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.
Optimus Prime was originally known as Orion Pax, a police captain from Rodion. An encounter with a pre-Decepticon Megatron would change the course of his life, teaching him that freedom was not just the right of all "civilised" beings, but of all sentient beings, and causing him to publicly reclaim the name "Autobot", previously used only at Cybertronians as a derogatory term, before the corrupt Senate.
The first reissue of the original Optimus Prime toy in North America since the Generation 1 toyline reached its end, this "Commemorative Series" edition of the figure was a Toys R Us exclusive. It was mostly identical to the original figure, save for some necessary modifications made for safety reasons: In the first instance of what would become a recognizable alteration to the mold, the toy's smokestacks were shortened, while the Combat Deck's firing missiles were elongated to prevent potential choking, as was the case with all other Commemorative Series figures' firing missiles. This release also had the trailer's launching feature removed.
This Voyager-sized Optimus Prime is an all new mold (with a similar transformation scheme to Age of Extinction Voyager Class Galvatron, notably the shoulders, rooftop backpack, and the leg/wheels combo) based on his Leader Class figure. He features a similar but different transformation scheme, which results in a somewhat clean robot mode, although most of his vehicle kibble hangs on his back. He also features the sword & the shield based on his final design in the movie, albeit the sword being painted similarly to the Armor Knight Optimus Prime's sword. His Sword can store underneath his Vehicle mode or his robot mode backpack, while the shield can be stored on the truck's fifth wheel hitch, which can also tow the trailer included from the Japanese exclusive Mechtech Voyager. Although the pectoral armor can be slightly pushed up a little bit further, the pieces have to actually stop at where the rectangular pegholes are located.
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.
An undocumented aspect of his transformation is that his gun, which splits in two halves and secrets inside his kibble when transforming (much like Rattrap's) has two handle pegs on opposite sides, so that it can be held either at its far end or halfway along its length. The former position makes the weapon look (charitably) more like his traditional ion blaster—or Ultra Magnus' rifle. Additionally, the gun halves can be plugged together in two different ways, theoretically allowing you to create an infinitely long weapon (or at least one of ridiculous proportions).
The figure has useful swivel joints at the shoulders and neck, and not-so-useful ones at the wrists and knees. It comes fully painted and pre-assembled, but true to his garage figure origins his Ion blaster must be cut free using a hobby knife, then assembled. His clear blue chest window piece is removable to allow the installation of his Matrix of Leadership, as is a Movie-style Matrix cover (not pictured). He also comes with an alternate hand that allow him to hold his accessories, as well as unpainted and uncut duplicates of his Matrix, hands and helmet, for some reason...
Early in this new series of encounters with Megatron, Red Alert contacted the Autobots on Earth and asked for Optimus Prime to join then on Velocitron. Ransack and Crumplezone tricked Hot Shot and Dirt Boss into believing that a race between them would determine which of them would be allowed to race Override for the Planet Cup. During the race, Ransack and Crumplezone caused a rockslide that buried Hot Shot. Hot Shot was saved when Optimus Prime, Vector Prime, and Landmine arrived, but Optimus was upset that Hot Shot had become involved with the locals. Clocker and Brakedown were eager to help the Autobots. After being unable to obtain the Planet Cup from Override herself, Optimus Prime endorsed Hot Shot's plan to win the cup in a race with the aide of the other Autobots. Ransack and Crumplezone were contacted by Megatron and were told to keep on eye on things. They also decided to enter the race, either to win the cup and cause as much damage as they could to the other racers. Override, Dirt Boss, Ransack, Crumplezone, Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Red Alert, Landmine, Clocker and Brakedown participated in the qualification round. In the final episode of Transformers: Cybertron, Optimus Prime proposed a new Space Bridge project using the power of the four Cyber Planet Keys and the four great Cybertronian ships. Many Autobots and former Decepticons joined in the project. Jetfire was left in charge of Cybertron as Optimus Prime led the Atlantis with the Earth Cyber Planet Key, joined by Red Alert, Safeguard, Scattorshot, Leobreaker, Menasor, and Heavy Load.
Optimus Prime (formerly Orion Pax) is constantly, if not always depicted as having strong moral character, excellent leadership, and sound decision-making skills, and possesses brilliant military tactics, powerful martial arts, and advanced extraterrestrial weaponry. Optimus Prime has a strong sense of honor and justice, being dedicated to building peaceful and mutually beneficial co-existence with humans, the protection of life and liberty of all sentient species. As the current Matrix of Leadership bearer, Optimus Prime is the de facto leader of the Autobots, a faction of a transforming species of synthetic intelligence from the planet Cybertron. The Autobots are constantly waging civil war against a rival faction of transforming robots called Decepticons. According to Bob Budiansky, co-writer of the Transformers series, Dennis O'Neil was responsible for his name.
Though Optimus was a master marksman, he had a personal policy against shooting directly at his opponents' bodies during his races. In one such race, he allowed his rival to take the lead so that he could use his favorite weapon, the Impact Wrench Gun, to blast the road beneath the other racer's feet, causing him to lose his balance. Transform in a gust! When GT-R Megatron burst onto the scene, roaring that all previous races had failed to "ignite his warrior's spark," Optimus readied to give him the race of a lifetime. GT-R Megatron Attacks! Like other racers, GT-R Prime attended photo shoots alongside Misaki in order to promote coexistence between humans and Transformers. The Work of the GT Sister Race Queens? When a reincarnated Unicron attacked the Transformers GT finals and absorbed the huge energon pool saved up for the final prize, Prime restored his true power by using the "Matrix In" process to recombine with Misaki. Together with the other powered up racers, he fought and defeated Unicron, saving the Earth. The True TFGT
As this is the Unicron Triogy we're talking about, it should come as no surprise that Prime can transform into a Super Mode by combining with his trailer, which becomes a massive winged backpack and a pair of large boots, generally evocative of God Ginrai. To complete his Super Mode look, a small lever of the back of Prime's head raises his traditional mouthplate into place, covering his Optimus Primal-style mouth slot, and two "crests" fold out from either side of his helmet. Hasbro's instructions and stock photography for the figure orient the wings so that the two cannons point over Prime's shoulders, but Takara's have wings arcing up past his shoulders, with the cannons slung under his arms. This was the way Prime appeared in the cartoon series, and was the way all subsequent Hasbro redecos of the toy were positioned. In Super Mode, Prime is a rather top-heavy robot, and his hip joints are not that tight, which makes standing him up a challenging prospect.
Unite for the Universe Optimus Prime would have been a redeco of the 2007 Optimus Prime Voyager-Class mold in a similar style to the Leader-Class Buster Optimus Prime (see below), with a much more accurate and detailed paint scheme, including white stenciled flames. He would have come with a set of Jetfire armour parts to form the powered-up Optimus Prime seen at end of Revenge of the Fallen, and due to not having to form Jetfire's robot mode or his jet mode, the armour parts are far more accurate to the movie's design of them than the leader class Jetfire toy could manage. While not combined to Optimus Prime, the armour can be arranged to form a sort of weapon emplacement mode or a jet engine on the back of Optimus's vehicle mode.
Optimus Prime is armed with two large rifles formed out of a combination of both smokestacks and fuel tanks. These rifles peg onto his 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.
Prime filled one of the chase figure slots for the tenth wave as well. This rare figure was the same as the regular Super Mode PVC, except instead of wielding his Convoy Gun, Prime was armed with the Star Saber sword. As with the previous chase figure, it could only be found in one out of every ten cases, and took the place of the full-colour Prime figure in that assortment.
Exclusive to LDH Shop, this redeco of the Music Label Convoy toy is utterly ridiculous and was created as a promotion for the Japanese pop band EXILE. While Convoy himself has EXILE written on his right forearm, his trailer sports the "Love Dream Happiness" tagline of LDH Inc., as well as the "EXILE Perfect Year 2008" logo of the "EXILE Perfect Year 2008 Ultimate Best Box" boxset, which was released some months after he was.
Optimus Prime (Clear Ver.) is a redeco of Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class Optimus Prime in black and clear blue plastic, available only in the August 2014 issue of TV-Kun magazine. His only paint operations are on his abdomen and face, but stickers for additional detail are included on the issue's sticker sheet. Optimus Prime has been slightly retooled to include a magnet in his right foot, allowing him to interact with Lost Age Battle Command Optimus Prime and Age of Extinction Stomp & Chomp Grimlock.
In Transformers Ongoing, which takes place two years after the events of All Hail Megatron, the Autobots would remain on Earth as Prime feared the return of the Decepticons. Unfortunately, this led to the capture of a number of Autobots by Skywatch, including Windcharger, Gears and Prowl. Hot Rod was reformatted into a Pagani Zonda. Already frustrated, he lashed out at Optimus, accusing him of keeping the Autobots on the planet because he needed someone to protect and demanding he be allowed lead a team to rescue Prowl. An admonished Prime agreed to a covert operation, but with Ironhide along to watch over things. While Prowl was freed, it turned out the humans had used him as bait to draw the other Autobots in. However Wheeljack's new shielding protected Hot Rod's team from Skywatch's inhibitors and in a panic the soldiers switched to lethal measures. Hot Rod was targeted and Ironhide was killed protecting him. An enraged Hot Rod turned on the humans, damaging their equipment and machinery.