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).
The Transformers: Prime toyline hit shelves in November 2011. Originally, Hasbro played coy with the series receiving a toyline at all, emphasizing that it was a television series first and foremost. There were initial plans to release a small assortment of three Deluxe figures (Bumblebee, Arcee, and Starscream) in the Generations line before they were moved into the expanded "First Edition" launch line.
The final waves of this line, released in early 2014, really pushed towards younger kids, with incredibly simplified designs based on the characters' Cyberverse releases, which actually allowed the toys to be larger than most others in their size class. Unfortunately, as they were tail-enders, their US releases were nearly nonexistant: only the Voyagers made it out at US retail, and only through discount chains like Ross and TJ Maxx. The rest ended up released only overseas (not even Canada got them!).
Hot Rod only appeared three more times: once when he gave the Matrix to a Quintesson-controlled Optimus Prime. When he lost the Matrix, Rodimus was forced to face down his fears once and for all when the Decepticons began a series of attacks on Japan. Overwhelmed by the different responsibilities and directions he was being pulled in, Rodimus went joyriding and was attacked by the Stunticons Dead End and Wildrider, losing the Matrix in the ensuing crash, which was acquired by the Scourge, one of Galvatron's minions, the Decepticons' tracker and leader of the Sweeps. While Rodimus became Hot Rod again – and was not eager to change back – Scourge was warped and enhanced by the Matrix and led another attack on Japan. Counseled by a martial arts master on giri – the burden hardest to bear – Rodimus realized that the Matrix was his burden, and that he had been chosen to bear it; battling Scourge, he recovered the Matrix and resumed his role as leader, and finally when Optimus Prime was resurrected, Rodimus Prime was able to return to being Hot Rod for good. In all three occasions, his return to Hot Rod took place because he lost or passed the Matrix to someone else.
In "Decepticon Air", Optimus receives a secret distress call from the Elite Guard ship that is carrying Decepticon prisoners. During the flight, the ship enters an electrical storm, which revives an inactive Swindle and he frees other prisoners to take over the ship. Transwarping to the ship via Swindle's personal transport field, Optimus joins forces with the Elite Guard, rounding up most of the Decepticons in the end.
Rodimus was seen in the season 3 "Transwarped" special, leading his team in defending a Space Bridge from Strika's "Team Chaar". His team was overwhelmed, and Rodimus is infected with Cosmic Rust, courtesy of Oil Slick, putting him out of commission. According to Derrick J. Wyatt, Rodimus is back on Cybertron de-rusting. He can later be seen on Cybertron cheering for Optimus Prime and his crew for defeating the Decepticons in "Endgame, Part II".
Most notably in terms of new tooling, the panels on the undersides of Powermaster Optimus Prime's forearms feature slots under the fists, which allow the guns to tab in and be held much more stably than with Ultra Magnus. And due to the amount of empty space in the cab area in vehicle mode, Powermaster Prime can fully transform without the need to remove his head.
Shortly after reaching the other shore and taking out Skywarp, Prime witnessed the gigantic Bruticus bust out of the Terrordrome and attack everything around him. With Superion gone, Prime knew that there was only one way to stop this rampaging monster, and ordered his Autobots to evacuate the humans while he went looking for the Matrix of Leadership. He soon found that Snake-Eyes was in possession of the artifact, but was under attack from Megatron. Prime attacked Megatron, keeping him at bay while telling Snake-Eyes that destroying the Matrix would kill Bruticus. The ninja complied, only to learn that Optimus had left something out of the story: smashing the Matrix would kill all the Transformers, including Prime himself. Looking at the Autobot leader's body, the Joes knew that Prime had been aware of this, and had deemed it a necessary sacrifice to save the humans. The Iron Fist
If all four Autobots ventured together into the Decepticons’ lab, they first encountered Laserbeak, only to quickly dispatch him. Venturing further into the lab, the group soon spotted the antidote they were after, and sent Mirage to fetch it. Mirage returned with the beaker and news; he had heard Ramjet and Starscream talking about using a new poison to turn humans into mindless slaves.
A retool of Lockdown with a new head. He is a simplified toy that can auto-transforms from an unlicensed approximation of a Lamborghini Aventador rather than a Lamborghini Centenario LP770-4 into a Voyager-sized robot by pulling out the arms first, and then flip the figure over itself. He features articulation on his arms, and features 5mm compatible hands.
In the episode "Along Came a Spider", Optimus discoveres that Elita did survive the ordeal with the giant spiders and was transformed into the technorganic Decepticon Blackarachnia. He offeres to try and help her, but is turned down violently as Blackarachnia has still not forgiven him. However, when she nearly dies trying to use the Allspark key to purge her organic half, Optimus saves her and repeats his offer to help her. She stings him instead, vowing that she will never trust him.
Available in a two pack set with Battle Changer Megatron, this Optimus is largely the same as as the single release, with some minor differences. He uses a new "double harness" piece on his torso instead of using two harnesses, leaving more space for his head to grip the neck-post. He also has different windshield decals, and his reds and blues are slightly darker. And, most obviously, he has an additional buildable trailer, though it doesn't really attach to the truck mode in any meaningful way.
The internet can be blamed for the size and scope of the secondary LEGO market. On the website, BrickLink, you can find almost any set that LEGO has ever produced. In addition, the site keeps records of trends in the market and value of individual pieces. This site is invaluable to a LEGO collector and has given many the ability to grow their collections. Before the advent of this site and sites like eBay, collecting LEGO required going to garage sales. There are now whole sites dedicated to buying LEGO as an investment, but that is a topic for another article.
Two of his limbs are based on Armada Optimus Prime; one "normal" (Inferno helmet), one pre-Earth-body (Knock Out helmet). The main torso-bot is based on Generation 1 Optimus's original body. Another limb-bot 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?
This mold was redecoed into Universe Optimus Primal and Beast Wars Telemocha Series DX Convoy, and retooled into Beast Wars Reborn/Beast Wars Tenth Anniversary versus pack Optimus Primal. Takara also created multiple special variants, including all-gold (from Tele-V Magazine, only ten awarded), red and gray (Tele-V again, but only one awarded), and blue-fur (a Comics Bom Bom design-contest prize, only five awarded).
He next appears in Transformers: Energon, the only time during the Unicorn Trilogy where Prime is not the main protagonist. In Energon, set ten years after Armada, he is no longer able to combine with his trailer. Instead, he has been gifted with the Spark of Combination by Primus, allowing him to combine with the quartet of vehicular drones in his trailer. Fire One, Copter Two, Digger Three, and Submarine Four, can each form either an arm or a leg when they combine with Prime, creating his super mode. Later, Prime gained the ability to combine with fellow Autobots Wing Saber and Omega Supreme, the latter case creating Optimus Supreme.
A redeco/new-head retool of the Rescue Bots Hoist the Tow-bot figure, Optimus Prime transforms from robot into a tow truck. Pulling the tow truck's hook up converts him back into a robot. The panel on the top of the cab has been remolded with additional truck detail in place of the Rescue Bots logo on Hoist, while the Rescue Bots insignia on his torso is unpainted.
Apart from this, Optimus Prime is also the weakest link of the gestalt combination, due to a number of design failures attributed to his torso mode. The square holes-and-tabs used to secure the arms together when in torso mode are too weak to remain locked in place (though a very small amount of copies can secure the arm well), and are prone to falling out of position should an attached arm be moved. The torso mode's skirt plate is also attached to the stomach rather than the pelvis, rendering the waist swivel nearly worthless due to the skirt obstructing articulation.
Generation 2 Optimus Prime comes with all his original accessories, as well as two major new play features. To increase his arsenal, he is armed with a pair of black missile launchers that fit in his fists and fire red spring-loaded missiles; these launchers were retooled from the G.I. Joe figure Barricade. Secondly, he comes with an electronic "sound and lights module" that can either plug into the front of the trailer (where it resembles the air conditioners used on refrigerated trailers), or hook onto Optimus's back in robot mode (via a new slot sculpted into the cab robot). Unfortunately, the soundbox is heavy enough that doing so can easily overpower Prime's hip joints, causing him to topple backward. The soundbox features a large, vacuum metalized Autobot symbol on its front, and three grey buttons which trigger two flashing red LEDs on either side of the module, and a trio of sound effects: a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". The module also features ports on either side into which the missile launchers can peg.