It’s the last Transformer in the Universe box and the other one that isn’t from the first Transformers Universe line. It’s not even from the line it was created for. I’ll get into it when I start reviewing actual Beast Machines toys but the short version is fans wanted a show-accurate Optimus Primal and the first two toys they released did not suffice. Air Attack Optimus Primal was the final depiction of Primal from that series and improved on the show accurate depiction. However it was not released in the Beast Machines line but the first Robots In Disguise line, and even then as a Toys R Us exclusive. I do now know why, but that’s how it happened. When my collection was smaller and I had more money I really wanted him, but it didn’t seem a good fit for the other RID figures, or even the Beast Machines figures because this sucker is rather huge. Not as huge as “supreme” Cheetor from Beast Machines (which I do not have and I don’t mind because I hear few good things about it) but a bit larger than he needed to be.

Also the toy has plenty of sound effects, including voice clips from Garry Chalk, the voice of Optimus Primal. This is rather unusual for toys, with the voices provided by cheaper voice actors. You’ll have to look up some video reviews to hear them all. I couldn’t find a video of just the voices and sounds, which is fine because I don’t have the batteries in to review that anyway. Instead this is just about the toy itself.

“The seeds of the future lie buried in the past.”

Since the instructions start in robot mode (and if memory serves this was the mode he was packaged in) I’m going to start there for the review. In robot mode Air Attack Optimus Primal is so tall I had to pull further back from the stage than normal to get it in shot. I have plush animals smaller than this thing. He’s not quite the size of a baby but he’s close. He’s also rather heavy. I don’t think I could kill someone with it but I could make them say ouch. The colors and designs are based on the Mainframe models and meant to look like a technorganic robot. I don’t know why Optimus has his mouth open like he’s yelling. His forearms are translucent but I don’t remember if they lit up like his eyes and chest. Also, due to transformation his gorilla butt is behind his robot head. I don’t understand why. There is a good balance of molded fur patterns and tech patterns.

One problem this toy really has is weak knees. Also for some reason he’s top heavy. I know he has the big chest that has the sounds and lights in it but his floppy knees make him prone to falling over.

I had to fight just to get this into a pose.


The weird part is that so many of his other joints are so tight I’m afraid to move them, especially after what you’ll see in the next photo. The shoulder pads can move out of the way so you can use the full shoulder range but his elbows only bend. There’s no swivel. There is one for the wrist but it only goes half-way, like his neck. Each finger is movable at the joint connected to the hand and one more joint so he can grab things. There is nothing in the ankles but he does have waist, hip, and knee articulation, but between the tight joints and weak knees (which is too bad because it’s a great knee bend) getting Optimus to stay standing in robot mode is a bit difficult.

I blame a lack of shoes.

And while messing with him for the review one of his feet broke off during transformation. It turns out Optimus Prime is one of the sufferers of Gold Plastic Syndrome (despite being brown) and the foot came off because of that. Luckily it can be plugged back into place in either mode and you won’t notice but the reviews show off the toys if I decide to sell them so I would be remiss not to mention that. It’s the only symptom I’ve found but the TF Wiki also says that chest and legs are prone to breaking. It’s not as bad as Beast Machines Snarl…at least not yet. Still it is a cause for concern.


Before we discuss beast mode there’s one more feature to go over. On the back is a flip-down jet pack and translucent blue jets. When you activate it the sound clips are joined with flying sounds. It’s a neat addition as Primal’s jets are a signature gadget he has in all incarnations of the show and many of the toys after the show started. Other sounds are activated by pressing in his chest to start them up and pushing his head down to make them happen. There’s a noise to tell you the sounds are on and they shut off automatically, which is good because there’s no shutoff.

“My foot was hurting, but now it’s my leg.” “The pain or the foot?” “Both.”

Here’s beast mode and it’s not a huge change from robot mode in terms of colors. The two modes look different but nothing new has been added besides more gorilla features. The shoulder pads are now part of the forearm. It’s both impressive and not impressive at the same time, if that makes sense to anyone out there. It doesn’t to me but that’s my opinion. The jet pack has the jets overhead, although you could pretend it’s actually a catcher for things thrown at him.

“Tarzan has nothing on me!”

Not much in the way of posing compared to his other mode. The hips work without worrying about the knees. Arms and hands haven’t changed, they’re just backwards. The head itself doesn’t turn but it’s mounted on the disk launcher that fires a translucent blue-green disk representing his energy attack on the show. It’s on his lower chest in robot mode but here you can sort of aim it.

Decision: Goes

At the time it was cool to have this figure but nowadays I’m just not into it. It’s a good toy and I’ll lose points for the GPS attack on the foot but I’ve never been insistent on show accuracy since to me the toys are the source material even if I do love the shows, comics, and games. In the end I need to cut down my collection and this just doesn’t call to me like it did. There are two technorganic Optimus Primals in the Beast Machines line and I’m happy with those versions. This just doesn’t fit in my collection.

So final score on the Transformers Universe box is that two figures are going, with a third only staying because his Beast Machines counterpart suffered from GPS and someday it may not exist in that incarnation. Not a bad cut-down, but there are still many Transformers left to go. I have some other projects I want to focus on but more Transformers reviews are coming and who knows how many more are going?

Transformers Robots In Disguise (2001) Air-Attack Optimus Primal is available on the Toys For Sale page.