We have crossover today, and this one has an incredible story behind it. Takara has partnered with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and other organizations to develop an actual transforming robot that will be sent to the moon. To celebrate this moment, they’ve also developed a new Optimus Prime that transforms into a moon rover.
First, let’s introduce the SORA-Q moon lander. The video demonstrates the concept well enough, but essentially the SORA-Q will be dropped on the moon in a compact ball form, then unfold into a mobile robot. Compared to Mars rovers that have relied a whole landing craft covered in airbags, this design looks remarkably efficient. SORA-Q is planned to be sent to the moon this August.
Now of course, there’s no better way to celebrate this event than with a brand new Optimus Prime.
This Optimus Prime transforms into a planned manned moon rover developed by JAXA and Toyota. The vehicle itself is still under development and will not be part of the August mission, but is a more fitting form for Optimus Prime than the SORA-Q.
There will be two versions of this toy. One will be generally available for 11,000 JPY starting in March 2024. Note that the pictured display stand is not included. The second version is a semi-crowdfunded option. Supporters who pledge 11,000 JPY will get the same toy, but they’ll get it a month early in February 2024. Supporters who pledge 14,300 JPY will get the same toy in the same box, plus the display stand, which will be shipped in a separate box. Supporters who pledge 50,000 JPY get all of the above, plus a video message from the Japanese voice of Optimus Prime himself, Tessho Genda. Lastly, supporters who can only give 3,000 JPY will get their names featured on Takara’s webpage here.
You can back the project on Campfire here or wait until March 2024.