Beast Wars Transmetal Optimus Primal Toy Review

Price- $16.99 (when he was released)
Class- Mega (that's what is now considered a Voyager)


So I loved Beast Wars when it was first on, but it took a while for me to get an Optimus Primal figure.  The Bat was too small and wasn’t in the cartoon, and the Ultra Monkey was just too big.  I remember as a kid, I quickly bought Transmetal Optimus Primal when it came out and loved it.  My original one disappeared when I was an adult, either I sold him and don’t remember it, or he was in a box which a former friend was holding for me that I’ll never get back.  When I got back into collecting Transformers, I didn’t expect I’d ever buy another Transmetal Optimus Primal, mainly because I got the Robotmasters one and was very happy with it.  On a whim, I picked up a Transmetal Primal on ebay.  Is he really a good figure or was I just romanticizing a figure from my childhood?

Bot Mode-

In robot mode, Transmetal Optimus Primal is AMAZING, especially considering that he came out 20+ years ago.  Not only was he amazing then, but he holds up really well today and surpasses a lot of modern day figures.  Like all Transmetal figures, his robot mode is a little more organic than his beast mode.   His head has an Optimus Prime-like helmet with an ape like face.  It is a great homage to G1.  He has a brown and orange chest, metallic dark purplish brown biceps, slightly metallic silver shoulder pads and fore arms, the same silver thighs, blue metallic knees, and furry hands.  In an amazing choice for weapon storage, his blaster is able to peg into his upper leg as a holster.  He is very well articulated (better than some modern day figures) with arms on a ball joint, bendable elbows, articulated legs and FEET, and something very rare for a figure from the 1990s, a waist swivel.  He can make some AMAZING poses and is very solid.  If I ever find my original one, I plan to give it to my 4 year old nephew.  Yes he is that solid where you can give him to a 4 year old kid where he won’t break it, and it has such great play value where a 4 year old will enjoy it.  He has about 5mm holes in his hands.  In a few episodes, Optimus Primal was able to fold out his backpack and turn it into a weapons platform.  This feature could have been left out completely from this figure and no one would’ve cried about it, but they included it into the figure.  If all Transformers figures were made this way, with this amount of accessories, the line as a whole would just be so much better.


This figure doesn’t have a complicated transformation scheme, but it is A LOT of fun.  For fun, I rate his transformation a 7.5 out of 10 and for complexity, I rate it a 5 out of 10.  

Beast Mode-

WOW, his beast mode is awesome.  He is a blue metallic monkey.  Probably out of all of Optimus PRimal’s figures, this one has the best beast mode.  He keeps some great articulation, and looks amazing.  He is able to stand on his own without looking awkward (unlike Robotmasters and Beast Machines Optimus Primal).  His top half is mainly metallic blue and damn is he shiny.  He has “Optimus” written on his chest, and that’s probably the only fault with the entire figure.  It just looks awkward.  I don’t need a name tag to know the name of my figure.  

Transformation to Flight Mode-

All transmetal figures had a vehicle mode.  Some were more thought out like Transmetal Rattrap, and some felt like afterthoughts.  Optimus Primal’s flight mode is somewhere in between.  For complexity, the transformation into flight mode is a 2 out of 10 and for fun, it is a 5 out of 10.

Flight Mode-

Optimus Primal’s flight mode is the same robotic monkey, but now he is on a hover board.  This look was given an homage with Cybertron Optimus Primal, but this is where it started.  He looks really good, and pretty similar to the beast mode, but now he is on a hover board.  Not much more to say. Unfortunately, he looks awkward in this mode because the ape head doesn't turn.


Another place where this figure excels, and something that they don’t do with figures much anymore.  His accessories are GREAT.  He comes with his pistol which doubles as a thruster for his flight mode and two clubs.  The clubs are able to be held in his hands in either mode, they make up the guns in the weapons platform mode, and they are able to be fired by his pistol.  It pains me that this figure comes with so many accessories when Power of the Primes Grimlock didn’t come with his trademark sword or double blaster.  COME ON!  

3rd Party Add Ons-



This is one of the best made Transformers in my collection.  He has great play value, great articulation, great accessories, and looks great.  Considering this figure was made 20+ years ago, it goes beyond holding up well, it sets the bar higher for other Transformers.  The engineering of this figure is above and beyond of figures today, it has 3 solid modes and even has the weapons platform which was rarely used in the show.


This is a really stupid nitpick, but I wish he were about 1/2 an inch shorter.  He is a little taller than Transmetal Megatron and I would’ve liked to have seen them be closer in size.  But again, that is really a nitpick. Also, I really wish that the gorilla head was able to turn so it would look better when he did flight mode.


I can’t gush enough out this figure.  If you don’t like beast mode figures, this figure may not be for you, but I love it.  He looks like he popped off the screen and has amazing play and display value.  For 1998 when he came out, I give him a 9 out of 10.  For today, he gets 8.25 out of 10.  One of the few figures that I’ve reviewed that keeps it’s amazing rating in the present.

American Retools and Repaints-

Botcon Apelinq

(probably never will review him for the site. I don't have him, he is super expensive and he was never in any continuity outside of Botcon stuff)

Back to Top