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.
As he and Prowl discussed the wisdom of evacuating, a huge explosion obliterated the Forum of Enlightenment. Optimus led a team there, realising that the destruction was a message from Megatron. Leaving his team, he ventured underground, encountering Shrapnel, who blasted him into a pit. The War Within #2 Exploring the underground, Prime had a strange vision of a transparent version of himself, which warned that he had to grasp Cybertron's significance. Then he was attacked by Soundwave and the Insecticons, whom he was able to easily best by using the labyrinthine environment to his advantage. He then felt himself led to a confrontation against Megatron, and both faction leaders met atop of a bridge, overlooking a deep abyss. Starscream blasted the bridge Optimus and Megatron were standing on, plunging them into the chasm. The War Within #3 Recovering, Prime heard another disembodied voice telling him about Cybertron. Before he could look for a way out, Megatron found him, and informed him about the true nature of the Matrix, telling Optimus how it could be used to power Cybertron's planetary engines, transforming it into a space-faring war-world. This spurred Optimus to fight back, but before long, Megatron took control of the battle, smashing his fist into Prime's chest to get at the Matrix. A blaze of light enveloped the pair, who found themselves abruptly on 20th century Earth. The War Within #4
The second known version  ditched the triplechanging gimmick on the cab and simplified things a good bit. This Powermaster Prime has several distinct characteristics only seen in the second design, such as the wider "block head" and two faux smokestacks on top of either shoulder as opposed to one. Also, in a rather odd twist, this design features a black head and fists for both super and regular modes rather than the traditional blue. It also had yellow eyes in either mode a la the original Optimus Prime.
An extremely simplified version of Optimus Prime, this McDonald's Happy Meal toy transforms into a trailer-less truck cab. He is formed out of a large percentage of translucent plastic, and can combine with the other Happy Meal Armada toys (Hot Shot, Red Alert, and Smokescreen) into a human (well, robot) pyramid-style configuration, notionally considered a "Mighty Robot".
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
Tiny Turbo Changers Optimus Prime is a small, stumpy, soft-plastic blind-bagged mini-figure that changes from robot to a licensed Western Star 5700 OP Truck with just a few simple steps. He features ball-jointed shoulders and hands that are compatible with Cyberverse weapons and other 3mm post accessories. Like all Tiny Turbo Changers, his vehicle-mode tires do not spin, sorry.
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.
This figure was made available again, without any changes, in 2015, this time in new packaging resembling the then-concurrent packaging design for the Generations line, but replacing the name "Generations" with "Authentic Transformers". It was also given a new Hasbro product code number and UPC barcode, thereby technically making it a separate product. In 2017, it was re-released again, this time in a minor variant of the 2014 version's packaging (including the original product code number and barcode) that now lacked the reference to the non-existing "Reveal the Shield" gimmick.
In reorganizing the company, LEGO became more efficient. The data shows that they have been able to standardize costs and it is likely that they were able to hedge the price of plastic against future price fluctuations. In protecting their business, they have also been able to normalize prices for their customers. A stable price is good for everyone; it helps LEGO ensure that future production costs are budgeted for and it helps the consumer manage their budget. This allows LEGO to protect and grow its market share.
Generations "Combat Hero Optimus Prime" is a metallic-blue, gunmetal, and red redeco of United Laser Optimus Prime, having the retooled tab, and being based on the canceled Generation 2 Combat Hero Optimus Prime figure, sporting a red mouthplate inspired by the official catalog image for the unreleased toy (packaged samples had featured a traditionally colored gray mouthplate). He comes packed with a (vaguely) Generation 2-styled Deluxe Class Autobot Jazz, as well as unchanged releases of Generations Legends Class Thundercracker and Motorbreath.
Only available at ToysЯUs, this Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Classics figure. He features a cartoon/toy accurate deco on his truck/robot parts, and vacuum-metallized upper legs & front grille to evoke his original Generation 1 toy. Like every Classics Optimus Prime mold, he still features all of his accessories. This Optimus was packaged along with the redecoed Age of Extinction Optimus Prime.
While stock photos and renders show the figure with a faceplate, this image posted by the Transformers Facebook page shows him with his mouth exposed. This was later found as a variant at least once. A running change was made, changing the blades to be more translucent. The semi-translucent blades release features a date code "73461", whereas the translucent orange blades version features a date code written as "80171".
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.
Convoy iPod Docking Bay pulls an all-white trailer of similar proportions to his vintage G1 load, with rear wheels and discreet propping feet so it can also stand alone. The trailer transforms (sorta), by rotating a substantial wedge of its full length 90 degrees, kinda like a rectangular Rubik's Cube. This exposes two small speakers and "reveals" an alcove (although a huge gap is still clearly evident in trailer mode) featuring an electronic port in which to plug an iPod or iPod nano, thus becoming a working iPod dock. The dock features three working buttons; power, volume up and volume down, as well as an Autobot sigil indicator light. Included is a wall-plugging (Japanese) A/C adaptor with a long lead that plugs into the reverse of the trailer.
Released as part of a new line called Transformers: Tribute, Orion Pax is a redeco of Titans Return Sergeant Kup, and transforms from a red-and-blue Cybertronic pickup truck which is also an homage to Generation 1 Crosshairs's vehicle mode G1 Optimus's e-HOBBY toy. His Titan Master, retooled from Flintlock, features a new face that is based on the Thrilling 30 Orion Pax toy. As a redeco of the Kup mold, Orion Pax still suffers the leg panel misassembly.
The internet can be blamed for the size and scope of the secondary LEGO market. On the website, BrickLink, you can find almost any set that LEGO has ever produced. In addition, the site keeps records of trends in the market and value of individual pieces. This site is invaluable to a LEGO collector and has given many the ability to grow their collections. Before the advent of this site and sites like eBay, collecting LEGO required going to garage sales. There are now whole sites dedicated to buying LEGO as an investment, but that is a topic for another article.
Optimus made his way to the Primal Basilica, where he found Perceptor standing over the Mistress of Flame's battered corpse. Unable to do anything for her, Prime activated the Basilica's defenses as a means of stalling Trypticon. Learning from Perceptor that Rodimus had given up the Matrix, the two entered the chamber of the Chorus of the Primes to have the Matrix returned to him. Desperate Actions However, Optimus revealed the Matrix was not for him, but rather for Perceptor, as he wanted to make sure it would be taken as far away from Trypticon's grasp as possible. He guided Perceptor to a secret exit from the Basilica and sent the scientist on his way. Run for Our Lives Warned by the Chorus to "beware the power of the Primes", Optimus charged back towards the battlefield and began attacking Trypticon, rescuing Victorion. Optimus led the Combiners in battle against Trypticon, but the Titan managed to hit him, sending him hurtling towards some sharp rubble. Thankfully, he was caught at the last moment by Fortress Maximus. In Good Hands