There is ‘more than meets the eye’ to Jason Morgan

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

Transformers are a line of popular toys that change from one form to another. For example, Optimus Prime can change from a good-guy robot into an 18-wheeler.

Jason Morgan is a huge fan of Transformers, and his life mirrors the art. There’s more to him than meets the eye, as the Transformers motto says.

By day, he’s the Deputy Election Clerk for Greenbrier County. By night, he transforms into Patriot Prime–Transformers expert-extraordinaire. 

“For years I hid the fact I collected toys,” says Jason. “But once I put it out there, I met an amazing group of friends of different ages, races, religious backgrounds, and political beliefs.” He says none of their differences mattered. They were instead brought together and developed lasting friendships “because of those plastic robots,” he offered with a smile. 

Jason believes that if people would be honest about what brings them joy and focus on what they have in common, it would be a better world. 

It all began with a comic

On the wall of Jason’s toy room, there’s a framed copy of Marvel Comic Issue 3 from October 1984 with Megatron on the cover alongside Spider-Man. (For those unfamiliar with Transformers, Megatron is the top bad-guy and leader of the Decepticons, who work to take Earth from humans and their allies the Autobots.) 

It was Jason’s first comic, and he’s been hooked on Transformers ever since. “I fell in love with the characters first,” he says, “and then the toys.” Over the years, Jason collected Transformers toys from shops and online purchases. 

He kept his hobby hidden for years. Until he was working Security at The Greenbrier in the early 2010s. 

“All of my team was ex-military and ex-law enforcement,” he remembers, “and we were all gamers.” 

On nights off, they’d play together online while their families slept. One team member suggested they livestream their games for others to watch on the internet. They asked Jason to put it on his YouTube page. 

“I don’t have one,” he recalls telling them. “I dare you to make one for those Transformers you’re always talking about,” they said to him. So that’s exactly what he did. 

‘Patriot Prime’

Jason began offering video reviews of Transformer toys under the name “Patriot Prime,” which is what people began calling him after they saw his Optimus Prime arm tattoo. 

“When Lisa and I turned 40, we both decided to get tattoos to commemorate the event,” he shares. “I decided to get Optimus Prime carrying the American flag as a tribute to my time served in the military and my love of Transformers.”

Shortly after getting that tattoo, he attended first Transformers Convention in Charlotte, NC. “I wore a tank top,” he says, “and everyone loved my tattoo. One person kept calling me Patriot Prime.” And the name stuck. 

Today, Jason has 16,500 followers who watch his videos regularly, send him gifts, and come out to meet him at Transformer conventions. 

Here’s how it works. He either pre-orders Transformer toys from the internet or finds them at brick & mortar stores, reviews them for his channel, and keeps his followers informed on the latest toys. And you might wonder, who would watch those videos? 

Transformer Convention Orlando 2023

Jason just returned from TFCON Orlando last week. It’s a huge annual gathering of Transformers fans that meets throughout North America each fall. 

“There are (toy) dealers, voice actors, artists, YouTubers like myself, and fans from all over the world,” he shares. 

And Jason is a hot commodity at TFCON due to the popularity of his YouTube channel, Patriot Prime. 

“It was surreal, people running up to me to shake my hand, take pictures, and get autographs,” Jason reminisces. “From all walks of life, too. We had one guy tell us that our humorous take on things helped him get through some dark times during the lockdowns.”

We asked Jason what the market for Transformers toys is like these days? “Transformers is still going strong!” he says. “There are figures aimed at collectors, children, and even third party offerings not aligned with Hasbro that make unbelievable figures. The only problem is distribution, which takes some of the fun out of hunting for new figures in stores.”

But it’s not just places like Orlando that host conventions. Jason says Huntington, Charleston, and Beckley all host comic conventions these days due to the increasing popularity of pop culture items. 

“My takeaway is if you have something you enjoy doing, just do what makes you happy,” Jason suggests. “You can really get to know some amazing people.”

For more information, visit Jason Morgan on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/PatriotPrimeReviews.

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