"Timelines" Botcon 2014 Primal Prime Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Beast Machines, Botcon, Deluxe, Timelines, Weaponizer


Primal Prime

General Information:
Release Date: June 19, 2014
Price Point: $75.00 (Via the Customization Class or pre-assembled)
Retailer: Botcon Exclusive
Accessories: Hoverboard, Missile, Cyber Key


The theme of Botcon 2014 was "Knights versus Pirates". This theme allowed for a very ecclectic mixture of characters including the Autobot "Knight" Apelinq. Part of Botcon 2014 was a 30th Anniversary celebration of the brand, including characters from previous eras. One such character was Primal Prime. This character was a redeco and retool of the "Optimal Optimus" figure from "Beast Wars". In the Botcon fiction of the early 2000's, he was revealed to be a Vok/Cybertronian creation using Matrix energy, essentially the "Living Matrix" with the wisdom and knowledge of past Primes being part of the fabric of his existence. While he featured heavily in the Botcon fiction back then, he was never a Botcon exclusive figure until now.

The sculpt used for this version of the character is based on the "Beast Wars" 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal, who would later be used to make the Jungle Planet version of Optimus Prime from "Cybertron". Check that review out for details on the sculpt. Also take a look at my Botcon 2014 Apelinq review since that figure also used this sculpt.

It is important to note that Primal Prime was not your typical Botcon release, featuring a new deco and paint applications. To get this figure, you either had to attend the "Customization Class" where you would paint and assemble your own Primal Prime figure, or you could purchase a "pre-assembled" figure that was unpainted. I went with the latter route, so my version of the figure does not include the stickers that were provided in the Customization Class. Also, all paint work on my figure was done by Cheets Tweaks, the awesome customizer whose amazing work speaks for itself. This also means this is not your typical toy review. I'll give information on the toy as it was sold, but the paint scheme is not standard by any means. You'll see tons of variants depending on how fans decided to paint their figures.

Beast Mode:
When the original Primal Prime was released for "Beast Machines", he was a quad-changer, with a beast mode, robot mode, aerial mode and ground mode. This figure has two modes, one of which being the beast mode. Based on a mash up of influences from both "Beast Wars" and "Beast Machines", this particular beast mode definitely looks techno-organic, complete with a mash up of faux "fur" and mechanical bits like tubes and angled armor plating. The beast mode face resembles more of the rather long and "older" looking face used for "Beast Machines" Optimus Primal's beast mode head. I really like this sculpt. It's an original take on the character of Optimus Primal and since Primal Prime was a redeco of on Optimus Primal figure, it fits. I do admit that it seems to be a bit of a downgrade from a giant figure with four modes to a smaller one with two, but that doesn't diminish the nice work that has gone into this sculpt.

Primal Prime was packaged in beast mode inside a sealed bag along with his accessories. The figure is cast in translucent red, metallic red, white and blue plastic. The translucent red makes up most of the east mode arms and legs. The metallic red is used for the section that forms his back and part of the head and shoulders. White is used on the inner portions of the upper arms and thighs. Blue is used for the digits on his feet. These colors are influenced by the original Primal Prime, especially the translucent red - which played a key role in the color scheme of the first Primal Prime figure. The blue, while not a significant color on the figure is also an iconic "Optimus Prime" inspired color that was also found on the original Primal Prime. For the purposes of my redeco, Cheetimus worked in silver, dark blue and green to provide more detailing. You'll see this most evident around the face and on the back.

The hoverboard accessory was included with Primal Prime. It is cas tin silver with blue on the hinges. The missile was cast in the same blue color. Several of the indentations on the board had stickers you could apply if you attended the Customization Class at Botcon 2014. For the purposes of my copy of the figure, Cheetimus worked in some metallic blue detailing. The Cyber Key was included with the figure as well. It was cast completely in translucent blue plastic, so Cheetimus finished the edges with silver to give it a nice, mechanical look.

All the joints on this figure are nice and tight and the hoverboard accessory works great. Primal Prime was able to stand on the hoverboard (using the 5mm ports on his feet to peg into the 5mm pegs on the board). Given that the tooling for this figure has been used a couple of times now, I was glad to see it holding together nicely for this release.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Straighten out each beast mode arm and swing the brown panels over the hands out.
  2. Swing the beast mode arms so they are up.
  3. Straighten out the feet on the beast mode legs and point them down.
  4. Swing the panels that form the waist area out to the sides.
  5. Swing the back piece up.
  6. Swing the chest piece down and fold the beast mode face piece up.
  7. Swing the middle panel of the brown section (that was the back of the beast mode head) out.
  8. Swing the entire central hinge section back.
  9. Swing the robot chest down and close the central panel.
  10. Straighten out the arms and legs.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, the metallic red plastic makes up the torso, head and parts of the thighs. The arms and lower legs are mostly translucent red plastic. White is used for the smaller parts on the body such as the inner half of the upper arms and the elbow ball joints. The fingers on his hands are cast in metallic blue. To fill in additional details, Cheetimus worked in a lot of blue, which offers a nice contrast against the red parts such as the chest , knee armor and the antennae on his head. Silver provides some additional detail on the chest, knees and face. To match his beast mode eyes, the robot mode eyes have been painted green. With all these colors together, you get to see the "Optimus Prime influence" in this mode and it looks great.

Final Thoughts:
Primal Prime looks great (even before customization) and it's cool to see a homage to this character after so many years. I really enjoy the option of being able to purchase the unpainted "Customization Class" figures. Make no mistake, this is a luxury item on top of the rest of the Botcon set. Even once you purchase it, you'll wind up spending money customizing the figure yourself or having someone do it. This isn't a figure I'd suggest everyone run out and try to buy, but instead I think it's really meant for the most serious of collectors.