With the failure of the Generation 2 series, Hasbro and Takara decided the franchise needed an overhaul. They went in a new direction and a new beginning. While there had been Transformers that change into robotic animals, the premise of the new line was that all figures would transform into animals with realistic appearances. The Beast Wars toy line was launched in the autumn of 1995, and Mainframe Entertainment produced a computer-generated imagery, or CGI, animated series program to tie in with the new toy line. A fresh idea coupled with a TV series program with strong stories assured this series the success Hasbro and Takara needed, as this series was a giant hit in international markets as well as in Takara's home market, Japan.
Each of his kabuto helmets forms the head for one of the two combined modes. In addition, either of his kabuto helmets can be connected to his robot mode back (allowing his swords to also be stored on his back), and both can be connected to the rear of his train mode simultaneously. In robot mode or combined mode, his kabuto helmets can be held individually as a shield or combined into an even larger shield.
As the Binaltech saga unfolds, the multiverse is threatened with destruction, until the original continuity is restored and the Binaltech universe is split into and preserved within its own separate universe. Overdrive confirms that the threat is over by visiting the dimension occupied by the original timeline, and reveals that in that world, Hot Rod had received the Matrix and taken over leadership of the Autobots as Rodimus Prime.
Knight Armor Turbo Changer Optimus Prime is a Voyager-sized figure that transforms from truck to robot in just 2-steps: pulling his whole truck kibble to the front then fold down to complete the robot mode, although converting him back requires some few steps. His only articulation is the elbows, and he features 5mm compatible hands. He also features a "Knight Armor" gimmick, which consists of his mask popping out to his head with the press of the button on his chest. Take note that you need to flip back the mask manually before you turn him back into Truck Mode.
This Japanese e-Hobby exclusive is a redeco of Targetmaster Kup, made to represent the character [[Optimus Prime#The Transformers cartoon|Orion Pax]] from the cartoon episode War Dawn. He transforms into a Cybertronic pickup-truck thing. His truck bed has a peg-hole to mount his partner Barrelroller, who also serves as a hand-held weapon. The set also came with a re-deco of Wheelie as Dion.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 1 launchers, this repaint of Optimus Prime comes with a large trailer that pops open to form a battle station with a spring-loaded launching platform. He appears to have the same plastic colors as the single release, and the same set of paint operations, but his paint is done in different shades, having glossy dark blue paint and glossy bright red paint. The black part of his launcher is sculpted to look vaguely like the repair done that is part of Generation 1 Optimus Prime's repair bay.
A second die-cast vehicle representing Prime was also part of the Mini Car Collection, this one a red redeco of Majorette toy #291, a Chevrolet K-10 pick-up. To distinguish it from the other Optimus vehicle, this one is randomly allocated the "Super Mode" label, and features an image of the leader in his powered-up form on is hood in addition to the Autobot symbol and series logo.
For the 1987 and 1988 lines, Hasbro introduced even more radical ideas through new sub-groups. The Headmasters and Targetmasters came with partners who transformed into the figure's head or weapon, respectively. Powermasters, including the new version of fan favorite Optimus Prime, came with partners that transformed into engines. Each line would see various permutations over the two-year span, including smaller Headmasters, Double Targetmasters, and a Powermaster with two engines.
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Lost Age: Movie Advanced toys, this Japanese-exclusive redeco of 2007 Transformers Protoform Optimus Prime is given a Generation 1-styled color scheme (which is also based on his appearances in IDW's Transformers: Foundation comic-book mini-series). Protoform Optimus Prime transforms into his "entry" mode. This mode somewhat resembles a cybertronic truck, with false wheels sculpted onto the sides, and Optimus Prime's trademark windows in front. His now-blue flame decoration piece fits to the back of the "vehicle", creating the illusion of a flaming comet's tail (Not sure if this was mean to represent his jetpack blast effect or his atmospheric entry heat effect, which is for no reason: entirely blue instead of hot red). The bottom of the vehicle has small wheels to roll the toy across smooth surfaces.
This highly accurate model kit of Optimus Prime is a Japanese exclusive. It is extremely possible, and comes with his two swords that can be mounted either on his fore-arm, or the hand can be removed and it placed in the wrist via ball joint. His appearance is based on his Dark of the Moon look, as it his "Abbs". The head can be made either with the face-plate on or the face-plate of which reveals a detailed face. Interestingly though, he doesn't come with any of the guns he uses in the films, though it is thought he can hold Buster Prime's gun.
Optimus Prime is another redeco of Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class Optimus Prime, features gunmetal-stque grey plastic, and his paint operations being similar to the first Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class toy. He is also packaged with Grimlock, himself a redeco of none other than Energon Cruellock. Like other Legion-themed product, he is exclusive to Walmart in the US and Asda in the UK.
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.
In Transformers: Decepticons, Optimus Prime lands on Earth along with the other Autobots to stop the Decepticons. Optimus does not appear until Megatron is released and Starscream escapes with the Allspark. Optimus fights Megatron, but is defeated and is killed while Megatron gives chase to his traitorous second-in-command. In the 2009 Revenge of the Fallen video game by Activision, Optimus Prime is among the playable characters.
The original Optimus Prime toy, as well as the Diaclone Battle Convoy toy that it was based based upon, transforms into a late 1970s red Freightliner FL86 Cab-over-Engine triple-axle semi trailer truck. The truck mode features rubber tires, and the cab is partially constructed of die cast metal. The windscreen section can open to reveal ultimately-unused seats that were originally designed for Diaclone's driver figures.
After a thousand years of war on Cybertron, the planet was shaken from its orbit and risked being smashed to pieces by an asteroid field. Optimus decided to take a group of Autobots in the Ark and destroy the asteroids, but they were attacked by the Decepticons, and Optimus crashed the ship on Earth. Four million years later, the Ark repaired them, and they encountered Sparkplug and Spike Witwicky. Sparkplug suggested to Prime that the Autobots tap the volcano they'd crashed into for power. The two humans also warned the Autobots of an impending Decepticon attack, and Optimus laid a trap. Unfortunately the Decepticon forces attacked from all directions, and Starscream's null-ray put Optimus out of commission. Luckily Sparkplug easily fixed him, and his fast recovery inspired the Autobots to chase the Decepticons off. Optimus vowed to protect this new world. Battle for Cybertron
Following the awakening of the Transformers on Earth, the Autobots protected the planet from the Decepticons. Over the next fifteen years, the Autobots befriended the humans, particularly the Witwicky family. The Autobots finally allied with humankind and eventually defeated the Decepticons at the turn of the century. They planned to return to Cybertron aboard the newly constructed Ark II, along with seven humans, including Witwicky patriarch Sparkplug. Prime Directive #1 Before the ship departed, Prime gave a piece of the Matrix to Spike Witwicky, Sparkplug's son and Bumblebee's closest human friend. Prime Directive #2 But the ship was destroyed as part of a military conspiracy to take control of the Transformers.
Having launched a painstaking review of each of those 14,200 pieces in the LEGO universe, the Design Lab found that 90 percent of new elements were developed and used just once. And many components were duplicates. Among the dupes were eight minifig police officers and six minifig chefs, with barely decipherable differences between them. The Lab dealt with the redundancies by slashing the total number of components by more than 50 percent. When it reduced the product portfolio’s minifig chef population from six to one, designers protested and longtime fans howled. To calm the fans, LEGO tried humor: it held a mock online memorial service for the “dead chefs.”
Hot Rod first appeared in the Headmasters limited series as one of the Autobot crew led by Fortress Maximus. He became a Targetmaster in the fourth and final issue of the series. However, his Targetmaster partner is called Sparks, instead of Firebolt (though the UK comic would occasionally call him Firebolt). Hot Rod made sporadic appearances, with a few UK stories starring him as the lead, but most of those were set in the past or future. Kup's Story revealed the first meeting between Kup and Hot Rod, and how Hot Rod's influence shook Kup out of depression; and Ark Duty starred Hot Rod and set up the creation of Autobot City. Hot Rod debuted in the main continuity after the loss of many wars to the Underbase powered Starscream, as part of Fortress Maximus' group. He served as an eager soldier who idolized Optimus. However, he was killed during the Decepticon ambush on Klo in the last issue of the Marvel G1 comic, only to be resurrected by Prime and the Last Autobot.
As with other earlier Cyber Series figures, Optimus Prime had a rather strange release cycle. At first, he only retailed exclusively in Asia and Latin America, with the closest to a U.S. release being in limited quantities from online retailer BigBadToyStore.com. He did, however, end up being available in the Universal Studios Theme Park, and also later as a Walgreens exclusive.
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.
The other new additions were two black spring-loaded missile launchers that fire red projectiles. In vehicle mode, these attached to the soundbox (an echo of Powermaster Optimus Prime's cannons, perhaps), and could be held in Optimus Prime's fists in robot mode. These launchers were not created for Prime; they were retooled versions of the launcher from Barricade of the G.I. Joe line.
The 1992 and 1993 European and Canadian releases make up what is often called "Generation 1.5", much to the annoyance of many UK fans. These toys are similar in design to the Generation 2 Transformers, having lightpipe eyes, and pastel colors. The 1993 European figures used the G2 faction symbols which Hasbro UK designed because their licence on the G1 symbols had expired. The 1993 figures were repackaged for European G2 release in 1994, and three subgroup molds got used in the US G2 line.
Alternity Convoy transforms into a 1:32 scale Nissan GT-R, featuring die-cast metal parts, an opening hood, trunk and doors, as well as an interior, complete with his feet and thighs being sculpted to form the back seats. This complex figure stands at 6.5" tall, and is armed with a pair of blasters on each arm. In the hyper-dimensional world of the oft-confusing Alternity fiction, this figure specifically represents the Optimus Prime of universal stream Primax 903.0 Beta.
After the Combiner Wars, Optimus watched the reconstruction efforts. Not wanting to overstay his welcome and preferring to leave Cybertron's leadership in its existing hands, he bid farewell to the Mistress of Flame and Windblade and departed for parts unknown. Aftermath and Rebirth On the way, he received a vision of future events from the Matrix and headed back towards Metroplex City. There, he met up with Megatron and told him of his vision, believing that the Combiner Wars and Trypticon's attack were signs of a greater threat, one that would lead to their ultimate destruction. Megatron laughed off his concerns, and the two parted ways. The Fight Begins
Available exclusively at the Tokyo Toy Show 2012 (along with Prime Shining Optimus Prime), Black Optimus Prime is a very minor redeco of the previously unreleased Gentei! Gentei! black version of Henkei! Henkei! Convoy, itself a redeco of the Classics Voyager Class toy. As such, Black Optimus Prime is mostly cast in black plastic, with some gray parts, translucent red windows and teal paint operations.
The Decepticons' initial strike came abruptly and brutally, devastating entire districts of Metropolis. Optimus was meeting with Hot Rodimus as this took place, and was nearly overcome with grief when Ratchet informed him of the carnage the Decepticons had wrought. Steeling himself, Optimus coordinated the city's defenses, ordering his troops to be dispatched where they were most needed to repel the invasion. Upon spotting an old enemy on one of the nearby monitors, Optimus geared up to go in the field himself. Arming himself with his favorite pistol, Optimus resolved to take down Megatron. Raid
Optimus Exprime's electronics are slightly less complex than those of Kenzan and Gekisoumaru. In robot, dragon, and train modes, pressing a button sets off red flashing LEDs and causes him to play one of seven sounds or phrases (which do not change depending on the mode). Pressing and holding the button activates a combination mode similar to the ones found in Kenzan and Gekisoumaru. Optimus Exprime calls on Kenzan and Gekisoumaru to combine with him, and then combination music plays as the LEDs flash blue, purple, and red (with the two halves of his Autobot insignia showing different colors!). Completing either combination by snapping the correct kabuto helmet into place ends the combination mode and triggers another phrase.
Exclusive to Walmart, this Deluxe Class Optimus Prime is an all-new mold, close in scale to Voyager Class Megatron. He has a high range of motion, with ball jointed shoulders and hips, swivels at the neck, knees, and feet, and double swivels in the elbows. As a result of the transformation process, he can also rotate at the waist, though this is hindered considerably by his "backpack" kibble. This can be remedied by pointing the truck nose downward, as it is in the packaging. Optimus Prime also features the spring loaded "Automorph" feature in his head, if the truck kibble pushes the small grey switch from his back before splitting the chest into half.
In an alternate version of the following events, Bumblebee would return to base, reporting that the Decepticons were planning to destroy the humans' farmlands in an attempt to starve mankind and force them into submission. Upon hearing these news, Optimus gathered a squad of Autobots and headed out to stop the evil robots. However, once they found themselves in the open country, they found themselves at the mercy of a Decepticon ambush; Bumblebee had been fed false information! In one iteration of the events that followed, Optimus could have avoided his death if only he had listened to your warning! In another iteration, Optimus had to decide whether he should send his Autobots away to the safety of a nearby bridge while he fended off the encroaching Decepticon horde, or if he should remain by the side of his troops as they all made a break for the bridge. Remaining as a single unit would spell their doom, but by sticking together, the Autobots could make it back to the safety of their base. Battle Drive
Part of the eighth wave of TakaraTomy Go! toys, Optimus Exprime is capable of changing from a robot to either a train or (something resembling) a dragon and back again. He can also form the torso of either DaiKenzan (with Kenzan forming the upper torso, head, and arms and Gekisoumaru forming the legs) or DaiGekisou (With Kenzan and Gekisoumaru reversed from their roles in DaiKenzan).
The only differences with the unreleased version, aside from the packaging, are that silver paint has been added to the previously unpainted grill/fender area, the blue paint operations have been changed to teal, and the red Autobot insignias have been replaced by purple Decepticon ones. Prime's bio apparently explains that he took on this new color scheme in order to infiltrate the Decepticon ranks, in response to recent attacks by some new Decepticon forces pretending to be Autobots.
His trailer opens up into his Combat Deck, which features a missile-armed repair drone pod (with seating for one) mounted upon a boom lift arm. Situated in the base of this boom is a spring-loaded launcher that can be used to launch Roller out of the Combat Deck. Roller himself has seating for 4 passengers, and can be equipped to carry Optimus Prime's rifle or a fuel pump. The interior space of the trailer allows storage room for one Autobot car.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 1 single-packs, Optimus Prime is a teeny little long-nosed semi truck with "trailer", with a spring-loaded automatic transformation to robot mode triggered when his front bumper is pressed. He has a "spinner" in his chest that shows his three attack types and power levels. His truck mode and robot body are influenced by the live-action Optimus Prime, while his head is taken from the original. His blue paint is light and sparkly-metallic, his red paint is dull matte, and his optics are yellow.
Available exclusively from Japanese 7-11 stores, MP-711 is an Ultra Magnus-decoed Convoy—white with green and blue highlighting—themed with 7-Eleven logos. Unlike most MP-10 redecos, he comes with a trailer, Roller, and Spike figure, who is sporting a 7-Eleven uniform. Roller and the combat deck come with 7-Eleven logos, however Convoy's shoulder logos are stickers with the option of a green 7-Eleven logo or the standard Autobot logo on either shoulder.
A extensive retool of Lockdown, transforming into a Lamborghini Centenario. An exclusive to Walmart stores and part of the "Autobots Unite" subline, While almost the entire figure has been remolded, the lower legs and feet remain unchanged. The figure is overall a bit taller in stature than the base mold and includes extra steps in the transformation which further differentiate the two. Uncommon for deluxe class toys, the figure does not include any weapons or accessories.
In the forest, Trailer observed the lost Red Jet and Yellow Sports Car. He wondered why Red Jet didn't just fly out. The Story of the Lost Plane! Trailer later played in the Quiz! BeCool show with Tank Lorry on his team. The two's answer fumbling and arguments led them to lose the game. Another BeCool, Garbage Truck (清掃車 Seisōsha), was part of one question. The Story of Quiz! BeCool While Yellow Sports Car was explaining BeCool marks to you, Trailer was asleep in his Trailer Base, appropriately displaying his "Zzz..." BeCool mark. The Story of What Do I Know About the BeCool Mark?
Universe Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Robots in Disguise Scourge Spy Changer toy. He replaces most of the black plastic with predominantly red and blue, with silver for detailing, with an overall deco making him resemble the original Optimus Prime. Like most Spychangers, he features high speed axles and can roll very well across smooth surfaces, but lacks the weight to propel him quickly.
Optimus Prime has appeared in numerous video games since the introduction of the Transformers series. He makes a cameo in the 1999 Beast Wars Transmetals video game for Nintendo 64, where he is killed by Megatron at the end of the campaign, showing what would have happened in the Beast Wars series with a Predacon victory. Prime is also one of the playable characters in the 2003 Japan-only Transformers game for the PlayStation 2 and the 2010 Transformers: War for Cybertron. Optimus Prime is also playable in the Hasbro Net Jet Transformers fighting game Transformers Battle Universe. Three versions of Optimus Prime are playable characters, including the first generation incarnation, his incarnations from the 2007 live-action film, and the incarnation from Transformers Animated. In this game, Optimus Primal is also a playable character. He is a regular character in the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 2003 fighting game DreamMix TV World Fighters. He appeared as a boss in a simple Flash-based video game on the Hasbro web site.
Now I'm 30, so I don't know exactly what transformer toys you grew up with, but I had a bunch of the "Beast Wars" toys. Which with my nostalgia glasses on seemed much more detailed in my memory than what these new Transformers toys look like they are advertising on their website. However searching for a picture of my Optimus Primal toy... it isn't quite as detailed as I remembered. So my point is that it is probably a bit of nostalgia making you think yours were so much better than what they have now.
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.
"Convoy Last Production" was the final re-use of the Masterpiece toy mold before it was at last retired after numerous re-releases and redecos. The figure is essentially identical to the original Japanese MP-1 release, aside from a slightly brighter red, and the addition of the words "LAST SHOT" in Transformers typeface molded into the small of Convoy's back, hidden beneath its headlight-flaps in robot mode. Lacking the trailer of MP-4, the figure instead comes with a redecoed version of the electronic base included with Hasbro's "DVD Edition" of the figure from five years prior, which now features a collection of sixteen soundbytes of Convoy delivering famous lines from the Japanese version of the Generation 1 cartoon, recited by the character's original Japanese voice actor Tesshō Genda. The base was promoted as containing a hint as to the identity of the next Masterpiece toy; as it would turn out, this was a new version of Convoy himself (see below), foreshadowed by a sound clip on the base which played only intermittently, and which had Convoy announce that he would "soon be reborn".
On a version of Cybertron where Energon shortages have left many of the surviving Autobots and Decepticons all-but immobile, Hot Rod opted to be converted into a smaller and more efficient Micromaster, and thus retained his mobility. Detesting the corrupt system that has fallen into place, Hot Rod seeks to reform Cybertronian society from within the established government, while his former comrade Grimlock joined the resistance in an effort to bring down the old order. Feeling this approach to be no better than Megatron's rebellion that triggered the Great War, Hot Rod opposed Grimlock's efforts, particularly when his plans came to include using the G-Virus to turn a large number of "Builders" into immobile clones of Galvatron, unaware that the effects would also spread to a number of Maximals, Predacons, and Micromasters. Fortunately, Grimlock was betrayed by one of his own men, who destroyed most of the virus, though not before one Cybertronian was infected.
Optimus was made available as a mail-away toy in the "Digital Doom on the Highway to Destruction" offer in the US in 1986 to coincide with the Transformers movie in 1986. He cost $21.50 and 5 robot points, and came with a special Movie Edition Certificate and a round sticker that read " Movie . Edition . Transformer" with the Autobot symbol in the middle. (This item is considered rare.)
Optimus later led a convoy in search for a building site for Autobot City, which ran into a Decepticon ambush. Rodimus Prime remembers the Transformers greatest battle on Earth. He sent off several Autobots to get help, knowing this was the only chance of victory. Transformers Combat Data Those several Autobots were seen again, but Prime... wasn't.
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 One 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 longnose cabs driving around Mars. Yeah.
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A limited edition of the Optimus Prime toy sold as a mail-away exclusive by PepsiCo was made available in North America in 1985. This version of the figure came with a small fold-out leaflet glued to the top-right of the packaging, which contained two Pepsi logo stickers for the buyer to attach to Prime, mid-way through the traditional silver-and-blue stripe on his trailer. Canada also got a version of this promotional figure, but with much larger stickers that were the full length and height of the trailer. This promotion would go on to serve as the inspiration for the Japanese character of Pepsi Convoy, who would in turn be released by Hasbro as a new "Pepsi Optimus Prime" in 2007.