You can't keep Optimus Prime down. He died in the original 1986 Transformers animated movie, was resurrected twice in the third season of the G1 cartoon, and in the decades that have passed, he's become the coolest transforming semi-truck that ever was. Robosen built an awesome automated G1 Prime last year, and just like the cartoon, he's back and rebuilt to be better, stronger, faster, and less expensive. Say hello to Elite Optimus Prime.

First things first. In case you missed Robosen's original Flagship Optimus Prime launch in April 2021, yes it's a legit functioning robot that walks, talks, and transforms. It's built with over 5,000 component pieces and 60 microchips and uses 27 servo motors to move around. That includes driving and steering in vehicle mode, strutting around in robot mode, and transforming between the two. There are lights, sounds, and Prime even talks to you in Prime's voice, because the legendary Peter Cullen recorded 80 phrases that are as commandery as ever.

Robosen Elite Optimus Prime
Robosen Elite Optimus Prime
Robosen Elite Optimus Prime

The new Elite Optimus Prime has all the same features as the Flagship model, right down to smartphone or voice control. It has the same number of parts, performs the same actions, and looks just as good doing it. Actually, it looks a bit better, as the Elite is slightly smaller, more compact, and lighter. In robot mode, it stands 16 inches tall compared to 19 inches for Flagship Prime. That means Elite Prime transforms faster, moves faster, and frankly, that makes us want to part with our money much faster to get one.

On that front, there's more good news. Whereas Robosen's Flagship Optimus Prime sells for $1,200, Elite Prime is available now for $699. Some might consider that pricey, but there are also people thinking about dropping $25k for a Mario Kart watch. And we're pretty sure that watch can't do a hero pose.

Gallery: Robosen Elite Optimus Prime

"We are excited to bring this lighter, more compact Optimus Prime to fans of the franchise," said Sean Tang, director of Robosen USA. "The re-engineered scale offers a smooth, fast conversion, making the Elite Optimus Prime more agile and speedy, which we’re thrilled to once again bring to life for all our fans and customers, through our collaboration with Hasbro."

Looking for more retro '80s car content? Check out the special Knight Rider episode of Rambling About Cars, available below.

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