In the Japanese exclusive Transformers: The Headmasters storyline (which replaced the "Rebirth" finale in Japanese continuity), Hot Rod appeared as part of Optimus Prime's inner circle. When Galvatron and his Headmaster warriors launched a devastating attack on Cybertron, Vector Sigma was damaged, and Hot Rod was sent to Earth to retrieve the Matrix. Recovering it, he returned it to Prime, only to be surprised when the ghost of Alpha Trion once again reformatted him into Rodimus Prime to help Optimus. After Prime's second death, Rodimus once again took command of the Autobots. However, when Scorponok destroyed Vector Sigma, Rodimus decided to leave the war, and left Fortress Maximus in command of the Autobots.
On another plane of existence, Optimus travelled the path to the Matrix, guided by the voice of his old mentor Alpha Trion. The path led him to Grimlock, who had also been killed by Megatron; Prime rescued Grimlock from Kremzeek, the demonic eater of souls. At the gateway to the great beyond, they encountered Bludgeon, who announced that only those who bore the "key to Vector Stigmata" may pass through. Prime realized that the wounds on his body form the key, but the angel insisted that these would grant Prime access. Prime took Grimlock's sword and bestowed the key on Grimlock, allowing the former Autobot King to ascend into the Matrix while Prime stayed behind. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12
Released in the latter stages of the Cybertron toyline, this redeco of the Leader-class Optimus Prime figure introduced a new colour scheme that several other tail-end releases would emulate. Taking its name from the Japanese version of Cybertron and with a bio noting that this new body depicts Prime after he embarks on his galaxy-spanning mission at the end of the Cybertron cartoon, "Galaxy Force" Optimus Prime replaces the original toy's blue parts with black and the translucent blue with smokey clear, and moulds several—but not all—grey parts out of red plastic, including the toy's rifles, rail gun covers, missile launchers, and Super Mode leg guns. In the realm of new paint operations, Prime now sports all four Cyber Planet Key symbols on his shoulders, and his unique Matrix-shaped Cyber Key (now with the code lo9x) finally has a gold-painted border, as it had always had in Japan. Additionally, Prime's hip joints were tightened up with this release, making it easier to stand him up in Super Mode.
One more thought: LEGO is a Danish company. The fluctuations in the price of LEGO such as the big bump around 1985-7 in Figures 1 and 2 could be because of a change in exchange rates. The conversion rate between the Danish Kronor and the US$ went from over 10 in 83 and 84 to less than 7 in 86 and 87. LEGO might have been slow to respond to changes in exchange rates, leading to the temporary bump. If you’d like to share data we can redo your graphs in DKK.
The U.S. release of Super Fire Convoy had the Japanese voice replaced with an English voice (with the lines, "Optimus Prime, Maximize!" and "Autobots, Transform"), and Autobot insignias were added on the side panels. Much like the Japanese version, Optimus Prime's normal robot mode can combine with Ultra Magnus (sold separately) to form Omega Prime.
Optimus Prime landed in the Himalayan Mountains with G.I. Joes Flint and Hawk. As they searched the area, the trio was attacked by Bludgeon in his Pretender shell. Prime whacked him with his energon-axe and in return Bludgeon bearhugged him and coated him in metal-eating slime. Hawk, still carrying power from the Matrix, helped Prime break free. Optimus then shot his way into the hidden kingdom of Cobra-La.
Having been caught unaware by a surprise attack launched by the Decepticons, Optimus led his troops in a losing battle against their mortal enemies. Though Optimus managed to dispatch a few Decepticons, namely Thrust, whom he punched through the chest, he soon found himself crippled and surrounded by enemy forces. Praying to Primus as the Decepticons readied their weapons, Optimus heard Grimlock calling out to his fellow Dinobots to combine, prompting the Autobot leader to yell out a plead to Grimlock to stop. It was too late, however, and The Beast began rampaging, killing Autobots and Decepticons alike. Taking advantage of the situation nonetheless, Optimus tackled Megatron and began beating on the Decepticon leader. The tide of the battle now shifted, Optimus attempted to reach Grimlock’s consciousness within The Beast so that its mindless carnage could come to a halt. It didn't work. The Beast Within
Offered as part of a Lucky Draw campaign in August 2004, this extremely rare version of Masterpiece Convoy is almost entirely vacuum-metalized gold, lacking any other painted detail or stickers. The parts which are not viable are molded in a flat golden plastic; the only exceptions are its rubber tires, the core of the Matrix and the energon-axe, which remain black, blue and orange, respectively. Whether or not the figure was intended to evoke Optimus Prime's entirely-golden appearance in the cartoon episode "The Golden Lagoon", when he was coated with electrum, is unknown; given that entirely chroming a figure gold is a fairly standard deco for Lucky Draw figures, it may just be happy coincidence more than anything else.
What I find more interesting is who’s in this wave. Not only is there Hot Rod and Barricade in ’80s muscle car form, but Optimus Prime in his red G1 Peterbilt truck form (just with movie Optimus’ head! Maybe Bumblebee will explain the origin of his “rip off everyone’s face” fetish). Two versions of Bumblebee round out the wave, his traditional movie-verse Camaro and G1 VW Bug.
Several Autobots and Decepticons, including Optimus Prime, were reformatted into will-less war machines under the control of Cobra. During an initial attack on a human peace conference, Cobra's remote control of Optimus (whom they had nicknamed "HISS-14") mysteriously failed. G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers #1 Later at Cobra's island headquarters in the Caribbean, Cobra scientists pulled Optimus apart to find out what was impeding their commands. As this analysis took place, Optimus reverse hacked into Cobra computers until they shut him down in a panic. G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers #2 Despite this, Prime sent a viral message out to hundreds of email addresses that included the coordinates of Cobra's base. The message was intercepted by G.I. Joe who teamed up with Wheeljack and Bumblebee. After Wheeljack broke the remote control over the Transformers, Prime went after Cobra Commander. G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers #3 More than a bit frightened of a giant robot gunning for him, the human released Megatron, who was trapped in gun mode. Megatron transformed and fought Prime to a standstill until other Autobots came to back him up. G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers #4
↑ The African American entrepreneur: then and now By W. Sherman Rogers page 321. Books.google.com. http://books.google.com/books?id=mbTUorcuXkoC&pg=PA321&dq=%22generation+2%22+transformers&hl=en&ei=woyoTPq8KI7hnQeIwOWjDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22generation%202%22%20transformers&f=false. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
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.
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.
In the United Kingdom, this Optimus Prime was released as an Argos exclusive along with several other sets branded as part of the Reveal the Shield subline imprint. His United States release was initially claimed to be exclusive to Target by online retailers from Asia, but even though the other Reveal the Shield products eventually became available at Target, Voyager Class Optimus Prime was released as a Toys"R"Us exclusive in the United States instead, complete with a "Toys"R"Us exclusive" sticker. Also, both his United States and Asian releases lack the "Reveal the Shield" logo the United Kingdom release has (but still feature the "Reveal hidden images" call-out).
A larger version of Prime, with Advanced Automorph technology and a more complex transformation procedure. Has two sets of electronic sounds and lights that activate when the head pops up or when you press a button on the roof (in truck mode), and a single projectile weapon that can swing over the toy's right hand. Unlike Megatron (whose head is fixed) and Brawl (whose head is connected with a ball joint), Prime's head is limited to side movement due to the circuitry on his LED eyes. This figure has a folding cannon and a firing missile. With this figure standing nine inches tall and Optimus being 28 feet (336 inches) tall, the toy is about 1/37 scale.
An absolutely incredible 28 seasons in, The Simpsons writers and producers have had to be unbelievably creative in coming up with a new couch gag for more than 600 episodes. They’ve had a doppleganger Simpsons family walk in on the family, the whole town has absurdly squeezed into their living room, and we’ve toured the inner workings of Homer’s body.
Prime was perpetually at the forefront of the action throughout the early years of the war on Earth, usually confronting Megatron, though in some rare instances, such as against the Insecticon-controlled Decepticons or the Combaticons, teaming up with him for the greater good. He has suffered his fair share of battlefield scrapes, almost meeting his end when his vital cosmotron component was critically damaged by the Decepticon jets and when Laserbeak had his body disassembled and turned into Decepticon trophies, such as a pet "alligaticon" and a defense laser.
The more interesting "Sky Master Mode", revealed in the "Cybertron Satellite" segment of "Phantom Transformation! Mind-Diving", has him using O.P. as a blaster, two B.2s as leg-thrusters, and two sets of C.L./Jida(!) combinations as back-mounted jet packs. The AMW versions of C.L. and Jida, while not as color-coordinated, are a far more economical option than buying two of each Cliffjumper. Good luck with the second B.2. This mode was created as a "counter" to the aerial combatant Starscream, along with the Energon Sniper Combo Weapon (despite it being a Decepticon-Micron-formed weapon). Apparently, the "Arms Up Mission" game isn't picky about factions.
Not long after his resurrection, Optimus was alerted by Monitorus to an attack on Tau-Ursa. Optimus's impending speech was interrupted by a Decepticon attack led by Sixshot. Prime soon discovered that the attack was a diversion, while Galvatron tried out his Nullification Cannon on Cybertron's Energon supplies. Optimus rushed to the Energon plant, but, after clouting Slugslinger so hard that the Decepticon was left dangling over a precipice, Prime's morals forced him to rescue the Decepticon instead of stopping Galvatron from getting away.
The original Hasbro stock photos depict him as having red paint operations on his kneecaps and the sunken ridges around his blue abs that the final product lacks. The photos on the cardback show him with a red Autobot symbol on his truck door and blue plastic instead of grey for the piece just in front of his rear tires. The back photo also depicts his side windows as being the same translucent orange as the front ones, when they are, in reality, a garish solid orange.
A giant statue of Optimus Prime in front of the Cybertron Archives holding two Golden Disks appeared on Cybertron in the Beast Machines series, but was destroyed by the Vehicons in the episode Fires of the Past. When show writer Bob Skir was asked what these two disks were he said that neither the statue nor disks were in the script, but he suggested that they were either the disks from Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes or that Optimus won them in the 2,395,989th Annual Cybertronian spelling bee.
The Autobots tracked SARA's energy signature to a decrepit old building. While a team headed by Jazz stormed the building's main floor as a distraction, Optimus, Hot Rodimus and Brawl infiltrated its basement covertly. Coming upon the Decepticons' inner sanctum, they found Megatron having already wired SARA into his own body! Horrified by this development, Optimus demanded to know what Megatron was planning to do. The true extent of Megatron's megalomania was then revealed; the Decepticon leader planned to use SARA's energy to become ruler of all space-time, even if it meant destroying his home dimension in the process. Both Hot Rodimus and Brawn were knocked aside by Megatron in short order, leaving Optimus with no back-up and few options. Deciding he needed to take down Megatron, even at the cost of his own life, Optimus transformed to vehicle mode and rammed the Decepticon. He then lost consciousness...
Available only with the Bot Shots Dragon Track set, this version of Optimus Prime is a new mold, changing from a robot form resembling Generation 1 Optimus Prime, into a truck with a rocket exhaust molded into the back of its trailer. As a Flip Shot, he, er, flips up when auto-transforming. He comes with a launcher that can be connected to the track, as well as Flip Shot Megatron and his launcher.
This retool of Revenge of the Fallen Leader-Class Optimus Prime features the head from Buster Optimus Prime and has had his blades replaced with semi-articulated Battle Hooks for face-destroying action! He has a darker paint job and sports black splotches on his body and head to signify battle damage. However, due to these extra "battle damage" paint applications, some other paint applications that were present on the Revenge of the Fallen release were omitted. He also sports a new voice box in robot mode, replacing the infamous "I am Optimus Prime!" with "We must stop the Decepticons!" The international release, however, retains the same abbreviated "Optimus Prime" sound clip as the original release. To the annoyance of many fans, this version was the main version released just about anywhere outside the United States (all of Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia). The box also mentions racing sounds, which may or may not be referring to the button-activated diesel engine noises carried over from the Revenge of the Fallen version of the figure.
For its release in Korea, Hasbro Asia provided a collector coin featuring truck-mode Optimus Prime on one side and "MP-01L" on the other. The coin came mounted on a card featuring lineart of the Autobot leader's head, the stark black design of which could be mistaken for promoting the earlier "Sleep Mode" release. The limited release (and general lack of enthusiasm for the collector coins in Korea) makes this one of the more difficult Masterpiece coins to find.
Studio Series Optimus Prime is an all new Voyager Class mold that transforms from robot into a Peterbilt 379 semi-truck. He comes with a pair of Energon Swords, which can be mounted onto his arms or store on the back of his robot mode or truck mode. The figure combines engineering concepts from his Age of Extinction Voyager Class figure with techniques previously used on Prime: First Edition Optimus Prime. He also features a more subdued color scheme compared to other Optimus Prime figures. Like the rest of the Studio Series figures, the figure prioritizes robot mode scale and thus stands shorter than his Voyager Class wavemate Starscream. The CG renders depict him possessing long smokestacks, but the final product has them shortened... again. He also comes with a cardboard backdrop display depicting the climatic forest battle from Revenge of the Fallen.
Prime comes with a unique Cyber Key, designed after the twin-handled appearance of the Matrix of Leadership, bearing the code l8p3. When inserted into the cannon that the rifle is part of, a pair of additional spring-loaded missile launchers flip down from the its sides. Slotting the key into the electronic cannon opens up the panels covering the front of the barrel, unlocking a different sound with its button is pressed. The paint job of the key is the principal difference between the Hasbro and Takara versions of the figure; the Japanese release features a metallic gold paint border around the key, furthering its resemblance to the Matrix. Other differences include more thoroughly painted knees and leg-armor cannons, yellow-painted signal lights above the cab, and the use of metal hinges to hold on Prime's wing tips, which were removable on Hasbro's version, and came disconnected in-package.
The Beast Wars raged on prehistoric Earth, eventually leading to the discovery of the buried Ark sometime after its crash on prehistoric Earth. Megatron, following his namesake's instructions in a desperate gambit, decided to attempt to change history by killing Prime, who was still lying in the Ark in stasis lock. Megatron hoped that this would result in the Decepticons winning the Great War and eventually Predacon control of Cybertron. Megatron unleashed a full-power weapon blast at Optimus Prime's face, near-fatally injuring him. The Agenda (Part III) However, Optimus Primal proceeded to take Prime's spark into his body to protect it from surgical trauma while his injuries were repaired. The subsequent power increase caused by Prime's spark's connection to the Matrix mutated Primal into a large, Transmetal "Optimal Optimus" form. Then, with the repairs complete, Prime's spark was restored, and he briefly activated before sinking back into normal stasis. Optimal Situation
When we are young, we do not know the value of money let alone the toys we play with. Our parents work tirelessly to buy us the newest, most popular toys and we never realize the effort that went into earning that money. Eventually we get our own jobs and have our own kids. The prices of the toys we had as kids comes as a shock. $150 for a toy? $200 for a toy? These prices are outrageous. It is supposed to be a kid’s toy right? Our eyes may be drawn to the large sets but that doesn’t mean that reasonably priced sets are not nearby. In addition, as I stated before, LEGO has started to market some of their sets to an older audience. That $400 Super Star Destroyer is not for your kid; it is for you. This market didn’t exist 20 years ago.
The Beast Wars were waged on prehistoric Earth, eventually leading to the discovery of the buried Ark. The beast Megatron, following the original Megatron's instructions in a desperate gambit, attempted to change history by killing Optimus Prime, who was still lying in The Ark in stasis lock. Megatron hoped that this would result in the Decepticons winning The Great War and the eventual rule of Cybertron by the Predacons, the descendants of the Decepticons. Megatron unleashed a full-power weapon blast at Optimus Prime's face, delivering a near fatal blow. Optimus Primal, however, took Prime's spark into his body to protect it from surgical trauma while his injuries were repaired. The subsequent power increase caused by Prime's spark's connection to the Matrix augmented Primal into the large, transmetal "Optimal Optimus" form with three alternate modes (jet, land vehicle, and transmetal gorilla). Then, with the repairs complete, Prime's spark was restored, and he briefly activated before sinking back into normal stasis.
The Hasbro release comes with a pack-in file card. In addition to the regular version, Optimus was also released in a special "advance release" assortment alongside Bulkhead, Megatron and Starscream, with each figure including a mini-DVD that contains the Transformers: Prime episode "Masters & Students". Yes, all four of them come with the same episode.
With the Japanese Binaltech toy series having transformed into the Kiss Players line, the second figure to be released as a Kiss Players character was Hot Rodimus. Based on the same Ford GT mold as Mirage, Hot Rodimus features several differences from Mirage. First, it has a unique head sculpt, which includes a movable crest to allow a "visor" to be lowered over his eyes, referencing a scene from the animated Transformers Movie during which Hot Rod is on Lookout Mountain. Additionally, it includes a fishing-rod accessory, which can be split and connected in a different configuration to create a tri-barreled arm weapon, reminiscent of Hot Rod's exhaust-pipe blasters. The figure also includes a PVC figurine named Syao Syao and a CD featuring a Kiss Players radio drama. The vehicle mode stays true to the Ford GT's factory color scheme, lacking Hot Rod's signature "flame" detailing, and, like Binaltech, is fully painted. Meanwhile, the robot mode reveals additional orange and yellow body parts, such as the chest, abdomen, arms and hands, as well as flame-like paint applications on the lower arms to link the figure with the original Hot Rod.
Nonetheless, I remain a big fan of Lego and although I think they have somewhat moved away from their roots with the excess of licensed products (and the earlier licensed products were, in my opinion, not very good because they contained too many specialized non-generic pieces that weren’t useful for generic building. But that situation is improved and in particular we have found the Star Wars sets to be of most value for generic building, because they generally have very few really specialized pieces (although to be fair the sets are most useful for building other spaceships, etc).
Available exclusively through e-Hobby, this black and teal repaint of Hybrid Style Convoy features the traditional "Nemesis Prime" color scheme, but represents a version of Optimus Prime himself. In addition to all the original accessories, the toys also includes several more deliciously metatextual goodies, themed around the Generation 2 toy and comics: two new large guns patterned after the new weapons wielded by the Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy, and two additional (blue) Prime heads that can be swapped with the figure's regular noggin, sculpted explicitly in the style of Generation 2 comic artist Derek Yaniger. One head is pristine, the other decorated to match the battle damage seen on the cover of the first Generation 2 issue.
The paint deco is... unfocused, to say the least. In vehicle mode, the grill, headlights, and bumpers (and thus his feet) are painted silver, yet the red in the small Autobot insignia has been removed. There is silver paint on the fuel tanks (toy battery cover), but not on the other tool boxes and equipment in the same location. There is also silver paint on all 6 wheel rims, the air cleaners, and the windscreen visor. In robot mode, the silver paint is mainly located on his thighs and crotch, though in order to save on costs, the dark blue and gold paint on his thighs and knee joints have been sacrificed.
The 2010 Transformers "Reveal the Shield" Legends Class Optimus Prime sculpt in the deco from the first Chronicle EZ Collection wave (see below) was released as a "Dollar Store" exclusive (available at stores such as Dollar General and Big Lots) in generic 2010 Transformers packaging packaging alongside Starscream, Bumblebee and Megatron. The initial release saw the copyright year removed, while a later running change variant featured the new tooling originally used for Generations Legends Class Motorbreath, with not only the retooled hands and a hole on the back of his head/top of his vehicle mode compatible with 3mm posts, but also Motorbreath's sword accessory.
Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in March 2013, "Convoy Reissue BAPE VERSION RED CAMO" (コンボイ復刻版 BAPE® VERSION RED CAMO) is a redeco of the original Optimus Prime toy sporting a unique new red color scheme, along with a red trailer decorated with a camouflage pattern. Both trailer and Prime himself feature the A Bathing Ape logo in place of an Autobot symbol, while the floor of the trailer's Combat Deck mode features new Bathing Ape-themed labels. The figure comes in a recolored version of the original Japanese packaging.
As yet another in an increasingly large number of reissues of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime toy, this entry in the Japanese-exclusive The Transformers Collection line of reissues added a few extra goodies to spice things up. Chiefly, the figure was armed with a new energon-axe, based on the weapon used by Prime in the Generation 1 cartoon episode, "More than Meets the Eye, Part 2", which plugs into either of the headlight-holes that normally accommodate Prime's fists. Additionally, Prime came packaged with a ring binder folder designed to hold the pull-out character file sheets that were included with all the other Transformers Collection reissues. Notably, this figure reinstated the original, thick version of Prime's rifle as the standard for all future Japanese reissues.
Revenge of the Fallen Legends class Optimus Prime is an all-new, much more accurate mold compared to the 2007 Legends class Prime, having a much greater accuracy in both robot and vehicle mode. In particular, his vehicle mode isn't inexplicably missing one smokestack like the 2007 toy. It should be noted that he was molded in only one paintable plastic color, with red and blue deco patterns decked on it. The top of the truck's bunk (ending up on his back in robot mode) has a slot to combine with Jetfire. For some reason, this isn't mentioned in the instructions, though they're hardly needed.
Alternatively, the Autobots could concoct a plan where Optimus would pretend to allow himself to be taken prisoner, per Buddy’s suggestion. The Decepticons, fooled into thinking they’ve won, took Optimus Prime into their base. Having hidden his troops inside his trailer, Optimus and the Autobots then led a surprise attack on their unsuspecting foes.
They’ve been invaded by pop culture favorites, too. Robot Chicken turned the couch gag into stop-motion animation, they’ve parodied Breaking Bad and the Game of Thrones opening sequence, and the living room has gone all topsy-turvy M.C. Escher-style. But best of all, for our purposes, was when the five Simpsons drove into the living room as familiar vehicles, then transformed into robo-Simpsons. Baby Maggie was a blue Volkswagen Beetle, clearly as an homage to Bumblebee, despite the odd color choice. Perhaps it was it was switched to match her onesie.
Early versions of this storyline featured Rodimus returning as "Rodimus Primal," a techno-organic Maximal with a form similar to Optimal Optimus'. This concept was discarded in favor of Rodimus working alongside Primal Prime, but was later adapted for a storyline feature in "Ask Vector Prime." In an alternate reality where Starscream had possessed Waspinator and brought a premature end to the Beast Wars, Rodimus Primal led the Wreckers as one of several resistance group's to Megatron's rule over Cybertron. Eventually, Megatron was overthrown by his rebellious generals Obsidian and Tankor, splintering the Vehicon force prior to the pair being abducted by Unicron. Without Obsidian's leadership, the Vehicons crumbled, and Rodimus Primal became part of a new Cybertronian ruling council that also included "Waspscream," Magmatron, and Mutant leader Icebird.
Multiple reports suggest that the toy suffers from a design flaw, inferior plastic quality, or both: Due to his hands having peg-holes that are a bit too small to accommodate 5mm posts, they have a tendency to show stress marks on the inside after pegging his sword handle (or most other pegs) inside. Stress marks also tend to appear near his tiny hinged wrists. Fortunately, there have been no reports of the hands actually breaking on either location thus far.
A non-transforming model kit of Optimus Prime by Takara Tomy, sold exclusively in Japan. The kit comes with a pre-assembled inner frame that features a high rate of poseability similar to Master Grade Gundam model kits. The kit comes with two swords and two different sets of attachments for them: one set for the forearms and the other to replace the hands. Pre-ordered units of the first batch came with battle hooks.
The third version  would quite possibly have been the most gimmick loaded Transformer in the history of the line, simultaneously being a Powermaster, Headmaster, and triple changer. The Headmaster also would have been a triplechanger, turning into a sort of armored four-wheeled rover (Roller II?) and robot as well as a rather silly looking Optimus Prime head with four vertically aligned wheels jutting off the sides. It seems that when the extra Headmaster gimmick was scrapped, the super mode head remained separate rather than being reintegrated into the trailer hitch such as on the earliest design. Notably, the body of this design is extremely close to the final design.
Though Optimus allowed himself to be destroyed when he betrayed his own moral code while playing a video game, a copy of his mind survived on a floppy disk. Years later, he was restored as a Powermaster, binary bonded to the Nebulan, Hi-Q. Optimus Prime slowly earned the respect of Decepticon leader Scorponok, mourned the loss of his friend Ratchet, and ultimately sacrificed everything to defeat Unicron. Though Optimus died again, his mind persisted in Hi-Q, and the Last Autobot was able to restore him as an Action Master in time to bring a temporary end to the war.
Commander class figures all come with translucent weaponry, and feature some amount of translucent plastic in their bodies (blue for Autobots, but a variety of colors for Decepticons), a feature designed around interacting with the line's vehicles (see below). Each vehicle is equipped with an "Energon Booster", a light-up accessory that can plug into the Commanders' weapons or into the posts and ports on the figures' backs to illuminate them with "glowing energon power".
Part of the first wave of 2012 Generations Deluxe Class toys, Optimus Prime is based on his Fall of Cybertron design, and transforms from a robot to a Cybertronian truck and back. His ion cannon, based on a weapon seen in his concept art, can mount via either of its two 5mm posts onto ports on his hands, forearms, back, and shoulder smokestacks. The toy is known for being oddly small for an Optimus Prime toy, especially when compared to other toys from the same line. This allows him to be more or less in scale with Grimlock and Bruticus (likewise from the same line), however. Optimus features sculpted fake wheels on his back.
If Optimus decided to send the lead team to attack the Decepticon headquarters, the team managed to infiltrate the Decepticon headquarters by using Beachcomber’s knowledge of the secret doors’ location, and Brawn’s strength to keep the doors opened. The Autobots then stormed the fortress, and Optimus maimed Megatron himself with a shot of his rifle. He then grappled the Decepticon leader, and forced him to lead himself, Inferno and Beachcomber to the Decepticons’ lab. There, the Autobots disabled and destroyed the Destruction Beam device, captured Megatron, and left many Decepticons permanently maimed. Though they later traded Megatron back to the Decepticons for the safe relief of the Autobots captured in Center City, the Autobots were ultimately victorious that 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.
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.
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.
Part of the first wave of Prime: Beast Hunters Series 3 Cyberverse Commander Class toys, Optimus Prime is an all-new mold. He now transforms into a monstrous, flat-nosed truck with spiky fenders at the front and a cage compartment at the back, and comes with the Thunder Lance and Star Saber. Each of the weapons features two differently-placed 3mm posts, allowing them to be held by his hands, or mount onto two ports on the rear vehicle sides, as well as allowing the lance to additionally be used as a pressure-fired missile launcher.
Oh, also, I should add that I would like to see if this trend is the same for specific themes, or just over all themes. Although I would guess that the individual themes would show the same general trend you discuss here, one reason individuals might believe in the “price increase fallacy” might be because of the individual themes they support. But again, I think that if you do this, you will find the themes fit the trend as well. If you are looking to go into the numbers more, this might be an interesting area to investigate.
This gold-chrome and clear-plastic redeco of the Leader-class Optimus Prime figure was first offered as a prize in a mail-in contest held through TV Magazine alongside a silver chrome version of the same toy (see below). Both figures were later made available again as prizes in a second contest in the September 2005 issue of TV Magazine, together with "Galaxy Convoy Custom Color Version" (again, see below).
Prime would make one further surprise appearance in Dreamwave's Transformers: Armada series. With Optimus Prime having disappeared to an alternate dimension, devastated by Unicron, the Autobots attempted to find their leader. As Jetfire attempted to locate him through Spacebridge links to other dimensions, one of these clearly shows RiD Optimus Prime and Prowl.
After the Decepticons declared war, junior officer Optimus managed to turn the tide against them in a battle over Iacon, and rose up in rank to become Autobot leader. Optimus Prime's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile His second-in-command, Jazz, once saved his life after a surprise attack rendered him him temporarily non-functional on the battlefront. Jazz's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile The war raged for centuries, with Cybertron's fuel sources steadily decreasing. Optimus ordered the construction of the Ark to seek out new sources of energy, unaware that Megatron was building a ship of his own. The Ark's first foray into space was interrupted by a Decepticon attack, and all involved were too distracted to notice as they entered an asteroid belt. A collision between two meteorites sent the Transformers crashing into Earth. After countless eons of slumber, the Autobots awoke to a world populated by humans, and once more took up the fight against the Decepticons. From Cybertron to Earth the War Continues...
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)
Part of the first wave of the "Mini-Con Weaponizers" subline imprint, this One-Step Changer figure of Optimus Prime is a new sculpt. In the Robots in Disguise mobile game, it was identified alternatively as an "Advanced One-Step" or "Evolved One-Step" figure depending on the user's region, but on the toy's packaging, no such modifiers are featured, and it is available as part of the regular One-Step Changer assortment. This figure shares most of its engineering with One-Step Fracture.
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.