His main gimmick, however, is his quintet of "Firebreath Cyclocannons"—spring-loaded dragon-headed missile launchers mounted on an ornate, rotating circular contraption attached to his back/roof. Turning the handle on top makes the backpack rotate and cycle through each cannon, and pressing the handle's button will trigger and fire whatever cannon is at the top/front. When the cannons are cycled through in robot mode, his eyes and windshield-chest light up, and one can alternatively rotate (but not fire) the cannons and activate his light-up features by pushing down on the fake spiky fenders on his stomach. Out of the package, the handle itself comes detached to allow the rest of the toy to fit.
The Japanese version of the toy, named "Optimus Prime Revenge Edition", was exclusively available at Tokyo Toy Show 2009, and later also from e-HOBBY. Despite being sold in Hasbro packaging like the mass retail Revenge toys in Japan (plus the addition of Japanese stickers marking it as a Japanese market release and containing Japanese safety warnings and manufacturer information), it slightly differed from the Hasbro version insofar as it lacked the tampographed kanji lettering.
Minor note: Powermaster Prime's animation model as used in the commercials and as a character guide for the Marvel comics is a composite of the second and third designs. The body of the model is actually a straight tracing of the concept lineart for the third version (including its different rifles and twin faux shoulder stacks), with a slightly simplified drawing of the second version's head drawn on top.
The Optimus Prime Battle Rig Blaster transforms from a superdeformed amalgamation of his Movie truck and G1 Optimus Prime's truck (indeed pulling G1 Prime's trailer) to a fully G1 robotic forearm and hand with a built in Nerf style gun. By simply placing your hand inside the back of the trailer (I need an adult!) and pulling back on the front of the truck, the gun transforms and folds back into a weapon. It comes with three Nerf N-Strike size whistle darts which can be stored inside the trailer. Although not shown in the image, the truck front splits in half in gun-mode, while the grille acts as a sight. This toy was marketed as 'Optimus Prime Big Rig Blaster' overseas.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 2 launchers, this new-mold Optimus Prime transforms into a very boxy Generation 1-styled truck with trailer. As a Spin Shot, one manually winds up his upper body beforehand when transforming him into vehicle mode, where striking the front of the vehicle will cause him to burst open and spin while auto-transforming. He comes with a launcher used to propel him to great speeds, as well as four cube targets for him to knock over.
For accessories, he comes with (according to his bio) "the ancient weapons of the Primes", such as his Nexus Sword (a reference to Nexus Prime), the Vector Shield (an upscaled, non-transforming version of the shield from his Cyberverse "Beast Blade" toy, and a reference to Vector Prime), as well as a generic cannon with a pressure-fired missile. All of his accessories can peg into his hands, right forearm, backside, and vehicle sides.

Also, as a new feature, most figures include advanced "automorph technology", which is designed to create quicker and easier conversion, which means moving one part of the vehicle or robot causes other parts to move, creating a final shift to battle mode; this was successful because the transformation was more complex in the movie line than in any other Transformers toy line.
The final scraping was done in Python. A long time ago when I started it, the prototype was in a language called DM or byond. This is a language created for the purpose of writing 2d online rpgs. It was my first language and was easy to pick up but this was pushing its limits a bit. I actually ran the first scrapping on my other post (the Politics one) in this language. The results were not what I used in the article but it was a good proof of concept.
Bludgeon's recovered files bring Optimus Prime to Earth, where an Autobot detachment led by Prowl has discovered that a Decepticon infiltration unit led by Starscream has broken standard protocol after discovering a new form of Energon. This Ore-13 appears to be the same "Ultra-Energon" that Bludgeon used to revive Thunderwing, who had been dormant for millennia after the apocalypse. Starscream had already used it to fuel a failed attempt to usurp Megatron's leadership, as detailed in the Infiltration miniseries.

The TakaraTomy version, part of the first wave of Movie Advanced Series toys, is dubbed "Classic Optimus Prime", and opts for a deco closer to Prime's previous on-screen appearances, omitting the blue paint on his feet and hands to reveal the gray plastic underneath, and adding new paint details all over. Instead of painting it in clear light blue, his light-piping eyes is neutered with opaque light blue paint. In terms of quality control, at least one sample has missing it's silver paint on the head's left cheek.
In Transformers vs. G.I. Joe comics, Bumblebee is offed as well. His ship is damaged during a space chase with Starscream, so he lands on Earth where G.I. Joe and Cobra are going at each other (as per usual). But his fatal mistake was helping G.I. Joe favorite Snake Eyes, who was trying to take on Starscream. In the process, Bumblebee got in the Joe-Cobra crossfire and was ripped apart by missiles. This wasn’t a true death, however. First, Starscream took Bee’s head to Megatron, who wore it on a necklace (yes, really), but eventually the head got back to the Autobots, who planted it back on his repaired body and he came back to life.
The Joes discovered a cavern where the people of Cobra-La were growing metal-eating spores as a last defense against Unicron. Flint and Cosmos took a load of the spores into space just as Unicron appeared in Earth orbit. Prime, Hawk and Colton headed deeper into Cobra-La to rescue Firewall and kick butt. Prime was tackled and pinned by a giant bug creature, but made a dramatic recovery and tossed the bug aside. He then took the machine-hating Cobra-La leader Golobulus to task with a single punch. Flint and Cosmos released the spores, which devoured Unicron from the inside and defeated the giant Transformer before he could harm Earth.
Although the character was redesigned to some extent, like the other characters in the film, many classic design elements remain in his robot mode including a predominantly red torso, primarily blue legs, the presence of windows in his chest, smoke stacks on his shoulders, and a head design influenced by the original, featuring the iconic faceplate and ear finials. The faceplate is able to retract to reveal a mouth. His weapons include his iconic ion blaster stored in the form of the fuel tanks on his back, and a shell cannon stored on his back, two retractable energon blades that extend from both forearms, which is a homage to Prime's energy axe in the Generation 1 animated series, two retractable energon hooks on both of his forearms, and bladed knuckles. The trailer contains an energy axe, a shield, and flight gear. In the later IDW comics, he displays the ability to produce a holographic driver.

When Sideswipe was accused and convicted of destroying the Nova Suspension Bridge, Optimus was infuriated that one of his own Autobots could commit such a heinous act. Optimus was tasked to hunt down and deactivate Sideswipe, though the task proved to be easy as Sideswipe did not run, hide or resist. After Optimus had deactivated Sideswipe, he was approached by Prowl, who pointed out that Sideswipe's actions made little sense, as he had committed the crime in broad daylight before many witnesses. Agreeing that the Decepticons might be behind the situation, Optimus allowed Prowl to take a team of Autobots to Carob Island to clear Sideswipe's name while Optimus and Jazz stayed behind to continue working on human/Autobot relations. Prowl returned with evidence that it was indeed a Decepticon-controlled clone of Sideswipe that had committed the crime. Optimus then presumably reactivated Sideswipe when his name was cleared. Deadly Paradise
The earliest version, as shown in the first patent application for the toy, was to have the Prime cab be a triplechanger, turning from truck cab to jet or robot.[16] The nosecone of the jet and robot legs were released by the Powermaster lock in the same fashion as the legs in the final version. Optimus would have had winged arms in non-super robot mode. The super robot mode's head was also integrated into the trailer's hitch... and lacked a faceplate.
Hot Rod first appeared in the Headmasters limited series as one of the Autobot crew led by Fortress Maximus. He became a Targetmaster in the fourth and final issue of the series. However, his Targetmaster partner is called Sparks, instead of Firebolt (though the UK comic would occasionally call him Firebolt). Hot Rod made sporadic appearances, with a few UK stories starring him as the lead, but most of those were set in the past or future. Kup's Story revealed the first meeting between Kup and Hot Rod, and how Hot Rod's influence shook Kup out of depression; and Ark Duty starred Hot Rod and set up the creation of Autobot City. Hot Rod debuted in the main continuity after the loss of many wars to the Underbase powered Starscream, as part of Fortress Maximus' group. He served as an eager soldier who idolized Optimus. However, he was killed during the Decepticon ambush on Klo in the last issue of the Marvel G1 comic, only to be resurrected by Prime and the Last Autobot.

Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.


The success of Beast Wars and the change in storyline resulted in its second phase: Beast Machines. Like Beast Wars, the name Transformers was used only as a secondary title. While still a success, the storyline and direction borne by Beast Machines was questioned and criticized by the most ardent fans who knew the previous history of the Transformers. Also, there was a clamor for a return to the original idea of the Transformers, that of their being protean robots with nearly humanlike artificial intelligences who transformed into vehicles or devices.
Undeniably, the most iconic of Bumblebee’s alternate modes is his original: the small but always reliable classic yellow Volkswagen Beetle. It was evocative of his personality, always striving to go above and beyond what everyone perceived to be the limits of his size. These days, thanks to the Michael Bay live-action movie franchise, he’s known as a modern Chevrolet Camaro, which looks cool but as a strong muscle car deviates from his personality. At least it’s still yellow? Bay says he didn’t want him to be a Beetle anymore because there was already an iconic movie Beetle: Herbie the Love Bug.
In order to come to some sort of conclusion about the price of LEGO, I needed to get some data on the historic retail prices of LEGO sets. The best source of this information is brickset.com. This website has data on almost all LEGO sets ever made and the retail pricing for many of them. I wrote a web scraping program to go through the Brickset database and make a database of set information. In order to keep the results relevant, I decided to compile one set that fit two basic qualifications:

Softimus Prime is, as his name suggests, a plush G1 Optimus Prime toy. Obviously, he has no problems with articulation and passes the drop test with flying colors. His main draw is the ability to "transform" into his Freightliner FL86 vehicle mode by turning the plush toy inside out, his transformation roughly similar to the Powermaster cab Prime's. He is love.
"Vibrant Red" Alternity Convoy is a redeco of the "Ultimate Silver" figure in the much more traditional red and blue Prime color scheme, representing the Optimus Prime of universal stream Primax 109.0 Beta. The figure was available simultaneously with the Ultimate Silver version, sharing the same packaging and pack-in materials, save for the color of the illustration on the front of the box, and a sticker that identified the figure within.
Having launched a painstaking review of each of those 14,200 pieces in the LEGO universe, the Design Lab found that 90 percent of new elements were developed and used just once. And many components were duplicates. Among the dupes were eight minifig police officers and six minifig chefs, with barely decipherable differences between them. The Lab dealt with the redundancies by slashing the total number of components by more than 50 percent. When it reduced the product portfolio’s minifig chef population from six to one, designers protested and longtime fans howled. To calm the fans, LEGO tried humor: it held a mock online memorial service for the “dead chefs.”

This military-colors redeco of the Auto Roller Dirtbag was planned for late Generation 2 and widely solicited alongside fellow redeco Sargent Hound, but never saw release. Transforming into an "earth mover" dump truck, he has an auto-transforming gimmick activated by rolling his rear wheels; roll forward to go to robot mode, and back to dump truck. A switch on his back end separates the gears of the gimmick, allowing him to roll freely in either mode. In vehicle mode, his missiles can peg onto the front end of the dump-bed for storage. In robot mode, he has a twin spring-loaded missile launcher in his right arm, and a clamping "stun gun" claw on the left.
The cab transforms into the robot mode of Optimus Prime himself, with the addition of a pair of removable blue fists that plug into his headlights. The fists themselves do not store anywhere in vehicle mode, but can fit easily in Prime's opening chest compartment (originally designed to accommodate two Diaclone driver figures). Prime is armed with a black laser rifle that, due to design, he cannot hold straight.
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