In yet another possible scenario, Beachcomber returned from his day off early to inform Optimus that Jessie had been taken prisoner by the Decepticons. Optimus deployed a team of Autobots to go to the girl’s rescue. Shortly before arriving at their destination, the Autobots had to choose their next course of action; they could either storm the Decepticon fortress by force, or try to sneak in through a secret passage Buster had previously discovered.
The Beast Wars were waged on prehistoric Earth, eventually leading to the discovery of the buried Ark. The beast Megatron, following the original Megatron's instructions in a desperate gambit, attempted to change history by killing Optimus Prime, who was still lying in The Ark in stasis lock. Megatron hoped that this would result in the Decepticons winning The Great War and the eventual rule of Cybertron by the Predacons, the descendants of the Decepticons. Megatron unleashed a full-power weapon blast at Optimus Prime's face, delivering a near fatal blow. Optimus Primal, however, took Prime's spark into his body to protect it from surgical trauma while his injuries were repaired. The subsequent power increase caused by Prime's spark's connection to the Matrix augmented Primal into the large, transmetal "Optimal Optimus" form with three alternate modes (jet, land vehicle, and transmetal gorilla). Then, with the repairs complete, Prime's spark was restored, and he briefly activated before sinking back into normal stasis.
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.

He made it out of the building and ran into the real Sunstreaker, who blasted the 2 clones following Hot Rod. Sunstreaker ignored Hot Rod's warning about Scorponok's army and stormed into the building so Hot Rod painfully wired himself to send a distress signal. When Sunstreaker's real head was later disabled by Hunter, the Headmaster clones shut down, which Hot Rod explained to Grimlock. The group was surprised by the arrival of Shockwave, but Ultra Magnus had heard Hot Rod's distress call and was on his way to Earth. After Scorponok knocked out Sludge and Grimlock tended to him, the remaining Dynobots offered Hot Rod a lift aboard the Monsterbots' ship. He refused though, and made it back into Machination HQ to take care of something "personal". He eventually found Scorponok's real head. Hunter also showed up and let Hot Rod know how to disable it, but before he could do so, Scorponok grabbed him. Before Scorponok could crush Hot Rod's head, the Dynobots showed up and began to battle Scorponok. Hot Rod told Swoop which wires to sever, and he did just that, reducing Scorponok to a catatonic state. Ultra Magnus arrived took everyone back aboard his ship, which later docked with the Ark-32. Within 3 days, Hot Rod was fully repaired, with a new body form design.


Entertainment Pack Optimus Prime is a slight redeco of the SDCC figure, with some deco differences between the SDCC release; this version has gray windows instead of blue and is missing some of the silver deco on the helmet and roof/feet, as well as the yellow paint on his lights. His midriff is also darker. Optimus also comes with a similarly-scaled Megatron and PVC figurines of Jack Darby, Miko Nakadai, and Raf Esquivel.
This toy, as well as "Shake Bulkhead", was a bit of a chore to obtain. First you had to buy a Happy Meal on July 30th or 31st, which netted you a Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime or Bumblebee toy and a "weekend exclusive Special DVD and MechTech Sheet with red ticket". Said ticket was then traded in at participating toy stores when buying any Dark of the Moon toy to get one of the two charms. (Completing the set with "Potato Bumblebee" was considerably easier, at least.)
Early in this new series of encounters with Megatron, Red Alert contacted the Autobots on Earth and asked for Optimus Prime to join then on Velocitron. Ransack and Crumplezone tricked Hot Shot and Dirt Boss into believing that a race between them would determine which of them would be allowed to race Override for the Planet Cup. During the race, Ransack and Crumplezone caused a rockslide that buried Hot Shot. Hot shot was saved when Optimus Prime, Vector Prime, and Landmine arrived, but Optimus was upset that Hot Shot had become involved with the locals. Clocker and Brakedown were eager to help the Autobots. After being unable to obtain the Planet Cup from Override herself, Optimus Prime endorsed Hot Shot's plan to win the cup in a race with the aide of the other Autobots. Ransack and Crumplezone were contacted by Megatron and were told to keep on eye on things. They also decided to enter the race, either to win the cup and cause as much damage as they could to the other racers. Override, Dirt Boss, Ransack, Crumplezone, Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Red Alert, Landmine, Clocker and Brakedown participated in the qualification round.

In 2003, Takara introduced the Masterpiece MP-01 Convoy/Optimus Prime. While retaining the original concept of a transforming semi-trailer truck, this die-cast figure incorporated modern toy manufacturing techniques for improved detail and articulation, while, at the same time, captured the look of the cartoon character. It has since been released by both Hasbro and Takara Tomy in different variations. In 2010, a version of the Masterpiece toy, called Masterpiece Convoy Sleep Mode, was released, painted in dark colors to match the appearance of Optimus Prime after his death in the 1986 film.[21]
Main event time! Nitro figures are more like your traditional Generations/Power of the Primes deluxe bots. Standing at 7-inches, they feature increased detail, additional paint applications and all come with a core to unlock additional features. In addition to Barricade, Optimus Prime, and VW Bumblebee (this one’s my favorite of the entire line), the Nitro series will also have a Camaro ‘Bee.
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.

A golden-chrome redeco of Cybertron Metroplex was offered as a contest prize in the December 2005 issue of TV Magazine, and came with an equally blinged-out Legends/EZ Collection Optimus Prime figure. Fifteen of this set were available as prizes in the initial contest; a single Metroplex was later offered as one of many prizes in a Takara website contest, but this version came only with the standard metallic paint version of Prime.
Platinum Edition "Year of the Snake" Optimus Prime is a redeco of Energon Super Class Optimus Prime. In lieu of combining with his drones, Optimus Prime can also combine with Platinum Edition Omega Supreme to form what his instructions also call "Super Optimus Prime". The drones are color-matched to Omega Supreme, and can attach to four connectors on his body. In an undocumented feature, Prime can also merge with Energon Wing Saber.
Marketed as a reissue of Powermaster Optimus Prime, this Toys R Us-exclusive Commemorative Series figure is in truth based on the Ginrai tooling on the toy that had previously been exclusive to Japan. It features a die-cast metal cab with translucent blue windows, and shortened, chrome smokestacks, and comes packaged with the drone Apex Bomber (formerly Ginrai's partner Godbomber), who splits into several components and combines with Prime to form "Apex Armor". As with all other Commemorative Series figures, Prime's new spring-loaded missile launcher featured an elongated missile.
Released as part of a collaboration between Transformers and Primitive Skateboarding, this figure is a black repaint of the Titans Return Powermaster Optimus Prime, with the deco somewhat resembling Nucleon Quest Super Convoy, but with some gold trims and Primitive Skateboarding markings partially designed by Primitive Skateboard founder Paul Rodriguez. He also comes with an extra ramp and skateboard accessory that resembles the one Daniel Witwicky used in The Transformers: The Movie, which Shreddicus Maximus (or any other Titan Master) can attach to. The ramp can also form Optimus Prime's gun.

In 1986 the Transformers animated movie had been released, and during the run of the movie, through a pamphlet that came with certain figures, you could order certain Transformers through the mail, such as Optimus Prime among other toys. The toys came in a standard brown mailer box, with items, booklet, and a limited Edition Movie certificate and sticker.
Like the original figure, Powermaster Prime is composed of two major components: his truck cab, which transforms into Prime himself, and his trailer, which is essentially a heavily-armed version of the original. The trailer has a fold-down ramp to allow the storage of a smaller Transformer, or perhaps spare accessories. The trailer transforms into a battle station armed with two long black rifles and two grey double-barreled cannons (featuring seating for Powermaster engine figures), all of which Optimus Prime can also wield in his fists.
Studio Series Optimus Prime is an all new Voyager Class mold that transforms from robot into a Peterbilt 379 semi-truck. He comes with a pair of Energon Swords, which can be mounted onto his arms or store on the back of his robot mode or truck mode. The figure combines engineering concepts from his Age of Extinction Voyager Class figure with techniques previously used on Prime: First Edition Optimus Prime. He also features a more subdued color scheme compared to other Optimus Prime figures. Like the rest of the Studio Series figures, the figure prioritizes robot mode scale and thus stands shorter than his Voyager Class wavemate Starscream. The CG renders depict him possessing long smokestacks, but the final product has them shortened... again. He also comes with a cardboard backdrop display depicting the climatic forest battle from Revenge of the Fallen.
Rounding out a bumper year of Japanese-exclusive Generation 1 Optimus Primes, the Takara-licensed Kawada brand Diablock Convoy is a fully transformable Lego-style block building figure similar in premise to the earlier American Built to Rule sets. The Diablock figure, however, easily outstrips the Built to Rule sets by both being an accurate representation of the toy on which it is based, and being able to transform between modes without having to be partially disassembled and put back together first.
Featuring a complex transformation, essentially the front and back ends of the truck fold and converge to become Optimus Prime's legs, as much of the truck rear is connected to the robot thighs via a series of folding panels. The rear wheel cowlings feature a hinge joint in the middle of them so they do not impede his knee articulation. The rear cabin of the cab, directly connected to the smokestacks, rotate and connect to his torso and unfold into his arms. As with most mainline Movie toys, Optimus Prime features Automorph gimmicks, and due to his pricepoint has three of them. Firstly, during initial transformation, rotating his front fenders to become his heels flips the top parts of the grill to become his toes. Secondly, sliding out the double-barrel cannon in his right forearm flips out his spring-loaded Ion Blaster, which lands into place for his right hand. (The Ion Blaster can actually be popped off his forearm fairly easily, held in place by a simple clip.) Optimus' final Automorph, located in his torso, is activated by flipping the silver lever on his stomach activating a series of spring-loaded actions where the truck windows are pushed apart, and the lever between them is raised, enabling the head to spring up from the chest cavity. At this point yellow LEDs light up the chest windows and Optimus Prime's eyes, accompanied by a "powering up" sound effect.

Bumblebee had many adventures in his bizarre humanoid form. He wound up in the heart of Cybertron to find the resting place of the creator/god of all Transformers, Primus, and learn of their origin as a race. Later, he went on a quest to find the all-powerful Creation Matrix, also known as the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, but stumbled upon the Cybertronian Decepticon commander, Thunderwing, who blasted away Bumblebee’s Pretender shell.
The two sides found themselves equally matched until the Constructicons merged into The Devastator. The tables were turned once more when the Dinobots appeared, and mercilessly slaughtered the Constructicons. The Decepticons' plan foiled, Optimus decided that the Autobot-Decepticon war had come to an end, despite Megatron's protests to the contrary. He and his Autobots then drove away victorious. Battle for Earth
We say "intended", because in actuality, the thing appears to have been produced in such huge quantities that it's wound up being made available in loads of other places—it was handed out at San Diego Comic-Con 2011, offered as a free giveaway with any order that included Transformers toys on Hasbro Toy Shop), as a free gift on the cover of the Awesome Autobots Activity Book, and came as a free gift attached to, of all things, issue #240 of the UK children's comic, Doctor Who Adventures (but not the UK's Transformers comic, you'll note!).

If Optimus went along with Perceptor’s plan, he sent out Sparkplug to fetch the Autobots’ secret stash of emergency fuel. Putting all of his faith in the Autobot scientist to uncover a cure swiftly, Optimus attempted to comfort his troops as they all began to experience sickness pains. Then, Red Alert informed Optimus of a Decepticon attack force moving in on their position, prompting Optimus to ask Perceptor to dispense whatever cure he had been able to concoct, despite it being untested. Perceptor suggested another course of action to Optimus; the tainted fuel the Autobots had left untouched could be used to create a poisonous smog if lit aflame. The Autobots could attempt to poison the Decepticons with their own concoction, or they could risk the untested antidote, despite whatever side-effects it may have.
Rodimus also appeared in the Dreamwave Energon Comic. In this continuity Rodimus's history in unclear, but he seems to be a veteran Autobot assigned to Earth. He acts as a mentor to many of the less experienced Autobots: for example he was the first to congratulate Ironhide when he overcame his fears to defeat Tidal Wave. He was one of the defenders of Toronto alongside Hot Shot, Red Alert, Hoist, Beachcomber and Thrust, battling against Divebomb and a swarm of Terrorcon clones before receiving help from a very unlikely source - Megatron, resurrected in a new body by Optimus Prime. The subsequent counterattack routed the Terrorcons.

When Ultra Magnus, Rodimus, Arcee, and Spike took cover within the Autobot Mausoleum, retreating from an attack led by Galvatron, they found Optimus having risen from the dead! Rodimus returned the Matrix of Leadership to Optimus, only for Optimus to abandon his Autobots, and flee back to Cybertron. Optimus, it seems, has returned to the world of the living changed. Once on Cybertron, Optimus orders a full-scale assault on the Quintesson base. Thankfully, Optimus managed to come to his senses when his memories of being revived by the Quintessons reemerged. After returning the Matrix to Hot Rod and ordering the Autobots to retreat, sacrificed himself once more by guiding the ship he's piloting into the Quintesson's trap. Dark Awakening


Rodimus Prime/Minor is a character who appeared in season 3 of the Transformers Animated series. He is a homage to the Generation 1 version of the character Hot Rod.[17] He wields an energon bow-and-arrow weapon of his own design.[18] On March 31, 2009, Derrick J. Wyatt, lead Transformers Animated Character Designer posted an image of Rodimus' vehicle mode, which is described as a futuristic muscle car that is mostly based on a 2008 Dodge Challenger with some elements of a 1969 Ferrari Daytona. This was revealed at the 2009 BotCon where Hasbro released an action figure of Rodimus Minor. It showed that the 2008 Dodge Challenger parts of Rodimus' vehicle mode were mostly based on the back, top, and sides of the vehicle, while the 1969 Ferrari Daytona parts were found in the front of the vehicle, most notably, the headlights.
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.

As the battle wore on, Optimus attempted to drive the Autobots too wounded to outrun the Beast themselves to safety, carrying them within his trailer. Jetfire showed up in time to rescue most of his passengers, leaving Optimus to deal with The Beast on his own. Seeing a city coming closer over the horizon, Optimus attempted to reach the Dinobots one last time from within The Beast. As his former troops remained unresponsive, Optimus led The Beast to its doom, blasting it a few more times before leading it to fall into a chasm. Optimus himself was rescued from the fall at the last possible moment by Jetfire’s timely return. As the two of them looked on at the Beast’s inert form, Optimus wondered out loud if their battles would truly ever come to an end. The Beast Within Part 2, Consequences


A Deluxe sized version of Energon Optimus Prime. Looks like a smaller version of the Leader class toy, without any trailer or drones. Can Powerlinx with other Energon Autobot toys. This toy was a Toys-R-Us store exclusive in the U.S. and was packaged together with a downsized Energon Megatron. In Japan this toy was packaged together with Kicker and a Star Saber accessory.
The figure would have come in a monochrome version of the standard Henkei! Henkei! Convoy's packaging, still named "Convoy" but now labeled as part of the Gentei! Gentei range of exclusives.[8] Reportedly, this figure was intended as a Wonderfest exclusive, but was canceled because, according too TakaraTomy designer Shogo Hasui, it was too similar to Universe Nemesis Prime. Knockoffs were later made available, so buyers beware!
Two custom-made pieces (presented in robot and vehicle mode) by the Hasbro Transformers team as the grand prize for G4TV and Jumpcut's contest for fans to remix selected Transformers clips. Won by TFW2005.com member James Zahn, this one-of-a-kind (well, two-of-a-kind) piece is an almost fully vacuum-metallized Leader-class Optimus Prime in red, silver and blue (based heavily upon Generation 1 Optimus Prime), presented with a custom display base with an embossed silver Autobot insignia and a perspex display case.
A retool of Crash Combiner Optimus Prime available in a two-pack with Grimlock, featuring a new Optimus Prime-ish Combiner head and new arm parts with a green dinosaur-themed front shoulder pads, and he features a lighter shade of red plastic. Like the previous versions, Optimus Prime can become the top half of any Crash Combiner gestalt, though his official combination is with Grimlock as Primelock.
In an alternate version of this reality, Rodimus was forced to deal with a militant and aggressive Optimus Prime, and Cybertron was soon wracked by a three-way war between Optimus' Autobots, Rodimus' Omnicons, and Megatron's Decepticons. Unfortunately, the balance of the conflict tipped with the arrival of dimension-hopping tyrant Megazarak, whose Destructicons allied with the Decepticons, creating a force that soon annihilated Autobot and Omnicon alike. However, the Destructicons then turned upon their allies and destroyed them before being abducted by Unicron. This universe was then drained of all life and energy by Tornedron, whose creator Primacron was also destroyed.
Prime comes with a unique Cyber Key, designed after the twin-handled appearance of the Matrix of Leadership, bearing the code l8p3. When inserted into the cannon that the rifle is part of, a pair of additional spring-loaded missile launchers flip down from the its sides. Slotting the key into the electronic cannon opens up the panels covering the front of the barrel, unlocking a different sound with its button is pressed. The paint job of the key is the principal difference between the Hasbro and Takara versions of the figure; the Japanese release features a metallic gold paint border around the key, furthering its resemblance to the Matrix. Other differences include more thoroughly painted knees and leg-armor cannons, yellow-painted signal lights above the cab, and the use of metal hinges to hold on Prime's wing tips, which were removable on Hasbro's version, and came disconnected in-package.
The key sports a tampographed Autobot insignia, a red border, and the Key Code "D56B" tampographed on the back. This code, when entered on Hasbro's website, was supposed to unlock additional information on the character or the toy, but due to an error on behalf of Hasbro, it unlocked information intended for Optimus Prime's wave-mate, the aforementioned Deluxe Class Demolishor; Optimus Prime's information was instead unlocked using the code "dt67", which was tampographed on the back of the Cyber Key included with said Demolishor toy.
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In 2003, Transformers: Armada launched a pivotal new era in the toy line. After several lines of toys produced by one company or the other, Hasbro and Takara united to produce what was purported to be a single, identical line of Transformers for release worldwide. In tandem with this new endeavor, Armada signaled a new continuity in its accompanying animated series and a new focus in both the show and the toys on Mini-Cons, a new faction of Transformers. The Mini-Cons were much smaller robots (not much larger than humans) who were neutral in the Autobot/Decepticon fight, but due to their incredible power and abilities, were sought by both factions.

Today, generally the creator sets only emphasize Lego as a building system. They come with pieces and instructions for two alternate models. Generally, Creator sets utilize a more basic color selection and look less “realistic” due to the emphasis on a versatile piece selection. Contrast that with current licensed themes and even Lego’s own proprietary themes. Themed/licensed sets are now trying to achieve more “realistic” models. As a result, piece and color selection skews toward more specialized pieces and colors again making the “critical mass” of pieces harder to achieve.


In Axiom Nexus, General Optimus Prime found himself inducted into the Convoy, a group of Optimus Primes and their kin dedicated to safeguarding the multiverse. While the other Convoy members tended to stay in the upper reaches of Axiom Nexus, the General was able to use his unusual appearance for an Optimus Prime to venture in the Offworlder zones without suspicion, a great help to Offworlder Zone Security Administration Commander Cheetor. The General was also assisted in his new mission by his longtime scout, Sergeant Hound. General Optimus Prime profile card Sgt. Hound profile card
Jazz and Ironhide reported to Optimus that the Decepticons were stealing gas, and Optimus was able to use Roller to find out the Decepticons were using a molecular transfer device. The Autobots assaulted the Decepticon stronghold so they could take care of the device. Summertime Coloring Book After a rain storm, Optimus and most of the other Autobots went out on patrol. When the Decepticons used a fake message to lure Bumblebee out of the Ark so they could take it over, Optimus used the same gambit to retake the ship. A Message From Outer Space
At some point, Rodimus learned that the world known simply as Planet Q was under threat from the world-devourer, Unicron, but arrived too late to prevent its destruction. Years later, however, he encountered the planet's surviving ruler, Alpha Q, and sided with him in his plan to use Energon to regenerate and restore all the worlds consumed by Unicron – a plan that put him in opposition with Optimus Prime when they encountered each other once again. When Megatron succeeded in reactivating Unicron, however, Rodimus relented and submitted himself and his troops to Optimus Prime's command, and they were integrated into the main Autobot force as the battles continued to defend Alpha Q's successfully-regenerated worlds against the Decepticons.
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.
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