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Optimus Primal

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Optimus Primal
Transformers character
Beast Machines Optimus Primal

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Optimus Primal is a fictional character from the Transformers toyline, and the leader of the Maximal forces and the protagonist in the Beast Wars television series. He is sometimes called Optimal Optimus. The name Optimus Primal was given to Optimus Prime during the initial run of the Beast Wars toy line, before it was decided that Optimus Primal was a separate character.[1]

Beast Wars[edit]

Like his ancestor Optimus Prime, whose name he took in reverence, Optimus Primal was not originally a warrior. Years earlier, Optimus Prime had been thrust into a civil war by the actions of the Megatron from his own time. So too was Optimus Primal, who had been a starship captain on a scientific exploration mission, unexpectedly thrust by another Megatron with dictatorial ambitions into a conflict that would define the fate of the universe.

He shares his namesake's love of honor, life, peace and freedom. His loyalty to his friends is matched only by the respect he gives his enemies and he is dedicated to working for the betterment of others, so much so that he might even become depressed if he cannot accomplish it. Optimus Primal's most repeated quote is "Well, that's just prime", or simply "Prime", in which the word "Prime" may have been a replacement for the word "Perfect" or "Great".

Always willing to sacrifice his own life for the greater good, he would never give an order that he would be unwilling to carry out himself. To some of his friends, his methods may seem unorthodox at times, but as Optimus once said, "sometimes crazy works." He would do anything to protect his friends no matter how high the stakes are and is not ready to surrender just yet unless he has no other choice.

Although some aspects of Primal's story are not in continuity with the larger bulk of the fiction, they are all related in a very strict, clear chronological order relative to each other.


Optimus Primal/Optimal Optimus was named 2nd best and the worst upgrade in Beast Wars history Topless Robot.[2]

Animated series[edit]

Beast Wars season one[edit]

As the Beast Wars animated series began, the Axalon and the Darksyde emerged from the transwarp portal above prehistoric Earth. With both ships badly damaged in the firefight and plummeting towards the planet's surface, Primal ordered that all stasis pods in the Axalon's hold be jettisoned into Earth orbit. Surviving the crash, the Transformers discovered that the planet was saturated with dangerous levels of energon radiation, and adopted organic-skinned "beast modes" to shield themselves from its effects; (if they were in robot mode for a long period of time while in an energon field they would soon go into a case of immediate stasis lock. So they used their robot forms rarely) Primal assumed the form of a silverback gorilla. One of his first major battles on Earth was a duel with the renegade Predacon Dinobot, whose life Primal then saved—grateful, Dinobot joined the Maximals, and Primal dubbed the ensuing conflict for control of the energon on earth as the "Beast Wars".

Primal's body would be subject to several attacks and alterations during the Beast Wars, the first of which came when an alien probe arrived on the planet at a mysterious standing stone formation. The probe abducted Primal, pulling him within itself and disassembling his body for study, (his friends believing he was dead) before he was liberated by Rhinox, his body restored. Later, a virus concocted by the Predacon Scorponok infected Primal's body, with the intent of turning his personality to cowardice, only to backfire and transform him into a raging, uninhibited warrior barely able to suppress his level of aggression. Under the influence of the virus, a fighting-mad Primal smashed his way into the Predacon base single-handedly and confronted Megatron for the anti-virus.

The alien influence felt by the Cybertronians would later return in force when another extraterrestrial construct manifested on the planet and took Optimus Primal into itself. Confronted by the aliens behind these bizarre experiments, the Vok, Primal learned that they planned to use an orbital laser weapon— disguised as a second moon—to detonate the planet's energon and wipe their "experiment" clean. In order to stop them, Primal piloted a reconfigured stasis pod, outfitted with transwarp cells, into the heart of the weapon, intending to destroy it; although the intent was to abandon the pod before impact, Primal discovered that Predacon commander Megatron had remotely sealed it shut, and when it detonated, Primal was killed in the explosion. But the destruction of the Planet Buster resulted in a quantum surge that evolved several Maximals and Predacons into Transmetals.[3]

Beast Wars season two[edit]

It was not long before Rhinox sprang into action, using the residual transwarp energy to access the Matrix, from which he plucked Primal's spark, installing it within a blank protoform. Emerging in a new transmetal body at a moment of great crisis, Primal used his new powers to save the Maximals from a massive Predacon attack with the aid of the Fuzor, Silverbolt. Further conflicts saw Primal captured by the Predacons when Megatron seized control of another alien device, and the revelation of the "dark secret" of the Axalon's voyage—the disposal of the insane Maximal genetics experiment, Protoform X, who was freed and captured by the Predacons and forced to join their ranks as a new sinister persona: Rampage.

Primal could not suspect, however, the true agenda Megatron was working towards, or the lengths he would go to see it complete. This deadly mission came to light with the arrival of the Predacon secret agent Ravage, who had tracked the transwarp explosion that had killed Primal back to its source. Ravage aided Primal and the Maximals in finally capturing Megatron, but switched sides when he discovered that Megatron was following instructions left by his former commander, the original Megatron (Decepticon commander). Ravage liberated Megatron, who then headed directly for the ancient Transformer spacecraft, The Ark , which lay buried on Earth, with the intent of killing the legendary Optimus Prime, thereby ensuring Decepticon victory in the war to come. Primal and his Maximals pursued him, but failed to stop him from delivering the deadly blast into the Autobot leader's head.

Beast Wars season three[edit]

With time itself in the balance, Primal sought to forestall Prime's death by taking his spark into his body while his shell was repaired. With the power of Prime's spark now inhabiting his frame, Primal's body was changed once more, mutated into a new "Optimal" form, half Maximal – half Autobot, with which he fought back the Predacons and saved Prime's life. During that time Primal speaks with a voice more reminiscent of the original Prime, and even quotes Optimus Prime by telling Megatron, "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" , and using one of Optimus Prime's most famous commands, "Transform and Roll Out!". The Maximals' own ship however, the Axalon, fell into the water by Rampage. The reason for this was that Megatron intended on stopping them from ever returning to Cybertron. Setting up base around the Ark to protect it from further Predacon attacks, the Maximals were soon joined by Depth Charge, an old acquaintance of Primal's, who harbored some degree of hostility towards him for his role in the preservation of Protoform X's life.

Even in his new body, Primal was subject to even more bodily invasions. After being infected with delirium-inducing cyber-venom from Tarantulas while battling Megatron's new cloned Cyber-Raptors, Optimus fell victim to the treacherous Predacon again. This time he had developed a method of controlling his body by remote-piloting it with a suit of armor manipulated by Quickstrike. With Optimus under his control in this manner, Megatron was able to duplicate the process that had upgraded his foe, merging his spark with the original Megatron's and assuming a new Transmetal 2 dragon form. This, coupled with the addition of Tigerhawk to the Maximal forces, led Primal to suspect that these events were playing out in accordance with the Cybertronian holy text, the Covenant of Primus. Realizing that Megatron sought to use the crashed Decepticon warship, Nemesis, to end the Beast Wars, Primal engaged him in a final confrontation, although per the covenant, he was aware he would not succeed. Salvation came in the form of Megatron's Transmetal II clone of the original Dinobot, who turned on his commander, allowing Rhinox to crash an Autobot shuttle into the Nemesis with episodic force, blowing it out of the sky and sending it crashing in South America.

With all the other Predacons dealt with, and Megatron finally their captive courtesy of Rhinox's quickly strategised intervention, the Maximals clamped him to the hull of the Autobot shuttle, and, with the Beast Wars finally concluded, headed back at last to Cybertron. A deleted scene from the final episode shows Optimus returning the original Megatron's spark to its former body. The original Megatron's eyes glowed much in the same fashion as when Primal returned Optimus Prime's Spark when the time storm died.

Beast Machines[edit]

On the Maximals return trip to Cybertron after the end of the Beast Wars, Megatron was able to break free and exited the timestream, returning to Cybertron before the Maximals. When the Maximals arrived on the planet at their intended destination time, they found a world that Megatron had conquered using a transformation-freezing virus and an army of Vehicon drones. Exposed to the virus, Primal, Rattrap, Cheetor and Blackarachnia were reverted to their original beast modes and left almost amnesiac (they couldn't remember what had happened since they arrived on Cybertron), fleeing from the Vehicons. Primal was contacted by the ancient Cybertronian computer known as the Oracle and reunited with one Maximal at a time, then led the party beneath Cybertron's surface, where the Oracle used its powers to reformat them into new technorganic bodies immune to the virus. Primal's new form was that of a technorganic gorilla, but he soon discovered that transformation was no longer simply a matter of command codes and on board computers - now, he and the Maximals had to find their "spiritual" centers and focus upon their transformations, growing as both machines and animals. Using the power of the Oracle, Primal could technorganically reformat other Maximals that required it, such as Nightscream.

Led by Megatron to believe that he had lost the Beast Wars and caused the current state of Cybertron - all of its inhabitants' sparks removed and held captive by Megatron - Primal's fixation on correcting his mistake lead to a mindset comparable to zealotry. Through his connection to the Oracle and the visions it gave him, Primal learned that the computer wanted Cybertron to become a wholly organic world, and he would rarely entertain suggestions from his troops. The revelation that Megatron's Vehicon general Tankor contained the spark of Rhinox hit Primal hard, even more so when Rhinox revealed that he had adopted Megatron's techno-centric viewpoint. Using the Oracle to feed Primal a false vision, Rhinox tricked Primal and Megatron into unleashing the powers of the Plasma Energy Chamber and the Key to Vector Sigma respectively, almost destroying the planet. Primal saved Cybertron by taking the energies into his body, which was destroyed, and was then reborn by the Oracle with a new understanding - the Oracle did not desire a completely organic Cybertron, but a balance between the organic and technological.

With the Oracle now downloaded into his own mind, Primal redoubled his efforts to achieving the perfect technorganic Cybertron. Megatron, however, was able to deceive him and acquire a portion of the Oracle data by posing as a holographic recording of Optimus Prime - but Primal was able to use this mind-link to his advantage, by stealing from Megatron's mind the knowledge of where the captive Transformer sparks were concealed.

Attacking Megatron's "Grand Mal" spacecraft body to liberate the sparks within, the Maximals ousted his spark and seized control of the craft. A retaliatory attack by the Vehicons crashed the ship, and the Maximals subsequently fell one by one until only Primal was left to face off with Megatron, who had installed his spark in a copy of Primal's old "Optimal" body. The two enemies fought in a battle that raged across Cybertron until Megatron finally captured Primal and prepared to absorb all of the sparks into his own, and use the Key to Vector Sigma to convert Cybertron into the perfect techno-sphere. Primal struck back, however, using the strength of the sparks to force both himself and Megatron tumbling through the portal the villain had opened to the planet's core, where, using the power of the Oracle that existed within both of them, Primal sacrificed himself and Megatron to reformat Cybertron into a technorganic paradise.

Beast Wars II movie[edit]

In the Beast Wars II anime feature film entitled Beast Wars II: Lio Convoy, Close Call! the Predacons of the series, led by Galvatron, discover a mysterious transwarp device that allows them to summon the monstrous Decepticon Majin Zarak from Cybertron's past to aid them. In response to this, the Maximals use the device to pluck Optimus Primal, referred to as "Convoy" in the Japanese continuity, from prehistoric Earth at a point prior to his becoming a transmetal to join with their leader, Lio Convoy to battle the demonic Transformer. Upon arrival Optimus is impressed by the integrity of the team and Lio Convoy's leadership qualities and falls under Lio Convoy's command to attack the monster. Combining the power of their Matrices and transforming into "Flash Lio Convoy" and "Burning Convoy", they struck Maijin Zarak's weak spot and destroyed him, and Optimus decides to return to his time as his presence is endangering existence, despite the other Maximals insisting he stay, but praises the Maximals unity and expresses faith that Lio Convoy will win their struggle with Galvatron and returns to the Beast Wars on Earth with the transmetal device being destroyed behind him.

The Beast Wars II movie is an example of a story that is not in continuity with the English fiction, as it displays Primal in possession of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which he most certainly does not have in western stories. "Ask Vector Prime" later revealed that this was due to a temporal anomaly which, when Primal was brought into the Beast Wars II storyline, rewrote his history so that like Lio Convoy and later Big Convoy, he was granted a Matrix due to his rank.

Robot Masters[edit]

The short-lived 2004 Transformers: Robot Masters toyline from Japan once again revisited the concept of Transformers coming together from different periods of time. Pursuing Megatron into the mysterious "Blastizone", pre-transmetal Optimus Primal arrived on Earth in the early 21st century, where he joined forces with the original Optimus Prime (as both characters were named "Convoy" in Japan, Primal received the modifier of Beast Convoy to differentiate himself from this predecessor). Uniting their powers, Primal and Prime could create the "Double Convoy Tornado", later bolstered by the addition of Lio Convoy's power, creating the "Triple Convoy Tornado Link Attack".

Optimus Primal was oddly depicted as standing as large as Optimus Prime in this series, and had the ability to use his weapons in beast mode, completely unlike how he was depicted in the Beast Wars television series.


Devil's Due Publishing[edit]

Pre-transmetal Primal received an unusual name check in Devil's Due's comic book series, G.I. Joe vs. Transformers: The Art of War, when the android intelligence Serpent O.R. scanned Soundwave's databanks for information on Cybertron's history. Included among the recordings was a reference to and image of Optimus Primal, but this seems to be chronologically anomalous, as Primal would not yet exist on Cybertron. A recent interview with writer Tim Seeley indicated that the use of Teletran-1 by the Maximals and Predacons during the Beast Wars imprinted itself on the computer, allowing the information to be passed down to other Transformers.[4]

3H Enterprises[edit]

With this heroic act, Primal earned his place in the Allspark, but even this would not be the end of his ongoing battles. When a spirit guide was required for the Optimus Prime of another dimension, Primal's spark was chosen for the task. Then, when the dark god Unicron began his plan to pit Autobots and Decepticons from across the multiverse in conflict to initiate his resurrection, Vector Sigma and Alpha Trion chose Optimus Primal to lead the "Children of Primus" against this threat. Primal's spark was pulled from the Allspark and installed within a new body - an upsized version of his original beast form.

Optimus Primal found himself teamed up with War Within Grimlock and Armada Megatron in rescuing captive Cybertronians from Unicron.

His pleas to the Maximal High Council that the threat of Unicron be taken serious fell on deaf ears. Freed by Snarl, Primal was charged by Alpha Trion and Primus with selected warriors to fight with him; Primal selected Rhinox, happy to gain a chance at redemption, and Depth Charge, who did not take so kindly to be returned to life. The inextricable link that had been forged between them in the reformatting of Cybertron, however, meant that when Primal returned to life, so too did Megatron.

Fun Publications[edit]

The 2006 BotCon tale Timelines: Dawn of Futures Past offered the earliest information available on Primal's life before the Beast Wars. His bio claims that he graduated near the top of his class at the Maximal Military Academy and was a prominent commander in The Great War with the Predacons. He believed that striking a balance between being a warrior and a peaceful explorer and scientist is what made the original Optimus Prime so great and is something he tries to live up to. His Cybertronian mode was an assault speedster.

Taking a scientific exploration mission on board the spaceship Axalon as he believed that it represented the Maximal ideals of peace, Primal was quickly saddled with a more important mission—getting rid of the pod containing the failed Maximal experiment, Protoform X. However, even this important mission would be put on hold when a team of Predacons led by the renegade known as Megatron stole the Maximal relic known as the Golden Disk, as well as the Darksyde, a space cruiser equipped with a "transwarp" drive that would allow them to travel anywhere in time or space. The Axalon, being the closest transwarp-equipped ship, was assigned to pursue the Darkside at all costs, and came under fire as it closed on the villains. Opening a transwarp portal, the Predacons escaped; Primal ordered pursuit, and the Axalon passed through the portal.[5]

Leading the Children of Primus in many battles against the Minions of Unicron, Primal discovered that the radiation from Unicron himself was slowly killing him. To survive, Primal was reformatted into yet another new body, immune to the effects of Unicron and carrying the Matrix of Purification, which can purge other Transformers of Unicron's influence.

In this new form, Primal was later seen leading the Children of Primus in yet another assault on Unicron in the pages Balancing Act. Suddenly, caused by the collapse of Unicron in the parallel universe of the "Unicron Trilogy" and the formation there of a black hole containing his essence, Unicron began to crumble beneath Primal's feet. Primal and the Children of Primus were able to teleport safely back to Cybertron, although his teammate Omega Prime was shunted into the Unicron Trilogy Universe to aid in the battles there.

IDW Publishing[edit]

Optimus Primal had a biography printed in the Beast Wars Sourcebook by IDW Publishing.[6]


Optimus Primal appears as a character in the 1999 video game Transformers: Beast Wars Transmetals.

Optimus Primal appears as a playable character in the fighting games Transformers Battle Universe, a Net Jet game.


  • Beast Wars Basic Optimus Primal (1996)
The very first Optimus Primal toy was a bat, packaged alongside an alligator version of Megatron. The pack-in comic book, however, indicated that this Primal and Megatron were in fact new incarnations of the original Optimus Prime and Megatron - before the Beast Wars animated series began and established its fiction. The figure was later redecorated in traditional Prime red-and-blue colours for a Japanese-exclusive release as "Convobat."
It was later repainted yet again, this time black and gray and named Onyx Primal. The original toy is occasionally (although incorrectly) referred to by this name to differentiate it from the later gorilla Optimus Primal.[7]
Although not seen in the animated series in this form, the early commercials for Beast Wars featured computer generated fight scenes between this Optimus Primal and the alligator version of Megatron.
In a Toys "R" Us Christmas magazine, this figure is called Optimal Primus.
  • Beast Wars Ultra Optimus Primal (1996)
Primal's original gorilla body, loaded with hidden weapons and special gimmicks. The toy features a set of spring-loaded cannons which flip up over its shoulders and fire rockets, spares of which can be stored in compartments behind the head, or loaded into the second double-barreled launcher, which flips out of the left forearm. The other forearms contains a compartment with a flail weapon, and features other melee weapons in the form of two curved swords, which store in its back. There is a switch on the figures back which activates the movement of his arms - depending on the position of a sliding switches on either arm, Primal can either beat his chest gorilla-style, or spin his forearms for combat with his weaponry. The figure was the largest individual Maximal toy released in the pre-transmetal era. Because the animators made changes to the model, it was not totally accurate to the animated series - in addition to a "battle mask" and the lack of his mouth-slit (leaving him with a face looking much more like the original Optimus Prime), the toy was much larger compared to the other Beast Wars figures than Primal was in the show. This toy was sold under the name Optimus Primal Black Jack in Europe.[8]
A transparent "Clear Convoy" redeco of this figure was released in Japan in 1997, and a flaming red-and-orange redeco was released as part of Beast Wars II in 1998 to represent his "Burning Convoy" form from the animated film.
  • Beast Wars Micro Optimus Primal (1997)
A small, non-transforming Optimus Primal toy that came with the Orcanoch Micro playset. This toy looked like a tiny version of Ultra Optimus Primal in robot mode.
  • Beast Wars Transmetal Optimus Primal (1997)
Primal's new transmetal form, released in the "Mega" size class, reducing him in height from his earlier "Ultra" size, bringing him closer in scale to his fellow Maximals as seen in the animated series. Transmetal Primal wields two maces, which can fire from his hand-held missile launcher or store on his backpack. The animated series also featured an alternate transformation for the backpack, where the maces became cannons; it is possible to configure the toy into this form. The toy still transforms into a gorilla, and features a "transport mode" in the form of a hover-board that deploys from Primal's legs. This toy was sold as Optimus Primal Metal Gorilla in Europe.[9]
Transmetal Optimus Primal was voted the 11th strangest Transformers Beast Wars figure by Topless Robots.[10]
Transmetal Primal was later redecoed into the BotCon 1998 exclusive toy, Apelinq.
  • Beast Wars Optimal Optimus (1998)
The only "Super" size-class Beast Wars figure, Optimal Optimus can transform from robot to transmetal gorilla, with the addition of land-vehicle and aircraft configurations. He features blast shields that can mount on his shoulders, or lock into his forearms, from which they can be "blasted" off with spring-loaded action, and is armed with a twin missile-launcher that lights up with the trigger mechanism is pulled back. This toy is often mistakenly believed to be part of the "Transmetal II" line, but the box states it is a "Transmetal" and was depicted that way in the TV Show.
The Optimal Optimus toy was chosen as a hot toy for young African American boys in Ebony Magazine from November 1998.[11]
Optimal Optimus was later remolded and re-colored into Primal Prime, a character created from the battlesuit briefly used by the Predacons to control Primal's body. For this version of the toy, the electronic lights were reworked to be activated by the press of a button, rather than a pull of the launcher.
  • Beast Machines Deluxe Optimus Primal (1999)
Due to the rush involved in the production of the Beast Machines animated series, the design used for Optimus Primal's animated avatar was based on an earlier concept for the toy, which underwent extensive revision further down the line. Consequently, this deluxe-sized Primal figure bears little resemblance to his animated counterpart, save in the design of the head. It becomes a gorilla through an unorthodox method of transformation and is armed with an energy-shuriken, which can store in Primal's hip, or be launched from the hand of his spring-loaded arm.
This figure was based on drawings by Hasbro designer Tim Bradley.[12]
  • Beast Machines McDonald's Optimus Primal (2000)
Given away with Happy Meals in 2000 was a small, simple, and only slightly more show accurate Optimus Primal toy.
  • Beast Machines Blast Punch Optimus Primal (2001)
Despite the new qualifier added to his name, this toy of Optimus Primal continues to represent his one-and-only Beast Machines body, and is sculpted to much better resemble his animated self, although the coloration skews towards an abundance of orange. By cranking his forearm cover to charge the mechanism and pressing his spark crystal to release it, Primal's fist shoots forward in a "blast punch" action, also launching a spring-loaded missile. When Beast Machines was released in Japan as Beast Wars Returns in 2004, this was the figure they chose to release as the one and only Optimus Primal toy.
  • Universe Ultra Optimus Primal (2003)
A brown, green, burgundy and yellow recolor of Primal's original Beast Wars toy, representing his new body after his rebirth in the Transformers: Universe comics. Although the same size as the Beast Wars coloration of this mold, he was depicted as much larger in the comics, standing eye-to-eye with Depth Charge and Razorclaw, and slightly shorter than Alpha Trion (who may have been upgraded as a Maximal and therefore smaller than his original form, which stood as tall as Optimus Prime). Unlike all previous versions of Optimus Primal, this was sold as an Autobot, not a Maximal.
  • Robot Masters Deluxe Beast Convoy (2004)
A newly designed toy based on Primal's original gorilla body, this "Beast Convoy" figure features over-the-shoulder rocket launchers, two wrist cannons, and a pair of swords. It was later recolored into the "Burning Beast Convoy" color scheme, and again into a black color scheme, as "Black Beast Convoy," representing a virus-infected body, exclusive to Hobby Japan.
  • Beast Wars Deluxe 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal (2006)
Representing Primal's new body after he is upgraded to rid himself of Unicron's taint, this toy was released as part of a series of figures commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Beast Wars line. Although the other figures in the series were simple recolorings of earlier figures designed to be more accurate to the cartoon, Primal and Megatron received entirely new sculpts with Jungle Planet Cyber Key gimmicks. Primal, specifically, comes with a hoverboard that transforms into a cannon when the key is inserted, and also comes with a small model of the Axalon. In the comics this toy is depicted as being as large as Universe Optimus Primal, despite only being a Deluxe sized figure.[13]
This figure was quickly recolored in brown and cream and released in the Transformers: Cybertron toyline itself, presented as a new, Jungle Planet body for that universe's Optimus Prime. Oddly, this repaint was in the colors of Universe Optimus Primal. In 2014, this mold was also used for the character of Ape-Linq in the Pirates vs. Knights Botcon storyline, as well as the Botcon 2014 Customization Class figure, Primal Prime.
This figure was based on drawings by Hasbro designer Tim Bradley.[12]
  • Beast Wars Ultra 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal (2006)
Japan's take on the tenth anniversary of the Beast Wars franchise saw them remold and recolor the original Primal and Megatron toys in a two pack with more show-accurate appearances after demands from the fans. Primal received a new head mold removing his "mutant face" and adding his mouth slit, and several other modifications to his paint applications. This version was released with a similar version of Megatron in a two-pack as a Toys R Us exclusive. Note that the two-pack version of Optimus is not the same as the one sold alone. The two-pack version is a slightly repainted version of the original Ultra Optimus Primal released in 1996. The same applies to Megatron in the two-pack.
  • Titanium 3 inch Optimus Primal (2006)
A three-inch non-transforming die-cast representation of Primal's original gorilla body in robot mode, including a translucent Autobot-symbol display stand.[14]
  • Titanium 6 inch Optimal Optimus (2006)
A six-inch die-cast version of Optimal Optimus, this Triple Changer is able to transform from robot mode to land vehicle mode and jet mode, but strangely lacking in his transmetal gorilla mode. Some fans have likened this toy to Optimal Megatron, the form Megatron took in the Beast Machines finale, which was Optimal Optimus without the gorilla mode and with Megatron’s face.[15]
  • Timelines Voyager Optimus Primal (2006)
An exclusive toy available only at BotCon 2006, this incarnation of Primal is a retool of the Transformers: Cybertron Crumplezone figure, representing Primal in his original Cybertronian body before acquiring his gorilla mode. The figure transforms into a three-wheeled racing car, and, with the insertion of his "Golden Disk holder" key (a redecoed Cyber Key) into its port, its deploys two massive missile-firing cannons over his shoulders. This contradicts Transformers: The Ultimate Guide by Simon Furman, which notes that his original alternate was that of a Cybertronian Monster Truck. Because of this reference, many fans expected the Timelines Optimus Primal to be a remold of Cybertron Dirt Boss.
According to a post at the Transformers Collectors Club private message board this toy was originally supposed to be based on the Deluxe Cybertron Landmine toy, like Rhinox, but with a remolded head. When they found out from Hasbro they could use the Crumplezone mold, Fun Publications switch Optimus Primal to that mold instead.
  • Transformers 3D Battle-Card Game Optimus Primal (2007)
Produced by Wizards of the Coast, wave 2 of their Transformers 3D Battle-Card Game included an Optimus Primal card.
  • Year of the Monkey Optimus Primal (2016)
A repaint/retool of Air Attack Optimus Primal in a color scheme inspired by Primal Prime.
  • E-Hobby Convobat
A figure set consisting of several Titans Return repaints in homage to Optimus Primal: Mindwipe's body/Transtector and Titan Master Infinitus done in the colors of the original Bat Optimus Primal toy, and the Apeface Titan Master vehicle done in Optimal Optimus coloring. The set also included a repaint of the Nucleon Headmaster from Titans Return Megatron as Megalligator, a version of Beast Wars Megatron in homage to his alligator toy.
  • Masterpiece Optimus Primal
A figure celebrating the 20th anniversary of Beast Wars, designed to conform as closely to Optimus Primal's pre-Transmetal appearance from the show as possible.
  • Power of the Primes Optimal Optimus
A new mold of the character that got most voted of all, the toy has a evolution gimmick (like Optimus Prime & Rodimus Prime.) the S1 version of the character no longer transform to a gorilla but in the hoverboard mode (like a homage to Transmetal 1 version.) while the TM2/S3 version of him still transformed into the gorilla or a jet (although it lack of the armor transport/tank.). the deco will be later used in the SDCC 2018 exclusive Thrones of the Primes in the S1 colors.
  • Knockoff Optimus Primals
A Non-Takara/Hasbro Chinese-made toy was sold under a variety of bootleg and knockoff toy lines like "Beast Tech Robot Fighters" and "Animism Defenders" line which is actually more accurate to the cartoon version than the Deluxe or Blast Punch versions are. It stands about the same size as the original Beast Wars gorilla Optimus Primal and came with black versions of that toy's swords.
A variety of other knockoff Optimus Primal toys have appeared over the years, including a scaled down version of his original gorilla form with white robot features (similar to Ultra Magnus), an enlarged version of his bat form in rainbow colors and a variety of smaller, cheaper versions of Optimal Optimus in a variety of colors.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise/Binaltech[edit]

Though the character did not appear in the Robots in Disguise cartoon, a Beast Machines-style figure of him was released as part of its toy line.

Interdimensional Duties[edit]

The role of this figure was expanded upon by "Ask Vector Prime", which revealed it as an alternate version of Optimus Primal from a reality similar to the original Beast Wars storyline.[16] However, while this Optimus Primal and his crew were returning to Cybertron, the repercussions of the Binaltech storyline caused them to be shunted into an alternate timeline, where their vessel was noticed and destroyed by Unicron, scattering its crew and passengers. The Alternity later repaired the timeline of this Primal's home universe but as a result he was stranded and left without a place or time to call home.

Having learned the whereabouts of the Megatron created by this same anomaly, the Alternity dispatched Optimus and his surviving crew-Rhinox, Rattrap, and Silverbolt-to a future reality of the Robots in Disguise universe. Having been reformatted by the Oracle, Primal fought against Megatron and his villainous ally Cryotek, taking several forms before reaching his "Air Attack" state in order to battle Megahead Megatron and defeat his forces at last. However, Cryotek, who had come to believe that Sparks were energy parasites and sought to eradicate them and insure the "purity" of the Cybertronian race. He soon began using the Transwarp technology Megatron provided to begin traveling through time and space, attacking Autobots at various points of history before forming an alliance with the Galvatron of that universe, who he helped upgrade into "Megatron Megabolt" to enable him to control Fortress Maximus.


Optimus soon learned of Cryotek's plans and, having learned of the Alternity, was made one of their "Protectors," an elite body of warriors, and then sent back in time with Mirage GT to join forces with the Optimus Prime of that universe. While he could face off with Cryotek as a physical being, a safeguard against his presence in the past made it so that he could only advise Prime as a "spirit guide" during confrontations with Megabolt Maximus. Following the defeat of the Predacons, Primal would be sent to hunt down the interdimensional menace Hytherion, before being forced to contend with the mad scientist Primacron's quest to destroy realities where the Transformers were created by Primus.

During the Binaltech saga, Ravage alters history, preventing the Battle of Autobot City and dooming the Autobots to battle Unicron without the assistance of the Decepticons. As the Autobots attempt to undo the temporal damage, the universe starts to crumble. A black version of Optimus Prime appears, splintering the Binaltech timeline into its own universe, thereby restoring the original timeline but also preserving the Binaltech one. Reluctant to identify himself, the figure identifies itself only as the "Protector" and indicates it is from the future, and that the Binaltech continuity must be preserved as it will lead to the "great Alternity". Before much else can be learned, the black Optimus clone ejects the good spark within, reverts to its original evil programming and escapes.[17]

Later, as the Autobots identify and shut down rogue experiments derived from Binaltech technology, Optimus Prime comes face-to-face with Nemesis Prime. During the battle, Optimus struggles to defeat Nemesis, and is assisted when the spark of the Protector merges with his own. The resulting power-up allows Optimus to easily defeat Nemesis Prime, but not before Optimus recalls the union being familiar to him.[18] While not explicitly stated, this identifies the Protector as the alternate Optimus Primal, due to the events of the Beast Wars season 3 episode, "Optimal Situation".

Primal would then receive a new Binaltech form with the color scheme of his original form from the Beast Wars, only to find himself and all of Earth's solar system trapped within a time lock engineered by the Quintessons; by the time they escaped 900,000 years had passed from the perspective of the outside universe. Vector Prime then approached Primal for aid in bringing about the creation of the Alternity's successors, which he set in motion before helping to battle Megatherion, a monstrous fusion of Binaltech Megatron and Hytherion. This accomplished, he then settled into his new role as a servant of the Alternity II, or "Flaternity" due to their previous existence as two-dimensional beings.


  • Robots in Disguise Air Attack Optimus Primal (2002)
Originally intended for release during the Transtech toyline, this figure was aborted, then revived for the Transformers: Robots in Disguise line. Primal was added to the line with the "spiritual guide" fiction mentioned above included in his packaging bio to justify his presence. A practically perfect representation of his animated incarnation, the toy is brimming with electronics-related gimmicks - a press of his chest activates the electronics, then, pressing either his beast or robot head causes the toy to speak phrases lifted directly from the TV series, with Garry Chalk's voice. The figure can launch a disc from his stomach with an electronic blast, and has spring-loaded punching arm accompanied by a grunt. The primary feature of the toy, however, is his jets - by pressing a button on his back, the jets deploy with a constant electronic "flying" sound effect that alters in response to the way the toy is held, as if he were ascending or descending in flight. However, despite being the most "show-accurate" version of BM Primal, the figure is not particularly compatible with other toys of the Beast Machines line as the very large figure is grossly out of scale with his fellow Maximals.

Transformers Animated[edit]

In Transformers Animated, a gorilla appears at the end of the episode "Predacons Rising", paying homage to Optimus Primal. With the gorilla are a cheetah, a rat and a rhinoceros - each one paying homage to Cheetor, Rattrap, and Rhinox, respectively. In the second All Spark Almanac book, a version of the character called Primal Major was captain of one of the Omega Sentinel units.

Transformers: Rescue Bots[edit]

Optimus Primal appears in Transformers: Rescue Bots. In this incarnation, he is the mechanical T-Rex form of Optimus Prime adopted to save the Rescue Bots and which Optimus loses control of because it consumes energon.

Transformers: The Last Knight[edit]

A concept art features Optimus Primal for Transformers: The Last Knight, but he never appeared in the final cut of the film.



  1. "Transformers: The Many Looks of Optimus Prime". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  2. T.J. Dietsch (November 14, 2011). "The 5 Best (and 5 Worst) Upgrades In Beast Wars History".
  3. "Optimus Primal". Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  4. "Tim Seeley Talks G.I. Joe Vs Transformers IV: Black Horizon - Devils Due - for Comic Book News, Reviews, Previews, Discussions". Archived from the original on 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-04-27. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. Ben's World of Transformers (Transformers: Timelines) Archived September 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. shithunterSep 15th, 2007 - 05:25:51 (2007-09-15). "Creators of Transformers: Beast Wars: The Gathering are back". Monsters and Critics. Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2010-04-27. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. "Onyx Primal". Retrieved 2015-02-14.
  8. "Optimus Primal". Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  9. "Transmetal Optimus Primal". Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  10. The 12 Strangest Transformers Beast Wars Figures By Rob Bricken in Daily Lists, Toys Wednesday, Jul. 8 2009
  11. Ebony - Google Books. Retrieved 2010-04-27. Search this book on
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Transformers - More Than Meets The Eye, Robots In Disguise - Transformers @ The Moon". 2008-12-26. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  13. "Universe Optimus Primal". April 2010.
  14. "Titanium Optimus Primal". April 2010.
  15. "Optimal Optimus". April 2010.
  16. "Ask Vector Prime". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  17. "BT-17 chapter translation at Fan2Fan". Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  18. BT-22 chapter translation at The Allspark Forums Archived 2012-11-04 at the Wayback Machine


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