The stickers may not be cut right, my copy has them off-center, they're probably using an 80's type bladed stamp with little QC to rush them out. The cab will not have the stripes applied, those are included on a strip of mylar/foil/whatever silver but you have to measure and cut them to fit. Every KO can be identified easily by these missing stickers in the box. Older releases also had the trailer's stickers separate but those have not been made in some time.
In an amusing (but glaring) example of poor quality control in a Takara product, the back of the packaging features a small amount of Engrish, notably the word "kinetic" being written as "Kinetick". The bio also mentions the elemental metal as the "Cyber-Matter" living metal, which is used for the Aligned continuity family. Oddly, TakaraTomy's stock photo of the robot mode figure was later used as a cutout "battle figure" included with Telebi Magazine's Burning Megatron.
If he didn't send Sludge with them, the odds were 2 to 1 that the Autobots would all be destroyed as part of Operation Black Coral. The one possible positive outcome ended with Optimus fighting a duel against Megatron atop Mount Lomas in which Prime (somehow) split into his three components to surround his archenemy. This provoked Rumble into "assisting" his leader with an earthquake that destroyed the Decepticons' entire superfuel operation.
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.
Hasbro's original plan for the Beast Wars was to have Optimus Prime, renamed Optimus Primal, and Megatron be reformatted versions of their 1980s selves. This was shown in the toys's Tech Specs, and in the comic packaged with the basic Optimus Primal/Megatron two-pack. Hasbro also wanted the "Mutant Heads" found on all of the deluxe sized first year toys as battle helmets, but Mainframe scrapped the idea as it would have required three animation models for each character instead of two. Another designed feature for the 1995/1996 toys was carried over from Generation 2, transparent "light pipe" eyes. However, most toys had those parts cast in opaque plastic.
Now I'm 30, so I don't know exactly what transformer toys you grew up with, but I had a bunch of the "Beast Wars" toys. Which with my nostalgia glasses on seemed much more detailed in my memory than what these new Transformers toys look like they are advertising on their website. However searching for a picture of my Optimus Primal toy... it isn't quite as detailed as I remembered. So my point is that it is probably a bit of nostalgia making you think yours were so much better than what they have now.
Commemorating the death of Optimus Prime in The Transformers: The Movie, this set contains a special version of the original Optimus Prime figure with show-inspired translucent blue windows. It was packaged with Ligier and Alert, in an apparent homage to the similar Diaclone "Powered Convoy DX" giftset that packaged the "Powered Convoy" version of the Optimus mold with figures using the molds of Ligier and Alert.
Generations Selects Ricochet and Red Swoop - Following our last news post regarding this new "Generations Selects" toyline (previously called "Select Series"), we finally have new images of the first two releases, Deluxe Class Red Swoop and Ricochet! These two figures are redecos of Power of the Primes Swoop and Jazz respectively. Red Swoop is based of the original G1 toy's colors (which can be found on the stock renders for the Power of the Primes toy), while Ricochet is meant to evoke the Headmasters character Stepper.
He now comes with a half-translucent gun which lights up and expands MechTech-style when the lever is pulled. Bizarrely, the main section of the weapon is sculpted to resemble Prime's forearm, with the unfolding part being his in-show gun. Additionally, he comes with an opaque sword resembling the Star Saber, which he can wield two-handed. The gun features a peg on its underside and a port on each side, while the sword features a peg and peg-hole on its hilt in addition to its 5mm handle. In robot mode, either accessory can mount on his hands, on either of his shoulders, or be pegged into either of his half-translucent forearms. In vehicle mode, the top of the vehicle mode cab can also fold back to reveal two additional peg holes, and there are three peg holes (including the fifth wheel hitch) on the back section, although the hitch tends to open up and not hold very well.

The earliest version, as shown in the first patent application for the toy, was to have the Prime cab be a triplechanger, turning from truck cab to jet or robot.[16] The nosecone of the jet and robot legs were released by the Powermaster lock in the same fashion as the legs in the final version. Optimus would have had winged arms in non-super robot mode. The super robot mode's head was also integrated into the trailer's hitch... and lacked a faceplate.
In shock over the news, Optimus could do little more than scream in agony as Megatron and Starscream made their escape. After regaining his senses, the Autobot leader resumed contact with Ratchet, relaying the order that all Autobots were to return to base. There, Optimus tried his best to calm his panicking subordinates. Though he assured them that power reserves would allow their civilization to continue functioning for some time, they remained jittery. Optimus then declared that he would spearhead a counter-invasion of the Underground. Still, the Autobots remained uncertain, with Brawn pointing out that the Underground was not only vast and dangerous, but mostly unmapped as well. Taking full responsibility for SARA's abduction onto himself, Optimus suggested that he venture to the Underground alone and track SARA's energy signature. Hot Rodimus, however, was unwilling to allow his leader to take such a dangerous course of action, and volunteered to join him. The rest of the Autobots, finding their courage at last, followed suit. Moved by their devotion, Optimus accepted. He also thanked Hot Rodimus for calling out his foolishness, as Optimus now recognized that he would have made an even greater mistake by diving headlong into a doomed venture. Brawn approached Optimus next, insisting he join the group. Optimus at first refused, as Brawn had gotten badly injured during the invasion, but was convinced by the minibot's resolve. Once they were ready, Optimus issued the order to his Autobots... ROLL OUT! Resolve
After weeks of Decepticon silence, Optimus Prime decided to get proactive and sent out patrols all over the planet to try and flush the villains out. None of the patrols reported back with any success, however, and Prime realized that there was one area of the planet that his troops had deliberately ignored: the mysterious "Nebulos Triangle". Quickswitch, Scoop and Quickmix were sent into the Triangle, and they did indeed discover and foil the Decepticon plot going on in the area. Decepticons Underground
This miniature model kit of Energon Optimus Prime comes unassembled and unpainted, moulded mainly from white, red and black plastic and featuring some stickers for essential detail. Standing at around 4.5 inches tall, he comes with his Prime Force drones and can combine with them in the usual ways; while Fire-1, Gyro-2 and Digger-3 are moulded in their normal colours, Submarine-4 is stuck being black, and like every other non-color-molded, non-stickered detail on the kit, must be painted by the buyer. Prime's transformation involves removing his feet and head (an alternate Super Mode head is included, as his antenna does not transform into a helmet), and he does not come with a trailer for the Prime Force, but his gun can shoot small orange plastic BBs via a pressure-launching mechanism, and he comes with a small gold-chromed Energon star that fits onto his left shoulder. The kit also comes with "Episode 1" of the "Optimus Prime VS Scourge" mini-comic, printed on the back of the instructions.
In Transformers vs. G.I. Joe comics, Bumblebee is offed as well. His ship is damaged during a space chase with Starscream, so he lands on Earth where G.I. Joe and Cobra are going at each other (as per usual). But his fatal mistake was helping G.I. Joe favorite Snake Eyes, who was trying to take on Starscream. In the process, Bumblebee got in the Joe-Cobra crossfire and was ripped apart by missiles. This wasn’t a true death, however. First, Starscream took Bee’s head to Megatron, who wore it on a necklace (yes, really), but eventually the head got back to the Autobots, who planted it back on his repaired body and he came back to life.

Optimus includes an spring-loaded missile firing "ion cannon" modeled after Megatron's shotgun from Dark of the Moon, with the missile features a sculpted shotgun nozzle on the front section. It can be held in his hand or attached to the top of the truck cab or truck bed via 5mm post, and, in an unadvertised feature, sports tabs on the rear-most handle that allow the Dark of the Moon Voyager Class Megatron toy to wield it. Also undocumented is the fact that the weapon can be stored under either of Optimus' shoulders.
The live-action Transformers movie was slated to premiere in the U.S. on July 3, 2007, and was a joint collaboration among DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Pictures and Hasbro, Inc. Paramount Pictures was slated to release the film in the United States, as it had by now made DreamWorks Pictures one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, and was also to be responsible for the international release of the film through United International Pictures, its joint venture with Universal Studios. The feature was directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. It was a new story, set apart from the previous incarnations of the cartoon(s) and comic(s). A new origin and characters were introduced. Steven Spielberg, who with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen had established DreamWorks SKG, was the main executive producer of the film, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto and Don Murphy serving as co-executive producers. In practice, this meant that they were the primary financial sponsors of the film.
If he didn't send Sludge with them, the odds were 2 to 1 that the Autobots would all be destroyed as part of Operation Black Coral. The one possible positive outcome ended with Optimus fighting a duel against Megatron atop Mount Lomas in which Prime (somehow) split into his three components to surround his archenemy. This provoked Rumble into "assisting" his leader with an earthquake that destroyed the Decepticons' entire superfuel operation.
(As an odd postscript to this tale of footwear-induced madness, although the promo pictures all showed the shoeformer as a white and navy blue sneaker that transforms into a white and aqua blue robot, the product actually released sported much darker colors for all the robot-mode parts, with a deep teal instead of aqua, and almost all the white replaced by an icky tan/cream/grey color, including the head. Basically, the figure looks like the promo picture viewed through really dark sunglasses. Although this certainly doesn't make it look any more like Prime, you might argue that it looks a little less like Magnus. Sorta. Maybe. Not really.)
Part of the eighth wave of TakaraTomy Go! toys, Optimus Exprime is capable of changing from a robot to either a train or (something resembling) a dragon and back again. He can also form the torso of either DaiKenzan (with Kenzan forming the upper torso, head, and arms and Gekisoumaru forming the legs) or DaiGekisou (With Kenzan and Gekisoumaru reversed from their roles in DaiKenzan).

A fourth version is shown in the 1987-88 Transformers product catalog that has several minor differences from both Powermaster Prime and God Ginrai, such as having God Ginrai's sliding fists but in red, a completely different trailer hitch assembly partially based on the third design, an offset Autobot symbol in base mode, extended feet also based on third design, far more detailed super mode outer leg panels, completely different front bumper, and the first instance of single faux shoulder smokestacks rather than two. It is still unknown as to why Powermaster Prime has completely different arms from God Ginrai or all earlier concept versions.
This redeco of Leader-class Optimus Prime replaced most of the plastics in the cab robot with colored translucent equivalents, with chromed silver wrist-pipes, a golden chrome Matrix, and red chrome window frames. His trailer remained opaque, but was cast in much deeper red plastic, with a more metallic silver used for his cannons. He was available only in a Toys"R"Us Japanese exclusive giftset released in October 2005, with a redeco of Wing Saber, and the Coby Sen'yō Rumble.

Optimus was made available as a mail-away toy in the "Digital Doom on the Highway to Destruction" offer in the US in 1986 to coincide with the Transformers movie in 1986. He cost $21.50 and 5 robot points, and came with a special Movie Edition Certificate and a round sticker that read " Movie . Edition . Transformer" with the Autobot symbol in the middle. (This item is considered rare.)
The Autobots helped repair a Smitco Oil Refinery site which the Lazarus-controlled Transformers had attacked. Optimus had no answer for Spikes accusation that the Transformers' presence on Earth was responsible for the destruction. When Megatron's activities at Lazarus's base were spotted by the military, Optimus insisted on the Autobots going in without backup. They discovered Megatron in the middle of a plan to reformat Earth into a new Cybertron using a cyber-virus. Optimus rejected Megatron's suggestion he should just let it happen, but while the two factions fought, the human military unleashed Operation Clean-Up, dropping a bomb on them. Prime Directive #3
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.
The Autobots subsequently returned to Cybertron aboard a refueled and repaired Ark with the defeated Decepticons, taking the Decepticons on Cybertron unawares and quickly capturing control Cybertron. Peace reigned for a time until a series of natural disasters began, the source of which was determined to be the planet Moebius in a parallel universe. The Autobots assembled a team to travel to this alternate universe and stop the threat; Optimus Prime personally led the team, unwilling to put anyone in more danger than himself. Wheeljack, Hoist, Jazz, Prowl, and Silverstreak constituted the rest of the team; they dubbed themselves Spy Changers because they aimed to achieve their goal with stealth and diplomacy. The team modified their bodies to match the native cyborgs using data acquired from the Sky Spy and traveled to the 22nd Strata but were soon attacked by the local Guardians, who mistakenly presumed them to be Renegades. The Spy Changers were then rescued by the real Renegades, who presumed them to be potential allies and took them back to their flagship, the Rogue Star. Renegade leader Cy-Kill attempted to court the Spy Changers as allies, but Optimus saw through Cy-Kill's deception. Eventually, the Autobots formed a secret alliance with the Guardians as well as discovered the cause of Cybertron's troubles: Renegade bases on Moebius were draining the planet's energy. The planet's geometry had turned it into a crude Dimensional Interfacer, and Moebius was tapping into Cybertron to sustain itself. Hoist was able to end the crisis by triggering the bases' remote detonation sequence. Cy-Kill was furious, but in the ensuing battle, the Autobot-Guardian alliance triumphed over the Renegades. Optimus Prime and Leader-1 shook hands as a symbol of the transdimensional friendship, and the Autobots returned to their home reality, secure in the knowledge that they had allies in places as distant as alternate realities. Ask Vector Prime, 2015/09/30
Originally, Optimus Prime was created as the leader of the Autobots, though it is unknown how he was created or his origins. In a possible future, Megatron was threatened by the existence of the Aerialbots and had Shockwave build a time machine to send them back in time to get rid of them. However, he only ended up changing history for the better. In the revised timeline, Optimus Prime began his life as a robot named Orion Pax, a mostly defenseless dock worker during the Golden Age of Cybertron nine million years ago, with a girlfriend named Ariel and a best friend named Dion. During this time, a new breed of robot with new flight capabilities appeared on the planet that Orion idolized. When Megatron, the leader of the new group of robots, approached him with inquiries about using one of the dock warehouses, Orion was swayed by Megatron. Both Orion and Ariel were severely wounded when Megatron and his forces attacked in order to claim the energy stored there. Searching for someone to help them, the time-displaced Aerialbots took Orion and Ariel to the ancient Autobot, Alpha Trion, who used them as the first subjects for the new reconstruction process he had developed involving rebuilding the frail Autobot frames into more battle-hardy configurations.
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