Excellent article. Especially for pointing out how different we remember things from ‘when we were kids.’ (I swear Optimus Prime was two feet tall!) My only criticism is linking to those two Brickset articles about supposed “quality decline”… the headlines are sensationalist and inflammatory, and a LEGO rep eventually replied to the spurious claims with information that deflates much of the (somewhat unfounded) criticism. Also the comments give me a headache. Otherwise great stuff!
Categories: 3H Enterprises charactersAction MastersAutobotsConvoys (Transformers)Devil's Due charactersTransformers automobilesFictional characters introduced in 1984Fictional commandersFictional refugeesScience fiction film charactersFun Publications charactersGo-BotsTriple ChangersMaximals (Transformers)PowermastersPrimes (Transformers)Robot superheroesSpy ChangersTransformers AlternatorsTransformers characters in video gamesTransformers: Energon charactersTransformers: Prime characters
Eject lamented that all the great and famous Cybertronians, including Optimus Prime, were long gone by the time Cybertron was controlled by the Builder Assembly. Broken Windshields The Maximal Overshoot experienced a series of visions from Cybertron's past after discovering the Oracle, including Optimus Prime launching the Ark during the Great War. Cultural Appropriation
The SS-03 version of Takara's Deluxe-class Optimus figure, based on the Anniversary release, was released in Hasbro markets in a two pack with the smaller Japanese Megatron figure. There are some tiny but notable differences between this and the Anniversary figure; the Hasbro version uses a more neutral dark-gray for the main body as opposed to the Takara version's blue-tinted dark-gray, plain dark-blue plastic rather than dark-blue-with-sparkles, and plain yellow paint for the cab's lights rather than sparkly-yellow/gold.
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.
Due to the interference of Ravage, the same as the one who appears in the Beast Wars, most of the events of the original animated feature do not transpire. The most influential of these events is the Battle of Autobot City. Because this battle did not occur, Optimus Prime and Megatron do not have their final showdown. This means that, for this continuity, Optimus Prime does not die and Megatron is never reformatted into Galvatron. As a result, Optimus Prime is able to lead the Autobots during the Binaltech saga.
The first Transformers toys were created from two different transforming robot toylines from Takara, the Car-Robots and Micro Change, from the Diaclone and Microman series, respectively. Hasbro acquired the rights to sell them in the United States but, instead of selling them under their original names, they were rebranded as "The Transformers". The first two years consisted primarily of reusing the Car-Robots/Micro Change molds. The earliest toys had some parts made of die-cast metal, which were eventually phased out.
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).
The Autobots helped repair a Smitco Oil Refinery site which the Lazarus-controlled Transformers had attacked. Optimus had no answer for Spikes accusation that the Transformers' presence on Earth was responsible for the destruction. When Megatron's activities at Lazarus's base were spotted by the military, Optimus insisted on the Autobots going in without backup. They discovered Megatron in the middle of a plan to reformat Earth into a new Cybertron using a cyber-virus. Optimus rejected Megatron's suggestion he should just let it happen, but while the two factions fought, the human military unleashed Operation Clean-Up, dropping a bomb on them. Prime Directive #3
The Japanese release of Powermaster Optimus Prime actually represented a new character named Ginrai, and featured several retools: the cab featured die-cast metal, shortened smokestacks, vacuum-metalized plastic and clear blue windows, while the trailer was given retractable super robot fists. This Japanese version was eventually issued by Hasbro in 2003 as part of the Commemorative Series collection (see below).
"Bot Shots" Optimus Prime had many confrontations with his Megatron counterpart, crashing into each other in vehicle mode and then slugging it out in robot mode. Battle for the Matrix Bot Shots commercial Bot Shots Dragon Track Commercial One Bot Shot Optimus and Megatron belonged to neighbours, and taunted one another when their owners left for school. They both burst out of their respective houses, destroying the windows on the way out and colliding in mid-air. Battle for the Matrix Bot Shots commercial
I don't have a really good pic and I probably have something more rare in a box somewhere that I can't remember but this is my fav 'rare' Transformer: https://s3.amazonaws.com/tf.images/reduced-image_4474_106.jpg Sorry I don't have a real pic, I am packing up to move but here is a stock pic of TF Prime FE Japanese Convention Exclusive Optimus Prime.
Having been removed from toy store shelves after 1985, Optimus Prime was made available as a mail-away toy in the "Digital Doom on the Highway to Destruction" offer in the US in 1986 to coincide with the Transformers movie premiering that year. He cost $21.50 and 5 Robot Points. He was also offered in 'The Autobots Have A Special Mission For...' mail-away pamphlet and came with a special "Movie Edition Certificate" and a round sticker that read " Movie . Edition . Transformer" with the Autobot symbol in the middle. (This item is considered rare.)
Optimus Prime led the Autobots to stop Megatron's attempt to cyberform Earth. After discovering that Megatron's new weapon was the Proudstar, Optimus initially tried to preserve the Cybertronian history contained on its Ferrotaxis supercomputer. Inside the Proudstar, he received a prophecy of his future death from Teletraan Alpha, but he merely expressed happiness that his friends would survive. After the Plasma Core was damaged and proved to be too great a threat to Earth, Optimus reluctantly decided to destroy it and the Ferrotaxis in order to preserve humanity's right to forge their own future. When Megatron shot shot the Ferrotaxis into space in one last spiteful effort to stop the Autobots, Prime rode an Insecticon swarm into Earth's orbit for a final showdown with Megatron, ultimately forced to destroy the Ferrotaxis. Once Megatron was again defeated, Optimus called upon the Autobots to stop merely living upon Earth and adopt the planet as their new home. Later, he and Wheeljack discussed plans for the Optimus Maximus project. Transformers: Devastation
A later prototype/mock-up was much closer to the final product but still has some noticeable differences, such as a head with much larger antennae, longer smokestacks and a front grille section that includes the rectangular section that would sport the "Freightliner" logo on the real-life truck (on the final toy, the rectangular section is part of the hinged upper section that includes the windows). It would have also been possible to attach the ion blaster to either of his shoulders.
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.
At some point, Optimus Prime disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and Ultra Magnus arrived from Cybertron to take his place as Autobot commander. Galvatron's Air Attack Prime eventually returned many centuries later, now sporting a Powermaster body, and rejoined the Transformers' war after it had moved from Earth to the alien planet of Nebulos.
Scarlett later used the Brainwave Scanner to contact Optimus's spirit and guide him back to the mortal realm. In the physical world, Ultra Magnus challenged Megatron to a duel on a Dyson sphere surrounding the sun. The Autobot god had not ferried Optimus to the afterlife - he had merely repaired Optimus's body by taking it into himself. During the climatic duel, he allowed Optimus to burst free from within his armor. The reborn Optimus punched Megatron into the sun, then turned his attention to reclaiming the stolen Matrix from the Decepticons. After Atlas defeated the maddened Primus, Optimus healed Snake-Eyes' injuries. Optimus then turned his attention to returning Primus/Cybertron to its regular orbit. As the planet left the solar system, he departed aboard the Ark 2 alongside a crew of Joes and Autobots, in the hopes of contacting the Makers. The War Never Ends
The cab is yet another iteration of the original Optimus Prime/Convoy toy, based on the Ultra Magnus retool, as distinguished by the elongated hubcap pegs on the front wheels. Indeed, the iPod-aesthetic, all-white deco would make you think this figure should be Magnus, but no, the packaging clearly says "Convoy", making it twice in one year that Takara has released a white-redeco Prime that isn't Magnus.
A limited edition of the Optimus Prime toy sold as a mail-away exclusive by PepsiCo was made available in North America in 1985. This version of the figure came with a small fold-out leaflet glued to the top-right of the packaging, which contained two Pepsi logo stickers for the buyer to attach to Prime, mid-way through the traditional silver-and-blue stripe on his trailer. Canada also got a version of this promotional figure, but with much larger stickers that were the full length and height of the trailer. This promotion would go on to serve as the inspiration for the Japanese character of Pepsi Convoy, who would in turn be released by Hasbro as a new "Pepsi Optimus Prime" in 2007.
Prime comes with a unique Cyber Key, designed after the twin-handled appearance of the Matrix of Leadership, bearing the code l8p3. When inserted into the cannon that the rifle is part of, a pair of additional spring-loaded missile launchers flip down from the its sides. Slotting the key into the electronic cannon opens up the panels covering the front of the barrel, unlocking a different sound with its button is pressed. The paint job of the key is the principal difference between the Hasbro and Takara versions of the figure; the Japanese release features a metallic gold paint border around the key, furthering its resemblance to the Matrix. Other differences include more thoroughly painted knees and leg-armor cannons, yellow-painted signal lights above the cab, and the use of metal hinges to hold on Prime's wing tips, which were removable on Hasbro's version, and came disconnected in-package.
This is a redeco of the 2004 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime, released to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the original Transformers animated movie and DVD release. He is painted in flatter, non-metallic colours to more closely resemble the original cartoon model, as well as the Voyager-class Classics Optimus Prime figure. The color of the light of his feet has changed too. As a cost-cutting measure, all vacuum-metalized plastic has been replaced with with silver and gold paint. Confusingly, his Ion blaster is now cast in blue plastic.
The Hasbro website explains it best: "The rogue DARK NINJA MASTER was exiled to a cave beneath Arashikage Mountain for betraying the ninja clans. After finding the Moon's Blood, a mystical stone of great power, he was able to channel the energy of dead ninjas, making him almost unstoppable. Seeking revenge, he has emerged from his subterranean prison to destroy all ninjas. Only two people can stop him: STORM SHADOW and SNAKE EYES. The two adversaries must join forces, for only by working together will they be strong enough to defeat this evil super-ninja."
On the battlefield, there are few who rival Optimus Prime's prowess. He is easily the strongest of any Autobot his size, and his ion blaster and energon-axe are deadly weapons. He would sacrifice his life to protect his fellow Autobots or those under their care and does so on a regular basis. His compassion for other sentient beings is his only real weakness, and one the Decepticons have taken advantage of time and again... though it's also the source of his strength!
Following this, Prime began to experience subconscious urgings, leading both the Autobots and the Decepticons to the Arctic Circle, where Shockwave arrived to greet them—and arrest them as war criminals. Shockwave had succeeded in ending the war on Cybertron, and brought a team of Triple Changers to apprehend them. As Optimus stared down Blitzwing's cannon barrel, he was saved by Grimlock, though he subsequently had to order a retreat. Prowl convinced him to let a small team stay as recon while the others returned to the Ark and discussed the change in situation. New World Order Though Optimus was puzzled by Ultra Magnus having fallen in with Shockwave, he had little other choice, and surrendered to Magnus. Despite being bound, he took the first opportunity he got to make his feelings clear. Prime and those of his Autobots who had also surrendered were put on a shuttle back to Cybertron, where Shockwave planned to have them deactivated. Brothers' Burden
This Asian-exclusive redeco of AM-01 Optimus Prime features a sticker-less, extensive paint-job, coating his red parts and half-translucent arms in glossy metallic paint, painting his torso, shins, grille, fenders, and wheel rims silver, painting half of his feet in glossy black, having painted headlights, and featuring a unique "snake" insignia on his roof/right shoulder-pad, due to 2013 being the "Year of the Snake". O.P comes pre-assembled, lacks stickers, and features paint operations.
The second Nightwatch Optimus Prime was released as part of the "AllSpark Power" second half of the Movie line. He is similar to the UK version of Nightwatch Prime, replacing most of his red and blue with different shades of blue and black, retaining his resemblance to Diaclone Powered Convoy in most respects. However, the subdued black and copper on the first Nightwatch Prime have been replaced with gold and a very bright blue, to signify the All Spark energy affecting the Transformers. The translucent parts were also cast in purple translucent plastic instead of black translucent plastic.
Legion Class Optimus Prime is a redeco/retool of the first Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class figure, with the deco resembling the paint job from Optimus Prime's Western Star "5700 OP" concept truck. While the main body is identical to the figure, the arms and legs are newly tooled, with simple assemblies for the wheels. The retooled legs now features a more solid stopping point, which prevents the center front grill/legs to swing back further. It should be noted that his flame decals are painted over the side windows.
Available only via mail-order through Dengeki Hobby magazine, this black and gray redeco of Optimus is one of four "Black Body" promotional Robot Masters toys made available through different outlets simultaneously. He came with his normal accessories (it is worth noting his axe was solid silver), plus a chromed-gold clear-red-plastic version of Psycho-Orb's "Calamity Defenser" solitarium shield.
Part of the first wave of the "Mini-Con Weaponizers" subline imprint, this One-Step Changer figure of Optimus Prime is a new sculpt. In the Robots in Disguise mobile game, it was identified alternatively as an "Advanced One-Step" or "Evolved One-Step" figure depending on the user's region, but on the toy's packaging, no such modifiers are featured, and it is available as part of the regular One-Step Changer assortment. This figure shares most of its engineering with One-Step Fracture.
He now comes with a half-translucent gun which lights up and expands MechTech-style when the lever is pulled. Bizarrely, the main section of the weapon is sculpted to resemble Prime's forearm, with the unfolding part being his in-show gun. Additionally, he comes with an opaque sword resembling the Star Saber, which he can wield two-handed. The gun features a peg on its underside and a port on each side, while the sword features a peg and peg-hole on its hilt in addition to its 5mm handle. In robot mode, either accessory can mount on his hands, on either of his shoulders, or be pegged into either of his half-translucent forearms. In vehicle mode, the top of the vehicle mode cab can also fold back to reveal two additional peg holes, and there are three peg holes (including the fifth wheel hitch) on the back section, although the hitch tends to open up and not hold very well.
Rodimus gained the help of the criminal Witwicky family, believing they would help him learn more about Earth. After fighting Goldbug for leadership of the Autobots, he renamed himself Rodimus Prime. His first attack on the humans was to take control of the base controlling a human military satellite and use it to blackmail the humans into making him the leader of the world. The Decepticons were able to break into the base, where Heatwave used his ability to control machines to have the satellite fire on its own controls and then destroy itself.
In robot mode, Voyager class Optimus Prime is proportionally more accurate to his CGI design than the leader class toy and has a more accurate headsculpt, but due to the aforementioned lessened complexity significant sacrifices had to be made, such as "cheats" to the transformation sequence, to achieve this and thus he is overall less accurate than he initially appears. In addition to previously mentioned changes, he carries much of the truck's front hood, grill and fenders on his back like a backpack. However, he maintains a superb level of articulation and posability.
The Transformers Energon figure pen is based on Optimus Prime in his standard Energon body. About the size of a scout class toy, he transforms from truck mode to robot mode almost identically to his mainline toys, apart from the fact that his feet contain the pen and cannot bend. It's really hard to write with, and almost impossible to pose, even though it has full arm articulation. Amusingly, this figure can position itself to transform into his super robot mode (by flipping his helmet on, opening his chest and flipping his hands in), but because there are no versions of the Prime Force drones in this scale, it's impossible to complete him.
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.
Prime's homecoming was not all he had hoped for, for Shockwave had taken control of the planet. Prime and the other transformers were forced to go underground, waging a guerrilla war against the Decepticons. Around this time, Cobra would attempt to steal Teletran-3, but their attempt to teleport directly into the chamber would set off a catastrophic malfunction, one that threatened to crack open time itself. Optimus Prime and the Stunticons were amongst those who found themselves sent back in time. Optimus was reformatted into a 1920s semi-truck and was eventually rescued by Roadblock, Beach Head and the Baroness, who helped him capture the Stunticons.
During the promotion of the Transformers films, Optimus Prime appeared in several commercials. Optimus Prime, along with other Transformers, were featured in several commercials for General Motors. Scenes with Optimus Prime were used in several General Motors commercials. A commercial for the Discovery Channel featured Optimus Prime singing part of a promotional song.
Transformers: War for Cybertron was released in June 2010 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo DS. The game takes on Cybertron during the Great War between the Autobots, led first by Zeta Prime and then Optimus Prime, and the Decepticons, led by Megatron. Transformers: Cybertron Adventures was released alongside War For Cybertron for the Wii and utilizes the same characters and setting.
Calibur Optimus Prime is a retool of the Armor Knight Optimus Prime figure, who is a retool of the original Age of Extinction Leader Class figure, with the fifth wheel hitch now forming his handheld shield based on the one used in Dark of the Moon, which results in a backpack-less robot mode. He also comes with an axe based on the one used in the third film.
The first Unicron Trilogy Optimus Prime toy transforms into a longnose truck cab of made-up model. His clear-plastic smokestacks can detach and form a double-barrelled pistol that he can hold in robot mode, and a button on top of his head causes his mouthplate to jiggle up and down as if he were talking (the irony being that while this was a familiar trait of G1 cartoon Optimus Prime, in the Armada animated series, this Prime's mouthplate remained static when he talked). He can also hold a large cannon that is stored within his trailer, and his chest flips down to reveal a (non-removable) Matrix of Leadership. He is packaged with his Mini-Con partner Sparkplug.
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.
Cloud Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Classics Voyager Class Optimus Prime mold, transforming into a modern cab-over style truck of made up model, dominated by a large "energy unit" on his roof (actually a wind vane). He features a similar Generation 1-inspired deco to the original toy, but aims for a "cleaner" appearance by omitting many paint details such as stripes on the cab, while the energy unit is colored black with a silver Autobot insignia in homage to Generation 2 Optimus Prime. In robot mode, Prime's energy unit transforms into a large blaster and his smokestacks transform into a smaller laser cannon. Additionally, both weapons can combine together to form a double-barrelled over-shoulder weapon. He was available exclusively at TakaraTomy Mall.
Knight Armor Turbo Changer Optimus Prime is a Voyager-sized figure that transforms from truck to robot in just 2-steps: pulling his whole truck kibble to the front then fold down to complete the robot mode, although converting him back requires some few steps. His only articulation is the elbows, and he features 5mm compatible hands. He also features a "Knight Armor" gimmick, which consists of his mask popping out to his head with the press of the button on his chest. Take note that you need to flip back the mask manually before you turn him back into Truck Mode.
In the forest, Trailer observed the lost Red Jet and Yellow Sports Car. He wondered why Red Jet didn't just fly out. The Story of the Lost Plane! Trailer later played in the Quiz! BeCool show with Tank Lorry on his team. The two's answer fumbling and arguments led them to lose the game. Another BeCool, Garbage Truck (清掃車 Seisōsha), was part of one question. The Story of Quiz! BeCool While Yellow Sports Car was explaining BeCool marks to you, Trailer was asleep in his Trailer Base, appropriately displaying his "Zzz..." BeCool mark. The Story of What Do I Know About the BeCool Mark?
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.
This gold vacuum metallized (save for his black joints, which they were made out of unpaintable plastic) Protoform Optimus Prime figure was featured as a Lucky Draw giveaway (along side similarly gold vac-metal versions of Voyager class Optimus Prime and Protoform Starscream) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Released in 2008, only 5 pieces were made, making it one of the rarest Lucky Draw figures; the images at right represent the only known photographs of it.