TakaraTomy released another reissue based on the Encore version as part of their Chronicle line in 2011, lacking the original Generation 1 trailer. Instead, the Chronicle version was available in a two-pack with Dark of the Moon Deluxe Class Optimus Prime and a new trailer that could be used by both Optimuses, thanks to a retooled trailer hitch on the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure.
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 (which are both the same also used for the Premium Series redecos of Voyager Class Autobot Ratchet and Megatron) seemed to indicate that this might be a Best Buy exclusive, it was later confirmed to be an "international market" exclusive. It was released in Hasbro's Southeast Asian markets, but was not available in the USA outside the Sam's Club three-pack.
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.
In the United Kingdom, this Optimus Prime was released as an Argos exclusive along with several other sets branded as part of the Reveal the Shield subline imprint. His United States release was initially claimed to be exclusive to Target by online retailers from Asia, but even though the other Reveal the Shield products eventually became available at Target, Voyager Class Optimus Prime was released as a Toys"R"Us exclusive in the United States instead, complete with a "Toys"R"Us exclusive" sticker. Also, both his United States and Asian releases lack the "Reveal the Shield" logo the United Kingdom release has (but still feature the "Reveal hidden images" call-out).
Released exclusively in Asia, Shadow Spark Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Age of Extinction Leader Class Optimus Prime, featuring dark grey plastics, weathered deco patterns, and some opaque plastic which was recasted from transparent plastics. He features a scratched Autobot insignia on the right side of his sleeper-cab, and a Cyberglyphic on the left side of the front hood. Some weathered parts does not match well with some other parts (the fenders, for example).
He’s continued to be lovable through many different continuities, all the way to the current live-action film series. But as much as you love him, there may be a few things you don’t know about him. So let’s take a look at some of his strange real-world facts, storyline goofiness, pop-culture tie-ins and even his relationship to Back to the Future.
Early in this new series of encounters with Megatron, Red Alert contacted the Autobots on Earth and asked for Optimus Prime to join then on Velocitron. Ransack and Crumplezone tricked Hot Shot and Dirt Boss into believing that a race between them would determine which of them would be allowed to race Override for the Planet Cup. During the race, Ransack and Crumplezone caused a rockslide that buried Hot Shot. Hot shot was saved when Optimus Prime, Vector Prime, and Landmine arrived, but Optimus was upset that Hot Shot had become involved with the locals. Clocker and Brakedown were eager to help the Autobots. After being unable to obtain the Planet Cup from Override herself, Optimus Prime endorsed Hot Shot's plan to win the cup in a race with the aide of the other Autobots. Ransack and Crumplezone were contacted by Megatron and were told to keep on eye on things. They also decided to enter the race, either to win the cup and cause as much damage as they could to the other racers. Override, Dirt Boss, Ransack, Crumplezone, Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Red Alert, Landmine, Clocker and Brakedown participated in the qualification round.
This figure was originally conceived by Hasbro to be another character (exactly who is unknown), rather than Optimus Prime, but Takara insisted that the toy be made into Optimus to help it sell well in their markets, as the vehicle mode was no particular draw, given its scarcity in Japan. Reportedly, the figure cost twice as much as other Alternators to construct, so Hasbro had to bow to this demand so Takara would help fund it. Ironically, Takara eventually wound up soliciting the figure not as Prime, but as his Super-God Masterforce lookalike, Ginrai (perhaps connected to the Powermasteresque headsculpt), before its Japanese release was cancelled and moved over into the Kiss Players toyline (see below).
The Monster XL also features not one, but TWO barrels with 6 different nozzles per barrel. That adds up to about 36 different ways to put out your best friend's eye. The ludicrous weight and the fact that it takes 43 fucking pumps to get the water up to pressure offer up reasonable disadvantages, but since water gun fights are always half water gun fight and half "who brought the biggest dick" competition, none of that really matters.
Apparently, early plans for the shield were to have it colored gold and silver, but it was later changed to gray and red. When a hand-painted prototype of the toy was first displayed at the 2013 New York Comic Con, the shield was colored yellow and silver; in addition, the original versions of the official Hasbro stock photos also depict the gold color, but the versions featured on the back of the toy's packaging were edited so they would accurately depict the final toy's colors for the shield. Meanwhile, the versions of the stock photos provided to websites and online retailers depict the shield in its final colors for the robot mode, whereas the vehicle mode photo is the unedited version featuring the shield's original colors. Furthermore, UK-based retailer Argos also featured unedited versions of the stock photos for both modes in one of its catalogs, causing some confusion among fans. Sometimes, the spring loaded "Automorph" feature in his head is too strong and causes the head to fly off...
(As an odd postscript to this tale of footwear-induced madness, although the promo pictures all showed the shoeformer as a white and navy blue sneaker that transforms into a white and aqua blue robot, the product actually released sported much darker colors for all the robot-mode parts, with a deep teal instead of aqua, and almost all the white replaced by an icky tan/cream/grey color, including the head. Basically, the figure looks like the promo picture viewed through really dark sunglasses. Although this certainly doesn't make it look any more like Prime, you might argue that it looks a little less like Magnus. Sorta. Maybe. Not really.)
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.
Kabaya's second candy toy of Energon Optimus Prime was released as part of the Hyper Transformers series. This non-transforming figurine depicts Prime in his lesser-seen combined mode with Wing Saber: "Fight Mode", as Hasbro called it, or "Cannon Mode" in Japan. The figure's shoulder cannons came on a separate sprue in-package and had to be removed by the buyer. Prime's head can be removed and attached to the Hyper Transformers Omega Supreme figure, creating Optimus Supreme. As a candy toy, Prime came with a stick of gum.
If Perceptor gave out the right amount of an antidote, the poisoned Autobots were cured. Optimus ordered his troops to ready themselves for the incoming squadron of Decepticons. Perceptor’s antidote did have a side-effect on the Autobots, however; it gave them a fierce battle-fever, making them eager to take on the Decepticons head-on. Prowl suggested to Optimus that they instead opt for a more conniving counterstrike against the Decepticons, and ambush them instead.
The BK tie in toy of Optimus Prime is essentially two toys in one. The first part of the toy consists of two truck halves, which snap together around a sculpted robot mode Optimus Prime. The truck is squat, and primarily blue, with outbursts of chalk gray paint and red flames. Pulling back and letting go activates the gimmick: Prime "drives" forward and bursts from the truck mode, "transformed" to robot mode. This gimmick has marginal success.
Toymaker Fischer Price was the knight in shining armor on this one with the creation of their Power Wheels line. At first, Power Wheels vehicles were very basic with small electric motors and rudimentary Jeep-like styling. Now, Fischer Price has unleashed a car that says "When I grow up, I want to be too rich to care about the environment." This giant bastard comes with tinted windows, a set of dubs and even a fully functional FM transmitter which, no doubt, blasts shitty radio static through its real-live rear subwoofers.
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).
Optimus Prime's Japanese name is "Convoy", which is named after his original name "Battle Convoy" in the Diaclone toyline, because the name "Optimus Prime" is difficult for Japanese kids to remember and pronounce. All Optimus-inspired characters were called variations of Convoy in Japan up until the 2007 Transformers film, at which point TakaraTomy changed their minds and began using the name Optimus Prime as well. Presumably to avoid confusion, this change includes the Generation 1 version of the character as well, who is now called Optimus Prime in newer products and fiction such as Transformers United and Transformers: All Spark, though his name remains Convoy in material aimed at adult collectors such as Alternity and Masterpiece.
He includes the Sword of Judgment and Sentinel Shield accessories, which he can respectively wield and mount on his left forearm, all via 6mm post. In truck mode, the sword is stored underneath, while the shield mounts onto the trailer hitch. The sword also features a 5mm post on its hilt. Interestingly, the truck mode is able to pull G1 Optimus Prime's trailer.
The key sports a tampographed Autobot insignia, a red border, and the Key Code "D56B" tampographed on the back. This code, when entered on Hasbro's website, was supposed to unlock additional information on the character or the toy, but due to an error on behalf of Hasbro, it unlocked information intended for Optimus Prime's wave-mate, the aforementioned Deluxe Class Demolishor; Optimus Prime's information was instead unlocked using the code "dt67", which was tampographed on the back of the Cyber Key included with said Demolishor toy.
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.
Excellent article. Especially for pointing out how different we remember things from ‘when we were kids.’ (I swear Optimus Prime was two feet tall!) My only criticism is linking to those two Brickset articles about supposed “quality decline”… the headlines are sensationalist and inflammatory, and a LEGO rep eventually replied to the spurious claims with information that deflates much of the (somewhat unfounded) criticism. Also the comments give me a headache. Otherwise great stuff!
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.
Virtually every toy in this list has a scannable insignia sticker on it. For Hasbro releases, it temporarily unlocks that toy as a playable character in the Robots in Disguise mobile game, and can only be scanned once per day. TakaraTomy releases simply check that off on their mobile app's collection list. It's honestly quicker and less redundant to say which toys don't have this feature. Meanwhile, scanning the Combiner Force toys' insignia stickers gives the player Tickets, which can be spent by giving them to Cryostase via the main map menu.