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.
Part of the second wave of Warrior class figures, this Deluxe-sized Optimus Prime transforms into a futuristic trailer truck. Due to his simple transformation scheme, he has a faux window chest in robot mode, while the end of the front trailer kibble has extra toes. Optimus Prime also comes with an axe, which was based on the Energon Axe weapon from the War for Cybertron game. Undocumented in the instructions, Prime's axe can store between his trailer, or plug into ports on either of his shoulders. His scannable Autobot insignia is on his robot mode left shoulder and is easily scannable while still in-package.
Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in 2015, MP Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. is a trailer-less redeco of the MP-10 mold sporting a unique deep red color scheme matching the Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. RED of the original G1 toy, with "BAPE's famous camouflage pattern" and an ape head print on the shoulder replacing the usual faction symbol.
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.
Optimus took the mantle of leadership as the civil war against the Decepticons erupted, and would remain in that position for the next nine million years. Ariel was rebuilt into Elita One, the commander of the Autobot resistance on Cybertron. The fate of Dion is left unrevealed. It has been speculated by fans that Dion might have become Ironhide or Ultra Magnus just as Orion and Ariel became Optimus and Elita, but this remains fan speculation only, and, his close friendship with Optimus notwithstanding, there is no evidence to support the idea.
Based upon the "Protoform" (Cybertronian) appearances of the Transformers in the Movie, 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. A flame decoration piece fits to the back of the "vehicle", creating the illusion of a flaming comet's tail. The bottom of the vehicle has small wheels to roll the toy across smooth surfaces. Oddly, it has NO automorph gimmick at all, a feature most main-line figures have.
This Collector's Edition Japanese e-HOBBY exclusive was a redeco of Targetmaster Kup, released in conjunction with the 2006 reissue of Kup and designed to represent the character Orion Pax from the Generation 1 television series episode "War Dawn". Orion transforms into a Cybertronic pickup truck and came with both a gun and Barrelroller, a redeco of Recoil. He has full shoulder rotation, though the way his elbows are set up means he cannot make full use of their joints. His legs feature no articulation whatsoever.
As with all Action Master toys, Optimus Prime himself could not transform. His sculpt is based heavily upon the The Transformers cartoon model, though the colour scheme may be based upon his Powermaster (pre-supermode cab robot only) body, with blue forearms as opposed to just blue fists, although unlike the Powermaster cab robot it has blue thighs as well. His truck cab vehicle and the trailer do transform, though neither have robot modes. The truck cab can transform into a small plane, while the trailer transforms into a battle station with turrets that several Action Masters can man.
In robot mode he resembles previous Optimus characters: his angular chest windows are reminiscent of Cybertron Optimus Prime, while his near-animalistic limbs and color scheme are evocative of Beast Wars Optimus Primal. He has excellent articulation due to his many ball joints, and is armed with a rifle. The flame attachment can fit onto the end of the (non-firing) gun barrel.
The Hot Rod from the future animated movie continuity would also appear. Target: 2006 had Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr timejump from 2006 (specifically partway through the Transformers movie) to 1986 to thwart Galvatron's scheme, under the influence of Unicron; later post-movie stories revealed that Firebolt had died on Earth years before 2007, and Space Pirates had Rodimus Prime briefly reverting to Hot Rod during the Quintesson attack on Autobot City. This Hot Rod also appeared in several of the "Aspects of Evil" stories. Told from the flashbacks of an aged Rodimus Prime, these had Hot Rod come up against some of the greatest Decepticon villains. He accepted the surrender of Scorponok - only to wind up defending him and a human town against the Micromaster Air Strike Patrol: defending Autobot City from a full-scale attack by Shockwave: and being captured and used as a pawn by Megatron to flush out an Autobot spy in his ranks. (Marvel UK #223-227)
Part of the first wave of battle upgrade Hero Mashers toys, Optimus is a non-transforming robot who can swap any of his parts out with other Hero Mashers figure to create many combinations. He includes his iconic Energon axe, a large projectile-launching gun, another large gun, two missile packs, and an arm for Ultra Magnus. Optimus Prime also has a pointing right hand, which allows you to do a certain Optimus Prime pose in a Dreamwave Productions comic.
He is designed with a removable head, biceps, arms, and legs, all of which use the same clip-peg/hole joint. This means his pieces can be swapped around in any order, as well as swapped with any other Hero Mashers figure... which includes figures from Marvel Comics, Star Wars, and Jurassic World, meaning you can make some pretty freaky combinations.
The voice actor drama was written for OFTCC 2004 by Simon Furman, set after the events in the comics. Among those taken from their world via teleportation beam by Unicron and his Decepticon minions were Spy Changers Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ultra Magnus, and Ironhide. The Autobot forces opposing Unicron attempted to deflect a beam, leaving them all trapped on an uninhabited ice-world. The Autobot forces teamed up to overcome the Decepticons led by Reptilion. The Autobots were then, presumably, returned to their own worlds.
A large, non-transforming toy that features light & sound effects and voice tracks by Peter Cullen. The figure itself is a representation of Optimus Prime combined with Jetfire's parts - only designed for younger children. A lever on his waist extends his wings, and flying sounds are emitted when he is moved around off the ground. The Power Bots line replaces the 2007 Cyber Stompin' line of the first film.
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.
There may be two things you didn’t know in this one: 1) Bumblebee is in the Transformers Hall of Fame; and 2) There’s a Transformers Hall of Fame. The shrine to all things Transformers was the brainchild of Hasbro, the American toy company that worked with Japanese toy company Tomy to create the Transformers in 1984. Starting in 2010, they wanted to honor not just popular characters, but also the real people behind the toys, TV shows, comics, and films.
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.
The "Breakout Battle" set includes another take on a screen-accurate "Scrapyard Optimus Prime", featuring a brown paint wash on tan plastic. The set was a shared exclusive between Toys "R" Us, online retailers such as Big Bad Toy Store, and Myer in Australia. The set was released in Australia, Singapore, and Canada but never actually made it to retail in the U.S. The set also includes Rollbar and a Vehicon.
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.
This straight reissue of the original Optimus Prime figure was released in Hasbro's European markets in the early 1990s, at the same time as many other Generation 1 figures were being re-released as "Classics". Oddly, although he shares their golden packaging, Prime is not actually identified as a "Classics" figure anywhere on his box, but is generally considered to be part of the sub-line for simplicity's sake.
Optimus Prime started life as Optronix (Orion to his friends), Hardwired a data archivist at the Vaults. After taking note of a battle in which the Autobot leader Sentinel Prime had been defeated by Megatron, he was summoned to the Council of Ancients and informed that the Matrix had chosen him to be the next leader of the Autobots. He received the Matrix of Leadership shortly thereafter, gaining a powerful new body in the process. After dispatching a Decepticon assassination squad sent to, well, assassinate him, he ordered the Autobots to prepare to evacuate Cybertron, intending to leave the Decepticons to their own devices. The War Within #1
If Optimus led his troops back to the Decepticons’ poison lab, the convoy happened upon the Decepticons hauling barrels of poison out of the poison lab. Windcharger and Ironhide suggested two different plans to Optimus: Windcharger wanted to use his magnetic powers to cause a confusion, while Ironhide wanted to simply go in for a full frontal assault.
The largest Movie Optimus Prime toy (until Revenge of the Fallen, that is), Leader Class Optimus Prime features the most accurate representation yet of the CGI designs' complex transformation sequence, the only difference being the arms which are placed behind the cab while they constitute the hood in the CGI model. He transforms into a heavily-customized Peterbilt 379 conventional extended-hood, and unusually for a mainline figure, he has rubber tires on all his wheels. His Ion Blaster weapon is stored in the rear of the truck's bunk, exposed like an engine block. Though Optimus has no trailer, he has a hole where the fifth wheel (known among fans as a 'hitch') is sculpted in the rear of the truck, should owners find a suitable trailer to use. Due to safety reasons, the tips of his long smokestacks are made of rubber. A switch on top of the cab roof activates horn sounds and window lights.
As the two Titans battled, Optimus found Megatron watching the fight and demanded he assist them, but Megatron refused. When Trypticon swallowed the Enigma of Combination and took control of the Combiners, Optimus attempted to attack them as a distraction, but he was caught and the Combiners attempted to pull him apart. Optimus managed to break free of his captors and was further saved by the timely arrival of Megatron. Against Optimus's wishes, Perceptor returned and tricked Trypticon into swallowing the Matrix. Consumed However, this ultimately proved successful, and Trypticon released all that he had swallowed during the conflict before falling inert once again. The relief was short-lived, though, as Megatronus suddenly appeared before them, proving Optimus's fears. Optimus and Maximus attempted to surprise attack Megatronus, but he brushed off their blows and fired a beam through Optimus's chest, killing the Autobot once more. All Things Must Pass
Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.
What makes LEGO sets seem more expensive now is that the effective piece count seems lower. I remember that in the 80s, each set was full of bricks that were not overtly specialized only to that set. So they were useful for more things. Now the sets usually come with less bricks and plates (things that could be useful everywhere) and bring more things like minifigure accessories, flick fire missiles and other things that are not that useful. Although I think that everything was far worse in the late 1990s/Early 2000s than it is now.
Omron's keychains were not limited to soft plastic, with die-cast versions of the same characters from the Mascot Keychain line being made available in their Transformers Strap range. This Prime is pretty much identical to the Die Cast Figure version of the character, just a little smaller—about 2.5" in height—and with the addition of a keychain with a wrist-strap.
In "Predacons Rising", Bumblebee, Jetfire, Jetstorm, Optimus, and Sentinel chase down the fugitive Wasp, but lose him to Swoop while bickering about what to do with him. They go after Wasp, only to find out that Blackarachnia has captured him and turned him into Waspinator. When Waspinator malfunctions and explodes due to the instability of the transwarp field that mutated him, Blackarachnia contains the blast with her webs, resulting in an explosion that consumes them both. Optimus is saddened by this, unaware that she and Waspinator are still alive on another planet inhabited by animals.
Rodimus can be unlocked by beating "Dam 6" in Arena Mode, credited as Hot Shot. Rodimus is described as being young, impetuous, showing enthusiasm and confidence which borders on arrogance. He boldly claims that he has both skill and looks, though he is not too keen being paired with Kup on missions. Somehow, he became corrupted by Dark Energon. If the player manages to defeat him, he calms down, shrugging off the effects of the Dark Energon and returning to his regular self.
When Ultra Magnus, Rodimus, Arcee, and Spike took cover within the Autobot Mausoleum, retreating from an attack led by Galvatron, they found Optimus having risen from the dead! Rodimus returned the Matrix of Leadership to Optimus, only for Optimus to abandon his Autobots, and flee back to Cybertron. Optimus, it seems, has returned to the world of the living changed. Once on Cybertron, Optimus orders a full-scale assault on the Quintesson base. Thankfully, Optimus managed to come to his senses when his memories of being revived by the Quintessons reemerged. After returning the Matrix to Hot Rod and ordering the Autobots to retreat, sacrificed himself once more by guiding the ship he's piloting into the Quintesson's trap. Dark Awakening
Optimus Prime is armed with two large rifles formed out of a combination of both smokestacks and fuel tanks. These rifles peg into lower arms with grips for his open hands. The under-slung fuel tanks can fire spring-loaded projectiles. In vehicle mode, both smokestack rifles can be deployed as twin cannons, and this mechanism can also be used to store the rifles and deploy them as shoulder guns in robot mode.
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.
I you can get an official reissue for around the same price, do it. I lucked out and got an opened but mint Encore for $50 last week but you'll be getting lucky that way. All Hasbro reissues have short smokestacks and long stacks are harder to get separate to swap out. Average price for a Japanese reissue is around $100 opened. If you are on a budget and the kid doens't care about slight issues, the $40 KO would be the better option.
After a long period of stalemate, Prime grew frustrated at the lack of progress his troops were making against Megatron's forces. To remedy the situation, he ordered the creation of several new Transformers who would be perfectly adapted for combat on Earth. The first among these was Pirhana. Piranha's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile But one of the Autobots' great victories came not through superior numbers or firepower, but trickery and cunning. As part of a plan devised by Optimus Prime's new second-in-command Prowl, the Autobots allowed Starscream to "overhear" that they had uncovered an ancient Cybertronian ship with the means to return to Cybertron. They then stationed themselves around the vessel, atop of Table Mountain in Africa, and awaited the inevitable Decepticon attack over its possession. Optimus met Megatron in battle, but ordered his troops to withdraw after a brief skirmish, declaring the Decepticons too powerful to hold back. Once the Decepticons claimed their prized and entered the ship, they found themselves locked inside it. The ship then shot up away from the planet, leaving the Decepticons without the means to control it. Though the Autobots knew this wouldn't rid them permanently of the Decepticons, they were satisfied with a brief period of calm while they were off-world. Day of the Decepticons
In robot mode, like Combat Hero Prime, the bottom of the truck became his familiar windowed chest based upon the original Optimus Prime toy. His main gimmick was light up LED headlights, and a lightpipe in the bottom of his right fist, illuminated by an LED in his right forearm, that would illuminate his clear sword or his double-barreled rifle if they were used in that hand. All three LEDs were activated simultaneously by pressing the sunroof-like depression on the roof of the truck.