I’m not really sure when tensegrity structures and consumer goods started to become a thing, but it looks like the Transformers brand is joining the fad with its recent announcement of an Optimus Prime set that comes with a tensegrity base. But before we go into what the set comes with, I believe I’m not alone when I asked this question. What’s a tensegrity structure? Fortunately, there are a lot of YouTube videos that answer this question.
In a nutshell, tensegrity (or tensional integrity) is a kind of structure with stable equilibrium through the combination of the seemingly opposite tensile and compressive forces. These results in structures that look they shouldn’t work but they do.
As for the actual Transformers set, we have Optimus Prime (of course) which is a recolor of the Transformers Kingdom Ultra Magnus mold. It’s usually the Optimus Prime mold getting the Ultra Magnus recolor so it’s nice to have things happen in reverse this time. It doesn’t come with a trailer but I assume it’s compatible with the one that came with the Earthrise/Kingdom Voyager Class Optimus Prime. What the set comes with is the actual tensegrity base.
The tensegrity base comes disassembled in runners while screws and a nylon string is also included for the actual tension/compression component. Optimus Prime comes with a silver and clear base though there are also red/clear Autobot-themed and purple/clear Decepticon-themed tensegrity bases sold separately.
I’ll probably get this just for the Optimus Prime figure.
Transformers Anti-Gravity Tensegrity Base Optimus Prime Set
March 2022 / ¥6,800
Order from HobbyLink Japan