Hot Rod first appeared in the American animated series during the events of The Transformers: The Movie (as a main protagonist), where he was one of the many Autobots stationed at Autobot City. He was first seen fishing with Daniel Witwicky. When Daniel saw the shuttle that was going to make a supply run to Autobot City, he told Hot Rod and together they both went to an observation point, only to see a hole in the shuttle. The ship had been previously hijacked by Decepticon forces led by Megatron, with its crew killed.
Power Surge Optimus Prime is a new mold, in the size of a Leader Class figure, which transforms in 7 steps. It comes with the Mini-Con Aerobolt, who transforms from a bird to his chestplate. This triggers electronic lights and sounds, as well as deploying a mask, two shoulder cannons, and a pair of large wings for the larger robot. His front truck kibble can be removed, but you can transform him into vehicle mode with the kibble on.
Rodimus also appears in the novel Transformers: Retribution as part of the crew of the Ark. Along with Kup and Bumblebee, he suspects that something is amiss with the inhabitants of the planet Aquatron, and takes a small drops ship down into the planet's oceans to investigate. The trio are captured and brainwashed by the Quintessons, who force them to testify against Optimus Prime in a mock trial. Fortunately, they are later returned to normal and return to space aboard the Ark with the rest of the Autobots.
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.
In Spotlight: Doubledealer, Hot Rod's search was interrupted by Dealer's arrival on Earth, with orders for Hot Rod: find the Magnificence and use it to learn what they could about the Expansion. Hot Rod took Dealer to his hiding spot, which turned out to be the planet where they first found the device. As Dealer and Hot Rod closed on the Magnificence, he went over his first visit to the planet in his mind, and how things could have gone so wrong. Eventually he began to have suspicions, and upon locating the Magnificence, asked it the question that haunted him: had Dealer betrayed him? Sadly, it revealed the truth, and Hot Rod was forced to kill Dealer as the traitor attacked. Looking down on his remains, Hot Rod realized the truth had been staring him in the face, he just had not wanted to accept it. He then used the Magnificence to find out all he could about the Expansion, and relayed the information to the Autobots.
Transported to a parallel Universe, as the walls of reality began to crumble, foretelling the coming of Unicron to the Armada universe, Optimus Prime and Jetfire were reformatted by their Mini-Con companions using the Mini-Con Matrix into new "Powerlinx" forms. Optimus Prime and Jetfire combined to hold the chaos-bringer at bay. Unicron was eventually defeated by the united power of the Mini-Cons.
Simon Furman's "Alignment", a text story available through Transforce, a British Transformers convention, mentions Prime falling during what was intended to be the final conflict with the Decepticons at Pinea Omicron, long after the events of the Generation 2 comic book. He managed to defeat Galvatron II, but in doing so, was damaged such that Grimlock had to engage a stasis field around him to save his flickering Spark, making Prime a living war monument.
Platinum Optimus is a redeco of the Leader Class Optimus Prime. Optimus' color palette is now darkened with some additional paint details. His "Sword of Judgment" is now a light blue. Optimus features more chrome on his "Vector Shield", chest, and on his head. The set was a shared exclusive, available from BigBadToyStore and Toys"R"Us, and was also sold during a Taiwanese event celebrating the launch of Transformers Rising.
Calibur Optimus Prime is a retool of the Armor Knight Optimus Prime figure, who is a retool of the original Age of Extinction Leader Class figure, with the fifth wheel hitch now forming his handheld shield based on the one used in Dark of the Moon, which results in a backpack-less robot mode. He also comes with an axe based on the one used in the third film.
Part of the new Generations Cyber Battalion series, Optimus Prime is a new mold which stands 7 inches tall, and transforms from a truck (which is based on the Generations Thrilling 30 Legends Class Optimus Prime figure) into a robot in just 7 simple steps. The figure's transformation engineering had taken cues from the Reveal the Shield Legends Class Optimus Prime figure, while it still retains the same ol' articulation.
The Autobots subsequently returned to Cybertron aboard a refueled and repaired Ark with the defeated Decepticons, taking the Decepticons on Cybertron unawares and quickly capturing control Cybertron. Peace reigned for a time until a series of natural disasters began, the source of which was determined to be the planet Moebius in a parallel universe. The Autobots assembled a team to travel to this alternate universe and stop the threat; Optimus Prime personally led the team, unwilling to put anyone in more danger than himself. Wheeljack, Hoist, Jazz, Prowl, and Silverstreak constituted the rest of the team; they dubbed themselves Spy Changers because they aimed to achieve their goal with stealth and diplomacy. The team modified their bodies to match the native cyborgs using data acquired from the Sky Spy and traveled to the 22nd Strata but were soon attacked by the local Guardians, who mistakenly presumed them to be Renegades. The Spy Changers were then rescued by the real Renegades, who presumed them to be potential allies and took them back to their flagship, the Rogue Star. Renegade leader Cy-Kill attempted to court the Spy Changers as allies, but Optimus saw through Cy-Kill's deception. Eventually, the Autobots formed a secret alliance with the Guardians as well as discovered the cause of Cybertron's troubles: Renegade bases on Moebius were draining the planet's energy. The planet's geometry had turned it into a crude Dimensional Interfacer, and Moebius was tapping into Cybertron to sustain itself. Hoist was able to end the crisis by triggering the bases' remote detonation sequence. Cy-Kill was furious, but in the ensuing battle, the Autobot-Guardian alliance triumphed over the Renegades. Optimus Prime and Leader-1 shook hands as a symbol of the transdimensional friendship, and the Autobots returned to their home reality, secure in the knowledge that they had allies in places as distant as alternate realities. Ask Vector Prime, 2015/09/30
Each of his kabuto helmets forms the head for one of the two combined modes. In addition, either of his kabuto helmets can be connected to his robot mode back (allowing his swords to also be stored on his back), and both can be connected to the rear of his train mode simultaneously. In robot mode or combined mode, his kabuto helmets can be held individually as a shield or combined into an even larger shield.
The TakaraTomy "Autobot Alliance" release of this toy has some significant differences, including casting the red plastic in a darker shade, making his shin and wheel joints grey rather than Hasbro's bronze, painting the Matrix of Leadership silver, and swapping out the dual energon swords for battle hooks, similar to 2010's Leader class Optimus Prime. However, due to the Japanese release retaining the Hasbro packaging, the box still advertises the dual energon swords rather than the hooks. He retains the masked face used for the Hasbro release.