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Series: Perfect Effect
Allegiance: Maximal
Year: 2017

Prelude: This figure here is not a product released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformer. It’s from third party company Perfect Effect and it is, of course, meant to be Optimus Primal from Beast Wars in his Optimal Optimus incarnation, but for legal reasons he can’t be called by that name. Instead he is called Beast Gorira, the latter being the Japanese word for gorilla. Not the most imaginative name ever, but I’m going to call him Optimus Primal anyway.

Robot Mode: Starting with the robot mode, the major differences between this figure and the original Optimal Optimus robot can be found in the proportions. The original cannot really disguise the fact that it transforms into a gorilla, which results in very, very long arms and comparatively short legs. Beast Gorira, while still very compact and powerful looking, has more human proportions and generally looks more streamlined. The second major difference are the shoulder guns, which were fixed in place for the original figure. On Beast Gorira they flip forward from his backpack and can be posed individually and the barrels are extendable, too. I love shoulder guns, have I mentioned that recently? Finally there is a black rifle, modelled after the orange rifle of Optimal Optimus: While it looks more or less the same, it’s far better proportioned for the robot, so it doesn’t look like Beast Gorira is holding a toy gun.

Overall Beast Gorira looks just as detailed and gorgeous as I’ve come to expect from Perfect Effect, so no complaints here. Some details that are not part of the original figure are sculpted missile launchers in the legs and an opening panel in the chest which displays either his spark crystal or the Matrix of Leadership (make of that what you will, the Beast Wars writers didn’t know the difference back then, either). The big wings on the arms can be moved in whatever way you want them, depending on what look you are going for. Another difference to the original figure: the armor plates on the forearms are one piece each, not three, and while they can be removed, they can’t be mounted on the shoulders here. Beast Gorira doesn’t need them to look cool, though.

To sum it up: a very, very gorgeous robot mode here, that improves upon that of the original without changing what made it cool. Two thumbs up here and no complaints.

Alternate Modes: Beast Gorira is a Quad-Changer, meaning he’s got three alternate modes. The first one is his gorilla mode, which is also by far the best of his alternate modes. The transformation is a bit more involved than it was for the original figure, but works more or less the same way. The robot turns around, exchanges heads, shortens the legs and – and this is where it differs from the original – lengthens the arms and angles the hip so the resulting gorilla is better suited for walking-on-all-four poses. The result looks pretty great, a techno-organic gorilla with two huge cannons on his back. What’s not to like? The mouth can open and close, the hands remain fully articulated, and he can pull off all sorts of cool gorilla poses. Very nice and every bit as fun and cool-looking as the robot mode.

Then there are the two vehicle modes, which are nearly identical except for the fact that one has wings and the other has a big wheel out front. Nominally they are a jet and a ground transport respectively, but actually they are pretty much identical. It’s the robot lying down on his stomach with a cockpit extending out front. The wheels on the legs are present in both vehicle modes and the robot mode arms either become part of the wings or hold the front wheel in place. The big cannons are on top in both modes and can either be aimed forward for attacks or be folded back. Neither mode looks all that great, though I’d say the ground transport mode looks slightly less awkward than the jet mode.

Given that the original figure had both these modes and they looked like a robot lying down on his stomach there, too, one can’t really fault Beast Gorira from suffering from the same problems here. Personally the vehicle modes look slightly better here than they do on the original figure – especially the arms becoming part of the wings in jet mode looks way better – but it’s still two vehicle modes that barely manage to look like vehicles. So to sum it up: I recommend leaving Beast Gorira in robot or beast mode.

Remarks: In the opening of Beast Wars’ third season Optimus Primal took in the spark of the heavily damaged Optimus Prime in order to preserve his life and prevent a catastrophic change of history. The powerful spark of the Autobot supercharged his body and made him bigger and more powerful than ever before, causing Megatron to call him “Optimal Optimus”. Optimus Primal retained this new form even after returning Optimus Prime’s spark to its proper place and remained in this form through the end of the Beast Wars series.

I am a huge fan of Perfect Effect Warden and Leonidas, so I had my eye on Beast Gorira from the start. The large price turned me off for a while, but after selling exceptionally well this year at the CONS convention, I decided to treat myself and bought him. I do not regret it. Much like Leonidas, Beast Gorira vastly improves upon the already very good original figure, presenting us with the ultimate version of it. Of course it all depends on whether or not you are a fan of said original figure and/or Beast Wars in general. If you are not, this figure is not for you. If you are, though, then this guy is great. I wouldn’t call him quite as great as Leonidas, mind you, because two of his three alternate modes are really not that good (then again, they weren’t that good in the original figure, either), but if the high price point doesn’t turn you off, he is well worth getting.

Rating: A-

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