Transformers fans, rejoice! Hasbro is releasing a $700 Optimus Prime toy, and it’s got all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a collectible that costs as much as my rent. With that kind of price tag attached to it, it had better be able to bring me beer, too.
The news comes to us from Hasbro (via The Verge), the toy company behind this wildly successful multimedia franchise. According to the trend-setting toymakers, the toy uses real robotics technology to transform on its own. Additionally, The toy’s full title is Transformers Optimus Prime Auto-Converting Programmable Robot – Collector’s Edition. A mouthful, right? Let’s just stick with “expensive Transformers toy,” shall we?
You can get a full picture of what this Optimus Prime toy can do in the two-minute YouTube video below. This is the best way to see the actual transformations in action.
Hasbro released the first Transformers toy series in 1984, a stage of the toy line’s evolution that eventually came to be called “Generation 1.” This first generation of Transformers toys ran from 1984 to 1990 and included an animated television series titled The Transformers and an identically titled comic book series. That series spawned Japanese, British and Canadian spin-offs. Optimus Prime remained a constant throughout this continuity, and quickly became a staple of the franchise.
Michael Bay’s oft-maligned live-action Transformers film franchise showcased incredibly complex character designs, poorly written human heroes, and plots and story beats that would make even the most forgiving moviegoers scratch their heads. Optimus Prime’s design was overly complicated and far too detailed, a not-so-welcome deviation from his minimalistic ’80s design. Still, those movies ended up becoming massively successful, proving that this decades-old franchise still has legs. And arms. And a transformable body.
Fortunately, this toy seems to honor that original design. That’s not to say it will not be maddeningly complicated, but at least it gives off an approachable impression. Hasbro has given collectors an idea of just how complex this beast of a toy is. It’s a 19-inch Optimus Prime figure that comes complete with around 5,000 components, 27 patented servo motors, and 60 connected microchips. All of that is needed for its most attractive feature: the fact that it can transform all by itself.
Regardless of where you stand on the Transformers franchise, you have to admit that this is an impressively designed collectible. Optimus Prime has made Hasbro a ton of money, so it stands to reason that the company would want to capitalize on that success even further.
Still, though, the exorbitant price on this Optimus Prime toy may discourage most fans from purchasing it. It isn’t exactly cheap. Granted, it still likely will not stop Transformers die-hards and money-hungry scalpers from snagging one. Hasbro is, after all, one of the world’s premier toy makers, so everyone familiar with/heavily into collecting is probably very tuned in to the company’s biggest releases.
Hasbro’s website currently lists the Optimus Prime collectible as “sold out.” If you did not get to one fast enough, fret not! More may be available in the future. If you were among the lucky ones who were able to shell out $700 for a self-transforming Transformers toy, you will likely get it sometime this summer. Orders will begin shipping on August 2.