As longtime camera makers like Nikon and Canon struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing market filled with competition like smartphones, there’s at least one way to boost the sales of dedicated cameras: partner with Takara Tomy and make them transform into fan-favorite Transformers like Optimus Prime.
Transformers toys are arguably one of the original pop culture mashups, pairing the appeal of towering robots with everything from exotic sports cars, to fighter jets, to even dinosaurs. Over the years, we’ve also seen consumer tech and robots-in-disguise partner up to create everything from a functional Optimus Prime phone charger, to Soundwave transforming into a tablet.
Nerds and geeks are a lucrative target, and as originally spotted by the TFormers blog, first as leaked images and then in an official reveal by Takara Tomy, the Transformers have teamed up with Canon for a couple of collectibles that could be as hard to find over here as they are to resist.
Here, an impressively detailed but sadly non-functional Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless camera that could easily pass as the real thing (were it not a slightly smaller scaled down replica) instead converts into a highly-articulated Optimus Prime figure who even uses the camera’s lens cap as a shield and comes with his own matching-scale snapper.
And for those who prefer to root for the baddies (the Decepticons could all fly, so why wouldn’t you choose team Megatron?) an alternate version of this collectible will also be available, with the Canon EOS R5 instead transforming into the Decepticon Reflector, who was, as many longtime fans may remember, the first Transformer with an actual camera as their alt mode.
Pre-orders are available now in Japan until September 28, with each bot going for just shy of $150. However, they won’t be officially available until February 25, next year, which is when many of us will have a chance to try to find them extremely marked up on eBay or through an online store happy to ship them overseas for a premium.
Update 8/10/22 at 12:23 PM ET: This article originally referred to the Canon EOS R5 as a DSLR when it is in fact Mirrorless. This has been corrected.