The Masterpiece Optimus Prime toy was featured in a print ad for Nokia 6820 phones in December 2004. He is posed bent over to look at the phone and scratching his head. Pleasantly, most of the pose pictured is perfectly possible with an un-kitbashed, un-Photoshopped version of the toy. (The real toy can't bend forward at the waist like that, alas.)
Labeled as a "Triple Changer", Striker Optimus is a redeco and retool of Dark of the Moon Supreme Class Jetwing Optimus Prime, with new weapons. The base figure has most of the same mold changes as Jetwing Optimus Prime (see below), but has been altered further; in particular, the transforming smokestacks and fuel tanks/ion blaster parts have been replaced with retooled regular tanks that now function as mounts for the new accessories. The colors on the toy are darker than Jetwing Optimus, with a different flame deco that extends farther along the sides of the toy. Additionally, two new 5mm holes have been added to the gray hinge behind the cab in order to accommodate the Toys R Us Japan-exclusive battle blade accessories. The "I am Optimus Prime" saying of Buster Optimus Prime has also been replaced with the "We must stop the Decepticons!" saying of 2010 Transformers Optimus Prime, although batteries are not included.
The figure features newly redesigned hip ratchets to make both robot and combiner mode stable, which were also installed in both TakaraTomy's Motormaster, Grand Scourge, and a revision wave of Hasbro's Motormaster. The pegs that Legends Class Rodimus (or Blackjack) attach to have also been slightly modified to provide a tighter fit, making the latter toy much less prone to falling out.
Part of the new Adventure Shokugan series, this Optimus Prime is a transformable snap-fit kit molded in red, blue, and yellow plastic with detailing from stickers. The kit's transformation engineering is borrowed from the Warrior class figure. But unlike the said toy, the Axe must be pegged onto Prime's legs before transforming, and his shoulders are molded on his front truck halves/shoulders not being flipped down. Also, the stickers are used to cover the molded cavity on the front shoulders. As with Fixit & Underbite, Optimus Prime is fully transformable.
QT-M Optimus Prime is a redeco of the GT-R Optimus Prime mold in the colors of the Transformers-sponsored Nissan GT-R used by the Team Mach racing team (a vehicle previously used as the base for non-toy character Mach Five Racing Prime). Like Transformers GT's Safety Prime, this toy was a collaboration with the Super GT racing series and was given away free to young children who attended TakaraTomy-sponsored "Kids Walk" events held by Super GT in the fall season of 2015.
Another thing different now from when I was a kid (70s/80s) is that the sets contain much fewer basic bricks. It seems the models are made out of all these exotic specialized pieces which are less useful for general building. Is this a business strategy to sell more sets by reducing the reusability, a marketing ploy to sell more pieces by making every set include unique collectable parts, or just trying to make the models look more realistic/slick? I think Lego was more fun when the majority of bricks were basic.
This new smaller mold of Optimus Prime features a similar transformation to the original toy. Unlike most transformable figures in this line, Optimus completely lacks 5mm fist holes. Compared to the finalized toy, the product photo on the back of the box has a number of deco differences, most notably silver thighs and white accents above the front windows in addition to those below. The same box photo and the more deco-accurate stock photo (right) also neglect to fold out his fists, which is the only other step in his two-step transformation.
An extensive redeco of the Protoform Optimus Prime mold that was exclusively available at the Japanese C3xHobby Convention in August of 2007, and later offered by e-Hobby in limited quantities. Most of the body is made out of transparent turquoise plastic in order to mimic its frozen state in the "coldness" of space, while orange paint is used on the front end of the "entry" mode, mimicking the heat effects of sudden atmospheric entry. The flame attachment is made out of clear blue plastic, with the tail end being covered in gold paint.
A single-packed version of the battle damaged Voyager Optimus Prime toy from the Sam's Club exclusive three-pack. Although the assortment number and the general packaging style (which are both the same also used for the Premium Series redecos of Voyager Class Autobot Ratchet and Megatron) seemed to indicate that this might be a Best Buy exclusive, it was later confirmed to be an "international market" exclusive. It was released in Hasbro's Southeast Asian markets, but was not available in the USA outside the Sam's Club three-pack.
Optimus Prime is armed with two large rifles formed out of a combination of both smokestacks and fuel tanks. These rifles peg into lower arms with grips for his open hands. The under-slung fuel tanks can fire spring-loaded projectiles. In vehicle mode, both smokestack rifles can be deployed as twin cannons, and this mechanism can also be used to store the rifles and deploy them as shoulder guns in robot mode.
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.
This gold vacuum metallized version of Optimus Prime is a prize in Hasbro's Asia Age of Extinction campaign. To qualify for winning this toy, one must be the biggest spender of the day during the midnight launch of the AoE toyline at specific Toys R Us or participate in a lucky draw. This toy is limited to 7 pieces. 2 are in mainland China, while Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan each have one.
When Highbrow was captured by the Decepticon leader Scorponok, Optimus Prime agreed to surrender himself to ensure his fellow Autobot's safety. Naturally, though, Prime did not expect Scorponok to hold up his end of the bargain, and he had Hosehead and Fizzle rescue Highbrow while he allowed himself to be imprisoned. Their mission successful, Hosehead and Fizzle then sprang Prime from his cell, and the team beat a hasty retreat. Autobot Hostage
Outstanding work here. After reading a number of complaints about how the price has ‘increased’ over the years, it’s great to see this analytical approach. One additional hypothesis I have is related to the increase in the number of sets released each year, which would appear to be supported by your data. More sets to buy to be ‘complete’ makes for more money out of pocket.
Although the animated series ended in the U.S. after The Rebirth, Optimus Prime continued to appear in animated sequences of Transformers toy commercials, progressing from Powermaster to Action Master. He even made an appearance as a computer-generated Combat Hero. Many episodes of the series were re-aired to promote Transformers: Generation 2. During these sequences, computer-generated scenes featuring key G1 characters are borrowed from Generation 2 commercials to serve as opening, closing, and commercial bumpers. Optimus Prime is shown in the opening and closing fighting Generation 2's Ramjet.
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.
A giant-sized transforming Optimus Prime figure is set to be released for the third film. The set comes with a Leader Class-sized Optimus Prime figure and a trailer that transforms into his Omega Combat Armor - both of which combine to form Prime's Ultimate mode. This set will be released on August 1st, 2011, a month after the film's premiere.
In 2007, the Optimus Prime of universal stream Primax 109.0 Beta encountered a mysterious messenger from another world: another incarnation of himself from a parallel dimension who left him with a warning. Two years hence, Megatron would bring the terrifying super-dimensional lifeform known as the "Beast of Time", the Hytherion, into their dimension to destroy Earth. The only thing that could battle the Hytherion was the power of the super-evolved multi-dimensional race of Cybertronians known as the Alternity. Prime agreed that when the danger appeared, he would join the Alternity in the fight.
When Optimus and Hound eventually made their way there, they found that C-81 and his gang of criminals had escaped prison and were combating the Waruder soldiers responsible for the planetary shutdown. Optimus mistakenly assumed that C-81 and his goons were there on purpose, and joined them in fending off the invaders. They were soon joined by Burn Out and Lift-Ticket, who informed the Cybertronians that they had stumbled across the Waruders' main hive. Lift-Ticket explained the Waruders could be repelled if he managed to get a sample of the hive's venom. Optimus was willing to go along with Lift-Ticket's dangerous plan, despite C-81's skepticism. However, the battle came to an end when C-81 managed to grab a hold of the Waruders' leader, and forced the bug into peaceful negotiations. Optimus agreed to allow the Waruders to migrate to another Cybertron via C-81's illegal interuniversal gate, in exchange for a venom sample that would be used to create an anti-toxin to revive the TransTech. The General nonetheless impounded C-81's gate afterwards, though he did let the criminals "slip away" as thanks for their part in thwarting the Waruder invasion.
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.
There is some difference of opinion on how the super mode of Leader Class Optimus Prime is supposed to assembled. Takara toys and the television series portrayed with the wings up and his two large guns underslung, however Hasbro later sold the toy with pictures and instructions having the wings down and the guns over the shoulders. Commercials and repainted models by Hasbro went back to the way Takara assembled the super mode. In 2006 a Costco exclusive of Optimus Prime packaged with Wingsaber and a DVD (with Armada Supercon Optimus Prime printed on it!) of the episode United was sold, again with the wings-under gun-over super mode. In Japan a gold chrome edition of this toy was released as a Lucky Draw special.
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.
TakaraTomy released another reissue based on the Encore version as part of their Chronicle line in 2011, lacking the original Generation 1 trailer. Instead, the Chronicle version was available in a two-pack with Dark of the Moon Deluxe Class Optimus Prime and a new trailer that could be used by both Optimuses, thanks to a retooled trailer hitch on the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure.