In just seven years, from 1997 to 2004, the number of elements in the company’s inventory exploded, ascending from slightly more than 6,000 to more than 14,200. So did its range of colors, which climbed from the original six (red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white) to more than fifty. As the number of components and colors mounted, soaring supply and production costs plundered the company’s bottom line. Here’s why.
Another release of the Leader Class Optimus Prime figure, now redecoed from the original Revenge of the Fallen Leader Class mold, but with the gimmick-less arms from the Supreme Class retool, and a pair of articulated fingers which was not previously used for the original release. He also retains his pair of Energon Swords and Hooks, and his Knuckle piece. He also retains the fuel tanks that can combine to form his ion blaster. In terms of deco, he features a darker plastic color and paint (which resulted in a two-tone shades of silver & gunmetal), which is meant to go with this line's Jetfire.
"Bot Shots" Optimus Prime had many confrontations with his Megatron counterpart, crashing into each other in vehicle mode and then slugging it out in robot mode. Battle for the Matrix Bot Shots commercial Bot Shots Dragon Track Commercial One Bot Shot Optimus and Megatron belonged to neighbours, and taunted one another when their owners left for school. They both burst out of their respective houses, destroying the windows on the way out and colliding in mid-air. Battle for the Matrix Bot Shots commercial
I have to disagree. Look at our planet. Jagged and rigid is an aspect of primitive technology. Smooth, compact, and protected is an aspect of futuristic technology. Transformers should look more advanced than what we hsve, nor technologically regressive. They have better scientists and millennia of knowledge compared to us. Smooth designs like Knight's are the only ones that make realistic sense in that context of technological progression, even as a life form.

It should also be mentioned that a few years back, I think around 2009 roughly, TLG started using smaller boxes for the same size sets. It was part of a move to not only save money, but also become greener as a company. Because the sets now take up less physical space on the shelf, and boxes with the same number of pieces appear smaller than sets from previous years, it could also contribute to the perception that you are getting less for your money today. In reality they are one and the same product.
After the Great War, Optimus Prime disappeared with other legends into the mysterious location on Cybertron dubbed J'nwan, where Optimus himself became the "Authority" who spoke on behalf of the others. Sandstorm, the leader of a rebellion in a 32nd-century firmly under the heel of the tyrannical Shokaract, entered J'nwan to plead with the heroes of Cybertron's past for aid. He hoped to convince them to join the fight against the Predacon warlord. After a mind-crushing journey which left all of his companions dead or deranged, Sandstorm finally found an audience with the Authority and his brethren, but they declined to help, with the Authority stating that their time was past and the war was no longer their war. The Authority then in some way manipulated Sandstorm's trip out of J'nwan such that it was comparatively short and simple. Paradox
But around the mid-’90s, Hasbro let the trademark for a toy named “Bumblebee” lapse. At that point, the Generation 1 Transformers were almost passé, as they focused on the newfangled Beast Wars and Beast Machines lines. In fact the Unicron Trilogy continuity (mid-2000s) character called Hot Shot was originally going to be called Bumblebee, and in fact had a lot of Bee’s personality traits and yellow color, until they realized they couldn’t use the name. Fortunately, they got it back soon after.
Platinum Edition Optimus Prime was only available as part of a 2-pack with Megatron, named "One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall" after Optimus Prime's famous line in the movie. In the United States and Canada, this set was officially released as an Amazon exclusive. It was also available in several of Hasbro's Asian markets (namely the Philippines and Singapore; it's currently unknown whether it was exclusive to any particular stores there or not). In Australia, it was sold at Myer stores, whereas in the United Kingdom, it was both sold at Toys"R"Us stores and available via Tesco's website (but never found in stores). Surprisingly, it was (and still is) a common find in Brazilian online stores.

The Transformers toyline was created from toy molds mostly produced by Japanese company Takara in the toylines Car-Robots (Diaclone) and Micro Change (Microman). Other toy molds from other companies such as Bandai were used as well. In 1984, Hasbro bought the distribution rights to the molds and rebranded them as the Transformers for distribution in North America. They approached Marvel Comics to create a backstory with names and short descriptions for each character, most of which were written by Bob Budiansky.
Oh, also, I should add that I would like to see if this trend is the same for specific themes, or just over all themes. Although I would guess that the individual themes would show the same general trend you discuss here, one reason individuals might believe in the “price increase fallacy” might be because of the individual themes they support. But again, I think that if you do this, you will find the themes fit the trend as well. If you are looking to go into the numbers more, this might be an interesting area to investigate.

When Starscream attacked a power plant with the aid of his brainwashed ally, Skyfire, Prime carried Grimlock to the scene of the battle on the back of his truck mode. The Enemy from the Arctic During the conflict that followed, Prime's suspicions about Wataru were confirmed when the boy manifested a barrier to protect himself and Bumblebee and to help Skyfire overcome the influence of Starscream's mind-controlling helmet. Wataru was a Booster as well! Wataru's Power His past experiences naturally made Prime hesitant to put Wataru's power to use, but Osamu Kihara made the point that Wataru's power was invaluable for hunting down shards of the Energon Cube. Prime and Wataru headed out to investigate a local relic that Kihara suspected was a cube shard, and Wataru's powers soon confirmed the doctor's findings. Just as Prime was about to report back to Kihara, however, Megatron struck, demanding that Prime hand over both the shard and Wataru. Prime attempted to feign ignorance of Wataru's powers, but Megatron ignored his bluff and encouraged him to hand the boy over, lest he cost another Booster their life. Driven into a rage by the stinging barb, Prime violently attacked Megatron with his energon-axe, but as the duel raged, Megatron continued to question Prime's beliefs and his attitude. Unable to deny Megatron's accusation that he had hoped to use Wataru's power to defeat him, Prime lost his concentration and was taken down by the Decepticon leader. Despite what he had learned about a previous Booster dying, Wataru stayed true to Optimus and activated his powers, healing the Autobot's wounds and powering up his energon-axe into a huge sword. Summoning all his energy, Prime took down Megatron with one almighty slash, then collapsed into stasis lock. Optimus Prime's Secret

In his stronghold, Serpent O.R. questioned Prime about his own worthiness to carry the Matrix, but Optimus broke free of his chains and aggressively ordered him to surrender. The Art of War #4 A group of Decepticons broke in and nearly took Prime apart, but not before Serpent O.R. took the Matrix for himself and changed into the massive Serpentor Prime. The Matrix showed Serpentor Prime the error of his ways but as he was about to commit suicide Cobra Commander tripped a device and took over Serpentor Prime's body. Moments before he crushed Arcee, a severely damaged Optimus Prime threw Hawk toward the Matrix but warned the human not to touch the artifact. Hawk did so anyway and through a quasi-mystical transfer of power Serpentor Prime was vanquished.


The conclusion to the storyline was forestalled when Hasbro retracted 3H Enterprise's license, but an explanation can be found in issue 8 of the Transformers Collectors Club magazine, Cybertron/Robots in Disguise. In this issue, Prime tells the tale of how Unicron's forces were defeated in the last battle by Optimus Primal's forces and Unicron disappeared into the black hole opened in Transformers: Energon. Combined as Omega Prime, they could not escape fast enough, and were sucked into another dimension.
As battles between numerous different Primes and Megatrons erupted quite literally all across time and space, another member of the Convoy Aggregate was later seen battling Starscream, who had been empowered by Megatron to serve as leader of his Questors. This Prime was so surprised by Starscream's uncharacteristic sports car alternate mode that he left himself open for a blast from Starscream's Retroactive Nullifer cannon, which erased him from the timestream. As he faded out of existence, Prime responded to Starscream's taunts about the death of the Alternity by telling him that they were already well aware of their prophesied end and were well prepared. Foreshadows
Transformers: War for Cybertron was released in June 2010 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo DS. The game takes on Cybertron during the Great War between the Autobots, led first by Zeta Prime and then Optimus Prime, and the Decepticons, led by Megatron. Transformers: Cybertron Adventures was released alongside War For Cybertron for the Wii and utilizes the same characters and setting.

Released as part of the "W Convoy" campaign ("Double" Convoy, that is!) alongside a silver chrome version of Energon Rodimus, this gold chrome "Mēki" ("plating") version of the Deluxe size Optimus Prime toy was available only as a prize in a mail-in Robot Points contest. Initially limited to 20 units in the original draw, it appears that many more were made available through toy store drawings, given how many went on to appear on online auction sites through 2005 and 2006.
Partially constructed of die-cast metal, this small three inch figurine of Optimus Prime has a CGI-accurate sculpt compared to the larger toys, owing to the fact it does not need to transform at all. He is sculpted with his Ion Blaster in his right fist, and is articulated at the neck, shoulders and waist. He comes with a small movie-style Autobot sigil display stand.
Alternity Convoy transforms into a 1:32 scale Nissan GT-R, featuring die-cast metal parts, an opening hood, trunk and doors, as well as an interior, complete with his feet and thighs being sculpted to form the back seats. This complex figure stands at 6.5" tall, and is armed with a pair of blasters on each arm. In the hyper-dimensional world of the oft-confusing Alternity fiction, this figure specifically represents the Optimus Prime of universal stream Primax 903.0 Beta.
The first generation Optimus Prime transforms into a Freightliner FL86 cab over semi truck.[3] Within his chest is a mystic talisman, known as the Autobot Matrix of Leadership or the "Creation Matrix", carried by all Autobot leaders.[4] When Optimus transforms, his tractor cab disconnects to become a sentient robot, and his trailer opens to reveal an ion blaster, forming a combat deck.[5] The combat deck supports a mobile battle-station and command headquarters armed with assorted artillery and beam weapons that fire automatically. The combat deck can also serve as a radio antenna for battlefield communications between the autobots. The combat deck also included "Roller", a mobile scout buggy meant to scout behind enemy lines. When Roller is deployed, Optimus can see and hear what Roller sees and hears.[6] Injury to one component is felt by each of the others. If the combat deck or Roller were to be destroyed, Prime could survive. However, despite the slight degree of autonomy they possess, the combat deck and Roller would not be able to survive without Optimus.
The TakaraTomy release of Optimus Prime has considerable differences from the Hasbro release. His blue and red plastics are darker and metallic, his translucent blue plastic is darker, and a few of his paint operations have been omitted and replaced with customer-applied foil stickers, such as his shins, feet, headlamps, and insignias. His legs, outer forearms and truck mode "sleeper cabin" side panels have been retooled to include 5mm post-holes as part of the line-wide "Arms Micron" gimmick. As such, he does not come with the Hasbro version's weapons, but instead an Arms Micron partner named O.P. who transforms into a weapon resembling Optimus's in-show blaster cannon. This version of the mold was also used to make Prime Nemesis Prime.
Part of a cross-promotion between Toyota and TakaraTomy, the deluxe-sized FJ Optimus Prime transforms into an FJ Cruiser, with his axe weapon becoming the vehicle's spare tire. The vehicle mode's body panels come packaged on the sprue, and can then be clipped onto the core figure. The mass retail release of FJ Optimus includes yellow and white panels, whilst further color variations were available when purchasing an FJ Cruiser at Japanese Toyota dealerships. As is typical of TakaraTomy exclusives, these variants came in grayscale packaging.
In robot mode, like Combat Hero Prime, the bottom of the truck became his familiar windowed chest based upon the original Optimus Prime toy. His main gimmick was light up LED headlights, and a lightpipe in the bottom of his right fist, illuminated by an LED in his right forearm, that would illuminate his clear sword or his double-barreled rifle if they were used in that hand. All three LEDs were activated simultaneously by pressing the sunroof-like depression on the roof of the truck.
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