Lego Transformers Optimus Prime model actually transforms from robot to truck

Robot, truck, nice bookshelf ornament

Lego has unveiled a brick version of the Optimus Prime character from the Transformers range, which, like the one from the original toy and the version in the 1980s television show, can actually transform from a robot into a lorry.

Created in partnership with Hasbro, the toy company that owns the rights to Transformers, the 1,508-piece Lego model kit depicts the leader of the good-natured Autobots, a band of sentient robots from space who can transform into motor vehicles to avoid detection on Earth, which led to the tagline “Robots in disguise”. The Autobots struggle to save the world (and universe) from their malevolent foes, the Decepticons.

The Transformers franchise started as a toy line in 1984, and the following year became a Marvel comic and animated cartoon for TV, which helped the franchise become a global sensation. In recent years it has been revived through a blockbuster movie series, which began in 2007, and multiple spin-off shows in a number of formats.

Standing 13.5in tall in robot form, the Lego Optimus Prime model kit features 19 points of articulation — more than the original toy from nearly four decades ago — and includes accessories such as an ion blaster, Energon axe, Energon cube and the Autobot Matrix of Leadership (stored in the chest cavity), all of which will be familiar to Transformers aficionados and fans of 1980s nostalgia.

Lego unveils 1,508-piece Transformers Optimus Prime model

Because of those articulation points, the robot model can easily convert from robot into truck without disassembly, and in this form the model is a generally accurate 27in-long rendition of the Freightliner FL86 cabover truck (without trailer) on which the original toy was based.

“It has been an honour and joy to work together with Hasbro to develop a Lego version of Optimus Prime!” said Joseph Patrick Kyde, a senior designer at Lego.

“I am excited to see these two toy companies come together for the first time to celebrate the leader of the Autobots. Optimus Prime has become a pop culture symbol of courage, selflessness, and great leadership as well as an awesome toy that embodies the problem-solving and creativity skills that both companies value so much.

Lego unveils 1,508-piece Transformers Optimus Prime model

“It’s been a wonderful and challenging task to bring him to life using Lego bricks, especially making sure that he can shift modes without disassembly and stay true to his signature look and style.”

This isn’t the first time that Lego has tapped into the Generation-X nostalgia market with previous Lego Creator Expert releases including Ecto-1, the converted Cadillac ambulance from the 1984 film Ghostbusters, and the DeLorean time machine, the looks of which are configurable depending on which Back to the Future film the builder wishes to represent.

With prices of around £150 each and, in some cases nearly 2,000 (usually small) pieces, these Lego Creator Expert kits are very much aimed at adults rather than kids, but once assembled, the models do make a good-looking bookshelf ornament.

The Lego Creator Expert Optimus Prime launches on June 1 and retails for £149.99 at the Lego Store, though is available to pre-order already.

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