Another release of the Reveal the Shield Legends Class sculpt. The deco for its initial release is unchanged from the Transformers release from 2012, whereas the tooling is identical to the 2012 release's running change variant, with the retooled hands and a hole on the back of his head/top compatible with Cyberverse 3mm pegs. Bizarrely, the package art is lifted directly from the Generations Legends Class Optimus Prime/Autobot Roller two-pack's packaging, whereas the stock photos depicted on the back of the packaging are taken from Reveal the Shield Optimus Prime's packaging and only slightly altered, advertising a "Reveal the Shield" rubsign gimmick the toy doesn't actually have. Meanwhile, Hasbro's official stock photos provided to online retailers (including an in-packaging photo) depict the toy with the sword that came with the running change variant of the sculpt's 2012 release, even though the actual toy doesn't include the sword.
This unusual iteration of Optimus Prime is a redeco of Beast Wars 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal, transforming into a robotic gorilla in the pseudo-technorganic-looking style of the other Jungle Planet toys. He comes with a Jungle Planet Cyber Key stamped with the code d7s9, which plugs into his flying surfboard accessory to reveal a spring-loaded missile launcher. His brown and cream deco seems inspired by Donkey Kong, while the scar over his beast mode eye seems intended to homage Peter Jackson's King Kong.
Prime is loaded with a ridiculous number of features and accessories. The robot itself is highly poseable, and both the smokestacks on Prime's shoulders and the fuel tanks on his legs can be rotated forward to act as guns, even featuring sculpted detail to this effect. As ever, he comes with a trailer that opens up into his crazy-detailed Combat Deck, featuring more action features than ever before. In trailer mode alone, it features a flip-down support stand so it can stand alone, a spring-loaded pop-out ramp instead of a fold-down one, and when the trailer is split for transformation, the traditional support legs underneath automatically swing out into place. The trailer houses most of Prime's accessories, including his ion blaster (with a moveable ammo clip to allow for multiple poses) and energon-axe, as well as his classic gas pump accessory, now with a poseable wire instead of a rubber hose. Two fold-out compartments provide storage space for six of Prime's interchangeable fists, while the other two remain attached the robot: two clenched, two open, a pointing right fist, a tilted left fist (for holding the ion blaster's ammo clip), and two fists with slots to grip the miniscule Matrix of Leadership that fits in a tiny chamber in Prime's chest. The Combat Deck's artillery robot features two flip-out handles that Prime can grip as if aiming the drone's guns, and Roller is also included, with three different 3mm ports to hold Prime's gun and gas pump. Lastly, Prime comes with a rocket pack like those used by the Autobots in such Generation 1 cartoon episodes as "Dinobot Island", and a stand shaped like the Autobot insignia that allows him to be displayed in mid-air, as if in flight. The rocket pack also has 3mm ports for Prime's weapons, and stores on the front of the trailer in vehicle mode.
Originally, the Alternators Dodge Ram mold was intended by Hasbro to be a completely different character altogether than Optimus Prime (which character is unknown), but Takara reportedly demanded the Ram be made into Optimus out of fear that the toy (whose vehicle mode is scarce in Japan as a real vehicle) wouldn't sell as well in their market if it wasn't a popular and easily recognized figure; as the figure reportedly cost twice as much to build as the others, Hasbro had to agree in order for Takara to continue fronting part of the production cost. In an ironic turn of events, the Dodge Ram was prematurely solicited by Takara not as "Convoy" (Optimus Prime), but as his Masterforce look-alike Ginrai. As a matter of fact, the head sculpt for the Alternators Oprimus Prime toy is based on the Super Ginrai (Powermaster Optimus Prime's "super mode") toy's head sculpt. Ultimately, however, Ginrai was cancelled, with only Hasbro releasing Optimus Prime as originally planned. Eventually, Takara released the Dodge Ram as as part of the new Kiss Players line, now named "Convoy" (Optimus Prime), and he will be released in Binaltech this year.
Just which character this toy represents is up for debate. The toy's bio claims he used to turn into a tractor-trailer (indicating Optimus Prime), but considering the timeframe of when they were written and the whole lack of a stance on who Primal "was" before the show and blah blah blah... it's just easier to file this under the same iffiness as the original toy bios set on modern Earth and leave it at that.
Part of the first wave of the 2015 Robots in Disguise line, Optimus Prime is a smaller-scale toy. He transforms from robot to trailer/truck combination and back! Like every Robots in Disguise Legion Class toy, Optimus features 3mm posts on his hands and arms. Due to the size and simplified transformation, he ends up having 6 wheels instead of 10. His scannable Autobot insignia is on his robot mode left shoulder. However, the badge is completely impossible to scan in vehicle mode.
Available as part of the exclusive Street Fighter II × Transformers toyline, "Convoy" is a redeco of Titans Return Voyager Class Optimus Prime in Ryu's traditional colors, fleshtones and all. He transforms from robot to tanker truck to plane and back. Both vehicle modes have "cockpit" areas to seat any Titan Master (or compatible) figure. Like all Titans Return Voyager class figures, he has built in mechanisms to "bulk up" his noggin. In his case these are spring-loaded pylons. The smaller Headmaster's robot mode is also painted to resemble Ryu.
If Cosmos radioed his findings to Optimus immediately, Optimus’s convoy moved in to investigate a nearby Decepticon base. En route, the Autobots passed near a human town, but began floating in mid-air before being able to reach it. Optimus quickly deduced that this phenomenon was caused by an anti-gravity beam, courtesy of the Decepticons. Worried about the nearby humans also being affected by the lapse in gravity, Optimus had to decide whether he would order his troops to stop and help the townspeople, or to continue forward and attack the Decepticon base.
The first Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy was largely identical in sculpt to the original release. However, his trailer was cast in black plastic, with the original blue and silver striped sticker replaced with a red and silver one that had "Optimus" in large block letters on it. The trailer also featured a soundbox attachment with a sculpted Autobot symbol on the front. The soundbox could activate a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a (badly) garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". This soundbox could also be attached onto Optimus Prime's back and be used as a sort of backpack.
For many, it may seems that the advent of licensed sets3 correlates with the perceived increase in prices. The 1990s and before were a nostalgic heyday of affordable LEGO sets. This is not quite true. Below is a chart that compares the price per piece of licensed sets and unlicensed sets starting in 1999. 1999 is the first year that LEGO had major licensed themes.
The Reveal the Shield Legends Prime mold was redecoed again for the inclusion in the second EZ Collection wave. This version of the figure replaces his blue on the head with black, and the blue paint on the legs is stripped off, revealing the black plastic underneath. and like the Megatron redeco in the same wave, features a Generation 2 Autobot symbol instead of a Generation 1 insignia.
Released alongside a Sega Mega Drive version of Megatron and outside of any other toyline, "Optimus Prime featuring Original PlayStation" transforms from robot to a scaled-down non-functional Sony PlayStation video game console. He features an opening disc compartment and comes with two accessories, a memory card and a controller that splits in two and attaches to his lower arms to act as blasters.
Kabaya's second candy toy of Energon Optimus Prime was released as part of the Hyper Transformers series. This non-transforming figurine depicts Prime in his lesser-seen combined mode with Wing Saber: "Fight Mode", as Hasbro called it, or "Cannon Mode" in Japan. The figure's shoulder cannons came on a separate sprue in-package and had to be removed by the buyer. Prime's head can be removed and attached to the Hyper Transformers Omega Supreme figure, creating Optimus Supreme. As a candy toy, Prime came with a stick of gum.
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 TakaraTomy version of Premium Series Optimus Prime has a considerably different deco from Hasbro's release. Similar to the unique chrome Optimus Prime, Optimus Prime Battle Mode features vacuum-metallized parts for nearly all of the silver truck parts, for a greater resemblance to the polished chrome on the real prop trucks. Unfortunately, as his feet are the front fenders and grill, this will likely lead to chipping. In robot mode, he retains several decos that were removed from Hasbro's Premium Optimus Prime for cost reasons, such as the blue and gold decos on his thighs. Finally, the flip-out energy sword is coloured gold to reflect its "powered up" appearance.
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.