The original Optimus Prime toy was a re-deco of the Diaclone Battle Convoy toy and transforms into a late 1970s red Freightliner FL86 Cab-over-Engine triple-axle semi trailer truck. The truck mode features rubber tires, and the cab is partially constructed of die cast metal. The windscreen section can open to reveal ultimately-unused seats that were originally designed for driver figures part of the Diaclone line. His trailer opens up into his Combat Deck, which features a missile-armed repair drone pod (with seating for one) mounted upon a boom lift arm. Situated in the base of this boom is a spring-loaded launcher that can be used to launch Roller out of the Combat Deck. Roller himself has seating for 4 passengers, and can be equipped to carry Optimus Prime's rifle or a fuel pump. The interior space of the trailer allows storage room for one Autobot car. In robot mode, he is armed with a black laser rifle, that, due to design, cannot be held straight. His fists are separate pieces which must be stored elsewhere in vehicle mode; there are pegs to store them in the trailer.
Just which character this toy represents is up for debate. The toy's bio claims he used to turn into a tractor-trailer (indicating Optimus Prime), but considering the timeframe of when they were written and the whole lack of a stance on who Primal "was" before the show and blah blah blah... it's just easier to file this under the same iffiness as the original toy bios set on modern Earth and leave it at that.
This Collector's Edition Japanese e-HOBBY exclusive was a redeco of Targetmaster Kup, released in conjunction with the 2006 reissue of Kup and designed to represent the character Orion Pax from the Generation 1 television series episode "War Dawn". Orion transforms into a Cybertronic pickup truck and came with both a gun and Barrelroller, a redeco of Recoil. He has full shoulder rotation, though the way his elbows are set up means he cannot make full use of their joints. His legs feature no articulation whatsoever.
The second War Within Optimus Prime toy in the Titanium series, but also the first official transforming toy from the War Within series. Personally designed by comic artist Don Figueroa (who created much of the War Within comic designs), Optimus Prime transforms into a Cybertronic truck. He is armed with a silver painted Ion blaster, on which the word "DON" can be clearly seen sculpted into the body.
I agree with Aidan but would expand on his point. It’s not just that the sets seemed bigger; they were. As the relative complexity of sets has increased, so too has the piece count, but there has been an overall decline in the size of the models due to increased build complexity and a corresponding reduction in size of the pieces required to create such detail. The negative affect on perceived value in this is apparent, though I would argue, misguided when one considers the build quality and detail of new and recent sets.
Released as part of the first wave of the Cyberverse Commander class figures, this Optimus Prime is a roughly Scout-sized figure.He comes with a jetpack that can combine with both his truck and robot modes. The jetpack attaches via C joint clips, and the jetpack can transform in and out of a winged configuration when Optimus is in truck mode. Optimus himself features C joint bars for his smokestacks and trailer hitch, as well as bars on the top of his headache rack, while his hands and jetpack can hold/mount his rifles via C joint-related 3mm clips/holes.
If Optimus decided to send the lead team to attack the Decepticon headquarters, the team managed to infiltrate the Decepticon headquarters by using Beachcomber’s knowledge of the secret doors’ location, and Brawn’s strength to keep the doors opened. The Autobots then stormed the fortress, and Optimus maimed Megatron himself with a shot of his rifle. He then grappled the Decepticon leader, and forced him to lead himself, Inferno and Beachcomber to the Decepticons’ lab. There, the Autobots disabled and destroyed the Destruction Beam device, captured Megatron, and left many Decepticons permanently maimed. Though they later traded Megatron back to the Decepticons for the safe relief of the Autobots captured in Center City, the Autobots were ultimately victorious that day.
Part of the second wave of Warrior class figures, this Deluxe-sized Optimus Prime transforms into a futuristic trailer truck. Due to his simple transformation scheme, he has a faux window chest in robot mode, while the end of the front trailer kibble has extra toes. Optimus Prime also comes with an axe, which was based on the Energon Axe weapon from the War for Cybertron game. Undocumented in the instructions, Prime's axe can store between his trailer, or plug into ports on either of his shoulders. His scannable Autobot insignia is on his robot mode left shoulder and is easily scannable while still in-package.
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.
He was only available as an Amazon exclusive in the United States, but was also released at brick and mortar retails in Australia and Hasbro's Asian markets, such as Singapore. Oddly enough, even though the official press release for the figure identifies it as "14 of 30" in Hasbro's Thrilling 30 campaign, the packaging does not sport any such markings. To complicate matters further, a later retrospective by Hasbro on Facebook identifies another product as "14 of 30", which doesn't sport any such markings on its packaging either.
Convoy iPod Docking Bay pulls an all-white trailer of similar proportions to his vintage G1 load, with rear wheels and discreet propping feet so it can also stand alone. The trailer transforms (sorta), by rotating a substantial wedge of its full length 90 degrees, kinda like a rectangular Rubik's Cube. This exposes two small speakers and "reveals" an alcove (although a huge gap is still clearly evident in trailer mode) featuring an electronic port in which to plug an iPod or iPod nano, thus becoming a working iPod dock. The dock features three working buttons; power, volume up and volume down, as well as an Autobot sigil indicator light. Included is a wall-plugging (Japanese) A/C adaptor with a long lead that plugs into the reverse of the trailer.
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.
Optimus Prime is the fictional protagonist of the Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Fire Convoy in the original Japanese version) branch of the Transformers universe. Based on the character of the same name, Prime once again leads the Autobots against the Decepticons. His voice actor, Neil Kaplan, does his voice in a style reminiscent of that of Peter Cullen, the voice of the original Optimus Prime. Wired Magazine nominated Fire Convoy as one 12 most ridiculous Transformers ideas of all time.
Star Convoy was reissued by Takara in 2005, with some notable alterations to his deco: his white plastic was replaced with metallic silver, and the yellow star on his chest was chromed golden. Star Convoy himself retained some of his original decals but most notably his "simulated head lights" and "wind shield panels" were stamp graphed on him, similarly, Hot Rod's were replaced with the same stamp graphing applications. Additionally, where the original toy had been packaged in robot mode in a tall box decorated with the standard Japanese package art of the time, the reissue was packaged in vehicle mode, in a long, wide box more reminiscent of the original Generation 1 toys.
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.
Part of a cross-promotion between Toyota and TakaraTomy, the deluxe-sized FJ Optimus Prime transforms into an FJ Cruiser, with his axe weapon becoming the vehicle's spare tire. The vehicle mode's body panels come packaged on the sprue, and can then be clipped onto the core figure. The mass retail release of FJ Optimus includes yellow and white panels, whilst further color variations were available when purchasing an FJ Cruiser at Japanese Toyota dealerships. As is typical of TakaraTomy exclusives, these variants came in grayscale packaging.
If Optimus instead followed Prowl’s plan, he instructed his troops to transform into vehicle mode and play dead. The Decepticons, believing the Autobots’ ruse, disarmed themselves in order to carry out the Autobots’ “carcasses.” Now with the element of surprise against unarmed opponent, the Autobots Transformed and were able to easily defeat the evil robots.
INFOBAR Optimus Prime (ANNIN) is a redeco of INFOBAR Optimus Prime (NISHIKIGOI), transforming into a recreation of the ANNIN edition of the INFOBAR cellphone. All-white in cellphone mode, he sports additional blue and red detailing in robot mode. Like the other figures in this line, he is not a working cellphone but can be paired via Bluetooth with a smartphone, such as an iPhone, to act as a notification alarm in either robot or INFOBAR mode. The screen is non-functional, but pre-printed cards are included which can be slid into the screen to show an Autobot logo, Decepticon logo, a mockup of a cellphone home screen, or a technical "Transformers INFOBAR" design. The figure also includes a display stand.
Like the First Edition figure, Battle Command Optimus Prime's truck kibble can be detached from the robot mode figure to form his separate vehicle mode on its own, but there is one single sacrifice is needed to be made, so brace yourselves: you need to actually trim off the wires that activates it's lights & sound gimmick in order to separate the kibble from the robot, so good luck if you wanna risk your hard-earned cash for that.
In the interim year, with the Decepticons defeated, the Autobots entered into an even closer relationship with Earth. The Autobots also began the colonization of other worlds, the first of which was the planet Athenia, where Optimus Prime was stationed. It soon became apparent, however, that the consequences of releasing the energy of the Matrix to cure the Hate Plague were more far-reaching than Optimus had anticipated. Without the energy of the Matrix to act as a balancing factor, Vector Sigma had become destabilized. The Decepticons suddenly returned to exploit this, assaulting Cybertron in order to seize control of the mega-computer. Prime took a squad of troops to aid in the battle on the planet. When the arrival of the Autobot Headmasters tipped the battle in their favor, Prime broke off from the main attack and headed down into the depths of the planet, planning on stabilizing Vector Sigma at any cost.
Q-Transformers Optimus Prime is a tiny super deformed toy based on the Alternity Convoy design, transforming into a Nissan GT-R R35, though his legs retain the traditional blue truck bed motif. The English name on the packaging refers to him as just "Optimus". He comes with a code for unlocking "GTR Optimus Prime" as a playable character in the Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns game. Standing at only slightly less than one inch and a half, this is actually the smallest transforming Optimus Prime ever made, which is a fairly impressive feat considering the surprising amount of detail in sculpt and paint apps.
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.
In time-honored tradition, Prime's instructions depict the toy with an alternate "pretooled" head – in this case, a version with the faceplate deployed, used on the Platinum Edition and "Rusty" releases of the figure (see below). Additionally, his packaging stock photography depicts him with extra white/silver paint details, especially on his chest and wheel rims, as well as having gray upper arms with red details, among other differences.
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.