Power of the Primes Optimal Optimus Gallery and Review!
Transgressing all terrain and overcoming all opposition in the Allspark Studios today is Power of the Primes Optimal Optimus! Will he be the most potent threat ever to face-off against the Predacons on your shelf, or will he spend his time trying to figure out where his original 4th mode went? Tune in after the break to find out!
1998 was a good year. Beast Wars was in the middle of some of the best episodes we had ever seen in a Transformers TV show, phenomenal figures were getting released here and in Japan, and as a recently married young man, I had just bought my first house. I remember getting Optimal Optimus and marveling at the multiple modes and how closely he resembled the show model. He was the pride of my collection for well over a year…alongside my other favorite from the end of the line, Optimus Minor.
What? Shut up. 😛
At any rate, I loved that mold for what it was at the time, but as new figures came out over the past 20 years, I always hoped we would get an update, especially one without vac-metal paint. Power of the Primes Optimal Optimus does not disappoint on any of my expectations. This is solid update of a cool concept, with some unexpected twists and some unrealized potential.
The best things about this mold have to be the reworked proportions and added range of articulation. The original Optimal Optimus looked great for 20 years, and I did not realize how much I really wanted to be able to be able to get the battle gorilla mode into a classic “Kong on his knuckles” pose. OG Op Op just can’t quite get all the way there. POTP Optimal Optimus has a shorter torso in proportion to his legs and arms, as well as feet that rotate closer to the shins, giving him that gorilla power stance that makes all the Predacons shake in their scales.
A second surprise was the “Primal Backpack”. I thought having his inner Optimus Primal bot mode hanging off the back would be a huge downside, but honestly, I don’t care now that I have him in hand. The Primal Backpack is mostly well hidden from the front, and not as distracting when visible as I would have thought, especially since it adds the guns to his beast mode. Finally, the updated sculpt on the face is also a huge selling point, as it looks much more like a robotic gorilla face and less like an angry mosterbot. This is a great beast mode.
The Optimus Primal inner robot can be folded from backpack mode into a “spaceship” of sorts. It’s not the best-looking spaceship, but hey, it’s an extra mode, and I am sure some kids are gonna love it. If it wasn’t for the huge gap in the floor of the cockpit, it would be perfect as a transport for the pilots in the new Diaclone line. Someone should make a Shapeways part to fill it in and add seats. #hinthintwinkwinknudgenudge
In a harkening back to his Transmetal form’s mode of transportation, Op Op’s beast mode can be placed on top of his “Primal Spaceship” as a sort of skyboard. The feet lock nicely into the top from either direction, making this mode much more stable than it would appear. I’m kinda digging it. If the toy wasn’t so hard to find, I’d almost want an extra just to leave like this, hanging from the ceiling of my man cave. #nerddreams
Hypersonic Attack Mode
This is a serious upgrade on almost all accounts. What you get in this mode is a much more solid vehicle with less gaps between the parts than the original. It feels more cohesive as a jet and has a more streamlined profile, since the guns are flush to the back of the vehicle. The cockpit is wider and more aesthetically pleasing as the plastic color is grey instead of orange. All in all, it’s a better vehicle mode than the original, minus one small complaint. The wings are too small. Make sure you get the upcoming DNA Design DK-08 Upgrade Kit to fix this, plus a few other minor issues.
Optimus Primal Robot Mode
Optimus Primal is a nice inner robot mode in the same vein as Hot Rod and Orion Pax. I would score him slightly higher than Orion just because he can stand alone as a vehicle, and slightly above Hot Rod because I prefer the range of articulation in the shoulders. He has the classic Optimus Primal head design, with a body sculpt that reminds me of a natural step forward for the robot mode from the 10th Anniversary Primal, especially the feet. The only real negative here is that the “pistols” don’t look much like pistols. If only someone was able to make weapons for him that resembled his Beast Wars swords.
Big Bot Robot Mode
The change in proportions really pushes this robot form over the top as one of my favorite modes for this figure. Optimus is much more heroic now, since his arms and torso have been shortened in comparison with his legs. No longer a gangly Big Bot, he looks the part of a leader, a warrior, and the guy who will always save the day. This set of chassis is worthy of a matrix. Good thing he comes with one.
Optimal Optimus comes packed with articulation. He has:
- Ankle tilts
- Ankle swivels
- Knee swivels
- Lateral thigh movement
- Forward and outwardly rotating hip joints
- Swivel waist
- 360º rotating shoulders with outward rotating movement
- Lateral bicep movement
- Swivel wrists
- Swivel thumb and knuckle joints
- Swivel neck.
As you can see, Optimal Optimus can be posed very dynamically. Once the aforementioned DK-08 Kit arrives, he will also have 2 copies of his classic rifle that will top off the look of this mode an get him primed for battle. Popping the knees in and out during transformation was initially difficult on both my regular and SDCC Optimuses (Optimii?). It was difficult to the point I was worried I would break them. If you buy this mold for a child, be prepared to loosen the knees up during the first few transformations.
Ground Assault Mode?!?
Yeah…there is no ground assault mode…yet. Again, the add-on kit from DNA Design is set to come with a classic looking front wheel and side wheels, which will allow POTP Optimal Optimus to achieve his original 4th mode. I should get a free copy of this set or the recently revealed SDCC version for all the unsolicited promotion. 😀
I give Power of the Primes Optimal Optimus a 9/10 in his current state. He may need an upgrade to fully achieve his potential, but he is already close to being there to begin with, and the DNA kit will just be the icing on the cake. Optimal Optimus is an improvement on the original in every mode, has great articulation, and is fairly easy to transform, aside from the knee joints.
For those of you that are Beast Wars fans like me, or have kids that like fun figures with multiple modes, this guy is a must have. He has started to show up in stores, and has even shown up at several e-tailers. In my opinion, finally owning him is just Prime, so be ready to pounce if you spot him, since figures from the end of a line tend to be harder to obtain.