Packed with Ravage, Optimus Prime is one of the first figures in the Transformers segment of the Heroes franchise. As with all Heroes figures, Optimus Prime is a simple, yet well-detailed two-inch tall figurine with exaggerated, cartoony proportions. He is sculpted holding his Ion Blaster rifle in his right fist and his left arm in a pointing pose. He is also love, and demands that you pull his Finger of Doom.
For all the positive aspects, these changes are not without their drawbacks. The LEGO community has been crying foul over the perceived decline in quality of the bricks5. While nowhere as bad as their competitor, any decline in quality reflects poorly on a company known for quality control. The LEGO group has been expanding its manufacturing base to places outside of Denmark, into Mexico, the Czech Republic, and China (although so far it seems only their “signature brand” non-set items are made in China). LEGO claims that this has not changed their dedication to the quality of standards by which they abide. However, it seems that the molds have changed to reduce plastic6. Whether or not this affects the durability of the bricks is yet to be seen.
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The second Nightwatch Optimus Prime was released as part of the "AllSpark Power" second half of the Movie line. He is similar to the UK version of Nightwatch Prime, replacing most of his red and blue with different shades of blue and black, retaining his resemblance to Diaclone Powered Convoy in most respects. However, the subdued black and copper on the first Nightwatch Prime have been replaced with gold and a very bright blue, to signify the All Spark energy affecting the Transformers. The translucent parts were also cast in purple translucent plastic instead of black translucent plastic.
Hot Rod's tech specs list him as an Autobot Cavalier, while as Rodimus Prime, he is listed as an "Autobot Protector" - unlike Optimus Prime's, which directly states "Autobot Commander". A commercial for the toy hinted at his ascension, but pitted him against Cyclonus and Scourge instead of Galvatron, who was his chief adversary in the animated series.
A black and red version of the First Edition deluxe Optimus Prime could be seen in the San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Transformers slide show, inside a mock-up of the wearable Matrix of Leadership package done for the convention that year. This figure was presumably a test-shot, as it seems to share plastic colors with Generations Sky Shadow (who was, coincidentally, first revealed at that same Comic-Con).
Released as part of the Target-exclusive Reveal The Shield subline, this Tiny Turbo Changer 3-pack contains a redecoed Optimus Prime and Bumblebee (in their first non-blindpacked release) and a new Steelbane figure. This version of Optimus features red wheels & Tech Spec-esque patterns on his robot mode chest and... groin-flaps, though the real decoding is on his vehicle mode roof, which when seen through the attached clear-red weapons (or similar plastic device) reveals... an Autobot symbol. Surprise.
Part of the seventh wave of Robots in Disguise Warrior class lineup, and the first of the Mini-Con Weaponizers subline, Power Surge Optimus Prime is a retool of the original Warrior Class Optimus Prime figure, now transforming into a 6-wheeled futuristic trailer truck. Optimus now also comes with a pair of swords, which can be attached to his 5mm-compatible hands or the top of the truck/back port to serve as the robot's wings. Most notably, Power Surge Optimus Prime features retooled truck hood/shoulder parts to makes the hands more evident. As a retool of the original Warrior Class Optimus Prime toy, he retains his axe accessory, albeit unpainted just like the Clash of the Transformers Warrior Class toy's. His light blue-colored Launcher can be attached onto his collar.
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.
Later, Optimus pursued Megatron to Earth to stop him from pillaging the planet's energy resources. Prime's loyal team of Autobots clashed with Megatron's Predacons on many occasions, stopping their schemes with the aid of Koji, a human whose father had been abducted by the Predacons. Prime and Koji went on to form a strong friendship, although Prime blamed himself for Koji's father's abduction. Optimus proved his bravery on many occasions, battling and defeating Sky-Byte in an underwater duel and personally rescuing Side Burn from a Predacon trap. Later, when Megatron targeted a tanker truck to scan as the alternate mode of the final protoform, Optimus Prime leapt into action in order to save the truck's human driver and, as a result, the tanker, Prime and the human were all scanned. With an infusion of Megatron's spark energy to complete the concoction, Scourge was born, emerging from his pod as a dark twin of Optimus Prime. Prime's pleas to make Scourge remember his original Autobot loyalties fell on deaf ears.
It should also be mentioned that a few years back, I think around 2009 roughly, TLG started using smaller boxes for the same size sets. It was part of a move to not only save money, but also become greener as a company. Because the sets now take up less physical space on the shelf, and boxes with the same number of pieces appear smaller than sets from previous years, it could also contribute to the perception that you are getting less for your money today. In reality they are one and the same product.