In "Mission Accomplished", Optimus is pressured by Sentinel to tell Ultra Magnus that his story about the Decepticons is untrue, but he refuses. Meanwhile, the on-board computer plots a train infused with a shard of the Allspark. When Ultra Magnus and Jazz set off there, Optimus suspects that the Decepticons are luring them into an ambush and rushes to their help, though Sentinel Prime tries to detain him. At first, Ultra Magnus doesn't believe him, but a short time later, Optimus is proven right as Starscream falls from the sky after being blasted by Megatron, much to Sentinel Prime's astonishment and fright. Starscream turns out to be alive, inflicting injury on Ultra Magnus. Optimus takes the affair into his own hands momentarily and, with Sentinel's aid, manages to apprehend the Decepticon. While Sentinel Prime deflects Starscream's shots with his power-shield, Optimus succeeds in taking Starscream by surprise and handcuffing him. When the shackled Starscream is delivered to the Elite Guard spaceship, Ultra Magnus admits Optimus Prime was right and allows him to stay on Earth in order to seek out the other fragments of the Allspark.
As the Autobots were having trouble with Rumble, Optimus Prime told them try to use his earthquakes to their advantage, which led to the end of the Decepticon. Prime subsequently ordered the Aerialbots to combine and save Grimlock and Roadblock from falling off a cliff. Wolves As they got closer to the Cobra Terrordrome, however, Prime started regretting getting the Autobots involved with the humans' war. He offered to carry G.I. Joe across the water separating them from the Terrordrome, but told them that Autobots only fight if they have no choice, and they had no reason to fight anymore. Moments later, he saw that Cobra were using innocent prisoners as human shields, and Duke added that anyone who Cobra didn't enslave, they murdered. Filled with righteous anger, Optimus Prime ordered his troops to roll out. Trenches
Optimus led the search for the AllSpark through space, but he and his troops were unable to locate the artifact. Though the search seemed hopeless, Optimus assured the others that they would not give up until Cybertron's last hope for survival was found... At that moment, a strange green pig crashed through one of the ship's windows, with the AllSpark in tow. Optimus stared in bewilderment at the strange creature as it asked for a ride back home. Hard Boiled
A Toys "R" Us exclusive, the U.S. release of Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy by Hasbro does not come with the detachable trailer, but is offered with his Targetmaster partner Offshoot (renamed from Firebolt due to trademark issues) and a remold of Optimus Prime's Matrix of Leadership, which does not fit in his chest. Like the Takara Tomy version, a smaller Matrix that fits in his chest is included. While the Japanese version is based on the animation design, the Hasbro redeco bears a closer resemblance to the original G1 toy. Parts of the figure's legs have been re-engineered after owners of the Japanese version complained that the hinges of the leg armor easily broke off. Masterpiece Rodimus Prime was first offered at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Toymaker Fischer Price was the knight in shining armor on this one with the creation of their Power Wheels line. At first, Power Wheels vehicles were very basic with small electric motors and rudimentary Jeep-like styling. Now, Fischer Price has unleashed a car that says "When I grow up, I want to be too rich to care about the environment." This giant bastard comes with tinted windows, a set of dubs and even a fully functional FM transmitter which, no doubt, blasts shitty radio static through its real-live rear subwoofers.
The Transformers Energon figure pen is based on Optimus Prime in his standard Energon body. About the size of a scout class toy, he transforms from truck mode to robot mode almost identically to his mainline toys, apart from the fact that his feet contain the pen and cannot bend. It's really hard to write with, and almost impossible to pose, even though it has full arm articulation. Amusingly, this figure can position itself to transform into his super robot mode (by flipping his helmet on, opening his chest and flipping his hands in), but because there are no versions of the Prime Force drones in this scale, it's impossible to complete him.
Based on the Classics toy line, the Timelines 2007 story is set 15 years after the end of the Marvel Comics story (ignoring all events of the Marvel UK and Generation 2 comics). According to exclusive bio information in the Transformers Collectors' Club magazine #15, Hot Rod followed Optimus Prime back to Cybertron from the Planet Klo. Once back, Hot Rod took up racing, but after a while found it pointless. Optimus Prime assigned to help organize the millions of Cybertronian refugees who returned to their home world. Hot Rod chaired the Cybertron Grand Challenge race, a race which featyred combined Autobot/Decepticon teams. With his maturing Hot Rod changed his name to Rodimus and was chosen to return with Optimus Prime to Earth to stop Megatron. Optimus Prime returned to Earth commanding Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Grimlock, Jetfire, Mirage and Rodimus. When the Cybertronians Skyfall and Landquake arrive on Earth unexpectedly, Megatron attempts to destroy them, but Optimus Prime and his Autobots are able to drive Megatron away. Rodimus is wounded on a mission with Optimus Prime, before being brought back to the Autobot base.

Optimus and his Autobots were aboard the Ark, on the run from the Decepticons. With him, Optimus had what Megatron was forever seeking; the AllSpark! With the ship taking heavy damage from the Autobots' pursuers, Optimus ordered Jazz to take them into an emergency quantum jump. Jazz informed Prime that the jump would take longer to initiate than the time the Decepticons would need to board their vessel. As such, Optimus entrusted the AllSpark to Bumblebee while he and the rest of the bridge crew steeled themselves to hold off their enemies. Thanks to Starscream breaking rank in the Decepticons' formation, Optimus was able to hold back Megatron, and with Heatwave's help, repel them from the ship just as it initiated the quantum jump. However, at that moment the AllSpark tumbled off-ship, falling into the quantum tunnel and seemingly being lost for good... Angry Birds Transformers #1
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.
The actual events of the Autobots and Decepticon coming to Earth were never printed by Dreamwave comics, but flashbacks of the events are printed later. These flashbacks suggest that the Autobots allied with humankind and defeated the Decepticons at the turn of the century. They planned to return to Cybertron aboard the newly constructed Ark II, but the ship was destroyed as part of a military conspiracy to take control of the transformers. A terrorist organization, run by the enigmatic Lazarus, was able to seize control of several of the Transformers that fell back to Earth while the U.S. military was occupied with locating Prime's body. Before his departure, Prime had entrusted a small portion of the Matrix to Spike Witwicky, who was forced by the product chief, General Hallo, to use it to reactivate Prime. Functional again, Prime used the Matrix to reactivate more of his fallen comrades, and then faced off against Megatron in San Francisco.
General Hawk stated in an interview that his typical transportation in Axiom Nexus was his Convoy colleagues. As the seats of General Optimus Prime's vehicle mode were manufactured at the same location as the VAMPs of his universe, Hawk was able to find a degree of familiarity in the strange world of Axiom Nexus. Andromeda - Axiom Nexus News, 2016/05/01

Not long after his resurrection, Optimus was alerted by Monitorus to an attack on Tau-Ursa. Optimus's impending speech was interrupted by a Decepticon attack led by Sixshot. Prime soon discovered that the attack was a diversion, while Galvatron tried out his Nullification Cannon on Cybertron's Energon supplies. Optimus rushed to the Energon plant, but, after clouting Slugslinger so hard that the Decepticon was left dangling over a precipice, Prime's morals forced him to rescue the Decepticon instead of stopping Galvatron from getting away.
There is also a smaller "Legends of Cybertron" Micro sized version of this Optimus Prime, without a trailer, and a Burger King Kid's Meal toy, again without a trailer. There is also a rotating sucker holder version of Cybertron Optimus Prime. Later releases of the Leader class and Micro class Optimus Prime were repainted in darker colors, supposedly representing Optimus Prime after the television story. This toy is called Galaxy Force Optimus Prime. A special metallic painted version of this toy was included with Megalo COnvoy in Japan.
Part of the third wave of 2012-onwards Generations Legends Class toys, Thrilling 30 Optimus Prime is a new mold that is roughly the same size as a Cyberverse Commander Class toy. Both his truck and robot mode are based on his Don Figueroa-designed body from IDW's ongoing series, and features 5mm-compatible hands and roof. He comes with an Ion Blaster which has both 5mm and 3mm posts.
Takara's release of Optimus Prime the following year made a few changes, noticeably replacing the gold paint and plastic of the Hasbro toy with bright yellow and much brighter gold. The deco has been tweaked to be a bit closer to the original prototype glimpsed in early catalogs, with yellow added back to cab Prime's feet and the cab grill painted silver, and the Super Mode's waist getting much more paint. This version of the figure was never burdened with the mobility-inhibiting shoulder tabs. Completing the Super Mode combination triggered a new clip of Prime shouting "Convoy, ready for battle!" in Japanese instead of generic mechanical sounds. Late in the run, JUSCO stores offered this toy with blind-packed "Space Galaxy" versions of the individual Destruction Mini-Con Team members, one toy per box.
In 2004 the LEGO group was in trouble. They were losing money and losing market share to other toys and entertainment products4.  In order to address some fundamental issues in their business, they needed to cut costs. Leading up to this crisis, LEGO bricks had been adding new designs and colors without consideration for the cost to the business. LEGO went through a large reorganization and cut the production of unique elements in half, the variety of colors in half, and the number of suppliers by 80%. This, in addition to an increase in licensed sets and an expansion into video games, saved the LEGO Company.
Early in the war, when he was still known by the name Orion Pax, the Autobot who would one day be known as Optimus Prime was ordered by Zeta Prime to escort the Decepticon Prisoners Wrack'n'Ruin in a prisoner exchange, while accompanied by Nightbeat and Alpha Trion. As the group made their way through the Rust Spot, they encounter Slicers and had to fend them off. Orion Pax and his group eventually made it to their meeting spot with the Decepticon Bludgeon, only to be ambushed by the Decepticons. In the confusion, Alpha Trion was taken prisonner, and Orion Pax set off to rescue the elderly Autobot. He and Nightbeat succeeded in returning Alpha Trion under the protective custody of Zeta Prime, but Orion was himself captured in turn. Strapped to a shuttle aimed to crash into Iacon, Orion's fate seemed uncertain. Orion's Gambit
This Japanese-exclusive black-and-gold redeco of First Edition Voyager Class Optimus Prime was available exclusively at the fourteen stores taking part in the Cybertron Satellite promotion. It depicts Prime coated in an alloy reverse-engineered by Ratchet from MECH equipment that protects Optimus against Dark Energon and other techno-biological hazards.

Excellent article. Especially for pointing out how different we remember things from ‘when we were kids.’ (I swear Optimus Prime was two feet tall!) My only criticism is linking to those two Brickset articles about supposed “quality decline”… the headlines are sensationalist and inflammatory, and a LEGO rep eventually replied to the spurious claims with information that deflates much of the (somewhat unfounded) criticism. Also the comments give me a headache. Otherwise great stuff!

Rodimus was seen in the season 3 "Transwarped" special, leading his team in defending a Space Bridge from Strika's "Team Chaar". His team was overwhelmed, and Rodimus is infected with Cosmic Rust, courtesy of Oil Slick, putting him out of commission. According to Derrick J. Wyatt, Rodimus is back on Cybertron de-rusting. He can later be seen on Cybertron cheering for Optimus Prime and his crew for defeating the Decepticons in "Endgame, Part II".

Optimus once considered having the unruly Dinobots shut down before they could accidentally cause damage, but they proved their worth during a sudden Decepticon attack. S.O.S. Dinobots When the Insecticons gained enough power that they'd be able to overrun Earth in seven days, Optimus Prime was forced to negotiate an alliance with the Decepticons in order to defeat them. Harvest of the Insecticons Following the disappearance of Grimlock and Swoop, Optimus attempted to stop the other three Dinobots from attacking the Decepticon base, and was mauled for his trouble. The distraction at least allowed Wheeljack to take a scan of the rogue Dinobots. Day of the Dinobots - Part 1
This Japanese e-Hobby exclusive is a redeco of Targetmaster Kup, made to represent the character [[Optimus Prime#The Transformers cartoon|Orion Pax]] from the cartoon episode War Dawn. He transforms into a Cybertronic pickup-truck thing. His truck bed has a peg-hole to mount his partner Barrelroller, who also serves as a hand-held weapon. The set also came with a re-deco of Wheelie as Dion.
Part of the fifth wave of Kabaya's revival of the Transformers Gum series, this snap-on transforming model kit of War for Cybertron Optimus Prime is sculpted from red, light blue, and gray plastics, and uses stickers for detail. He comes with a blue non-transforming version of his hand-held blaster rifle, which mounts at the rear in vehicle mode. He comes packed with a model kit of Tigerbreast, and a stick of gum.
Optimus Prime is also among the characters who appear in the flash game TRANSFORMERS CVBERVERSE Battle Builder Game.[21] Optimus Prime is one of the Autobots featured in Transformers: The Ride at Universal Studios theme parks. In the ride, Optimus fends off against the invading Decepticons at N.E.S.T. headquarters while telling Evac to escape with the AllSpark shard. He battles Megatron throughout the ride until Megatron is killed by Evac. Optimus then congratulates Evac and the riders for protecting the AllSpark.
IDW's Transformers Collectors Club exclusive comic story, Revelations part 6, is set after the defeat of Galvatron, but before Optimus Prime's mission to start a new Space Bridge project. In this story, the Autobots from the IDW series Robots in Disguise, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Sentinel Maximus, Downshift, Perceptor, Alpha Trion, Over-Run, Anti-Blaze, Checkpoint, and Scythe, meet the Autobots from the animated series, Cybertron Optimus Prime, Jetfire, Override, Scattorshot, Red Alert, Hot Shot, Lori, Bud, and Coby Hansen, and thank each other and remembering those who were lost in the battles.[40]
Billed on his packaging as "BIGGEST Optimus Prime Toy!", Ultimate Optimus Prime consists of an articulated tractor-trailer. The cab can transform into a "normal" Optimus Prime on its own, roughly equivalent to a Voyager in size and complexity, though with a lower degree of screen-accuracy than most large Optimus toys. Prime has 5mm fist holes, as well as additional 5mm ports on his front wheel wells and both sets of external fuel tanks. Four of these remain available in robot mode. The trailer has twelve more 5mm ports. Despite this, the toy comes with no weapons scaled such that the cab-only robot can usefully wield them.
Nonetheless, I remain a big fan of Lego and although I think they have somewhat moved away from their roots with the excess of licensed products (and the earlier licensed products were, in my opinion, not very good because they contained too many specialized non-generic pieces that weren’t useful for generic building. But that situation is improved and in particular we have found the Star Wars sets to be of most value for generic building, because they generally have very few really specialized pieces (although to be fair the sets are most useful for building other spaceships, etc).
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