Epic self-transforming Optimus Prime is now smaller and cheaper

In early 2021, Transformers fans all shared a joint sigh when Hasbro and Robosen debuted a 19-inch-long Optimus Prime toy that can transform from a truck to a robot and back again, all alone. It was an engineering marvel, a fantasy that came true for countless 1980s kids, and nearly two years later there’s now a new and improved version that knocks a few bucks off the steep price tag.

The Robosen Elite Edition Auto-Converting Optimus Prime is almost identical to its predecessor unless you get to it with a tape measure. The original collector’s edition or flagship version was 19-inches tall, while the new Elite Edition benefits from a few years of continued miniaturization of the electronics and grows 16-inches tall instead.

The Robosen Elite Edition Auto-Converting Optimus Prime strikes two well-known heroic poses.

Image: Robosen

Almost everything else is identical, down to the 5,000-plus components that go into the robot, including 60 microchips, 27 servos, and accessories like Prime’s blaster and energy ax that can be swapped out as needed. It also still features 80 different phrases recorded by Peter Cullen, who voiced the character in the original 1980s animated series.

The Elite Edition Auto-Converting Optimus Prime is still most easily controlled by using a companion smartphone app to trigger one of 43 different commands, such as “convert” and “roll out”, or by the movements of the robot manually while walking in robot mode or driving around in its Freightliner semi truck mode. Voice commands are also an option, but the consensus of reviews of the original auto-transforming Prime seems to indicate that the robot wasn’t as good at following verbal commands as modern smart assistants.

The Robosen Elite Edition Auto-Converting Optimus Prime in robot mode and the Freightliner semi-truck mode.

Image: Robosen

There are several reasons for choosing the new Elite Prime over the original, the most obvious being that you may not really have a choice as the first release is out of production, so when stock runs out Hasbro Pulse and Robosen are sold out, that’s all. The other reason for going for version two is that at $700, it’s $50 cheaper than what the original Collector’s Edition Prime originally sold for at launch, and $500 cheaper than what the remaining Collector’s Edition Primes are selling for now, after a significant price increase to $1,200 today. The new Elite version will also be available for purchase from a wider range of retailers, including Entertainment Earth, the BigBadToyStore, Costco and even Amazon, so the chances of discounts or cheaper shipping will be improved.

Unfortunately, the equally impressive and expensive $750 Transforming Trailer Accessory is only compatible with the original and larger Collector’s Edition version of the toy, so if you’re hoping for that complete set, and haven’t ordered one yetyou will now have to cough up nearly $2,000 for the pair.

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