We’re back for the second part of our look through some of the weirdest examples of when Optimus Prime *didn’t* turn into a truck, in celebration of his new outing as a licensed Canon camera just this week.
Be sure to catch up with part 1 before continuing below!
#10: Alternators / Kiss Players / Binaltech
So, I guess this counts as a truck if you want to be a bit literal about it, but still, it’s not the classic type of truck we all think of when we imagine Optimus Prime, is it? In 2006, the Autobot leader was brought to life in perfect 1:24 scale as a licensed Dodge Ram SRT-10 as part of the Hasbro Alternators line and Takara’s controversial Kiss Players line-up. He was brought back for a redonkulously hefty diecast metal Binaltech release in 2008.
#9: BotsBots Coffeemus Prime
This 2019 BotBots release is just what you need to perk you up! Available as part of the San Diego Comic-Con 2019 exclusive “Con Crew” 10-pack, ‘Coffeemus Prime’ is a repaint of Latte Spice Whirl and turns into a takeaway coffee cup! He features a cardboard ‘mask’ to give the character the look of the classic Autobot leader, which rather niftily doubles as a heat sleeve for his alternate mode. Some will argue this is technically a different character doing some kind of Optimus ‘cosplay’, but I think he blends in pretty well.
#8: Transformers Go! Optimus EX Prime
Released as part of the distinctive Triple Combination: Transformers Go! line in 2014, this Japanese figure sees Optimus reimagined as a triple changer with bullet train and dragon alternate forms! The toy itself is pretty bonkers but features all kinds of gimmicks, including LEDs and sound effects for good measure. One to get on board with.
#7: Disney Label
I’ll be upfront and say I almost didn’t include this 2009 Disney Label effort, as you could argue that this toy *does* have a truck alternate form… but what the hey, it’s so weird, it just has to be represented. Besides, if we’re going to get pedantic about it, this isn’t even Optimus Prime at all, but a massive transforming Mickey Mouse mecha done up in the Autobot leader’s classic colour scheme. That by itself raises more questions than anything.
#6: Captimus Prime
Someone will tell me this isn’t Optimus Prime either, as yes, it’s Captimus Prime! Anyway, we all know who it’s meant to pay homage to, with this 2012 ‘capformer’ giving his best impression of our favourite hero. Oh, and no, just like the shoe Prime, this thing isn’t wearable, with the reason for that becoming apparent once you see the size of it – it’s tiny!
#5: FJ Cruiser × Transformers
Here’s another vehicular Optimus that isn’t a truck, with this 2013 collaboration with Toyota turning into a licensed FJ Cruiser instead! This figure was released in multiple colour schemes and featured the ability to add or remove the various vehicle panels from the core robot body.
#4: Alternity / Mission GT-R
I mentioned the 2015 Q-Transformers toy in part 1, but 2009’s Alternity design was the first instance of Optimus Prime becoming a licensed Nissan GT-R. This figure may be smaller than its Binaltech predecessors, but at 1:32 scale, it still packs in a fantastic amount of detail, faithfully recreating the car from all angles, including the interior! It’s also worth giving a shoutout to the heavily-modified Mission GT-R retool because it’s one of the most gorgeous Transformers alternate forms of all time.
#3: Gari Robo-kun
How to explain this one… Firstly, yes, this isn’t really Optimus Prime; it’s Garigari-kun (aka ‘Mr Crunchy’), the mascot character for a Japanese brand of ice lollies. However, for this Transformers collaboration, he’s doing such an excellent job at cosplaying as Optimus that it would be a shame not to throw it into the mix, right? Besides, it is a transformable toy, converting from lolly mode into his Gari Robo-kun humanoid form, complete with plenty of nods towards the Autobot leader. Suck on that.
#2: Xiaomi Power Bank
I know some of the designs on this list have been a bit strange. However, I’m not sure many of them compete with this penultimate entry, as in 2017, Optimus Prime was reimagined as a transformable electronic power bank in conjunction with Japanese tech firm Xiaomi. The alternate mode itself is odd, but get this – it actually works! Yep, this baby can support 6500 mAh of battery power, making it one of the more functional entries here, too. You got the poweerrrrrr, yeah!
#1: My Little Prime
Is this Optimus Prime? Does this even count as an alternate form? I don’t even know anymore. All I can say is this non-transformable 2020 My Little Pony crossover is REAL, and it’s strangely adorable. How could you say neigh?
So that’s our list! Which one is your favourite?