Interesting work but I would like to know whether you would find the amount of new sets offered in toto has changed over the survey period. Is there an economy of scale at work? This seems to have two implications: first, the number of units for a particular set may have increased thereby affecting the price of all sets belonging to that class (but doubtful you could find exactly how many Death Star sets were produced in relation to, say, hogwarts castles); second, the popularity of certain set classes may affect what kinds of sets are available. Like with language, we are all confined to use the words we know. And so with Lego, set designers are confined to use what’s economical, unless, of course, the design calls for new styled pieces. These relations are difficult to grasp in statistical analyses, but would seem to play a role in price steering.
In his stronghold, Serpent O.R. questioned Prime about his own worthiness to carry the Matrix, but Optimus broke free of his chains and aggressively ordered him to surrender. The Art of War #4 A group of Decepticons broke in and nearly took Prime apart, but not before Serpent O.R. took the Matrix for himself and changed into the massive Serpentor Prime. The Matrix showed Serpentor Prime the error of his ways but as he was about to commit suicide Cobra Commander tripped a device and took over Serpentor Prime's body. Moments before he crushed Arcee, a severely damaged Optimus Prime threw Hawk toward the Matrix but warned the human not to touch the artifact. Hawk did so anyway and through a quasi-mystical transfer of power Serpentor Prime was vanquished.
Released by TakaraTomy as part of a 2010 promotion honoring the "future era" of the original cartoon (which was set in 2010 in Japanese continuity, you see!), this exceptionally morbid re-release of the Masterpiece Convoy figure recolors the Autobot leader in blacks and greys, representing his dead body from The Transformers: The Movie—but don't worry, kids, it's actually a "sleep mode", according to the figure's name! Limited to 2010 pieces in Japan (see what they did there?), it comes with all its customary accessories, including the Perfect Edition trailer, redecoed where appropriate: the trailer itself has become translucent, its energon-axe is now transparent grey, and Megatron, in another movie homage, is rendered in translucent purple, evoking the scene depicting his transformation into Galvatron. The figure was also released in other parts of Asia as a limited edition of 2010 as well, combined with the Japanese edition for 4020 total. The Japanese version denotes "Serial Number in Japan: ####/2010" on its bio card with the number out of 2010, while the Asian version denotes "C1 - ####/2010" with the number out of 2010 on its bio card.
Platinum Optimus is a redeco of the Leader Class Optimus Prime. Optimus' color palette is now darkened with some additional paint details. His "Sword of Judgment" is now a light blue. Optimus features more chrome on his "Vector Shield", chest, and on his head. The set was a shared exclusive, available from BigBadToyStore and Toys"R"Us, and was also sold during a Taiwanese event celebrating the launch of Transformers Rising.
The Hot Rod from the future animated movie continuity would also appear. Target: 2006 had Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr timejump from 2006 (specifically partway through the Transformers movie) to 1986 to thwart Galvatron's scheme, under the influence of Unicron; later post-movie stories revealed that Firebolt had died on Earth years before 2007, and Space Pirates had Rodimus Prime briefly reverting to Hot Rod during the Quintesson attack on Autobot City. This Hot Rod also appeared in several of the "Aspects of Evil" stories. Told from the flashbacks of an aged Rodimus Prime, these had Hot Rod come up against some of the greatest Decepticon villains. He accepted the surrender of Scorponok - only to wind up defending him and a human town against the Micromaster Air Strike Patrol: defending Autobot City from a full-scale attack by Shockwave: and being captured and used as a pawn by Megatron to flush out an Autobot spy in his ranks. (Marvel UK #223-227)
The first Nightwatch Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of the previously released Leader-class Optimus Prime, replacing most of his red and blue with different shades of blue and black. In fact, he resembles the original Diaclone Powered Convoy color scheme of Generation One Ultra Magnus's truck cab. The previously blue and red flames have been replaced with silver flames, as has various other decos, replaced by copper.
Being a brand new and intricate remake of the Autobot leader, MP-10 was used as the gold standard in terms of scale for future Masterpiece figures, with all the upcoming releases being sized to best match him. Much like his older incarnation, he was also cherished by collectors, generating heated debates on which version is the best one up to this day.
Classics Optimus Prime was initially intended to be Deluxe-sized. An alleged list of the tentative Classics line-up included a Deluxe-sized Optimus Prime without a trailer and a version with a trailer at the Voyager price point; however, it appears the decision was eventually made to upscale Optimus to Voyager size instead. Don Figueroa's control drawings for the Deluxe version were leaked before the Classics line was even released at retail. A gray model prototype was later shown as part of an interview with TakaraTomy's staff in Transformers Generations 2009 vol. 1. It's unclear whether the trailer ever made it past the early planning stage before the size of the figure was changed.
Optimus Prime also appears in the text-based fiction Dungeons & Dinobots. He commands the Autobots to attack the Arch-Ayr fuel dump. The attack is thwarted when the main Decepticon forces are augmented by the Mayhem Suppression Squad. When Wheeljack attacks both the Autobots and Decepticons with a massive force of drone Dinobots, Optimus offers to allow the outcast Autobot scientist to rejoin the Autobot ranks if the Dinobots destroy the Decepticons. The Dinobots prove unstable and go on a rampage, attacking everyone, including each other. Optimus punishes Wheeljack by having Ratchet painfully reformat him for Earth mode and assigning him to the Ark repair crew on the advice of Side Burn. He punishes Blurr for allowing his heroic Decepticon cousin, Crasher, part of the Mayhem Suppression Squad, to live. When Grimlock returns to the Autobots, Optimus lets him live because the Dinobot has gained useful intelligence and helps in work on the Ark.
In the forest, Trailer observed the lost Red Jet and Yellow Sports Car. He wondered why Red Jet didn't just fly out. The Story of the Lost Plane! Trailer later played in the Quiz! BeCool show with Tank Lorry on his team. The two's answer fumbling and arguments led them to lose the game. Another BeCool, Garbage Truck (清掃車 Seisōsha), was part of one question. The Story of Quiz! BeCool While Yellow Sports Car was explaining BeCool marks to you, Trailer was asleep in his Trailer Base, appropriately displaying his "Zzz..." BeCool mark. The Story of What Do I Know About the BeCool Mark?
An undocumented transformation step includes flipping Optimus Prime's knees out in vehicle mode to form a back bumper with tail lights. Oddly, the toy itself and the package art show Optimus Prime with four fingers on each hand, while he has 5 fingers in the video game. The vehicle mode pictured here is minimally mis-transformed: The exhaust pipes have not been rotated to hide the indentations against the vehicle body. The instructions show the rifle being plugged in by its shorter peg, but the packaging depicts the rifle stored by its grip, which keeps the weapon higher off Prime's body, but is also more secure.
Great read. I have noticed an absolute drop in quality myself. My sets in my youth range from 83 to 90. My sons are from 2011 and there is a clear distinction. Aside from the weight of identical bricks being different, the older bricks stay together in a much more durable way than the new bricks. To test this, I created the same models using all old bricks and all new bricks and the difference was marked. I understand doing certain things to reduce costs, but not at the expense of quality…
This Kabaya candy toy of Cybertron Optimus Prime transformed into cab mode through disassembling into its component pieces and being rebuilt, hence the line's name of Blockformers. He came with his hand-held rifle, and a stick of chewing gum. Each figure in the Blockformers line came with additional pieces that could combine with Prime to either make his trailer in vehicle mode, or convert his robot form into Super Mode. Prime himself came with his missile pod/shoulder brackets, his leg armor and guns, his right cannon came with Leobreaker, his backpack and wings came with Override, his Super Mode head came with Scourge, and his left cannon came with Evac.
Based on the Classics toy line, the Timelines 2007 story is set 15 years after the end of the Marvel Comics story (ignoring all events of the Marvel UK and Generation 2 comics). According to exclusive bio information in the Transformers Collectors' Club magazine #15, Hot Rod followed Optimus Prime back to Cybertron from the Planet Klo. Once back, Hot Rod took up racing, but after a while found it pointless. Optimus Prime assigned to help organize the millions of Cybertronian refugees who returned to their home world. Hot Rod chaired the Cybertron Grand Challenge race, a race which featyred combined Autobot/Decepticon teams. With his maturing Hot Rod changed his name to Rodimus and was chosen to return with Optimus Prime to Earth to stop Megatron. Optimus Prime returned to Earth commanding Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Grimlock, Jetfire, Mirage and Rodimus. When the Cybertronians Skyfall and Landquake arrive on Earth unexpectedly, Megatron attempts to destroy them, but Optimus Prime and his Autobots are able to drive Megatron away. Rodimus is wounded on a mission with Optimus Prime, before being brought back to the Autobot base.