Cliffbee.com: Optimus Minor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Optimus Minor
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Ground Commando
Alternate Mode: Monkey



MONKEY MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 8cm Width: 6cm

   A charcoal humanoid with some red plastic on his groin and elbows, with a chromed gold chest and back, Optimus Minor has a hunched charcoal head with gold ears and a gold face - which looks more like Nien Nunb's face than that of a simian. His eyes are green. He has a wavy red tail sticking out of his rump, which accounts for most of the 8 centimetres of length.

   I'm not sure how this is meant to be a monkey. For starters, he stands upright - humans are the only primates who do that. The legs are longer than they should be and his hands look like the robot feet that they are. It's impossible to tell if he's meant to be an Old World or New World monkey, since the tail lacks the loop at the end New World monkeys are capable of and he has no nose - and it's the nose which is the single most distinctive difference between the two groups. The large head would be more indicative of a great ape than a monkey anyway.

   The detailing on this toy is decent by most TF series' standards but fairly poor for a Transmetal II. There's moulded fur on various surfaces, including a large section of his chest, as well as some unpainted mech outbursts on his shoulders and knees. The front of the legs are mainly smooth, which is disappointing. The wide, flat feet look like those of a gorilla, although you don't really notice, thankfully.

   The biggest plus in this mode is that Op Minor has jointing everywhere you'd expect and some places you wouldn't. The shoulders, knees, elbows, wrists and hips are all ball jointed, and the knees are actually double ball joints. The neck can nod and the ankles are hinged. While the knee jointing allows him to sort of crouch the tail gets in the way of him sitting. The ankles should really be ball jointed, but more on that later.

   On balance, this is a mess. I hope the guy who drew up this concept was fired, but more likely he ended up ruining most of the BM Maximals in the following years. This is a humanoid with fur and a head that's.... strange. The colours are fairly nice and he's very poseable but the poseability's kinda wasted since he looks stupid from any angle.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the tail, slide the chest down over his groin for the limb swapping trick. Fiddle with the limbs, crack open Nien Nunb's head to reveal the robot head. You can clip the tail onto the open palm of his right hand as a sort of whip.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 6cm

   Again largely charcoal with a chrome gold chest, red groin and a charcoal head with red crown and gold mouth. For some reason he has asymmetrical green eyes which means he looks like he's vaguely uncomfortable - the teeth-baring scowl doesn't help. There's a blue circle on the centre of his chest which is vaguely out of place, although it's not really a negative.

   Remember how the monkey mode was more human that monkey? Op Minor now has overly long arms and looks more like a damn monkey than he did before. Doesn't help that the gorilla feet hands are now prominent. The thighs are short and stocky, which only serves to accentuate the long arms. I'd recommend against giving him the whip, since it looks stupid attached to a giant open hand. Incidentally, how does a tail-whip give him a FRP of 3.9? Man whoever did this toy wasn't paying attention. By the way, why is an arboreal animal given a function of "Ground Commando"?

   The head is very beast-like, he looks like an Ewok on the rampage or something. Which fits in with his tech spec, actually, so I'm okay with the crazed look here. Annoyingly, it's overshadowed by the monkey head halves, which have nowhere else to go other than side above the shoulders.

   There's less fur here and more mech detail, especially on his chest. On the left side of his waist is a sunken, green, Maximal spark crystal - on it's side. This guy can't catch a break, I tell ya. It faces forward, so it's not intended to be on the side of a quadrupedal beast mode, since then it'd be upside down.

   The poseability isn't as good here. The shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles are ball jointed, the head rotates although with all the kibble around it there's no point. The waist doesn't turn, although it _should_ since unlike the head it'd be unrestricted. Remember the monkey ankles? Well they're now the robot wrists and again can only flap. But the forearms split, allowing Op Minor to lift the front of his forearm up and the back half backwards. The question is _why_? There seems to be no reason for this jointing at all, and it costs him a pair of ball joints.

   On the one hand the poseability here is a little more useful than the monkey mode, on the other hand this mode has the monkey proportions his beast mode lacks. The hands are poor, the splitting forearms are just bizarre and the kibble around his head overshadows the only real positive here.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of, thankfully.

OVERALL

   That sound you hear is B'Boom and Optimus Primal laughing at this poor excuse for a primate Transformer. Hell, even Apeface is more convincing and he manages to transform into a plane as well. With a beast mode that looks like a robot mode with a giant alien head and a robot mode that looks like an upright monkey crossed with an Ewok gone postal, this is a toy I'd recommend avoiding. Go waste your money on Runabout instead - at least he has a pullback motor - 1/10

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