Hasbro’s new $700 Optimus Prime toy.
Transformers are some of the most iconic toys around — an action figure and a car! All in one! A true bargain! But as modern Transformers toys have gotten more complex, they have also become an absolutely huge pain to actually transform from car to robot and back again, often requiring multiple shame-filled trips back to the trashcan where you threw it in a fit of hubris. Hasbro is finally fixing that problem. Not by making the toys simpler, but by making them a lot more complicated and expensive in the form of its new $700 Optimus Prime Auto-Converting Programmable Advanced Robot, which thanks to the power of real robotics technology (in the form of 27 servo motors and a mobile app) can actually transform all by itself. The new Transformer is almost breathtaking in its complexity: Hasbro says that the 19-inch figure features roughly 5,000 components, 27 patented servo motors, and 60 connected microchips in order to pull off the automated transforming feature. In addition to a mobile app, the new Optimus Prime toy also features voice commands that allow owners to control the transforming action or drive around the vehicle form by shouting things like “roll out” or “convert.” The downside of owning the first Transformer that can actually, y’know, transform on its own is the eye-watering price — for $700, the new Optimus Prime toy had better be able to fight off actual Decepticons to save the Earth. The new model is being built in partnership with Robosen Robotics, which, as noted by Polygon, has been making suspiciously Transformer-looking motorized robots for years. The new collaboration with Hasbro, though, gives Robosen the chance to bring its skills to an official Transformer product instead of a look-alike. The Optimus Prime Auto-Converting Programmable Advanced Robot is available to preorder now from the Hasbro Pulse website for $699.99. Orders are expected to ship on August 2nd.