This mold was redecoed in 2000 as Car Robots Black Convoy, and slightly retooled as his US incarnation "Scourge". After Scourge, the next use of this mold was planned to be Toxitron, which ended up being canceled. The slightly retooled version of this mold was released in 2006 in Japan as reissue Battle Convoy, which was the name of this toy during the Japanese Generation 2. The reissue used the Robots in Disguise modified tooling, with a slightly modified deco using silver vacuum-metalized plastic on his chest and trailer sides along with additional paint applications and G2 symbols. The mold was also redecoed to create a new Generation 2 version of Ultra Magnus as an E-Hobby exclusive (unusual in that the character was killed in the course of Japan's Generation One fiction).
Optimus suffers from a design flaw that many other Voyager Class figures in the Combiner Wars line experience: the detents, or "click points", on the heavily-ratcheted outward motion of his hips (which also form the hips of his torso mode) are few in number and very far apart. As a result, Prime's legs have great difficulty assuming the natural "A-stance" formation that the angled design of his foot sculpt seems to have been meant to accommodate. Likewise, when forming the torso of Ultra Prime, the interactions of the knee-lock mechanism and the hip detents almost always force Ultra Prime's legs into either an awkwardly knock-kneed arrangement or an equally awkward, and often unstable, bow-legged posture (as seen in the image to the right) that prevents Ultra Prime from standing flat-footed. Unlike Motormaster, this version of Optimus was the only one to not receive the improved hip ratchets implemented in its future releases in some shape or form by Hasbro, though they would be used for the Battle Core redeco later in the line. However, there are third party ratchet replacements for the hips.
The Power Plus series are similar to the Power series, except these come with the core that unlocks extra features. The Bumblebee figures in this series are nearly the same as the Power series versions (Camaro ‘Bee’s Power Plus figure has his unmasked head), so if you’re going to get them, and you want the cores, go with these versions. If you want Optimus Prime at this size, though, you’ll have to go with this version.
A Toys R Us-exclusive item, this Titanium two-pack features the previously released War Within Optimus Prime and the upcoming War Within Megatron figures. Also included is an exclusive variant cover War Within comic book. Missing, however, is the unique base that comes with all single-pack 6-inch Titaniums (including the original release of War Within Optimus). The Megatron figure is also lacking its base, this despite bases for both figures being depicted on the instruction sheet.
When Vector Prime reminisced on some of the highlights of his multiversal career, he remembered many events involving Optimus Prime. Among these events was Optimus Prime using the Matrix of Leadership on the Hate Plague, Shockwave taunting a disembodied Optimus Prime, and Megatron firing on the head of Optimus Prime, creating a time storm that necessitated Vector Prime's intervention to ensure Optimus Prime's survival. Vector Prime: In the Beginning
By the ‘90s, the genre had begun to fade, and boys' minds turned to more high-impact action, often centered around mutants, monsters, and karate. Hasbro saw potential in the embers of the Transformers brand, and turned it over to newly-acquired subsidiary Kenner for a jump-start. Kenner threw out all the old rules, and invented a line of Transformers that were more poseable, more feature-packed, and more exciting. Backed by a high-tech CGI cartoon, Beast Wars turned the brand around, making Transformers a bestseller again.
In another possible sequence of events, the trio returned to Autobot headquarters to relate their findings to Optimus Prime. The Decepticons planned to use a Destruction Beam to create a fault line near Center City, which would in turn be exploited by Rumble’s earthquake-inducing abilities to destroy the entire area. The Autobots then decided to split up in two groups, one to attack the Decepticons’ fortress, the other to stop Rumble in Center City. Optimus headed the lead team.
Jetwing Optimus Prime is a retool of Revenge of the Fallen Leader class Buster Optimus Prime, with an accompanying large jet pack and massive dual Gatling Cannons. The base Optimus Prime figure has several modifications including: a new stomach area and elbow flares to reflect the changes to Optimus Prime's CG model in Dark of the Moon, modified lower arms to incorporate MechTech ports and clips for the cannons, and a retooled area under his back so the jet pack can fit on more securely. The dual energon blades mounted on his arms have been removed. The toy retains Buster Optimus Prime's electronics, but batteries are not included.
The BK tie in toy of Optimus Prime is essentially two toys in one. The first part of the toy consists of two truck halves, which snap together around a sculpted robot mode Optimus Prime. The truck is squat, and primarily blue, with outbursts of chalk gray paint and red flames. Pulling back and letting go activates the gimmick: Prime "drives" forward and bursts from the truck mode, "transformed" to robot mode. This gimmick has marginal success.
The Transformers Energon figure pen is based on Optimus Prime in his standard Energon body. About the size of a scout class toy, he transforms from truck mode to robot mode almost identically to his mainline toys, apart from the fact that his feet contain the pen and cannot bend. It's really hard to write with, and almost impossible to pose, even though it has full arm articulation. Amusingly, this figure can position itself to transform into his super robot mode (by flipping his helmet on, opening his chest and flipping his hands in), but because there are no versions of the Prime Force drones in this scale, it's impossible to complete him.
Optimus has the ability to change any part of his robotic body into a tool or gadget. He has swing lines in his wrists. His wrists can also fire capture bolas. His arsenal includes a grappler, fire extinguisher and a negative friction spray. Unlike in all the previous series, his face can almost always be seen, because his mouthplate is retractable like in the 2007 live action film.
This mold was redecoed by Takara in 2000 as Car Robots Black Convoy. The following year, it was released by Hasbro as Black Convoy's 2001 Robots in Disguise franchise counterpart, Scourge, with retooled discs that lacked the Autobot insignia. Following this, the next use of the mold was planned to be Universe Toxitron, which ended up being canceled. The modified tooling was also used when Laser Prime was reissued by Takara in 2006 with a modified deco (see below), and for the e-Hobby exclusive Laser Ultra Magnus that accompanied the reissue's release. In 2015, Platinum Edition Year of the Goat Optimus Prime, another repaint version, comes with partially transparent plastic torso.
Optimus Prime appears in the Transformers live-action film series as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists. In the first three films, he is able to transform into a conventional Peterbilt 379 cab, rather than the cab over design of his original Generation 1 body. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he gains a first generation-style trailer form before changing into a 2014 Western Star 5700 Concept. Also straying from the G1 design, Prime's vehicle mode is now decorated with red flames painted onto a blue body à la Rodimus Prime, his Generation 1 successor. The reason for the change was due to Director Michael Bay's decree that mass displacement does not occur when they transform, requiring Optimus's vehicle form to have more mass to achieve the desired size in his robot form.
For all the positive aspects, these changes are not without their drawbacks. The LEGO community has been crying foul over the perceived decline in quality of the bricks5. While nowhere as bad as their competitor, any decline in quality reflects poorly on a company known for quality control. The LEGO group has been expanding its manufacturing base to places outside of Denmark, into Mexico, the Czech Republic, and China (although so far it seems only their “signature brand” non-set items are made in China). LEGO claims that this has not changed their dedication to the quality of standards by which they abide. However, it seems that the molds have changed to reduce plastic6. Whether or not this affects the durability of the bricks is yet to be seen.
A Mega Super Collection Figure of Prime in his "normal mode" was released a few months after the first figure. He came with a translucent blue Star Saber, and a much larger version of the Convoy Gun accessory, creating a sense of comparative scale, even though he's the same height as the Super Mode figure. Like the Super Mode figure, only his right fist has a peg-hole in it, so he can't hold both weapons at once.
In Super Mode, Optimus Prime can combine with Leobreaker to form "Savage Claw Mode", which sees the feline Autobot become a gigantic clawed arm for his leader. Alternately, if Prime's backpack is removed, he can merge with Wing Saber into "Sonic Wing Mode", with the aerial ace forming a new winged backpack and chestplate for Optimus, and providing him with new hand-held sword weapons and firing missile launchers that connect to his Super Mode boots. The nature of the combination means that the two partners cannot combine with Prime at once—at least, not without physically removing one of Prime's own arms.
Sure enough, in 2009, when the Hytherion's colossal claw-marks appeared on planets throughout the solar system, Prime's other-dimensional incarnation returned, bringing with him a "Vibrant Red" Vector 109 auto-avatar with which Prime fused. In that instant, he was reborn as part of the Alternity, a manifold being who encompassed all the different incarnations of Optimus Prime through the multiverse at once. Prime reached his hands heavenward and peeled back the layers of reality, exposing the gargantuan fanged maw of the Hytherion looming above the Autobots. From Here to Alternity
The instruction manual for the MP-04S Convoy Sleep Version reveals a hidden message saying that Rodimus will be the next installment in the Masterpiece series. Concept sketches of the figure were released online in July 2010. The figure is a faithful modern recreation of the original G1 toy. Gimmicks include retractable binoculars, spinning saw blade and the Matrix of Leadership, but the figure's main feature is the ability to transform into both Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime. The transition between the two incarnations involves rotating the face, extending the legs and adjusting the spoiler on the back.
There is one aspect not looked at in the price and that is the shift to model building vs. creation leading to a change in the utility of the pieces. I seem to need many more sets to get a useful variety of pieces these days as many of the sets contain a lot of pieces that are very specific to the needs of the set and are less useful when one wants to create their own designs. It would be a fascinating addition to rate each of the block types on its utility, perhaps by its prevalence in other sets, and then assess each set on its total utility score. So then the question is how many sets would you need to by to achieve different levels of utility and how has this changed over time.
TakaraTomy released another reissue based on the Encore version as part of their Chronicle line in 2011, lacking the original Generation 1 trailer. Instead, the Chronicle version was available in a two-pack with Dark of the Moon Deluxe Class Optimus Prime and a new trailer that could be used by both Optimuses, thanks to a retooled trailer hitch on the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure.