While the other Autobots searched for the Matrix on Earth, Optimus Prime searched for Vector Sigma, guided through the dangers of the planet's catacombs by the spirit of Alpha Trion. Prime eventually arrived at the computer, only to find his way barred by Cyclonus and Scourge. At that moment, Hot Rod arrived with the Matrix, the same with which Alpha Trion merged, re-energizing it. The Matrix transformed Hot Rod back into Rodimus Prime and, for the first time, the two Primes fought side-by-side and defeated Galvatron. Before Rodimus could implement the Matrix to stabilize Vector Sigma, however, Optimus Prime merged himself with the computer, restoring its balance to save the planet. Optimus Prime sacrificed himself, dying again only a few short episodes after his rebirth. Later, Prime would make a final and permanent return in the Japanese Transformers continuity, Battlestars: Return of Convoy. This entry was only available in print, appearing in the TV Magazine, a Japanese publication.
I you can get an official reissue for around the same price, do it. I lucked out and got an opened but mint Encore for $50 last week but you'll be getting lucky that way. All Hasbro reissues have short smokestacks and long stacks are harder to get separate to swap out. Average price for a Japanese reissue is around $100 opened. If you are on a budget and the kid doens't care about slight issues, the $40 KO would be the better option.
Optimus Prime comes with many accessories in addition to the aforementioned Matrix, including the character's traditional laser rifle, now termed (and henceforth known as) an ion blaster. The initial release of the figure cast the ion blaster in grey plastic, but later assortments recast it in its more familiar black coloration. Other accessories include a transparent orange energon-axe that plugs into either wrist when Prime's fist is retracted, and even a non-transforming gun mode Megatron weapon, with removable stock, silencer and scope accessories, in homage to several instances in the Generation 1 cartoon when Prime was forced to wield his enemy. Pack-in bonuses that came with the figure included an inner cardboard tray illustrated to resemble the interior of Prime's Combat Deck, and in later releases, a small poster drawn by Pat Lee.
The real selling point of the toy, however, is the colossal Omega Combat Armor. Optimus' trailer transforms into nearly two feet of limb extensions, armor, and wings. The armor remains completely integrated (except for the Ultimax Super Cannon) during transformation, with no partsforming, although this renders the final power-up robot mode somewhat limited in articulation, having no leg articulation whatsoever aside from swinging the hips out slightly and twisting at the ankles for maximum stability. The armor adds six more 5mm ports of dubious utility around the feet, retains the four from the cab robot and the eight from the trailer (on the backs of the wings), and has his own pair of 5mm fist holes. In trailer mode, it can support itself using folding blue landing gear, although the attached ball-jointed struts make it somewhat less than realistic.
Hasbro's Toys R Us-exclusive 2003 reissue of Powermaster Optimus Prime was actually a modified version of Takara's then-recently reissued God Ginrai set. As such, the cab was partly constructed out of die-cast metal, vacuum-metalized plastic and had clear blue windows. The trailer was retooled so the super robot's fists could slide in and out of the arms. This set also included the originally Japanese-exclusive Apex Bomber drone trailer that attached onto the back of Optimus Prime's trailer in vehicle mode, and could become extra armour in super robot mode.The missiles where unchromed and lengthened due to safety issues as opposed to the Japanese release which were chromed and shorter.
In shock over the news, Optimus could do little more than scream in agony as Megatron and Starscream made their escape. After regaining his senses, the Autobot leader resumed contact with Ratchet, relaying the order that all Autobots were to return to base. There, Optimus tried his best to calm his panicking subordinates. Though he assured them that power reserves would allow their civilization to continue functioning for some time, they remained jittery. Optimus then declared that he would spearhead a counter-invasion of the Underground. Still, the Autobots remained uncertain, with Brawn pointing out that the Underground was not only vast and dangerous, but mostly unmapped as well. Taking full responsibility for SARA's abduction onto himself, Optimus suggested that he venture to the Underground alone and track SARA's energy signature. Hot Rodimus, however, was unwilling to allow his leader to take such a dangerous course of action, and volunteered to join him. The rest of the Autobots, finding their courage at last, followed suit. Moved by their devotion, Optimus accepted. He also thanked Hot Rodimus for calling out his foolishness, as Optimus now recognized that he would have made an even greater mistake by diving headlong into a doomed venture. Brawn approached Optimus next, insisting he join the group. Optimus at first refused, as Brawn had gotten badly injured during the invasion, but was convinced by the minibot's resolve. Once they were ready, Optimus issued the order to his Autobots... ROLL OUT! Resolve
This redeco of the Ginrai tooling of the Powermaster Optimus Prime figure (released concurrently with the 2001 reissue of the Ginrai figure) was a Toys R Us Japan exclusive black repaint, made to represent the original Optimus Prime equipped for a special mission. All of his red and blue plastics were changed to black, his clear blue windows were now tinted red, making his overall colour scheme very reminiscent of the now-familiar 'Black Convoy' color schemes.
It may be that the price of an individual brick has gone down over time, but what does it matter if the size of the bricks has decreased overtime? Sure, the average number of pieces in a set has increased, but how many of those pieces are tiny details? To answer this question, I compiled all the weight data on brickset.com and compared the sets by their price per gram in a similar fashion to how I compared them by price of piece. Below is the chart of my results (prices are in US dollars).

Note: Although American importers shouldn't have too much trouble, those living in parts of the world using higher strength A/C current outlets should be warned NOT to simply plug the A/C adaptor in with only a socket adapter, as this will overload the device and fry it completely. Buying the appropriate kind of universal A/C adaptor and a stepup/stepdown transformer (the electrical kind) with advice from an electronics specialty shop is recommended.

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.

If Optimus ordered his troops to come to the humans’ aid, they found themselves taking part in a struggle in futility, as the entire town was near-weightless, meaning they couldn’t put the humans anywhere where they wouldn’t float away once more. Then, the Autobots heard Decepticons approaching. Helpless in their current position, the Autobots were quickly eradicated by the Decepticons.
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