One reason that people perceive that the cost of Lego has gone up is that the cost of so many other toys has gone down. You can now buy so much crap for a buck or two that Lego seems like a luxury item in comparison. It’s interesting to look in toy catalogs from the early eighties and see that Lego didn’t seem as costly then because the other toys were all costly as well.
Optimus was one of the many soldiers fighting under the command of the Autobot leader, Jetfire. He was among the Autobots who launched in the Ark to clear a path through an asteroid belt. When the Decepticons attacked the ship, he fought a Seeker Decepticon while Jetfire sent the Ark crashing into Earth, knocking everyone aboard offline. Four million years later, they were repaired when the ship's systems were reactivated by a volcanic eruption. In the Transformers
When the warlord Shokaract, powered by Unicron's Dark Essence, traveled into the past to secure his own future, the occupants of J'nwan decided to act. Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, and Grimlock joined Sandstorm on prehistoric Earth during the time of the Beast Wars where the battle with Shokaract had already begun. When the Covenant arrived to vanquish the Dark Essence and defeat Shokaract, Optimus Prime and the others escaped through portals as that timeline was erased from existence. Terminus Departure
Fire Blast Optimus Prime is a redeco of the previously released Power Hook Optimus Prime fast action battler. The color scheme is loosely based upon Generation 1 Rodimus Prime, explained rather oddly in the card bio as being the camouflage Optimus took while hunting Decepticons on Mars post-movie... because there are so many long-nose cabs driving around Mars. Yeah.
In a world where the Transformers' war settled into a series of friendly competitive races known as the Transformers GT, Optimus Prime became the GT Transformer known as GT-R Prime. As a racer he was known for his serious but sometimes hot-blooded personality and his skillful use of the Impact Wrench Gun, though he maintained an honorable policy never to fire directly at an opposing racer's body. Like other racers, GT-R Prime put a limit on his own strength by separating his Matrix into a GT Sister, creating his partner Misaki.
Prime's firing missile and Mini-Con activated gimmicks remain accessible in this mode, but look a bit doofy if you deploy them. The initial Hasbro release of Prime had tabs in its Super Mode shoulders that prevented them from rotating above the horizontal default position, so as not to break the wires that run through the toy's right arm. Coupled with the limited elbow joints, this left Optimus Prime able only to point his weapons towards the ground, and the tabs were removed on subsequent editions of the figure.
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.

Like several new-mold Revenge of the Fallen toys, Optimus Prime suffers from some cost-cutting measures that affected the final production version of the mold. According to Hasbro's stock photos/back-of-box photo of the hand-painted prototype, the toolboxes on the sides of his legs were designed to fold away further for a sleeker, cleaner look. Additionally, the rear tires would have been able to split in half, with the inner half of the tire going inside the outer half to recreate the thin tires seen on Prime's CG design. Some articulation was lost on the toy between Hasbro stock photography and the final release. His fingers are no longer articulated; instead, the entire hand is now one molded piece. Finally, the lower arms appear to have been originally designed so that his hands could slide in or out of them during transformation. Sadly, he also lacks rubber tires, which the original movie Prime did have. Meanwhile, the articulated fingers was later used for the Asia Premium Series & Movie The Best releases.
Released as part of the Target-exclusive Reveal The Shield subline, this Tiny Turbo Changer 3-pack contains a redecoed Optimus Prime and Bumblebee (in their first non-blindpacked release) and a new Steelbane figure. This version of Optimus features red wheels & Tech Spec-esque patterns on his robot mode chest and... groin-flaps, though the real decoding is on his vehicle mode roof, which when seen through the attached clear-red weapons (or similar plastic device) reveals... an Autobot symbol. Surprise.

The Animated Tech Spec written by Derrick J. Wyatt in Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club #24 states that Rodimus as having the rank of Prime and clearly being the leader of a team like Optimus and Sentinel. His toy is listed as "Rodimus Minor" which Hasbro explained at San Diego Comic-Con 2009, was because "there were already too many Primes in the toy line". Within the series, he is only ever called or credited as "Rodimus".
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.
For some reason: unlike the stock photos (pictured from the right), This Custom Kreon had a slight QC issue to the opaque and transparent helmets: One had two sides sculpted, while the other one has the small flat square sculpt (similar to the details on Hound's helmet) on the right side. Several samples had two different "variants": One with the perfect transparent helmet & a differently-sculpted opaque helmet, while the other one has the opposite. However: later releases fixes the problem by a running change.
I agree with Aidan but would expand on his point. It’s not just that the sets seemed bigger; they were. As the relative complexity of sets has increased, so too has the piece count, but there has been an overall decline in the size of the models due to increased build complexity and a corresponding reduction in size of the pieces required to create such detail. The negative affect on perceived value in this is apparent, though I would argue, misguided when one considers the build quality and detail of new and recent sets.
This Voyager-sized Optimus Prime is an all new mold (with a similar transformation scheme to Age of Extinction Voyager Class Galvatron, notably the shoulders, rooftop backpack, and the leg/wheels combo) based on his Leader Class figure. He features a similar but different transformation scheme, which results in a somewhat clean robot mode, although most of his vehicle kibble hangs on his back. He also features the sword & the shield based on his final design in the movie, albeit the sword being painted similarly to the Armor Knight Optimus Prime's sword. His Sword can store underneath his Vehicle mode or his robot mode backpack, while the shield can be stored on the truck's fifth wheel hitch, which can also tow the trailer included from the Japanese exclusive Mechtech Voyager. Although the pectoral armor can be slightly pushed up a little bit further, the pieces have to actually stop at where the rectangular pegholes are located.

This agenda led the Predacon Megatron to attack the comatose Optimus Prime in stasis on prehistoric Earth, forcing Primal to take Prime's Spark into his body in order to preserve his life while his body underwent repairs. Primal was subsequently mutated into the massive "Optimal Optimus" form, which shared elements of Prime's form, prior to returning the Spark to its rightful place. The Maximals were occupied throughout the remainder of the series protecting Prime and the other Transformers aboard the crashed Ark until the Predacons were defeated. Various monuments to Optimus Prime appeared on Cybertron in Beast Machines, one of them a holographic statue in Iacon that Megatron took control of in order to trick Primal.
In shock over the news, Optimus could do little more than scream in agony as Megatron and Starscream made their escape. After regaining his senses, the Autobot leader resumed contact with Ratchet, relaying the order that all Autobots were to return to base. There, Optimus tried his best to calm his panicking subordinates. Though he assured them that power reserves would allow their civilization to continue functioning for some time, they remained jittery. Optimus then declared that he would spearhead a counter-invasion of the Underground. Still, the Autobots remained uncertain, with Brawn pointing out that the Underground was not only vast and dangerous, but mostly unmapped as well. Taking full responsibility for SARA's abduction onto himself, Optimus suggested that he venture to the Underground alone and track SARA's energy signature. Hot Rodimus, however, was unwilling to allow his leader to take such a dangerous course of action, and volunteered to join him. The rest of the Autobots, finding their courage at last, followed suit. Moved by their devotion, Optimus accepted. He also thanked Hot Rodimus for calling out his foolishness, as Optimus now recognized that he would have made an even greater mistake by diving headlong into a doomed venture. Brawn approached Optimus next, insisting he join the group. Optimus at first refused, as Brawn had gotten badly injured during the invasion, but was convinced by the minibot's resolve. Once they were ready, Optimus issued the order to his Autobots... ROLL OUT! Resolve
Through the years, there have been many action figures made in the likeness of the original incarnation of Optimus Prime, some of which have been featured in fiction, others of which have not. Additionally, some toy makers have made unlicensed toys in his image or accessories for the existing toys. The original 1984 Optimus Prime toy was part of Takara's 1983 Diaclone toy line named "Battle Convoy". It was designed by the creative design team of Hiroyuki Obara, Shoji Kawamori, famous for his work in Macross, and Kohjin Ohno.[23] The toy's characteristics, such as the head design and the use of the cab front as the upper torso, have become design elements in nearly every incarnation and variant of Optimus Prime. This particular toy has been reissued multiple times, mostly to commemorate the anniversary of the Transformers franchise. Optimus Prime was also released as an Action Master and Powermaster toy in the original Transformers toy line.
The Japanese release of the figure also underwent the changes in weapon shapes, but never featured a silver Roller; instead, their original release of Prime featured a Diaclone-style Roller without the two rear pegs, and the differently-shaped launcher that accommodated him, before a running change switched over to the Hasbro version of the mold. Finally, in some European countries, Prime sported red feet, as opposed to his traditional blue; this version of the figure is also known in some cases to feature a differently-painted forehead crest which leaves the three central indentations unpainted blue.
In a world where the Transformers' war settled into a series of friendly competitive races known as the Transformers GT, Optimus Prime became the GT Transformer known as GT-R Prime. As a racer he was known for his serious but sometimes hot-blooded personality and his skillful use of the Impact Wrench Gun, though he maintained an honorable policy never to fire directly at an opposing racer's body. Like other racers, GT-R Prime put a limit on his own strength by separating his Matrix into a GT Sister, creating his partner Misaki.

In the animated series, Optimus Prime was originally in the Autobot Academy and friends with Sentinel Prime and Elita One. When Elita is lost on a planet dominated by giant spider-like aliens, he blames himself for leaving her behind, where she supposedly dies in the explosion of a wrecked Decepticon warship loaded with Energon. Sentinel doesn't forgive him for losing her and Optimus takes full responsibly for Elita's demise. This caused Optimus Prime to wash out of the Autobot Academy. However, Ultra Magnus pulls some strings so that Optimus Prime could be captain of a strange Space Bridge repair crew composed of a war vet named Ratchet, a fledgling cadet named Bumblebee, and his fellow cadet Bulkhead. Optimus is given command of the starship which is the vehicle mode of Omega Supreme.


But in between those two most well-known alternate modes, Bumblebee has had at least six others. For the Transformers: Alternity Japanese toy line, he was a yellow Suzuki Swift Sport, which at least is still a small, quirky car. Ditto the AMC Pacer, the form he took when he travelled back in time to the ‘70s in a G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers crossover comic. Somewhat similarly, he’s a Supermini police car in the Transformers Animated series. But then he’s also been a couple of other muscle cars: as the Timelines Deluxe Goldbug toy, he’s a Chrysler ME 412 concept car, and in the Transformers: Prime animated series he can take the form of the fictional Urbana 500 muscle car. Bumblebee also has a number of different Cybertronian vehicle modes.
Although peacetime in the decade that followed the apparent deaths of Unicron and Galvatron afforded Prime the opportunity to train his own elite squadron of Autobots the martial art of Kumite. The re-emergence of the war, however, forced him to return to his role as commander. The conflict for control of the Mini-Cons and the truths he was forced to face in his confrontation with Unicron seems to have changed him. Optimus Prime, Grand Convoy' in the Japanese version, was now a stern, more direct commander and shows little of the conflict that held him back before. Despite this, he is still known to make the same kind of decisions, which include an emphasis on team work and the foundation of the Autobot values.
After the Great War, Optimus Prime disappeared with other legends into the mysterious location on Cybertron dubbed J'nwan, where Optimus himself became the "Authority" who spoke on behalf of the others. Sandstorm, the leader of a rebellion in a 32nd-century firmly under the heel of the tyrannical Shokaract, entered J'nwan to plead with the heroes of Cybertron's past for aid. He hoped to convince them to join the fight against the Predacon warlord. After a mind-crushing journey which left all of his companions dead or deranged, Sandstorm finally found an audience with the Authority and his brethren, but they declined to help, with the Authority stating that their time was past and the war was no longer their war. The Authority then in some way manipulated Sandstorm's trip out of J'nwan such that it was comparatively short and simple. Paradox
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.
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.
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