That’s what immediately came to mind when I first saw this Mickey Mouse Transformer (and I also thought if Minnie Mouse and Optimus Prime had a child, it would look something like this).
And it’s Japanese. Yep. It seems like the Japanese have come up with another cool thing that we folks in the U.S. can’t enjoy without importing it (a costly import I might add). I could easily see this thing for sale at Disney shops or whatever (do those stores still exist?). I wonder what they’d call him. Optimus Mouse? Mickey Prime? There’s no name on the package (at least not written in English), so I think we should call him “Mechy Mouse” (thanks for the great pun, Mike).
Here’s a look at Mechy Mouse in his robot form. You can see the robot has elements from Mickey Mouse’s design – the shorts with the big buttons, the white gloves, and the plump cartoony shoes.
Takara has managed to stay true to the original Mickey design elements while still giving it a robotic twist. The only real addition are the wings, which really make this robot that much cooler.
He’s pretty detailed, but his transformation isn’t really that complex (that’s not a bad thing).
Now let’s see his truck form.
The truck form actually seems a little more cartoony in style than the robot. I’m not complaining. It actually looks like a cartoony truck you’d see in an animated Mickey Mouse short (you know, if he were just hired to drive a big rig cross-country).
One of the coolest and most charming parts of this toy is the miniature Mickey Mouse that directs the robot and drives the truck. I love how he’s just riding on the head commanding the impending doom of Donald or Goofy or someone (probably Minnie).
What’s great is Mickey’s change in costume. When he’s riding the robot, he’s in a full space gear, helmet and everything, but when he’s driving the truck, he’s actually wearing a trucker’s hat. Ha! So great. (I don’t know why that amuses me so much.)
Also, note that he’s driving on the right side of the truck. That ain’t no American truck.
The toy is pretty detailed and has a great paint job. It’s not super-articulated or super-poseable, but he still looks nice, is well-built and has tiny surprises like the miniature Mickeys and other details like the poseable robo-visor.
I was even surprised by the inclusion of the mouse-themed Autobots logo.
Oh yeah I forgot to mention some stuff. This toy was released by Takara Tomy in collaboration with Disney in March 2009. It was actually the second of its kind. The toy you’ve just seen is the Monochrome Edition. (I think the toys were related to the 25th Anniversary of Transformers. There’s a little “25 Years” icon on the box.)
The original version of the Mechy Mouse toy which was released a few months prior to the monochrome one. Instead of the gray, black and gold color scheme, it actually has a full-color paint job reminiscent of Optimus Prime’s red, blue and gray color scheme. I think it looks pretty nice, but I still favor the monochrome version. It just seems a bit more “classic,” “darker” or “badass” or something.
I wonder if the two versions are supposed to reflect vintage Mickey vs. modern Mickey. Makes sense.
I know this toy can be seen as a “sell-out” kind of thing for Disney or Takara. I think there’s a big divide by fans out there that don’t want their chocolate Disney to get mixed with their peanut butter Transformers.
Some fans are even knit-picking the fact that if this was a “true” Transformer, it wouldn’t have to be controlled by Mickey. Therefore it’s just a lifeless machine, so it’s not supposed to be Optimus Prime. Gimme a freakin’ break. It’s a damned toy (and a fun one at that). You might as well say something like, “I sure as hell hope his truck doesn’t have a manual transmission, because Optimus is an automatic.” Who cares??
I honestly think it was this unexpected pairing that made me pick the toy in the first place. I don’t give two craps about Mickey by himself (or do I?), but when he’s a 30-foot-tall robot that transforms into a semi-truck, you have to admit, it’s cool and fun.
The toy may seem a bit costly (retail price is $50 or so) for a casual fan of Transformers or Disney stuff. I’m a very casual fan, but this Mickey/Transformers combo toy really just pulled at my weirdo heartstrings.