Autobots Unite: Optimus Prime visits Destin

Savannah Vasquez

An Autobot came to Destin on Wednesday, and it wasn’t to save a town in peril.

Optimus Prime visited the Destin Walmart to promote the Blu-ray release of the new movie “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

“Walmart is partnered with Hasboro,” said Kelsie Gibbs, account coordinator for Mitchell PR, who planned the Transformers event. “It’s really just to help promote the new movie that is coming out and some of the merchandise that Walmart has.”

Transformers Bumblebee, Hot Rod and Optimus Prime have visited 870 Walmart Supercenter locations across the United States over the past four months, each taking a different region of the country.

“Optimus had the east coast, Hot Rod the west coast, and Bumblebee toured central,” said Martin Boss, tour manager for the east coast leg of the trip. “We typically visit two to three Walmarts per day and we are probably down to the last 15-20 locations left on the tour.”

Wednesday saw the Transformer-mobile pull into the Destin Walmart around 2 p.m., and Optimus Prime was available for photo opportunities until 4:30 p.m. During the event, fans young and old came by to observe the 7-foot Autobot.

“He is my hero,” said a middle-aged German tourist named Daniel Cintron. “We came all the way from Germany to do this,” he joked.

Twelve-year-old Collin Brink, another Transformers fan, was surprised to see Optimus in front of Walmart.

“He’s a cool Autobot,” he said. “I don’t know what to feel. … I’m speechless!”