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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Box Art:
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dedicon's review of: Air Attack Primal

Name: Optimus Primal
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Maximal Leader
Sub-Group: NA
"We will win if we believe in ourselves and our unity."

He is a hero from the future, whose courage, skill and wisdom are needed again, to lead the Autobots in their fight against Megatron and his evil plans for the planet Earth. Wise and strong, Optimus Primal councils Optimus Prime in the ways of defensive combat and serves as custodian of freedom. Helps others find their own strength to keep fighting despiste the odds. Brave and intelligent, he belives wholeheartedly in his cause and lights the fires of justice and truth in others.

Air Attack Primal, RID Primal, Supreme primal, call him what you will. This is the toy a lot of TF fans begged for in 2001 since the supreme Cheetor failed miserably and the whole Transtech line got canceled. This is still the toy a lot of fans hunt for double the initial price of the toy, and, for me, my first Ebay win. Since there is still no review on it, I decided it's time for me to write one. So, is this toy worth it? Read onů

Alternate Mode:
The high point of this toy was the show accurate look to it. The main colors are brown, some blue, orange, and red fillings, transparent forearms (with some white detailing), pink for the fingers and buttocks (more on that later) and tan, as well as transparent blue for the back and mouth/eyes. The details on this toy are amazing, and there is no way you will not recognize the Beast Machines Maximal leader. Though he is a gorilla, his buttocks are painted pink like a chimpanzee. But, this is a really minor detail. What really bugs me is the sandals on the feet. It's so inappropriate, it hurts. Other than that, there's also the transparent blue parts that are worth nothing since the LEDs aren't even connected to it. Speaking of lights, Hasbro didn't just stop with the show accurate details, but gave this toy many gimmicks. Press the chest of Primal and a small red LED will light, and a "rotating spark" show accurate sound will start. After that, if you press on the head, Primal will either say "Optimus, Maximize!" or just give a battle cry. What's nice about it is the original voice actor, Gary Chalk, gave his voice for the sounds! In some odd manufacturing error (one that is apparent with all the releases of the toy) is the reversed Maximal symbol. The transparent plastic with the yellow circle should be used for the robot mode, but most prefer to use it for the beast mode since the Maximal symbol is facing the right way. But I prefer the bright orange chest with the reversed symbol.

Robot Mode:
This is the mode in which Primal truly shines. Primal is almost 12 inches high in this mode, making him almost as tall as MP Optimus Prime. He is the first transformer to ever have 8 articulation points in the fingers alone (Primal was released long before MP Prime and Unicron) and the only point he loses articulation in is his right hand, and that's due to a "punching action" gimmick, which is the only gimmick I don't like. To do this, you must press the chest for the effects to work, and push the shoulder braces. Once you let them go, the hand will move forward and Optimus Primal will make the same battle cry as with the beast mode. His other gimmicks are far better, though. If you press the chest again, then push Primal's head, he will say 3 different phrases from the show (again, voiced by Gary Chalk himself). One is the ever-annoying "The seeds of the future lie buried in the past", the other is "MAXIMIZE!" and the third is a karate like shout (very funny, in a "HIII-YAAA!!" sort of way). But by far, his greatest gimmick of all is the rocket pack on his back, hiding behind the transparent blue fur. Press the small grey button near it and the rocketpack pops out. The thing has his share of details (I wish they would've been painted though, otherwise you have to look closer to see them), and once you activate the sounds (again, you need to activate the chest first for the sound effects), the toy will make a thrusting sound, that will change from flying higher or descending lower. Primal comes with no weapon, but he carries his "show accurate" (I think this is the 200,000th time I've used that phrase by now) blue disk that he can shoot from the abdomen. The disk will make a shooting sound, but you must activate the sounds by pressing the chest again (and after a while the "rotating spark" sound will be annoying even for the most zealous of fans). One bad thing about this toy is the chimpanzee butt, now connected near the head of the robot. But again, this is a minor complaint. The worse part is the facial expression Primal was given. The scary thing is, this is a face he used to do a lot on the show (the "OH NO! I CAN'T BELIVE IT!!" face) and since the face was supposed to glow, Hasbro didn't paint any eyes or mouth for him, just left that transparent blue.

Transformation: Since I didn't know where to put this toy's greatest flaw, I decided to give it it's own paragraph. First, the ball jointed abdomens of both modes will likely pop out during the transformation. Then, the now annoying chest sound will surly be activated every once in a while. And, though it's no easy transformation, it just feels unoriginal and boring, like most of the Beast Machines Maximals.

Overall, Optimus Primal is an incredible toy if you love the Beast Machines version. He has articulation, and some great gimmicks, which equals great play value. Not to mention, he's one awesome display piece.. Sure, he has a sucky transformation, but he is very accurate in both modes. The problem is this toy is not for everyone. And if you hate gimmicked Transformers or can't live with the fact that this one has no gun, or if you just hated Primal's design in BM, just skip this.

Transformation: 2 - This toy is fairly complex, but the transformation process only shows the toy's weak points. I just don't like it.
Durability: 8 - He deserves much more, but the abdomen problem in the transformation takes 2 points from this toy.
Fun: 10 - Great Articulation, incredible gimmicks, what more can you ask for?
Price: 8 - This can go for 60$ MISB, which is twice more than the initial price. It's still worth it, though.
Summary: 9.8 - The toy has a few faults, but not even that can take the greatness out of this "Masterpiece" Primal. Just don't let EBAY rob you...again.

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