Available only via mail-order through Dengeki Hobby magazine, this black and gray redeco of Optimus is one of four "Black Body" promotional Robot Masters toys made available through different outlets simultaneously. He came with his normal accessories (it is worth noting his axe was solid silver), plus a chromed-gold clear-red-plastic version of Psycho-Orb's "Calamity Defenser" solitarium shield.
At some point, Rodimus learned that the world known simply as Planet Q was under threat from the world-devourer, Unicron, but arrived too late to prevent its destruction. Years later, however, he encountered the planet's surviving ruler, Alpha Q, and sided with him in his plan to use Energon to regenerate and restore all the worlds consumed by Unicron – a plan that put him in opposition with Optimus Prime when they encountered each other once again. When Megatron succeeded in reactivating Unicron, however, Rodimus relented and submitted himself and his troops to Optimus Prime's command, and they were integrated into the main Autobot force as the battles continued to defend Alpha Q's successfully-regenerated worlds against the Decepticons.
The instructions neglect to mention that the entire roof of the cab is on a concealed hinge which greatly eases the difficulty of Prime's transformation. For whatever reason, the instructions treat the toy as if the hinge does not exist, going so far as to show Prime's head magically clipping through his chest to transform. The instructions also neglect to mention that his heel/bumper pieces must be slid out until they click, making the figure just that bit more stable, and that the rotating truck door panels on his upper arms can be pulled further out (but not off) from their sockets, allowing more space for the panels to swing around his hood-arms during transformation.
This is a new line which features robot versions of various Marvel Comics superheroes (and later more of the Star Wars Transformers figures once it merged with this line). Confirmed figures are Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Venom and Hulk. Hulk turns into a tank while Iron Man turns into a jet. Spider-Man becomes a helicopter, Wolverine turns into a 4WD, Venom turns into a turbocharged retro car. They are not to be confused with the Marvel Megamorphs toy line, which also featured transformable mecha piloted by the superheroes. Eventually, the Star Wars Transformers figure joined the line with reissues of previous figures, as well as all new molds.
Optimus Prime is among the three Autobot figures available to play in the Monopoly Transformers Collectors Edition game. As the figurehead of the entire Transformers franchise, Optimus Prime has been on more pieces of merchandise than can be stated here. Several statues and busts of Optimus Prime as well as Optimus Prime themed objects have been released by various companies since the return of Transformers to prominence, such as the "Optimus Prime Oral Care Station". Other figures released include various PVCs as part of Takara's "Super Collection Figure" line, which were later imported as part of Hasbro's "Heroes of Cybertron" series. Larger "Mega Collection Figure" PVCs were articulated and came with energy axe and gun figures. As part of the merchandising wave for the first Transformers film in 2007, Hasbro's Playskool line released a Transformers-themed version of Mr. Potato Head based on Optimus Prime. To keep with the potato theme, the toy was labeled "Optimash Prime" and the packaging included the slogan "More than meets the fry", a potato-oriented version of the Transformers slogan "More than meets the eye".
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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.
In the wake of this incident, the transformers managed to reclaim much of Cybertron. Mindful of the dangers of allowing humans like Cobra access Cybertronian technology, Prime sent Perceptor, Grimlock, Arcee, and Bumblebee on a mission to Earth. As it turned out, Prime's fears were well founded. The U.S. government had used parts from Megatron to create Serpent O.R., a cyborg designed to be a perfect weapon. A raid by Cobra allowed it to escape and gather an army of Decepticons on Cybertron, killing Bumblebee in the process. Despite the grief of losing Bumblebee, Prime continued on and rallied his comrades to do the same. Attacking the Autobot capital city, Serpentor's forces proved overwhelming, and Prime surrendered to ensure the Decepticons would cease fire and not kill another comrade. Realizing that Serpentor wanted the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, Prime broke free as Serpentor was distracted, but was unable to kill him. He was promptly attacked and nearly beaten to death by Razorclaw and Motormaster. He was subsequently forced to watch as Serpentor opened the Matrix. In doing so, Serpentor was not only reformatted into a transformer-like mechanoid, but was also shown the futility of the fighting by the Matrix. At this point, Cobra Commander was able to take control of Serpentor's body. In an attempt to stop him, Hawk opened the Matrix and was transformed into a great leader, rendering Cobra Commander comatose. As the Joes prepared to head home, Prime promised to record the Hawk-led humans' future.
Nearly all the chrome is worn off, the tips of both smokestacks are broken, the fists and guns and voice box are long gone, there's a huge chip of plastic broken off one of the shoulders. I still have the trailer, but it's also broken in a few places. The door is gone. The spring-loaded gimmick doesn't work anymore. The repair drone broke off entirely near one of the joints on the main arm and was thrown away many years ago.
In Transformers: Autobots, Optimus Prime meets up with the other Autobots to give further commands to his troops. Create-A-Bot, the new rookie, is eager to help in the cause, but Optimus tells him to sit back while the other Autobots fight the Decepticons. Create-A-Bot finally defies orders and completes a mission against Optimus's council. After nearly getting himself and the other Autobots killed, Create-A-Bot apologizes to Optimus personally. Taking pity on the newcomer, Optimus lets him off with a stern warning, and they move out together to face Megatron, who has absorbed the power of the Allspark. Optimus fights Megatron, but Megatron gains the upper-hand. Optimus is on the verge of defeat when Create-A-Bot takes the Allspark and drives to Megatron's chest, weakening Megatron but mortally wounding himself in the process. Optimus fights Megatron again, defeating him. As Megatron is on the ground, he tells Optimus that if he kills him, the Allspark will be destroyed and Cybertron will never be restored. Optimus says to Megatron that he will do what he must do, then he raises his sword and kills Megatron, destroying the Allspark in the process. Create-A-Bot also dies, but not before telling Optimus his final request to make Earth the new home of the Autobots and to protect the humans. The game ends with Optimus sending a message to all surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars.
Undeniably, the most iconic of Bumblebee’s alternate modes is his original: the small but always reliable classic yellow Volkswagen Beetle. It was evocative of his personality, always striving to go above and beyond what everyone perceived to be the limits of his size. These days, thanks to the Michael Bay live-action movie franchise, he’s known as a modern Chevrolet Camaro, which looks cool but as a strong muscle car deviates from his personality. At least it’s still yellow? Bay says he didn’t want him to be a Beetle anymore because there was already an iconic movie Beetle: Herbie the Love Bug.
These include two large guns, patterned after the new weapons included with the G2 version of the classic Optimus Prime toy, which can be attached to the trailer in a similar fashion to those of Powermaster Prime. Also included are two additional (blue) Prime heads, sculpted explicitly in the style of Generation 2 comic artist Derek Yaniger's interpretation of Prime, especially as seen on the cover of the first issue, one pristine and the other battle-damaged.
There is also a smaller "Legends of Cybertron" Micro sized version of this Optimus Prime, without a trailer, and a Burger King Kid's Meal toy, again without a trailer. There is also a rotating sucker holder version of Cybertron Optimus Prime. Later releases of the Leader class and Micro class Optimus Prime were repainted in darker colors, supposedly representing Optimus Prime after the television story. This toy is called Galaxy Force Optimus Prime. A special metallic painted version of this toy was included with Megalo COnvoy in Japan.
Optimus got Megatron's contact information off the internet and invited the Decepticon leader to BotCon 2009. Though it took some doing, he managed to convince Megatron that the convention would be worth attending. Optimus also planned on going to BotCon, and left for the convention alongside Wheeljack, Mirage, Ironhide, Jazz and Prowl. BotCon 2009!
Excellent article. Especially for pointing out how different we remember things from ‘when we were kids.’ (I swear Optimus Prime was two feet tall!) My only criticism is linking to those two Brickset articles about supposed “quality decline”… the headlines are sensationalist and inflammatory, and a LEGO rep eventually replied to the spurious claims with information that deflates much of the (somewhat unfounded) criticism. Also the comments give me a headache. Otherwise great stuff!
The main torso-bot is based on Generation 1 Optimus's original body. Two of his limbs are based on Armada Optimus Prime; one "normal" (Inferno helmet), one pre-Earth-body (Knock Out helmet). Another is based on live-action Optimus (Soundwave helmet), and the remaining one (Ironhide helmet)... actually looks to be based on the Optimus-like-but-not-Optimus Micromaster Overload! The heck?
Available only via mail-order through Dengeki Hobby magazine, the "Limited Black Version" of G1 Convoy is just that: a straight black repaint of the G1 Convoy toy. He comes with all his original accessories, appropriately redecoed (including a silver version of his axe), as well as a gold-chromed version of the "Calamity Defenser" Solitarium weapon that came with Psycho-Orb.
A late-run extensive redeco of the Super Base Armada Optimus Prime toy, "Powerlinx" Optimus Prime sports the darker color scheme the character takes on in the Armada cartoon episode "Origin" following a Mini-Con power-up, but he is not precisely show-accurate—the deco would later be fine-tuned with more accurate details for release in Japan as the Magna Convoy DX giftset (see below). In addition to now sporting fully-mobile Super Mode arms without the movement-impeding tabs, Prime still comes with all his features and accessories, though for this release, his Mini-Con partner Sparkplug got retooled with a new rear chassis and a blinged-out golden chrome body as "Corona Sparkplug".
The cab transforms into the robot mode of Optimus Prime himself, with the addition of a pair of removable blue fists that plug into his headlights. The fists themselves do not store anywhere in vehicle mode, but can fit easily in Prime's opening chest compartment (originally designed to accommodate two Diaclone driver figures). Prime is armed with a black laser rifle that, due to design, he cannot hold straight.