Cliffbee.com: Cybertron Beast Optimus Prime Toy Review

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Name: Optimus Prime
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Gorilla



GORILLA MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   A dark brown gorilla with black lower legs and extensive beige on his feet and face amongst other locations. While the original Optimus Primal gorilla is clearly an inspiration for this figure, this particular Optimus Prime toy doesn't quite feel like it's representing the Maximal leader. Granted, he's a repaint of the Beast Wars 10th Anniversary Primal toy, but this toy is meant to represent the character usually taking the form of a red truck. There are some white elements here and a silver and red robot mode section behind his head, but for the most part Optimus Prime is a broadly robotic gorilla in naturalistic colours. The colour scheme is actually fairly good - certainly better than the colours on the BW10th toy.

   Much of the sculpt is quite organic, with very coarse fur on the limbs and torso, white teeth on his mouth and organic looking feet. There are quite a few mechanical aspects, including much of the face, his chest, the hands and various hoses, pistons and such protruding from within the fur. The end result is almost technorganic - that weird fusion of design elements seen on Beast Machines Maximals - except that Prime really feels like an organic beast with mechanical details sticking out - the brown plastic helps in this regard. While it's an unusual theme for an Optimus Prime toy, it makes for a rather nice gorilla mode.

   There aren't any gimmicks to this mode as such, although Optimus Prime comes with an enormous black surfboard accessory thing. It's 15cm long, and he's meant to be able to ride it, as a tribute to Transmetal Optimus Primal. In reality, the pegs on top are too far apart for the holes under his feet to attach without Prime looking really awkward. I guess this isn't helped by the fact that his legs are fairly short, but then gorilla legs usually are. Prime's poseablity is actually fairly good - the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips are knees are all ball jointed while the rear "thumbs" are also on ball joints. The ankles are double hinged while the neck and waist are fixed. While Prime's more or less designed to stand in a typical "knuckle-dragging" pose, there's some scope for posing - he'll happily stand upright or stand in a walking pose.

   A good beast mode, which sports much better colours than the original version of the mould. The clunky surfboard doesn't really offer much, but the poseability is better than most gorilla Transformers get. The detailing is a nice mix of organic and robotic, enough to plant this figure in the Autobot sphere rather than the Maximal one, while still Prime essential looks like an organic gorilla. While this is certainly an unusual incarnation of the Optimus Prime concept, I'm actually quite happy to see an Optimus Prime that's not another red truck.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Loosely based on the original, deluxe, Beast Machines Optimus Primal - but done right. Open out the groinplates, lift up the rumplate. Swing down the chest and face, swing back the crest. Push together the shoulders to form the robot groin, open a panel in the beast crown, swing out the robot head and close the crown to form the robot chest. Push the head and chest into place, lining up the beast hips as robot shoulders. From here form down the beast arms to form legs and the beast legs to form arms. There's some twisting to get the limbs right, with the beast feet working surprisingly well as robot hands. The outsides of the beast hands (the knuckles, basically) flip out to form feet while the beast hands themselves form heelspurs.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 9cm

   A predominantly brown robot with black forearms and shins, Prime has beige hands along with beige on his thighs and shoulder joints. The silver and red from the back of the beast head is now central on his chest while the face is silver with pale green eyes. Again the colour scheme is hardly classical Optimus Prime, although it's not Optimus Primal either. The colours again work quite well, although the very angular feet would have looked better with an organic colour for their highlight, rather than the white they ended up with.

   Unusually for a Cybertron toy, there's no red Autobot logo here. In fact the only allegiance symbol this toy carries is a silver stamped symbol on the rump of the gorilla, which isn't terribly prominent in either mode. The beast rump and chest are now on his back, forming a bulky but lightweight backpack of panels. It's worth noting that the head sculpt here closely matches that of the original Optimus Primal toy - there's even an allusion to the mutant head, which is a nice touch.

   This mode is more robotic than the beast mode, since much of the fur sculpt is now on his backpack. There are few straight lines here - most of this robot mode is gentles curves. The feet are the standout exception - to the point that they don't really fit. The silver and red on his chest also features some straight lines, but being a different colour and central chest detail, this works quite well.

   The poseability is carried over from the beast mode, which makes sense since the limbs were limbs there, also. The shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles are all ball joints inherited from the beast mode while the neck is also ball jointed. The wrists can swing out while the fingers swing as one and the thumbs are ball jointed. The feet are big with useful heelspurs, so while they look dicey they do anchor Prime in a wide array of action poses. Again the giant surfboard is a waste of time - he can no longer stand on the pegs since there are no pegs under his feet, although he can stand loosely on it. There's a slot at the back into which you can plug in the green Planet Key (code: d7s9), which causes the upper right side to pop out, revealing a single missile launcher. While the launcher fires reasonably well, there's no way for Optimus Prime to hold this oversized launcher comfortably. The missile can sit in his hand as a club, and while it wasn't designed to, I prefer that to giving him the surfboard.

   Again this is a handy mode, which for the most part looks pretty good - and again looks much nicer than the Beast Wars 10th version. The feet look awkward but at least they help him stand in many action poses. The surfboard is again superfluous, but that doesn't really worry me. Sure, a useful weapon would be nice, but the robot mode doesn't need the surfboard that badly.

VARIATIONS

   None as such. The Beast Wars 10th Optimus Primal toy, of which Optimus Prime is a repaint, came with a small "Axalon" model ship.

OVERALL

   A nice change from the legion of red truck Optimus Prime toys, and while this toy isn't exactly spectacular, it works well enough. It's a lot better than the original version of the mould thanks to a smarter colour scheme. The sculpt is nice, the transformation is a fairly simple idea done well. The poseability is good and while the surfboard accessory adds nothing, I'm happy enough to just leave it aside and enjoy the figure itself. While this version of Optimus Prime isn't really a standout, it's quite nice for what it is - 7/10

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