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
As seen in the episode "War Dawn", Optimus Prime began his life as a robot named Orion Pax, a mostly defenseless dock worker during the Golden Age of Cybertron nine million years ago, with a girlfriend named Ariel and a best friend named Dion. During this time, a new breed of robot with new flight capabilities appeared on the planet that Orion idolized. When Megatron, the leader of the new group of robots, approached him with inquiries about using one of the dock warehouses, Orion was swayed by Megatron. Both Orion and Ariel were severely wounded when Megatron and his forces attacked in order to claim the energy stored there. Searching for someone to help them, the time-displaced Aerialbots took Orion and Ariel to the ancient Autobot, Alpha Trion, who used them as the first subjects for the new reconstruction process he had developed involving rebuilding the frail Autobot frames into more battle-hardy configurations. With this reconstruction, Orion Pax became Optimus Prime, the first of the Autobot warriors.
Only available at ToysЯUs, this Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Classics figure. He features a cartoon/toy accurate deco on his truck/robot parts, and vacuum-metallized upper legs & front grille to evoke his original Generation 1 toy. Like every Classics Optimus Prime mold, he still features all of his accessories. This Optimus was packaged along with the redecoed Age of Extinction Optimus Prime.
Upon witnessing the incredible power of a lightning storm for the first time, Optimus Prime had Sparkplug Witwicky explain the phenomenon to him. Intrigued by the potential of lightning, Prime put Huffer and Gears to work finding a way to harness its energy, so they could use it to aid in the rebuilding of their spaceship. Huffer constructed a giant lightning rod, and Optimus Prime and the Autobots gathered to watch its first test. They were shocked, however, when a fleet of battered, damaged Decepticons flew out of the mountain housing the antenna and off into the night. The evil robots had attempted to discover the device's secrets and been seriously electrocuted! Once the lightning rod had been checked, Prime vowed to make the lightning-harnessing technology the Autobots' gift to Earth once they had left the planet. Autobots' Lightning Strike
Hot Rodimus also appeared in the Japanese exclusive Kiss Players storyline. In the alternate timeline of Kiss Players, Hot Rodimus has given up the Matrix to Ultra Magnus after his actions in hurling Galvatron out of Unicron's body resulted in the Decepticon leader crashing into and devastating Tokyo, rather than landing on Thrull, as seen in the original continuity. He subsequently came to Earth to try to repair relations with the humans, but was instead attacked and nearly killed by a Legion Creature, a hybrid created from Galvatron's Unicron-corrupted cells fusing with local creatures. He was saved by a kiss from the human Li Shao-Shao and reformatted into a body resembling a Ford GT. He went on to battle the Earth Defense Command (an anti-Transformer organization), the Legion - and Optimus Prime himself. Prime had been resurrected in a Kiss Player body, but Hot Rodimus, believing his commander to be dead, thought it was a trick.
He next appears in Transformers: Energon, the only time during the Unicorn Trilogy where Prime is not the main protagonist. In Energon, set ten years after Armada, he is no longer able to combine with his trailer. Instead, he has been gifted with the Spark of Combination by Primus, allowing him to combine with the quartet of vehicular drones in his trailer. Fire One, Copter Two, Digger Three, and Submarine Four, can each form either an arm or a leg when they combine with Prime, creating his super mode. Later, Prime gained the ability to combine with fellow Autobots Wing Saber and Omega Supreme, the latter case creating Optimus Supreme.
However, Prime was encouraged to keep fighting by the cheers of a human boy named Junpei. Megatron, surprised at Prime's resilience, attempted to finish his foe off with his Tornado Axe attack. Prime countered with his Double Wheel-Torque Mega-Ton, which trumped Megatron's attack and injured the Decepticon badly. Megatron teleported back to his ship and left Earth's atmosphere, vowing to return.
This deluxe-size, highly-poseable version of Armada Optimus Prime is an entirely new mold, retaining the ability to tow Super Base Prime's trailer, though he cannot combine with it. He comes with the Mini-Con Over-Run, who can transform into a gun for him, or can peg onto the Powerlinx plug on Optimus's back to activate a double-fisted "punching" action (that looks more like hyperactive shrugging). Like the Super Base figure, Prime has a flip down chestplate, but lacks a molded-in Matrix, and his smokestacks can be removed (and in many cases will simply fall off), but cannot peg together as a gun. Shipping in a great many waves throughout most of the later run of the line, Super-Con Optimus became a notorious pegwarmer.
The second known version  ditched the triplechanging gimmick on the cab and simplified things a good bit. This Powermaster Prime has several distinct characteristics only seen in the second design, such as the wider "block head" and two faux smokestacks on top of either shoulder as opposed to one. Also, in a rather odd twist, this design features a black head and fists for both super and regular modes rather than the traditional blue. It also had yellow eyes in either mode a la the original Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime is primarily voiced by Peter Cullen in most of his incarnations, who voiced him in the original series. Following the production of the 2007 film, Cullen reprised his role for the sequels and supporting media and would even voice Optimus in later series such as Transformers: Prime. Optimus has been voiced by a number of other voice actors in other series such as Neil Kaplan, Garry Chalk, and David Kaye in the series Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Unicron Trilogy, and Transformers Animated, respectively.
Prime's personality had been copied onto a floppy disk by Ethan Zachary, the technician running the game. He employed Prime in various video game scenarios he developed. Prime's damaged mind led him to believe that he himself was a video game character and, in an attempt to bring him back to life, Goldbug, Joyride, Slapdash, and Getaway took the disk to the planet Nebulos. They built a new body for Optimus Prime and upgraded it with the ability to combine with the trailer to form a larger robot. In an effort to keep Transformers off their planet, the Nebulans had poisoned their fuel. The sensation of dying, however, convinced Prime that he was truly alive and not a game character. To save his life, the Nebulan scientist Hi-Q bonded with him, creating Powermaster Optimus Prime. A UK story set around the same time in UK #198, Prime returned to Earth and tried to rekindle his feeling for the planet. After a battle between his forces and an advance force from Cybertron ruined a small town's Christmas festivities, he realized that bringing the Transformers to Earth was far worse than anything his troops could have done and vowed to protect its inhabitants from Decepticon aggression.
Released as part of the Bumblebee Energon Igniter's Speed Series line, this Optimus is a Legends/Legion-sized mold that transforms from robot into a Cab-over truck with the transformation scheme shared with the Transformers (2010) Reveal The Shield Legends Class toy, and he features 3mm compatible hands. Optimus' truck mode can also be attached with the Energon Igniters core, and due to the toy being lightweight, it can propel his vehicle mode forward very quickly, making him a fast-moving truck. Due to its simplified transformation, Optimus' robot shoulder parts ended up sticking out from his truck mode, and his upper cabin panel ends up being integrated with his head. Unlike most Speed Series toys, his Energon Igniter port is ends up under his right foot in robot mode rather than on his knee.
The Hot Rod from the future animated movie continuity would also appear. Target: 2006 had Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr timejump from 2006 (specifically partway through the Transformers movie) to 1986 to thwart Galvatron's scheme, under the influence of Unicron; later post-movie stories revealed that Firebolt had died on Earth years before 2007, and Space Pirates had Rodimus Prime briefly reverting to Hot Rod during the Quintesson attack on Autobot City. This Hot Rod also appeared in several of the "Aspects of Evil" stories. Told from the flashbacks of an aged Rodimus Prime, these had Hot Rod come up against some of the greatest Decepticon villains. He accepted the surrender of Scorponok - only to wind up defending him and a human town against the Micromaster Air Strike Patrol: defending Autobot City from a full-scale attack by Shockwave: and being captured and used as a pawn by Megatron to flush out an Autobot spy in his ranks. (Marvel UK #223-227)
The original Hasbro stock photos depict him as having red paint operations on his kneecaps and the sunken ridges around his blue abs that the final product lacks. The photos on the cardback show him with a red Autobot symbol on his truck door and blue plastic instead of grey for the piece just in front of his rear tires. The back photo also depicts his side windows as being the same translucent orange as the front ones, when they are, in reality, a garish solid orange.
In the animated series, Optimus Prime was originally in the Autobot Academy and friends with Sentinel Prime and Elita One. When Elita is lost on a planet dominated by giant spider-like aliens, he blames himself for leaving her behind, where she supposedly dies in the explosion of a wrecked Decepticon warship loaded with Energon. Sentinel doesn't forgive him for losing her and Optimus takes full responsibly for Elita's demise. This caused Optimus Prime to wash out of the Autobot Academy. However, Ultra Magnus pulls some strings so that Optimus Prime could be captain of a strange Space Bridge repair crew composed of a war vet named Ratchet, a fledgling cadet named Bumblebee, and his fellow cadet Bulkhead. Optimus is given command of the starship which is the vehicle mode of Omega Supreme.
The Japanese release of Powermaster Optimus Prime actually represented a new character named Ginrai, and featured several retools: the cab featured die-cast metal, shortened smokestacks, vacuum-metalized plastic and clear blue windows, while the trailer was given retractable super robot fists. This Japanese version was eventually issued by Hasbro in 2003 as part of the Commemorative Series collection (see below).
Optimus was challenged to a duel by Megatron as a distraction while the Constructicons attempted to strike against Teletraan I. Heavy Metal War - Part 1 Concerned that the Decepticons might try to steal a new Energon related technology from a science facility, Optimus sent Blaster to infiltrate and protect the base. Espionage Optimus was impressed with Grapple and Hoist's plans for a Solar Power Tower, but thought it would be too difficult to defend from the Decepticons. The Master Builders Following the return of the Aerialbots from a trip to Cybertron, they told Optimus and Elita One about how they'd encountered Orion Pax and Ariel. Golden Age Optimus was among the Autobots affected after Megatron sabotaged their recharging chamber. Turned evil, Optimus was sent to attack Rutter Military Base and obtain a solar power satellite. He and the other Autobots were returned to normal by Sparkplug's attitude exchanger, and Optimus promised to repair the base. Attack of the Autobots
A redeco of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime cab robot sporting an egregious number of Pepsi-themed paint masks and details, Pepsi Prime's differences from Pepsi Convoy are minimal: he features the shortened smokestacks previously seen on the Commemorative Series release of the mold, the blue pattern on his decals are different (matching the American Pepsi can/bottle look at the time rather than the one used in Japan), and also has a different layout for the Pepsi logo on his right shoulder. Like Pepsi Convoy, he comes with an entirely new trailer unit, specially designed to carry either a single 500ml (16.9 oz) size soft drink bottle, three 350ml cans, or 12 bottle caps (bottle cap figurines being a common and popular collectible item in Japan). In a first for the Prime mold, the figure's fists store in holes on the underside of the trailer while he is in vehicle mode. His ion blaster (which also stores under the trailer) is the first Hasbro reissue to feature the original, thick-barrel sculpt, which was reinstated to the mold by the Transformers Collection release of Prime a few years prior.
Prime comes with a unique Cyber Key, designed after the twin-handled appearance of the Matrix of Leadership, bearing the code l8p3. When inserted into the cannon that the rifle is part of, a pair of additional spring-loaded missile launchers flip down from the its sides. Slotting the key into the electronic cannon opens up the panels covering the front of the barrel, unlocking a different sound with its button is pressed. The paint job of the key is the principal difference between the Hasbro and Takara versions of the figure; the Japanese release features a metallic gold paint border around the key, furthering its resemblance to the Matrix. Other differences include more thoroughly painted knees and leg-armor cannons, yellow-painted signal lights above the cab, and the use of metal hinges to hold on Prime's wing tips, which were removable on Hasbro's version, and came disconnected in-package.
A second Target-exclusive redeco of the Voyager Class Optimus Prime toy, the gray molded pieces were recolored beige-grey, and multiple parts that were previously molded in blue and red (the chest, shoulder pads, and leg interiors) had their mold colors swapped, with extra paint operations to make up the difference. As such, the toy has very few visual differences from the regular release of the sculpt, in a "doing things differently to achieve a very similar end result" sense. This version was only available in a pack with an unchanged Deluxe Class Bonecrusher.
Alternators Optimus Prime transforms into an accurate, fully-licensed 1:24th scale Dodge Ram SRT-10. The vehicle mode features rubber tires, functional steering, opening hood, tail gate and doors with a detailed cabin interior. His robot mode body sculpt details are based upon the 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime toy. However, his headsculpt is based upon Powermaster Optimus Prime. He is armed with a small pistol that is formed from his engine.
Great read. I have noticed an absolute drop in quality myself. My sets in my youth range from 83 to 90. My sons are from 2011 and there is a clear distinction. Aside from the weight of identical bricks being different, the older bricks stay together in a much more durable way than the new bricks. To test this, I created the same models using all old bricks and all new bricks and the difference was marked. I understand doing certain things to reduce costs, but not at the expense of quality…
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 paint deco is... unfocused, to say the least. In vehicle mode, the grill, headlights, and bumpers (and 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.
A redeco of the Super Optimus Prime mold with a primarily red cab, much deeper blue, and a Prime Force uniformly colored in black was planned to be released with Smallest Transforming Transformers Generation 1 Optimus Prime as a Target exclusive. The toy got far enough along in development to have package artwork created by Dan Khanna, which was later revealed online, but it was canceled shortly before making it to full production. Its red, white, and black coloration earned it the festive nickname of "Santa Prime" among fans online.
Accompanied by Prowl, Optimus went to Sumatra and discovered much of the jungle had been destroyed. The Decepticons tried to destroy the Brazilian jungle and take its oil, but once again the Autobots stopped them. Storms of Destruction Following a battle between the Dinobots and the Decepticons, Optimus ordered Slag be repaired by Ratchet at their Antarctic oil supply. Tracking Slag, Megatron attempted to destroy the base with the Crusher, slicing icebergs off the continent. Optimus ordered Autobot superjets to counterattack, but the battle was won when Megatron unwittingly reawakened hundreds of dormant Dinobots beneath the ice. Jaws of Terror Optimus and Prowl were baffled by Megatron's next strategy, a series of hit-and-run attacks in the Pacific rim. It emerged it was a distraction from the enslavement of the population of Buru. Optimus, Prowl and the Dinobots arrived and fought off the Insecticons, foiling the scheme to drain the island's oil. Slaves of the Insecticons When Megatron planned to drain the world's largest supertanker, Optimus had the oil tainted with a corrosive acid, sabotaging the Decepticon submersible. The Autobots flew the tanker to New York City, and ordered the few witnesses' memory to be wiped. Wow. Attack of the Decepticons
This small version of Energon Optimus Prime was released by Kabaya as part of their DX Transformers line of candy toys. Prime transforms in the same manner as the larger Energon figures do, though his arms have to be removed at the shoulder and reinserted into his back to form truck mode. The Prime Force were sold in a separate set in the DX Transformers series, and can combine with Prime to form his Super Mode. Optimus came with a stick of gum.
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Released as part of the Single Pack assortment, Optimus Prime is a show-accurate, non-transforming die-cast vehicle based on his alternate mode. He features through-axle construction, allowing for super-speedy racing on smooth surfaces, and his car mode is compatible with many tracks and playsets from Hot Wheels and Matchbox. He features 4 wheels, as opposed to the Legion Class' 6 wheels & his larger toy's 10 wheels. Optimus Prime also comes with a collector's flyer.
Having been removed from toy store shelves after 1985, Optimus Prime was made available as a mail-away toy in the "Digital Doom on the Highway to Destruction" offer in the US in 1986 to coincide with the Transformers movie premiering that year. He cost $21.50 and 5 Robot Points. He was also offered in 'The Autobots Have A Special Mission For...' mail-away pamphlet and came with a special "Movie Edition Certificate" and a round sticker that read " Movie . Edition . Transformer" with the Autobot symbol in the middle. (This item is considered rare.)