This series introduced the dangerous Predacon faction, robotic dragons and mythical creatures that posed a threat to Autobot and Decepticon alike. In response, the 'Bots and 'Cons don new armor (the Autobots in spiky, over-weaponized armor reminiscent of Mad Max, while the Decepticons take on more beastly traits) and are armed with new gimmick-laden launching/spinning weapons. On-package bios were reduced in length to just a sentence or two, and the instruction sheets instead feature facts about one of the figure's main weapons, as well as a chapter of the Tales of the Beast Hunters prose story.
In one possible sequence of events, Powerglide was captured and reprogrammed by the Decepticons, leading their army to Autobot headquarters. Taken by surprised, the Autobots were felled one by one until only Optimus remained. As Megatron gloated that he would not kill Optimus, only alter him so as to make him the bane of humanity, Optimus activated the Ark’s self-destruct sequence, taking all of the Decepticons with him in a fiery explosion.
This set's Optimusses are based on the Prime incarnation. The larger Optimus is a smaller, simpler build than the first big kit, and makes use of ball-and-socket parts for increased articulation. It also carries a spring-loaded missile launcher. The Optimus Kreon's tampographs are based directly on the Prime cartoon model, though he carries an energon axe akin to the one from the War for Cybertron games. He also has a clear-blue extra "energon" torso piece.
Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.
In the Autobot Campaign, Optimus Prime provides intelligence and missions to Bumblebee in his search for the Allspark. Eventually, the clues lead the Autobot to Sam Witwicky. After saving Sam from Barricade, Bumblebee finally completes preparations for the Autobots to arrive on Earth. Once on Earth and having informed the two teenagers of their mission, Prime and the Autobots are discovered by Sector 7. Optimus sends Jazz on a high-speed destruction distraction mission, then sends Ironhide to rescue Jazz from a double-threat posed by the government agents and various Decepticon scouts. When Bumblebee is captured, Prime transforms and chases the chopper which from which the small Autobot is tied. After a lengthy chase, Prime manages to catch the net, only to be thrown off by another Cybertronian meteor. As Bumblebee is carried away, Optimus promises he will not fail him again. Jazz informs him that the meteor is not an Autobot. Prime confronts the new threat, who turns out to be the Decepticon Triple Changer Shockwave. The two battle it out across Tranquility before Optimus finally destroys him. During the battle, Optimus overhears Starscream's transmission revealing the location of the Allspark. Optimus then returns to an intel role as he guides Bumblebee in his mission to retrieve the Allspark from Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, the Decepticons manage to free Megatron, leading to the final battle in Mission City. As the Autobots battle it out with the Decepticons to protect Sam and the Allspark, things seem to take a turn for the worse as Megatron finally arrives. Before he can claim the Allspark, Optimus attacks him. Optimus defeats Megatron and leaves him on the ground, seemingly devoid of life. However, just as Sam is giving the Allspark to Optimus, Megatron awakens, leaping at Optimus with his chain-flail out, making one last attempt at defeating his adversary. Optimus grabs the chain, pulling Megatron in closer, and, with the Allspark clutched in his fist, delivers a punch through Megatron's spark, killing him. Optimus reflects on the losses and rewards of this battle, as the Autobots have a new home, but many were killed in the battle. The story ends with Optimus and the Autobots choosing to remain in Earth, proclaiming it as their new home.
When Robotmasters G1 Convoy was turned into a Lucky Draw figure, the color scheme into which he was redecoed was chosen through a children's coloring contest held in the pages of the December 2004 issue of TV Magazine. The winning entry was a... startling mixture of blue, orange and two shades of green, earning the toy the fan-appointed nickname of "Crayola Convoy". As with all Lucky Draws, it is extremely rare, with only ten units produced.
He and Metroplex were soon rescued by Bumblebee and Ratchet and they promptly escaped back to Earth, just in time to rescue Grimlock from a Decepticon hit squad. After being misled by a phony distress call, Optimus and his team had to face an assault on the Ark. They repelled the Decepticon attack, but Prime decided that the time was right to go to Cybertron and liberate the Autobots whom Shockwave had enslaved. The Autobots again used the space bridge to reach Cybertron, and mounted an assault of their own on the Decepticon fortress. After fighting their way through the defenses, Optimus and Bumblebee faced down Shockwave himself, defeating the Decepticon with some help from Grimlock. Transformers G1: Awakening
Based on Optimus Prime's Cybertronian form as seen in the Dreamwave comic book "The War Within", this version of Prime transforms into Cybertronian truck. The figure was personally designed by comic artist Don Figueroa, who created the original comic design in the first place, and his signature is left on the figure in the most literal way: the word "DON" can be seen sculpted into the barrel of his silver ion blaster.
A K-Mart exclusive set released on "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving, the most hellishly busy shopping day of the year), this set consists of Super Base Optimus Prime, Jetfire, their respective partner Mini-Cons Sparkplug and Comettor, the Adventure Mini-Con Team, and oddly enough, Longarm. Optimus Prime's red plastics and paint were replaced with gold, the only changes made to anyone in the set. It is this set from which the name of Optimus Prime's combined mode with Jetfire, Jet Prime, comes.
Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in March 2013, "Convoy Reissue BAPE VERSION RED CAMO" (コンボイ復刻版 BAPE® VERSION RED CAMO) is a redeco of the original Optimus Prime toy sporting a unique new red color scheme, along with a red trailer decorated with a camouflage pattern. Both trailer and Prime himself feature the A Bathing Ape logo in place of an Autobot symbol, while the floor of the trailer's Combat Deck mode features new Bathing Ape-themed labels. The figure comes in a recolored version of the original Japanese packaging.
In 2016, the figure saw re-release with the Combiner Force packaging. Being the tenth use of the sculpt at this point, some instances of mold deterioration have affected the figure, including: the vehicle front's bumper (which affects the space on the head/front bumper transformation), the headlights, and/or the legs, and the hole on the left shoulder is also prone to develop a stress mark due to the right shoulder's slightly "thickened" peg. Although the re-released badge didn't seem to unlock Optimus Prime after it was scanned, a later update to the game amended this.
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In the wake of this incident, the transformers managed to reclaim much of Cybertron. Mindful of the dangers of allowing humans like Cobra access Cybertronian technology, Prime sent Perceptor, Grimlock, Arcee, and Bumblebee on a mission to Earth. As it turned out, Prime's fears were well founded. The U.S. government had used parts from Megatron to create Serpent O.R., a cyborg designed to be a perfect weapon. A raid by Cobra allowed it to escape and gather an army of Decepticons on Cybertron, killing Bumblebee in the process. Despite the grief of losing Bumblebee, Prime continued on and rallied his comrades to do the same. Attacking the Autobot capital city, Serpentor's forces proved overwhelming, and Prime surrendered to ensure the Decepticons would cease fire and not kill another comrade. Realizing that Serpentor wanted the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, Prime broke free as Serpentor was distracted, but was unable to kill him. He was promptly attacked and nearly beaten to death by Razorclaw and Motormaster. He was subsequently forced to watch as Serpentor opened the Matrix. In doing so, Serpentor was not only reformatted into a transformer-like mechanoid, but was also shown the futility of the fighting by the Matrix. At this point, Cobra Commander was able to take control of Serpentor's body. In an attempt to stop him, Hawk opened the Matrix and was transformed into a great leader, rendering Cobra Commander comatose. As the Joes prepared to head home, Prime promised to record the Hawk-led humans' future.
Optimus Prime and his troops lay deactivated on the Fera Islands for three million years until G.I. Joe stumbled upon them one day in 1939. The Line The Autobots were reactivated by a repair drone and given new disguises, with Optimus Prime being reformatted into an unknown World War II-era human vehicle. He explained to Duke who they were, and learned that Megatron's Decepticons had been reactivated a year prior, and were currently wreaking havoc on Europe along with Cobra. While hesitant at first, Optimus Prime soon joined G.I. Joe in their mission to destroy Cobra and the Decepticons. Transformed After commanding the Aerialbots to get the Seekers out of the way, Prime advanced across the Fera Islands, but met resistance in the form of Rumble. Trial by Fire
The main build of the set is a massive vehicle based on Optimus's truck cab, capable of seating a single Kreon in the driver's seat. Pushing the trailer-hitch on the back end towards the cab opens up the front grill, revealing a huge spring-loaded rocket launcher with rubber-tipped projectile. The cab can also stow the included stasis pod ussed to lock away the baddies.
Like the First Edition figure, Battle Command Optimus Prime's truck kibble can be detached from the robot mode figure to form his separate vehicle mode on its own, but there is one single sacrifice is needed to be made, so brace yourselves: you need to actually trim off the wires that activates it's lights & sound gimmick in order to separate the kibble from the robot, so good luck if you wanna risk your hard-earned cash for that.
When Starscream attacked a power plant with the aid of his brainwashed ally, Skyfire, Prime carried Grimlock to the scene of the battle on the back of his truck mode. The Enemy from the Arctic During the conflict that followed, Prime's suspicions about Wataru were confirmed when the boy manifested a barrier to protect himself and Bumblebee and to help Skyfire overcome the influence of Starscream's mind-controlling helmet. Wataru was a Booster as well! Wataru's Power His past experiences naturally made Prime hesitant to put Wataru's power to use, but Osamu Kihara made the point that Wataru's power was invaluable for hunting down shards of the Energon Cube. Prime and Wataru headed out to investigate a local relic that Kihara suspected was a cube shard, and Wataru's powers soon confirmed the doctor's findings. Just as Prime was about to report back to Kihara, however, Megatron struck, demanding that Prime hand over both the shard and Wataru. Prime attempted to feign ignorance of Wataru's powers, but Megatron ignored his bluff and encouraged him to hand the boy over, lest he cost another Booster their life. Driven into a rage by the stinging barb, Prime violently attacked Megatron with his energon-axe, but as the duel raged, Megatron continued to question Prime's beliefs and his attitude. Unable to deny Megatron's accusation that he had hoped to use Wataru's power to defeat him, Prime lost his concentration and was taken down by the Decepticon leader. Despite what he had learned about a previous Booster dying, Wataru stayed true to Optimus and activated his powers, healing the Autobot's wounds and powering up his energon-axe into a huge sword. Summoning all his energy, Prime took down Megatron with one almighty slash, then collapsed into stasis lock. Optimus Prime's Secret
Accompanied by Prowl, Optimus went to Sumatra and discovered much of the jungle had been destroyed. The Decepticons tried to destroy the Brazilian jungle and take its oil, but once again the Autobots stopped them. Storms of Destruction Following a battle between the Dinobots and the Decepticons, Optimus ordered Slag be repaired by Ratchet at their Antarctic oil supply. Tracking Slag, Megatron attempted to destroy the base with the Crusher, slicing icebergs off the continent. Optimus ordered Autobot superjets to counterattack, but the battle was won when Megatron unwittingly reawakened hundreds of dormant Dinobots beneath the ice. Jaws of Terror Optimus and Prowl were baffled by Megatron's next strategy, a series of hit-and-run attacks in the Pacific rim. It emerged it was a distraction from the enslavement of the population of Buru. Optimus, Prowl and the Dinobots arrived and fought off the Insecticons, foiling the scheme to drain the island's oil. Slaves of the Insecticons When Megatron planned to drain the world's largest supertanker, Optimus had the oil tainted with a corrosive acid, sabotaging the Decepticon submersible. The Autobots flew the tanker to New York City, and ordered the few witnesses' memory to be wiped. Wow. Attack of the Decepticons
The second known version  ditched the triplechanging gimmick on the cab and simplified things a good bit. This Powermaster Prime has several distinct characteristics only seen in the second design, such as the wider "block head" and two faux smokestacks on top of either shoulder as opposed to one. Also, in a rather odd twist, this design features a black head and fists for both super and regular modes rather than the traditional blue. It also had yellow eyes in either mode a la the original Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime can also combine with Leader-class Jetfire to form Jetpower Optimus Prime by slightly transforming his backpack and feet. Sadly, this takes away from his leg articulation, because otherwise he could never support the massive backpack he has in this mode. However, fans have created alternate configurations that increase leg articulation and movie-accuracy.
Released as part of the Energon Igniters Power Plus Series subline, this Optimus Prime is a Scout-sized mold that converts from robot to truck based on his appearance in Age of Extinction in just a few steps. His only articulation is the swiveling upper arms & pivoting arm joints, and his fuel tanks also doubles as a flip-out cannons, activated in vehicle mode. As with all Nitro and Power Plus figures, Optimus also comes with an energon core, which allows his vehicle mode to propel forwards.
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.