Beast Machines Transformers Toy Review: Primal Prime

in 2001, Action Figure Review, Beast Machines, Generation One, Maximal

Beast Machines Transformers

Name: Primal Prime
Function: Prime of Justice
Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."

Forged from the remnants of a control suit used to manipulate Optimal Optimus during the Beast Wars, Primal Prime is a hybrid of Maximal and
Autobot spark-replication technology. Undeniably noble and instilled with a patchwork of convictions from leaders past, he inspires Transformers
throughout the galaxy with tales of Cybertron's glorious history. Deflector shields and laser guided incendiary missiles are accessible in each of his four modes: techno-organic beast, Cybertron air guardian jet, armored convoy and heroic robot. The inability to comprehend his own origin is the source of a chronic processing glitch in his laser core and his only weakness.

Strength: 9.6 Intelligence: 9.9  Speed: 9.1  Endurance: 9.5
Rank:Courage: 9.9 Firepower: 9.9 Skill: 9

Primal Prime is a redeco and slight retooling of the Optimal Optimus toy. Released in fairly limited numbers, Primal Prime was available primarily through on-line vendors and smaller comic book stores. At the time I am writing this review (2/27/01), he has not shown up in toy chain stores such
as Toys R Us or Kay Bee.

Primal Prime is an interesting toy. The color scheme chosen for the toy is meant to be reminiscent of the original Optimus Prime, hence the use of red, blue, silver and white. This review will focus on the changes made to the toy. For a more detailed review of the toy itself, please read the
Optimal Optimus toy review.

Beast Mode:
Unlike most repaints of Transformers, there is not really a one on one correlation between the changes in colors from the original toy to this new version.

The first color you will notice a lot of is red. Red was the primary color of Optimus Prime, so it is not surprising to see so much of it used here. The arms, upper body, waist and beast mode face all have the color red, but in different tones and materials. The red on the circular parts near the shoulders and the upper arms are vacuum metallized plastic, giving a dark red appearance. The lower arms are solid red with white used for the fur patterns. The armor which covers the lower arms are translucent red plastic with silver paint used for detail work. The chest is translucent red plastic as well, but a silver paint spray op is used to give it some extra detail. Unlike Optimal Optimus, the name of the character is not painted on to the chest. Finally, the beast mode face is mostly red as well.

Of course, no homage to the original Autobot leader would be complete without some blue tossed in. In this case, the hands, feet and face all have blue (along with white) for detailing. The feet and hands in particular carry over the spray ops used in Optimal Optimus, but using the new colors instead of the old. The result is a nice fading effect between the blue and white. The tips of the feet/claws are silver. The wings, shoulder junctions and upper legs are white with blue detailing on the upper legs. The lower legs are vacuum metallized dark blue.

One significant change was made to the toy that greatly affects this mode and any mode you choose to use the missile launchers in. In the Optimal Optimus toy, one would have to pull on the missile firing mechanism in order to activate the light up feature. That proved a bit odd since the same mechanism launched the missiles into people's faces if they were looking at the light up feature dead on. This has been fixed with this toy. To launch the missiles, you pull back on the rear section of the missile launcher. To activate the light up mechanism, press the white button in the center. This makes the feature safer and nicer to use since you don't have to launch the missiles to light up the toy.

Ground Assault Mode:
Because the ground assault mode is primarily just the arms surrounding the central body, the colors of the arms and hands prevail here. However, the missile launcher cannons are much more exposed, along with the driver cockpit.

The main section of the missile launcher is translucent red with silver details. The cover for the battery compartment is solid red however. The ends of the missile launchers are dark grey with translucent clear parts. This allows the light to flow through and look nicer. Those who own this toy or Optimal Optimus will notice that the dark grey missile launcher barrels have some holes in them to simulate the look of real world weaponry. These holes have translucent red plastic underneath them, so when you activate the light effect, the holes glow red. A nice touch.

The missiles have all been redone in translucent clear plastic. The rifle has been remolded in translucent red plastic, but spray painted with silver, creating a nice effect that makes the end of the weapon look like it is glowing red with power.

The cockpit is now mostly dark blue. The underside is solid red and the cover is translucent clear plastic. The central and rear wheels are all black, but the hubcaps of the rear wheels are now vacuum metallized red instead of blue.

Hypersonic Attack Mode:
Since the hypersonic attack mode so closely resembles the ground assault mode, there is really only one significant color change to note here. The back of the vehicle shows the missile launchers instead of the rear wheels for the ground assault mode. These panels are blue with a white spray op that looks fantastic.

Robot Mode:
The robot mode is similar enough to the beast mode that there are not any surprises in terms of color scheme here. The main part to note here is the robot head. Instead of the orange, blue and silver of the original, this robot head is mostly red in the center, with dark blue used on the sides. The details of the robot face (under the eyes and the mouth area) are silver. The middle of the crest is also silver. The outline of the lower part of the antannae on the sides of his head are white.

Primal Prime is one of those toys that is difficult to full heartedly recommend. This is not because it is not a cool toy. I think the toy looks fantastic and the homage to the original Optimus Prime is most welcome. Also, the fixed light up gimmick and the translucent colors certainly make this toy significantly different than the original. However, at a price point of roughly $30.00, some people may have problems spending that much money on a toy they (essentially) already have. However, at the time this review is being written, Primal Prime is on sale at some on-line retailers, so if you can get him cheaper than the $30.00 price tag, it is highly recommended. A