Cybertron Toy Reviews: Optimus Prime (Beast)

in 2006, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Beast Wars, Cybertron, Jungle Planet / Animatros

General Information:
Release Year: October 2006
Retailer: General US (Toys R Us, Target etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key, Hoverboard, Missile
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3

Optimus Prime Packaging art


Tech Specs:
Temporarily mutated by the wild energies of the Jungle Planet Cyber Planet Key, Optimus Prime continues his battle to defend the universe from Megatron among the giant trees of the Jungle Planet's rainforest. Swinging from tree to tree, he moves silently through the dim half-light of the dense mid-canopy foliage. he knows that his enemy lurks somewhat in the humid valleys of his chaotic world, and will stop at nothing to find Megatron and stop him once and for all.

Strength: 10 Intelligence: 10 Speed: 9 Endurance: 10 Rank: 10 Courage: 10 Firepower: 10 Skill: 10

Each Cybertron Transformer comes with a Planet Key with a code printed on it. Optimus Prime's code is d7s9 . Unlocking this at actually gives you the color chart for 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal. This makes sense since this figure is a redeco of that figure. Please check out its review for a lengthy look at the toy. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. The code also gives you the following text:

There is a legacy of action figure greatness that goes back ten years attached to this figure of Optimus Primal. Ten years ago, Kenner (which was owned by Hasbro) reinvented the Transformers brand as BEAST WARS! The story of Beast Wars tells the tale of futuristic descendants of the Autobots and Decepticons, now called Maximals and Predacons, and the continuing struggle for Cybertron. In this series, the ever-popular Optimus Prime was re-dubbed Optimus Primal and instead of a truck, he turned into a gorilla! This figure is a 10-year anniversary tribute to that classic story.

Cyber Key:
Optimus Prime comes with a Beast Planet Cyber Key. However, unlike the one that came with the 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal, this one has a code printed on the back. Other than that its paint deco is the same.

The primary color of the hoverboard is now black instead of silver. The missile and hinges are cast in grey. On the top of the board are two silver tibal patterns on either side towards the front. I really dig that touch as it gives the set a slightly more "wild" touch befitting a denzien of the Beast Planet. The top of the Cyber Key slot is painted red. One thing I didn't notice when I reviewed this figure the first time around was the inspiration behind the design of this board. Basically that area is based on the design of the top of the Autobot symbol! The center is the hexagon with the triangle in the middle and on either side are the raised sections with two ovals inside. That's really a neat touch and it feels odd that I didn't notice it the first time. The board still functions well, with no degradation in the gimmick.

Beast Mode:
The beast mode really gives you a view of the simple replacement of colors used in this figure. All the parts cast in black on Optimus Primal remain black such as the forearms and the rear lower legs. The grey pieces from Primal have been replaced with brown while the rear beast mode feet have been replaced with beige plastic. The beige color originally found on Primal's chest and face have now been expanded out to replace all the white parts found on Primal such as the inner parts of the upper arms and upper legs.

The paint decos on this figure are based on the deco pattern used on Primal, but with some improvements. Patterns that carry over from Primal include the red inside the upper arm piece and brown running through the lines of fur on his chest. Another detail that carries over is the location of the symbols in this mode. Once again the allegiance symbol winds up on his back on the left side, but this time it's an Autobot symbol in silver instead of a Maximal symbol. While the headband has been painted, the "jewel" in the center is still painted red.

The bands going over his shoulders are now painted white instead of blue. One detail I really like is the way the band on his forhead has been painted black. This gives it continuity with the black fur going around his face. Unlike Primal, the two teeth coming out of his mouth are painted white, which I was very happy to see. Also there is another additional detail that I was thrilled to see is a line going vertically across his left eye. This is no doubt influenced by another famous gorilla: King Kong. The famous Hollywood beast has been portrayed in past films as having physical damage from years of surviving in the wild. This adds a bit of character to the fiture which is always welcome.

There are only two missed opportunities when it comes to this deco. On the back are mechanical thrusters, but they are cast in brown and not painted at all. Some light silver brushing over them would have been nice, to bring out their mechanical nature. The other detail I would have liked to see painted are the hydraulics inside the lower arms. The sculpting of those pieces is great and they deserve a good paint app to bring them out more.

Functionally all the joints on this figure are tight and he is just as posable as his predecessor.

Robot Mode:
Utilizing the plastic color replacement noted above, Optimus Prime manages to look familiar (if you've seen Optimus Primal) while different. The brown parts are much more separated now by the various paint applications. On the head, the grey parts have all been replaced with brown. The helmet portion of the head piece is a darker shade of brown. The face is still painted silver with yellow eyes.

The chest is cast in brown, with the bands from the beast mode shoulders painted white. The center section has the same colors as Primal's, silver with red in the middle. The blue on Primal's waist has been replaced with metallic silver. The blue from Primal's feet has been replaced with white. It's a very simple color scheme change, and really the only changes I would make are the same ones mentioned above.

Final Thoughts:
Some have complained about Hasbro releasing a redeco of a figure while the original figure it is based on still sits on shelves, for $5 more to boot. However, the way I see it, if you just want the sculpt and don't care about a PVC Axalon or mini-comic book, then this is the way to go. I'm always for cheaper alternatives and that's what this is. Recommended.