Somewhere along the line, G.I. Joe picked up the familiar storyline that we all best associate with the toys: G.I. Joe Team vs. the Evil Cobra Organization. A classic tale of good vs. evil. Well guess what. Somewhere else along the line the franchise picked up a very different storyline and a new look to boot, highlighted by the newest figurine: The DARK NINJA MASTER.
In the Japanese exclusive Transformers: The Headmasters storyline (which replaced the "Rebirth" finale in Japanese continuity), Hot Rod appeared as part of Optimus Prime's inner circle. When Galvatron and his Headmaster warriors launched a devastating attack on Cybertron, Vector Sigma was damaged, and Hot Rod was sent to Earth to retrieve the Matrix. Recovering it, he returned it to Prime, only to be surprised when the ghost of Alpha Trion once again reformatted him into Rodimus Prime to help Optimus. After Prime's second death, Rodimus once again took command of the Autobots. However, when Scorponok destroyed Vector Sigma, Rodimus decided to leave the war, and left Fortress Maximus in command of the Autobots.
The Hasbro website explains it best: "The rogue DARK NINJA MASTER was exiled to a cave beneath Arashikage Mountain for betraying the ninja clans. After finding the Moon's Blood, a mystical stone of great power, he was able to channel the energy of dead ninjas, making him almost unstoppable. Seeking revenge, he has emerged from his subterranean prison to destroy all ninjas. Only two people can stop him: STORM SHADOW and SNAKE EYES. The two adversaries must join forces, for only by working together will they be strong enough to defeat this evil super-ninja."
LEGO® sets are not cheap toys. They are made to the highest standards and have the price to go along with it. However, in the past couple decades it seems that the price of LEGO sets has become outrageous. New sets can sell for up to $500 retail and old sets can sell for twice that in a secondary market. This is a children’s toy, right? There is no way LEGO sets have always been this expensive; it is just molded plastic. Let’s take a look at the history of LEGO pricing and try to figure out what is going on.
Smash & Change Optimus Prime is a simple figure that transforms by "smashing" the rear end of the truck/the robot's feet into the ground. He features only elbow articulation in robot mode, and includes a sword accessory that can be held in his hand or mounted on the side of his truck mode. The handle on the rear of his truck mode is molded to emulate his Vector Shield.
Inspired by a 1985 special limited release of Optimus Prime with bonus Pepsi decals for his trailer in the US market, Pepsi Optimus Prime sports an egregious number of new new Pepsi-themed paint masks and decals, as well as an entirely new trailer unit, specially designed to carry a single 500ml-size bottle (a common size in Japan), three 350ml cans, or 12 bottle caps (bottle cap figurines being a common and popular collectible item in Japan).
Prime invited Wataru to visit the Autobots' subterranean base, and he gave the boy a personal tour as he carried the injured Bumblebee to the infirmary. Telling him the story of the Energon Cube and the Autobots' coming to Earth, Prime showed Wataru the large chunk of the cube that they had managed to recover. He then turned his attention to repairing Bumblebee's wounds, and as such, did not notice Wataru reaching out to touch the cube sliver. A bizarre energy discharge resulted that not only showed the Autobots images of Another Time & Place, but also healed both Autobots' wounds. Prime dived at Wataru and hauled him away from the shard, returning things to normal, but leaving Prime with grave concerns over what the strange occurrence might mean. Kingdom of Giants
The lowest priced toys in the Armada line were three-packs of Mini-Cons. Each larger price point consisted of an Autobot or Decepticon who came with a Mini-Con partner. Mini-Cons could be used to unlock a variety of features on each larger robot, such as firing weapons, electronic lights and sounds, or alternate modes. Some three-pack Mini-Cons combined into other forms or had additional features. According to the storyline, Mini-Cons also enhanced the power of other Transformers, giving incentive to collect as many of them as possible.