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Self-transforming Optimus Prime now has a $1,700 Dinobot friend

Self-transforming Optimus Prime now has a $1,700 Dinobot friend

How much would fans pay for the ultimate action figure? It looks like a company called RoboScene is determined to find out – with Transformers toys that transform themselves, just like in the classic cartoon.

First, it was the $750 self-converting Optimus Prime robot, then its accompanying $750 converting trailer — a grand total of $1,500 to bring the leader of the Autobots to life.

Now, Hasbro and RoboScene are introducing Grimlock so you too can own the King of the Dinobots for only $1,700.

The result is amazing. Thirty-four servo motors make a spectacular transformation and allow Grimlock to walk, talk, attack and even pretend to breathe in both Dino and Humanoid modes. He also comes with a light-up Energon sword and a light-up Galactic Rocket Launcher, powered by his own button batteries as well as pre-programmed actions that use them to explode and bite simulated enemies. does for.

This robot also plays the role, with over 150 "Me Grimlock" voice lines recorded by original voice actor Greg Berger. You can ask him to talk to you about the Autobots and Decepticons, dance for your birthday, and otherwise with up to 42 voice commands. There's even a "Start Programming" line that lets Grimlock execute a whole series of requests in one line.

But my favorite is "Bite" - you get some solid T. rex neck and chopper action, plus a loud red belch at the end.

And did I mention this robot charges over USB-C now? RoboSen says the 2,500mAh battery should take 90 minutes to charge and provide 90 minutes of play.

I'm just a little confused that, two years later at twice the price, RoboScene and Hasbro haven't addressed one of the biggest limitations I had with that original Optimus Prime — the ability to stand reliably on a shelf while the robot is powered up. of its capacity above. No - Discontinued. Unfortunately, it requires servo motors to operate in order to keep it from falling.

Like Optimus, Grimlock has little or no awareness of his surroundings. It will happily throw itself off the table, and my unit can't move in a straight line or turn effectively. You still can't use it on carpet without putting it on the robot's face, or worse, and it still moves with the same slight shuffling motion instead of taking actual steps. I wouldn't dare let the kids touch it when it's performing a task as it may decide that one of its many joints is out of place, something that always requires a full reboot to fix . Is necessary.

Robosense's apps also haven't changed much in almost two years. It still seems half-baked. The direct remote control interface is similarly slow, the robot is still really sensitive to what joints you can pose without triggering a reboot, and the block-based programming interface has a huge learning curve without any tutorials.

Mostly, I was frustrated by the many bugs and Bluetooth disconnections, each of which required me to reboot the robot again. Eventually I gave up and decided to stick to voice commands, which is actually better than Optimus - not Alexa/Siri/Google Home grade, but it can hear me until I say "Hey Grimlock" Waking up After that I wait for a long time. Words before proceeding.

It's still a hugely impressive toy, and I have to admit that RoboScene has some time to go before launching this toy this fall. Mostly, I'm just getting sticker shock. The company told me there are several factors behind the increased price, including 26 percent more motors, 46 percent more chips, more change steps in the program, more labor costs, more packaging, premium materials, etc. — but it's hard to say. Find out from the experience of use how much it costs. For now, Robosense will start selling it at a promo price of $1,500.

I'd further like to see the company build on a new robot platform like it did with Bumblebee, but even more... transformative.

I'm really looking forward to trying out the company's Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, if that's still in the works.

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