Cliffbee.com: Leo Prime Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Leo Prime
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Lion

Thanks to Morkus for loaning me Leo Prime for this review.



LION MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 26.5cm Width: 10cm

   A dirty red and navy robotic lion with a silver (but otherwise fairly organic) mane, Leo Prime has navy lower legs, some grey around the midsection and on his tail, while there are silver painted details here and there and some fluorescent red highlights as well. His eyes are black and there's a navy patch on his forehead which sports a red stamped Autobot logo, rounding out a rather unusual colour scheme. It's loosely based on the colours of Optimus Prime, and is surprisingly divergent from the original Leo Prime, even though both toys are based on Leobreaker. The dirty red is a nice shade which brings something unique to this toy, giving it character, but the fluorescent red is awful and the grey in the middle is jarring. Combining the divergence from the Legends toy with the awful fluorescent red, this really feels like an opportunity lost.

   This is a fairly awkward looking lion, in that the limbs are fairly static looking, there are claw weapons crudely hidden on the front of the forelegs and the face looks down. The limbs look like they're destined to become robot limbs - which they are. What's really sad about this is that the robot limbs are awful. The mane is well sculpted, the curved tail is nicely done. The colours aren't very lionesque, mind you.

   The poseability here isn't so good. The hips and shoulders swing and his front paws are on hinges, but the digitigrade rear paws are not, so there aren't really any walking or pouncing poses available that look anything like the graceful gait of cats. Leo Prime either looks static or awkward. You can press down on that navy patch on his forehead, causing his lower jaw to open a little - but it doesn't open much and snaps shut as soon as you release the fairly significant force required to activate this feature. The shape of his forehead means you have to do it from the front, too, which means your hand's going to cover the mouth, making the entire thing pointless. The sound gimmick has been gutted, which reduces the value of your purchase, but it didn't add much anyway.

   The colours show promise but wreck things by going for that awful fluorescent red and using grey plastic poorly. The legs are quite awkward and the poseability gimmick are disappointing. This lion mode is weaker than that of the original Leobreaker.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Well, it's not stand up and fiddle with the hands, but it's close. Remove the tail, straighten the hindlegs and fold down heelspurs. Open the waist panels, rotate the front down to form the chest, stand him up. Open the hatch on the mane to reveal the head, pull the arms out sideways, rotate the forearms, plug the tail into the inside of either hand and try to imagine that it's actually a whip.

   This is probably the simplest mega/voyager transformation I've come across. Even Transquito has a primitive automorph. Frankly, I expect more of basics/scouts in anything after Beast Machines. And there are basics from before Beast Machines that do a better job.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20.5cm Width: 13.5cm

   A red robot with navy legs and forearms along with a navy head, Leo Prime has a lot of silver on his chest along with his mouthplate and groin, His head has been retooled to resemble Optimus Prime, and sports mid blue eyes. I'm not sure why a character the box places firmly in Beast Wars is a tribute to Optimus Prime, but in these colours he's clearly not trying to mimic Optimus Primal. Even the colour map evokes Optimus Prime. Sadly, that awful fluorescent red is still visible here.

   The bodyshape here is pretty bad. The arms hinge outwards just above above the elbows, and there are clear gaps visible from the front - it's one of the weirdest pieces of engineering I've seen on a Transformer. The reason behind it is to allow the arms to clear his hips, but the sane thing to do would have been to make his arms pull out to the sides during transformation. The hips are quite wide, since the legs attach to the outsides of the groin piece. There are grey panels hanging off his waist, which don't really look like armour - just like crap not dealt with very well. Leo Prime's arms are far too long - they come down to his knees, and those knees are slightly lower than they should be. His head is sunken into the torso slightly, with a conspicuous plate on top.

   The poseability here is pretty disappointing. His head turns a little while his waist is fixed. The shoulders rotate on ratcheting joints, the elbows rotate and hinge - perhaps more importantly you can bring those awful hinges in if you swing the shoulders up. His hands are the claws, and move like claws, so there's not much real poseability, even if there are thumbs of sorts which can move around. As I've already mentioned, the tail plugs in on the inside of his hands, but doesn't really look much like a weapon. His leg poseability is terrible - the hips swing while the knees, heelspurs and feet are all hinged, but with lowset knees and limited hips, these hinges don't allow for many natural stable poses.

   There are slots on the back of his forearms into which you can plug his navy Planet Key. Doing so releases gold claws which are visible on the outside of his forearms, which end up over his claws as Wolverine-style claws. Now, the idea is good and they flip out nicely, but they flip out over claws, so they end up redundant, which is a shame. They can sort of flip out in beast mode, but the table gets in the way - and the Wolverine-effect here is nice, despite their redundant nature. The navy blue used on the Planet Key is notably darker than that of the Cybertron keys, and it's a nice shade which makes Leo Prime well.

   A bad robot mode with poor poseability, a terrible weapon and bad proportions. The key gimmick is peripheral. The colours are a little better than in beast mode, but he still looks poor. The best feature is the shade used for his Planet Key, which really is damning with faint praise.

COMBINATION

   Leo Prime can transform into a giant claw-like weapon that clips onto Optimus Prime's arm - or indeed Megatron's. It's essentially his robot mode with the head stowed and the arms plugged into his feet. It's not a very compelling combination, despite a few dedicated aspects of this toy - a plug on his back and the detachable forearms.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. He's a repaint of Leobreaker, as mentioned. Nemesis Breaker is a also repaint of Leobreaker.

OVERALL

   Both modes are awkward at best with poor poseability and underwhelming gimmicks. The basic idea of the colours could work had they avoided the supporting colours which wreck the idea. The third mode is underwhelming yet asks a lot of the toy. Leo Prime's transformation is laughable at this size. It's a poor mould, not even the a head resculpt can convince me to recommend Leo Prime. Once was too many for this mould - 2/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.