After months and months of speculation, one of the craziest LEGO sets is now officially revealed. Here’s your very first look at LEGO 10302 Optimus Prime, which will be released on LEGO.com on 1 June 2022 globally.
Whoever thought that LEGO and Hasbro would work together to craft a G1 Optimus Prime made out of LEGO bricks, but here we are. In many ways, despite having built the set, I’m still in some form of disbelief that this is actually a thing.
Transformers and LEGO fans, you’re in for an absolute treat. Yes, it transforms. Yes, it’s a G1 Optimus Prime, and yes, this is going to be one of the best-selling toys of 2022.
Autobots, let’s transform and roll out to the review.
See below for regional pricing and links:
- 10302 Optimus Prime [US] – US$169.99
- 10302 Optimus Prime [AUS] – AU$259.99
- 10302 Optimus Prime [UK] – £149.99
- 10302 Optimus Prime [EU] – €169.99
- 10302 Optimus Prime [CA] – CAD$219.99
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
10309 Optimus Prime – Set Details
Name: Optimus Prime
Set Number: 10302
Price: AU$259.99 | US$169.99 | £149.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK] [Amazon]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores initially
Theme: Creator Expert
LEGO Designer: Joe Kyde
Release Date: 1 June 2022
The question on everyone’s mind is how. How do two competing toy brands, both of whom are legendary in their own right, set aside their differences and collaborate on a toy like this.
In a roundtable interview with the set designer, Joseph Patrick Kyde (aka Joe Kyde), we learned that it was actually Hasbro who approached LEGO with the idea to do a LEGO version of one of the most iconic toys/cartoon characters of all time.
Like many Transformers fans, I was immensely relieved to see that it was a G1 (Generation 1) version of Optimus Prime, and not a Michael Bay one (phew) – but the G1 which is the most loved version of Prime was always on the cards, and was part of the original brief.
Here’s a look at some parts of the Instruction manuals, which has an introduction to Optimus Prime, and a short bio of Senior Designer Joe Kyde.
Fun fact, Joe used to work at Hasbro designing transformers, and was intimately familiar with not only designing Transformers toys, but Optimus Prime.
Here’s a sequence of work in progress shots during the build. At 1,508 pieces, I think it’s the perfect size, and something that you can knock out in about 2 hours.
The build was a LOT of fun, and I was surprised that it didn’t involve a lot of Technic. If you enjoy building mechs, you’ll enjoy putting this set together, and see how the transforming mechanism comes together.
Be like me, and rewatch the 1986 Transformers: The Movie while building this to get psyched up, and trigger happy childhood memories of watching the G1 cartoons.
Here’s the completed model – Optimus Prime in all his blocky, LEGO glory. It’s an absolutely stunning model, and unmistakably a G1 version of Optimus Prime.
First impressions of the finished model is that it’s really tall. Standing at about 32cm high, it has plenty of display presence, and definitely makes an impact when you realise just how big it is.
If you collect Transformers, it easily dwarfs many Optimus Prime releases (even Masterpiece-sized ones), so yes, it definitely makes a huge statement, and I love just how large and imposing it is.
Thanks to Dave Holder for loaning me some of his G1 Optimus Primes for this photo – the Optimus Kreon, and G1 re-issue are my own.
First, let’s take a look at his truck mode. In true G1 fashion, Optimus Prime comes without his trailer, and the semi-trailer is remarkably accurate.
The large windows, drum-lacquered silver grills, and overall blocky nature of it is translated really well here. The blocky aesthetic is definitely helped because it’s made out of LEGO.
Here’s the Truck mode side profile, which again, has really accurate proportions.
At the back, you’ll also see Optimus Prime’s Ion blaster tucked neatly into a gap between his legs, a really ingenious technique that Joe made sure to sneak in.
Now, the fun part. I’m sure you want to see how Optimus Prime transforms. Here’s a quick video showcasing the transformation sequence from Truck to Robot.
The most impressive thing about the entire model is how simple and transforming sequence is. It doesn’t require you to remove any parts, and the entire sequence takes about 2 or 3 minutes, quicker once you get some practice in.
You will need to practice, but after a while, it becomes effortless to switch prime between his Robot and Truck form, whichever you feel like.
Some of the sequences are a little fiddly, and you can expect parts to fall out – for me, the head always popped off when transforming, which was quite annoying.
Here’s a look at Optimus Prime’s upper body, which is really impressively done. The two rectangle windows on his chest are really accurate, and even his slim waist is captured well.
There are 2 options to customise Prime – you have a stickered tile where you can either choose a “toy-accurate” tile, or a cartoon-accurate version, which you can switch up as you please.
For me, the weakest part of the build, and what stops me from giving this set a perfect score is Optimus’ head. The proportions are very off.
While I do like that the eyes are printed (on the side of a plate), and the middle crest is a printed tile too, the proportions just seem a little off to me. The mouth part looks weird, and it’s too tall at some angles, and just feels very flat.
Oh and you can also pop open his chest to reveal the Matrix of Leadership stowed inside, for the Autobots to light up in their darkest hour.
A very impressive part of the model, is the sloped abs. Designer Joe Kyde said in an interview that this was his proudest achievement to get that subtle angle right, which mimics the G1 toy.
And yes, those Autobot tiles on his shoulders! A sensational move, and even though this set has stickers, I’m so glad that this is a printed element.
The other printed tile is the yellow arrows, which are found on his arms.
Optimus Prime’s Ion Blaster is lovingly re-created here, and attached to his arm via some studs. It’s really elegant, and as a bonus, his hands also has the illusion of gripping it, which looks great.
Here’s a look at his stickered thighs, and I think the most incredibly designed section of the model, his legs and feet.
Unfortunately, he has no knee articulation, unlike the original G1 toy, but it’s not really a deal breaker. With the new Ninjago mech hips, you can spread his legs apart slightly, to give him a bit of an action pose.
Update: Unfortunately, and this is a huge mistake by LEGO – they made a mistake on the box art and instructions. The stickered tile on Optimus Prime’s legs are upside down – compare against the cartoon/toys and this is really evident.
Thankfully, you can just flip it around to fix it, but it’s super sloppy from LEGO, especially after the UCS Gunship fiasco.
Another really cool feature, are these orange rubber nubs on the soles of his feet, which add grip and stability to the model.
Oh, and these wheel decorations are printed as well.
Here’s Optimus Prime from the back.
For accessories, Optimus Prime also comes with a red jetpack, which he swiped from Sideswipe, losing his cool before getting shot out of the sky by the Decepticons.
Other accessories include Optimus Prime’s iconic Energon Axe, which slots into a Technic hole in his arm.
Here’s a look at the accessories, which also includes a block of Energon, and the Matrix of Leadership.
And here’s a look at the stickered UCS-esque tile, which has Optimus Prime’s stats on it, just like what you’d get from the back of the toy packaging.
And here’s Optimus Prime with the original reissued G1 Optimus Prime for a comparison.
What I liked:
- It’s a LEGO Optimus Prime
- Transforms really easily
- Printed elements like the Autobot logo
- Very tall and display-worthy
- It’s a LEGO Transformers set
What I didn’t like:
- Some stickers
- Head and abdomen can be a little fiddly when transforming
- Proper chromed elements would be nice
- Head proportions and looks are a little odd
Transformers fans who grew up in the 90s and were enamoured by the Autobots and Decepticons will need no convincing to buy this set.
This is a G1 LEGO Optimus Prime that’s so close to perfection, and delivers in absolutely every category. It works as advertised, transforming effortlessly from truck to robot, giving fans a really large, and imposing Optimus Prime that they can proudly display.
The Transforming element being so simple, really sets this model apart. Unlike a lot of LEGO Creator Expert sets that are mostly used for display, you are encouraged to pick this one up, and transform it between forms and boy is it ever fun.
Joe Kyde has done an exceptional job, capturing all the blocky G1 aesthetics so well, that in many ways, it looks better than some Hasbro Transformers toys. Being a really large model gives it immense display presence, and the colours are lovingly adapted – I just wish we had actual shiny chrome parts!
This is a remarkable set, and will make so many fans happy, and it’s just stunning that we live in an age where a LEGO Optimus Prime set will be available to purchase, and that LEGO and Hasbro are working together.
I imagine this will be one of the best commercial successes this year, and mark my works, if you want this set, you’re going to need to buy this at midnight, or queue at the LEGO Store when it launches on 1 June 2022, because it will sell out in record time.
This set has made me so happy, combining 2 of my childhood loves. As a kid, my family could never afford an Optimus Prime (I had a Starscream, Bumblebee, Prowl, Cliffjumper and Skywarp), but now, I own a LEGO version… and in this process, had to pick up a reissued G1 version for a side by side photo.
If you’re a fan of mechs, or Transformers, you don’t need me to tell you to go out and get it. While there are flaws, and it kills me not to give it a perfect 5/5 score, it is a 5/5 set in my heart.
Rating and score: 4/5 ★★★★✰
Build  – So many cool techniques, and it was fun seeing Prime come together
Real Value  – Pretty pricey, but I’ve learned that in the world of Optimus Prime and Transformers.. this is pretty cheap.
Innovation  – Transforming effortlessly, it’s just incredible that LEGO pulled this off so well
Coolness  – It’s a LEGO Optimus Prime. Enough said,.
Keepability  – This is an all-time great set, and you’ll never want to put LEGO Prime away.
Thanks for reading my review of 10302 Optimus Prime!
LEGO Optimus Prime goes on sale from LEGO.com on 1 June 2022.
What do you think of LEGO Optimus Prime? Are you going to pick this one up?
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review