Robosen’s new Optimus Prime is voice-activated, app-controlled and transforms by itself

More than meets the eye
12 April 2021 / 12:20BST

When Transformers first arrived, you could convert them from car to vehicle by flipping them over and positioning their limbs. Today’s Transformers are trickier, quickly transforming owners from placid robot-loving types into rage monsters. The new Transformers Optimus Prime Auto-Converting Programmable Robot – Collector’s Edition ($699.99; shipping October 2021) gets around this in cunning fashion. Drawing on creator Robosen’s experience in crafting high-end transforming robots, this collaboration with Hasbro converts itself, making good use of 27 servo motors to rearrange its 50cm tall form. For 700 bucks, that’d be a cool but expensive gimmick. Fortunately, this Autobot goes further, coming to life as you reel off voice commands and watch Optimus respond by blasting imaginary Decepticons or uttering worthy phrases in Peter Cullen’s dulcet tones. Naturally, there’s an app as well, for programming and customising Optimus – or having him transform, roll out, and check Megatron’s not lurking by your bins.