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.
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.
This new roughly 11-inch leader-sized mold of Optimus Prime transforms from a robot to trailer/truck combination and back, with the transformation taking cues from both the Reveal the Shield Legends Class and the Robots in Disguise Legion Class toys. Surprisingly, he does have a reasonable amount of articulation, including a balljointed head and hinged joints for his arms, shoulders and legs, plus lateral hinges for his feet. His head includes light-piping and, unlike other Cyber Series toys, his truck windows have actual transparent plastic rather than just being merely painted.
According to the bio printed in the Transformers Collectors Club magazine, Optimus Prime was a member of the Cybertron Dimensional Patrol, but was abducted by Unicron. It is unknown whether he repainted himself yellow before being abducted or if the recoloration was due to the radiation emanating from Unicron, which has a tendency to recolor Cybertronians.
Generation 2 Optimus Prime comes with all his original accessories, as well as two major new play features. To increase his arsenal, he is armed with a pair of black missile launchers that fit in his fists and fire red spring-loaded missiles; these launchers were retooled from the G.I. Joe figure Barricade. Secondly, he comes with an electronic "sound and lights module" that can either plug into the front of the trailer (where it resembles the air conditioners used on refrigerated trailers), or hook onto Optimus's back in robot mode (via a new slot sculpted into the cab robot). Unfortunately, the soundbox is heavy enough that doing so can easily overpower Prime's hip joints, causing him to topple backward. The soundbox features a large, vacuum metalized Autobot symbol on its front, and three grey buttons which trigger two flashing red LEDs on either side of the module, and a trio of sound effects: a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". The module also features ports on either side into which the missile launchers can peg.
The Hasbro release comes with a pack-in file card. In addition to the regular version, Optimus was also released in a special "advance release" assortment alongside Bulkhead, Megatron and Starscream, with each figure including a mini-DVD that contains the Transformers: Prime episode "Masters & Students". Yes, all four of them come with the same episode.
While exploring Cybertron's hemisphere of darkness, Optimus Prime became severly damaged, and unable to return to the hemisphere of light. Having been able to send out one last message before his memory was badly damaged, Optimus found himself unable to distinguish friend from foe, and would join (or rejoin) whichever faction found him first. Optimus Prime Is Back
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.
Similar to the Activators toyline, One-Step Changer Optimus Prime features a spring-loaded transformation. He features swivel articulation in the head and both arms. He shares a similar (not identical) transformation with his fellow One-Step changer, Hound. Also, due to his transformation scheme, his shoulders can be pushed forward (the arms is pushed on the same time), which also allows him to wield a close ranged weapons with longer handles with both hands.
This version of Optimus is a redeco of the original Legion Class Optimus Prime toy, featuring additional paint details. He features an Autobot insignia on his faux chest. His head was not entirely clipped down in his stock photos. The stock photos shows him having darker plastics & silver paint as opposed to the final product. This seems to have been a trick of the lighting, as the released toy remained its standard plastic colors & silver paint apps.
Some time later, as the war raged between Autobots and Decepticons on Earth, Optimus had requested the Aerialbots as reinforcements from Cybertron. Though they nearly defected to the Decepticons, Optimus was able to secure the Aerialbots as allies. Later, when a power plant had to be evacuated of its human workers due to the fear of landslides, Optimus posted Denfensor at the location to secure its protection. Optimus then drove off to check up on the rest of his troops who were aiding in the area’s evacuation. Though he passed a military convoy heading towards a plant, he thought nothing of it, unaware that they were the newly created Combaticons in disguise. Optimus then reached the Ark, and from there opened communications with the Aerialbots. Optimus had someone come into the know that the Decepticons were moving in towards the plant. He watched from afar as Defensor and Superion fought Menasor and Bruticus, wary to send more Autobots into the fray while these titans wreaked havoc onto the battlefield. Optimus allowed himself a smile when the Aerialbots and the Protectobots proved themselves superior teams to the Decepticons’, though at the back of his mind, he was wary. After all, Megatron himself had chosen not to add his considerably weight to the battle... The Special Teams
Through the years, there have been many action figures made in the likeness of the original incarnation of Optimus Prime, some of which have been featured in fiction, others of which have not. Additionally, some toy makers have made unlicensed toys in his image or accessories for the existing toys. The original 1984 Optimus Prime toy was part of Takara's 1983 Diaclone toy line named "Battle Convoy". It was designed by the creative design team of Hiroyuki Obara, Shoji Kawamori, famous for his work in Macross, and Kohjin Ohno. The toy's characteristics, such as the head design and the use of the cab front as the upper torso, have become design elements in nearly every incarnation and variant of Optimus Prime. This particular toy has been reissued multiple times, mostly to commemorate the anniversary of the Transformers franchise. Optimus Prime was also released as an Action Master and Powermaster toy in the original Transformers toy line.
Timelines Rodimus is a BotCon 2008 exclusive recolor of Classic Rodimus in black that is based on Black Rodimus. An evil alternate version of the Generation 1 character, according to the comic writers his personality is based on Vinnie Barbarino from the TV series Welcome Back, Kotter, using variants of Vinnie's famous put-downs. His new appearance has inspiration from the facial hair of parallel universe Mister Spock from the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror".
Realizing that the planet is dying, Optimus orders a mass evacuation of all Autobot cities, but many transport ships are destroyed by the Decepticon satellite Trypticon, under orders from Megatron that no one shall leave the planet. He orders the Aerialbots Jetfire, Silverbolt and Air Raid to fly and destroy Trypticon. The aerial trio manages to destroy Trypticon's jet pack and send the Decepticon behemoth crashing into Cybertron, where Optimus Prime and the Autobots band together to narrowly defeat him, sending him plunging into a pool of raw energon. Optimus and the remaining Autobots volunteer to stay and defend Cybertron from Megatron for as long as possible while the rest evacuate the planet. He commissions a massive vessel known as "the Ark" to transport the remaining Autobots into space when the time comes.
This silver-chromed redeco of the Leader-class Optimus Prime figure first saw the light of day as a prize in a TV Magazine mail-in, offered alongside a gold chrome version of the same toy (see above). Both figures were later made available again as prizes in a second contest in the September 2005 issue of TV Magazine, together with "Galaxy Convoy Custom Color Version" (see below). Despite being offered in equal quantities in these contests, this silver version is apparently much harder to come by.
If Optimus destroyed the duplicate Cosmos, the real one would inform the Autobots of the Decepticons’ schemes, and the convoy would roll out to take on their adversaries. They were soon met by a squad of flying Decepticons, but were at a strict disadvantage against their adversaries as their vehicle modes possessed no weapons. The Autobots nonetheless managed to fight their way to the Decepticons’ base, one way or another, and defeated the Decepticons by using their own gravity weapon against them. Desert Flight
Optimus Prime comes with many accessories in addition to the aforementioned Matrix, including the character's traditional laser rifle, now termed (and henceforth known as) an ion blaster. The initial release of the figure cast the ion blaster in grey plastic, but later assortments recast it in its more familiar black coloration. Other accessories include a transparent orange energon-axe that plugs into either wrist when Prime's fist is retracted, and even a non-transforming gun mode Megatron weapon, with removable stock, silencer and scope accessories, in homage to several instances in the Generation 1 cartoon when Prime was forced to wield his enemy. Pack-in bonuses that came with the figure included an inner cardboard tray illustrated to resemble the interior of Prime's Combat Deck, and in later releases, a small poster drawn by Pat Lee.
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 Triple Changer, 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.
Hot Rod identified the Decepticons on board through the damaged hull and immediately attacked the targets within using low powered, rapid fire bursts. When the Decepticons returned fire, Hot Rod changed tactics and began firing more concentrated blasts at the shuttle itself. Eventually, he managed to disable the shuttle. With their cover blown, Megatron ordered his forces to attack and the Decepticons began pouring out, beginning their planned assault on Autobot City. Before focusing his attention on the onslaught, an incensed Megatron destroyed the observation platform on which Hot Rod and Daniel were standing. True to his protective Autobot instincts, the first concern of Hot Rod was for the safety of Daniel. Quickly shielding the young boy, the two survived the platform collapse but were soon cornered by Blitzwing and Shrapnel. Timely intervention by the old and experienced Autobot Kup diverted the cannon fire from Blitzwing and allowed the three of them to escape.
The line was released as "The Transformers" in the United States, Canada and the UK in 1984 (One year after the Gobots) but Takara was still marketing Diaclone at least during 1984. Hence in Japan "The Transformers" did not debut under that brand till 1985, when the line was also rolled out to the majority of the rest of the world between Takara and Hasbro. Hasbro Europe still will not accept, however, that the range was released in the UK in 1984, not even with evidence such as Argos 1984 catalogues containing the range, the UK comic launching in September 1984 or even the 1984 Transformers product catalogue produced by "Hasbro Industries (UK) Ltd, Wokingham". It is thought that Hasbro Europe as it now stands did not come into existence till 1985, hence no records of Transformers sales in 1984. UK Transformers toys were sold in boxes identical to those of their American counterparts until around 1998/9 when the range started to have UK exclusives.
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.
A repaint of the Armada Supercon Optimus Prime, minus the Mini-Con, but instead had a Cyber Key with a Mini-Con port in it. Repainted to match Cybertron Galaxy Force Optimus Prime. This is supposed to be a drone which Optimus Prime controls to get into small places, built for him by Metroplex. Several paint variations of this toy exist, and early releases have the forearms swapped, just as had occurred with the last repaints of the mold.
Released as part of the second wave of Clash of the Transformers subline imprint that's exclusive to Toys"R"Us stores, this Power Surge Optimus Prime is a redeco of the toy above, featuring transparent blue parts, white paint applications to the shoulder armor/front truck kibble, his chest, & leg/trailer striping to resemble his larger Power Surge Optimus Prime figure.
Most notably in terms of new tooling, the panels on the undersides of Powermaster Optimus Prime's forearms feature slots under the fists, which allow the guns to tab in and be held much more stably than with Ultra Magnus. And due to the amount of empty space in the cab area in vehicle mode, Powermaster Prime can fully transform without the need to remove his head.
If Optimus instead followed Prowl’s plan, he instructed his troops to transform into vehicle mode and play dead. The Decepticons, believing the Autobots’ ruse, disarmed themselves in order to carry out the Autobots’ “carcasses.” Now with the element of surprise against unarmed opponent, the Autobots Transformed and were able to easily defeat the evil robots.
In 2007, the Optimus Prime of universal stream Primax 109.0 Beta encountered a mysterious messenger from another world: another incarnation of himself from a parallel dimension who left him with a warning. Two years hence, Megatron would bring the terrifying super-dimensional lifeform known as the "Beast of Time", the Hytherion, into their dimension to destroy Earth. The only thing that could battle the Hytherion was the power of the super-evolved multi-dimensional race of Cybertronians known as the Alternity. Prime agreed that when the danger appeared, he would join the Alternity in the fight.
Having been caught unaware by a surprise attack launched by the Decepticons, Optimus led his troops in a losing battle against their mortal enemies. Though Optimus managed to dispatch a few Decepticons, namely Thrust, whom he punched through the chest, he soon found himself crippled and surrounded by enemy forces. Praying to Primus as the Decepticons readied their weapons, Optimus heard Grimlock calling out to his fellow Dinobots to combine, prompting the Autobot leader to yell out a plead to Grimlock to stop. It was too late, however, and The Beast began rampaging, killing Autobots and Decepticons alike. Taking advantage of the situation nonetheless, Optimus tackled Megatron and began beating on the Decepticon leader. The tide of the battle now shifted, Optimus attempted to reach Grimlock’s consciousness within The Beast so that its mindless carnage could come to a halt. It didn't work. The Beast Within
Optimus Prime also appears in the text-based fiction Dungeons & Dinobots. He commands the Autobots to attack the Arch-Ayr fuel dump. The attack is thwarted when the main Decepticon forces are augmented by the Mayhem Suppression Squad. When Wheeljack attacks both the Autobots and Decepticons with a massive force of drone Dinobots, Optimus offers to allow the outcast Autobot scientist to rejoin the Autobot ranks if the Dinobots destroy the Decepticons. The Dinobots prove unstable and go on a rampage, attacking everyone, including each other. Optimus punishes Wheeljack by having Ratchet painfully reformat him for Earth mode and assigning him to the Ark repair crew on the advice of Side Burn. He punishes Blurr for allowing his heroic Decepticon cousin, Crasher, part of the Mayhem Suppression Squad, to live. When Grimlock returns to the Autobots, Optimus lets him live because the Dinobot has gained useful intelligence and helps in work on the Ark.
Transformers: Cybertron, named Galaxy Force in Japan, was a follow-up to the successful Armada and Energon lines. The companion anime series program was not originally conceived or produced as a continuation of the Armada/Energon storyline, and it was only later that it was retconned to be a continuation. Thus, several inconsistencies exist. Once again, a new feature was introduced for the line—Cyber Keys, which activated special functions on the figures in a manner similar to the Mini-Cons in Armada. Each figure came with a Cyber Key regardless of size, but there were several Cyber Keys crucial to the plot of the anime series which only came with certain figures. Again, many of the same characters were included but with entirely new figures from new molds.
1.) MP 10 EVA. Its arguably the best mold of any figure, and that color scheme! 2.) MP 12 Lambor. My fav transformer aand my fav car as a kid, cant beat it. 3.) MP Grimlock. Robot mode just looks like be dominates the shelf, regardless of who be is next to. 4.) MP Exhaust, mostly bc of the novelty factor as he is a pain to get in the States, plus his back story is cool. If not for that, MP 11 Skywarp would take this spot. 5.) MP Soundwave w/ cassettes. Duh!
Released as part of the Single Pack assortment, Optimus Prime is a show-accurate, non-transforming die-cast vehicle based on his alternate mode. He features through-axle construction, allowing for super-speedy racing on smooth surfaces, and his car mode is compatible with many tracks and playsets from Hot Wheels and Matchbox. He features 4 wheels, as opposed to the Legion Class' 6 wheels & his larger toy's 10 wheels. Optimus Prime also comes with a collector's flyer.
A slight redeco of Takara's Deluxe-size Optimus Prime was released as part of a special set commemorating both the 20th anniversary of Transformers and the 30th anniversary of its progenitor, Microman. Coming with an exclusive metallic redeco of Takara's Kicker, which was based on the Microman body, this Prime featured a chromed grill where the original had painted plastic, and supposedly slightly shinier plastics. Very slightly.
In the "Transformers" film, the robots had more of an alien feel to them to fit the theme of an alien invasion. The robots (stated by Optimus Prime) in the film are actual sentient organisms and not just giant, mindless, and mechanical machines. The robots can also speak their own alien language sounding like what seems to be based on different pitches and frequencies. Alongside that, they gave them more alien features that probably wasn't mentioned in the comics or T.V. series such as a highly advanced exoskeleton, force field, and a special "alien meteoroid" mode which they transform into individually and arrive on earth in. The exoskeleton is a "self-regenerating metal" in which the aliens are composed of (stated in the film) that is the equivalent of living skin that heals itself.
Transformers: Energon introduced several new concepts to the toy line. Two new sub-groups, the Omnicons and Terrorcons, joined the fray, representing smaller factions of the Autobots and Decepticons respectively. The smaller toys in these sub-groups came with Energon weapons that could be used by the larger Autobots and Decepticons, along with Energon chips that could be fastened to the larger figures to enhance their power. Energon weapons and chips came in a variety of colors of translucent plastic. Many Autobot figures in the line were able to combine with a partner to form a larger robot through the "Powerlinx" process. The Decepticons were designed instead with alternative "attack modes". While no longer the focus of the line, there were several Mini-Con releases in Energon as well.
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.
His main gimmicks, however, are the two large, blue-and-white mini-guns hidden in his back/hood, which can deploy and "weaponize" either mode. When deployed, the mini-guns swing out from his back/hood and spin, while a red LED inside his torso lights up briefly. The mini-guns swing down to the sides of his head in robot mode, and can also be deployed in vehicle mode when one manually opens the grille. Pushing down on the red lever on the center his torso (in either mode) briefly lights up the LED again and swings the mini-guns back into their hiding places.
Having been removed from toy store shelves after 1985, Optimus Prime 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 premiering that year. He cost $21.50 and 5 Robot Points. He was also offered in 'The Autobots Have A Special Mission For...' mail-away pamphlet 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.)