This. Is. Awesome. I remember running LEGO piece auctions ~1998/99 on RTL (rec.toys.lego) then later my own website. I’d buy sets at Walmart and other places on discount, break them out, and sell the pieces as lots. I knew I’d always make good money if I could average < $0.10/piece cost (ideally around $0.07) and sell for $0.15 – $0.20+ … fun times!
This is a new line which features robot versions of various Marvel Comics superheroes (and later more of the Star Wars Transformers figures once it merged with this line). Confirmed figures are Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Venom and Hulk. Hulk turns into a tank while Iron Man turns into a jet. Spider-Man becomes a helicopter, Wolverine turns into a 4WD, Venom turns into a turbocharged retro car. They are not to be confused with the Marvel Megamorphs toy line, which also featured transformable mecha piloted by the superheroes. Eventually, the Star Wars Transformers figure joined the line with reissues of previous figures, as well as all new molds.
One more thought: LEGO is a Danish company. The fluctuations in the price of LEGO such as the big bump around 1985-7 in Figures 1 and 2 could be because of a change in exchange rates. The conversion rate between the Danish Kronor and the US$ went from over 10 in 83 and 84 to less than 7 in 86 and 87. LEGO might have been slow to respond to changes in exchange rates, leading to the temporary bump. If you’d like to share data we can redo your graphs in DKK.
(translated from the Japanese Wikipedia article) The Transformers: Kiss Players was a Japan-only line of Transformers toys, manga, and audio dramas released in 2006. Kiss Players is set in an alternate Transformers universe where the Transformers are powered by the kisses of young girls. The toys themselves come packaged with small, scale figurines of the girls who power them. The toyline was openly admitted to be aimed at a specific part of the market — adults, rather than children. The comic that accompanied the Kiss Players was an unashamed reflection of this, with several images which were considered by some to be very sexually themed.
A minor redeco of Beast Hunters Voyager Class Optimus Prime that has the gray parts cast in a darker plastic shade, lacks the black paint operation for the Star Saber's hilt, changes the color of the side windows' paint operations from yellow to green, adds yellow paint operations for the headlights and lacks the silver paint operations above the front windows.
Of course, while Bumblebee does a lot of serious action in the films, tumbling and punching and kicking, you don’t see McFly doing a whole lot of that in the Back to the Future films. In fact, McFly doesn’t get up to too much more hard-core physical action, aside from some skateboarding and wailing on the guitar. Nevertheless, Fox does have a distinctly bowlegged gait, and you can see some of that in Bumblebee, and you can maybe see some Fox mannerisms in his more casual interactions with Sam Witwicky.
The TakaraTomy version, part of the first wave of Movie Advanced Series toys, is dubbed "Classic Optimus Prime", and opts for a deco closer to Prime's previous on-screen appearances, omitting the blue paint on his feet and hands to reveal the gray plastic underneath, and adding new paint details all over. Instead of painting it in clear light blue, his light-piping eyes is neutered with opaque light blue paint. In terms of quality control, at least one sample has missing it's silver paint on the head's left cheek.
After the successful Armada toy line, Hasbro/Takara introduced Transformers: Energon. The accompanying television series program was a direct continuation of the events of Transformers: Armada and featured many of the same characters in new forms. This was reflected in the toy line, as characters such as Hot Shot, Jetfire, Optimus Prime and Megatron were all released with entirely new molds.
Sold by Hasbro Toy Shop at various conventions, Pepsi Optimus Prime is a repackaging of a virtually unaltered 2005 Japanese Pepsi Convoy. (Again, his stacks are shortened for safety reasons.) However, this U.S. release is, officially, a different character. Whereas the Japanese release's bio explicitly identifies the product as a separate character from Convoy (created with help from NASA, no less), the U.S. bio conversely indicates that their version of the character most definitely is Optimus Prime. His motivation for schilling Pepsi is, apparently, that he wanted a new disguise but basically couldn't be arsed to actually reformat into a new altmode.
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.
While they wandered through the tunnels, the Joes and Prime found cave paintings that described the last visit to Earth by the planet-eating god Unicron. They were attacked again by Bludgeon and Cobra-La minions, but were led away by a ragged Joe Colton, prisoner of Cobra-La for the last 25 years. Black Horizon, Part 1 of 2 Bludgeon managed to find them again and during a second battle Prime tore open the Pretender's shell, revealing Bludgeon's robot form inside. Bludgeon tripped and dangled dangerously over a chasm, but rather than let Optimus Prime save him, Bludgeon forced Prime to drop him to his death laughing all the way down.
On another plane of existence, Optimus travelled the path to the Matrix, guided by the voice of his old mentor Alpha Trion. The path led him to Grimlock, who had also been killed by Megatron; Prime rescued Grimlock from Kremzeek, the demonic eater of souls. At the gateway to the great beyond, they encountered Bludgeon, who announced that only those who bore the "key to Vector Stigmata" may pass through. Prime realized that the wounds on his body form the key, but the angel insisted that these would grant Prime access. Prime took Grimlock's sword and bestowed the key on Grimlock, allowing the former Autobot King to ascend into the Matrix while Prime stayed behind. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12
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The largest Action Master set, this incarnation of Optimus Prime is a non-transforming action figure which comes with the "Armored Convoy", a large, heavily armed tractor trailer. The cab of the truck transforms into a small jet that can seat one Action Master figure, while the trailer itself converts into a larger battle station with turrets that several Action Masters can man. The sculpt of the Prime figure itself is closely based on his character model, albeit with a coloration that seems to have been based at least partially on the small robot form of his Powermaster body.
This Wal*Mart-exclusive two-pack pairs the deluxe-size Classics Optimus Prime figure with live-action movie line's Fast Action Battlers Power Hook Optimus Prime toy. Both toys are identical to their original releases, and together represent the Optimus Primes of the oldest and newest generations (at the time) of Transformers, respectively. The movie Prime is designated "2007 Optimus Prime", while the Classics figure is dubbed "1984 Optimus Prime" (referring not, of course, to the toy, which was produced in 2006, but to the character).