As a result of striving for vehicle realism and painstaking accuracy to his visual portrayal in the live-action films, this Optimus Prime ends up being ridiculously complex. Transforming him back into a truck is probably more complicated than shown in the movie and can only be considered torture. Very unfortunately, the instructions for this toy are infamous for being amazingly vague and unclear in their visual depiction of the transformation steps, making transformation even harder. Also, let us not forget that, upon transforming him back to robot mode, he will declare his identity over and over and over and over and over until you're finished.
Voyager Optimus Prime is a redeco of the toy from the first movie's toyline. Like several redecos or retools of 2007 movie toys, there has been some effort to make this release noticeably different from the previous releases, though the toy ends up looking less accurate to the actual movie appearance than those previous releases. Optimus Prime has a sort of faded Autobot logo on the side of the truck's bunk, and kanji (Chinese characters) on the roof (ending up on his knee in robot mode.) The word "上海将军" means "Shanghai General", while "大将" means "Grand general".

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.
Mega Optimus Prime is a new larger-sized mold with the similar transformation scheme from the 3-Step Changer toy. It transforms from truck to robot in just 3 easy steps! His deco is based on his appearance in the season finale "Battlegrounds". He also obtains additional articulation on the arms, and sports connector ports for any Robots in Disguise (2015) Mini-Con figures.
Optimus Prime has fictionally shown a dislike of certain kinds of music and dance. For the Marvel Comics continuity, the letters page for issue 324 mentions he hates the music of Mötley Crüe. In the cartoon continuity, "Blaster Blues" and "Quest for Survival" have Optimus react noticeably more passive-aggressively to Blaster's choice of music than the other Autobots. And in the Dreamwave Generation One continuity, Hardwired features an uncalled for negative remark about Jazz's dance skills.
After weeks of Decepticon silence, Optimus Prime decided to get proactive and sent out patrols all over the planet to try and flush the villains out. None of the patrols reported back with any success, however, and Prime realized that there was one area of the planet that his troops had deliberately ignored: the mysterious "Nebulos Triangle". Quickswitch, Scoop and Quickmix were sent into the Triangle, and they did indeed discover and foil the Decepticon plot going on in the area. Decepticons Underground 

When the long-lost Titan Masters reemerged into modern society and joined the Autobot-Decepticon war, Optimus Prime was partnered with the Titan Master Apex, who carried a portion of Prime's spark, boosting the legendary commander's already formidable abilities. Titans Return Apex/Powermaster Optimus Prime toy bio On Velocitron, Optimus Prime was present for the biggest race of the year when Scourge and Crashbash arrived and attempted to botnap Hyperfire. Optimus ordered Sentinel Prime and Hardhead to battle against them. Later, Optimus was part of a battle on Cybertron against Soundwave. During the battle, the Autobots' base Fortress Maximus transformed to thwart the Decepticon advance. Optimus Prime declared that to defeat the Decepticons, the Autobots would need to master the power of the Titan Masters. Titans Return: The Power of the Titan Masters


Then he dreamed of awakening, only to find his troops smashed. Realizing his only hope for survival lay with Cybertron, Optimus then boarded the ship the Autobots were repairing, and travelled back to his home planet. Arriving on Cybertron, he found it completely under Decepticon domination. Optimus then met an old Autobot codger who pleaded that he return to Earth to gather a force that could overthrow the Decepticon’s regime. Optimus remorsefully told the old Autobot that there could be no reinforcements from the planet Earth. The two Autobots were then swarmed by Decepticon police officers, who Optimus fought until his dying breath…
Several Autobots and Decepticons, including Optimus Prime, were reformatted into will-less war machines under the control of Cobra. During an initial attack on a human peace conference, Cobra's remote control of Optimus (whom they had nicknamed "HISS-14") mysteriously failed. G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers #1 Later at Cobra's island headquarters in the Caribbean, Cobra scientists pulled Optimus apart to find out what was impeding their commands. As this analysis took place, Optimus reverse hacked into Cobra computers until they shut him down in a panic. G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers #2 Despite this, Prime sent a viral message out to hundreds of email addresses that included the coordinates of Cobra's base. The message was intercepted by G.I. Joe who teamed up with Wheeljack and Bumblebee. After Wheeljack broke the remote control over the Transformers, Prime went after Cobra Commander. G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers #3 More than a bit frightened of a giant robot gunning for him, the human released Megatron, who was trapped in gun mode. Megatron transformed and fought Prime to a standstill until other Autobots came to back him up. G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers #4
For accessories, he comes with (according to his bio) "the ancient weapons of the Primes", such as his Nexus Sword (a reference to Nexus Prime), the Vector Shield (an upscaled, non-transforming version of the shield from his Cyberverse "Beast Blade" toy, and a reference to Vector Prime), as well as a generic cannon with a pressure-fired missile. All of his accessories can peg into his hands, right forearm, backside, and vehicle sides.
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
A redeco of of the Cyber Commander toy above, this Prime features grey plastic replacing the original blue, some deco differences on the arms, body & legs. He also features a flame tampograph on the sides of his vehicle front. He comes in an altered packaging that replaces the first version's painted prototype stock photos with CG renders depicting the new deco, and also features a new Hasbro product code number, thus making him officially a separate product rather than a drastic running change variant.
In Transformers: Armada and Transformers: Energon, Optimus Prime shares the role of main protagonist with Rad, Alexis, Carlos, Starscream and Hot Shot. The Optimus of this universe shares many similarities with his parallel universe versions, including nobility of spirit and a strong desire to protect all humans on Earth. In this continuity, the two sides are not looking for energon, but a small race of power-enhancing Transformers known as Mini-Cons. Optimus led his small band of Autobots to stop Megatron from acquiring their power for himself.
Part of the first wave of 2012 Generations Deluxe Class toys, Optimus Prime is based on his Fall of Cybertron design, and transforms from a robot to a Cybertronian truck and back. His ion cannon, based on a weapon seen in his concept art, can mount via either of its two 5mm posts onto ports on his hands, forearms, back, and shoulder smokestacks. The toy is known for being oddly small for an Optimus Prime toy, especially when compared to other toys from the same line. This allows him to be more or less in scale with Grimlock and Bruticus (likewise from the same line), however. Optimus features sculpted fake wheels on his back.
Although the character was redesigned to some extent, like the other characters in the film, many classic design elements remain in his robot mode including a predominantly red torso, primarily blue legs, the presence of windows in his chest, smoke stacks on his shoulders, and a head design influenced by the original, featuring the iconic faceplate and ear finials. The faceplate is able to retract to reveal a mouth. His weapons include his iconic ion blaster stored in the form of the fuel tanks on his back, and a shell cannon stored on his back, two retractable energon blades that extend from both forearms, which is a homage to Prime's energy axe in the Generation 1 animated series, two retractable energon hooks on both of his forearms, and bladed knuckles. The trailer contains an energy axe, a shield, and flight gear. In the later IDW comics, he displays the ability to produce a holographic driver.

Another release of the Reveal the Shield Legends Class sculpt. The deco for its initial release is unchanged from the Transformers release from 2012, whereas the tooling is identical to the 2012 release's running change variant, with the retooled hands and a hole on the back of his head/top compatible with Cyberverse 3mm pegs. Bizarrely, the package art is lifted directly from the Generations Legends Class Optimus Prime/Autobot Roller two-pack's packaging, whereas the stock photos depicted on the back of the packaging are taken from Reveal the Shield Optimus Prime's packaging and only slightly altered, advertising a "Reveal the Shield" rubsign gimmick the toy doesn't actually have. Meanwhile, Hasbro's official stock photos provided to online retailers (including an in-packaging photo) depict the toy with the sword that came with the running change variant of the sculpt's 2012 release, even though the actual toy doesn't include the sword.
The term Generation 1 is a retronym; the series was simply known as "Transformers" until the release of the Generation 2 series. However, the term has become semi-official, as both Hasbro and Takara have referred to this era as "Generation 1". New characters are still occasionally added to the line, primarily by E-hobby. (Examples: Sunstorm, Hauler, Detritus, and the like.) Large-scale production of new characters in this line ended with the onset of Generation 2. Transformers fans often are very upheld with the G1 community. This has led to controversy among fans who consider G1 to be the only "pure" form of Transformers.

If Optimus went along with Perceptor’s plan, he sent out Sparkplug to fetch the Autobots’ secret stash of emergency fuel. Putting all of his faith in the Autobot scientist to uncover a cure swiftly, Optimus attempted to comfort his troops as they all began to experience sickness pains. Then, Red Alert informed Optimus of a Decepticon attack force moving in on their position, prompting Optimus to ask Perceptor to dispense whatever cure he had been able to concoct, despite it being untested. Perceptor suggested another course of action to Optimus; the tainted fuel the Autobots had left untouched could be used to create a poisonous smog if lit aflame. The Autobots could attempt to poison the Decepticons with their own concoction, or they could risk the untested antidote, despite whatever side-effects it may have.
A redeco of the first Sports Label Convoy, this figure transforms into a white, navy, and grey sneaker. Promotional images for the figure depicted its robot mode as white and aqua-blue, but the finished product was visibly darker, produced in shades of off-white and dark teal. In either coloration, it sure as heck looks like it should be Ultra Magnus, but for whatever reason... it ain't.
In a rare move, there were no brick and mortar store exclusives in Western markets for the regular Prime line. The "Rust in Peace" special edition of Terrorcon Cliffjumper was available at San Diego Comic-Con and Hasbro Toy Shop, while the "Dark Energon" series of translucent redecos was sold by online retailer BigBadToyStore. All of the "Dark Energon" toys were available at general retail in Singapore and Malaysia, and the Voyager Class figures were also available at general retail in the Philippines.

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

Originally, Optimus Prime was created as the leader of the Autobots, though it is unknown how he was created or his origins. In a possible future, Megatron was threatened by the existence of the Aerialbots and had Shockwave build a time machine to send them back in time to get rid of them. However, he only ended up changing history for the better. In the revised timeline, 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.
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