TFcon has announced their latest guest update: Bill Ratner! People will recognize Ratner as the voice of Dashiell Faireborn in the Transformers Generation 1 cartoon. He is also better known by his code name Flint in G.I. Joe. TFcon 2019 is earlier than normal, taking place in Los Angeles, California from March 15-17. The guest roll call already includes Michael Bell, Neil Ross, Alan Oppenheimer, Paul Eiding, Arthur Burghardt, Michael Horton, Morgan Lofting, Jack Lawrence, Alex Milne, Donald - Read More

The Transformers Adventure Easy Dynamic Series release, titled "Big Optimus Prime", features extra paint details and has two additional Autobot symbols on his shoulders. He also includes a different scannable badge, which is compatible with TakaraTomy's Transformers Adventures app. Scanning this will unlock Big Optimus Prime in the collection list. Unlike the American release, Big Optimus Prime is packaged in a windowed box, instead of an an open package.

Naturally, Optimus Prime got the biggest of the sets in the first year of Kre-O. The set can be built into a large long-nose tractor-trailer rig with a removable "sleeper" cab that hides a computer station, and a trailer that can carry the set's two motorcycles or open up to carry larger car builds. The robot mode build includes a huge Optimus, based largely on the live-action movie Optimus, though with a head based almost directly on the Classics Voyager Optimus. He is armed with a distressingly plain brick that fires pressure-launched missiles (aka his smokestacks). Most of the leftover parts in robot mode become a "headquarters" which is mostly just a random assemblage of mismatched-color panels and a pair of barricades. Both main builds leave numerous parts unused if you go expressly by the instructions, but hey, it's a building kit, surely you can find someplace to apply most of them.
The DOTM packaging release of this 2-pack features an altered paint application on Optimus Prime's ion blaster/barrage cannon. On the original ROTF packaging release, the slide-out barrel on Prime's blaster is painted silver with a black paint spray app to simulate usage of the weapon, and the exposed inside wall of the gas tank at the top of the blaster is left as unpainted grey plastic (exactly like the blaster on the original single-boxed ROTF Buster Optimus Prime). After receiving numerous reports from customers that the silver paint on the slide-out barrel was easily scraped off by merely transforming it from gas tank to blaster, Takara-Tomy briefly stated in an interview that they had addressed the issue for the Dark of the Moon packaged version by swapping the placement of the silver paint application. Thus, the Dark of the Moon packaged version now features the slide-out barrel on Prime's blaster as unpainted grey plastic with an unchanged black paint spray app to simulate usage of the weapon, and the exposed inside wall of the gas tank at the top of the blaster is now painted silver.
Cyber Slammers Optimus Prime is an amazingly cute truck that transforms into an amazingly cute Autobot. "Slam" his robot mode down into car mode and he rolls along for a while, then snaps back up into robot mode. Sure to please the toddler you brought with you to the PG-13 movie! Like most Cyber Slammers, Prime manages to cram most of his vehicle mode's major details into a compact, super-deformed version of that mode.
Produced as an action figure by the Japanese company Kaiyodo, the main selling point of the line is the 'Revolver' joint. This gives the figure a high degree of articulation, allowing for many dynamic and varied poses. Hot Rodimus is number 047 in the Yamaguchi series, and comes with extra sets of hands, a pair of pistols, an extra head (which is molded with his binocular vision, as seen in The Transformers: The Movie) and a display stand.

Forming a roughly 11-inch figure when fully assembled, Diablock Convoy is highly articulated, save for his head, which is only able to move up and down. Said head is also by far the most stylised aspect of the figure, with no real attempt to approximate Prime's face or mouthplate, instead featuring only a reversed block that gives the odd impression of a cycloptic eye. It is possibly intended to actually represent his forehead grill, as a yellow block inside his head construction remains barely-visible through a slit in his face, possibly intended to represent the classic toy's yellow eyes.


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.

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
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Lost Age: Movie Advanced toys, this Japanese-exclusive redeco of 2007 Transformers Protoform Optimus Prime is given a Generation 1-styled color scheme (which is also based on his appearances in IDW's Transformers: Foundation comic-book mini-series). Protoform Optimus Prime transforms into his "entry" mode. This mode somewhat resembles a cybertronic truck, with false wheels sculpted onto the sides, and Optimus Prime's trademark windows in front. His now-blue flame decoration piece fits to the back of the "vehicle", creating the illusion of a flaming comet's tail (Not sure if this was mean to represent his jetpack blast effect or his atmospheric entry heat effect, which is for no reason: entirely blue instead of hot red). The bottom of the vehicle has small wheels to roll the toy across smooth surfaces.

The first Unicron Trilogy Optimus Prime toy transforms into a longnose truck cab of made-up model. His clear-plastic smokestacks can detach and form a double-barrelled pistol that he can hold in robot mode, and a button on top of his head causes his mouthplate to jiggle up and down as if he were talking (the irony being that while this was a familiar trait of G1 cartoon Optimus Prime, in the Armada animated series, this Prime's mouthplate remained static when he talked). He can also hold a large cannon that is stored within his trailer, and his chest flips down to reveal a (non-removable) Matrix of Leadership. He is packaged with his Mini-Con partner Sparkplug.
Produced by the Chupa Chups lollipop company, this small version of Prime is essentially a battery-powered "holder" for lollipops, which fit behind his head and are spun around by a motor that activates when his pelvis is pressed. Prime has articulation in his shoulders, and his fists feature small holes that allow him to hold and store two more lollipops, in addition to the strawberry sucker he comes with. Weirdly, his Matrix compartment is open instead of having the grill front-and-center.
In Transformers Ongoing, which takes place two years after the events of All Hail Megatron, the Autobots would remain on Earth as Prime feared the return of the Decepticons. Unfortunately, this led to the capture of a number of Autobots by Skywatch, including Windcharger, Gears and Prowl. Hot Rod was reformatted into a Pagani Zonda. Already frustrated, he lashed out at Optimus, accusing him of keeping the Autobots on the planet because he needed someone to protect and demanding he be allowed lead a team to rescue Prowl. An admonished Prime agreed to a covert operation, but with Ironhide along to watch over things. While Prowl was freed, it turned out the humans had used him as bait to draw the other Autobots in. However Wheeljack's new shielding protected Hot Rod's team from Skywatch's inhibitors and in a panic the soldiers switched to lethal measures. Hot Rod was targeted and Ironhide was killed protecting him. An enraged Hot Rod turned on the humans, damaging their equipment and machinery.
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Lost Age: Movie Advanced toys, this Japanese-exclusive redeco of 2007 Transformers Protoform Optimus Prime is given a Generation 1-styled color scheme (which is also based on his appearances in IDW's Transformers: Foundation comic-book mini-series). Protoform Optimus Prime transforms into his "entry" mode. This mode somewhat resembles a cybertronic truck, with false wheels sculpted onto the sides, and Optimus Prime's trademark windows in front. His now-blue flame decoration piece fits to the back of the "vehicle", creating the illusion of a flaming comet's tail (Not sure if this was mean to represent his jetpack blast effect or his atmospheric entry heat effect, which is for no reason: entirely blue instead of hot red). The bottom of the vehicle has small wheels to roll the toy across smooth surfaces.
2. Piece diversity: Today the total range of piece types and the number of new piece types introduced every year has skyrocketed since the decade of the 80s. As a kid, the new pieces introduced every year were indeed one of the great answers to my parents’ pleas of “don’t you already have ENOUGH Legos?!?!” However, the quantity of new piece types again coupled with the broad color diversity again requires much more Lego to be purchased to attain that “critical mass”.
It should also be mentioned that a few years back, I think around 2009 roughly, TLG started using smaller boxes for the same size sets. It was part of a move to not only save money, but also become greener as a company. Because the sets now take up less physical space on the shelf, and boxes with the same number of pieces appear smaller than sets from previous years, it could also contribute to the perception that you are getting less for your money today. In reality they are one and the same product.
This Japanese e-Hobby exclusive is a redeco of Targetmaster Kup, made to represent the character [[Optimus Prime#The Transformers cartoon|Orion Pax]] from the cartoon episode War Dawn. He transforms into a Cybertronic pickup-truck thing. His truck bed has a peg-hole to mount his partner Barrelroller, who also serves as a hand-held weapon. The set also came with a re-deco of Wheelie as Dion.
It may be that the price of an individual brick has gone down over time, but what does it matter if the size of the bricks has decreased overtime? Sure, the average number of pieces in a set has increased, but how many of those pieces are tiny details? To answer this question, I compiled all the weight data on brickset.com and compared the sets by their price per gram in a similar fashion to how I compared them by price of piece. Below is the chart of my results (prices are in US dollars).
The Japanese release of Powermaster Optimus Prime actually represented a new character named Ginrai, and featured several retools: the cab featured die-cast metal, shortened smokestacks, vacuum-metalized plastic and clear blue windows, while the trailer was given retractable super robot fists. This Japanese version was eventually issued by Hasbro in 2003 as part of the Commemorative Series collection (see below).
This is a weird one. Back in the late-’80s, the original TV show had ended and Marvel Comics decided to take the “transform” part of the property a step further and gave a handful of Transformers an organic, human-looking shell. Bumblebee was one of the lucky Autobots to get one. According to the storyline, the Decepticons developed the technology first, but the Autobots secretly caught wind, made their own human shells, and fooled the bad guys into thinking they were fighting mere humans, until they burst out of their shells.
After the successful Armada toy line, Hasbro/Takara introduced Transformers: Energon. The accompanying television series program was a direct continuation of the events of Transformers: Armada and featured many of the same characters in new forms. This was reflected in the toy line, as characters such as Hot Shot, Jetfire, Optimus Prime and Megatron were all released with entirely new molds.

In his first appearance in the series, Optimus looks similar to the original G1 Optimus Prime until he copies himself with a semi-truck and his design in robot mode changes. Soon after, he retrieves his Mini-Con partner, Sparkplug Witwicky. The cab of his truck mode detaches to form Optimus himself, while the trailer transforms into a battle station mode operable by Optimus and several Mini-Cons. Optimus can also combine with his base to form a "Super Mode" robot that, when combined with Sparkplug, can fire a series of powerful lasers. Additionally, Optimus can combine with Jetfire and/or Overload in his Super Mode for additional power.[10]
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.
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Go! toys, Hunter Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Voyager Class Beast Hunters Optimus Prime toy. His red and blue plastics are now cast in metallic shades, his translucent green plastic has been replaced with translucent blue, his yellow highlights are more orange-yellow, his yellow-painted side windows are now blue, and his gray plastic is now cast in two different, darker shades. The Matrix Saber, aside from being blue, uses a bluer shade of gunmetal paint for its hilt and handle.
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.
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