LEGO® sets are not cheap toys. They are made to the highest standards and have the price to go along with it. However, in the past couple decades it seems that the price of LEGO sets has become outrageous. New sets can sell for up to $500 retail and old sets can sell for twice that in a secondary market. This is a children’s toy, right? There is no way LEGO sets have always been this expensive; it is just molded plastic. Let’s take a look at the history of LEGO pricing and try to figure out what is going on.
In order to come to some sort of conclusion about the price of LEGO, I needed to get some data on the historic retail prices of LEGO sets. The best source of this information is brickset.com. This website has data on almost all LEGO sets ever made and the retail pricing for many of them. I wrote a web scraping program to go through the Brickset database and make a database of set information. In order to keep the results relevant, I decided to compile one set that fit two basic qualifications:
A single-packed version of the battle damaged Voyager Optimus Prime toy from the Sam's Club exclusive three-pack. Although the assortment number and the general packaging style seemed to indicate that this might be a Best Buy exclusive, this has been confirmed to be an "international market" exclusive. It has been released in Asia, but will presumably not be available in the USA outside the Sam's Club three-pack.
This Optimus Prime is a minor redeco of the One-Step Changer figure, omitting the paint apps on the knees, the flames on his shoulders, and changing the robot mode chest's deco. Along with his wavemate Bumblebee, Optimus Prime loses his pin on his leg, which is used to activate Stomp & Chomp Grimlock's pop-out weapons and gimmicks. As with the first wave of the Turbo Changers, Optimus features a nearly invisible tampograph on his vehicle front, which can be revealed with Mega Turbo Changer Dragonstorm's UV-powered Cyberfire gimmick.
With this reconstruction, Orion Pax became Optimus Prime, the first of the Autobot warriors. 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 is composed of two parts, his truck cab and his trailer. His new truck cab is reminiscent of the original Optimus Prime truck cab, but is constructed entirely of plastic, lacks vacuum-metalized plastic and has no clear windows. It also transforms differently in that the front of the truck is no longer the robot mode's chest. His chest is now formed out of the truck's cabin rear, styled after his cartoon appearance. He is armed with two long black rifles, based in part upon his cartoon rifle.
A Deluxe class toy of Prime in his Protoform stage. One of the first released movie figures, Prime's Entry Mode resembles a huge metallic asteroid. With this figure standing 5.5 inches tall and Optimus being 28 feet (336 inches) tall, the toy is about 1/61 scale. This rock-like alternate mode has led some fans to sarcastically refer to the movie protoform toys as Rock Lords.
Best IDW Transformers Comics Stories - The IDW timeline/universe/story that started in 2005 has ended and I personally believe it includes the best Transformers fiction involving our favourite G1 characters. Of course comics can be daunting to get into and I won't pretend every single story was a gem. But there was some stellar storytelling here, the best these characters ever got and I will go through the 5 best stories from this 13 year run that any Transformers fan should check out asap. The titles link to the comics on comixology in case you want to check them out.
Universe Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Robots in Disguise Scourge Spy Changer toy. He replaces most of the black plastic with predominantly red and blue, with silver for detailing, with an overall deco making him resemble the original Optimus Prime. Like most Spychangers, he features high speed axles and can roll very well across smooth surfaces, but lacks the weight to propel him quickly.
Marketed as a reissue of Powermaster Optimus Prime, this Toys R Us-exclusive Commemorative Series figure is in truth based on the Ginrai tooling on the toy that had previously been exclusive to Japan. It features a die-cast metal cab with translucent blue windows, and shortened, chrome smokestacks, and comes packaged with the drone Apex Bomber (formerly Ginrai's partner Godbomber), who splits into several components and combines with Prime to form "Apex Armor". As with all other Commemorative Series figures, Prime's new spring-loaded missile launcher featured an elongated missile.
Fellow Seibertronian Actar has written an in depth review on the new Transformers Studio Series Jetfire. He gave us great images of all modes including the combined mode and the giant cannon. We see how it scales with both SS ROTF Megatron and the ROTF Fallen. Enjoy! Alrighty! Just got my hands on the latest SS Voyagers and Leaders. However, the one that has won me over the most is Jetfire. So, I was rather hesitant and critical about Jetfire when I first saw him, but - Read More
This redeco of the Ginrai tooling of the Powermaster Optimus Prime figure (released concurrently with the 2001 reissue of the Ginrai figure) was a Toys R Us Japan exclusive black repaint, made to represent the original Optimus Prime equipped for a special mission. All of his red and blue plastics were changed to black, his clear blue windows were now tinted red, making his overall colour scheme very reminiscent of the now-familiar 'Black Convoy' color schemes.
Optimus Prime appears near the end of the Decepticon Campaign. Sam and Mikaela inform Optimus that all the Autobots were defeated by the Decepticons. Optimus proclaims that they sacrificed their lives to protect the Allspark, and their sacrifice will not be in vain. Leaving Sam and Mikaela in a safe place, Optimus faces Megatron, but is defeated. Weakened and damaged, Optimus crawls to reach the Allspark. However, Megatron attacks Optimus with his chain-flail, killing him.
The first Nightwatch Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of the previously released Leader-class Optimus Prime, replacing most of his red and blue with different shades of blue and black. In fact, he resembles the original Diaclone Powered Convoy color scheme of Generation 1 Ultra Magnus's truck cab. The previously blue and red flames have been replaced with silver flames, while various other decos have been replaced by copper.
This occurs in a Japanese toy line, animated series, and mobile video game called Q-Transformers. Specifically, the video game is called Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns. Both Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are able to switch between their Generation 1 and movie modes in the series and game-- specifically Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns. Strangely, though, when he’s in Generation 1 mode, he’s not a Volkswagen but another small, quirky car: a Daihatsu Copen. The show is pretty meta, with the characters being aware that they’re toys and they even talk about the Mystery of Convoy video game that they’re in.
Minor note: Powermaster Prime's animation model as used in the commercials and as a character guide for the Marvel comics is a composite of the second and third designs. The body of the model is actually a straight tracing of the concept lineart for the third version (including its different rifles and twin faux shoulder stacks), with a slightly simplified drawing of the second version's head drawn on top.
Unlike the other Swordbot toys, Optimus Exprime's kabuto helmets form an integral part of one of his alternate modes. The kabuto helmet designed for use with his DaiGekisou combination forms the head of his dragon form, while the kabuto helmet designed for use with his DaiKenzan combination forms the "tail" of the same. He comes with two HUGE swords (with 5mm handles) which can be attached to several places on his kabuto helmets or either alternate form, held separately in his hands, or held both in the same hand (with one held in reverse-grip).
The figure seems to have some transformation scheme & design related problems in it: The front truck cab's upper two pieces are supposed to be pushed to the front in robot mode, but the piece keeps collapsing back due to looseness when the figure is standing straight (Though pressing the two halves together firmly tends to reduce this issue for a while), while the tab underneath the truck grill does not connect well with the bottom port. Additionally, his 5mm compatible hands have a slight problem with wielding weapons with short 5mm posts.
Most notably in terms of new tooling, the panels on the undersides of Powermaster Optimus Prime's forearms feature slots under the fists, which allow the guns to tab in and be held much more stably than with Ultra Magnus. And due to the amount of empty space in the cab area in vehicle mode, Powermaster Prime can fully transform without the need to remove his head.
If he didn't send Sludge with them, the odds were 2 to 1 that the Autobots would all be destroyed as part of Operation Black Coral. The one possible positive outcome ended with Optimus fighting a duel against Megatron atop Mount Lomas in which Prime (somehow) split into his three components to surround his archenemy. This provoked Rumble into "assisting" his leader with an earthquake that destroyed the Decepticons' entire superfuel operation.
Optimus Prime appears in the Transformers live-action film series as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists. In the first three films, he is able to transform into a conventional Peterbilt 379 cab, rather than the cab over design of his original Generation 1 body. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he gains a first generation-style trailer form before changing into a 2014 Western Star 5700 Concept. Also straying from the G1 design, Prime's vehicle mode is now decorated with red flames painted onto a blue body à la Rodimus Prime, his Generation 1 successor. The reason for the change was due to Director Michael Bay's decree that mass displacement does not occur when they transform, requiring Optimus's vehicle form to have more mass to achieve the desired size in his robot form.
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
Optimus made his way to the Primal Basilica, where he found Perceptor standing over the Mistress of Flame's battered corpse. Unable to do anything for her, Prime activated the Basilica's defenses as a means of stalling Trypticon. Learning from Perceptor that Rodimus had given up the Matrix, the two entered the chamber of the Chorus of the Primes to have the Matrix returned to him. Desperate Actions However, Optimus revealed the Matrix was not for him, but rather for Perceptor, as he wanted to make sure it would be taken as far away from Trypticon's grasp as possible. He guided Perceptor to a secret exit from the Basilica and sent the scientist on his way. Run for Our Lives Warned by the Chorus to "beware the power of the Primes", Optimus charged back towards the battlefield and began attacking Trypticon, rescuing Victorion. Optimus led the Combiners in battle against Trypticon, but the Titan managed to hit him, sending him hurtling towards some sharp rubble. Thankfully, he was caught at the last moment by Fortress Maximus. In Good Hands
We're sure we're not telling you anything you don't already know when we say that Hot Wheels are miniature die-cast cars with dynamic multi axular momentum technology (ie, they roll). They are usually based on real-life production cars but sometimes are modeled after bad acid trips, with wheels added later (for the rolling). Shortly after the introduction of the cars, Mattel launched various tracks to take full advantage of the cars' rollability.
Available only via mail-order through Dengeki Hobby magazine, the "Limited Black Version" of G1 Convoy is just that: a straight black repaint of the G1 Convoy toy. He comes with all his original accessories, appropriately redecoed (including a silver version of his axe), as well as a gold-chromed version of the "Calamity Defenser" Solitarium weapon that came with Psycho-Orb.
Produced to coincide with the 20th anniversary of The Transformers: The Movie and its release on DVD by Sony, this edition of Prime is a redeco of his 20th Anniversary figure. It replaces the original's metallic paint with flatter colors and does away with any and all vacuum-metalized plastic, as well as altering several other small details across the body, like the color of the lights on his feet and chest.
Available only with the Bot Shots Dragon Track set, this version of Optimus Prime is a new mold, changing from a robot form resembling Generation 1 Optimus Prime, into a truck with a rocket exhaust molded into the back of its trailer. As a Flip Shot, he, er, flips up when auto-transforming. He comes with a launcher that can be connected to the track, as well as Flip Shot Megatron and his launcher.
Rodimus also appears in the novel Transformers: Retribution as part of the crew of the Ark. Along with Kup and Bumblebee, he suspects that something is amiss with the inhabitants of the planet Aquatron, and takes a small drops ship down into the planet's oceans to investigate. The trio are captured and brainwashed by the Quintessons, who force them to testify against Optimus Prime in a mock trial. Fortunately, they are later returned to normal and return to space aboard the Ark with the rest of the Autobots.
The San Diego Comic-Con 2017 exclusive Optimus Prime figure is another redeco of the Premier Edition figure, which aims for a more movie accurate look than the original by still sharing the same paint masks, but replacing the chest's deco with flames and adding extra paint applications on the legs, arms, chest, head, tire rims, both sides of the engine compartment, and the sword and shield... but for some reason still sports the movie-inaccurate blue 'collar', as well as the smaller, less accurate vehicle flame tampographs instead of the more movie-accurate ones used on Dark Optimus Prime. His Autobot insignia is also moved on the upper back section of the air dam. He is packaged in a stylish, display-case-like-box similar to later Transformers: Alternators releases and the Hasbro Toy Shop/SDCC 2011 exclusive figure.
Though Prime's ultimate fate is unknown, in a story entitled "The Last Days of Optimus Prime", also from Transforce, Prime laments the new Transformers age without war and passes on to a Transformers afterlife, referred to as "J'nwan". The story is vague, however, and may be a metaphor for Prime rejoining the Matrix, as his time had come. In this realm, he was approached by the Predacon Sandstorm, who tried to plead for the help of Prime and the other legendary Transformers in dealing with a Unicron/Predacon hybrid named Shokaract. Prime refused, but later led a group of Transformers, including Megatron, Grimlock, and Soundwave), to distract the creature while Primus dealt the final blow.
Optimus Prime appears as leader of the Autobot forces in the Transformers: Timelines story "Shattered Glass" by Fun Publications. When Cliffjumper, the Generation 1 character from a parallel universe, is seemingly discovered alive, Optimus welcomes his old friend back to the Autobot fold. After learning that Clffjumper is not the evil Autobot he remembers, he shoots Cliffjumper and leaves him to fend for himself in the Rad Zone. Optimus plans to launch his new warship, the Ark, to conquer Earth, but Cliffjumper aids Megatron's heroic Decepticon forces in a successful attack on the Ark's launch platform.
A slight redeco of Takara's Deluxe-size Optimus Prime was released as part of a special set commemorating both the 20th anniversary of Transformers and the 30th anniversary of its progenitor, Microman. Coming with an exclusive metallic redeco of Takara's Kicker, which was based on the Microman body, this Prime featured a chromed grill where the original had painted plastic, and supposedly slightly shinier plastics. Very slightly.
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.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 1 single-packs, Optimus Prime is a teeny little long-nosed semi truck with "trailer", with a spring-loaded automatic transformation to robot mode triggered when his front bumper is pressed. He has a "spinner" in his chest that shows his three attack types and power levels. His truck mode and robot body are influenced by the live-action Optimus Prime, while his head is taken from the original. His blue paint is light and sparkly-metallic, his red paint is dull matte, and his optics are yellow.
Optimus pondered Sunstreaker's whereabouts after noticing that he had been absent from Autobot headquarters for longer than expected. The answer came through Blaster, who relayed a message from Megatron; Sunstreaker was the Decepticons' captive. Megatron demanded that the Autobots surrender, or else Sunstreaker would be destroyed and rebuilt as a Decepticon! The Autobots refused to give up without a fight, but Optimus took care to explain the threat they were up against before a rescue party headed out. Optimus told Sideswipe, Slag and Sludge of Devastator's combiner nature, and warned them not take the danger he posed lightly. The rescue squad failed in liberating Sunstreaker, and were captured themselves. The Autobots were shaken by this turn of events, but Optimus was able to think up a new plan to trick the Decepticons. He ordered his Autobots to build a hollow statue of Devastator for him and his soldiers to hide within. Optimus then wrote a letter explaining that the statue was a peace offering for the Decepticons, and the completed decoy was placed before the Decepticons' base. The ruse worked, and Optimus and his troops burst forth from the false Devastator after the Decepticons had let down their guard. An all-out brawl between Autobots and Decepticons followed. The fight came to an end when Megatron attempted to down Optimus with his fusion cannon, only for Optimus to deflect Megatron's beam back at him by bouncing it off a reflective piece of metal. With the Decepticons defeated, Optimus ordered his troops to retrieve their wounded and return to Autobot headquarters. The Autobots' Secret Weapon
One more thought: LEGO is a Danish company. The fluctuations in the price of LEGO such as the big bump around 1985-7 in Figures 1 and 2 could be because of a change in exchange rates. The conversion rate between the Danish Kronor and the US$ went from over 10 in 83 and 84 to less than 7 in 86 and 87. LEGO might have been slow to respond to changes in exchange rates, leading to the temporary bump. If you’d like to share data we can redo your graphs in DKK.
After his attack on Optimus Prime, Megatron was thrown out of the Ark when Blackarachnia activated the ship's defense systems. However, he was not thrown far enough and the Predacon managed to reenter the Ark and blast the Autobot leader, decisively erasing the Maximals from the timeline. A Change to the Agenda This had the effect of producing a wildly different timeline.
During the Cybertronian Civil War, Sentinel Prime was killed. Prior to his destruction, he bestowed the Matrix of Leadership to Optimus Prime, who became the new leader of the Autobots. Despite being one of the youngest Cybertronian leaders, Optimus demonstrated extraordinary courage and wisdom in the war against the Decepticons. He: treated all lives with benevolence, fought for freedom and peace, and continues to fight to protect the weak and maintain their beliefs.
The Animated Tech Spec written by Derrick J. Wyatt in Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club #24 states that Rodimus as having the rank of Prime and clearly being the leader of a team like Optimus and Sentinel. His toy is listed as "Rodimus Minor" which Hasbro explained at San Diego Comic-Con 2009, was because "there were already too many Primes in the toy line". Within the series, he is only ever called or credited as "Rodimus".
After having spent an extended period of time lost on Quintessa, Optimus was returned to Cybertron by the Turbomasters during their efforts to retrieve the similarly lost Flash, who he had been drawn into Perceptor's Dimensional Interface Assembly. The Age of Wrath Pt.5 Though badly damaged, Optimus led an insurrection against the then Megatron-controlled Cybertron, and successfully overthrew his enemy from power, all the while thwarting a Quintesson invasion. The Age of Wrath Pt.6
At this point in the future, the Autobots had become something of a group of peacekeepers among the many races in the galaxy, and Rodimus would attend many meetings, parties and conferences to this end, most notably chairing the peace conference between the planets of Xetaxxis and Lanarq. Despite the brave public face he wore at these events, his own doubts continued to plague him, and he was particularly fazed by Galvatron's threat of an "ultimate weapon", though the revelation that this was a bluff stirred him to action. Later still, Rodimus was among the Autobots who had their minds transferred into synthetic human forms by crime lord Victor Drath, who used their Transformer bodies to commit crimes. While Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Springer tackled this problem, Rodimus returned to Drath's compound where he was aided by Drath's mole, Michelle, between whom a spark of romance seemed to bloom, until she betrayed him to Drath. Through a combined effort, however, Drath was brought to justice and the Autobots regained their bodies.
Late in 2008, this version of Optimus prime was one of four Classics figures repainted into HasbroToyShop.com exclusives (the other three being the Megatron from this set in G1 colors, Grimlock repainted into Overkill, and Mirage repainted into Dragstrip). Unlike those three, it's debatable just how much repainting went into Optimus, but he comes in a snazzy new box.
But up first, as we said, is The Last Knight. The teaser trailer was released earlier this month and boy did it tease a doozy: it depicted Optimus Prime and Bumblebee fighting. Yes, the two old pals, mentor and protégé of sorts, were locked in fisticuffs, the Autobot leader giving Bee a sound pounding. There are a number of theories as to what’s going on there, but what we do know is that it promises an intriguing storyline for our favorite yellow robot, and it may well lead directly into the plot of his solo flick.
Optimus includes an spring-loaded missile firing "ion cannon" modeled after Megatron's shotgun from Dark of the Moon, with the missile features a sculpted shotgun nozzle on the front section. It can be held in his hand or attached to the top of the truck cab or truck bed via 5mm post, and, in an unadvertised feature, sports tabs on the rear-most handle that allow the Dark of the Moon Voyager Class Megatron toy to wield it. Also undocumented is the fact that the weapon can be stored under either of Optimus' shoulders.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 1 launchers, this repaint of Optimus Prime comes with a large trailer that pops open to form a battle station with a spring-loaded launching platform. He appears to have the same plastic colors as the single release, and the same set of paint operations, but his paint is done in different shades, having glossy dark blue paint and glossy bright red paint. The black part of his launcher is sculpted to look vaguely like the repair done that is part of Generation 1 Optimus Prime's repair bay.
Outside the United States, this set was available in a thinner rectangular box. It contained all the original accessories from the American release, but not the DVD. An English-only version of this packaging format was available in Asia and Australia (initially only available at Myer stores, but later also at Toys"R"Us, Kmart and Target, eventually at drastically reduced prices), while a bilingual English/French packaging variant was available in Canada, still including—though not advertised on the packaging—the (English only) comic book.
Optimus 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 in 1986. He cost $21.50 and 5 robot points, 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.)
Multiple reports suggest that the toy suffers from a design flaw, inferior plastic quality, or both: Due to his hands having peg-holes that are a bit too small to accommodate 5mm posts, they have a tendency to show stress marks on the inside after pegging his sword handle (or most other pegs) inside. Stress marks also tend to appear near his tiny hinged wrists. Fortunately, there have been no reports of the hands actually breaking on either location thus far.
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!
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.
The TakaraTomy "Autobot Alliance" release of this toy has some significant differences, including casting the red plastic in a darker shade, making his shin and wheel joints grey rather than Hasbro's bronze, painting the Matrix of Leadership silver, and swapping out the dual energon swords for battle hooks, similar to 2010's Leader class Optimus Prime. However, due to the Japanese release retaining the Hasbro packaging, the box still advertises the dual energon swords rather than the hooks. He retains the masked face used for the Hasbro release.