The seldom seen 5th season re-airing of the show featured the G1 episodes retold by a stop-motion Powermaster Optimus Prime to the live-action youngster Tommy Kennedy. Although no back story was ever provided for how Prime became a Powermaster, the new sequences are said to take place after the four previous seasons. This indicates that Prime became a Powermaster in the original Sunbow continuity.
Optimus Prime is the Autobot leader on Transtech Cybertron. On Transtech Cybertron, Optimus Prime is a gifted politician who has forged an alliance with Megatron, the militaristic leader of the Decepticons. together, they helped bring forth a golden age on Cybertron. Transtech Cybertron is unique among Cybertrons of alternate universes in that war has not broken out between factions.
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.
This Japanese-exclusive reissue of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure featured tinted blue windows, like those sported by the "Goodbye Convoy" edition of the toy, as well as show-accurate blue eyes. Prime came with all his original accessories, including both versions of his rifle, as well as a new die-cast metal Matrix of Leadership accessory, which could be looped around his neck on a removable chain. Additionally, the set included a show-accurate redeco of the Action Master Optimus Prime figure, a sheet of Autobot insignia stickers of varying sizes, and a mouse pad decorated with the Autobot symbol.
The Transformers toy-line is typically divided into two main factions: the heroic Autobots and their opponents, the evil Decepticons (traditionally known in Japan as the Cybertrons and Destrons, respectively, although more recent releases often using the English terms). Transformers toys are sold at a number of price points, and various Transformers series utilize unique play features.
Hybrid Style Optimus Prime is an insanely detailed and complex transforming toy, created under the supervision of famed mecha designer Shōji Kawamori. Standing only three and three-quarter inches tall in robot mode, the figure is partially constructed from die-cast metal and features one of the most complex transformation sequences ever seen on a Transformers figure of its size. Alas, the small size of the figure also works against it, as it required several design concessions that resulted in (if we're being nice about it) an unimpressive cab mode.
Part of the first wave of Age of Extinction: Generations Voyager Class toys, "Evasion Mode Optimus Prime" is an all-new figure based on the character's initial form in the film, transforming from a cab-over semi truck into a robot mostly similar to his previous movie design. The truck mode is heavily based on Generation 1 Optimus Prime's White Freightliner WFT alt mode in both sculpt and deco, although it draws a few details, such as the singular smokestack and wheel designs, from the heavily faded Marmon 97 seen on-screen. In robot mode, he sports faux-kibble windows and, amusingly, two false smokestacks. Unfortunately, due to being used with the transformation, he lacks the real elbow joint on the arm, which makes the lower section of the arm the only poseable section. Also, Optimus can wield weapons with longer posts while his arms are in a "default" 90° position.
Takara's iteration of Combiner Wars Optimus Maximus is sold in a gift set including all five Autobots (minus the Rodimus mold). This version of Convoy has numerous changes in deco to better match his look in the Generation 1 cartoon. Like Unite Warriors Menasor, the set also features some minor improvements to the original sculpts, such as improved hip-ratchets for Convoy for increased stability. He also had the slightly modified pegs that Legends Class Rodimus (or Blackjack, Runabout, and Runamuck) can securely attach to, which was previously used for Battle Core Optimus Prime. While he features foil insignia stickers on his robot mode shoulders, he also features tampographed Autobot symbols on his side truck panels.
Optimus Prime was the central figure of Kabaya's final Cybertron candy toy series, Change Galaxy, which was themed around his combinations with Leobreaker and Wing Saber. In addition to being transformable (again, through partial disassembly), this figure of Prime combines with the Change Galaxy versions of his partners, forming Savage Claw Mode and Sonic Wing Mode. Prime himself came packaged with an alternate Super Mode head and his leg armour in order to complete his appearance in each of these forms. Additional Super Mode pieces were not created for this line, as that wasn't the point.
Optimus Prime would also be a major character in Devil's Due Publishing's various G.I. Joe meets the Transformers series. Devil's Due Publishing does not address Prime's early years, save that he survived an assassination attempt by Bludgeon soon after receiving the Matrix. The traditional Ark storyline left the transformers crashed on Earth. In this series, instead of being reactivated by the Ark, the transformers and the ark were discovered by the terrorist organization called Cobra. The transformers inside were reformatted into Cobra vehicles, remotely controlled by the Televipers. Prime was turned into a Cobra Sentry Missile System tank, which was a 1985 Sears store exclusive red repaint of the HISS tank. After an attack on a U.N. summit in Washington D.C., Optimus was able to get a message to Wheeljack, alerting G.I. Joe to where the Cobra base was hidden. Subsequently, he and the other captive Autobots and Decepticons broke free. After the ensuing battle, Optimus fought and defeated his enemy Megatron. After Megatron's defeat, the transformers returned to Cybertron in a second Ark Class vessel, but not before giving their human allies the ability to build and use mecha based on Transformers technology.
In the "Transformers" film, the robots had more of an alien feel to them to fit the theme of an alien invasion. The robots (stated by Optimus Prime) in the film are actual sentient organisms and not just giant, mindless, and mechanical machines. The robots can also speak their own alien language sounding like what seems to be based on different pitches and frequencies. Alongside that, they gave them more alien features that probably wasn't mentioned in the comics or T.V. series such as a highly advanced exoskeleton, force field, and a special "alien meteoroid" mode which they transform into individually and arrive on earth in. The exoskeleton is a "self-regenerating metal" in which the aliens are composed of (stated in the film) that is the equivalent of living skin that heals itself.
For the 1987 and 1988 lines, Hasbro introduced even more radical ideas through new sub-groups. The Headmasters and Targetmasters came with partners who transformed into the figure's head or weapon, respectively. Powermasters, including the new version of fan favorite Optimus Prime, came with partners that transformed into engines. Each line would see various permutations over the two-year span, including smaller Headmasters, Double Targetmasters, and a Powermaster with two engines.
In robot mode, like Combat Hero Prime, the bottom of the truck became his familiar windowed chest based upon the original Optimus Prime toy. His main gimmick was light up LED headlights, and a lightpipe in the bottom of his right fist, illuminated by an LED in his right forearm, that would illuminate his clear sword or his double-barreled rifle if they were used in that hand. All three LEDs were activated simultaneously by pressing the sunroof-like depression on the roof of the truck.
In late 1993, Hasbro relaunched the Transformers franchise with the Generation 2 line, with production again largely being done by Takara. The subgroups concept was done away with for the first year, but there were no new molds or characters. Generation 2 re-used the molds for many of the characters from the 1984 and 1985 line, but with mostly different color schemes and finishes, as well as different weapons and accessories. Megatron's figure was released later on. As noted previously, Megatron's original alternate mode, or "transformation identity", was a handgun with attachments, but in Generation Two, this was changed to a tank due to safety and security concerns. Most of the 1994 figures were re-releases or recolors of European G1 releases.