Metalforce Prime was available in both a matte-paint "anime" version that more precisely echoed the colours of the actual series, and a metallic-paint version (pictured), which is less show-accurate but more shiny. The plain-colours version was the first release and has an Autobot symbol tampograph on his shoulder as per the cartoon, while the later metallic-finish version instead came with a decal sheet.
It was expected that the release of a new movie would involve the production and release of associated toys from Takara and Hasbro. Images surfaced, on-line, of some toy prototypes, notably Starscream and a new Decepticon who was to be named Blackout, along with packaged samples of movie preview "Protoform" Optimus Prime and Starscream toys. Similarly, fans found preliminary artwork of multiple characters, although it was not known at the time how close these were to the final designs. The designs were significantly different from those of the Generation 1 characters with the same names. Reactions varied widely: some fans objected strongly to the designs, occasionally going so far as to threaten a boycott if the designs were not changed to be more traditional, while others liked them. The issue became a divisive one, as detractors accused supporters of lacking respect for the franchise's history, while supporters accused detractors of being "stuck in the past", and not accepting change.
One reason that people perceive that the cost of Lego has gone up is that the cost of so many other toys has gone down. You can now buy so much crap for a buck or two that Lego seems like a luxury item in comparison. It’s interesting to look in toy catalogs from the early eighties and see that Lego didn’t seem as costly then because the other toys were all costly as well.
Over the course of the next twenty years, the Decepticons succeeded in seizing control of all of Cybertron, forcing the Autobots to operate from their new city on Earth and two bases on Cybertron's moons. In the Earth year 2005 A.D., Prime, stationed on Moonbase One, dispatched troops to Earth to acquire energy for an upcoming strike on Cybertron. The Decepticons, however, got wind of the plan and used the shuttle run to attack Autobot City. A distress call summoned Prime and support troops to Earth. In the fearsome ensuing fight with Megatron, Optimus Prime sustained fatal injuries, but not before turning the tide of battle and forcing the Decepticons to flee. Despite the efforts of Perceptor, Optimus Prime went offline. The Matrix and role of leader of the Autobots fell into the hands of Ultra Magnus, Galvatron, and, subsequently, to Rodimus Prime. His last words were "Until that day... 'till all are one."
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.
The mid-range Voyager class Movie Optimus Prime toy transforms into an amalgamation of the Kenworth W900 and the Peterbilt 379, making this toy fairly inaccurate to the actual vehicle Optimus Prime turned into. Because of the smaller size and lessened complexity, the Voyager class Optimus Prime features a significantly different transformation sequence compared to the Leader class toy, and indeed, the actual CGI design. However, as the actual truck cabin no longer forms his chest, the cabin now features a small interior with opening doors and a non-removable cowboy-hat-bedecked driver figurine that flips out of the seat when the driver's side door is opened.
As leader of the Autobots, Prime headed up their mission to search for new sources of energy to revitalize the depleted Cybertron. Optimus vowed to Elita that he would return from his mission for her, but just before the launch of the Ark, Optimus was mistakenly led to believe that Elita was killed. Shortly after its launch, the Autobots' craft was attacked by the Decepticons' space cruiser, the Nemesis, and boarded by Megatron and the Decepticons. In the ensuing struggle, the G-forces of a nearby planet pulled both craft down, and the Autobots' ship crashed into a volcano, thrusting all the occupants into emergency stasis. Four million years later, in the Earth year 1984, a volcanic eruption jarred the ship's computer, Teletraan I, back to life. The computer reactivated the Decepticons, programming them with new Earth-based disguise modes. As a parting gesture, Starscream fired upon the Autobot ship, creating a landslide. The vibrations from that landslide knocked Prime into the path of the computer's restoration beam, restoring him to life, thus beginning the war anew on Earth.
This release of the Japanese Super Ginrai version of the of Powermaster Optimus Prime was a Toys R Us Japan exclusive black repaint, made to represent the original Convoy/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' colour schemes.
A second Target-exclusive redeco of the Voyager Class Optimus Prime toy, the gray molded pieces were recolored beige-grey, and multiple parts that were previously molded in blue and red (the chest, shoulder pads, and leg interiors) had their mold colors swapped, with extra paint operations to make up the difference. As such, the toy has very few visual differences from the regular release of the sculpt, in a "doing things differently to achieve a very similar end result" sense. This version was only available in a pack with an unchanged Deluxe Class Bonecrusher.
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.
It may be that the price of an individual brick has gone down over time, but what does it matter if the size of the bricks has decreased overtime? Sure, the average number of pieces in a set has increased, but how many of those pieces are tiny details? To answer this question, I compiled all the weight data on brickset.com and compared the sets by their price per gram in a similar fashion to how I compared them by price of piece. Below is the chart of my results (prices are in US dollars).
Chronicle "Movie Optimus Prime" is an e-Hobby exclusive redeco of the Deluxe-Class Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime figure, and comes in a two-pack with a reissue of the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure. Instead of the blaster/axe MechTech weapon the original release of the figure came with, Prime is armed with a redeco of Dark of the Moon Jolt's Blaster/Hand Cannon weapon.
The color scheme of this special redeco of Super class Optimus Prime was decided through a colouring contest held in the December 2004 issue of TV Magazine, in which entrants coloured in lineart of Prime in the scheme they wanted to see. The winning entry rendered Prime in a... distinct palette of grey, cream, dark red, and purple chrome, with blue, white, and yellow drones. It was limited to only ten pieces, making it one of the rarer Transformers toys in existence.
Pressing the button on his robot mode chest activates the red lights (well, because the blue ones are expensive for the price point) on his chest, and the sounds and voice phrases (provided by Taitem Kusunoki) were played along with the light-up gimmick. Pressing the button for a few seconds will activate his long voice line with transformation sounds.
In the Japanese exclusive Transformers: The Headmasters storyline (which replaced the "Rebirth" finale in Japanese continuity), Hot Rod appeared as part of Optimus Prime's inner circle. When Galvatron and his Headmaster warriors launched a devastating attack on Cybertron, Vector Sigma was damaged, and Hot Rod was sent to Earth to retrieve the Matrix. Recovering it, he returned it to Prime, only to be surprised when the ghost of Alpha Trion once again reformatted him into Rodimus Prime to help Optimus. After Prime's second death, Rodimus once again took command of the Autobots. However, when Scorponok destroyed Vector Sigma, Rodimus decided to leave the war, and left Fortress Maximus in command of the Autobots.
The first in TakaraTomy's Hybrid Style series, Galaxy Convoy is a partly die-cast figure with scaled-down equivalents of the accessories that came with the Leader-class figure. This highly-intricate figure retains all the transformation abilities of the original figure—vehicle, flight mode, robot, and Super Mode—and even its Cyber Key-activated features (even coming with two keys so they can be deployed simultaneously), with additional touches like spring-loaded mechanisms that snap his cannons into place, and hand-grips on the weapons for Super Mode. While he does lack electronics or firing missiles, Prime still includes his Matrix, super-tiny yet still removable, and has four alternate sets of hands: two clenched fists, two with pointing index fingers, two with splayed palms, and two curved hands for holding his various weapon handles. Given the figure's small size, a reconfigurable head was infeasible, so it also comes with an alternate Super Mode head with a mouthplate and crests deployed, though the standard head must be attached in order for the figure to be transformed to vehicle mode.
The Autobots and the Decepticons came to a distant world in the grip of an ice age. Assuming alternate modes based upon the dominant (though doomed) indigenous creatures of this planet, they continued their ancient, unending war. However, the Autobots, with their energy levels dangerously low, withdrew from combat as the world grew colder. They sought refuge in a deep cavern and entered stasis lock, awaiting the day when surface conditions changed to better suit their operation. Hearts of Steel #1 Optimus lay under the Mare Rurek Glacier. Infestation 2: The Transformers #1 Millions of years later, Bumblebee was awoken by the hammering of humans working on a rail line. He briefly considered awakening Optimus Prime, but thought better of it. After discovering the world had changed significantly, Ratchet thought there was no reason to awaken Prime. Hearts of Steel #1 When Bumblebee discovered the Decepticons were once again active on this world, Ratchet and Prowl agreed that the Autobots must intervene, but again decided out of rousing Optimus from his slumber. Hearts of Steel #2
This figure was originally conceived by Hasbro to be another character (exactly who is unknown), rather than Optimus Prime, but Takara insisted that the toy be made into Optimus to help it sell well in their markets, as the vehicle mode was no particular draw, given its scarcity in Japan. Reportedly, the figure cost twice as much as other Alternators to construct, so Hasbro had to bow to this demand so Takara would help fund it. Ironically, Takara eventually wound up soliciting the figure not as Prime, but as his Super-God Masterforce lookalike, Ginrai (perhaps connected to the Powermasteresque headsculpt), before its Japanese release was cancelled and moved over into the Kiss Players toyline (see below).
Prime suffered a severe, though unfair, defeat when Megatron challenged him to one-on-one combat while imbued with the different abilities of all the Decepticons. Teletraan I, the Ark's computer, discovered the deception in time, and the Autobots were able to drive off the Decepticons. In "Prime Problem", Megatron created a clone of Optimus, which caused confusion with the other Autobots. Windcharger and Spike, however, were able to identify the clone before it led the Autobots into their demise.
Also during this time, Micromasters were introduced, and would become one of the last sub-groups of Generation One. Micromasters were tiny Transformers created to compete with the Micro Machines, a hugely popular toy line of the time. While many of the figures had simple transformations and little detail due to their small size, the line eventually expanded to feature Micromaster Transports and Bases, in which Micromasters came with larger vehicles or bases that transformed.
Something of a shellformer, Convoy Nike Free is colored primarily white and red in his alt mode of a realistic-looking, scaled-down Nike sneaker, complete with (gratuitously long) real fabric shoelaces. In robot mode he incorporates some additional blue and silver in predictable areas and has a somewhat uniquely-shaped yet instantly recognizable G1-inspired head.
By the ‘90s, the genre had begun to fade, and boys' minds turned to more high-impact action, often centered around mutants, monsters, and karate. Hasbro saw potential in the embers of the Transformers brand, and turned it over to newly-acquired subsidiary Kenner for a jump-start. Kenner threw out all the old rules, and invented a line of Transformers that were more poseable, more feature-packed, and more exciting. Backed by a high-tech CGI cartoon, Beast Wars turned the brand around, making Transformers a bestseller again.
The TakaraTomy version of Premium Series Optimus Prime has a considerably different deco to 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.
Generations "Combat Hero Optimus Prime" is a metallic-blue, gunmetal, and red redeco of United Laser Optimus Prime, having the retooled tab, and being based on the canceled Generation 2 Combat Hero Optimus Prime figure, sporting a red mouthplate inspired by the official catalog image for the unreleased toy (packaged samples had featured a traditionally colored gray mouthplate). He comes packed with a (vaguely) Generation 2-styled Deluxe Class Autobot Jazz, as well as unchanged releases of Generations Legends Class Thundercracker and Motorbreath.
Kiss Players Convoy is a redeco of Alternators Optimus Prime. Unlike the Alternators version's bare red plastic, he is covered in a deeper red paint. Some of his body parts are cast in different colours, such as his shins, and has a much more intricate paint deco based upon Masterpiece Convoy. He is armed with his small engine pistol and a pink surfboard that can be reconfigured into either two small blades or a large double-bladed sword.
Yet another Reveal the Shield redeco with the Motorbreath retooling, Convoy is cast in clear red and black plastic. He has been retooled to include a magnet in his right foot, allowing him to interact with Lost Age Battle Command Optimus Prime and Age of Extinction Stomp & Chomp Grimlock. Convoy was available at a variety of 2014 events, including on May 3 at a "Kids Walk" event at Fuji Speedway, in special packaging on May 16 at the "Transformers Celebration 2014" midnight event at the Sunshine City Toys"R"Us store in Ikebukuro, on June 15 at Tokyo Toy Show 2014, at the Aeon Mall in Kasukabe on July 19, and at the "Transformers Expo" event in Yokohama on August 9. Convoy was also available as one of three preorder bonuses for Cloud Roadbuster.