Canon “EOS R5” turned into a transformer!? Comparing the reproducibility of the camera with the real thing

On August 10, 2022, news from Takara Tomy jumped in that not only fans of the transforming robot character “Transformers” but also camera fans were upset. A collaboration product between a transformation robot toy of “Transformers” and Canon’s mirrorless camera “EOS R5” that no one had imagined was announced. Kakaku.com magazine interviewed Takara Tomy in order to delve into the features of this attention-grabbing product. I checked the finished prototype.

*This article introduces a prototype. Some products may differ.
I have a good idea, a collaboration with Canon “EOS R5”! (Convoy Commander)
First of all, let me explain the overview of the collaboration product that realized a unique combination of “Transformers” x Canon’s mirrorless camera “EOS R5”.

“Transformers” are well-known transforming robot characters that are very popular all over the world. Takara Tomy has been working on a large number of transforming robot toys of “Transformers” that can be enjoyed by a wide range of people from adults to children, mainly characters that appear in animation and movies. As a development, we are focusing on collaboration products with other companies and brands. A project that started in 2005, we have collaborated with unexpected companies and brands such as Suntory’s cola drink “PEPSI”, sports brand “NIKE”, and Casio Computer’s shock-resistant watch “G-SHOCK”. ing.

As the latest model, Takara Tomy announced on August 10, 2022, a collaboration product of “Transformers” transforming robot toy and Canon’s mirrorless camera “EOS R5”, also called “Canon / TRANSFORMERS Optimus Prime R5”. The popular high-performance model “EOS R5” among Canon’s mirrorless cameras transforms into “Optimus Prime (Japanese name: Convoy)”, the general commander of “Autobots”, a character representing Transformers. A robot toy. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is 19,800 yen (tax included), and reservations have already started. The release is scheduled for late February 2023.
The rough story of “Transformers” is divided into the righteous “Autobots” and the evil “Decepticons”, and robot life forms fight. If the “Autobot” army’s camera robot appears, the “Decepticon” army is also necessary, so as a limited edition of Takara Tomy’s official shopping site “Takara Tomy Mall”, the optical information soldier of the “Decepticon” army A version “Canon/TRANSFORMERS Decepticon Reflector R5” that transforms into a “reflector” is also available. Again, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is 19,800 yen (tax included), and the release schedule is late February 2023.
What is even more surprising is that it is designed so that the lens can be removed from the camera body, just like the real EOS R5. The biggest feature of an interchangeable lens camera like the “EOS R5” is “the ability to change the lens”, but the fact that this important function is reproduced firmly shows the seriousness of Takara Tomy. Moreover, the details will be introduced in the next section, but the removed lens part functions as the upper body in robot mode. It’s not just “removable”.
The transformation and combination gimmick from camera mode to robot mode is fun!
Next, let’s see how it changes from camera mode to robot mode. The gimmick of transformation and combination is very elaborate, the detached lens part functions as the upper body (head and arms), the camera body functions as the lower body (body and legs), and by combining these, it transforms into a robot.
why camera? Why Canon? I asked the person in charge of Takara Tomy various things
Why is this collaboration a camera? Why Canon? And so on. We interviewed Takara Tomy’s product manager directly.
――I was very surprised when I saw the news release. Why did you decide to collaborate with the camera?

Shirai: Since 2005, our company has been actively developing collaboration products with other companies and brands with the aim of expanding the world view of “Transformers”. So far, we have collaborated with a wide range of genres such as beverages (cola drink “PEPSI”), digital audio players, and watches (shock-resistant wristwatch “G-SHOCK”)។
That’s because in the “Micro Change” series, which is the original form of “Transformers”, five characters with a strong impact were particularly popular: Gun Robo, Radio Cassero Robo, Camera Robo, Microscope Robo, and Watch Robo. These are special to us and to Transformers fans. One of them is the world view of Camera Robo, which I really wanted to realize through collaboration with a real camera.

Ohno Cameras are attractive not only as tools for taking pictures, but also as “things”. I feel that the mechanical parts have something in common with robots, and collaborating with real cameras has been a theme for many years. Personally, a senior colleague at Takara Tomy who took care of me designed a camera robot for the “Micro Change” series, so I thought, “Someday I will be able to repay the favor by realizing a collaboration with a camera with my own hands.” I had a strong desire to

――How did you decide to collaborate with Canon?

Ohno: This project started around June 2020. When I was wondering which camera to base my project on, in July 2020, Canon, one of the world’s leading camera manufacturers, announced the EOS R5. I immediately checked the product page and thought, “It’s a really cool camera, so I’d like to use this camera as a base!” 

About a month after Ohno Shirai put together a draft plan based on the “EOS R5”, when it came to the stage of “let’s proceed with full-scale commercialization”, in fact, another project from Canon I was contacted by I received an offer that I would like to post the maze content of “Transformers” on the print content site “Canon Creative Park” developed by Canon. Great timing, right?

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