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Series: Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Ultra
Year: 2003

We will win if we believe in ourselves and our unity.
After his ultimate sacrifice to defeat Megatron, in which he became part of the core of Cybertron itself, Optimus Primal rose to the level of a mythic legend among the grateful populace of Cybertron. Now as the battle against the ancient monster planet known as Unicron has begun once again, Primus himself has called Optimus Primal to be brought back into action to help in the fight for the very survival of Cybertron. Optimus Primal represents a uniquely powerful fusion of the Maximal Forces' advanced technology with the raw power of their mighty Autobot ancestors. In this supercharged form Optimus Primal possesses unmatched strength among the techno-organic populace of Cybertron. His weaponry has also been upgraded significantly: He wields an impressive array of both long range and melee weapons including twin battle blades that can cut through solid rock, a vanadium steel reinforced mace, left arm retractable double barreled plasma cannon, and twin indepently targetable shoulder mounted missile launchers. Rear mounted jets give him flight capability. Energy receptors allow him to absorb much of the damage from energy-based attacks and rechannel it back at his enemies. Intelligence, experience, passion and skill are all crucial parts of what makes Optimus Primal a born leader of the Autobot cause. Serves as an inspiration to help others find their own strength to keep fighting despite the odds.

Prelude: This figure here is a repaint with no structural changes of Beast Wars Optimus Primal. Since I have already reviewed that figure and its anniversary edition Reborn Convoy, I’ll focus mainly on the differences here.

Robot Mode: For his Universe incarnation Optimus Primal has received a somewhat darker-looking paintjob. The gorilla fur is now a dark brown with a slightly purplish tint, while the limbs are mostly a dark green. The forearms and helmet are now a dark red and some yellow highlights have been sprinkled throughout, including Optimus’ mutant head mask. And one more novelty: Optimus is an Autobot now, not a Maximal anymore, so he carries an Autobot symbol on his left shoulder underneath the big shoulder pad.

No other changes here, still the same awesome robot who combines a massive amount of gimmick with excellent articulation and TV likeness (except for the colors now, of course). Whether you like the new colors is subjective, of course, but the robot remains awesome regardless.

Beast Mode: Optimus Primal still transforms into a gorilla, naturally, now with a dark brown fur with a slight purplish tint to it. The forearms remain red, of course, and he’s got a red-rimmed silver marking running from his upper back over his head and onto his face, making him look a bit like a luchador. The face is painted with a bit more details than that of the original toy, but that’s it for differences. Still a cool gorilla mode.

Missing Parts: Universe Primal is missing his two swords. I substituted one from BW Primal for the pictures.

Remarks: In the Universe comic series by 3H Productions, set after the end of Beast Machines, Optimus Primal was resurrected by Primus to lead the fight against Unicron. Primal’s first mission was to rescue a number of Transformers trapped inside Unicron, where the monster planet’s corrupting influence caused the new paintjob this figure here sports. Primal successfully completed his mission, but was then arrested by his own people for being rather forward about his mission to save them all from Unicron on orders of Primus (they thought he was nuts). Freed by Snarl, he worked with the equally resurrected Rhinox and Depth Charge to prepare for Unicron’s assault... and then 3H Productions lost the Transformers license and the story remained unfinished. A brief glimpse of the final battle was seen in the first comic story by Fun Publications, but otherwise we’re left with an open ending.

The Ultra-class Optimus Primal is definitely one of the best figures of the entire Beast era, period. Did we need this strange Unicron-tainted repaint of him? Probably not. But it’s still an excellent figure and a far better repaint than Silverbolt, for example. So the bottom line here: everyone should have at least one version of this excellent figure and the Universe version, despite being a bit strange, is a fine version.

Rating: A-
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