Hot Rod is often portrayed as energetic, yet brash and headstrong, with an overwhelming self-confidence that borders on arrogance. As Rodimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, he is significantly more mature, physically powerful and instilled with the wisdom of the previous holders of the Matrix of Leadership. In a reversal of his behavior as Hot Rod, Rodimus is plagued by lack of confidence in his role as Autobot commander and often doubts his own decisions, feeling both inferior to and in some ways living in the shadow of the previous leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime.
In the Japanese exclusive Transformers: The Headmasters storyline (which replaced the "Rebirth" finale in Japanese continuity), Hot Rod appeared as part of Optimus Prime's inner circle. When Galvatron and his Headmaster warriors launched a devastating attack on Cybertron, Vector Sigma was damaged, and Hot Rod was sent to Earth to retrieve the Matrix. Recovering it, he returned it to Prime, only to be surprised when the ghost of Alpha Trion once again reformatted him into Rodimus Prime to help Optimus. After Prime's second death, Rodimus once again took command of the Autobots. However, when Scorponok destroyed Vector Sigma, Rodimus decided to leave the war, and left Fortress Maximus in command of the Autobots.
In 2016, the figure saw re-release with the Combiner Force packaging. Being the tenth use of the sculpt at this point, some instances of mold deterioration have affected the figure, including: the vehicle front's bumper (which affects the space on the head/front bumper transformation), the headlights, and/or the legs, and the hole on the left shoulder is also prone to develop a stress mark due to the right shoulder's slightly "thickened" peg. Although the re-released badge didn't seem to unlock Optimus Prime after it was scanned, a later update to the game amended this.
This gold vacuum metallized (save for his black joints, which they were made out of unpaintable plastic) Protoform Optimus Prime figure was featured as a Lucky Draw giveaway (along side similarly gold vac-metal versions of Voyager class Optimus Prime and Protoform Starscream) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Released in 2008, only 5 pieces were made, making it one of the rarest Lucky Draw figures; the images at right represent the only known photographs of it.
The Transformers Adventure Easy Dynamic Series release, titled "Big Optimus Prime", features extra paint details and has two additional Autobot symbols on his shoulders. He also includes a different scannable badge, which is compatible with TakaraTomy's Transformers Adventures app. Scanning this will unlock Big Optimus Prime in the collection list. Unlike the American release, Big Optimus Prime is packaged in a windowed box, instead of an an open package.
Refractor and Laser Prime were only available in a box set named "Chaos on Velocitron" that includes Dynamus and Quickswitch, Parsec and Autobot Nautica, Fastclash, and a Rodimus Prime Titan Master head. The set was officially announced by Hasbro to be a Toys"R"Us exclusive, and was sold at stores in the United States, Canada, and Hasbro's Asian markets (such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong). Despite this, it later became available via Amazon in the United States (but not in Canada) as well, actually sold by Amazon directly (as compared to a third-party seller).
Oddly, he had a different plate in those films when in car mode: 900 STRA. In Dark of the Moon, they finally decided to keep his robot and car mode plates consistent. In robot mode in the Dark of the Moon and Revenge of the Fallen video games, he wears 5BBM2. 5LKZ213 was seen in some set photos of robot mode for the first film. Various models for promotional exhibits have featured KDM 0814, FXPERTS, and, of course, BUMBLBE.
Bumblebee seems to have finally settled on one mode for the film franchise: the Camaro. Chevrolet had actually stopped producing the Camaro in 2002, after having it in their stable since 1966. It wasn’t without controversy that Bay and company decided to make Bumblebee a Camaro for the first live-action film in 2007, but Chevrolet used the product placement opportunity to help relaunch the brand.
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.
Surely one of the strangest examples of licensed Transformers products, Sports Label Convoy transforms into a shoe. Something of a shellformer, this baffling incarnation of Prime is colored primarily white and red in his alt mode of a realistic-looking (if notably undersized) Nike Free 7.0 sneaker, complete with gratuitously long real fabric shoelaces. In robot mode, he is made instantly recognizable by his incorporation of some additional blue and silver in predictable areas, and a traditionally Prime-styled head. Less traditionally, and somewhat perversely, Prime's feet are sculpted in the likeness of his own sneaker mode, making it seem like he's wearing himself!
As with other Dark of the Moon Activators toys, this Optimus Prime (released under the Robo Power subline) is a very simple one-step transformation toy. You simply slam him down on the big blue button on the back end of his truck mode and he transforms thanks to spring-loaded mechanisms. To transform him back, just slam him down again on the same blue button.
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).
This Cybertron spin pop consists of a generic handle with an Optimus Prime sticker, topped with a figurine of Prime through which the included lollipop slots. When the handle is squeezed, a manual gear mechanism spins both the figure and lollipop—no batteries necessary! The handle was also redecoed in orange for a Megatron spin pop, with a figure of the Decepticon leader on top.
Pressing the button on his robot mode chest activates the red lights (well, because the blue ones are expensive for the price point) on his chest, and the sounds and voice phrases (provided by Taitem Kusunoki) were played along with the light-up gimmick. Pressing the button for a few seconds will activate his long voice line with transformation sounds.
This mold was redecoed in 2000 as Car Robots Black Convoy, and slightly retooled as his US incarnation "Scourge". After Scourge, the next use of this mold was planned to be Toxitron, which ended up being canceled. The slightly retooled version of this mold was released in 2006 in Japan as reissue Battle Convoy, which was the name of this toy during the Japanese Generation 2. The reissue used the Robots in Disguise modified tooling, with a slightly modified deco using silver vacuum-metalized plastic on his chest and trailer sides along with additional paint applications and G2 symbols. The mold was also redecoed to create a new Generation 2 version of Ultra Magnus as an E-Hobby exclusive (unusual in that the character was killed in the course of Japan's Generation One fiction).
Like many other modern toys, Optimus was designed with an alternate head sculpt (based on the mouthplate-less face as seen on the show) intended for a later retool, which was gang-molded with the original head. At least one specimen sporting the mouthplate-less head has been found at retail, although since this occurrence has seemingly been limited to an isolated incident, it can be assumed to be a manufacturing error rather than a genuine variant. The mouthplate-less head sculpt was eventually used officially for a later-wave redeco, Nightwatch Optimus Prime (see below).
Transported to a parallel Universe, as the walls of reality began to crumble, foretelling the coming of Unicron to the Armada universe, Optimus Prime and Jetfire were reformatted by their Mini-Con companions using the Mini-Con Matrix into new "Powerlinx" forms. Optimus Prime and Jetfire combined to hold the chaos-bringer at bay. Unicron was eventually defeated by the united power of the Mini-Cons.
According to the bio printed in the Transformers Collectors Club magazine, Optimus Prime was a member of the Cybertron Dimensional Patrol, but was abducted by Unicron. It is unknown whether he repainted himself yellow before being abducted or if the recoloration was due to the radiation emanating from Unicron, which has a tendency to recolor Cybertronians.
While Beast Machines was still running in Canada, Japan's Takara made a bid to return to the familiar vehicle-transforming robots concept. In 2000, Car Robots was released. This line was brought by Hasbro to America as the Robots In Disguise series, and featured the Autobots facing off against the Predacons. This series is usually regarded by most as filler while Hasbro contemplated the next direction for Transformers. However most fans of Transformers recognise that most if not all of the toys released from this line were of excellent quality (with the Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus figures gaining considerable praise), combining the ball-joint articulation with detailed, well painted alternate modes.
The third United Optimus Prime toy is a redeco and slight retool of the Deluxe Class figure from Hasbro's 2010 Transformers toyline, itself an homage to Prime's Generation 2 "Laser" form. The toy features translucent blue plastic as opposed to Hasbro's orange, red paint is used on the biceps instead of blue paint, extra red paint applications on the knees like the original's sticker detail, and more broken-up red apps on the shoulders. Silver detailing was added to the cab mode on the grill, the bumper, and near the doors. The blue plastic in cab mode is now black plastic to make the figure more accurate to the Generation 2 original. The gray plastic is changed from the Hasbro version to more closely match the 2006 reissue of Laser Optimus Prime. Black paint was applied to the cab mode to mimic the fade from red to black on the original Laser Optimus, but still includes a flame deco like the Hasbro version, only in a different design. It lacks the roof-mounted rubsign of the Hasbro version, instead including Autobot insignias on the cab doors. (Disappointingly, they are Generation 1 insignias, rather than Generation 2 ones!) Additionally, a retool was made to the peg on the inside of his right shoulder, to make it shorter and wider than the Hasbro version, allowing it to move freely without hitting the torso, unlike the Hasbro release.
Optimus Prime was one of only two Armada-theme figures in the otherwise Generation 1-centric Q-Robo Collection line of super deformed PVC figurines, the other being Armada Megatron. Like all the figures in the series, Prime featured articulation in the neck and shoulders, and was also available in a translucent colored plastic: as an Autobot, Optimus came in translucent red, but was also uniquely available in a golden metallic "pewter" variant as the wave's solitary rare chase figure. All Q-Robo figures were sold in sets of two, one full-color figure and one translucent one, blindpacked in a plastic capsule.
Hero Optimus Prime was the first new-mold Optimus Prime toy created for the Generation 2 line. He transforms into a Kenworth truck of unknown model which defies Optimus convention by being one continuous unit, rather than the traditional cab-and-trailer combo. Decals form the windows of a faux truck face to represent his chest, featuring both his name and what appears to be a life support readout coming alive towards the end. In addition to a small gun, he is armed with a large missile launcher, which can fire a rubber-tipped rocket by means of a bellows which you slam your fist down on to produce a puff of air. The launcher is accessible in both modes, ending up mounted on his right forearm in robot mode; the bellows is attached via a rubber hose and cannot be disconnected, but stores on the figures's back when not in use, as do the rockets. A similar air-launching system with identical missiles was used by the simultaneously-released Hero Megatron, and by Laser Optimus Prime the following year (see below).
His main gimmick, however, is his quintet of "Firebreath Cyclocannons"—spring-loaded dragon-headed missile launchers mounted on an ornate, rotating circular contraption attached to his back/roof. Turning the handle on top makes the backpack rotate and cycle through each cannon, and pressing the handle's button will trigger and fire whatever cannon is at the top/front. When the cannons are cycled through in robot mode, his eyes and windshield-chest light up, and one can alternatively rotate (but not fire) the cannons and activate his light-up features by pushing down on the fake spiky fenders on his stomach. Out of the package, the handle itself comes detached to allow the rest of the toy to fit.
Commander class figures all come with translucent weaponry, and feature some amount of translucent plastic in their bodies (blue for Autobots, but a variety of colors for Decepticons), a feature designed around interacting with the line's vehicles (see below). Each vehicle is equipped with an "Energon Booster", a light-up accessory that can plug into the Commanders' weapons or into the posts and ports on the figures' backs to illuminate them with "glowing energon power".
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.
In Transformers: Decepticons, Optimus Prime lands on Earth along with the other Autobots to stop the Decepticons. Optimus does not appear until Megatron is released and Starscream escapes with the Allspark. Optimus fights Megatron, but is defeated and is killed while Megatron gives chase to his traitorous second-in-command. In the 2009 Revenge of the Fallen video game by Activision, Optimus Prime is among the playable characters.
A Bic Camera and Joshin Kids' Land exclusive, this redeco is the first release of the Prime: First Edition Deluxe class Optimus Prime figure in Japan, featuring a slightly lighter hue of red (the stock photography provided by TakaraTomy, showed Orion Pax's red plastic features more pink than its original toy, this seems to have been a trick of the lighting or a photoshop), and greyish blue plastic. He features several customer-applied foil stickers, including Decepticon insignias of varying sizes. He comes with a gold vac-metal version of the Arms Micron, R.A., as well as the normal blaster-cannon.
Takara's version of the figure was released in their markets slightly earlier, as the first of what would come to be several installments in their Masterpiece line. In addition to coming with a cardboard trailer that the buyer could assemble to "complete" Prime's truck mode, Takara's release differed from Hasbro's by featuring longer smokestacks (kept short on the Hasbro version for safety reasons, but incorrectly shown to be long in the stock photography shown at right), and lacking the black scorch-marked "battle damage" paint applications Hasbro included on the figure's shoulders, wrists and abdomen.
Sold at the rather exorbitant price of $75, this re-release of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime toy is actually one of the most visually different from the other "straight" reissues of the mold, despite Hasbro's assurance that this is the toy you had as a kid. Positively anemic in comparison with the original toy, this Prime's red parts are visibly paler than usual, while his blue parts are much lighter (although the version released at Canadian retail reportedly sports a deeper shade of red again). This shade of blue extends to both Roller (a lighter blue than his traditional dark shade, yet darker than the lightest the figure has been in its history) and the internal workings of his Combat Deck, which is itself a much flatter shade of light grey, compared to its normal dark, swirled metallic silver color. In addition, the toy features the now-customary shortened smokestacks, and the elongated missiles seen on the Commemorative Series release. While all reissues of the Prime mold since 2003 have used the original thick-barreled mold for his ion blaster, this version includes the slender sculpt instead.
Rodimus Prime is a fictional robot superhero character from the Transformers robot superhero franchise. He was formerly known as Hot Rod and was first seen in The Transformers: The Movie but was reformatted into Rodimus Prime when he received the Autobot Matrix of Leadership from his mentor, Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, and assumed the role of the movie's protagonist. Hasbro has used the names Autobot Hot Rod, Rodimus, and Hot Shot as replacements for later characters, due to trademark issues with the name Hot Rod. His alternate mode varies between depictions, but usually possesses a red, yellow, and silver paint job.
Eject lamented that all the great and famous Cybertronians, including Optimus Prime, were long gone by the time Cybertron was controlled by the Builder Assembly. Broken Windshields The Maximal Overshoot experienced a series of visions from Cybertron's past after discovering the Oracle, including Optimus Prime launching the Ark during the Great War. Cultural Appropriation
Over twenty-plus years, there have been a bajillion releases of this mold, some identical to the original toy, and some featuring significant variants with notably different paint jobs, color schemes, accessories and other pack-ins. We have striven to list all these variants on this page under their respective series; for a quick-reference list of all variants and releases check here. The cab robot has also been used sparingly to represent different characters; outfitted with different trailers, it has become Generation 1 Ultra Magnus and Pepsi Convoy.