The phrase, “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain” comes to mind with Hasbro’s latest addition to its Transformers toy line, as longtime Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, is now trading his alternate truck mode for a dart-firing Nerf blaster.
Megatron, the leader of the opposing Decepticons in the Transformers world, is now best known for transforming into tanks, spaceships, and various other vehicles of war. But the original Megatron toy, which debuted in the US in 1984 as part of the G1 Transformers line, transformed into a very detailed replica of a Walther P-38 pistol, complete with accessories like a scope and a silencer. Even in a gun-zealous country like the United States, Megatron’s much debated and short lived original alt-mode still helped make it very clear he was a Transformers villain, but the times, they are a-changin’.
As part of the marketing machine behind the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts sequel, which hits theaters on June 9, Hasbro revealed a Unicron-sized mountain of merchandise today, including this new Optimus Prime figure that, for the first time, does not transform into some kind of truck.
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Instead, in 13 steps, Prime goes from robot mode to a single-shot Nerf Blaster, with an extra spot for storing one of the two included foam darts, and an integrated targeting scope—but don’t expect a lot of accuracy from a blaster like this. It’s designed primary for kids, with a relatively easy transformation process and a minimal amount of power. If the Autobots are hoping that Prime copying Megatron will finally give them the edge to conquer the Decepticons for good, they’re probably going to be as disappointed as moviegoers walking out of the theater after seeing Rise of the Beasts.
The Transformers: Rise of the Beasts 2-in-1 Optimus Prime Blaster will be available starting on April 10 for $20.