Nonetheless, I remain a big fan of Lego and although I think they have somewhat moved away from their roots with the excess of licensed products (and the earlier licensed products were, in my opinion, not very good because they contained too many specialized non-generic pieces that weren’t useful for generic building. But that situation is improved and in particular we have found the Star Wars sets to be of most value for generic building, because they generally have very few really specialized pieces (although to be fair the sets are most useful for building other spaceships, etc).
Refractor and Laser Prime were only available in a box set named "Chaos on Velocitron" that includes Dynamus and Quickswitch, Parsec and Autobot Nautica, Fastclash, and a Rodimus Prime Titan Master head. The set was officially announced by Hasbro to be a Toys"R"Us exclusive, and was sold at stores in the United States, Canada, and Hasbro's Asian markets (such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong). Despite this, it later became available via Amazon in the United States (but not in Canada) as well, actually sold by Amazon directly (as compared to a third-party seller).
Offered as part of a Lucky Draw campaign in August 2004, this extremely rare version of Masterpiece Convoy is almost entirely vacuum-metalized gold, lacking any other painted detail or stickers. The parts which are not viable are molded in a flat golden plastic; the only exceptions are its rubber tires, the core of the Matrix and the energon-axe, which remain black, blue and orange, respectively. Whether or not the figure was intended to evoke Optimus Prime's entirely-golden appearance in the cartoon episode "The Golden Lagoon", when he was coated with electrum, is unknown; given that entirely chroming a figure gold is a fairly standard deco for Lucky Draw figures, it may just be happy coincidence more than anything else.
In Spotlight: Doubledealer, Hot Rod's search was interrupted by Dealer's arrival on Earth, with orders for Hot Rod: find the Magnificence and use it to learn what they could about the Expansion. Hot Rod took Dealer to his hiding spot, which turned out to be the planet where they first found the device. As Dealer and Hot Rod closed on the Magnificence, he went over his first visit to the planet in his mind, and how things could have gone so wrong. Eventually he began to have suspicions, and upon locating the Magnificence, asked it the question that haunted him: had Dealer betrayed him? Sadly, it revealed the truth, and Hot Rod was forced to kill Dealer as the traitor attacked. Looking down on his remains, Hot Rod realized the truth had been staring him in the face, he just had not wanted to accept it. He then used the Magnificence to find out all he could about the Expansion, and relayed the information to the Autobots.
During the period between December 26 2010 and January 31 2011, Hasbro ran their "Supercharge Your Holidays" promotion: for every $20 spent on Hasbro-branded product, customers could receive a free, random product from a list provided by Hasbro. Among the items on the list was "Transformers Activator & Speed Stars Mini Vehicle". According to this discussion thread on Allspark.com, Rally Rumble Optimus Prime (as the figure is listed in the thread) was one of the figures distributed.
Not long after his resurrection, Optimus was alerted by Monitorus to an attack on Tau-Ursa. Optimus's impending speech was interrupted by a Decepticon attack led by Sixshot. Prime soon discovered that the attack was a diversion, while Galvatron tried out his Nullification Cannon on Cybertron's Energon supplies. Optimus rushed to the Energon plant, but, after clouting Slugslinger so hard that the Decepticon was left dangling over a precipice, Prime's morals forced him to rescue the Decepticon instead of stopping Galvatron from getting away.
In "Prime Target", Lord Cholmondeley, a big game hunter, set his sights on the ultimate trophy, the head of Optimus Prime. In order to lure Optimus in, Cholmondeley captured Tracks, Bumblebee, Jazz, Beachcomber, Grapple, Blaster and Inferno. Windcharger and Huffer were able to avoid being trapped. When Cosmos learned where Cholmondeley was keeping the captured Transformers, Optimus Prime accepted Cholmondeley's challenge to meet him alone. Although interrupted by Astrotrain and Blitzwing's attempt to ally the Decepticons with Cholmondeley, Optimus defeated the big game hunter and freed the Autobots. Cholmondeley and the stolen jet were handed over to the Soviets by the Autobots as punishment for his actions.
The Transformers toy-line is typically divided into two main factions: the heroic Autobots and their opponents, the evil Decepticons (traditionally known in Japan as the Cybertrons and Destrons, respectively, although more recent releases often using the English terms). Transformers toys are sold at a number of price points, and various Transformers series utilize unique play features.
Although the original Japanese incarnation of Transformers: Cybertron, known as Transformers: Galaxy Force, was produced apart from Armada and Energon, the series, as originally conceived by Hasbro, was as the third part of the trilogy. The English language dub of the series treats it as such.[50] Consequently, inconsistencies arise between Cybertron and the other two series, but have been explained by the Cybertron comic book, available exclusively through the Official Transformers Collectors Club, as the result of fluctuations in the fabric of reality caused by the Unicron-induced black hole.
As part of the Robot Replicas line, this version of Optimus is a non-transforming action figure that utilizes Revoltech-style jointing. The sculpt hews much closer to the movie CGI model than is possible with the full transforming toys, plus the universal jointing of the line allows for his forearm to be replaced with his hand-cannon... or bits from other Robot Replicas.
Fire Blast Optimus Prime is a redeco of the previously released Power Hook Optimus Prime fast action battler. The color scheme is loosely based upon Generation 1 Rodimus Prime, explained rather oddly in the card bio as being the camouflage Optimus took while hunting Decepticons on Mars post-movie... because there are so many long-nose cabs driving around Mars. Yeah.

This Japanese series, told through radio plays using the Transformers: Alternators Optimus Prime toy mold, branches off from the original animated series. It is set in a different universe than both the original G1 and Binaltech continuities. Set in the year 2006, one year after Prime's death in The Transformers: The Movie and four years before the third season, it sees Prime's corpse covertly transported to Japan by the Earth Defense Command, a government organization. The convoy transporting his body was attacked by a group of female commandos, led by Marissa Faireborn, who had known Prime years ago as a child. Believing they had secured Prime's body, the commandos were taken by surprise by EDC "Kiss Player" operative Ringo and her Autrooper mechanoid partner, who killed them all except Marissa. Marissa went to Prime's body just as an Autrooper began to fuse with it and, reflecting on her childhood memories of Prime, she gave his faceplate a final kiss. This initiated a transformation where Marissa and Prime were fused together and Prime was reborn with a new body, capable of transforming into a Dodge Ram SRT-10.
The character of Optimus Prime first appears in the 2007 Transformers film as the leader of the Autobots in the search for the Allspark. He intends to destroy it, even if it means sacrificing himself, before the Decepticons can use it to create a new army to conquer the universe. After arriving and scanning a Peterbilt truck, Optimus greets Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Banes, introducing his men and explaining why they have come to Earth. During the final battle, Optimus slays the hate-filled Decepticon Bonecrusher and faces his ancient enemy, Megatron. Unable to match Megatron in combat, Optimus urges Sam to push the Allspark into his chest, which will destroy them both. Instead, Sam rams the Allspark into Megatron's chest, destroying it and killing the Decepticon leader. The film ends with Optimus sending out a deep-space signal, inviting other Autobots to join them on Earth.
His main gimmicks, however, are the two large, blue-and-white mini-guns hidden in his back/hood, which can deploy and "weaponize" either mode. When deployed, the mini-guns swing out from his back/hood and spin, while a red LED inside his torso lights up briefly. The mini-guns swing down to the sides of his head in robot mode, and can also be deployed in vehicle mode when one manually opens the grille. Pushing down on the red lever on the center his torso (in either mode) briefly lights up the LED again and swings the mini-guns back into their hiding places.

A Japanese exclusive, this is a new line of Transformers toys shaped from Disney characters that were first introduced in 2009. Originally revealed in the November 2008 issue of Figure Oh! Magazine in Japan, it was a collaboration project between Takara Tomy and the Walt Disney Company. The first line of the toy series is the Mickey Mouse Transformer which was modeled after Optimus Prime with the same colors as its Transformer counterpart and can transform into a cartoonish trailer truck like the original version. The toy was released on February 26, 2009 following with the Black and White Version a month later on March 26, 2009. A figure of Donald Duck based on both Bumblebee and Herbie the Love Bug, and a second repaint of the Mickey Mouse trailer in Halloween colors, are also planned for release.

Optimus Prime is then informed that Megatron has infected the core of Cybertron with dark energon and is given the task to undo the damage done. After rescuing Omega Supreme, Optimus, Ironhide, and Prowl fight their way to the core, but it's too late. The core informs Optimus that it is far too corrupted. It can repair itself by shutting down, but it will take millions of years. By that time, Cybertron will have to become cold, barren, and uninhabitable. The core gives Optimus a small piece of itself, saying it will still survive as long as the piece does. Optimus accepts the burden and the core relinquishes the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.
A perfect example of why I dislike modern Transformers more and more. I'm 22, and when I was younger Transformers were my favorite thing. I still have many of the ones I had back then. But nowadays I'll go to Target or Toys R Us (RIP) and see what Hasbro has been up to, and they're bragging about how this Transformer only takes 5 steps to transform!
Megatron is captured by the Autobot Targetmasters in the episode "Do Over". When Optimus learns Megatron has been captured, he rushes to be the one who kills his old enemy, despite the closing launch window of the Ark. When confronted by Optimus Prime, Megatron attempts to use the Autobot Targetmaster Nightstick to shoot the Autobot leader, but Nightstick takes control of Megatron's arm. Megatron then tricks Optimus into using Megatron's own sword to cut his hand off, freeing him from Nightstick. Optimus fails to kill his foe and misses the launching of the Ark, which has been taken over by Rodimus. He then takes out his anger on Blurr.

Yet another Reveal the Shield redeco with the Motorbreath retooling, Convoy is cast in clear red and black plastic. He has been 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. Convoy was available at a variety of 2014 events, including on May 3 at a "Kids Walk" event at Fuji Speedway, in special packaging on May 16 at the "Transformers Celebration 2014" midnight event at the Sunshine City Toys"R"Us store in Ikebukuro, on June 15 at Tokyo Toy Show 2014, at the Aeon Mall in Kasukabe on July 19, and at the "Transformers Expo" event in Yokohama on August 9. Convoy was also available as one of three preorder bonuses for Cloud Roadbuster.
Cyber Slammers Optimus Prime is an amazingly cute truck that transforms into an amazingly cute Autobot. "Slam" his robot mode down into car mode and he rolls along for a while, then snaps back up into robot mode. Sure to please the toddler you brought with you to the PG-13 movie! Like most Cyber Slammers, Prime manages to cram most of his vehicle mode's major details into a compact, super-deformed version of that mode.
A nice article but I see a few flaws. First of all if the distribution of LEGO sizes/prices is increasingly skewed it is better to either split the sample or look at medians or rolling medians than averages. Secondly, this is a perfect case to run a regression panel regression with time dummies to see both the impact of time and the impact of size on the prices.

The toy itself is a mix of different versions. The cab has the safety modifications, including the shortened smokestacks and longer missiles (and thicker rifle), but also has the modified hitch of the 2011 Chronicle DOTM two pack. Meanwhile, the trailer is the lighter grey version from the 2008 Universe release. This version also seems to suffer from mold deterioration.
"Vibrant Red" Alternity Convoy is a redeco of the "Ultimate Silver" figure in the much more traditional red and blue Prime color scheme, representing the Optimus Prime of universal stream Primax 109.0 Beta. The figure was available simultaneously with the Ultimate Silver version, sharing the same packaging and pack-in materials, save for the color of the illustration on the front of the box, and a sticker that identified the figure within.
Part of the first wave of Prime: Robots in Disguise Weaponizer Class toys, Optimus Prime is a large toy, similar in size to Leader Class figures from previous Transformers toylines. He features a simpler transformation and design compared to previous Leader-sized figures, with him having fake chest windows (again) and a simplified, hollow truck rear where his feet, arms, and fake chest windows are plainly visible. He comes with a blaster which can mount onto his hands, shoulder-pads, and the sides of his legs/truck rear.

LEGO has changed a lot in its history. It started as a wooden toy company before it discovered the benefits of molded plastic. Since the advent of the brick, we have been able to build everything from houses, to spaceships, to working robots. The increased detail and wider product line has allowed for the blossoming of the idea of LEGO as an art medium7. LEGO bricks walk the line between giving people more pieces that can be used to add detail and restricting the pieces to inspire creativity. There is a balance that can be seen through the amazing works, both large and small, that can be done with a bit of patience and an eye for plastic.


It should also be mentioned that a few years back, I think around 2009 roughly, TLG started using smaller boxes for the same size sets. It was part of a move to not only save money, but also become greener as a company. Because the sets now take up less physical space on the shelf, and boxes with the same number of pieces appear smaller than sets from previous years, it could also contribute to the perception that you are getting less for your money today. In reality they are one and the same product.
Takara's version of the figure was released in their markets slightly earlier, as the first of what would come to be several installments in their Masterpiece line. In addition to coming with a cardboard trailer that the buyer could assemble to "complete" Prime's truck mode, Takara's release differed from Hasbro's by featuring longer smokestacks (kept short on the Hasbro version for safety reasons, but incorrectly shown to be long in the stock photography shown at right), and lacking the black scorch-marked "battle damage" paint applications Hasbro included on the figure's shoulders, wrists and abdomen.
Although no scannable badge is located at his robot mode, the badge was located at his combined mode's left shoulder. The badge was impossible to be scanned while in-package due to the obstruction of the spring-loaded combiner chest kibble. Speaking of impossible, the badges on the re-releases of the toy can't be scanned by the game. The instruction sheet amusingly replaces Optimus's last picture in the transformation process with Sideswipe.
The Masterpiece Optimus Prime toy was featured in a print ad for Nokia 6820 phones in December 2004.[19] 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.)

Part of the first wave of Mini-Con Battle Pack figures, this Optimus Prime figure is a new mold, about the size of a Scout Class figure (In Optimus' case, the size of Cyberverse Commander figure), and scaled with Legion Class figures. Its transformation scheme also takes some cues from the Legion Class figure. Battle Pack Optimus Prime also features a transparent orange battle axe & armor pieces, although the chest armor/flip-up mask piece is needed to be assembled first. The included pieces can be combined into a clawed battle axe, or attached to his body to form his armor (although the flip-up mask can restrict his head articulation). Optimus Prime can totally wield the axe dual-handed. As an undocumented feature, the axe can be stored on his truck mode with the tab featured on Prime's right shoulder.
I suspect that part of the problem with people’s perception of price is also due to changes in tastes as they grow up. A small child will be pleased with relatively small sets, since their lego collection and experience is likely to be almost non-existent. But as they get older, they will tire of the small sets and want ever bigger sets. For adults, most of the fun is in building rather than playing, meaning that size is everything. This means that over their lifetime, the price an individual person (or their parent) pays for lego sets does go up–because the composition of their purchases changes–even though the prices of lego sets over time does not.
Very well written piece. It is very expensive, but as seems to be the trend on here, I would agree you are paying for the quality with LEGO. I like that they have provided the opportunity for adults to build sets with the LEGO Modular buildings range, those sets use real architectural techniques in their construction and are really quite impressive.
Optimus took the mantle of leadership as the civil war against the Decepticons erupted, and would remain in that position for the next nine million years. Ariel was rebuilt into Elita One, the commander of the Autobot resistance on Cybertron. The fate of Dion is left unrevealed. It has been speculated by fans that Dion might have become Ironhide or Ultra Magnus just as Orion and Ariel became Optimus and Elita, but this remains fan speculation only, and, his close friendship with Optimus notwithstanding, there is no evidence to support the idea.
 • Optimus Prime  • Rodimus  • Ultra Magnus  • Alpha Trion  • Arcee  • Blaster  • Blurr  • Brawn/X-Brawn  • Bulkhead  • Bumblebee/Goldbug  • Cliffjumper  • Elita One  • Hoist  • Hot Shot  • Hound  • Ironhide  • Jazz  • Jetfire  • Kup  • Metroplex  • Mirage  • Omega Supreme  • Perceptor  • Powerglide  • Primus  • Prowl  • Ratchet  • Red Alert  • Sandstorm  • Smokescreen  • Seaspray  • Sentinel Prime  • Sideswipe  • Springer  • Wheeljack  • Wheelie  • Wreck-Gar

After a long period of stalemate, Prime grew frustrated at the lack of progress his troops were making against Megatron's forces. To remedy the situation, he ordered the creation of several new Transformers who would be perfectly adapted for combat on Earth. The first among these was Pirhana. Piranha's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile But one of the Autobots' great victories came not through superior numbers or firepower, but trickery and cunning. As part of a plan devised by Optimus Prime's new second-in-command Prowl, the Autobots allowed Starscream to "overhear" that they had uncovered an ancient Cybertronian ship with the means to return to Cybertron. They then stationed themselves around the vessel, atop of Table Mountain in Africa, and awaited the inevitable Decepticon attack over its possession. Optimus met Megatron in battle, but ordered his troops to withdraw after a brief skirmish, declaring the Decepticons too powerful to hold back. Once the Decepticons claimed their prized and entered the ship, they found themselves locked inside it. The ship then shot up away from the planet, leaving the Decepticons without the means to control it. Though the Autobots knew this wouldn't rid them permanently of the Decepticons, they were satisfied with a brief period of calm while they were off-world. Day of the Decepticons


He comes with a shield with a fold-out handle, allowing Optimus to hold onto it with either hand in robot mode. It has a simple transformation gimmick for vehicle mode which is activated by pressing a button at the top of the shield, causing the sides to spring outwards. In vehicle mode, the shield can be laid flat across the bed of the truck, attaching via a post on the back onto the truck’s trailer hitch. Alternatively, the bumpers on the shield can be rotated outwards, and the front can be bent down in order to form a new front end and hood for "battle vehicle mode", resembling the Stealth Force vehicle modes seen in Dark of the Moon.
As with all Action Master toys, Optimus Prime himself could not transform. His sculpt is based heavily upon the The Transformers cartoon model, though the colour scheme may be based upon his Powermaster (pre-supermode cab robot only) body, with blue forearms as opposed to just blue fists, although unlike the Powermaster cab robot it has blue thighs as well. His truck cab vehicle and the trailer do transform, though neither have robot modes. The truck cab can transform into a small plane, while the trailer transforms into a battle station with turrets that several Action Masters can man.
This minor redeco of the Optimus Prime Launcher features grey wheels, blue optics, and added red paint on its upper arms, while the launcher has grey plastic in place of black, smaller Autobot symbols on its sides, and gold paint on its interior instead of silver. The stock photography on the packaging depicts Optimus with a blue stripe on his built-in "trailer", which was omitted in the final product.
Produced as an action figure by the Japanese company Kaiyodo, the main selling point of the line is the 'Revolver' joint. This gives the figure a high degree of articulation, allowing for many dynamic and varied poses. Hot Rodimus is number 047 in the Yamaguchi series, and comes with extra sets of hands, a pair of pistols, an extra head (which is molded with his binocular vision, as seen in The Transformers: The Movie) and a display stand.
Although the original Japanese incarnation of Transformers: Cybertron, known as Transformers: Galaxy Force, was produced apart from Armada and Energon, the series, as originally conceived by Hasbro, was as the third part of the trilogy. The English language dub of the series treats it as such.[11] Consequently, inconsistencies arise between Cybertron and the other two series, but have been explained by the Cybertron comic book, available exclusively through the Official Transformers Collectors Club, as the result of fluctuations in the fabric of reality caused by the Unicron-induced black hole.
If all four Autobots ventured together into the Decepticons’ lab, they first encountered Laserbeak, only to quickly dispatch him. Venturing further into the lab, the group soon spotted the antidote they were after, and sent Mirage to fetch it. Mirage returned with the beaker and news; he had heard Ramjet and Starscream talking about using a new poison to turn humans into mindless slaves.
Nonetheless, I remain a big fan of Lego and although I think they have somewhat moved away from their roots with the excess of licensed products (and the earlier licensed products were, in my opinion, not very good because they contained too many specialized non-generic pieces that weren’t useful for generic building. But that situation is improved and in particular we have found the Star Wars sets to be of most value for generic building, because they generally have very few really specialized pieces (although to be fair the sets are most useful for building other spaceships, etc).
This Japanese-exclusive black-and-gold redeco of First Edition Voyager Class Optimus Prime was available exclusively at the fourteen stores taking part in the Cybertron Satellite promotion. It depicts Prime coated in an alloy reverse-engineered by Ratchet from MECH equipment that protects Optimus against Dark Energon and other techno-biological hazards.
This Japanese exclusive release of Optimus Prime features much more black coloring than the previous releases, and it's (coincidentally) based on the Fast Action Battlers Power Armor Optimus Prime toy, so as to be used with the similarly-repainted Legends Jetfire figure to form the Optimus' powered up combination. For some reason, he has red eyes. This redeco also uses the slightly small fuel tank/elbow tabs from the Battle Damaged release.
Oh, also, I should add that I would like to see if this trend is the same for specific themes, or just over all themes. Although I would guess that the individual themes would show the same general trend you discuss here, one reason individuals might believe in the “price increase fallacy” might be because of the individual themes they support. But again, I think that if you do this, you will find the themes fit the trend as well. If you are looking to go into the numbers more, this might be an interesting area to investigate.
He comes with a MechTech rifle converts into a large battle axe, and can be locked in by pulling the lever all the way in and tilting it into a gap to the left. The rifle has a separate flip-out handle, while the axe uses the rifle's long barrel as the handle, meaning that Optimus can grip the axe with both of his hands. This weapon was also retooled in a running change, adding a stop to the handle instead of relying solely on the gear system to prevent the locking assembly from flying off into parts unknown.
Sure enough, in 2009, when the Hytherion's colossal claw-marks appeared on planets throughout the solar system, Prime's other-dimensional incarnation returned, bringing with him a "Vibrant Red" Vector 109 auto-avatar with which Prime fused. In that instant, he was reborn as part of the Alternity, a manifold being who encompassed all the different incarnations of Optimus Prime through the multiverse at once. Prime reached his hands heavenward and peeled back the layers of reality, exposing the gargantuan fanged maw of the Hytherion looming above the Autobots. From Here to Alternity

The series begins when Optimus and his crew, after picking up a disillusioned ninja named Prowl, are sent to clear rubble from a space bridge passage. There, the Autobots stumbled upon the Allspark and are immediately attacked by Megatron's battle cruiser, the Nemesis. Through treachery by Megatron's second-in-command, Starscream, Megatron was fragged and the Autobots crashed on Earth in the early 21st century. After being in stasis under Lake Erie for 50 years, the Autobots awaken in Detroit of the near future, where they immediately discovered humans in need and became heroes of the city. During the battle for the possession of the Allspark, Optimus goes offline after defeating Starscream, only to be revived by Sari Sumdac and her Allspark-infused key.
This creation and expansion of the secondary market in conjunction with LEGO now marketing some of their products to an older audience has made the prices of some old sets increase exponentially.  On the extreme range, there is the UCS Millennium Falcon that is selling new for upwards of $2,000 (and close to $1,500 USED!). It sold for $500 new in 2007. Even non-licensed sets can run a premium, such as the Cafe Corner that was one of the original modular buildings. It was $150 new and now it can sell for over $1,000.
The mold suffers from a minor design oversight, wherein the rear Nissan badge collides with his left leg strut when the left foot is hinged over and pegged into a clear plastic socket during transformation, with the results being that the connection is slightly crooked, isn't very secure, and sometimes pops off, and that the crooked pegging often causes the socket to crack.
Realizing that the planet is dying, Optimus orders a mass evacuation of all Autobot cities, but many transport ships are destroyed by the Decepticon satellite Trypticon, under orders from Megatron that no one shall leave the planet. He orders the Aerialbots Jetfire, Silverbolt and Air Raid to fly and destroy Trypticon. The aerial trio manages to destroy Trypticon's jet pack and send the Decepticon behemoth crashing into Cybertron, where Optimus Prime and the Autobots band together to narrowly defeat him, sending him plunging into a pool of raw energon. Optimus and the remaining Autobots volunteer to stay and defend Cybertron from Megatron for as long as possible while the rest evacuate the planet. He commissions a massive vessel known as the Ark to transport the remaining Autobots into space when the time comes.
The Hot Rod from the future animated movie continuity would also appear. Target: 2006 had Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr timejump from 2006 (specifically partway through the Transformers movie) to 1986 to thwart Galvatron's scheme, under the influence of Unicron; later post-movie stories revealed that Firebolt had died on Earth years before 2007, and Space Pirates had Rodimus Prime briefly reverting to Hot Rod during the Quintesson attack on Autobot City. This Hot Rod also appeared in several of the "Aspects of Evil" stories. Told from the flashbacks of an aged Rodimus Prime, these had Hot Rod come up against some of the greatest Decepticon villains. He accepted the surrender of Scorponok - only to wind up defending him and a human town against the Micromaster Air Strike Patrol: defending Autobot City from a full-scale attack by Shockwave: and being captured and used as a pawn by Megatron to flush out an Autobot spy in his ranks. (Marvel UK #223-227)
In 1989, the entire line became limited to Pretenders and Micromasters. For the first time, the Transformers received a new design for their title logo. But many also regarded this as a time of a dearth in creativity and the lowest point in the toyline's history. The year 1990 saw the last American burst with the release of more Micromaster characters and the introduction of the Action Masters, non-transforming action figures who came with Transforming companions. Larger Action Master sets came with transforming vehicles and bases. The Action Master line was criticized for its perceived desperation for a gimmick, although it had a few defenders. The line predictably faded and would be the last Transformers output in the US until 1992.
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.
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