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Series: Botcon Exclusives
Allegiance: Maximal
Categories: Voyager Convention Exclusive
Year: 2006
Peace is the absence of conflict and the presence of justice.
A veteran of the last Great War that resulted in the defeat of the Predacon forces, Optimus Primal embodies many of the Maximal philosophical ideals. He is a heroic figure whose ability for self sacrifice knows no bounds. While he understands that war and conflict are sad realities of his existence, he has made it a point to study the historical and scientific records of past generations. He believes it is the balance that his idol, the original Optimus Prime, maintained throughout his long service. While Optimus Primal has a vast understanding of standard battle protocols, he sometimes utilizes unconventional, yet creative tactics to succeed in his missions. In vehicle mode, his boosters allow the ability to move at speeds of up to 350 mph for short bursts. While in robot mode, the boosters can become forward deployed missile launchers capable of locking onto two targets independently. The boosters can also be used for flight in robot mode. While always battle ready, he believes his current mission of exploration aboard the Axalon is symbolic of the Maximal goals of peace and harmony in the galaxy.

Prelude: Remember Optimus Primal, the Boss Monkey from Beast Wars? And remember Crumplezone, the ape-like bruiser from Cybertron’s Speed Planet? Now imagine it’s 2006 and you are in charge of selecting a toy to be repainted into a pre-Earth version of Beast Wars Optimus Primal, which one could you possibly use? Introducing Dawn of Future Past Optimus Primal, part of the 2006 Botcon boxset. Let’s say go!

Many thanks to my buddy Fuchs Geronimo for loaning me this figure for pictures and review.

Robot Mode: As mentioned above, Optimus Primal here is a retool of Cybertron Crumplezone, but seeing as it’s been almost two decades since I reviewed that toy, we can take a closer look here regardless. Differences first, though. Optimus Primal has received a new paintjob, replacing the various green tones Crumplezone sported with a mostly black look, accentuated by red, blue, and white highlights. This is a close match to Optimus Primal’s Season 1 Look, naturally. Also included is a new head, a close match to the noggin’ of the season 1 figure, though overall I think it should have been a bit larger. It looks a tad small on that beefy body. No other changes to the figure itself.

Just like Crumplezone, Optimus’ body looks great, if somewhat strangely proportioned. Big, long arms, broad shoulders, and short, stumpy legs. He also has those two big bazookas on his back, which can flip forward onto his shoulders, much like the shoulder cannons of his Beast Wars figure (though much, much larger). The bazookas are activated by a Cyberkey, naturally, though instead of Crumplezone’s Speedia key, the one Primal carries has been changed to resemble the golden disc from the Beast Wars TV series.

The very nice articulation of the Cybertron figure carries over, of course, and Optimus Primal can move very nicely despite his strange proportions. The only thing that’s slightly bothersome are those arm wings of his, which get in the way sometimes. They have been colored blue, though, and are probably intended to be the equivalent of the swords Primal carried in Beast Wars.

So bottom line: still a nice robot mode and a nice work making it look like Optimus Primal, though I still think the head should have been bigger.

Alternate Mode: Naturally Optimus Primal transforms into the same kind of science-fiction-style racing machine as Crumplezone. With the head now tucked away inside, the only differences to Crumplezone are the colors. The vehicle is mostly black in this mode, too, though the white bazookas break up the paintjob more than in robot mode. Activating the bazookas makes them flip forward and the wings unfold from the arms, changing the silhouette of the car quite a bit and almost making it look like a flying machine. Which makes sense, given that Optimus Primal was capable of limited flight, too.

Nothing else is new here. Still a great-looking racing machine, looking fast and powerful, and personally, looking much sleeker with these colors than the original.

Remarks: The Beast Wars TV series, one of the first fully computer-generated animation series ever, was constantly looking for ways to save budget. One way was to forego showing either the Maximals or Predacons in their pre-Earth modes, seeing as they wouldn’t be in them for long. So we only see them as shadowy figures before they adopt their beast modes. Ten years later, though, the annual Botcon event brought us the first glimpse of how the Beast Warriors looked before coming to Earth in their “Dawn of Future Past” boxset by recycling toys from the Unicron Trilogy.

I am a huge fan of the early Botcon boxsets (longtime readers know how close the Botcon Animated figures are to my heart) and while I have yet to own the one from 2006, I thankfully have friends who do. As for this Optimus Primal figure here, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I can see what the idea was here, given that Crumplezone was somewhat ape-like in robot mode, and the new colors fit this figure very well. If the head had been a bit larger and the cannons maybe a bit smaller, I think it would have worked better. Though personally I still think Energon Landquake would have made for a better Optimus Primal.

So bottom line: a good figure, a good repaint, and part of a Botcon set I would still love to own one day. Not great, but pretty good.

Rating: B
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