I wanna get WfC Optimus and Drift..... how do releases like these work? Do they come out on a specific day... is there an announcement when they hit stores or do you have to be some kinda super toy tracker to time it just right when they hit?
There's unfortunately no regular release schedule for most Transformers releases and no real updates from the source regarding releases. Best option is to just pay attention to Hauls & reports from other fans.
The first wave of the new Generations line (which includes the two you mentioned) are available from most online retailers and have apparently been spotted in some stores but I don't believe they're at "widespread" release just yet-though they should be very soon.