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
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.
A new series of reissues means a new release of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure, and Takara's Encore series proved no different. This edition of the figure featured no extra accessories, but it did include the original, thick-barrelled version of Prime's rifle, as reinstated to the mold by the Transformers Collection version of the toy a few years prior. Both his blue and red plastics are lighter than normal, though not to the extent of Hasbro's 25th Anniverary releases. Notably, this edition addresses the small but persistent issue of Prime's shoulder-sticker: the figure's shoulders are textured with small bumps, which had, since 1984, made evenly applying the Autobot symbol sticker to his left arm a challenge. Encore Prime finally replaces the sticker with a tampograph, and also adds one to his right shoulder for symmetry.
Released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Revenge of the Fallen, this Studio Series Optimus Prime is a retool of the figure above, featuring many new parts, namely a new backpack, chest piece, and a pair of non-transforming fenders/legs, to better resemble his appearance in the first two movies. These new parts allow him to combine with Studio Series Jetfire to form "Jetwing Optimus Prime." His color scheme features a much higher contrast than the previous release. Instead of Energon Swords, he now comes with an ion blaster like that used in the battle of Mission City. He also comes with a cardboard backdrop display depicting the highway fight with Bonecrusher from the first Transformers film.
Unfortunately for both Takara and Hasbro, the Generation Two series of Transformers sold poorly, and Hasbro abandoned it after two years. There were toys planned that never saw release. Most of these were G1 combiner team recolors or recolors of recent figures. Four unreleased molds were released in the Machine Wars line, and four more resurfaced in the Robots In Disguise series.
Nearly all the chrome is worn off, the tips of both smokestacks are broken, the fists and guns and voice box are long gone, there's a huge chip of plastic broken off one of the shoulders. I still have the trailer, but it's also broken in a few places. The door is gone. The spring-loaded gimmick doesn't work anymore. The repair drone broke off entirely near one of the joints on the main arm and was thrown away many years ago.
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.
Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.
One peaceful day, Optimus decided it was too quiet, and sent Bumblebee and Mirage to find out what the Decepticons were up to. Sure enough, the Decepticons were looking for a factory, so Optimus had Mirage create a holographic factory as a trick, and ambushed the Decepticons. Optimus himself hurled Megatron into orbit. Decepticon Patrol Optimus and his Autobots rescued Sparkplug and Buster Witwicky when the pair were captured by Decepticons, and afterwards Prime was amazed when Sparkplug repaired Wheeljack and Prowl. After Bumblebee and Hound discovered that the Decepticons were attacking Hoover Dam, Optimus and his team defeated them. The Deadly Fuel Shortage
The largest 2007 Transformers movie Optimus Prime toy, Leader Class Optimus Prime featured, at the time, the most accurate representation of the CGI designs' complex transformation sequence. He transforms into a heavily-customized Peterbilt 379 conventional extended-hood, and unusually for a mainline figure, he has rubber tires on all his wheels. His Ion blaster weapon is stored in the rear of the truck's bunk, exposed like an engine block. Though Optimus has no trailer, he has a hole where the fifth wheel hitch is sculpted in the rear of the truck, should owners find a suitable trailer to use. Due to safety reasons, the tips of his long smokestacks are made of rubber. A switch on top of the cab roof activates horn sounds and window lights.
Hasbro's Toys R Us-exclusive 2003 reissue of Powermaster Optimus Prime was actually a modified version of Takara's then-recently reissued God Ginrai set. As such, the cab was partly constructed out of die-cast metal, vacuum-metalized plastic and had clear blue windows. The trailer was retooled so the super robot's fists could slide in and out of the arms. This set also included the originally Japanese-exclusive Apex Bomber drone trailer that attached onto the back of Optimus Prime's trailer in vehicle mode, and could become extra armour in super robot mode.The missiles where unchromed and lengthened due to safety issues as opposed to the Japanese release which were chromed and shorter.
Hot Rod first appeared in the Headmasters limited series as one of the Autobot crew led by Fortress Maximus. He became a Targetmaster in the fourth and final issue of the series. However, his Targetmaster partner is called Sparks, instead of Firebolt (though the UK comic would occasionally call him Firebolt). Hot Rod made sporadic appearances, with a few UK stories starring him as the lead, but most of those were set in the past or future. Kup's Story revealed the first meeting between Kup and Hot Rod, and how Hot Rod's influence shook Kup out of depression; and Ark Duty starred Hot Rod and set up the creation of Autobot City. Hot Rod debuted in the main continuity after the loss of many wars to the Underbase powered Starscream, as part of Fortress Maximus' group. He served as an eager soldier who idolized Optimus. However, he was killed during the Decepticon ambush on Klo in the last issue of the Marvel G1 comic, only to be resurrected by Prime and the Last Autobot.
This version of Ultimate Class Beast Hunter Optimus Prime is exclusive to Cybertron Con 2013. While Prime itself is unchanged, he has been packaged in the box with his backpack plugged into his back, allowing the cannons to rotate when his spiky stomach-fenders are pushed down. The box itself also has slightly different text and graphical layouts, is encased in a large, slip-on outer covering, and features a designated number as part of the Thrilling 30 line.
Following this, Prime began to experience subconscious urgings, leading both the Autobots and the Decepticons to the Arctic Circle, where Shockwave arrived to greet them—and arrest them as war criminals. Shockwave had succeeded in ending the war on Cybertron, and brought a team of Triple Changers to apprehend them. As Optimus stared down Blitzwing's cannon barrel, he was saved by Grimlock, though he subsequently had to order a retreat. Prowl convinced him to let a small team stay as recon while the others returned to the Ark and discussed the change in situation. New World Order Though Optimus was puzzled by Ultra Magnus having fallen in with Shockwave, he had little other choice, and surrendered to Magnus. Despite being bound, he took the first opportunity he got to make his feelings clear. Prime and those of his Autobots who had also surrendered were put on a shuttle back to Cybertron, where Shockwave planned to have them deactivated. Brothers' Burden
Alternity Convoy was simultaneously available in both this silver coloration, and a deco based on his traditional appearance termed "Vibrant Red" (see below). The figure was later redecoed to create "Convoy Super Black" (representing not Optimus Prime, but Universe Nemesis Prime), Alternity Ultra Magnus, and Alternity Dai Atlas. It was retooled into Transformers GT GT-R Prime, GT-R Saber, GT-R Megatron and GT-R Maximus.
But in between those two most well-known alternate modes, Bumblebee has had at least six others. For the Transformers: Alternity Japanese toy line, he was a yellow Suzuki Swift Sport, which at least is still a small, quirky car. Ditto the AMC Pacer, the form he took when he travelled back in time to the ‘70s in a G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers crossover comic. Somewhat similarly, he’s a Supermini police car in the Transformers Animated series. But then he’s also been a couple of other muscle cars: as the Timelines Deluxe Goldbug toy, he’s a Chrysler ME 412 concept car, and in the Transformers: Prime animated series he can take the form of the fictional Urbana 500 muscle car. Bumblebee also has a number of different Cybertronian vehicle modes.
We know that despite starting his fictional life as a lovable, horn-headed robot who could turn into a Volkswagen in Generation 1, Bumblebee's most well-known these days as a round-headed robot who turns into a Camaro. In fact, younger viewers might not even realize he was ever anything but the Chevy muscle car. But there’s one quirky continuity where he’s able to switch between original and movie modes at will.
When the warlord Shokaract, powered by Unicron's Dark Essence, traveled into the past to secure his own future, the occupants of J'nwan decided to act. Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, and Grimlock joined Sandstorm on prehistoric Earth during the time of the Beast Wars where the battle with Shokaract had already begun. When the Covenant arrived to vanquish the Dark Essence and defeat Shokaract, Optimus Prime and the others escaped through portals as that timeline was erased from existence. Terminus Departure
When Jazz brought Steve Guymo to the Autobot base, Optimus and the other Autobots realized that the Decepticons were behind the abduction of humans from airports across the nation. They were able to find the captive humans, whom the Decepticons were intending to ransom to the US government, and free them before engaging Starscream and his squad in battle. With the Decepticons defeated, the Autobots returned to base where Optimus thanked Steve for his help. Sun Raid (Listen 'n Play)
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.
As the figurehead of the entire Transformers franchise, Optimus Prime has been on more pieces of merchandise than can be stated here. Several statues and busts of Optimus Prime as well as Optimus Prime themed objects have been released by various companies since the return of transformers to prominence, such as the "Optimus Prime Oral Care Station". Other figures released include various PVCs as part of Takara's "Super Collection Figure" line, which were later imported as part of Hasbro's "Heroes of Cybertron" series. Larger "Mega Collection Figure" PVCs were articulated and came with energy axe and gun figures.
A BotCon 2012 exclusive purple redeco of the Deluxe "Generation 2" Optimus Prime figure from the Generations toy line, with the sword's blade molded in clear yellow. Much like the 2008 Voyager figure, this figure has painted-in "battle damage" effects. The right side of the hood has the words, "I shall stand...", while the left side says, "The rest shall fall."
In the United Kingdom, this Optimus Prime was released as an Argos exclusive along with several other sets branded as part of the Reveal the Shield subline imprint. His United States release was initially claimed to be exclusive to Target by online retailers from Asia, but even though the other Reveal the Shield products eventually became available at Target, Voyager Class Optimus Prime was released as a Toys"R"Us exclusive in the United States instead, complete with a "Toys"R"Us exclusive" sticker. Also, both his United States and Asian releases lack the "Reveal the Shield" logo the United Kingdom release has (but still feature the "Reveal hidden images" call-out).
The first Nightwatch Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of the previously released Leader-class Optimus Prime, replacing most of his red and blue with different shades of blue and black. In fact, he resembles the original Diaclone Powered Convoy color scheme of Generation One Ultra Magnus's truck cab. The previously blue and red flames have been replaced with silver flames, as has various other decos, replaced by copper.
Available exclusively from Japanese 7-11 stores, MP-711 is an Ultra Magnus-decoed Convoy—white with green and blue highlighting—themed with 7-Eleven logos. Unlike most MP-10 redecos, he comes with a trailer, Roller, and Spike figure, who is sporting a 7-Eleven uniform. Roller and the combat deck come with 7-Eleven logos, however Convoy's shoulder logos are stickers with the option of a green 7-Eleven logo or the standard Autobot logo on either shoulder.
The Sword of Judgement included with this toy is the same mold as the weapon included with the Age of Extinction leader class Optimus but cast in flat grey rubbery plastic rather than the transparent plastic and paint operations of the initial release. This Optimus Prime erroneously features blue paint on his feet instead of the screen-accurate red.
Hasbro executives, high off the revival of G.I. Joe through the same marketing concept, decided to acquire rights to toys from a variety of Japanese “Super Robot” series. Transformers didn't introduce the concept of super robots to the United States, but for the first time, the genre became widely recognized and popular outside of Japan. As the Transformers brand grew throughout G1, it began to define the genre, and all other super robots were measured competitively to Transformers' standard.
Outside the United States, this set was available in a thinner rectangular box. It contained all the original accessories from the American release, but not the DVD. An English-only version of this packaging format was available in Asia and Australia (initially only available at Myer stores, but later also at Toys"R"Us, Kmart and Target, eventually at drastically reduced prices), while a bilingual English/French packaging variant was available in Canada, still including—though not advertised on the packaging—the (English only) comic book.
After a thousand years of war on Cybertron, the planet was shaken from its orbit and risked being smashed to pieces by an asteroid field. Optimus decided to take a group of Autobots in the Ark and destroy the asteroids, but they were attacked by the Decepticons, and Optimus crashed the ship on Earth. Four million years later, the Ark repaired them, and they encountered Sparkplug and Spike Witwicky. Sparkplug suggested to Prime that the Autobots tap the volcano they'd crashed into for power. The two humans also warned the Autobots of an impending Decepticon attack, and Optimus laid a trap. Unfortunately the Decepticon forces attacked from all directions, and Starscream's null-ray put Optimus out of commission. Luckily Sparkplug easily fixed him, and his fast recovery inspired the Autobots to chase the Decepticons off. Optimus vowed to protect this new world. Battle for Cybertron
Optimus was able to rally Autobot factions from across Cybertron to the cause and launch an all-out attack on Shockwave's fortress. He headed the assault himself, but broke rank when he saw the image of Shockwave blasting Ultra Magnus upon one of the many monitor screens planted around the Decepticon's headquarters. Optimus charged in to confront Shockwave, beating down all opposition along the way. Coming upon Shockwave's throne room, Prime was greeted by Ultra Magnus, who pointed him towards a secret passage through which Shockwave had absconded. Leaving his wounded brother to rest, Optimus barged into Shockwave's secret chambers, only to be overpowered and have the Matrix ripped from his chest. With it, Shockwave was finally able to activate Vector Sigma. Countdown to Extinction Stalling, Prime listened as Shockwave recounted the history of Cybertron, and eventually Ultra Magnus arrived, having recovered, to attack and defeat Shockwave. Prime and Grimlock helped him escape from the fortress as it crumbled to the ground. With Shockwave's defeat, the Autobots would now be able to start rebuilding Cybertron towards true peace... but Optimus remained troubled by Shockwave's motives; he recognized that Shockwave would not be urged to action by mere fancy. Optimus pondered what greater threat awaited Cybertron for Shockwave to so thoroughly plan for its arrival. Revelation The injuries Prime took in this conflict necessitated a prolonged restoration period in stasis. Both he and Ultra Magnus were tended to by Perceptor and Hoist as they recuperated. Generation 1 #0 Though Magnus recovered in due course, Optimus's systems had received a more severe shock due to the Matrix being forcefully removed from his frame. Thus, he needed additional time spent in recovery before he could reboot. Black Sunshine
Though he was packaged on an individual box, he was initially sold as part of a set with Dark Energon Megatron. He was eventually made available on his own, and all of the Dark Energon Series toys were eventually made available in Singapore as mass-retail releases. The Voyager Class toys, in particular, also saw mass-retail release in the Philippines.
He reappeared in the third crossover, where he apparently acted as Optimus Prime's right-hand man. Putting a team together to look for the missing team that had journeyed to Earth (who had been captured by Serpentor and the Decepticons), he would later lead the combined G.I. Joe/Autobot force that rescued Optimus Prime. In contrast to his usual "youthful rookie" portrayal here Hot Rod seems to be in a high command position, outranking Ultra Magnus, Prowl and Ironhide among others. However, by the fourth crossover Hot Rod is forced to wait on Cybertron under Magnus's command as Optimus Prime journeys to Earth.
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.
Optimus Primal, leader of the Maximal faction in the Beast Wars animated series and toy line, is not Optimus Prime. Primal is one of the Maximal descendants of the Autobots, who took the name to honor Optimus Prime. The same applies to the Megatron of this era. Before the animated series began, Hasbro envisioned Prime and Megatron as their beast counterparts, but once the animated series began, this had already been changed. Design elements, such as Prime's mouth-plate slitted to add an actual mouth for the animated series and the first mini-comic that came packaged with the toys, suggest this. Nonetheless, Optimus Prime and Megatron were a major reason the Beast Wars began.
The paint deco is... unfocused, to say the least. In vehicle mode, the grill, headlights, bumps (thus his feet) are painted silver, yet the red in the small Autobot insignia has been removed. There is silver paint on the fuel tanks (toy battery cover), but not on the other tool boxes and equipment in the same location. There is also silver paint on all 6 wheel rims, the air cleaners and the windscreen visor. In robot mode the silver paint is mainly located on his thighs and crotch, though in order to save on costs, the dark blue and gold paint on his thighs and knee joints have been sacrificed.
The figure has diecast in its feet, shins, and abdomen. It features pinstriped flames, articulated fingers, a headsculpt with a face that can rotate between masked and unmasked modes in a method identical to Armor Knight Optimus Prime's, and an abdomen that opens to reveal a chamber housing a diecast Matrix of Leadership. He comes with said Matrix, his Ion Cannon, and a pair of Energy Swords that tab in behind his wrists (the hands unfortunately have to be bent forward to accommodate these). All three weapons can combine and store on the fifth wheel in vehicle mode.
Optimus awakened to the sound of Ratchet's voice. Taking in his surroundings, he noted that he was now in an organic forest, surrounded by unfamiliar Cybertronians. It soon dawned on him that he had been transported to the dimension where Megatron had intended to begin his conquest: the OG World. The 'bots surrounding him were the local counterparts to his own Autobots, including his own doppelgänger! The locals informed him that they had found him thanks to the help of his "companion," a small robotic girl. Before Optimus could puzzle out who this humanoid was, the group came under attack by the local Megatron. Though badly injured, "Cloud Optimus Prime" had the strength to fight alongside "G1 Optimus Prime" against the Decepticons, and protect the girl that had brought the Autobots to him. During the fight, blasts from both Primes' rifles collided with a blast from Megatron's fusion cannon, knocking all of the combatants down. Cloud Optimus Prime ensured that the girl was safe before before his attention was drawn to the horizon by a familiar voice. It was "Cloud Megatron," who had also survived his inter-dimensional trip, and had come to continue his fight against his nemesis. Leap
Prime appeared again in the fourth crossover called "Black Horizon". When Hawk, who had been afflicted by the Matrix, began getting dire visions of a new threat, Prime journeyed to Earth. He took Hawk and Flint to Tibet to discover the source of the problem, only to encounter Bludgeon once again. Prime battled Bludgeon and only won due to intervention by Hawk. Fighting their way into a secret city beneath the Himalayas, the trio realized the extent of the threat. At stake was the impending destruction of humanity by Unicron and the world being taken over by Cobra-La. Optimus and Hawk were discovered by Bludgeon and a group of Cobra-La troops. Prime defeated Bludgeon, then, with Hawk and Joe Colton, gatecrashed the Cobra-La ceremony to sacrifice Firewall to Unicron. Prime was mobbed by Cobra-La warriors and pinned down by a monstrous insectoid creature. Prime demolished them in time to save Hawk from Golobulus. With Cobra-La arrested by G.I. Joe, Prime made sure his comrades were okay before sitting down to watch TV with Eject and Firewall.
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.
Platinum Optimus is a redeco of the Leader Class Optimus Prime. Optimus' color palette is now darkened with some additional paint details. His "Sword of Judgment" is now a light blue. Optimus features more chrome on his "Vector Shield", chest, and on his head. The set was a shared exclusive, available from BigBadToyStore and Toys"R"Us, and was also sold during a Taiwanese event celebrating the launch of Transformers Rising.
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.
Based on his appearance in War for Cybertron, Generations Optimus Prime transforms from a red, blue, and silver robot into an "armored truck mode." He comes with a hand-held rifle that is held via either of its two 5mm posts, and can fold up to store in either mode. He features additional 5mm ports on his forearms, roof, and front-wheel panels. Optimus has a stylized sculpted Autobot insignia on his back, as seen in the game, but it is obscured by kibble.
Offered as part of a Lucky Draw campaign in August 2004, this extremely rare version of Masterpiece Convoy is almost entirely vacuum-metalized gold, lacking any other painted detail or stickers. The parts which are not viable are molded in a flat golden plastic; the only exceptions are its rubber tires, the core of the Matrix and the energon-axe, which remain black, blue and orange, respectively. Whether or not the figure was intended to evoke Optimus Prime's entirely-golden appearance in the cartoon episode "The Golden Lagoon", when he was coated with electrum, is unknown; given that entirely chroming a figure gold is a fairly standard deco for Lucky Draw figures, it may just be happy coincidence more than anything else.
The Heroes of Cybertron PVC figurine line is an adaptation by Hasbro of Takara's own Super Figure Collection line. The main differences between the two lines is that Hasbro cast Autobot and Decepticon figures in clear blue or clear red PVC respectively, then completely painted the figurines. This allowed the eyes to 'glow' when placed in front of the light source.
While Transformers ended poorly for the US market, the same can not be said for the UK, Canada, and Japan markets as they went on to produce their own continuing series between 1991 and 1993, despite the UK market in particular missing a substantial amount of figures prominent in the comics and animated series throughout the line's run. Each country produced their own continuity. The UK and Canada continued with new Action Master figures and introduced the Turbo Masters and Predators. Japan continued with the Micromasters concept.
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.
Generations "Combat Hero Optimus Prime" is a metallic-blue, gunmetal, and red redeco of United Laser Optimus Prime, having the retooled tab, and being based on the canceled Generation 2 Combat Hero Optimus Prime figure, sporting a red mouthplate inspired by the official catalog image for the unreleased toy (packaged samples had featured a traditionally colored gray mouthplate). He comes packed with a (vaguely) Generation 2-styled Deluxe Class Autobot Jazz, as well as unchanged releases of Generations Legends Class Thundercracker and Motorbreath.
Optimus Prime is the fictional protagonist of the Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Fire Convoy in the original Japanese version) branch of the Transformers universe. Based on the character of the same name, Prime once again leads the Autobots against the Decepticons. His voice actor, Neil Kaplan, does his voice in a style reminiscent of that of Peter Cullen, the voice of the original Optimus Prime. Wired Magazine nominated Fire Convoy as one 12 most ridiculous Transformers ideas of all time.
The Japanese version of the toy, named "Optimus Prime Revenge Edition", was exclusively available at Tokyo Toy Show 2009, and later also from e-HOBBY. Despite being sold in Hasbro packaging like the mass retail Revenge toys in Japan (plus the addition of Japanese stickers marking it as a Japanese market release and containing Japanese safety warnings and manufacturer information), it slightly differed from the Hasbro version insofar as it lacked the tampographed kanji lettering.
Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.
When the narrative begins, we’re taken to Cybertron, where a narrator tells us of the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons, a war fueled by the Decepticons’ desire for total domination. We’re told, “The Autobots, on the verge of extinction, battled valiantly to survive.” Then, two Autobots in robot form climb out from under a grate, armed with a bunch of energy conductor sticks: Wheeljack and Bumblebee. Wheeljack transforms into a Cybertronian vehicle, then Bumblebee loads the sticks inside him. Bumblebee is so relatively small that he remains in robot form and hops inside Wheeljack for a ride, rather than transform himself.
At one time, Optimus Prime worked alongside Megatron, bringing order throughout dimensions with the power of SARA. But Megatron was ambitious, and sought to use SARA's power for his own ends. Optimus saved Metropolis from Megatron's rebellion, and the Autobots banished Megatron from Metropolis. Optimus Prime remained behind as the leader of the Autobots. Fate As head of the space-time guardians residing in Cloud World's Metropolis, he was a valiant and powerful leader who commanded the utmost respect from his subordinates. Optimus Prime stood for peace and freedom for all sentient beings in all of time and space. His sense of responsibility in this regard was a bit too great for his own good, as it often left him worrying about things outside of his control.
The TakaraTomy version, part of the seventh wave of Japanese Prime toys, is dubbed Arms Master Optimus, uses darker, metallic plastics, casts the backs of his thighs in metallic red, replaces his metallic silver paint with glossy gray, and replaces a few of his paint operations with customer-applied foil stickers, such as his insignias, shins, headlamps, the tiny yellow lights on his torso, and the blue deco on his truck panel sides. He has also been retooled with additional 5mm pegs for his thighs, roof, and lower backpack, as well as ports for his forearms, shoulders, smokestacks, fuel tanks, and roof. Instead of the rifle, he comes with a very large Matrix which can tab onto his chest as armor or mount onto the back of the truck cab, with the Matrix also being covered in 5mm posts and holes so that Arms Microns can be attached to it. He additionally comes with a clear-blue "Shining" version of the Arms Micron, R.A., who can combine with the Matrix to form the colossal Matrix Saber.
The mold suffers from a minor design oversight, wherein the rear Nissan badge collides with his left leg strut when the left foot is hinged over and pegged into a clear plastic socket during transformation, with the results being that the connection is slightly crooked, isn't very secure, and sometimes pops off, and that the crooked pegging often causes the socket to crack.
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.
Another version of Prime was also available in the second wave of the Smallest Transforming Transformers series as a chase figure. This almost entirely white version of the figure is clearly based on the version of the original Prime cab robot used in the Generation 1 Ultra Magnus figure, but was nonetheless sold as Optimus Prime for the Smallest line.
Hot Rod is featured again in Maximum Dinobots. Returning to Earth to continue his search, Hot Rod arrived at the gates of the Machination's complex, and Scorponok prepared himself to deal with the intruder. Unfortunately, Hot Rod found himself fighting well out of his weight class as he was man handled by Scorponok, who cheerfully bashed his face in, put out one of his optics and snapped his leg. The Headmasters dragged him into Scorponok's control room where, with absolutely no prompting, the big man explained his entire plan for the Dynobots, Skywatch and the Machination. Hot Rod seemed less than impressed with this rather mundane approach, which ticked Scorponok off enough for him to point out that it was obviously just the first stage in his master plan. He was also warned to remain awed or he'd be of no further interest. When the Dynobots and newly arrived Monsterbots seemed to turn Scorponok's plan on its head, Hot Rod burst out laughing, at which point, Scorponok ordered him taken out and shot. In the lift to the surface, Hot Rod suddenly erupted in flames, killing his captors, but draining his power supply. Weakened and with a crippled leg, he collapsed on the floor.
Also, as a new feature, most figures include advanced "automorph technology", which is designed to create quicker and easier conversion, which means moving one part of the vehicle or robot causes other parts to move, creating a final shift to battle mode; this was successful because the transformation was more complex in the movie line than in any other Transformers toy line.
The DOTM packaging release of this 2-pack features an altered paint application on Optimus Prime's ion blaster/barrage cannon. On the original ROTF packaging release, the slide-out barrel on Prime's blaster is painted silver with a black paint spray app to simulate usage of the weapon, and the exposed inside wall of the gas tank at the top of the blaster is left as unpainted grey plastic (exactly like the blaster on the original single-boxed ROTF Buster Optimus Prime). After receiving numerous reports from customers that the silver paint on the slide-out barrel was easily scraped off by merely transforming it from gas tank to blaster, Takara-Tomy briefly stated in an interview that they had addressed the issue for the Dark of the Moon packaged version by swapping the placement of the silver paint application. Thus, the Dark of the Moon packaged version now features the slide-out barrel on Prime's blaster as unpainted grey plastic with an unchanged black paint spray app to simulate usage of the weapon, and the exposed inside wall of the gas tank at the top of the blaster is now painted silver.
In this set, both the buildable Optimus Prime and the included Kreon figure are in the style of Beast Hunters Optimus Prime. In addition to the robot mode having a buildable shield and sword, both it and the vehicle build have two firing missile launchers. Additionally, four hands are included, with two possibilities for each arm. These Optimus Primes come with a buildable Predacon beast Lazerback and an Energon Kicker Kreon.
Optimus Prime (formerly Orion Pax) is constantly, if not always depicted as having strong moral character, excellent leadership, and sound decision-making skills, and possesses brilliant military tactics, powerful martial arts, and advanced extraterrestrial weaponry. Optimus Prime has a strong sense of honor and justice, being dedicated to building peaceful and mutually beneficial co-existence with humans, the protection of life and liberty of all sentient species. As the current Matrix of Leadership bearer, Optimus Prime is the de facto leader of the Autobots, a faction of a transforming species of synthetic intelligence from the planet Cybertron. The Autobots are constantly waging civil war against a rival faction of transforming robots called Decepticons. According to Bob Budiansky, co-writer of the Transformers series, Dennis O'Neil was responsible for his name.
This is an arbitrary line but it is a line that needed to be drawn. There have been many promotional sets over the years which have very few pieces but carry a higher price because of their promotional status. These can range from keychains to individual minifigs to seasonal items. They are not representative of the typical price of a LEGO brick and therefore should not be included in the evaluation.
Released as part of the first wave of the Energon Igniters Nitro Series, this Optimus Prime is a new Voyager-sized mold that converts from a robot based on his Age of Extinction body into a truck in 11 steps, and he features 5mm-compatible hands & articulation on his head, arms, and only his upper legs. He also features built-in Ion Cannons in this lower leg panels, activated in vehicle mode. He also comes with his own energon core, which is a different mold from his Power Plus toy.
There is also the release of Optimus Prime as a deluxe sized brown gorilla which is a repaint of the Beast Wars 10th anniversary Optimus Primal toy most likely trying to tie Optimus Prime in some way to the jungle planet Animatros in the Cybertron series. According to his bio, Optimus Prime was temporarily mutated into this form by the Animatros Cyber Planet Key. The colors of this toy are a homage to Transformers: Universe Optimus Primal.
Released in the latter stages of the Cybertron toyline, this redeco of the Leader-class Optimus Prime figure introduced a new colour scheme that several other tail-end releases would emulate. Taking its name from the Japanese version of Cybertron and with a bio noting that this new body depicts Prime after he embarks on his galaxy-spanning mission at the end of the Cybertron cartoon, "Galaxy Force" Optimus Prime replaces the original toy's blue parts with black and the translucent blue with smokey clear, and moulds several—but not all—grey parts out of red plastic, including the toy's rifles, rail gun covers, missile launchers, and Super Mode leg guns. In the realm of new paint operations, Prime now sports all four Cyber Planet Key symbols on his shoulders, and his unique Matrix-shaped Cyber Key (now with the code lo9x) finally has a gold-painted border, as it had always had in Japan. Additionally, Prime's hip joints were tightened up with this release, making it easier to stand him up in Super Mode.
In some continuities, though, it’s our lovable pal Bee who takes the leadership reigns. In the animated series Transformers: Robots in Disguise, with Optimus having died at the end of the previous series, Bumblebee starts off as the Autobot leader, but he’s apprehensive about it. And he even takes the leadership mantle in the live-action film series; taking over for Optimus, who leaves the Autobots behind to head into space to search for the Seed at the end of the last movie, Age of Extinction.
The other new additions were two black spring-loaded missile launchers that fire red projectiles. In vehicle mode, these attached to the soundbox (an echo of Powermaster Optimus Prime's cannons, perhaps), and could be held in Optimus Prime's fists in robot mode. These launchers were not created for Prime; they were retooled versions of the launcher from Barricade of the G.I. Joe line.
Instead of his trailer, Prime can alternately combine with Armada Jetfire, who forms a pair of legs, as "Jet Prime" (Jet Optimus on the cartoon, or "Jet Convoy" if you own the Japanese version). In addition to this, Armada Overload can form a pair of massive cannons that attach to either Prime's base mode, or mount over the shoulders of his super robot torso (with either his trailer or Jetfire as legs), forming Optimus Prime Megaweapon (or Magna Convoy).
Optimus Prime also appears in the text-based fiction Dungeons & Dinobots. He commands the Autobots to attack the Arch-Ayr fuel dump. The attack is thwarted when the main Decepticon forces are augmented by the Mayhem Suppression Squad. When Wheeljack attacks both the Autobots and Decepticons with a massive force of drone Dinobots, Optimus offers to allow the outcast Autobot scientist to rejoin the Autobot ranks if the Dinobots destroy the Decepticons. The Dinobots prove unstable and go on a rampage, attacking everyone, including each other. Optimus punishes Wheeljack by having Ratchet painfully reformat him for Earth mode and assigning him to the Ark repair crew on the advice of Side Burn. He punishes Blurr for allowing his heroic Decepticon cousin, Crasher, part of the Mayhem Suppression Squad, to live. When Grimlock returns to the Autobots, Optimus lets him live because the Dinobot has gained useful intelligence and helps in work on the Ark.
Ten years after Unicron's defeat, Cybertron was seemimngly at peace, but Optimus still feared another attack from Unicron. Although the Autobot High Council dismissed his fears, a mental link with Primus confirmed that Unicron was still alive. Megatron's disembodied spark, trapped within the chaos-bringer, called out to Prime. Events overtook Prime as Unicron's four Horsemen, Rhinox, Airazor, Cheetor, and Terrorsaur, attacked Cybertron, devastating it. Prime's link with Primus allowed him to upgrade himself into his Energon form and drive them off.
The Goldbug change happens in many different continuities, but in the original animated series, it happens like this: while trying to rescue the body of the dead Optimus Prime, which was being held by evil humans, Bumblebee’s damaged by Superion so badly that they have to rebuild him as a more powerful Throttlebot. His new body is much shinier, so a restored Optimus Prime dubs him Goldbug. In the Shattered Glass continuity, he goes evil as Goldbug. And in the IDW comics, confusingly, Goldbug was never affiliated with Bumblebee, but is the leader of the Throttlebots.
In 1986 the Transformers animated movie had been released, and during the run of the movie, through a pamphlet that came with certain figures, you could order certain Transformers through the mail, such as Optimus Prime among other toys. The toys came in a standard brown mailer box, with items, booklet, and a limited Edition Movie certificate and sticker.
Although peacetime in the decade that followed the apparent deaths of Unicron and Galvatron afforded Prime the opportunity to train his own elite squadron of Autobots the martial art of Kumite. The re-emergence of the war, however, forced him to return to his role as commander. The conflict for control of the Mini-Cons and the truths he was forced to face in his confrontation with Unicron seems to have changed him. Optimus Prime, Grand Convoy' in the Japanese version, was now a stern, more direct commander and shows little of the conflict that held him back before. Despite this, he is still known to make the same kind of decisions, which include an emphasis on team work and the foundation of the Autobot values.
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.
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
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Available only via mail-order through Dengeki Hobby magazine, the "Limited Black Version" of G1 Convoy is just that: a straight black repaint of the G1 Convoy toy. He comes with all his original accessories, appropriately redecoed (including a silver version of his axe), as well as a gold-chromed version of the "Calamity Defenser" Solitarium weapon that came with Psycho-Orb.
The Decepticons' initial strike came abruptly and brutally, devastating entire districts of Metropolis. Optimus was meeting with Hot Rodimus as this took place, and was nearly overcome with grief when Ratchet informed him of the carnage the Decepticons had wrought. Steeling himself, Optimus coordinated the city's defenses, ordering his troops to be dispatched where they were most needed to repel the invasion. Upon spotting an old enemy on one of the nearby monitors, Optimus geared up to go in the field himself. Arming himself with his favorite pistol, Optimus resolved to take down Megatron. Raid
The first toy in TakaraTomy's United toyline is a redeco of the War for Cybertron Deluxe Class Optimus Prime, transforming into a Cybertronic "armored truck". As has been TakaraTomy's wont of late, he now sports a metallic red paint job, with brighter pink paint applications and cooler grey parts, and features several additional paint details to those present on the Hasbro figure in the form of black chest windows and pink lines on his face mask. His rifle transforms as well, folding and plugging into the roof of the vehicle mode. The rifle can also peg into his forearms, and, in its compact configuration, can attach to his shoulders via peg holes on the backs of his front tires or stored behind his back in robot mode.
But up first, as we said, is The Last Knight. The teaser trailer was released earlier this month and boy did it tease a doozy: it depicted Optimus Prime and Bumblebee fighting. Yes, the two old pals, mentor and protégé of sorts, were locked in fisticuffs, the Autobot leader giving Bee a sound pounding. There are a number of theories as to what’s going on there, but what we do know is that it promises an intriguing storyline for our favorite yellow robot, and it may well lead directly into the plot of his solo flick.
The first Transformers toys were created from two different transforming robot toylines from Takara, the Car-Robots and Micro Change, from the Diaclone and Microman series, respectively. Hasbro acquired the rights to sell them in the United States but, instead of selling them under their original names, they were rebranded as "The Transformers". The first two years consisted primarily of reusing the Car-Robots/Micro Change molds. The earliest toys had some parts made of die-cast metal, which were eventually phased out.
If instead of all heading into the lab together, the Autobots had sent in Bumblebee alone, and Bumblebee subsequently managed to escape with the antidote to the Decepticons’ poison, the Autobots escaped from the Valley of Poison and returned to Autobot headquarters. Once the other Autobots were cured, they all drank a toast to Bumblebee, to celebrate his part in the mission Decepticon Poison