In our list of things you didn’t know about Optimus Prime, we learned that the live action version of Optimus was based on actor Liam Neeson. It turns out Michael Bay likes to base his Transformers on real actors, because it’s been revealed that Bumblebee’s character movements are based on Michael J. Fox-- but not just regular old Michael J. Fox; we’re specifically talking about Marty McFly in the Back to the Future movies.
Prime's body was entombed in a massive deep-space mausoleum with the many other fallen Autobots. In 2006, his grave was desecrated and his body reanimated by Quintessons in an attempt to destroy the Autobots by using Prime to lure their space fleet into a trap. The Matrix was able to purify Prime of the Quintesson influence, and he ordered the other Autobots to clear out while he piloted his flagship into the Quintessons' detonator, triggering the explosion of a nearby sun. Prime was supposedly destroyed in the explosion. According to "The Return of Optimus Prime", Prime's body was recovered from the craft by two human scientists, Jessica Morgan and Gregory Swofford, just minutes before the explosion. As their ship departed, it was coated with solar spores, which induce rage and madness in any sentient being they came into contact with, released by the explosion of the sun. Jessica's father, Mark Morgan, loathed all Transformers, and his hatred only grew when an attempt by the Decepticons to steal a heat-resistant alloy he had developed resulted in Jessica being paralyzed. Swofford and Morgan reconstructed Optimus Prime's body, planning to use it as a delivery system for the spores in order to destroy the Transformers.
Ultra Magnus is a redeco of the Diaclone "Powered Convoy" figure, itself a redeco and slight retool of "Battle Convoy", the toy that became the original Optimus Prime figure, sporting a new trailer. One of the last few Diaclone toys to be released in the Transformers toyline, Magnus was recolored from the original toy's dark blue, red and black color scheme into a more patriotic red, white and blue, though his chestplate, which was rendered white in his package art followed a more the blue color scheme of his shoulders. He transforms into a Freightliner COE, towing a car-carrier trailer capable of transporting up to four normal-sized Autobot cars. As with Optimus Prime, his cab transforms into a small robot, which can then combine with the trailer to form a "super robot", although all original Generation 1 fiction prior to the 21st century ignored this and simply rendered the super robot as Magnus's default robot form. To facilitate this combination, Magnus sports a slightly longer front axle than Prime, thereby creating tabs on either side of the cab that slide into grooves in the trailer to help lock the small robot into place. He is armed with a rifle sporting two handles that allow either of his robot modes to hold it, and two shoulder-mounted missile launchers, whose spring-loaded firing mechanism was removed for the Hasbro release of the figure.
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 "Unicron Trilogy" version of Optimus Prime is a fictional character of this branch of Transformers lore. Appearing in Transformers: Armada, Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Cybertron (known as the aforementioned trilogy), Optimus is the leader of the heroic Autobots. He often converted to his super combat mode. In all three series, Optimus' English voice actor is Gary Chalk, who previously voiced Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines.
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
The third version  would quite possibly have been the most gimmick loaded Transformer in the history of the line, simultaneously being a Powermaster, Headmaster, and triple changer. The Headmaster also would have been a triplechanger, turning into a sort of armored four-wheeled rover (Roller II?) and robot as well as a rather silly looking Optimus Prime head with four vertically aligned wheels jutting off the sides. It seems that when the extra Headmaster gimmick was scrapped, the super mode head remained separate rather than being reintegrated into the trailer hitch such as on the earliest design. Notably, the body of this design is extremely close to the final design.
The Japanese release of the figure also underwent the changes in weapon shapes, but never featured a silver Roller; instead, their original release of Prime featured a Diaclone-style Roller without the two rear pegs, and the differently-shaped launcher that accommodated him, before a running change switched over to the Hasbro version of the mold. Finally, in some European countries, Prime sported red feet, as opposed to his traditional blue; this version of the figure is also known in some cases to feature a differently-painted forehead crest which leaves the three central indentations unpainted blue.
The final waves of this line, released in early 2014, really pushed towards younger kids, with incredibly simplified designs based on the characters' Cyberverse releases, which actually allowed the toys to be larger than most others in their size class. Unfortunately, as they were tail-enders, their US releases were nearly nonexistant: only the Voyagers made it out at US retail, and only through discount chains like Ross and TJ Maxx. The rest ended up released only overseas (not even Canada got them!).
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.
He made it out of the building and ran into the real Sunstreaker, who blasted the 2 clones following Hot Rod. Sunstreaker ignored Hot Rod's warning about Scorponok's army and stormed into the building so Hot Rod painfully wired himself to send a distress signal. When Sunstreaker's real head was later disabled by Hunter, the Headmaster clones shut down, which Hot Rod explained to Grimlock. The group was surprised by the arrival of Shockwave, but Ultra Magnus had heard Hot Rod's distress call and was on his way to Earth. After Scorponok knocked out Sludge and Grimlock tended to him, the remaining Dynobots offered Hot Rod a lift aboard the Monsterbots' ship. He refused though, and made it back into Machination HQ to take care of something "personal". He eventually found Scorponok's real head. Hunter also showed up and let Hot Rod know how to disable it, but before he could do so, Scorponok grabbed him. Before Scorponok could crush Hot Rod's head, the Dynobots showed up and began to battle Scorponok. Hot Rod told Swoop which wires to sever, and he did just that, reducing Scorponok to a catatonic state. Ultra Magnus arrived took everyone back aboard his ship, which later docked with the Ark-32. Within 3 days, Hot Rod was fully repaired, with a new body form design.
The Japanese version of the toy, named "Optimus Prime Revenge Edition", was exclusively available at Tokyo Toy Show 2009, and later also from e-HOBBY. Despite being sold in Hasbro packaging like the mass retail Revenge toys in Japan (plus the addition of Japanese stickers marking it as a Japanese market release and containing Japanese safety warnings and manufacturer information), it slightly differed from the Hasbro version insofar as it lacked the tampographed kanji lettering.
Part of the first wave of Generations: Combiner Wars Voyager Class toys, this is a bigger, bulkier incarnation of Optimus Prime with a striking resemblance to Ginrai. He comes with two blasters which he holds via 5mm post. One of the guns is based on his trademark Ion Blaster, and both weapons store on the back of his vehicle mode as a makeshift engine block. His torso mode has several details that appear to be influenced by Energon Optimus Prime's super mode, including the head, chest, and thighs. In particular, the chest details are modeled after the Spark of Combination. He also features two pair of fake windows on his robot and gestalt chest halves. The combiner head can be used as a robot mode head if you're feeling silly.
Later, Orion Pax worked as an archivist in the Iacon Archives, and was friend to Ariel and Dion. Shortly after the trio encountered a group of time-traveling Aerialbots, the Archives were attacked by Decepticons, and Pax and Ariel were severely injured. The Aerialbots took them to Alpha Trion, who rebuilt them into Optimus Prime and Elita One respectively. Golden Age The Matrix of Leadership was passed to Optimus Prime following the death of Sentinel Prime at the hands of Megatron. The War Within During the war on Cybertron, Optimus Prime came to the aid of Getaway, Joyride and Slapdash, saving them right as the Decepticons Dreadwind and Darkwing were on the verge of destroying them. End of the Road
Hot Rod is featured again in Maximum Dinobots. Returning to Earth to continue his search, Hot Rod arrived at the gates of the Machination's complex, and Scorponok prepared himself to deal with the intruder. Unfortunately, Hot Rod found himself fighting well out of his weight class as he was man handled by Scorponok, who cheerfully bashed his face in, put out one of his optics and snapped his leg. The Headmasters dragged him into Scorponok's control room where, with absolutely no prompting, the big man explained his entire plan for the Dynobots, Skywatch and the Machination. Hot Rod seemed less than impressed with this rather mundane approach, which ticked Scorponok off enough for him to point out that it was obviously just the first stage in his master plan. He was also warned to remain awed or he'd be of no further interest. When the Dynobots and newly arrived Monsterbots seemed to turn Scorponok's plan on its head, Hot Rod burst out laughing, at which point, Scorponok ordered him taken out and shot. In the lift to the surface, Hot Rod suddenly erupted in flames, killing his captors, but draining his power supply. Weakened and with a crippled leg, he collapsed on the floor.
Prime comes with all the accessories of his previous release, although his ever-changing ion blaster is now somewhat confusingly cast in blue plastic. He features one major additional accessory: an electronic display base sculpted with the image of the Matrix and the Autobot insignia. Pressing the insignia's crest triggers a series of electronic soundbytes, mostly quotes from the movie recited not by original actor Peter Cullen, but by Hasbro's in-house actor, Ron Hayden: "Autobots, transform and roll out!", "I want you to make a special run to Autobot City," "Megatron must be stopped!", "All we need is a little energon, and a lot of luck," and two samples of the classic transformation sound effect, one ascending, one descending.
"Garbage Truck" is a redeco of the same Optimus Prime toy in blue and white, a common coloration for Japanese garbage trucks that bears ends up bearing a coincidental resemblance to the Bot Shots Polar Assault Team Optimus. His stickers now picture his truck mode being loaded with garbage, his truck mode driving around, and the word "cleaning" in both English and Japanese.
An extensive redeco of the Protoform Optimus Prime mold that was exclusively available at the Japanese C3xHobby Convention in August of 2007, and later offered by e-HOBBY in limited quantities. Most of the body is made out of transparent turquoise plastic in order to mimic its frozen state in the "coldness" of space, while orange paint is used on the front end of the "entry" mode, mimicking the heat effects of sudden atmospheric entry. The flame attachment is made out of clear blue plastic, with the tail end being covered in gold paint.
Optimus appeared in the 2008 BotCon voice actor play "Bee in the City", voiced by David Kaye. In this story, Professor Sumdac attempts to create a teleportation system to get the Autobots to Cybertron, but an interaction with Sari's key ends up transporting Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Sari to Transtech Cybertron. There, they met Flareup and are detained by Shockwave. Bumblebee teams up with Beast Wars Megatron to free his comrades, but must then stop Megatron from taking the key for himself. Afterward, the Autobots and Sari returned to their own dimension.
Like many other modern toys, Optimus was designed with an alternate head sculpt (based on the mouthplate-less face as seen on the show) intended for a later retool, which was gang-molded with the original head. At least one specimen sporting the mouthplate-less head has been found at retail, although since this occurrence has seemingly been limited to an isolated incident, it can be assumed to be a manufacturing error rather than a genuine variant. The mouthplate-less head sculpt was eventually used officially for a later-wave redeco, Nightwatch Optimus Prime (see below).
Jetwing Optimus Prime is a retool of Revenge of the Fallen Leader class Buster Optimus Prime, with an accompanying large jet pack and massive dual Gatling Cannons. The base Optimus Prime figure has several modifications including: a new stomach area and elbow flares to reflect the changes to Optimus Prime's CG model in Dark of the Moon, modified lower arms to incorporate MechTech ports and clips for the cannons, and a retooled area under his back so the jet pack can fit on more securely. The dual energon blades mounted on his arms have been removed. The toy retains Buster Optimus Prime's electronics, but batteries are not included.
Optimus Prime is among the three Autobot figures available to play in the Monopoly Transformers Collectors Edition game. As the figurehead of the entire Transformers franchise, Optimus Prime has been on more pieces of merchandise than can be stated here. Several statues and busts of Optimus Prime as well as Optimus Prime themed objects have been released by various companies since the return of Transformers to prominence, such as the "Optimus Prime Oral Care Station". Other figures released include various PVCs as part of Takara's "Super Collection Figure" line, which were later imported as part of Hasbro's "Heroes of Cybertron" series. Larger "Mega Collection Figure" PVCs were articulated and came with energy axe and gun figures. As part of the merchandising wave for the first Transformers film in 2007, Hasbro's Playskool line released a Transformers-themed version of Mr. Potato Head based on Optimus Prime. To keep with the potato theme, the toy was labeled "Optimash Prime" and the packaging included the slogan "More than meets the fry", a potato-oriented version of the Transformers slogan "More than meets the eye".
If there was one thing the toy planes of yonder were lacking, it was controllability. Guaranteed crash landings and the subsequent walks of shame to go pick up the pieces started to wear a little thin. The advent of radio-control provided an answer for that. But for model builders Aviation Design, that was child's play. Hense, the birth of the FALCON 7X business jet.
A mode for Arms Master Optimus designed for underwater combat, "Aqua Screw Mode" was shown in Cybertron Satellite segment of "Explosive Sword Transformation! Wheeljack and Dreadwing". C.L. and Balo are combined into a propeller engine and attached to his right foot, their GR and G redecoes do the same for the left, and B.H. B is attached to his right shoulder to act as a radar system. He wears Arc S's blade on his right arm and wields the Giga Tornado Cannon Combo Weapon.
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.
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.
With the Japanese Binaltech toy series having transformed into the Kiss Players line, the second figure to be released as a Kiss Players character was Hot Rodimus. Based on the same Ford GT mold as Mirage, Hot Rodimus features several differences from Mirage. First, it has a unique head sculpt, which includes a movable crest to allow a "visor" to be lowered over his eyes, referencing a scene from the animated Transformers Movie during which Hot Rod is on Lookout Mountain. Additionally, it includes a fishing-rod accessory, which can be split and connected in a different configuration to create a tri-barreled arm weapon, reminiscent of Hot Rod's exhaust-pipe blasters. The figure also includes a PVC figurine named Syao Syao and a CD featuring a Kiss Players radio drama. The vehicle mode stays true to the Ford GT's factory color scheme, lacking Hot Rod's signature "flame" detailing, and, like Binaltech, is fully painted. Meanwhile, the robot mode reveals additional orange and yellow body parts, such as the chest, abdomen, arms and hands, as well as flame-like paint applications on the lower arms to link the figure with the original Hot Rod.
When you’re a Cybertronian robot-alien who could easily blow any human to bits if you wanted, having a license plate can’t be that important. Really, if you’re in car mode and a cop pulls you over for not having plates, and sees that you also don’t have a driver, and then perhaps sees you turn into a giant robot, what exactly is that cop going to do?
In Another Light, Rodimus finally assumes total control over the Autobots upon Optimus Prime and several of his closest loyalists being jettisoned into space and left near death following the Battle of Decepticon City. However, his reign came to a swift end when the group returned, having been reformatted into the Knights of Unicron. The heroically reborn Optimus, now known as Nova Prime, engaged his usurper in battle and defeated Rodimus, sending him plummeting into Cybertron's depths. However, Rodimus then encountered the malevolent Primus, who enlisted his aid and that of other "true Autobots" in ridding his surface of those he considered vermin-namely, all Decepticons and Autobots not loyal to the same cause. This would lead to an epic battle between Primus' minions and the heroic Transformers of their universe: Galvatron's Decepticons, Nova Prime's Autobots, and a group of Maximals created from Classics Autobots.
This redeco of Henkei Convoy is cast almost entirely in translucent colored plastic. Also known by the nickname "Crystal Convoy" among fans, it was first released as an exclusive for the Japanese convention Tokyo Toy Fair 2008, limited to 1000 pieces at the event, but was later made available through e-HOBBY. It was sold in a monochrome-blue version of Henkei Convoy's regular packaging.
In "Decepticon Air", Optimus receives a secret distress call from the Elite Guard ship that is carrying Decepticon prisoners. During the flight, the ship enters an electrical storm, which revives an inactive Swindle and he frees other prisoners to take over the ship. Transwarping to the ship via Swindle's personal transport field, Optimus joins forces with the Elite Guard, rounding up most of the Decepticons in the end.
The TakaraTomy version of Premium Series Optimus Prime has a considerably different deco from Hasbro's release. Similar to the unique chrome Optimus Prime, Optimus Prime Battle Mode features vacuum-metallized parts for nearly all of the silver truck parts, for a greater resemblance to the polished chrome on the real prop trucks. Unfortunately, as his feet are the front fenders and grill, this will likely lead to chipping. In robot mode, he retains several decos that were removed from Hasbro's Premium Optimus Prime for cost reasons, such as the blue and gold decos on his thighs. Finally, the flip-out energy sword is coloured gold to reflect its "powered up" appearance.
A figure of Prime combined with Jetfire was released as part of the second Big Transformers wave, which came with no accessories of its own, but could hold any of the weapons released with the other second wave figures, including Jetfire's gun, the Star Saber, the Skyboom, and the Requiem Blaster. As with the first wave figures, he came packaged with Ramune candy.
Like several new-mold Revenge of the Fallen toys, Optimus Prime suffers from some cost-cutting measures that affected the final production version of the mold. According to Hasbro's stock photos/back-of-box photo of the hand-painted prototype, the toolboxes on the sides of his legs were designed to fold away further for a sleeker, cleaner look. Additionally, the rear tires would have been able to split in half, with the inner half of the tire going inside the outer half to recreate the thin tires seen on Prime's CG design. Some articulation was lost on the toy between Hasbro stock photography and the final release. His fingers are no longer articulated; instead, the entire hand is now one molded piece. Finally, the lower arms appear to have been originally designed so that his hands could slide in or out of them during transformation. Sadly, he also lacks rubber tires, which the original movie Prime did have. Meanwhile, the articulated fingers was later used for the Asia Premium Series & Movie The Best releases.
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Lost Age: Movie Advanced toys, this Japanese-exclusive redeco of 2007 Transformers Protoform Optimus Prime is given a Generation 1-styled color scheme (which is also based on his appearances in IDW's Transformers: Foundation comic-book mini-series). Protoform Optimus Prime transforms into his "entry" mode. This mode somewhat resembles a cybertronic truck, with false wheels sculpted onto the sides, and Optimus Prime's trademark windows in front. His now-blue flame decoration piece fits to the back of the "vehicle", creating the illusion of a flaming comet's tail (Not sure if this was mean to represent his jetpack blast effect or his atmospheric entry heat effect, which is for no reason: entirely blue instead of hot red). The bottom of the vehicle has small wheels to roll the toy across smooth surfaces.