For all the positive aspects, these changes are not without their drawbacks. The LEGO community has been crying foul over the perceived decline in quality of the bricks5. While nowhere as bad as their competitor, any decline in quality reflects poorly on a company known for quality control. The LEGO group has been expanding its manufacturing base to places outside of Denmark, into Mexico, the Czech Republic, and China (although so far it seems only their “signature brand” non-set items are made in China). LEGO claims that this has not changed their dedication to the quality of standards by which they abide. However, it seems that the molds have changed to reduce plastic6. Whether or not this affects the durability of the bricks is yet to be seen.
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.
"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.
Released in conjunction with Japanese cellphone maker au, au x Transformers INFOBAR Optimus Prime celebrates 15 years since the 2002 au Design Project that resulted in the INFOBAR cellphone, as well as the 10th anniversary of the live-action films. He transforms into a (non-functional) scaled-down replica of the 2002 au INFOBAR, and in lieu of cellphone functions, the figure can be paired via Bluetooth with a smartphone, such as an iPhone, to act as a notification alarm in either robot or INFOBAR mode. The screen is also non-functional, but pre-printed cards are included which can be slid into the screen to show an Autobot logo, Decepticon logo, a mockup of a cellphone home screen, or a technical "Transformers INFOBAR" design. The figure also includes a display stand.
It should be noted that in the lead up to the premiere of the Japanese translation of this series, TakaraTomy marketing director Masahiko Yamazaki indicated changes would be made to place it as a prequel to the 2007 Transformers live-action film. This would have made this version of Optimus Prime an earlier version of the film character. In practice however, the only changes that were made consisted of trimming for time to allow additional promotional material to be added to the start and end, and the name change of Bulkhead into "Ironhide" (with Ironhide becoming "Armorhide"). The future 22nd century Detroit setting and characterizations of the cast remain as they were in the original production.
The Transformers Animated series was broadcast internationally in 2008 except in Japan, where it aired in 2010. This new series uses a very different art-style from the previous series. The Autobots and Decepticons, while fighting in space for possession of the Allspark, crash-landed onto a futuristic Earth and resume their battle after laying dormant for years. In addition to the Decepticons, the Autobots have to face the human villains as well. Classic characters such as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Prowl, Starscream, Megatron, Jazz and Ultra Magnus appear in this series.
A Bic Camera and Joshin Kids' Land exclusive, this redeco is the first release of the Prime: First Edition Deluxe class Optimus Prime figure in Japan, featuring a slightly lighter hue of red (the stock photography provided by TakaraTomy, showed Orion Pax's red plastic features more pink than its original toy, this seems to have been a trick of the lighting or a photoshop), and greyish blue plastic. He features several customer-applied foil stickers, including Decepticon insignias of varying sizes. He comes with a gold vac-metal version of the Arms Micron, R.A., as well as the normal blaster-cannon.
Across the assorted continuities of the original Transformers universe, there have been various interpretations of Optimus Prime. One of Prime's most notable characteristics over all continuities his unswaying commitment to leadership by example. The animated series' version of Optimus Prime is depicted as a straightforward, wise, and upbeat battlefield general. Additionally, the animated series' version of Optimus dislikes rap music, putting him at odds with music-loving characters like Blaster and Jazz.
With this reconstruction, Orion Pax became Optimus Prime, the first of the Autobot warriors. Optimus took the mantle of leadership as the civil war against the Decepticons erupted, and would remain in that position for the next nine million years. Ariel was rebuilt into Elita One, the commander of the Autobot resistance on Cybertron. The fate of Dion is left unrevealed. It has been speculated by fans that Dion might have become Ironhide or Ultra Magnus just as Orion and Ariel became Optimus and Elita, but this remains fan speculation only, and, his close friendship with Optimus notwithstanding, there is no evidence to support the idea.
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.
While the other Autobots searched for the Matrix on Earth, Optimus Prime searched for Vector Sigma, guided through the dangers of the planet's catacombs by the spirit of Alpha Trion. Prime eventually arrived at the computer, only to find his way barred by Cyclonus and Scourge. At that moment, Hot Rod arrived with the Matrix, the same with which Alpha Trion merged, re-energizing it. The Matrix transformed Hot Rod back into Rodimus Prime and, for the first time, the two Primes fought side-by-side and defeated Galvatron. Before Rodimus could implement the Matrix to stabilize Vector Sigma, however, Optimus Prime merged himself with the computer, restoring its balance to save the planet. Optimus Prime sacrificed himself, dying again only a few short episodes after his rebirth. Later, Prime would make a final and permanent return in the Japanese Transformers continuity, Battlestars: Return of Convoy. This entry was only available in print, appearing in the TV Magazine, a Japanese publication.
He and Metroplex were soon rescued by Bumblebee and Ratchet and they promptly escaped back to Earth, just in time to rescue Grimlock from a Decepticon hit squad. After being misled by a phony distress call, Optimus and his team had to face an assault on the Ark. They repelled the Decepticon attack, but Prime decided that the time was right to go to Cybertron and liberate the Autobots whom Shockwave had enslaved. The Autobots again used the space bridge to reach Cybertron, and mounted an assault of their own on the Decepticon fortress. After fighting their way through the defenses, Optimus and Bumblebee faced down Shockwave himself, defeating the Decepticon with some help from Grimlock. Transformers G1: Awakening
The third United Optimus Prime toy is a redeco and slight retool of the Deluxe Class figure from Hasbro's 2010 Transformers toyline, itself an homage to Prime's Generation 2 "Laser" form. The toy features translucent blue plastic as opposed to Hasbro's orange, red paint is used on the biceps instead of blue paint, extra red paint applications on the knees like the original's sticker detail, and more broken-up red apps on the shoulders. Silver detailing was added to the cab mode on the grill, the bumper, and near the doors. The blue plastic in cab mode is now black plastic to make the figure more accurate to the Generation 2 original. The gray plastic is changed from the Hasbro version to more closely match the 2006 reissue of Laser Optimus Prime. Black paint was applied to the cab mode to mimic the fade from red to black on the original Laser Optimus, but still includes a flame deco like the Hasbro version, only in a different design. It lacks the roof-mounted rubsign of the Hasbro version, instead including Autobot insignias on the cab doors. (Disappointingly, they are Generation 1 insignias, rather than Generation 2 ones!) Additionally, a retool was made to the peg on the inside of his right shoulder, to make it shorter and wider than the Hasbro version, allowing it to move freely without hitting the torso, unlike the Hasbro release.
He comes with the Star Saber, which has a 5mm handle and a post on its hilt, as well as two spring-loaded, missile-firing "Ionic Pulse Launchers" (which are called "Eaglefire Missile Launchers" in the instructions). The launchers each feature a 5mm post, have flip open prods, and can peg onto the ports near the wheels on his robot back, giving him a pair of back-mounted rocket engines.
Another release of the Leader Class Optimus Prime figure, now redecoed from the original Revenge of the Fallen Leader Class mold, but with the gimmick-less arms from the Supreme Class retool, and a pair of articulated fingers which was not previously used for the original release. He also retains his pair of Energon Swords and Hooks, and his Knuckle piece. He also retains the fuel tanks that can combine to form his ion blaster. In terms of deco, he features a darker plastic color and paint (which resulted in a two-tone shades of silver & gunmetal), which is meant to go with this line's Jetfire.
But up first, as we said, is The Last Knight. The teaser trailer was released earlier this month and boy did it tease a doozy: it depicted Optimus Prime and Bumblebee fighting. Yes, the two old pals, mentor and protégé of sorts, were locked in fisticuffs, the Autobot leader giving Bee a sound pounding. There are a number of theories as to what’s going on there, but what we do know is that it promises an intriguing storyline for our favorite yellow robot, and it may well lead directly into the plot of his solo flick.
After a long period of stalemate, Prime grew frustrated at the lack of progress his troops were making against Megatron's forces. To remedy the situation, he ordered the creation of several new Transformers who would be perfectly adapted for combat on Earth. The first among these was Pirhana. Piranha's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile But one of the Autobots' great victories came not through superior numbers or firepower, but trickery and cunning. As part of a plan devised by Optimus Prime's new second-in-command Prowl, the Autobots allowed Starscream to "overhear" that they had uncovered an ancient Cybertronian ship with the means to return to Cybertron. They then stationed themselves around the vessel, atop of Table Mountain in Africa, and awaited the inevitable Decepticon attack over its possession. Optimus met Megatron in battle, but ordered his troops to withdraw after a brief skirmish, declaring the Decepticons too powerful to hold back. Once the Decepticons claimed their prized and entered the ship, they found themselves locked inside it. The ship then shot up away from the planet, leaving the Decepticons without the means to control it. Though the Autobots knew this wouldn't rid them permanently of the Decepticons, they were satisfied with a brief period of calm while they were off-world. Day of the Decepticons
Ralston marketed many breakfast cereals based on cartoons in the 80s and 90s. One of these was Transformers. The Transformers Chocolate Flavored Cereal was a chocolate-flavored concoction, not unlike Cocoa Puffs, manufactured by the Ralston Corporation. However, the cereal was sold only in some parts of the United States and was short lived. The cereal box had Optimus Prime on its cover. The box claims the cereal had "more taste than meets the eye" and also had the ability to "transform ordinary milk into chocolate flavored milk". There also was a mail-away offer for a Jazz toy. The few boxes that still exist are collectables, (one of which went for $349 on eBay).
Towering at only barely over two inches, this was actually not just the smallest movie-verse Optimus but even the smallest transformable figure of Optimus Prime for a while - ironically enough, being even slightly tinier than the Smallest Transforming Transformers Optimus Prime - that is, until he was later "out-tinied" by two other cute super deformed versions.
Golden Lagoon Convoy is a gold and gold chrome redeco of MP-10 in homage of the original cartoon episode of the same name. He retains his energon axe, ion blaster, and Matrix of Leadership. Part of TakaraTomy's 35th anniversary celebration, he was initially released at Summer Wonder Festival 2018, then later through Cybertron Satellite stores across Japan and TakaraTomy Mall.
The Diaclone Powered Convoy figure had several additional features and modes which were mostly excised or left unmentioned for the Transformers release of Ultra Magnus. Principally, Powered Convoy came packaged with "Powered Buggy", who was left out of Magnus's release (see notes below for further details). Omitted from Magnus's instructions is the ability of his chestplate and super robot head to combine to form a small vehicle; the Powered Convoy version of the figure included small rolling wheels on the underside of the chestplate which were removed for Ultra Magnus. Additionally, three additional modes were included in the Diaclone instructions that Hasbro left out: a "preparation base" mode and an "Autobot base" mode were excluded entirely, while the third, a "catapult launcher" mode originally intended and proportioned to accommodate the Diaclone Jet Robo figure that became Starscream, was shown only on the front of his packaging, interacting with Silverbolt. The Japanese release of Ultra Magnus—released as part of the Scramble City sub-line—did include instructions for the preparation base and catapult launcher modes, but replaced the original Autobot base mode with a new configuration.
Released as part of the first wave of the Energon Igniters Nitro Series, this Optimus Prime is a new Voyager-sized mold that converts from a robot based on his Age of Extinction body into a truck in 11 steps, and he features 5mm-compatible hands & articulation on his head, arms, and only his upper legs. He also features built-in Ion Cannons in this lower leg panels, activated in vehicle mode. He also comes with his own energon core, which is a different mold from his Power Plus toy.
In the Autobot Campaign, Optimus Prime provides intelligence and missions to Bumblebee in his search for the Allspark. Eventually, the clues lead the Autobot to Sam Witwicky. After saving Sam from Barricade, Bumblebee finally completes preparations for the Autobots to arrive on Earth. Once on Earth and having informed the two teenagers of their mission, Prime and the Autobots are discovered by Sector 7. Optimus sends Jazz on a high-speed destruction distraction mission, then sends Ironhide to rescue Jazz from a double-threat posed by the government agents and various Decepticon scouts. When Bumblebee is captured, Prime transforms and chases the chopper which from which the small Autobot is tied. After a lengthy chase, Prime manages to catch the net, only to be thrown off by another Cybertronian meteor. As Bumblebee is carried away, Optimus promises he will not fail him again. Jazz informs him that the meteor is not an Autobot. Prime confronts the new threat, who turns out to be the Decepticon triplechanger Shockwave. The two battle it out across Tranquility before Optimus finally destroys him. During the battle, Optimus overhears Starscream's transmission revealing the location of the Allspark. Optimus then returns to an intel role as he guides Bumblebee in his mission to retrieve the Allspark from Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, the Decepticons manage to free Megatron, leading to the final battle in Mission City. As the Autobots battle it out with the Decepticons to protect Sam and the Allspark, things seem to take a turn for the worse as Megatron finally arrives. Before he can claim the Allspark, Optimus attacks him. Optimus defeats Megatron and leaves him on the ground, seemingly devoid of life. However, just as Sam is giving the Allspark to Optimus, Megatron awakens, leaping at Optimus with his chain-flail out, making one last attempt at defeating his adversary. Optimus grabs the chain, pulling Megatron in closer, and, with the Allspark clutched in his fist, delivers a punch through Megatron's spark, killing him. Optimus reflects on the losses and rewards of this battle, as the Autobots have a new home, but many were killed in the battle. The story ends with Optimus and the Autobots choosing to remain in Earth, proclaiming it as their new home.
Optimus Prime's character returns in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He leads the Autobots as part of NEST in seeking and destroying remaining Decepticons on Earth. At the beginning of the film, the massive Decepticon Demolishor is rampaging through Shanghai, China, and Optimus parachutes out of a plane to take him on. Before he is killed, Demolishor tells them that the Earth is "not theirs to rule" and that "the Fallen shall rise again". At the NEST base, Optimus tells Theodore Galloway that they do not know what The Fallen is and that if they are asked to leave Earth, the Autobots will comply. When the remaining Allspark shard is stolen, Optimus asks Sam for his help in convincing the Earth's leaders to allow the Autobots to stay, but Sam refuses. When Megatron is resurrected and Sam, Mikaela and Leo Spits are kidnapped, Optimus and Bumblebee attack the Decepticons holding them. Optimus fights Megatron, Starscream, and Grindor on his own to protect Sam in a forest. Though he manages to kill Grindor and rip Starscream's arm off, Optimus is ultimately killed by Megatron. His last words were for Sam to run. His body is taken to a military base where Galloway orders the Autobots to bring his body back to Diego Garcia. Meanwhile, Sam hears from Jetfire that "The Fallen" is an ancient Prime and that only a Prime could kill him. He also said that the Matrix of Leadership may be able to revive him. After a long battle with the Decepticons in Egypt, Sam resurrects Optimus using the Matrix, but it is subsequently stolen by The Fallen. Because Optimus is still weak, Jetfire offers to sacrifice himself to help. Ratchet and Jolt convert parts from Jetfire into a jet mode for Optimus. Optimus flies over to the pyramids and destroys the Sun Harvester. After severely damaging Megatron, he kills The Fallen, forcing Megatron and Starscream to retreat. At the end of the film, he thanks Sam for reviving him and again transmits a message to space, hoping to find more Autobots.
A nice article but I see a few flaws. First of all if the distribution of LEGO sizes/prices is increasingly skewed it is better to either split the sample or look at medians or rolling medians than averages. Secondly, this is a perfect case to run a regression panel regression with time dummies to see both the impact of time and the impact of size on the prices.
The figure was released in Japan along with Legends Megatron and Starscream, under the "EZ Collection" banner, in the same packaging as the Hasbro release but with a small card insert featuring the Japanese logo and nomenclature, similar to a USA Edition. As with all the EZ Collection figures, this release features a substantially greater number of paint operations that increase Optimus's resemblance to his larger figure.
TakaraTomy released another reissue based on the Encore version as part of their Chronicle line in 2011, lacking the original Generation 1 trailer. Instead, the Chronicle version was available in a two-pack with Dark of the Moon Deluxe Class Optimus Prime and a new trailer that could be used by both Optimuses, thanks to a retooled trailer hitch on the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure.
Part of TakaraTomy's Movie Advanced Series lineup, Revenge Optimus Prime is redeco of the 2010 Transformers Battle Blades mold, featuring darker plastic, a pair of flip-out swords (the first release of this mold) from the Hasbro release, and chromed fuel tank-guns & sun visors. His shins & wheel joints are bronze from the Hasbro release as opposed to the grey of Takara's Autobot Alliance release.
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.