Series: Prime Beast Hunters The heroic Autobot commander equips powerful new weapons and armor for the coming battle with the almighty Predaking!
Letís get the Ė to me Ė most important thing about this figure here out of the way first. Beast Hunters Optimus Prime is a toy. A toy that can pull double duty as a collectorís piece for adult Transformers fans, but that is not nor has it ever been the main focus here. Beast Hunters Optimus Prime is not highly realistic depiction of a robot that transforms out of a real life vehicle. Heís a big robot from outer space, he carries a huge green sword, has green chest windows, fire engine red plastic parts, wings on his back, and if you got a problem with that heíll probably just ram that giant green blade right down your throat before going on his next beast hunt.
To be honest, I was very much prepared to hate this toy after seeing the first pictures, but holding it in hand now Ė and many thanks to my buddy CakedUp for giving it to me for my birthday Ė I am instead very much surprised at how plain fun this figure is. Itís a big Optimus Prime with a big sword, heís got two guns that double as jet boosters for his winged rucksack, and heís even got spikes on his belly. Itís insane, itís fun, and itíll probably bug the hell out of quite a few people whoíve only ever been fans of the Transformers as theyíve mostly been depicted since the 2007 movie came out (not counting Animated). Did I mention I kinda love this guy?
That said, the figure does come with a few shortcomings. First off and especially when put side by side with the First Edition Voyager Prime, the figure does look cheap in terms of its paint job and plastic quality. Also, despite being a tad bigger, heís a good deal lighter, which probably adds to the cheap feeling. Then thereís the head, which lacks the face plate Optimus usually sports, and has a face that doesnít really look all that Optimus-y to me. Now that might very well be intentional, given some of the theories floating around after the Beast Hunters season premiere, but it might just put off some people.
Bottom line: this robot here is just plain fun. Heís a toy, not a collectorís item, and he is not afraid to show it.
With very, very few exceptions Optimus Prime becomes a red and blue truck. With even fewer exceptions, this truck is a rather realistic-looking model that either directly depicts or closely resembles an existing real-life truck. Beast Hunters Optimus Prime does not transform into a realistic-looking truck. He transforms rather simply into a spiked monstrosity of a truck that would look more at home in a Mad Max movie or a 1990s Image comic than any present-day street. Sure, you can see his fists out back and the lower part of his face through the roof (a face plate would really have come in handy here, I think), but letís be honest: disguise is not really the intent here.
The intent is clearly to give a beast hunting toy robot a set of wheels which he can use to run down his prey and then run it over, piercing it with the spikes on his hood, shooting it with the guns on his sides, and then possibly eating it, given that the front grill somewhat resembles a maw with mandibles. The folded-down wings form the sides of the truck, hiding the fact that itís basically just the robot mode with the arms and legs folded backwards and little else, and the sword can be stored on top. So bottom line: not a vehicle mode for fanatic devotees of the robots-in-disguise thing, but perfect if you want to take a ride on the crazy train and hunt down some robotic beasts.
I must say I havenít seen this many negative fanboy reactions prior to a toyline even appearing on the shelves since... actually, it wasnít that long ago, really, when fanboys demonized the Animated toys for being oh-so-cartoony. Well, cartoony gave an epic showing with the brilliant Animated series and now cartoony is back to hunt some beasts (or have some beasts hunt down Autobots) with spikes, green swords, and missile-launching bows.
Itís still too early to tell much about the Beast Hunters cartoon (the third and final season of Transformers Prime) and how many of the beastified characters from seasons 1 and 2 will actually resemble their new toys. But as far as this toy is concerned, Iím very much a believer. Yes, the toy quality has clearly been downscaled somewhat, which probably accounts for the fact that both Voyager and Deluxe figures have gotten a bit bigger again when compared to the rather small-scale figures in the Prime line so far. Still, Beast Hunters Optimus Prime is the most fun new Optimus Prime Iíve held in quite a while. Is he the best Optimus in recent memory? Certainly not. But he is the kind of figure that makes this 36 year old collector spend hours putting him in poses and having him play with his pal Laserback (whom he calls Fido!)
Bottom line: probably not the right figure for fans of realistic alternate modes, but if youíre looking for a fun toy, Optimus here is your bot.
And for a second opinion: