour. The chest is now transparent orange, but it's pretty much the same misplaced colour scheme here. The colour scheme is actually more unified than in beast mode which is a plus, even if it still doesn't match the colours seen in the cartoon.

   This is a very stocky robot mode - thanks to the arms which are gorilla arms with raised shoulderpads. The torso shape is the same aside from the more angular head. The extended legs aren't gorilla shaped, which is a good thing. His hands and digits are huge - I guess it's fitting since the name of the two alludes to his fists. There's more of a technorganic feel since the forearm covers are now dominated by a transparent orange plastic with robotic details moulded inside. These details are similar to those we see in the show - although nowhere near as colourful, sadly. The chest is similarly detailed and the digits are distinctly mechanical.

   While we lose the snarling face gimmick, the left arm gimmicks are still available and the jets on his back are unchanged. Poseability is identical to the beast mode, since the limbs don't do all that much in transformation. It's slightly disappointing that the gimmicks operate the same in both modes, despite the carried over play value this says a lot about the transformation.

   A reasonable robot mode but it's just too similar to the beast mode, and again there's all this orange on a toy that should have been brown. If the colours were done properly this would be a good display piece (even if the transformation would still suck), but they're not and this really impacts on the transformer overall, since this robot mode offers nothing that we don't already have in gorilla mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A pretty straightforward mega with one of the simpler gorilla-to-robot transformations. The gimmicks almost work and while the sculpt is at the high standard we expect of Beast Machines, it's overshadowed by the misplaced proliferation of orange. The shape is generally pretty good, so he would have worked well if the colours weren't switched - despite the simple transformation. The simple nature I could have lived with if the colours were right. It's better than the original Beast Machines Primal, but to achieve that all Blast Punch Primal had to do is show up. I wouldn't recommend this over Air Attack Optimus Primal, but he's still the best BM Primal for those with a budget - 6/10

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