Weighing in at 1,508 pieces for £149.99 / $169.99 / €169.99, 10302 Optimus Prime – a result of the LEGO Group’s first-ever collaboration with fellow toy industry giant Hasbro – achieves the baseline of any LEGO Transformers set, which is to say that it’s fully able to transform with no rebuilding required. You can switch from Optimus’s robot to truck form and back again seamlessly.
What you can’t do is switch the Autobot to his truck form and then attach it to his trailer, because the Combat Deck (which also stores the wheeled drone module known as Roller) is absent from the 18+ set. Given that already hefty price tag, it’s perhaps no surprise the design team decided not to indulge in the budget required to realise the trailer – but it did cross designer Joseph Patrick Kyde’s mind.
“In my free time I was just roughly sketching out what a trailer would be like for this one,” Joseph reveals during a recent roundtable session. “I will leave that as an exercise to the [adult fans] to build that, because it’s pretty big. Even at a smaller scale, it would be a challenge to do the full trailer. And, of course, if I were to have done the trailer, I would want all the bells and whistles – I wouldn’t want just an empty box of a trailer.
“So, you know, I’d want Roller in there and I’d want the Combat Deck and everything. We considered a lot of things, but the trailer I think was definitely out of the scope of what we wanted to do, which is celebrate Optimus Prime in his most iconic form. He’s a cool truck, but he’s more known for being a robot than for being a truck.”
Joseph’s background is rooted in Transformers – before coming to the LEGO Group, he designed Autobots and Decepticons for Hasbro – so freewheeling a trailer design in his spare time is definitely on brand. If you want to add one to your own copy of 10302 Optimus Prime when it launches next month, though, you’ll need to get your building cap on.
In the meantime, you can plug the gap between now and the release of the official model – which lands on shelves on June 1 – by assembling our miniature version of Optimus Prime, checking out our deep dive into how the partnership with Hasbro came about, and reading our early review of 10302 Optimus Prime.