Review: Transformers Go! Go Prime

Transformers Prime was a polarizing series. It started out very promising with some amazing First Edition toys and an impressive first season, but then was brought down by a lackluster toyline plagued by intrusive gimmicks and a lack of major characters, as well as a near-garbage second season. One year after its end, fans are still at each others’ throats about the quality of the show. Following season 2, most of the world got a third season titled “Beast Hunters” that involved the sudden and random shift in focus to Predacons that finished out the show. For whatever reason, Japan decided to forego that and make Transformers Go!, a series about a bunch of demonic dragons, magic disks, and triple-combiner teams of ninjas and samurai. Among the very strange elements was the character of Go Prime, who apparently possesses the powers of both samurai and ninja. Whoa. But mostly he just looks really cool, so here I bring you the review. IMG_9974

Lion Mode

Go Prime turns into a robotic lion with blingin’ gold claws and some big black fins/wings. The translucent teal on his mane and upper arms looks a bit out-of-place at first, but since it’s concentrated around his head, I tend to see it as he just a glowing blue mane because he’s AWESOME. Already being a black and gold (and grey) lion is awesome enough. He can’t move a whole lot in this mode due to the strange construction of his front legs, but he looks decent enough standing still. I also want to point out that the plastic on his back and fins has a delicious matte finish and looks gorgeous. I do like the look of this mode, but I also feel it’s definitely the weaker of the two.



The conversion here is mostly your standard fare of “stand up the beast mode,” but with a twist: the front legs split, with the shoulders becoming his arms and the legs themselves folding up to make some sick shoulder pads. The different parts of his head/chest can get a bit finicky and clunk into each other, but once you get everything in its right place…


Robot Mode

… you have one awesome-looking robot mode. The original Emiliano Santalucia-designed version of this mold, Thundertron, was supposed to be a pirate captain, as evident by his long “coat”, bearded head with a vaguely-pirate hat design, and the peg-leg feature (the design sketch even had his tail tucked under his waist armor as some sort of pirate-y strap… thing). Go Prime, however, is not a pirate, but a samurai ninja master of space and time (seriously, he can apparently bend space-time), and thus such design elements should be ignored in favor of seeing him for what he truly is: an ancient armored warrior robot. The coat and golden shoulderpads give him an almost regal appearance, and the gold lines on his chest and head look really sharp. The matte black plastic on his coat and legs continues to look amazing, and even the translucent teal doesn’t look too out of place. I would like to see how they look in black, though.


Go Prime isn’t the most articulate fellow, but that doesn’t matter because he’s AWESOME. His head is on a ball joint restricted by his masterful beard, his shoulders and hips are ball-jointed, he has bicep and thigh swivels, basic 90 degree elbows, and knees that manage a rather deeper bend. His left ankle is ball-jointed, and his right ankle is only on a swivel with a forward hinge due to the peg-leg feature.


Thundertron was released as a Voyager in the Prime toyline, and was thus packed in with a garbage Powerizer weapon that was big and clunky and didn’t even work. Go Prime, being infinitely more badass than Thundertron could ever hope to be, ditched the pirate’s POS gimmickry in favor of two slick-looking red swords. The swords themselves were originally from fellow Go! figure Kenzan, and are made from a soft, rubbery plastic. Unlike the soft swords of Generations Drift and ROTF Bludgeon before him, Go Prime’s swords maintain their shape, likely out of sheer respect for their wielder. These swords are pretty cool, but admittedly I feel that Go Prime deserves something much more ornate and masterful-looking. This guy is a samurai ninja, after all.



Some of you may be thinking about how “Go Prime” is kind of a stupid name. To that, I say, shut up, because Go Prime will wipe the floor with your ass with his beard alone. Putting aside how utterly badass Go Prime’s character is, this toy is actually really awesome. Thundertron was one of the most underrated molds of the Prime line, mostly due to his lackluster colors and the fact that he came out of nowhere and had almost no substantial fiction to support the toy. Go Prime suffers from a similar deficiency of fiction, but what we do know is enough to know that he’s AWESOME. Go Prime’s colors are also a huge improvement over the original mold’s, and he ditches the garbage flip-out-light-up-thing for two pretty cool swords. Also, while my Thundertron suffered from loose joints and flimsy construction, Go Prime is dead solid. If you skipped Thundertron but still want to try out the mold, or you think the mold is cool and would like to have a better version of it that isn’t going for $200, definitely pick up Go Prime.

Where to Buy

You might think that, being Japanese exclusive and an awesome samurai ninja space-time master, Go Prime must cost a ludicrous amount of money. You would be wrong, because Amazon has him for $25, which is practically a steal for this toy.


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