This $700 Optimus Prime Is The Coolest Transformers Collectible We've Ever Seen
Transform and roll out
There may be no more iconic 1980s cartoon hero than Optimus Prime. Though the character has been reimagined across dozens of iterations, including Beast Wars and the live-action Michael Bay movies, the Gen-1 Transformers look is still the most recognizable iteration of the legendary pop culture character.
Hasbro partnered with Robosen in 2021 to immortalize this version of Prime with its Flagship Optimus Prime robot, notable for a host of functions including a self-transforming feature. Now the two have partnered again to produce the Elite Optimus Prime, a slightly smaller and less pricey version that still delivers the same wow-worthy features.
With slightly smaller dimensions and roughly two-thirds the weight, the Elite Optimus Prime costs $699, as compared to $999 for the limited collector's edition Flagship version. Aside from the slightly larger dimensions, the Flagship version is also slightly faster, and has more remote range and usage time, at the cost of a slightly longer charge time. But with the same functionality and the voice of Peter Cullen, the Elite Optimus Prime is an incredible collectible for G1 Transformers fans.
A Bluetooth-connected app lets you remote control for steering in truck mode, walking in robot mode, transforming between the two, and selecting poses in robot mode. If you're a power user, you can even program your own actions using custom action strings, or by plugging the toy into a PC to hook it up to the Robosen 3D programming software. You can also activate its functions by prompting it with a quick, "Hey, Optimus Prime." Siri should be jealous.
Hasbro sent us a complimentary Elite Optimus Prime robot to check out. The Elite Optimus Prime is available for preorder through Hasbro Pulse. Let's go through some of the features of the collectible and some thoughts on it below.
A unique unboxing experience
The Elite Optimus Prime comes with several layers of unboxing as you uncover individual parts on your way to uncovering Prime himself.
A sturdy foam-padded box with unlocking latches keeps everything secure and doubles as a carrying case if you need to put it away or transport it to show off to your friends.
Immediately upon opening the box, you start to see the layered presentation--Optimus Prime's cab is tempting, but first you should open that Robosen box that's stacked on top of him.
And wouldn't you know it, the box actually holds Prime's two classic weapons, as seen across the series: his Energon-axe and battle rifle.
After removing the weapons accessory box, you can see all of Optimus Prime, along with two other accessory packages. One is the USB cord for hooking the collectible up to a PC for programming, while the other is Prime's two exhaust pipes that attach to the back of the truck cabin.
Those exhaust pipes can remain connected once you've attached them. Both the weapons accessory box and carrying case are fitted to allow for them.
If the legs move a little as you take Optimus Prime out of the box, don't worry. Hitting the power button will make it cycle though a position reset so that it will appear properly in truck form. This also activates the headlights, and the startup sound is Cullen's voice cycling through lines like, "I am leader of the Autobots."
In truck form, you can also drive Optimus Prime using a Remote Control function in the dedicated app.
The marquee feature of the Robosen Optimus Prime is its self-transforming feature. Using a single button in the app, Optimus will change from truck to robot form himself in a matter of seconds.
Once in robot form, Prime will idle with a subtle "breathing" animation as his chest and shoulders rise and fall slowly. You can also control it similarly to its truck form, which will prompt a walking motion. The steps are relatively small for stability, and of course, you'll want to do all this on a stable, flat, uncarpeted surface.
Optimus Prime's eyes are one of many lighted elements in the collectible.
The app has a variety of pre-programmed poses and motions. Keep in mind these are all being performed by the toy itself using controls within the app, without needing to touch the toy to pose it at all.
A classic hero pose.
Optimus Prime doing his best Iron Man landing.
Prime's accessories fit right into his hands, like the battle rifle pictured here.
The Energon-axe has a small spring-loaded compartment that opens allowing it to slide over his hand and then close again so it encloses his fist entirely while held.
Most poses warn you not to have his accessories attached when activating them, but battle-ready poses make use of the weapons. This one, for example, has him "fire" his battle rifle.
On top of the pre-loaded poses and animations, you can also download a wide array of new actions through the app, with video previews.
Using the download function, you can have Optimus Prime rock out to the original Transformers theme...
... or do squats if you need an exercise buddy.