Monday, February 8, 2016

Beast Wars: "Transmetals 2" Optimus Minor!

02.08.2016 – When you talk about Beast Wars most of the older generations of Transformers fans think of it as the dark part of the brand. But for those who appreciated the existence of this series would understand its huge impact.

If it weren’t for Beast Wars would you know the mythology that built the succeeding series? Within the series and toylines there have been bizarre characters take the ‘Beast Wars Transmetals 2’ that introduced some interesting characters that never appeared on the TV series but had a spotlight in IDW Publications comic books…

One of them happens to be part of the ‘Beast Wars Transmetals 2’ subline featuring characters with metallic parts in robot and in beast modes. If you’ve heard about Optimus Minor then you’re familiar with this metallic monkey and since 2016 is the ‘year of the fire monkey’ its high time Optimus Minor gets a spotlight.

This year also the twentieth anniversary of Beast Wars, which is also a great timing to reacquainted with some of the third tier characters in the toyline that had a bigger role in the comic books, but was left unknown in the cg animated TV series.

No Relation to Primal

In the original bio from the packaging of Optimus Minor, the character’s origin was based from Beast Megatron’s cloning g experiments possessing abilities and traits commonly attributed to monkeys: agility, speed, intelligence with a superior ability to climb stuff. His animal instincts served him well in battle, where he was a savage fighter. However, like many Transmetals 2, he had rage issues and trouble controlling the resulting violent urges.

Unlike Primal’s counterpart like Lio Convoy in Japan’s Beast Wars 2 who has a relation to Lio Junior there has no connection with Optimus Minor. It happens that the bio in the toy packaging explains that he’s an experiment not a direct clone of Primal.

From Monkey to…a Robot

Designated as part of the Scout Class sized assortment, Optimus Minor is part of the Transmetals 2 line that transforms into a monkey. The transformation feature doesn’t have a difficulty level by changing his legs into arms, and his arms become legs. In robot mode his tail becomes a whip, grabbed by a pin in his right arm.

Like most of the Transmetals 2 characters in the line Optimus Minor has an odd feature with allow him to have extra limbs; his robot mode arms (his legs in beast mode) can split down the middle to the elbows.

This feature is particularly noteworthy in Optimus Minor, as it is not due to his transformation process, unlike the others, showing that it was more than an afterthought. Oddly enough, he has never been portrayed utilizing this ability (not even on his package art, like the other two were.) His spark crystal is located in the side of his midsection.

Aping Around

Optimus Minor defines how the character is portrayed and his name is played on words not being a popular character. But for those who got into Beast Wars during the height of the toyline and the TV series most are aware of Minor even giving more a role in the comic books published by IDW.

In both mini series ‘The Gathering’ and ‘The Ascending’ you’ll see how Optimus Minor became one of the key characters working beside Razorbeast another second tier character that never got a screen time in the TV series in taking on Magmatron.

Overall Optimus Minor may not be your favorite Transformer even in Beast Wars, but you’ll surely know this id the ‘year of the monkey’ that is clearly associated with this character than Optimus Primal himself.

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