A Japanese-exclusive, the final new-design G1 Convoy toy was a departure from previous versions. He now transformed into a small extended hood cab truck of made-up model pulling an implausibly large trailer equipped with motorized caterpillar treads. The trailer could additionally pull along the auxiliary trailer transformer Grandus, on which the shuttle Sky Garry could land, forming the spaceship "Battlestars". Even without combining, Star Convoy's truck mode was a behemoth, including a Micro Trailer semi as a small accessory and an upgraded Roller that was now patterned after a tracked ballistic missile carrier.
This Optimus Prime is a new mold that matches the character's more cartoony and simplified appearance in the Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns cartoon. The "Watashi ni ii kangae ga aru" added to his name means "I have a good idea" (私にいい考えがある). A line originally spoken by G1 Optimus Prime at various times in the Japanese dub of the original cartoon, it has a reputation as a catchphrase of his among Japanese fans and has been reused by many Optimus Primes since, including the Prime in the Q-Transformers cartoon.
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.

Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in July 2011, concurrently with a range of exclusive Transformers t-shirts, "Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver." (コンボイ復刻版 BAPE® Ver.) is a redeco of the original Optimus Prime toy sporting a unique new green color scheme, along with a tan 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 Optimus Prime packaging.


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 Transformers: Alliance, Optimus Prime and the Autobots aid the human soldiers after the battle in Mission City and destroy the Allspark-powered machines that were created. A trailer is obtained for Optimus Prime to carry the remains of Jazz. The Autobots leave Mission City as the Sector 7 personnel arrive to claim the remains of the Decepticons. About a month later, Epps and Lennox contact Optimus Prime about aiding them in escorting the remains of the Decepticons to the naval yard. They are spied on by Barricade, who transmitts the information to Starscream.
Part of the first wave of Prime: Robots in Disguise Weaponizer Class toys, Optimus Prime is a large toy, similar in size to Leader Class figures from previous Transformers toylines. He features a simpler transformation and design compared to previous Leader-sized figures, with him having fake chest windows (again) and a simplified, hollow truck rear where his feet, arms, and fake chest windows are plainly visible. He comes with a blaster which can mount onto his hands, shoulder-pads, and the sides of his legs/truck rear.
The "Unicron Trilogy" version of Optimus Prime is a fictional character of this branch of Transformers lore. Appearing in Transformers: Armada, Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Cybertron (known as the aforementioned trilogy), Optimus is the leader of the heroic Autobots. He often converted to his super combat mode. In all three series, Optimus' English voice actor is Gary Chalk, who previously voiced Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines.
Released as part of the first wave of the Energon Igniters Nitro Series, this Optimus Prime is a new Voyager-sized mold that converts from a robot based on his Age of Extinction body into a truck in 11 steps, and he features 5mm-compatible hands & articulation on his head, arms, and only his upper legs. He also features built-in Ion Cannons in this lower leg panels, activated in vehicle mode. He also comes with his own energon core, which is a different mold from his Power Plus toy.
It should be noted that in the lead up to the premiere of the Japanese translation of this series, TakaraTomy marketing director Masahiko Yamazaki indicated changes would be made to place it as a prequel to the 2007 Transformers live-action film. This would have made this version of Optimus Prime an earlier version of the film character. In practice however, the only changes that were made consisted of trimming for time to allow additional promotional material to be added to the start and end, and the name change of Bulkhead into "Ironhide" (with Ironhide becoming "Armorhide"). The future 22nd century Detroit setting and characterizations of the cast remain as they were in the original production.
The character Optimus Prime appears in the live action films Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists of the three films. In these movies, Optimus Prime 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 regains his first generation trailer. 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.
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.
A Mega Super Collection Figure of Prime in his "normal mode" was released a few months after the first figure. He came with a translucent blue Star Saber, and a much larger version of the Convoy Gun accessory, creating a sense of comparative scale, even though he's the same height as the Super Mode figure. Like the Super Mode figure, only his right fist has a peg-hole in it, so he can't hold both weapons at once.
While they wandered through the tunnels, the Joes and Prime found cave paintings that described the last visit to Earth by the planet-eating god Unicron. They were attacked again by Bludgeon and Cobra-La minions, but were led away by a ragged Joe Colton, prisoner of Cobra-La for the last 25 years. Black Horizon, Part 1 of 2 Bludgeon managed to find them again and during a second battle Prime tore open the Pretender's shell, revealing Bludgeon's robot form inside. Bludgeon tripped and dangled dangerously over a chasm, but rather than let Optimus Prime save him, Bludgeon forced Prime to drop him to his death laughing all the way down.

The Transformers Energon figure pen is based on Optimus Prime in his standard Energon body. About the size of a scout class toy, he transforms from truck mode to robot mode almost identically to his mainline toys, apart from the fact that his feet contain the pen and cannot bend. It's really hard to write with, and almost impossible to pose, even though it has full arm articulation. Amusingly, this figure can position itself to transform into his super robot mode (by flipping his helmet on, opening his chest and flipping his hands in), but because there are no versions of the Prime Force drones in this scale, it's impossible to complete him.
LEGO is not ignoring the lower priced market, however. As we can see from the chart below, the average price of a set of LEGO has been relatively stable since the 80s2. Even with the average piece count of sets increasing over time, the average price has remained stable. This shows that for all the larger expensive sets being released, they are also releasing plenty of average priced sets that balance out the average. Not only has the size of sets increased but so has the number of sets released per year (prices are in US dollars).
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.
One of the single rarest Lucky Draw Figures in existence, this "Custom Color" redeco of Super Optimus Prime was limited to only one in the world. It was the grand prize of a coloring contest held in Septemeber 2005's TV Magazine, in which entrants colored in lineart of Prime with the deco they wanted to see. The winning entry was in green, blue and gold, while ten runners-up received one of five gold or five silver Lucky Draw versions of Prime.
Starscream was my first transformer. I got it because my parents bribed me to climb to the top of the pole in the gym class. Shit was scary. Do they even make kids do that anymore? Anyway, I protected that with my life. Sorry to hear about yours. I didn't have siblings at the time but within a few years I did have some who pretty much did destroy everything they touched. Luckily by then I was a teenager and figured out good hiding places for important stuff.
A heavy retool of Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus, this Optimus Prime is based on the Powermaster Optimus Prime toy from 1988. Despite this, Hi-Q (now renamed 'Autobot Apex', presumably for trademark reasons) doesn't form the engine on Prime's chest; instead, he transforms into a de-faceplated version of the original Powermaster Optimus Prime cab robot head, over which a helmet slides during transformation to complete the Powermaster Prime look. In all three of Optimus Prime's modes are various pegs and seats with which Titan Master figures can interact. Like other Leader Class figures, his base mode can connect to other Titan Returns figures with base modes.
While they wandered through the tunnels, the Joes and Prime found cave paintings that described the last visit to Earth by the planet-eating god Unicron. They were attacked again by Bludgeon and Cobra-La minions, but were led away by a ragged Joe Colton, prisoner of Cobra-La for the last 25 years. Black Horizon, Part 1 of 2 Bludgeon managed to find them again and during a second battle Prime tore open the Pretender's shell, revealing Bludgeon's robot form inside. Bludgeon tripped and dangled dangerously over a chasm, but rather than let Optimus Prime save him, Bludgeon forced Prime to drop him to his death laughing all the way down.
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In the Transformers: Prime series, he can form bladed weapons or blasters from his hands. He has telescopic vision and turns into a long-nose semi-trailer truck. Before the Great War, Optimus Prime was originally known as Orion Pax; a young data clerk who worked in Iacon, under the wing of Alpha Trion. Orion was chosen by the High Council and became "Optimus Prime," upon being entrusted with the Matrix of Leadership by Primus himself. Years of war against his old friend/rival, Megatron, have brought Optimus and his team to Earth. After Optimus and his team first met humans on Earth, they allied with them. During their fight against the Decepticons on the planet, Optimus and the other Autobots were subject to many disadvantages, managing to pull through every time in their various mission to stop Megatron's exploitations of Earth's vast Energon resources. When Unicorn threaten Earth, Optimus Prime had no choice but to surrendered the Matrix of Leadership in order to stop Unicorn. Due to loss of the Matrix of Leadership Optimus not only lost the collective wisdom of the Primes he also lost his memory, reverted to Orion Pax. Optimus left with Megatron, who was the first to notice about Optimus amnesia as they had a truce in attempt to stop Unicorn at the time, due to remembering him as a friend when Soundwave opened a GroundBridge to the Decepticons war ship. Megatron took advantage of Optimus amnesia as he was brought aboard Megatron war ship and was told false info about the Decepticon and the Autobots. Orion Pax, Optimus Prime, was put to work on Project Iacon, finding old relics from Cybertron, as Megatron was able to get Autobot codes on their coordinates which turned out that all the relics were hidden on Earth. Orion Pax was able to decode some entireties then became curious about Starscream whereabouts but Megatron told him a false lie about where he is. Orion Pax sees Starscream with energon cubes, as he snuck aboard the war ship to get some, as he calls him Optimus Prime which confused him as to why he called him that but he does begin to question everything Megatron told him, after Starscream left the war ship. Wondering about who Optimus Prime is, Orion Pax hacked the Decepticon files which were hard to hack but was able to break through them then became stunned to see that he is Optimus Prime when he broke through. Orions hacking didn't go unnoticed by Megatron, who knew he would find out the truth sooner or later. Megatron forced Orion to finish Project Iacon, as he would't cooperate with them now due to knowing the truth. Orion escapes the war ship to confront Megatron as he made it clear that he may not be a Prime but he knew the right side to be on. Thanks to his human friend Jack, Optimus was able to get his memory back but he could't remember anything that happened during his time on the war ship but Ratchet assure him that deep down within his spark he knew he was an Autobot and could't hide his true self weather he was Orion or Optimus. Despite having his memory back along with being aware of what happened when he surrendered the Matrix of Leadership, Optimus still didn’t remember how much info he supplied to Megatron when he had amnesia. Following a near death experience and an upgrade by the Forge of Solus Prime, he gains a jetpack, a larger size, and an all-terrain expeditionary fighting vehicle for an alternate mode. During this time he is shown to be capable of flight and seems to have increased his strength as he is seen taking down a whole group of Insecticons easily. After restoring Cybertron to life at the end of the third season, the series' finale movie, Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising, saw his recovery of the AllSpark and subsequent sacrifice to save it from Unicron and return it to Cybertron's core.
Outstanding work here. After reading a number of complaints about how the price has ‘increased’ over the years, it’s great to see this analytical approach. One additional hypothesis I have is related to the increase in the number of sets released each year, which would appear to be supported by your data. More sets to buy to be ‘complete’ makes for more money out of pocket.
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Go! toys, Hunter Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Voyager Class Beast Hunters Optimus Prime toy. His red and blue plastics are now cast in metallic shades, his translucent green plastic has been replaced with translucent blue, his yellow highlights are more orange-yellow, his yellow-painted side windows are now blue, and his gray plastic is now cast in two different, darker shades. The Matrix Saber, aside from being blue, uses a bluer shade of gunmetal paint for its hilt and handle.
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.

The lowest priced toys in the Armada line were three-packs of Mini-Cons. Each larger price point consisted of an Autobot or Decepticon who came with a Mini-Con partner. Mini-Cons could be used to unlock a variety of features on each larger robot, such as firing weapons, electronic lights and sounds, or alternate modes. Some three-pack Mini-Cons combined into other forms or had additional features. According to the storyline, Mini-Cons also enhanced the power of other Transformers, giving incentive to collect as many of them as possible.

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