Buying a transforming robot toy is now a more sensible decision than ever!

Look, we’re not going to waste your time by pretending that we’re too mature to get excited by toy robots anymore. Actually, you could replace “robots” with just about any other word and that sentence would still be true, but we’re especially comfortable with the fact that toy robots are as awesome to us now as they were when we were kids.

So when we got an invite to the offices of Koun Shoji, a company that handles in-Japan sales of Robosen Robotics self-transforming Transformer toys, we were on the first subway to their office in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district.

And no sooner were we inside the door than we were greeted by the two heroes we’d come to see: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee!

With a franchise that has such a long history, it’s important to establish which particular character iterations you’re talking about. All due respect to the various Transformers remakes and reboots, both live-action and animated, that have been made over the years, we were happy to see that these are the original, first-generation versions of the Autobot pair.

What makes these figures really special, though, is that they can move on their own. Starting with Optimus Prime, he transforms on his own at the push of a button.

This is actually Robosen Robotics’ second self-transforming Optimus Prime figure. The first, released a while back, is called Flagship Optimus Prime, but this new version, Elite Optimus Prime, is slightly more compact and a lot less expensive, while still looking awesome in motion.

Actually, Elite Optimus Prime should look better than Flagship even when it’s standing still too. Takara Tomy, the original makers of the Transformers toys, worked with Robosen Robotics on Elite Optimus Prime to bring it even closer to the character’s authentic old-school appearance.

While ordinarily “bigger is better” is the prevailing philosophy among robot fans, Elite Optimus Prime being 41 centimeters (16.1 inches) tall means that while it’s big enough to command respectful attention, it’ll be easier to fit on a shelf than the Flagship, which is 7.2 centimeters taller. It’s also a lot easier on the wallet; Flagship Optimus Prime is priced at 143,000 yen (US$990), while the new Elite Optimus Prime is 89,980 yen. Yeah, that’s not chump change, but considering that Elite Optimus Prime is composed of over 5,000 individual parts, including 27 servo motors and 60 microchips, the asking price is understandable, especially since the robot can learn new motions via the smartphone app you use to control it.

And if you already set aside 143,000 yen to spend on transforming robots? Well, with the money you save by choosing Elite Optimus Prime, you’ll have enough left over to almost completely cover the cost of Bumblebee Performance. Unlike Robosen Robotics’ Optimus Primes, Robosen Robotics’ 59,950-yen Bumblebee doesn’t transform into/out of his vehicle mode, but what he does do…

…is dance!

As with his Autobot leader, Bumblebee is capable of learning new motions and being controlled through a smartphone app. At 34 centimeters tall, Bumblebee requires even less space for proper display, so it’s, honestly, a very sensible purchase.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’d like to get back to looking for precious gems to finance our newly strengthened transforming robot ownership ambitions.

Related: Robosen Robotics Elite Optimus Prime, Bumblebee Performance
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