LEGO is not a cheap toy and has never been. The brand has stood for nothing but the highest quality and hopefully any issues it has had with changes in manufacturing are only the result of temporary growing pains. Next time you are out buying a LEGO set for a loved one or for yourself, take a second to thank everyone who ever bought one for you as a gift.
A redeco of the Generation 2 Go-Bot Firecracker, Go-Bots Optimus Prime transforms into a red Hot Wheels-sized Lamborghini Diablo. Like all Go-Bots, he features high speed axles and can roll very well across smooth surfaces, but lacks the weight to propel him quickly. He is armed with a small red laser rifle. The plastic colors are a "solid" version of Firecracker's color layout, substituting opaque red for transparent red plastic.
It was expected that the release of a new movie would involve the production and release of associated toys from Takara and Hasbro. Images surfaced, on-line, of some toy prototypes, notably Starscream and a new Decepticon who was to be named Blackout, along with packaged samples of movie preview "Protoform" Optimus Prime and Starscream toys. Similarly, fans found preliminary artwork of multiple characters, although it was not known at the time how close these were to the final designs. The designs were significantly different from those of the Generation 1 characters with the same names. Reactions varied widely: some fans objected strongly to the designs, occasionally going so far as to threaten a boycott if the designs were not changed to be more traditional, while others liked them. The issue became a divisive one, as detractors accused supporters of lacking respect for the franchise's history, while supporters accused detractors of being "stuck in the past", and not accepting change.
The third version  would quite possibly have been the most gimmick loaded Transformer in the history of the line, simultaneously being a Powermaster, Headmaster, and triple changer. The Headmaster also would have been a triplechanger, turning into a sort of armored four-wheeled rover (Roller II?) and robot as well as a rather silly looking Optimus Prime head with four vertically aligned wheels jutting off the sides. It seems that when the extra Headmaster gimmick was scrapped, the super mode head remained separate rather than being reintegrated into the trailer hitch such as on the earliest design. Notably, the body of this design is extremely close to the final design.
Released as part of TakaraTomy's Welcome to Transformers 2010 campaign, the "Sons of Cybertron" set includes a redeco of the 2006 Classics "Ultimate Battle" pack Deluxe class Optimus Prime, cast mostly in translucent plastic (his shoulders remain opaque Polyoxymethylene (POM)). He comes packaged with a similarly translucent redeco of Classics Rodimus.
Optimus led the search for the AllSpark through space, but he and his troops were unable to locate the artifact. Though the search seemed hopeless, Optimus assured the others that they would not give up until Cybertron's last hope for survival was found... At that moment, a strange green pig crashed through one of the ship's windows, with the AllSpark in tow. Optimus stared in bewilderment at the strange creature as it asked for a ride back home. Hard Boiled
Available exclusively at Hasbro Toy Shop and their booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2011, this version of Ultimate Optimus Prime is presented in vehicle mode, packaged into a large, foil-embossed bubble packaging (similar to late Alternators packaging) styled after Optimus Prime's trailer, with an additional foil-embossed sleeve styled after the hood of Optimus Prime's truck. Exclusive to this release is a set of stickers one can apply to the trailer. The toy itself is otherwise identical to the regular retail release.
As the Autobots were having trouble with Rumble, Optimus Prime told them try to use his earthquakes to their advantage, which led to the end of the Decepticon. Prime subsequently ordered the Aerialbots to combine and save Grimlock and Roadblock from falling off a cliff. Wolves As they got closer to the Cobra Terrordrome, however, Prime started regretting getting the Autobots involved with the humans' war. He offered to carry G.I. Joe across the water separating them from the Terrordrome, but told them that Autobots only fight if they have no choice, and they had no reason to fight anymore. Moments later, he saw that Cobra were using innocent prisoners as human shields, and Duke added that anyone who Cobra didn't enslave, they murdered. Filled with righteous anger, Optimus Prime ordered his troops to roll out. Trenches
Although Rodimus plays the part of the brash youth, he is actually very intelligent, and has no loyalty to Optimus Prime; only his own personal gain. According to his biography, Rodimus used to be leader of the Wreckers, a mercenary group hired by Optimus Prime; but after the deaths of the other members, he joined the Autobot Seekers under the command of Goldbug.
Part of the first wave of Prime: First Edition Voyager-Class toys, Optimus Prime transforms into a truck, with a similar (but more complex) transformation to his previous Deluxe-Class toy, and features a faux-kibble window-chest panel as well as a detailed truck cab interior. He comes with a "Cybertronian battle sword" and a "plasma cannon", either of which can peg into his hands. The cannon also features a 5mm peg-hole on the underside of its barrel, allowing the sword (or any other compatible accessory) to mount there as a bayonet. They are stored in vehicle mode by pegging them onto either the 5mm-compatible trailer hitch, or onto each peg-hole beside it, although the instructions tell you to peg the sword facing forwards onto the hitch, with the cannon mounting backwards onto one of the side pegs. His trailer hitch ends up on his right robot leg, and he has a fake, sculpted, equally-usable trailer hitch on his left leg. He features a cardboard stand as with all "First Edition" toys, but the weak adhesive used for its flaps mean it often has trouble supporting the weight of a Voyager class figure for an extended amount of time, the top caving in as the glue gives way.
Thanks to fellow Seibertron user, Sabrblade, we have discovered some new in-hand pictures of the forthcoming Transformers Studio Series #38 Voyager Class Transformers Bumblebee Optimus Prime figure! These come couresty of YouTuber TonTon Reviews, presumably as a preview of his next review. For comparison, they have put this new entry into the Studio Series with MP-10 and Takara Tomy's Movie Advanced series "Classics Optimus Prime" (Evasion Mode Optimus Prime). This gives us a good - Read More
Prime's trailer opens up into his Combat Deck, containing the scout drone, Roller. The interior of the Combat Deck features three pegs that can accommodate Prime's laser rifle, fuel pump and nozzle accessories, and seating for two Diaclone drivers. As its central feature, the Combat Deck features a missile-armed repair drone pod mounted upon a boom lift arm (featuring another cockpit for a Diaclone driver), which can also be extended through holes in the trailer's roof and front-end when it is closed. Situated in the base of the boom arm is a spring-loaded launcher that can launch Roller out of the Combat Deck and into action. Roller himself has seating for four Diaclone passengers, and features a port that can accommodate either Prime's rifle or the fuel pump. The interior space of the trailer allows storage room for one standard Autobot car, which can also be shot forward by the launcher.
A single-packed version of the battle damaged Voyager Optimus Prime toy from the Sam's Club exclusive three-pack. Although the assortment number and the general packaging style seemed to indicate that this might be a Best Buy exclusive, this has been confirmed to be an "international market" exclusive. It has been released in Asia, but will presumably not be available in the USA outside the Sam's Club three-pack.
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
Alerted by Bumblebee of Megatron's latest plan, Optimus Prime led the mission on Wheeljack's ship to foil them. He sent Bumblebee on an underwater scouting mission, and took part in a pitched battle that ended in the Decepticon's being defeated. Search for Treasure Under the Sea When Rumble dropped rocks on the Autobots, Optimus used Roller to eliminate most of them. Unfortunately he was forced to surrender when he saw the other Autobots had been captured by the Decepticons, and was placed in a special Autobot prison. Luckily Bumblebee remained free, and after he'd rescued the others, Optimus wrapped Megatron up with an iron bar. Bumblebee to the Rescue!
This is a redeco of the 2004 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime, released to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the original Transformers animated movie and DVD release. He is painted in flatter, non-metallic colours to more closely resemble the original cartoon model, as well as the Voyager-class Classics Optimus Prime figure. The color of the light of his feet has changed too. As a cost-cutting measure, all vacuum-metalized plastic has been replaced with with silver and gold paint. Confusingly, his Ion blaster is now cast in blue plastic.
There have also been a number of spin-offs based on the toys including a comic book series, an animated television series, and a feature-length animated movie. The original series program was followed by a number of spin-offs with varying levels of popularity. A live-action film series directed by Michael Bay has produced five films, with more planned.
Prime comes with all the accessories of his previous release, although his ever-changing ion blaster is now somewhat confusingly cast in blue plastic. He features one major additional accessory: an electronic display base sculpted with the image of the Matrix and the Autobot insignia. Pressing the insignia's crest triggers a series of electronic soundbytes, mostly quotes from the movie recited not by original actor Peter Cullen, but by Hasbro's in-house actor, Ron Hayden: "Autobots, transform and roll out!", "I want you to make a special run to Autobot City," "Megatron must be stopped!", "All we need is a little energon, and a lot of luck," and two samples of the classic transformation sound effect, one ascending, one descending.
Animated Optimus Prime, in an Earth-based fire truck mode, appears as a hidden character in the Transformers Netjet video game by Hasbro. Instead of being leader of the Autobots, Prime was actually a washout from the Elite Guard. Despite no longer being a member, he maintains his military ranking of "Prime". The scale chart released for the series indicates Optimus Prime stands about 22 feet tall.
A special edition Bearbrick released in celebration of the Transformers 30th anniversary, Optimus Prime is a redeco of Bearbrick G1 Optimus Prime in a deco based on his Age of Extinction appearance. He transforms from a Bearbrick painted up like himself to a bear-eared robot and comes with no accessories, but holes in his robot mode hands can accommodate other toys' weapons.
Golden Lagoon Convoy is a gold and gold chrome redeco of MP-10 in homage of the original cartoon episode of the same name. He retains his energon axe, ion blaster, and Matrix of Leadership. Part of TakaraTomy's 35th anniversary celebration, he was initially released at Summer Wonder Festival 2018, then later through Cybertron Satellite stores across Japan and TakaraTomy Mall.
A gold-chromed version of the Voyager Optimus Prime toy was available as part of the same Lucky Draw contest as the Golden Protoform Optimus (see above) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Limited to only 3 pieces, it is insanely rare. The photographed sample here features a chromed truck grill, while a boxed unit has an unchromed grey grill; the owners of both pieces, the Mapes Brothers of Transformers @ The Moon, believe both are genuine TakaraTomy toys, so it unsure if the one with the chromed grill is a testshot or a production variant.
The Japanese release of the figure also underwent the changes in weapon shapes, but never featured a silver Roller; instead, their original release of Prime featured a Diaclone-style Roller without the two rear pegs, and the differently-shaped launcher that accommodated him, before a running change switched over to the Hasbro version of the mold. Finally, in some European countries, Prime sported red feet, as opposed to his traditional blue; this version of the figure is also known in some cases to feature a differently-painted forehead crest which leaves the three central indentations unpainted blue.
Optimus Prime has a wide range of articulation for a relatively bulky figure. He has ratcheting joints in his shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, with swivel joints and ball joints supporting them in his biceps, lower knee joints and ankles. Again, unusually for a mainline figure, especially at the Leader pricepoint, his hands have individually articulated fingers and thumbs, but no wrists.
Exclusive to Japanese ToysЯUs stores, this redeco of AM-01 Optimus features warmer, metallic shades of plastic, replaces the gray plastic around his windshield-chest with red, and replaces the clear-blue plastics with clear-black. He comes with the Hasbro version's battle sword, which is now a darker, warmer shade. For Arms Microns, he now comes with O.P. A, Pral G, Sais G, and Jayz G, and the latter three can combine to form a golden version of the Cosmotector shield (hence the name).
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.
When the warlord Shokaract, powered by Unicron's Dark Essence, traveled into the past to secure his own future, the occupants of J'nwan decided to act. Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, and Grimlock joined Sandstorm on prehistoric Earth during the time of the Beast Wars where the battle with Shokaract had already begun. When the Covenant arrived to vanquish the Dark Essence and defeat Shokaract, Optimus Prime and the others escaped through portals as that timeline was erased from existence. Terminus Departure
Legends Class Optimus Prime is based on his original Generation 1 appearance. He features a fake grill for his robot mode, and his large legs result in a fairly thick and compact truck bed. He is part of "Reveal the Shield", a subline that outfits all its toys with rubsigns, and in this case, it's located on the left side of the truck/his left elbow.
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.
Hot Rod then fought in the battle of Autobot City and saved the city for if he had not attacked Megatron, he would have destroyed it. Due to his attempted intervention in the epic battle between the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime and the Decepticon leader, Megatron, Prime was lethally injured. Before he died, the Matrix got passed on to the Autobot Ultra Magnus, whom he referred to as "old friend", despite protestations.