There is one aspect not looked at in the price and that is the shift to model building vs. creation leading to a change in the utility of the pieces. I seem to need many more sets to get a useful variety of pieces these days as many of the sets contain a lot of pieces that are very specific to the needs of the set and are less useful when one wants to create their own designs. It would be a fascinating addition to rate each of the block types on its utility, perhaps by its prevalence in other sets, and then assess each set on its total utility score. So then the question is how many sets would you need to by to achieve different levels of utility and how has this changed over time.
This TakaraTomy Asian market-exclusive Leader Class two-pack consists of a redecoed Jetfire and a slightly altered Buster Optimus Prime. Buster Optimus Prime is almost identical to the single-pack Japanese release of the toy, but unlike the standalone Buster Prime, has a head with a faceplate, itself containing more paint details than the first release of Revenge of the Fallen Leader-class Optimus Prime. The flames are outlined with light blue instead of white for accuracy to the physical truck prop (though it ends up being inaccurate in robot mode). Jetfire has a subtle, more movie-accurate colour scheme.
Convoy iPod Docking Bay pulls an all-white trailer of similar proportions to his vintage G1 load, with rear wheels and discreet propping feet so it can also stand alone. The trailer transforms (sorta), by rotating a substantial wedge of its full length 90 degrees, kinda like a rectangular Rubik's Cube. This exposes two small speakers and "reveals" an alcove (although a huge gap is still clearly evident in trailer mode) featuring an electronic port in which to plug an iPod or iPod nano, thus becoming a working iPod dock. The dock features three working buttons; power, volume up and volume down, as well as an Autobot sigil indicator light. Included is a wall-plugging (Japanese) A/C adaptor with a long lead that plugs into the reverse of the trailer.
Released as part of the Allspark Power refresh of the movie line, First Strike Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of Voyager class Optimus Prime in a colour scheme based upon Generation 1 and Classics Optimus Prime. The included toy bio describes this coloring as Prime paying tribute to the markings he wore as a young soldier when the war began. Due to the transformation scheme, this figure actually ends up being less like its G1 counterpart in robot mode, a sacrifice made for the slavish redeco of the vehicle mode. You can't have your cake and eat it too, folks.
The subject of Bumblebee’s voice is a bit of a complicated matter. Just as he was the second Transformer ever seen on the original TV show, he was also the second to speak and did so in the loud and clear voice of Dan Gilvezan, who voiced him throughout the original series and animated movie. But by the time we get to the first live-action movie, he could only talk via audio clips because, according to a prequel comic, Megatron had destroyed his voice capacitor during a battle on Cybertron.
Inspired by a 1985 special limited release of Optimus Prime with bonus Pepsi decals for his trailer in the US market, Pepsi Optimus Prime sports an egregious number of new new Pepsi-themed paint masks and decals, as well as an entirely new trailer unit, specially designed to carry a single 500ml-size bottle (a common size in Japan), three 350ml cans, or 12 bottle caps (bottle cap figurines being a common and popular collectible item in Japan).
A very limited number of Gold Masterpiece Convoy figures were given away in a Lucky Draw contest in Japan. The figure uses the same design as Masterpiece Convoy, but every piece, including the windows and weapons, is cast in a gold color, reminiscent of his electrum coating from the episode The Golden Lagoon. The only exception is the tires, which remain black rubber. It comes packaged in the usual Masterpiece Convoy box, with the only telltale sign being the gold lettering in the "Master Piece" label. It's not clear how many were made, but it is thought to be no more than 10 or 20.
Optimus Prime is usually depicted as being a member of an ancient Transformers race called the Dynasty of Primes, often receiving the title "The Last Prime" in many stories, in which he is depicted as being the last of the Primes. In the Transformers: Covenant of Primus, it was established that Optimus Prime was the last born of the original Thirteen Transformers. It was his unique spark and his inspiring reassurance that "All are One" that allowed the Primes to rally and succeed in their battle against the Chaos Bringer Unicron. When tragedy at last ended the era of the Primes and brought forth the new race of lesser descendant Transformers he alone chose to be reborn in the Well of All Sparks as one of them, that he might know them and their needs more completely. All memory of his past life gone, he took the name "Orion Pax" and sought his way like any other robot on the new world becoming Optimus Prime once more when receiving the Matrix of Leadership when Cybertron faced a new enemy in his former friend, Megatron and his army of followers, the Decepticons. This brings a Great War to their planet of Cybertron. Optimus's origins and personality can vary depending on which "universe" he's seen in. This origin is the most consistent between the various incarnations. Further differences are listed in the respective sections below.
On the battlefield, there are few who rival Optimus Prime's prowess. He is easily the strongest of any Autobot his size, and his ion blaster and energon-axe are deadly weapons. He would sacrifice his life to protect his fellow Autobots or those under their care and does so on a regular basis. His compassion for other sentient beings is his only real weakness, and one the Decepticons have taken advantage of time and again... though it's also the source of his strength!
Part of 9th wave of One-Step Changers, and the first of the Combiner Force subline, this Optimus Prime is yet another new mold, with a different transformation scheme (a similar engineering to Age of Extinction's Bumblebee) consisting of pulling the switch on the back (do not hold the truck kibble when you transform him). Like most One-Step Changers, Optimus Prime features limited articulation on the shoulders, and features 5mm compatible hands.
Later, the Transformers were all transported to Cybertron by Primus to battle Unicron. Although Unicron had tainted the Matrix after killing Thunderwing, Prime managed to reacquire and purify the Matrix. Prime then sacrificed his life one more time to destroy Unicron by plunging the Matrix into his maw. The Powermaster process, however, had been working to fully bond Prime and Hi-Q. Prime's death completed the process, and the two minds and souls became one. Hi-Q's biomechanical body was stripped down and reconstructed by the Last Autobot, resurrecting Optimus Prime once more with the two minds now one. Prime rejoined the other Transformers on the planet Klo and routed Bludgeon's Decepticons.
Realizing that the planet is dying, Optimus orders a mass evacuation of all Autobot cities, but many transport ships are destroyed by the Decepticon satellite Trypticon, under orders from Megatron that no one shall leave the planet. He orders the Aerialbots Jetfire, Silverbolt and Air Raid to fly and destroy Trypticon. The aerial trio manages to destroy Trypticon's jet pack and send the Decepticon behemoth crashing into Cybertron, where Optimus Prime and the Autobots band together to narrowly defeat him, sending him plunging into a pool of raw energon. Optimus and the remaining Autobots volunteer to stay and defend Cybertron from Megatron for as long as possible while the rest evacuate the planet. He commissions a massive vessel known as the Ark to transport the remaining Autobots into space when the time comes.
Marketed as a reissue of Powermaster Optimus Prime, this Toys R Us-exclusive Commemorative Series figure is in truth based on the Ginrai tooling on the toy that had previously been exclusive to Japan. It features a die-cast metal cab with translucent blue windows, and shortened, chrome smokestacks, and comes packaged with the drone Apex Bomber (formerly Ginrai's partner Godbomber), who splits into several components and combines with Prime to form "Apex Armor". As with all other Commemorative Series figures, Prime's new spring-loaded missile launcher featured an elongated missile.
If Optimus decided to send the lead team to attack the Decepticon headquarters, the team managed to infiltrate the Decepticon headquarters by using Beachcomber’s knowledge of the secret doors’ location, and Brawn’s strength to keep the doors opened. The Autobots then stormed the fortress, and Optimus maimed Megatron himself with a shot of his rifle. He then grappled the Decepticon leader, and forced him to lead himself, Inferno and Beachcomber to the Decepticons’ lab. There, the Autobots disabled and destroyed the Destruction Beam device, captured Megatron, and left many Decepticons permanently maimed. Though they later traded Megatron back to the Decepticons for the safe relief of the Autobots captured in Center City, the Autobots were ultimately victorious that day.
Optimus had Bumblebee and Huffer plant false information to mislead the Decepticons. As the Autobots were in need of a new power source, he sent Cliffjumper to find Doctor Heath Blaisedale and had to apologize to the doctor after Cliffjumper kidnapped her. Persuading her to help them, the Autobots traveled to the solar plant to make use of her solar reactor, only to find the Decepticons were already planning to attack it. While the other Autobots re-energized, Optimus protected them from an attack by Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp. Ravage abducted Blaisedale as a diversion, forcing Optimus to lead a team and rescue her. When the team returned, the plant was already under attack and Optimus helped the Dinobots drive them off. Unfortunately the Dinobots totaled the plant in the process, and Optimus promised Blaisedale the Autobots would help her rebuild. In return, Blaisedale organized a meeting with the President of the United States so the Autobots could forge an alliance. Sun Raid (Listen 'n Fun)
The first Unicron Trilogy Optimus Prime toy transforms into a longnose truck cab of made-up model. His clear-plastic smokestacks can detach and form a double-barrelled pistol that he can hold in robot mode, and a button on top of his head causes his mouthplate to jiggle up and down as if he were talking (the irony being that while this was a familiar trait of G1 cartoon Optimus Prime, in the Armada animated series, this Prime's mouthplate remained static when he talked). He can also hold a large cannon that is stored within his trailer, and his chest flips down to reveal a (non-removable) Matrix of Leadership. He is packaged with his Mini-Con partner Sparkplug.
This exclusive redeco of Optimus Prime features darker shades of red and blue than his other releases and has extensive paint applications to resemble his on-screen appearances in The Last Knight, particularly his Nemesis Prime alter ego seen in the film. To that end, he features movie-accurate flame patterns, which are larger and more elaborate then the ones on the regular release or the SDCC exclusive, on his vehicle mode exterior and robot pectoral armor. His eyes and sword are also painted metallic purple, but his shield is completely unpainted for some reason.
Tomica Optimus Prime is a die-cast non-transforming toy of his truck mode from Prime. It was sold as part of the "Dream Tomica Series", a subline featuring exclusively fictional vehicles. Like all Tomica toys & all Generation 2 GoBots and Spychangers, Optimus Prime features smooth-rolling axle/wheel construction that lets the toys be quickly zipped along smooth surfaces. However, they do not convert into robot mode.
The figure's transformation scheme is based on the original G1 figure, the only differences being that the fists are not removed but become the headlights, and instead of flipping backwards inside the chest, Diablock Convoy's noggin flips forwards with the aid of opening chest windows. A "laser rifle" in the shape of his ion cannon can be built from black bricks, and stickers bearing the Autobot faction symbol can be placed on his shoulders, although this is not recommended as it is designed to permanently stick to multiple tiles which dislodge easily and may damage the sticker.
Prime's homecoming was not all he had hoped for, for Shockwave had taken control of the planet. Prime and the other transformers were forced to go underground, waging a guerrilla war against the Decepticons. Around this time, Cobra would attempt to steal Teletran-3, but their attempt to teleport directly into the chamber would set off a catastrophic malfunction, one that threatened to crack open time itself. Optimus Prime and the Stunticons were amongst those who found themselves sent back in time. Optimus was reformatted into a 1920s semi-truck and was eventually rescued by Roadblock, Beach Head and the Baroness, who helped him capture the Stunticons.
A non-transforming model kit of Optimus Prime by Takara Tomy, sold exclusively in Japan. The kit comes with a pre-assembled inner frame that features a high rate of poseability similar to Master Grade Gundam model kits. The kit comes with two swords and two different sets of attachments for them: one set for the forearms and the other to replace the hands. Pre-ordered units of the first batch came with battle hooks.
Micromasters teams have teamwork ratings instead of ranks. Unlike the other ratings, teamwork seems to be split along faction lines, with Autobots typically holding higher teamwork ratings than Decepticons. A second unique spec value, Cooperation, replaced the Firepower rating used on individuals' cards. The traditional order (as above) was also abandoned for the Micromaster team specifications.
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He next appears in Transformers: Energon, the only time during the Unicorn Trilogy where Prime is not the main protagonist. In Energon, set ten years after Armada, he is no longer able to combine with his trailer. Instead, he has been gifted with the Spark of Combination by Primus, allowing him to combine with the quartet of vehicular drones in his trailer. Fire One, Copter Two, Digger Three, and Submarine Four, can each form either an arm or a leg when they combine with Prime, creating his super mode. Later, Prime gained the ability to combine with fellow Autobots Wing Saber and Omega Supreme, the latter case creating Optimus Supreme.
Voyager figures all feature a spring-loaded MechTech-style transforming weapon, partially constructed from translucent plastic, which lights up via LED when the weapon is deployed. The figures themselves also feature translucent plastic, so the moving LED creates the image of energon power "flowing" from the character's bodies into their weapons. This worked better in theory than in practice. Internally, these figures were referred to by Hasbro as "Powerizers".
Through the years, there have been many action figures made in the likeness of the original incarnation of Optimus Prime, some of which have been featured in fiction, others of which have not. Additionally, some toy makers have made unlicensed toys in his image or accessories for the existing toys. The original 1984 Optimus Prime toy was part of Takara's 1983 Diaclone toy line named "Battle Convoy". It was designed by the creative design team of Hiroyuki Obara, Shoji Kawamori, famous for his work in Macross, and Kohjin Ohno. The toy's characteristics, such as the head design and the use of the cab front as the upper torso, have become design elements in nearly every incarnation and variant of Optimus Prime. This particular toy has been reissued multiple times, mostly to commemorate the anniversary of the Transformers franchise. Optimus Prime was also released as an Action Master and Powermaster toy in the original Transformers toy line.