Select your language

Series: Rise of the Beasts
Allegiance: Maximal
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2023

Prelude: He is the Boss Monkey, the Big Ape, and he recently made his big screen debut in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Hence, we are getting a number of new Optimus Primal figures and one of them is this one here, Voyager Class Optimus Primal from the Rise of the Beasts toy line. What’s this monkey’s business? Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: We didn’t really see much of Optimus Primal’s robot mode in the movie, he only transformed for the big final fight against Scourge’s army of disposable CGI drones. That said, this robot is a good match for that robot warrior we (briefly) saw in the movie, including being somewhat lacking in the color department. A few red and blue highlights to invoke the look of his Beast Wars predecessor would not have gone amiss, but he is screen accurate, more or less.

Articulation of this figure is quite good, comparable to most other current Transformers figures, including ankle tilts and twisting wrists. Given that his only weapons are two swords, Optimus needs all that arm articulation to pull off cool sword fighter poses. Bonus points for him being able to hold both swords in one fist, end on end, without the need for an upgrade set (looking at you, Kingdom Optimus Primal). The swords are stored on the back when not needed. No other weapons to be found on this figure, no arm blasters, shoulder guns, or skull-shaped morning stars, but again: screen accurate. We never saw Optimus use any of his old Beast Wars gimmicks in the movie, so that’s okay.

There are really only two things I can fault this figure for. One is the aforementioned lack of colored details (screen accuracy be damned) and the other is the figure’s buttflap. It doesn’t really hinder the figure any, but it would have been much nicer if it were possible to fold that up or something. Apart from that, though: a very nice robot mode that nicely depicts the character from the movie. Good work.

Alternate Mode: After a transformation that is mostly similar to that of the classic Beast Wars Optimus Primal figure, we have a techno-organic gorilla. The differences to the robot mode are not that extensive. Different head, different breast plate, and the legs are shortened. That’s pretty much it and isn’t nearly as complicated as the instructions make it look.

The ape is mostly designed to be on all fours, though it can stand up, too (though the legs look a bit weird then). The ape’s head is nicely sculpted and nicely poseable, too, so he can look forward whether he’s standing or on all fours. The swords can remain on the back in this mode (and during transformation, too).

Overall I’d say the ape mode is pretty much like every ape mode for an Optimus Primal so far: not bad, but clearly not the focus of the figure.

Remarks: In the Rise of the Beasts movie, Optimus Primal and his Maximals have been on Earth for 5,000 years, hiding the Transwarp Key from the heralds of Unicron, and befriending humans along the way, too. It was Primal who convinced Optimus Prime that the humans were worth considering, that Earth was worth protecting, and together they pulverized Unicron’s minions and successfully kept the Chaos Bringer from reaching the Earth. Sadly that victory came at a high cost, as Primal was forced to end the life of his friend, Airazor, after she became corrupted by Scourge. That Bumblebee and Mirage got get-out-of-death-free cards and Airazor had to remain dead is a big source of frustration for me, to be honest.

Back to the figure, though. While the Rise of the Beasts toyline is mostly geared towards the younger, more casual Transformers fan – while the the Studio Series line is more for collectors – it does contain quite a few figures that are worth a look. Optimus Primal is not perfect. He could use a bit more paint and maybe a little less buttflap, but otherwise he is quite good. I still have the Leader-Class Optimus Primal due for the Studio Series on preorder, mind you, but I’m a Beast Wars nut, so a few more versions of the Boss monkey won’t hurt me.

Bottom line: a nice toy. Not perfect, but nice.

Rating: B-
Toy DB Link

Picture Gallery:

No comments