The 2013 New York Comic Con kicks off this weekend, and we were fortunate enough to be invited to check out some of Hasbro's upcoming toy lines. Though there were many fun things on display at the unveiling event, the biggest feature was no doubt the first entry from the Transformers: Age of Extinction line, which was none other than Optimus Prime - a very different Optimus Prime than we've previously seen in Michael Bay's Transformers movie saga.
Check out photos of the new Optimus Prime below (quality isn't the best, we apologize):
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As you can see from the photo of Optimus in vehicle mode, the design of the toy is very similar to official photos of the new customized truck that Bay is using for vehicle Optimus in the movie - meaning that for better or worse (you decide), that robot design is also pretty close to CGI robot character we'll see in the movie. One notable accessory is the new sword and shield that Optimus uses; in vehicle mode they become a pretty sweet rear guard cannon. Definitely hope that's featured in the movie.
The design of the robot mode definitely showcases something of an anime influence; in fact, this new Optimus isn't too far off from some of the anime-influenced design seen in the Transformers Prime cartoon series. One particular piece of artwork captures the new Prime's likeness impeccably:
Age of Extinction is all about new transformations (pun). We've discussed the reasoning why a number of times on our SR Underground podcast, and what it boils down to is that while the Transformers movie sequels have all done well at the box office, the accompanying toy lines have not been as fortunate. Since the first three films ostensibly recycled the same primary robot characters (with new additions here and there), the toy lines have been trying to sell similar action figures to a public that craves what's new and different.
When looked at that way, it's easy to see - from a marketing standpoint - why we're getting a re-designed Optimus and possibly an changed Megatron (aka Galvatron) - and major new characters like Drift or The Dinobots as well. Even trusty old Bumblebee is getting a makeover, in order to help Hasbro and Bay (who collects on every toy sold) make a bigger profit. If we get an improved storyline and film along with that... cool.
Transformers: Age of Extinction will be in theaters on June 27, 2014.
Be sure to stay tuned for more of our New York Comic Con 2013 Coverage!
Transformers Prime art by John Giang