The only thing cooler than intergalactic alien robots that transform into muscle cars and big rigs are ones that transform into outdated (but stylish!) mobile phones.
A collaborative effort between phone company au by KDDI and toymaker Takara Tomy, this series of Transformers phones pays homage to designer Naoto Fukasawa’s Infobar cellphone for KDDI au, which debuted back in 2003.
Known for its simple, practical and attractive design, Infobar put the era’s standard clunky flip phones to shame and went on to win several design awards. These days, you can even find it in the permanent collections of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The Transformers Infobar series comes in three models: Megatron, Bumblebee, and, of course, Optimus Prime. Unfortunately though, you won’t be able to make calls or text with these phones since they’re only toys, but a host of other features should make up for it. Each phone includes, for example, interchangeable display cards, a mini mobile accessory, and Bluetooth-activated LED lights that illuminate when receiving calls on your other more-useful-but-less-retro-chic phone.
The project is currently accepting backers on the crowdfunding website Makuake, where it has already reached its ¥1.2 million goal. In fact, pre-orders (accepted until the end of March) are totalling over ¥14 million at time of writing. A single phone-transformer will set you back ¥5,000. Expect to see these “robots in disguise” on the streets of Tokyo soon! Just don’t try to make a call with one of them.