Select your language

Series: Rise of the Beasts
Year: 2023
Allegiance: Maximal
Class: Leader
Prelude: As one of the main characters of the Rise of the Beasts movie, it was a given that Optimus Primal would get a whole lot of toys to his name, both in the Studio Series and the main RoTB toyline itself. The latter includes a special figure that (so far, at least) has only been released by Takara-Tomy in Japan. So the Boss Monkey is Big in Japan, too (sorry, couldn’t resist). Thanks to my buddy Den from Sentinel Bay Reviews, I get to take a look at this big ape. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let us start off by saying that this Optimus Primal here is big. Almost twice as big as Voyager-Class Optimus Primal from the same toyline, basically the size of a Leader-Class figure from many years ago (Like Power of the Primes Optimal Optimus). I’d call him Masterpiece-scaled, but he towers over Masterpiece Optimus Primal, too. Which is also kind of my first mark against this guy: who is he supposed to scale with? He towers over all the other figures we currently have from Rise of the Beasts, be it Maximals, Autobots, or Terrorcons.

Scale aside, though, what we have here is a very nice figure of Optimus Primal. The look of the on-screen movie character has been very nicely captured. The coloring is maybe a bit too black, but you know how much Takara loves its black repaints, so there is that. The figure is very nicely articulated, including articulated fingers, so no complaints here at all. It even includes a gimmick where you can switch out Optimus’ faceplate to give him a mouth. Nicely done.

Speaking of gimmicks, Optimus features a lot of them. More, actually, than he ever showed on-screen. He has the two blades, of course, that can combine into one or be stored on his back if he doesn’t need them. He also has pretty much all the gimmicks of Kingdom Optimus Primal, though, meaning he has the blasters in his forearms and the shoulder missile launchers, with launching missiles, even. Overall one gets the impression that Beast Wars Primal has been more an inspiration here than Rise of the Beasts Primal, at least in terms of weaponry.

The entire figure feels very similar to Kingdom Optimus Primal, actually, including that you have to split open the robot’s torso to get the missile launchers out. The transformation is also pretty much the same, so if you know how to transform Kingdom Primal, you really don’t need the instructions. There is sculpted black fur on many parts of the robot, as well as several peg-holes for attaching weapons such as the Rise of the Beasts Battlemasters.

Overall Takara’s RotB Primal is a very nice figure, though given the size I kind of expected a bit more. Not sure what, to be honest, but he really is little more than an up-scaled and gimmicked-up Voyager figure. Don’t get me wrong, I like the robot mode a lot, but again: I somehow expected a bit more here.

Alternate Mode: As mentioned above the transformation is pretty much the same as with most Optimus Primal figures. Turn the hip 180 degrees, shorten the legs, switch out the robot head for the gorilla one, and turn around the chest plate, done. Very familiar.

The resulting gorilla looks very nice, though, and nicely captures the look of the on-screen beast mode as well. The gorilla head is especially well-sculpted, I like it a lot. Like many recent Optimus Primal figures this one here, too, is mostly designed to walk in all fours. His head can move, but when you stand him up on two legs, he always looks slightly upwards. Better to leave him on all fours. Thanks to his articulated hands, he can easily pull off the ‘standing-on-his-knuckles’ pose, too.Nice.

Not that much more I can write here, to be honest. The gorilla retains most of the articulation of the robot, so no complaints here, and you can bring out the missile launchers, too, if you wanted, though they are permanently pointed down if the gorilla is on all fours.

So bottom line: a great-looking gorilla mode. No complaints.

Remarks: Beast Wars was at least as big a thing in Japan during the latter half of the 90s as in the rest of the world and naturally the Convoy of the line (aka Optimus Primal) was one of the main focuses. So it is not surprising that Takara’s first volley of Japan-exclusive RoTB figures would be Optimus Primal.

I was on the fence about buying this figure, so I am very grateful to my buddy Den for loaning me his version for this review and also, so I could make up my mind. I still haven’t, though, and I probably won’t until the Studio Series Leader-Class figure arrives here (should be soon). Overall I like this figure, though I admit I was a bit disappointed that, given the size and price point, it is simpler than I expected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, as it makes the figure very playable. Sadly it is a bit out of scale with all the other available RoTB figures so far.

Bottom line: Takara RotB Primal is a bit of an odd duck. It’s a cool and very playable figure all by itself, but it doesn’t really fit anywhere. Size is more or less Masterpiece, details and such are more mainline, gimmicks harken back to the 90s Beast Wars toyline, and so on. So if you are looking for a cool stand-alone Optimus Primal figure, this guy here is definitely worth a look. If, however, you are looking for a figure to build your RotB cast around, you might have to look elsewhere.

Rating: B
Toy DB Link

Picture Gallery:

No comments