What makes LEGO sets seem more expensive now is that the effective piece count seems lower. I remember that in the 80s, each set was full of bricks that were not overtly specialized only to that set. So they were useful for more things. Now the sets usually come with less bricks and plates (things that could be useful everywhere) and bring more things like minifigure accessories, flick fire missiles and other things that are not that useful. Although I think that everything was far worse in the late 1990s/Early 2000s than it is now.
It was expected that the release of a new movie would involve the production and release of associated toys from Takara and Hasbro. Images surfaced, on-line, of some toy prototypes, notably Starscream and a new Decepticon who was to be named Blackout, along with packaged samples of movie preview "Protoform" Optimus Prime and Starscream toys. Similarly, fans found preliminary artwork of multiple characters, although it was not known at the time how close these were to the final designs. The designs were significantly different from those of the Generation 1 characters with the same names. Reactions varied widely: some fans objected strongly to the designs, occasionally going so far as to threaten a boycott if the designs were not changed to be more traditional, while others liked them. The issue became a divisive one, as detractors accused supporters of lacking respect for the franchise's history, while supporters accused detractors of being "stuck in the past", and not accepting change.

During the period between December 26 2010 and January 31 2011, Hasbro ran their "Supercharge Your Holidays" promotion: for every $20 spent on Hasbro-branded product, customers could receive a free, random product from a list provided by Hasbro. Among the items on the list was "Transformers Activator & Speed Stars Mini Vehicle". According to this discussion thread on Allspark.com, Rally Rumble Optimus Prime (as the figure is listed in the thread) was one of the figures distributed.
Kiss Players Convoy is a redeco of Alternators Optimus Prime. While the figures may appear similar at first glance, given that Kiss Players Prime is still red, blue and black, there are many subtle differences, not least of all the replacement of the Alternators figure's bare, flat red plastic with a deep metallic red paint. Several of his body parts are cast in different colors of plastic (for example, his shins, formerly black, are now blue, while his formerly-blue hands are now black), and he features more intricate paint applications on his shoulders, and especially his pelvis, which is decorated to look like Prime's traditional bumper.
In "Sick Mind", Optimus is infected with the life-threatening Cybonic plague, prompting Arcee and Bumblebee to infiltrate the Nemesis to find a cure for the virus Megatron himself created. As Optimus grows weaker, he learns of Megatron's survival of the space bridge explosion. It was Bumblebee entering Megatron's mind via cortical psychic patch and retrieving the cure that saved Optimus. In the next episode, "Out of His Head", Optimus is, surprisingly, saved by the revived Megatron when he intercepted Starscream's attempted nosedive to kill him.
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.
1. Color diversity: Back in the 80s, most sets were comprised of a few basic colors; red, blue, yellow, white, gray, and black. It was much easier to acquire a “critical mass” of pieces in each color to start building one’s own creations in coherent color schemes. Space, Town, Castle sets all had the same basic colors. Today Lego uses a much wider array of colors in their sets. While this adds a lot of variety and visual appeal to today’s sets, this means that one has to buy a much larger number of sets (or scour bricklink) to get achieve a workable critical mass of pieces in each color. After buying some of the modern sets, I end up with a few dark-blue or lime-green pieces that I don’t really have enough to much with other than use as accent colors. They end up in my misc color bin in the event I decide to build the set they originally came with or sell them off on bricklink.

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.
Part of the first wave of the Combiner Force assortment, Optimus is a roughly Scout-class sized figure that changes from his futuristic truck with a combiner chest that doubles as his spoiler into a robot in three four extremely simple steps. His individual robot mode only has limited articulation on his shoulders. He also has a little green arrow above the connector on the truck bumper indicating where to crash him to combine with other figures. A 5mm post hole on top of his vehicle mode can accommodate a compatible accessory or Weaponizer Minicon, though he cannot use it in his individual robot mode.
A black and red version of the First Edition deluxe Optimus Prime could be seen in the San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Transformers slide show, inside a mock-up of the wearable Matrix of Leadership package done for the convention that year. This figure was presumably a test-shot, as it seems to share plastic colors with Generations Sky Shadow (who was, coincidentally, first revealed at that same Comic-Con).
A redeco of Legends Optimus Prime replacing his red plastic with more blue and silver, but sprucing things up a bit with red flame paint operations. Defender Optimus Prime (ディフェンダーオプティマスプライム) was only available in Japan as part of their Transformers Animated promotion in March 2010. It was given away for free to customers who purchased Animated merchandise at Edion, Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera stores.

China.Org has reported of a potential Beast Wars movie as well as the (still rumored) Optimus Prime movie. Bumblebee movie producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura was also careful to state that the chances of subsequent movies are riding on the success of Bumblebee at the Box Office. He also mentioned the animated movie was in its writing stage, though with other titles already riding on Bumblebee's success – being in the writing stage doesn't exactly guarantee even the animated movie's - Read More
Outstanding work here. After reading a number of complaints about how the price has ‘increased’ over the years, it’s great to see this analytical approach. One additional hypothesis I have is related to the increase in the number of sets released each year, which would appear to be supported by your data. More sets to buy to be ‘complete’ makes for more money out of pocket.
This version of Optimus Prime is an all new mold, being the most movie accurate so far — or at least he was until Buster Prime came out. It comes with his two energon blades, and does not have a large gap at the back of the cab like the previous Leader-class Optimus Prime. It can combine with Leader class Jetfire to form Jetpower Optimus Prime. He is also very hard to transform. The process involves unclipping his firewall from his chest in a fashion that harkens to dissecting toys that lack screws, rivets or glue. In the meantime, he keeps saying, "I am Optimus Prime," over and over due to an overly sensitive voice clip trigger. Even the most die-hard Peter Cullen fan will be sick of his voice after five minutes of playing with this toy. That aside, the quality and articulation is top-notch and the poseability is amazing. Spring-loaded panels feature in his legs as well as ratcheting ball-and-socket ankles, G1 "transforming" sound effects, and multiple "Mech Alive" features raise the bar on this figure. Of note, the fists cannot accomodate standard accessories, and on test-shots of "Power Up" mode Prime has articulated fingers, like the 2007 toy, but this feature was dropped. Also, trying to transform Optimus from robot to vehicle mode can be very difficult at first.

Optimus and Wheeljack returned to Autobot HQ after an absence to find Grimlock had taken leadership. Though they failed to resist him, he soon bored with leading the Autobots and let Optimus take command again. Me, Grimlock, King Impressed with Bumblebee's success as team leader, Optimus assigned Pipes to lead a team. The B-Team Part Deux With Optimus badly damaged and without the Matrix, the Autobots were driven off Earth and sought refuge on Cybertron. Once Optimus had recovered, he put together a team which returned to Earth and retook it from the Decepticons, with Optimus badly damaging Megatron in combat. All Hail Megatron
In the animated series, Optimus Prime was originally in the Autobot Academy and friends with Sentinel Prime and Elita One. When Elita is lost on a planet dominated by giant spider-like aliens, he blames himself for leaving her behind, where she supposedly dies in the explosion of a wrecked Decepticon warship loaded with Energon. Sentinel doesn't forgive him for losing her and Optimus takes full responsibly for Elita's demise. Ultra Magnus, who had high hopes for him, expels him and thus bars him from any position of the Elite Guard. However, Magnus pulls some strings so that Optimus could be captain of a strange Space Bridge repair crew composed of an old grumbler of a war vet named Ratchet, a fledgling Bumblebee, and his fellow cadet, Bulkhead. Optimus is given command of the starship Omega Supreme.
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.
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.
As the Binaltech saga unfolds, the multiverse is threatened with destruction, until the original continuity is restored and the Binaltech universe is split into and preserved within its own separate universe. Overdrive confirms that the threat is over by visiting the dimension occupied by the original timeline, and reveals that in that world, Hot Rod had received the Matrix and taken over leadership of the Autobots as Rodimus Prime.
Rodimus Prime is a fictional robot superhero character from the Transformers robot superhero franchise. He was formerly known as Hot Rod and was first seen in The Transformers: The Movie but was reformatted into Rodimus Prime when he received the Autobot Matrix of Leadership from his mentor, Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, and assumed the role of the movie's protagonist. Hasbro has used the names Autobot Hot Rod, Rodimus, and Hot Shot as replacements for later characters, due to trademark issues with the name Hot Rod. His alternate mode varies between depictions, but usually possesses a red, yellow, and silver paint job.
Optimus Prime led a group of Autobots who left Cybertron aboard the Ark, which was shot down over Earth, sending them into stasis for four million years. Optimus was badly damaged in the crash, and the prognosis wasn't great, but he recovered in time to announce the Autobots had no choice but to involve the humans in their war. Following a battle at Dyson Dam, Prime persuaded Jetfire to join the Autobot team. When the Decepticons headed through the space bridge to Cybertron, Optimus followed, only for him and his team to be ambushed and imprisoned.
Optimus Prime features a MechTech Blaster that can convert into an Energon Battle Axe reminiscent of the Generation 1 character's iconic weapon, though the weapon cannot be locked in battle axe mode. There is also a pair of C joint rods on the underside of both forearms. His MechTech blaster can plug into the port on each of his arms or be held in either hand in robot mode, or plug into one of two holes on his truck roof/robot shoulders.
Long before the internet came along and ruined life as we knew it, Children amused themselves with the most primitive of toys. At the top of the food chain was the yo-yo. Believed to date back to around 500 B.C. in Greece, and even believed to have been used as a crude weapon in the Philippines, the yo-yo (pronounced yo-yo) made a roaring comeback in the 1920s as a toy, and to a lesser extent as a weapon.

Brian Colin, Peter Smyth, Mark Buffington, Josh H., Propelstalz, Mary Crocker, Wayne Moulton Jr, Mitch Gross, Jim Valko, Andrew Brown, Lucy Ravitch, Nicholas Duresky, Heather Hofshi, John Kemp, Thorsten Karge, Natasha Dzurny, Keith Ives, Benjamin Chan, Neal Bhatnagar, Justin Farr, Regan Lee, Elaine, Nate Fugal, Stephanie Tennison, Jon Rasmussen, Ryan Pulis, Owen Duffy, Colman Reilly, Anthony, Mark Richman, Alexis Ohanian, Steve, Greg “TVsEgon” Skinner, Andy Saavedra, Daniel, Willie Raymond Taylor III, Chad Ingham, Irene Christian, Clinton Richmond, Jamey Stegmaier, James Allenspach, John Howell, Leif Terry, Tiago Pereira, Nathan Heath, Grinidon, Roman, Berserker Hew, Clark Stacey, Ben Harkins, Kayvaan Ghassemieh, Travis B., Justin Myers, Magna Nordgard, Jim Griffin, Jeff, David Smith, Matthew Titelbaum, Dennis Hitzeman, Daniel Lieske, Michael Jantze, Ruddy, Tom Damico, Kelson, Michelangelo Grigni

The first Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy was largely identical in sculpt to the original Generation 1 figure release. While his cab robot retained his original red and blue color scheme, his trailer was recast in black, with the original blue and silver striped sticker replaced with a red and silver one displaying Optimus's name. On the first release of the trailer, the internal components and Roller matched the blue of the cab robot. Later, the internal components were changed to a lighter blue, as was Roller. Another running change followed, making the dark blue of the cab robot match this lighter shade. A bright yellow "Autobot" tampograph was also added to the back of his right leg.
Available exclusively at Toys "R" Us, Rodimus transforms into a futuristic car that is a homage to the vehicle mode of Generation 1 Hot Rod. A panel on the car's hood, which is also the figure's chest, can be flipped to either show an engine block or the figure's Autobot insignia. The figure comes with an Energy Bow, capable of firing two missiles. His bow can also be tabbed to the roof of his car mode or snapped on his hand. The tabs that secure his bow in vehicle mode are 5mm wide, making it usable by other figures as well. His legs are normally bent for the underside of his car mode but can be locked straight during transformation.
Besides the inordinate number of Hogwarts Castles, we can draw similar conclusions from this chart as we can from the Pirate Ship Chart. The prices really have not changed that much in the measurable time-frame2. The weighted average for all the castles is 10.56 cents per piece. As with the Pirate Ships, there does seem to be a general increase in piece count, however.
Equipped with knowledge of the future and the danger that would soon be threatening the transformers, Ravage's machinations included trapping Megatron and a large army of Decepticons in a spacial rift with the intention of protecting the Decepticons from the approaching Unicron and forcing the Autobots to face the planet-eater unaided. The Decepticons would then be in a position to conquer the victor of that battle.
This version of Optimus Prime is an all new mold, being the most movie accurate so far — or at least he was until Buster Prime came out. It comes with his two energon blades, and does not have a large gap at the back of the cab like the previous Leader-class Optimus Prime. It can combine with Leader class Jetfire to form Jetpower Optimus Prime. He is also very hard to transform. The process involves unclipping his firewall from his chest in a fashion that harkens to dissecting toys that lack screws, rivets or glue. In the meantime, he keeps saying, "I am Optimus Prime," over and over due to an overly sensitive voice clip trigger. Even the most die-hard Peter Cullen fan will be sick of his voice after five minutes of playing with this toy. That aside, the quality and articulation is top-notch and the poseability is amazing. Spring-loaded panels feature in his legs as well as ratcheting ball-and-socket ankles, G1 "transforming" sound effects, and multiple "Mech Alive" features raise the bar on this figure. Of note, the fists cannot accomodate standard accessories, and on test-shots of "Power Up" mode Prime has articulated fingers, like the 2007 toy, but this feature was dropped. Also, trying to transform Optimus from robot to vehicle mode can be very difficult at first.
He reappeared in the third crossover, where he apparently acted as Optimus Prime's right-hand man. Putting a team together to look for the missing team that had journeyed to Earth (who had been captured by Serpentor and the Decepticons), he would later lead the combined G.I. Joe/Autobot force that rescued Optimus Prime. In contrast to his usual "youthful rookie" portrayal here Hot Rod seems to be in a high command position, outranking Ultra Magnus, Prowl and Ironhide among others. However, by the fourth crossover Hot Rod is forced to wait on Cybertron under Magnus's command as Optimus Prime journeys to Earth.
An exclusive version of Titan Class Metroplex was made available at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. He comes with 12 small, non-transforming figurines of Orion Pax, Megatron, Bumblebee, Thundercracker, Trailcutter, and Hoist, all in both modes. The figurines are based on their Thrilling 30 Generations Deluxe Class toys, and similarly to Decoys, the Autobot figurines are cast in red plastic, and the Decepticons in purple.
The Beast Wars raged on prehistoric Earth, eventually leading to the discovery of the buried Ark sometime after its crash on prehistoric Earth. Megatron, following his namesake's instructions in a desperate gambit, decided to attempt to change history by killing 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 eventually Predacon control of Cybertron. Megatron unleashed a full-power weapon blast at Optimus Prime's face, near-fatally injuring him. The Agenda (Part III) However, Optimus Primal proceeded to take 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 mutated Primal into a large, Transmetal "Optimal Optimus" form. Then, with the repairs complete, Prime's spark was restored, and he briefly activated before sinking back into normal stasis. Optimal Situation
The first reissue of the original Optimus Prime toy in North America since the Generation 1 toyline reached its end, this "Commemorative Series" edition of the figure was a Toys R Us exclusive. It was mostly identical to the original figure, save for some necessary modifications made for safety reasons: In the first instance of what would become a recognizable alteration to the mold, the toy's smokestacks were shortened, while the Combat Deck's firing missiles were elongated to prevent potential choking, as was the case with all other Commemorative Series figures' firing missiles. This release also had the trailer's launching feature removed.
Optimus Prime was one of only two Armada-theme figures in the otherwise Generation 1-centric Q-Robo Collection line of super deformed PVC figurines, the other being Armada Megatron. Like all the figures in the series, Prime featured articulation in the neck and shoulders, and was also available in a translucent colored plastic: as an Autobot, Optimus came in translucent red, but was also uniquely available in a golden metallic "pewter" variant as the wave's solitary rare chase figure. All Q-Robo figures were sold in sets of two, one full-color figure and one translucent one, blindpacked in a plastic capsule.
Hasbro has had a bit of a strange relationship with Bumblebee. In the early days (we’re talking mid-’80s) he was hugely popular, both on the TV show and as a toy, and Hasbro was sure to capitalize on that. As a result, there were more different Bumblebee toys during that time and into the early ‘90s than for any other Transformer. Of course, the alternate Goldbug version helped boost the number of toys they could make.
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.
Due to the interference of Ravage, the same as the one who appears in the Beast Wars, most of the events of the original animated feature do not transpire. The most influential of these events is the Battle of Autobot City. Because this battle did not occur, Optimus Prime and Megatron do not have their final showdown. This means that, for this continuity, Optimus Prime does not die and Megatron is never reformatted into Galvatron. As a result, Optimus Prime is able to lead the Autobots during the Binaltech saga.

The G.I. Joe line of toys has always been the definition of "action figures," featuring moving joints, changeable outfits and ripped man-bodies underneath. If this all sounds a bit gay on paper than it should be noted that G.I. Joe figures are all armed with a vast array of weaponry. Also, if you ever suggest that Snake Eyes might be gay, make no mistake, you will be dead before you even see the movement in the darkness.
Following the battle, Prime began to experience subconscious urgings, leading both the Autobots and the Decepticons to the Arctic Circle. When they arrived, Shockwave was there to arrest them as war criminals. Shockwave had succeeded in ending the war on Cybertron, but Prime soon fell in with a rebel Autobot group that had discovered Shockwave had greater agenda. Rallying transformers across Cybertron to the cause, Prime faced Shockwave, but was defeated and had the Matrix ripped from him and used to activate Vector Sigma. Before Shockwave could make full use of the mega-computer's data, however, Ultra Magnus, Prime's brother, arrived and bested him. The injuries Prime took during this conflict necessitated a prolonged restoration period in stasis, but Dreamwave's closure meant that Prime never appeared in their pages again.
A new series of reissues means a new release of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure, and Takara's Encore series proved no different. This edition of the figure featured no extra accessories, but it did include the original, thick-barrelled version of Prime's rifle, as reinstated to the mold by the Transformers Collection version of the toy a few years prior. Both his blue and red plastics are lighter than normal, though not to the extent of Hasbro's 25th Anniverary releases. Notably, this edition addresses the small but persistent issue of Prime's shoulder-sticker: the figure's shoulders are textured with small bumps, which had, since 1984, made evenly applying the Autobot symbol sticker to his left arm a challenge. Encore Prime finally replaces the sticker with a tampograph, and also adds one to his right shoulder for symmetry.
The Optimus Prime Kreon in this set is based on the character's rusty, crusty "evasion mode" from the Age of Extinction movie. He has a ferrous-metal backpack, which is used to interact with the magnetic parts in the various sets. In this specific set's case, it's so he can be grabbed by the buildable Strafe's dino-claws, once Strafe uses said claws to open up the "laser" cage made to contain Optimus. (Yeah, we know Strafe appears way after Optimus ditched this look in the movie.)
The TakaraTomy "Autobot Alliance" release of this toy has some significant differences, including casting the red plastic in a darker shade, making his shin and wheel joints grey rather than Hasbro's bronze, painting the Matrix of Leadership silver, and swapping out the dual energon swords for battle hooks, similar to 2010's Leader class Optimus Prime. However, due to the Japanese release retaining the Hasbro packaging, the box still advertises the dual energon swords rather than the hooks. He retains the masked face used for the Hasbro release. 
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