Monkey Not Truck

Confession time... I never did get into Beast Wars when I was young. By the time it was released I was into my late teens and had already given up on Transformers. That's not to say that I wasn't aware of them, I had seen then on the shelves once or twice, but I had no interest in transforming animals.

So it was with eager anticipation and wide eyed enthusiasm that I ordered Masterpiece Optimus Primal. Having caught up on the back story of the character and the show I felt excited about taking my first step into the world of Beast Wars. The Masterpiece line rarely disappoints so I was expecting something pretty special happen.

The first impression when opening the package was of another quality Masterpiece box.

The first Masterpiece Beast Wars box
The figure comes with three alternate faces for the robot mode, two alternate faces for the ape mode and two quite superb swords. Seriously, these are some of the best first party swords I have ever seen on a Transformer. The mold is great and the paintwork is also brilliant.

The contents of the box
The ape faces are great and really help to give the figure some much needed expression although the angry looking face doesn't quite sit flush enough to the head on mine.

Mr Stoic
Mr Happy
Mr Furious
The ape mode is fairly well done. From the front it looks the part though there are a couple of little niggles.

Do my robot bits look big in this?
Firstly the shoulder sections don't quite clip over the arms properly so you end up with bits of robot sticking out. Not the end of the world but still somewhat ugly. It almost feels like they were meant to clip onto the robot arms but I get the impression they are not going to.

Secondly you can see obvious robot parts from the front of the ape mode. They are obvious from the rear, which is almost acceptable, but being visible from the front is bad. This is one of the reasons why I initially didn't really consider it a Masterpiece as they usually do a much better job of making the alt mode hide most aspects of the robot mode.

Rear of the year?
Thirdly the only way to get a decent ape like stance is to dislocate the shoulders and bring them forward as well pulling the crotch down to allow for more movement in the upper leg area.

Dislocated shoulders and mistransformed feet
Everything considered this is still a great figure in ape mode. I don't have any earlier versions of the character to compare against but I would be surprised if they were as good as this.

For me though, robot mode is where this figure shines. It is every bit a Prime and no mistake.

Such heroic nonsense
Hidden beneath the forearms are dual blasters which I assume were used in the animation. They are pretty cool and really well hidden. To pop them out you need to locate the slots underneath the arms and push them up. You can pull off some great poses with them deployed.

Pew Pew
With the swords in hand this figure looks all kinds of awesome and badass. I love the curved blade look and once again I assume this was something that was used in the animation.

I'll cut ya
Posing this figure in robot mode is a simple and pleasurable process. Joints in all the right places ensure a Masterpiece level of movement for all the limbs and a good level of balance to allow for great walking poses.

Well you can tell by the way I use my walk...
Robot mode head sculpts are fantastic and cover a nice range of expressions. It's a sign of the times that TakaraTomy are including multiple faces/head with Masterpiece figures as they seem to be going for a more animation look to the characters as well as including as many accessories as possible to increase the play factor. Whether you need that for adult collectables is a question for another to be honest.

Included with Optimus Primal we have shouty face:

We have a happy or neutral face:

We have a cheeky face:

And finally we even get a battle mask face which evokes G1 Optimus Prime nicely:

To wrap up, I think this figure is really quite good and as my first experience of a Beast Wars figure, I am impressed. Even though the beast mode from the rear is a little compromised, I have no hesitation in recommending it to any fan of Transformers. The build quality is on a par with any other Masterpiece Transformer released recently and the addition of extra faces makes for an interesting added dimension of character to the figure.

I have yet to order Masterpiece Cheetor but if it is going to be anything like Primal, I shall be rectifying that situation shortly.

Thanks for reading and see you next time.