Release Year: 2006
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $3.99 (Average depending on retailer)
When "Classics" was conceived as a sub-line of Transformers, it was meant to be a "filler" line that would hold space for Transformers on toy store shelves while the movie product was prepared for the market. Part of this strategy involved selling figures in multiple price points. While the primary line was made up of all new sculpts, the Legends line were figures from the Cybertron line with decos that paid homage to classic characters. One of the figures used for this assortment was Leobreaker. While the current "Universe 2.0" toy line celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the line by bringing in characters from various generations of Transformers under one umbrella, "Classics" was originally conceived as a strict G1 based line, but then came Leo Prime. Based on Japan's "Lioconvoy" figure, this figure blurs the line between the age of G1 and "Beast Wars", allowing continuity conscious fans to go bonkers. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. For a more detailed look at the sculpt and transformation, check out Leobreaker's review.
"Leo Prime" was a name that many people used as a westernized version of Lioconvoy's name from "Beast Wars the Second". "Convoy" was the designation used in Japan for what we know as "Prime", so the name works out. While the IDW Beast Wars comic book series kept the Japanese names such as "Lioconvoy" intact, this is the first truly "canon" use of the spelling of "Leo" instead of "Lio" and the term "Prime" instead of Convoy. As such, the character borrows his colors heavily from the Japanese character/figure of the same name.
Leo Prime is cast in two plastic colors: white and gold. These were Lioconvoy's primary colors, so they fit in perfectly with the homage. The white makes up most of the body whereas the gold is used for smaller parts such as the leg ball joints, claws and the lower panel on the back of the figure. Paint details are done in red, blue, gold, silver, black and grey. I was surprised that there were so many different colors used here since Legends Class figures usually try to minimize the number of paint applications and colors used on one figure. Red and gold are the most heavily spread out colors, making up details on his arms, chest and legs. Unlike the Legends Leobreaker figure, the paint details on his arms are done in two colors, with gold on top and red underneath. Black is used to detail the nose. Dark blue is used on the lion eyes and the helmet portion of the robot head while silver is used for the face. A light grey color is used on the waist piece, painting over the raised bone-shaped details. Finally, a red Autobot symbol can be found on his right arm to the side.
I really love how well these colors work on the Leobreaker sculpt. He truly does look like a reincarnation of Lioconvoy. It helps that the sculpt has some details on it that look almost techno-organic such as the lion mane and claws on the feet. The blue head really solidifies the "Prime" look and contrasts really well against all the other colors on this figure.
With so much of the beast mode visible in robot mode, there are few surprises here. A lot more gold shows in this form than the robot mode however, but red is still visible on the chest and forearms. I like the way the gold paint on the mane blends in so well considering there is a panel there to reveal the robot head. All of the joints are still solid on this figure and he truly resembles the Japanese character he is based on.
At this point Leo Prime is off most toy store shelves, but if you really want him I wouldn't spend more than say, $8 on the figure. He's surely around with online retailers since the figure was largely a peg-warmer. It's a shame however since the figure is a nice homage and well sculpted. If you like redecos and pocket sized Transformers, this one's for you. Highly recommended!