This is literally the hottest toy news that's happened in a long time-- Hot Toys is doing Transformers!!
So, let's get the first question out of the way: Do they transform? The answer is: no. Takara/Tomy has just recently begun licensing the Transformers brand to other action figure companies, but with one caveat: they can not transform. Takara is the Transformers transforming toy company; everyone else can do licensed toys and action figures, but to avoid them being confused with Takara Transformers product, the other companies can not give the figures a transforming feature.
The second question many people may have-- as I did, too-- is: Why is Optimus Prime wearing parts of Starscream on him?
This one is a bit harder to answer... But, I'll stat with this-- the greatest talent in all of action figure customizing right now has to be Hong Kong. The customizers there have taken things to a whole new level and raised it to a legitimate art form. This mash-up of Optimus and Starscream is exactly the kind of thing that would come straight from the custom figure makers in HK.
That's my theory along with the "story" behind this figure being that Optimus has destroyed Starscream (as evident from the severed Starscream head that he'll be coming with) and is now using his parts to "upgrade" his own form with the ability of flight and additional firepower.
And finally, if you look at the pictures, yes-- and thank god-- the Starscream parts do come off so that you can display an original, "clean" Optimus Prime.
The fact the HT is doing TF is so freaking mind-blowing that I almost though that this was some kind of hoax or custom when I first found the pictures. I absolutely love the direction the HT is taking with this figure; giving him a worn in, realistic look. Clearly, this isn't the clean, cartoon or G1 toy look of the Takara Masterpiece line (which I also love), but rather a battle-hardened, metal warrior. Now, this is how the Transformers should have looked in the movie!
I can only hope that this won't be the first and only figure in the Transformers line from Hot Toys. (What happened to the rest of the Star Wars line, Hot Toys? Why only one figure?? Oh, wait... There's actually some new news on that, too..!) I want to see a Megatron next!!
This was the one figure I was most excited to see at SDCC, but sadly, he wasn't on display. With HT's current release schedule, I can almost guarantee that we've got a solid year ahead of us before Optimus sees a release.
Price and release date to be announced.
Thanks for this pic from a toy show in Hong Kong, it looks like there will be a Megatron Version, too!