In a break from tradition, Energon Optimus Prime's large mode resembled a configuration similar to Voltron or to the Super Sentai action figures. This design was unpopular with many fans due to design issues with the toy. The small robot's body was large in proportion to his arms and legs which made the figure appear fat, earning it the nickname "Fatimus Prime" or "Obese-imus Prime". The 4 vehicles that combined with the robot were small, lacking the intricate detail that made other toys in the line popular. Fans were also angered by early releases of this toy in which the head was molded with a mouth rather than the traditional face plate design. Later releases of the toy eliminated the visible mouth feature.
In "Sick Mind", Optimus is infected with the life-threatening Cybonic plague, prompting Arcee and Bumblebee to infiltrate the Nemesis to find a cure for the virus Megatron himself created. As Optimus grows weaker, he learns of Megatron's survival of the space bridge explosion. It was Bumblebee entering Megatron's mind via cortical psychic patch and retrieving the cure that saved Optimus. In the next episode, "Out of His Head", Optimus is, surprisingly, saved by the revived Megatron when he intercepted Starscream's attempted nosedive to kill him.
The first Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy was largely identical in sculpt to the original Generation 1 figure release. While his cab robot retained his original red and blue color scheme, his trailer was recast in black, with the original blue and silver striped sticker replaced with a red and silver one displaying Optimus's name. On the first release of the trailer, the internal components and Roller matched the blue of the cab robot. Later, the internal components were changed to a lighter blue, as was Roller. Another running change followed, making the dark blue of the cab robot match this lighter shade. A bright yellow "Autobot" tampograph was also added to the back of his right leg.
Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.
Per Ravage's original plan, with Unicron defeated, the Decepticons returned to conquer the transformers. Optimus Prime had also planned for this event, and sent Mirage to press a switch, buried deep within Cybertron, that would render all transformers inert. This was seen at the conclusion of the "Five Faces of Darkness" story arc from the original animated series. Optimus hoped that by rendering all the transformers inoperative, the war would be stopped, hoping that the humans would be able to reactivate the transformers in the future. Instead of deactivating all transformers, however, only those with original Cybertronian bodies were deactivated. Transformers with Earth-made Binaltech bodies continued to function. The Autobots effectively won the war, the large army of Binaltech Autobots easily outnumbering the few Decepticons who had managed to procure Binaltech upgrades. The few Decepticons remaining, effectively just Nemesis Prime and Shockwave, escaped with Megatron and their other inert comrades.

Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in 2017, MP Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. is a trailer-less redeco of the MP-10 mold sporting a unique black color scheme matching the Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. BLACK of the original G1 toy, with "BAPE's famous camouflage pattern" and an ape head print on the shoulder replacing the usual faction symbol.

Hero Optimus Prime was the first new-mold Optimus Prime toy created for the Generation 2 line. He transforms into a Kenworth truck of unknown model which defies Optimus convention by being one continuous unit, rather than the traditional cab-and-trailer combo. Decals form the windows of a faux truck face to represent his chest, featuring both his name and what appears to be a life support readout coming alive towards the end. In addition to a small gun, he is armed with a large missile launcher, which can fire a rubber-tipped rocket by means of a bellows which you slam your fist down on to produce a puff of air. The launcher is accessible in both modes, ending up mounted on his right forearm in robot mode; the bellows is attached via a rubber hose and cannot be disconnected, but stores on the figures's back when not in use, as do the rockets. A similar air-launching system with identical missiles was used by the simultaneously-released Hero Megatron, and by Laser Optimus Prime the following year (see below).

Part of the first wave of Siege Voyager Class figures, Optimus Prime transforms from robot to short-smokestacked Cybertronian armored truck and back. He includes two weapons compatible with the C.O.M.B.A.T. System—the "W-50 Dual-Mech Energon Strikeshield", which is an axe that transforms into a shield, and the "W-M3 RF Ion Blaster". Both weapons can combine to form the "Sentrystrike Ultra-Blaster". Optimus Prime also features "battle damage" paint applications on several parts of his body, as well as multiple hardpoints all over himself and his weapons to accommodate "Fire Blasts" from the Battle Masters assortment, which can be used to simulate blaster fire or explosions.
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.
This is not to suggest that specialized pieces are bad. Far from it. LEGO Indiana Jones would never feel real without Indy’s whip; LEGO Board Games would never spring to life without their unique dice. But there’s no denying that specialized pieces are costly to produce, and their proliferation was a prime reason why the LEGO Group’s profits plummeted through much of the 1990s, despite steady sales.
There is another factor that comes with the sticker shock. As I showed before, LEGO has had $100+ sets for a while. However, only recently have they produced sets even more pricy than that. When we were kids, the $100 set was the pinnacle of LEGO. It was the set we all aspired to own. It was the set we all went straight to at the store. Of course we rarely ended up with that set, but that was our dream.
Menasor cut off Prime's escape and handed him the Reflector trio, who confronted Prime with a hologram of Serpent O.R. The new Decepticon leader carried Megatron's memories and information downloaded from Soundwave, from which he learned of the Matrix of Leadership. Serpent O.R. offered Optimus a trade: hostages and peace if he handed over the Matrix. Optimus agreed.
The Optimus Prime Kreon in this set is based on the character's rusty, crusty "evasion mode" from the Age of Extinction movie. He has a ferrous-metal backpack, which is used to interact with the magnetic parts in the various sets. In this specific set's case, it's so he can be grabbed by the buildable Strafe's dino-claws, once Strafe uses said claws to open up the "laser" cage made to contain Optimus. (Yeah, we know Strafe appears way after Optimus ditched this look in the movie.)

This Turbo Change Series Optimus Prime toy is a slight redeco/retool of the Lost Age Series toy. Deco changes include omitting the flame tampos on his legs and shoulder, and added blue pinstripes on the Trailer/Wing Backpack to evoke his Generation 1 toy's trailer. This toy also features some new parts like the screen-accurate forearms, the command deck for the smaller Turbo Change Series toys, and the trailer's adapter. His usual Sword of Judgment is now replaced with a screen-accurate mold that is similar to the Armor Knight toy's sword, and he now features a new Vector Shield piece, which can convert into a battle axe.
If Optimus ordered his troops to come to the humans’ aid, they found themselves taking part in a struggle in futility, as the entire town was near-weightless, meaning they couldn’t put the humans anywhere where they wouldn’t float away once more. Then, the Autobots heard Decepticons approaching. Helpless in their current position, the Autobots were quickly eradicated by the Decepticons.
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