A Look at the Transformers Merchandise!

As Transformers fans worldwide know, June 2nd is the date that all the movie merchandise officially hits shelves. But Hasbro gave Superhero Hype! a sneak preview of what’s to come.

Earlier this week a large Transformers box arrived at my house. Needless to say, my 5 and 2 year old sons thought Christmas had arrived early. As you can see, even the box itself was cool. It featured both Optimus Prime and Megatron on it. You had the choice of opening the Autobot side or the Decepticon side. Once open, you got a letter with info on the merchandise and a large photo of the Transformer of your choice.

My kids quickly dove into the swag and the first thing to get opened was “Optimash Prime”, the Transformers version of Mr. Potato Head. He was already changed into Darth Vader before “Revenge of the Sith.” Now he gets the bizarre Transformers treatment. Though it seems like the most bizarre merchandising item imaginable, kids love them. “Optimash” has already been battling the Potato Head Spider-Man and “Spud Trooper” in our household.

Next to be opened was the Optimus Prime Voice Changer. Much like the Darth Vader voice changer, a kid puts on this helmet, pushes a button, and you hear dialogue, sound effects, or you can change your voice. (Geek Note: The Optimus dialogue is not done by Peter Cullen, but the transformation sound effect is from the cartoon.) When you transform your voice, an adult voice sounds practically unintelligible. Kids sound like Kathleen Turner speaking into a fan. As you can see in the below photo, the helmet looks pretty cool. My son is also wearing an adult’s Decepticon shirt. It features Barricade’s “To Punish and Enslave” police car logo.

That leads to the “Optimus Prime Battle Rig Blaster”. This thing transforms from a truck to Optimus’ arm and blaster. It shoots foam darts an incredible distance. As I sit typing this, my 5 year old shot his older sister in the neck with it. No wonder it’s his favorite of the Transformers items. (And yes, he’s in trouble for shooting his sister. It’s not the Autobot way.)

Also included was a Leader Class Optimus Prime. Now let me say that I had many of the original Transformers and I have a masters degree in engineering. However, it took me about 45 minutes to transform the thing the first time. I’m proud to say I’m down to 10 minutes now. And though fans are complaining that Optimus has flames on him in the movie, the toy looks pretty cool in person. If Hasbro can turn Optimus into a gorilla, I think flames are forgivable. Also included were Barricade and Swindle (from the video game). The kids misplaced the directions for transforming Barricade and the below photo shows the current hopeless state he’s in.

The boys next opened up the Transformers Combat Fighters: Megatron vs. Optimus Prime. They’re kind of like Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots on sticks. You turn a knob and knock the crap out of them until you hit your opponent’s button and blow him up. My son and I played against each others for about 10 minutes with no winner. Several sore knuckles later, I beat my 5 year old and that wimp Optimus Prime. Megatron rules!

There were a few other smaller items in the box that the boys didn’t care about, but most notable was a novel and comic book. The novel was “Ghosts of Yesterday” by Alan Dean Foster. (Foster wrote the original Star Wars novelization.) It is the prequel to the film and details mankind’s first contact with the Transformers in the 1960’s. There’s a lot of Transformers action here and you learn a lot of details that are in the film (like why Bumblebee doesn’t speak). Also included was the prequel comic book by IDW. It tells the story of how Megatron disappeared and ended up in the possession of the US government. While the comic issues are sold out, a trade paperback collecting all 4 are on the way. You’ll want to check it out.

So there you have it! There is a LOT of cool movie merchandise out there to keep fans of all ages happy. Be sure to hit your stores June 2nd!

Paramount/DreamWorks’ Transformers hits theaters on July 3. You can watch Hasbro’s new commercial for the toys here.

Source: Scott Chitwood