For its release in Korea, Hasbro Asia provided a collector coin featuring truck-mode Optimus Prime on one side and "MP-01L" on the other. The coin came mounted on a card featuring lineart of the Autobot leader's head, the stark black design of which could be mistaken for promoting the earlier "Sleep Mode" release. The limited release (and general lack of enthusiasm for the collector coins in Korea) makes this one of the more difficult Masterpiece coins to find.
French die-cast model producers Majorette teamed with Kabaya to produce the Transformers Mini Car Collection, a line of Armada-themed die-cast vehicles, all of which were redecos of pre-existing Majorette toys. Prime was a redeco of Majorette toy #256—a long-nosed tow truck—in his traditional red and blue, now bearing the Autobot insignia, the Micron Legend logo, and an image of the Autobot leader on its hood. The toy came with a pack of gum.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 2 launchers, this new-mold Optimus Prime transforms into a very boxy Generation 1-styled truck with trailer. As a Spin Shot, one manually winds up his upper body beforehand when transforming him into vehicle mode, where striking the front of the vehicle will cause him to burst open and spin while auto-transforming. He comes with a launcher used to propel him to great speeds, as well as four cube targets for him to knock over.
A re-release of the Leader Class figure from the Revenge of the Fallen line, but with retractable forearm hooks (as seen in his battle with Grindor) in place of the blades. In addition, the figure comes with the unmasked head of Buster Optimus Prime and is painted with battle damage effects. A recording of Peter Cullen saying, "We must stop the Decepticons!" is played when his chest is pushed upward via a lever on his waist. Fans have nicknamed this figure "Battle Hooks Optimus Prime" to distinguish it from the other Prime figures.
This Optimus Prime is a non-transforming truck that is loaded with a number of gimmicks: Pressing the back button activates his Weaponizer-sque (or Stealth Force-sque) battle mode on his truck form, with the lights being emitted in the same time. He features both spring-loaded (truck front) and pressure-firing (both sides of the launcher) discs, with a flat character art of Slipstream & Sawback being sculpted on it. Optimus Also comes with additional Slipstream and Sawback figurines, which they can be (uselessly) attached on Optimus Prime's truck top & both sides of the launchers.
Aside from the Powermaster feature itself, the main gimmick of the toy is the ability of the truck cab to combine with the trailer to form the larger "Super Optimus Prime" figure. This is essentially accomplished by standing the trailer up, folding the cab in half and inserting it into the empty cavity in the trailer's torso, forming an imposing—if almost entirely unposeable—robot form armed with all four weapons. The head of this super robot form is a separate piece which can be stored in the rear of Prime's trailer when not in use. While Hi-Q was always shown plugged into Prime's chest in artwork of this mode (as seen in the picture here), this was actually entirely unnecessary as transforming into Super Optimus Prime didn't require the standard Prime toy's legs to be unlocked.
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
Four million years ago, Optimus Prime ended a Decepticon attack on the Ark by directing it towards prehistoric Earth. When both factions reawakened in 1984, Optimus Prime and the Autobots fought the Decepticons on numerous occasions until 2005. During an attack on Autobot City on Earth, Prime fell in battle against Megatron and passed the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus.
Another thing different now from when I was a kid (70s/80s) is that the sets contain much fewer basic bricks. It seems the models are made out of all these exotic specialized pieces which are less useful for general building. Is this a business strategy to sell more sets by reducing the reusability, a marketing ploy to sell more pieces by making every set include unique collectable parts, or just trying to make the models look more realistic/slick? I think Lego was more fun when the majority of bricks were basic.
Optimus Prime's body was hauled out of the Arctic Ocean by the US military. While a terrorist organization run by the enigmatic Lazarus was able to seize control of several of the other Transformers that fell back to Earth, the military worked unsuccessfully to reactivate Prime. They eventually called in Spike Witwicky. Prime Directive #1 Spike was forced by the project chief, General Robert Hallo, to use his piece of the Matrix to reactivate Prime. Functional again, Prime used the Matrix to reactivate more of his fallen comrades. Prime Directive #2
In just seven years, from 1997 to 2004, the number of elements in the company’s inventory exploded, ascending from slightly more than 6,000 to more than 14,200. So did its range of colors, which climbed from the original six (red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white) to more than fifty. As the number of components and colors mounted, soaring supply and production costs plundered the company’s bottom line. Here’s why.
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.
This sculpt was redecoed from the Generation 2 Gobot Firecracker. The plastic colors are a "solid" version of Firecracker's color layout, substituting opaque red for transparent red plastic. It was redecoed again for the third wave of Go-Bots to become Sideswipe (who Prime really looks a lot like), and would later be used to created Robots in Disguise R.E.V..
Part of the seventh wave of Robots in Disguise Warrior class lineup, and the first of the Mini-Con Weaponizers subline, Power Surge Optimus Prime is a retool of the original Warrior Class Optimus Prime figure, now transforming into a 6-wheeled futuristic trailer truck. Optimus now also comes with a pair of swords, which can be attached to his 5mm-compatible hands or the top of the truck/back port to serve as the robot's wings. Most notably, Power Surge Optimus Prime features retooled truck hood/shoulder parts to makes the hands more evident. As a retool of the original Warrior Class Optimus Prime toy, he retains his axe accessory, albeit unpainted just like the Clash of the Transformers Warrior Class toy's. His light blue-colored Launcher can be attached onto his collar.
According to the bio printed in the Transformers Collectors Club magazine, Optimus Prime was a member of the Cybertron Dimensional Patrol, but was abducted by Unicron. It is unknown whether he repainted himself yellow before being abducted or if the recoloration was due to the radiation emanating from Unicron, which has a tendency to recolor Cybertronians.
In addition to the small engine-pistol of his Alternators figure, Prime comes with the "Surfblade", a pink surfboard that can be reconfigured into either two small knives or a large double-bladed sword. As with all the Kiss Players figures, Prime also comes with a PVC figurine of a cute girl: in this case, Marissa Faireborn, who can perch upon his shoulder or sit in his driver's seat, and comes with two pairs of interchangeable arms and legs. Additionally, the set includes a CD featuring the first five episodes of the Kiss Players radio drama, as well as the exclusive bonus audio adventure, "Someday, Under the Sun."
The morning after a particularly vicious battle, Optimus listened to birdsong and pondered life as a giant robot, before asking Ratchet and Huffer for a damage report. The Autobots were puzzled when the Decepticon Seekers (and Laserbeak and Buzzsaw) did a flyby on their camp, as the Decepticons were similarly damaged after the battle, but Shooting Star reported that the Decepticons were trying to distract them while an attempt was made to secure a broken-down oil truck a few miles away. Optimus took a small group to investigate, and successfully aided the humans in getting their truck moving. Swoop was instrumental in stopping the Decepticon attack, and Optimus commended the Dinobot for his valor. Decepticon Hijack
General Optimus Prime later attended a meeting of the Convoy held by Starscream. There, he assured the others present that he had been mistaken about the rumored Megatron's identity. Starscream was convinced, but the rest of the Convoy were savvy to the truth. The other Optimuses supported General Optimus Prime's decision, stating that if C-81 had earned the General's trust, that was good enough for the rest of them. Optimus was later seen hanging out with Spy-Eye on his off-time. Cybertron's Most Wanted
It should be noted that in the lead up to the premiere of the Japanese translation of this series, TakaraTomy marketing director Masahiko Yamazaki indicated changes would be made to place it as a prequel to the 2007 Transformers live-action film. This would have made this version of Optimus Prime an earlier version of the film character. In practice however, the only changes that were made consisted of trimming for time to allow additional promotional material to be added to the start and end, and the name change of Bulkhead into "Ironhide" (with Ironhide becoming "Armorhide"). The future 22nd century Detroit setting and characterizations of the cast remain as they were in the original production.
1· To calculate the average price per piece in a year, I took the price per piece of each set made that year, multiplied it by the number of pieces in the set and then averaged all the weighted prices. I used a weighted average because when we are looking at the price per piece we are essentially saying we could buy x number of pieces for y dollars. Larger sets tend to have a lower price per piece so in effect you could get more pieces at that lower price that year. Note: this was done using US retail price data from Brickset.
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).