Release Date: March 2023
Price Point: $14.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Arrowstripe beast/crossbow
Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro via Press Releases:
TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS BEAST ALLIANCE BEAST WEAPONIZERS 2-PACK ASSORTMENT
(Ages 6 and Up | Approx. Retail Price: $14.99 | Available: 4/10/23)
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 Beast Weaponizers 2-Pack assortment, with each 2-pack including 2 Beast Alliance figures: a 5” Battle Changer toy and 3” Beast Battle Master toy. The Battle Changer can convert from robot to alt mode, while the Beast Battle Master toy converts from beast to weapon mode that can attach to the larger robot action figure. Combine the Beast Alliance Beast Weaponizer 2-Pack toys to gear up for battle! The Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Beast Weaponizers 2-Pack assortment includes:
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Beast Weaponizers 2-Pack Optimus Primal & Arrowstripe charge into battle together in the Beast Alliance Beast Weaponizers 2-pack. Optimus Primal can convert from robot to gorilla mode in 7 steps, while Arrowstripe can convert from tiger to crossbow in 5 steps. Once converted, Arrowstripe can attach to weaponize the Optimus Primal action figure.
Optimus Primal and Arrowstripe are packaged in a cardboard box that wraps partly around Optimus Primal's feet while Arrowstripe is attached to the card to the side. This packaging is intended to minimize the amount of plastic used so you'll only find plastic on the hook used to hang this on pegs. The ties holding the figures down are rubbery (though I'm no expert on ties so they could be plastic as well). The packaging is open, so sadly i fear there will be more than a few stolen figures in the future from this line, especially Arrowstripe who can be torn out of the box pretty easily.
The box artwork features a background reminiscent of the art used for Kingdom with a stone like background featuring drawings of the Autobot and Maximal symbols as well as animals from Beast Wars (including some who do not appear in the film). These drawings are all made to resemble ancient cave paintings and they look cool. I thought at first these were just recycled from Kingdom (which featured a similar motif) but some of the art is very different (such as Rhinox's art). The Rise of the Beasts logo is set in the front of the box with Primal's CG model on the right and the action figure pictured on the left in beast mode. The vertical Transformers logo is set to the right. There is a very 2000's looking logo on the upper right of the box that says "Beast Alliance", a reference to the figures in this line that show two characters teaming up.
The back of the box shows Optimus Primal and Arrowstripe in both their modes. Primal's 7 step transformation is called out while Arrowstripe's is 5. There is a beautiful piece of art on the upper right hand corner that looks like an Aztec Sun Stone but instead of a humanoid face in the middle it features a gorilla like face, referring to Optimus himself. This packaging is beautifully done and I love how many layers of art have gone into it.
Optimus Primal was introduced to fans in 1996 first in the Beast Wars toy line then later in the animated series. What followed in the decades to come would be a character who would appear again and again in various Transformers toy lines and stories. In recent years there was a reissue of the original figure and a new Voyager Class figure in Kingdom. Now the character will feature prominently in the upcoming Rise of the Beasts live action film! You can see him in the trailer below:
Optimus Primal includes a Battle Master style figure as his accessory.
Arrowstripe is a new character, and that alone is already endearing to me. I love the introduction of new characters into canon nowadays since so many figures being released are new iterations of older characters. This Battle Master style figure is a mechanical tiger in beast mode. The head looks like it could be organic, but look closer and you'll see two rectangular crests on the top of the head sticking out, so let's go with he looks "techno-organic". The rest of the body is very mechanical looking, but not chunky or angled. Instead, the lines are very sleek and curved with lots of mechanical detailing showing on the sides. This figure is made of white and black plastic with white being the dominant color. Black paint is used for stripes on his face (but sadly not on the main body despite the package photo showing stripes on his shoulders) and silver is used to paint the mechanical details on the sides. There are four points of articulation in this mode: the front legs, the head (which can move a bit up and down) and the tail.
Transformation to Weapon Mode:
- Position the tail so it is pointed straight back.
- Split the main body and swing the halves out to the sides.
- Rotate the sides of the body so the weapon barrel is between the two rear legs.
- Swing the beast mode head forward.
- Swing the front legs back.
Taking a beast mode and turning it into any kind of weapon with the budget of a Battle Master is quite the challenge and sometimes the alt-modes wind up looking a tad silly, as is the case here. I mean, really, this weapon looks like a tiger did some weird type of split and is tucking its head in a weird way to see if they did it right. Of course, that doesn't stop me from finding this fun! I can totally see the "crossbow" shape, and I appreciate how the legs angle out and back to give it more of that "crossbow" appearance. The tail is very clearly a blaster barrel so at the very least that looks very "weapon like".
This mode gives us a nice look at the silver on the sides of the tiger mode and some more black plastic. However, it does not have the barrel painted blue as it appears on the back of the box, which is unfortunate as this form could definitely use a bold pop of color. I'm sure this was cut for budgetary reasons but it's a shame in my book.
Arrowstripe has a 5mm peg on the bottom, allowing Optimus (or any other figure with 5mm ports) to hold him. This is technically not a Generations toy, so the barrel does not have the ability to accommodate Blast Effects, which is another unfortunate choice.
It is important when playing with this figure to keep in mind that it is not a Generations or Masterpiece style figure. This line of figures is geared more towards younger fans with less articulation and simplified transformations. The Rise of the Beasts film is months away, so the best looks we've had of Optimus Primal so far are from the trailer above and the character models recently revealed by Takara Tomy so those will largely serve as my point of reference when it comes to "movie accuracy".
Optimus Primal's live action movie incarnation is strikingly close in design to how he appeared in the Beast Wars CG animated series from the 90's. A lot of the core details are still present including his Optimus Prime-inspired head design (but with a mouth in the middle of the mouthplate), a round orb in the middle of his chest, shoulder armor that sticks out to the sides a bit and really powerful looking arms with gauntlet like armor on the forearms. All of these design elements are present in this sculpt. Even better, a lot of the fine details from the CG model can be seen here too. This includes a metallic looking outline of armor on the shoulder armor, armor plating on the forearms and "fur" like patterns sculpted on select areas including the forearms and back. Overall, the sculpt is beautiful and I am happy to see while this figure is meant for younger fans, the sculpt work on this figure is on par with a Generations figure.
Optimus Primal is made up of black and grey plastic, which appear to be the character's primary colors in the trailer. Several sections are painted metallic grey, with focus on the armor looking pieces. His robot eyes are painted blue. And...that's it for the deco. Now, I'll confess that's a bit disappointing because aside from the blue eyes, nothing really pops or contrasts heavily and I like seeing bursts of color on my figures. Now I grant, the original Optimus Primal from the 90's was not exactly a rainbow of colors, but he did have blue, red and white details that really stood out against the black and grey canvas that was the rest of his body. Without those here, it is easy for details to get lost in the mix. The thing is, this is rather accurate to what we have seen in images and in the trailer so far where Primal is shown mostly made up of black and silver colors, so while not the most exciting deco ever, it does appear to be screen accurate to a large degree.
There are ten points of articulation on this figure including two on each arm and three on each leg. The shoulder and hip joints are ball joints, allowing for a good (but not great) range of articulation. Primal has seven 5mm ports in this form: the fists, one on each forearm, one on each leg and one in back for weapons storage. Arrowstripe fits just fine in any of these ports and winds up looking quite large and impressive as a weapon for Primal!
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing the front of the torso section down.
- Rotate the torso section around so the beast mode head is facing forward, then swing the torso piece up and back into place.
- Push the shoulder armor pieces down.
- Rotate the robot feet around to reveal the beast mode feet.
- Swing the lower legs up at the knee hinges.
Most of Optimus Primal's parts are pretty much in the same places in this mode as they are in robot mode. The biggest changes are the torso and the legs being shortened. The torso section looks like the robot mode armor closed up, resulting in a partly organic and partly mechanical looking gorilla. The gorilla face looks like it has several overlapping layers of armor starting at the forehead with some tubes on the chest going underneath the organic-looking chest pieces. Overall Primal's sculpt is beautifully detailed and I really like it.
All the same colors from the robot mode carry over to this one as you can imagine. The biggest difference are the eyes, which are green in this mode versus being blue in robot mode.
This mode has the same amount of articulation as the robot mode since not much changes with the limbs. I do wish the designers had made this figure so it could stand on all fours instead of just its hind legs. If you try to position the arms so he can put his arms on the ground too his face winds up looking down at the ground. He has all the same articulation points in this mode as the robot mode.
I was very excited about this series of figures when it was first revealed last month and now that I have this set in person I can say I am still thrilled. Are these the most complex and articulated figures ever? No. But this pair of figures is fun and just the right size to toss in your bag and play around with at the office or at school. If you're into a figure that emphasizes play value while also showing off some fantastic sculpting then this set is for you! Recommended.
- Excellent sculpt on both figures.
- Fun concept with great play value.
- Good articulation given the figure is aimed at younger fans.
- I wish there was more deco on Arrowstripe and Primal.