Release Date: April 2023
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Entertainment Earth, Walmart etc.)
Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro via Press Releases:
TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS BEAST ALLIANCE BEAST BATTLE MASTERS ASSORTMENT
The battle on Earth is no longer between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons as the new “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” film introduces the Maximals, the Predacons, and the Terrorcons, in an epic 90s globetrotting adventure. Inspired by the new film, Hasbro is launching the new Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Battle Changers assortment featuring 4.5” Battle Changer figures that convert from robot to alt mode and back. The new kids toys are cross compatible with other Beast Alliance figures, including Beast Alliance beast weapon and beast armor toys (each sold separately and subject to availability). The Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Battle Changers assortment includes:
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Battle Changers Optimus Prime, the noble Autobot warrior, can convert from robot to off-road truck mode in 8 steps as he charges into battle with his Autobot and Maximal allies by his side.
The Rise of the Beast toy line began trickling into Target stores in March of 2023, but it would bein April 2023 that the line would take over shelves in a full blown launch at Walmart stores (Target stores appear to be catching up). Among the figures released in this line are the "Battle Changers". Think of the Battle Changers as a sort of middle ground between a 1-Step Changer and the old Commander Class from the Transformers: Prime "Cyberverse" series. The figures are about 4.5 inches tall (about 11.43 centimeters) and feature simple multi-step transformations from one form to another with limited articulation and no accessories.
Anyone who saw the Bumblebee movie knows that at the end Optimus Prime joins Bumblebee on Earth and the two head off to unknown parts for further adventures. By the time of Rise of the Beasts Optimus is front and center in the trailer where he is shown interacting with Optimus Primal and fighting Terrorcons on the battlefield!
Similar to 1-Step Changers from Cyberverse, Optimus Prime is packaged on a large piece of cardboard that is then folded around the figure to form a kind of half card/half box type package. The graphics on the package are the same (or similar) to those on the rest of the Rise of the Beasts line featuring illustrations that look like some type of ancient temple with stone work and intricate designs that look like ancient carvings. The top right corner features the Rise of the Beasts logo with the vertical Transformers logo underneath. Optimus Prime's box art appears to be one of the standard pieces of promo art for the film. The front flap that wraps around the figure shows the toy in both modes. To the right is the "Beast Alliance" logo found on most of the figures in this line. The bottom has a bar with the Autobot symbol with Optimus Prime's name. The back of the card shows Optimus in both modes calling out an 8 step transformation with a ton of legal information in various languages underneath. This is some really beautiful packaging and the colors really help it stand out against other figures on shelves.
When we last saw Optimus Prime in the Bumblebee movie his alt-form was a semi-truck means to call back to G1 Optimus Prime. He seems to retain this form in the new film as seen in the trailer. However, several figures (including this one) have been revealed and/or released that have a different alt-mode. Instead of a truck towing a trailer, several figures instead seem to give him the form of a military style truck (whether it carries cargo or troops is unknown). There is no indication yet whether or not this form will appear on screen.
The front of the vehicle does take some design cues from G1 Optimus Prime. It is somewhat boxy, there are lights above the windshield windows and there is a grille set right under the windshield windows. However, the design looks a lot more geared towards a vehicle meant to take punishment than delivering supplies in a trailer. The grille has cage designs around it and the windshields have covers over the top. There are also what appear to be extra lights set under the windows. The rest of the vehicle reminds me of Legacy Bulkhead with what appears to be a storage compartment in the back with a spare tire sitting on top. This compartment appears to have armor plates running along the sides, giving it the appearance of a combat ready vehicle. Sure you can see the robot legs very clearly in this mode, but given the price point and size of the figure it makes sense that there would be some design compromises.
This mode shows off red, black and silver plastic. Paint details are done in silver, light blue, a darker shade of blue and black. The light blue and silver are used on the front of the vehicle. The darker blue is used to paint the robot legs, which wind up at the back of the vehicle. Black paint is used for the spare tire sitting on top of the vehicle. Given the size class of this figure I think this is a really good amount of paint detail. Could it use more? Sure, but given just how much paint is used for the lower legs this looks good to me.
While this vehicle has eight wheels, only four of them actually roll. The other four are just sculpted pieces. I was surprised to see that this mode does not have one 5mm port to attach a Battle Master. I would have thought a port on either side (on the parts that form the robot mode arms) would have been an obvious place to put them. Go figure.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Pull the lower legs down slightly to separate them from the red part of the vehicle mode.
- Swing the front two tires up on either side.
- Split the top half of the vehicle mode's rear section and swing them forward.
- Swing the lower body down.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Swing the robot arms down.
- Swing the front wheels back.
- Lift up the robot head from the top of the cab section.
- Separate the lower legs from one another.
It is never a good sign when you perform your first test transformation of a figure and a part drops off, but that is what happened here. Upon first transforming the figure, the right arm just fell right off. It is on a ball joint, so I tried to snap it back on but something is off because the arm couldn't even stay up and easily came off again. I wound up using clear nail polish on the ball joint to keep the arm attached and pose it for photos. I have no idea if this is just my copy of this figure or whether this is a problem found in the entire production run, but it does point to some lackluster quality control.
Arm falling off aside, this robot mode looks pretty cool. A lot of the design elements are carried over from Optimus' appearance in the Bumblebee movie including the more complex mechanical details on his grille area, arms and legs. He has the classic Optimus Prime elements like the windows on his chest and vent like panels on his lower legs. The head design looks like a classic Optimus head with a bunch of extra greebles on it. Your mileage will vary on whether or not that is a good thing. The only part of the design that I'm not fond of is the way the side panels from the vehicle mode wind up extending his arms out. It makes them look extra long, a design feature I associate with Optimus Prime from the Authentics line (and that's not a good thing). I know this was likely beyond the budget of this figure but I wish the panels could have folded or been designed to slide up the arm to be out of the way.
All the colors from the vehicle mode carry over here, but we get much more of the darker blue color via the lower legs and the robot head. Silver is also used on the head to paint the crest and mouth plate. The eyes are painted light blue. From a deco standpoint I'll give this figure kudos given the price point. It looks good and uses iconic Optimus Prime colors.
There are five points of articulation on this figure. The arms move at the shoulders and the legs move at the hips. The upper body can also turn (a function of the transformation). His weapon is a sword blade based on the one seen in earlier live action Transformers films. Just swing it out manually. Prime also has 5mm ports in each fist.
This is not a terrible Transformers figure but with a few tweaks I really think it could have been better. Having an entire arm fall off right out of package doesn't help. That said, if you get a copy that holds together well I can easily see younger fans totally being into having this to carry around with them as a "pocket sized Prime". Mildly recommended with concerns.
- Nice sculpt with intricate details in both modes.
- Good deco given the price point.
- Intuitive and easy transformation.
- An arm literally fell off right out of package.
- The "extra long" arms are a bit off putting from an aesthetic point of view.
- Needed more 5mm ports for weapons.