The second War Within Optimus Prime toy in the Titanium series, but also the first official transforming toy from the War Within series. Personally designed by comic artist Don Figueroa (who created much of the War Within comic designs), Optimus Prime transforms into a Cybertronic truck. He is armed with a silver painted Ion blaster, on which the word "DON" can be clearly seen sculpted into the body.
While Beast Machines was still running in Canada, Japan's Takara made a bid to return to the familiar vehicle-transforming robots concept. In 2000, Car Robots was released. This line was brought by Hasbro to America as the Robots In Disguise series, and featured the Autobots facing off against the Predacons. This series is usually regarded by most as filler while Hasbro contemplated the next direction for Transformers. However most fans of Transformers recognise that most if not all of the toys released from this line were of excellent quality (with the Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus figures gaining considerable praise), combining the ball-joint articulation with detailed, well painted alternate modes.
Takara's release of Optimus Prime the following year made a few changes, noticeably replacing the gold paint and plastic of the Hasbro toy with bright yellow and much brighter gold. The deco has been tweaked to be a bit closer to the original prototype glimpsed in early catalogs, with yellow added back to cab Prime's feet and the cab grill painted silver, and the Super Mode's waist getting much more paint. This version of the figure was never burdened with the mobility-inhibiting shoulder tabs. Completing the Super Mode combination triggered a new clip of Prime shouting "Convoy, ready for battle!" in Japanese instead of generic mechanical sounds. Late in the run, JUSCO stores offered this toy with blind-packed "Space Galaxy" versions of the individual Destruction Mini-Con Team members, one toy per box.
Optimus Primal, leader of the Maximal faction in the Beast Wars animated series and toy line, is not Optimus Prime. Primal is one of the Maximal descendants of the Autobots, who took the name to honor Optimus Prime. The same applies to the Megatron of this era. Before the animated series began, Hasbro envisioned Prime and Megatron as their beast counterparts, but once the animated series began, this had already been changed. Design elements, such as Prime's mouth-plate slitted to add an actual mouth for the animated series and the first mini-comic that came packaged with the toys, suggest this. Nonetheless, Optimus Prime and Megatron were a major reason the Beast Wars began.
Though Prime's ultimate fate is unknown, in a story entitled "The Last Days of Optimus Prime", also from Transforce, Prime laments the new Transformers age without war and passes on to a Transformers afterlife, referred to as "J'nwan". The story is vague, however, and may be a metaphor for Prime rejoining the Matrix, as his time had come. In this realm, he was approached by the Predacon Sandstorm, who tried to plead for the help of Prime and the other legendary Transformers in dealing with a Unicron/Predacon hybrid named Shokaract. Prime refused, but later led a group of Transformers, including Megatron, Grimlock, and Soundwave), to distract the creature while Primus dealt the final blow.
The figure features newly redesigned hip ratchets to make both robot and combiner mode stable, which were also installed in both TakaraTomy's Motormaster, Grand Scourge, and a revision wave of Hasbro's Motormaster. The pegs that Legends Class Rodimus (or Blackjack) attach to have also been slightly modified to provide a tighter fit, making the latter toy much less prone to falling out.
A Bic Camera and Joshin Kids' Land exclusive, this redeco is the first release of the Prime: First Edition Deluxe class Optimus Prime figure in Japan, featuring a slightly lighter hue of red (the stock photography provided by TakaraTomy, showed Orion Pax's red plastic features more pink than its original toy, this seems to have been a trick of the lighting or a photoshop), and greyish blue plastic. He features several customer-applied foil stickers, including Decepticon insignias of varying sizes. He comes with a gold vac-metal version of the Arms Micron, R.A., as well as the normal blaster-cannon.
Hot Rod is often portrayed as energetic, yet brash and headstrong, with an overwhelming self-confidence that borders on arrogance. As Rodimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, he is significantly more mature, physically powerful and instilled with the wisdom of the previous holders of the Matrix of Leadership. In a reversal of his behavior as Hot Rod, Rodimus is plagued by lack of confidence in his role as Autobot commander and often doubts his own decisions, feeling both inferior to and in some ways living in the shadow of the previous leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime.
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.
Part of the third wave of 2012-onwards Generations Legends Class toys, Thrilling 30 Optimus Prime is a new mold that is roughly the same size as a Cyberverse Commander Class toy. Both his truck and robot mode are based on his Don Figueroa-designed body from IDW's ongoing series, and features 5mm-compatible hands and roof. He comes with an Ion Blaster which has both 5mm and 3mm posts.
Megatron came upon Optimus and challenged his old foe to a duel. Optimus managed to gain the upper hand, but hesitated to deliver the killing blow when he discovered that Megatron had married the Matrix to his spark, corrupting it. Several Decepticons then swarmed Optimus, allowing Megatron to blast a hole through his chest. Dead and defeated, Optimus plummeted down into the bowels of Cybertron. Pax Megatronus Rodimus and Duke travelled far beneath Cybertron, where they discovered Ultra Magnus- the Autobot god of death -carrying Optimus's body away. Earth: R.I.P.
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.
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.
Optimus Prime narrated the events of what happened before the Ark crashed on Earth. He became the new leader of a long line of Autobot leaders via the discovery of the Matrix. On their quest for more Energon, the Autobots were chased by Decepticons to the planet known as Earth and crashed on it. When they emerged from the Ark, Optimus Prime scanned his truck altmode, stating that the war would not end on Earth. Action Blast 1
In "The Elite Guard", the Autobot Elite Guard, composed of Ultra Magnus, Jazz, and Sentinel Prime, arrive on Earth to reclaim the Allspark. They don't believe Optimus' story about the Decepticons and Sentinel Prime wishes to have him court-martialled. When a fragment of the Allspark causes a production line to go haywire, Optimus finally stands up to Sentinel, retrieving the fragment, and earning praise from Ultra Magnus.
Optimus Prime appears in the Transformers live-action film series as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists. In the first three films, he is able to transform into a conventional Peterbilt 379 cab, rather than the cab over design of his original Generation 1 body. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he gains a first generation-style trailer form before changing into a 2014 Western Star 5700 Concept. Also straying from the G1 design, Prime's vehicle mode is now decorated with red flames painted onto a blue body à la Rodimus Prime, his Generation 1 successor. The reason for the change was due to Director Michael Bay's decree that mass displacement does not occur when they transform, requiring Optimus's vehicle form to have more mass to achieve the desired size in his robot form.
A Japanese exclusive, this is a new line of Transformers toys shaped from Disney characters that were first introduced in 2009. Originally revealed in the November 2008 issue of Figure Oh! Magazine in Japan, it was a collaboration project between Takara Tomy and the Walt Disney Company. The first line of the toy series is the Mickey Mouse Transformer which was modeled after Optimus Prime with the same colors as its Transformer counterpart and can transform into a cartoonish trailer truck like the original version. The toy was released on February 26, 2009 following with the Black and White Version a month later on March 26, 2009. A figure of Donald Duck based on both Bumblebee and Herbie the Love Bug, and a second repaint of the Mickey Mouse trailer in Halloween colors, are also planned for release.
Following the battle, Prime began to experience subconscious urgings, leading both the Autobots and the Decepticons to the Arctic Circle. When they arrived, Shockwave was there to arrest them as war criminals. Shockwave had succeeded in ending the war on Cybertron, but Prime soon fell in with a rebel Autobot group that had discovered Shockwave had greater agenda. Rallying transformers across Cybertron to the cause, Prime faced Shockwave, but was defeated and had the Matrix ripped from him and used to activate Vector Sigma. Before Shockwave could make full use of the mega-computer's data, however, Ultra Magnus, Prime's brother, arrived and bested him. The injuries Prime took during this conflict necessitated a prolonged restoration period in stasis, but Dreamwave's closure meant that Prime never appeared in their pages again.
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.
In 2003, Takara introduced the Masterpiece MP-01 Convoy/Optimus Prime. While retaining the original concept of a transforming semi-trailer truck, this die-cast figure incorporated modern toy manufacturing techniques for improved detail and articulation, while, at the same time, captured the look of the cartoon character. It has since been released by both Hasbro and Takara Tomy in different variations. In 2010, a version of the Masterpiece toy, called Masterpiece Convoy Sleep Mode, was released, painted in dark colors to match the appearance of Optimus Prime after his death in the 1986 film.
The original Optimus Prime toy started life as the Diaclone toy, "Battle Convoy", created by a team of Takara designers who came on board when the original designer fell behind. This team included Hiroyuki Obara (listed as the sole creator on the toy's patent) and famed mecha designer Shōji Kawamori. The toy transforms into two major components; the first component being a red and blue White Freightliner WFT-8664T cabover semi-trailer truck partially composed of die-cast metal, and the second component being a large silver trailer of currently-undetermined model.