This. Is. Awesome. I remember running LEGO piece auctions ~1998/99 on RTL (rec.toys.lego) then later my own website. I’d buy sets at Walmart and other places on discount, break them out, and sell the pieces as lots. I knew I’d always make good money if I could average < $0.10/piece cost (ideally around $0.07) and sell for $0.15 – $0.20+ … fun times!
Another game was released for the Sony PlayStation 2 by Atari; simply titled as Transformers, it was based on The Transformers: Armada. The game's reception was mixed, particularly due to the popularity of a PS2 Transformers game released at the same time for a Japanese-exclusive market, though the Armada game was of a higher quality and featured much better gameplay. The game not released in America was based on the Generation 1 storylines.
As a 25th anniversary set, Prime includes several new pack-in bonuses: a reprint of the first issue of the original Marvel comic book, a DVD containing all three parts of the animated series pilot "More than Meets the Eye", and three desktop wallpapers, and a battery-powered Autobot symbol that plays transforming sound effects, part of the first version of the Transformers theme song, and three voice clips performed by Peter Cullen: "I am Optimus Prime!", "Autobot, transform and roll out!" and "Megatron must be stopped, no matter the cost." There are some reports that the Autobot symbol could be worn out or damaged during the time of purchase.
Since the dawn of the Transformers in 1984, the spunky little Autobot called Bumblebee has been a fan favorite. Why? He was the underdog. He was small, and he was one of the weaker Transformers, but his heart was huge and he showed great bravery on the battlefield. As a result, he was an admired and gentle friend not only to humans, but to his peers as well. And it didn’t hurt that his alternate mode was a cute little yellow Volkswagen Beetle.
This release is another redeco of Cyberverse Optimus Prime, this time with a predominately navy scheme with black accents (which vaguely resembles his Generation 1 colors), and a pair of barrage cannons that can be either held or mounted on his smokestacks, as well as a pair of handheld swords. He is compatible with all his previously released Cyberverse accessories, but not all at once.
In robot mode, Voyager class Optimus Prime is proportionally more accurate to his CGI design than the leader class toy and has a more accurate headsculpt. However, due to the aforementioned lessened complexity, significant sacrifices had to be made, such as "cheats" to the transformation sequence to achieve this. He is thus less accurate overall than he initially appears. In addition to previously mentioned changes, he carries much of the truck's front hood, grill and fenders on his back like a backpack. Nevertheless, he maintains a superb level of articulation and posability.
With the Japanese Binaltech toy series having transformed into the Kiss Players line, the second figure to be released as a Kiss Players character was Hot Rodimus. Based on the same Ford GT mold as Mirage, Hot Rodimus features several differences from Mirage. First, it has a unique head sculpt, which includes a movable crest to allow a "visor" to be lowered over his eyes, referencing a scene from the animated Transformers Movie during which Hot Rod is on Lookout Mountain. Additionally, it includes a fishing-rod accessory, which can be split and connected in a different configuration to create a tri-barreled arm weapon, reminiscent of Hot Rod's exhaust-pipe blasters. The figure also includes a PVC figurine named Syao Syao and a CD featuring a Kiss Players radio drama. The vehicle mode stays true to the Ford GT's factory color scheme, lacking Hot Rod's signature "flame" detailing, and, like Binaltech, is fully painted. Meanwhile, the robot mode reveals additional orange and yellow body parts, such as the chest, abdomen, arms and hands, as well as flame-like paint applications on the lower arms to link the figure with the original Hot Rod.
Star Convoy was reissued by Takara in 2005, with some notable alterations to his deco: his white plastic was replaced with metallic silver, and the yellow star on his chest was chromed golden. Star Convoy himself retained some of his original decals but most notably his "simulated head lights" and "wind shield panels" were stamp graphed on him, similarly, Hot Rod's were replaced with the same stamp graphing applications. Additionally, where the original toy had been packaged in robot mode in a tall box decorated with the standard Japanese package art of the time, the reissue was packaged in vehicle mode, in a long, wide box more reminiscent of the original Generation 1 toys.
Jetwing Optimus Prime is a retool of Revenge of the Fallen Leader class Buster Optimus Prime, with an accompanying large jet pack and massive dual Gatling Cannons. The base Optimus Prime figure has several modifications including: a new stomach area and elbow flares to reflect the changes to Optimus Prime's CG model in Dark of the Moon, modified lower arms to incorporate MechTech ports and clips for the cannons, and a retooled area under his back so the jet pack can fit on more securely. The dual energon blades mounted on his arms have been removed. The toy retains Buster Optimus Prime's electronics, but batteries are not included.
Kiss Players Convoy is a redeco of Alternators Optimus Prime. Unlike the Alternators version's bare red plastic, he is covered in a deeper red paint. Some of his body parts are cast in different colours, such as his shins, and has a much more intricate paint deco based upon Masterpiece Convoy. He is armed with his small engine pistol and a pink surfboard that can be reconfigured into either two small blades or a large double-bladed sword.
Part of the first assortment of "Custom Kreons", this version of Optimus Prime comes with a buildable parts rack on which to hang/store his many many extra pieces. His tampographs are much more heavily-detailed than the original Kreons, based on the original Optimus Prime toy. His "normal" helmet (and small sword) are chromed, plus he comes with an extra clear-plastic helmet, torso and legs. He also has a pair of extra arms (originally from the Kre-O Battleship aliens), plus a buildable large rifle, a buildable wing-pack, and a ray pistol (originally an Andorian blaster from Kre-O Star Trek).
Sometime after the Autobots and Decepticons awoke in the 1980s, the original Megatron gained access to one of Earth's Voyager spacecraft and inscribed a message on the disk on board. In the event that he lost the War, Megatron left instructions for the descendants of the Decepticons to use transwarp technology to travel to Prehistoric Earth, locate the Ark, and change history by killing Optimus Prime. The Agenda (Part 2)
Rodimus can be unlocked by beating "Dam 6" in Arena Mode, credited as Hot Shot. Rodimus is described as being young, impetuous, showing enthusiasm and confidence which borders on arrogance. He boldly claims that he has both skill and looks, though he is not too keen being paired with Kup on missions. Somehow, he became corrupted by Dark Energon. If the player manages to defeat him, he calms down, shrugging off the effects of the Dark Energon and returning to his regular self.
This is a weird one. Back in the late-’80s, the original TV show had ended and Marvel Comics decided to take the “transform” part of the property a step further and gave a handful of Transformers an organic, human-looking shell. Bumblebee was one of the lucky Autobots to get one. According to the storyline, the Decepticons developed the technology first, but the Autobots secretly caught wind, made their own human shells, and fooled the bad guys into thinking they were fighting mere humans, until they burst out of their shells.
Just like Optimus Primal's basic bat toy, this figure was released during the short-lived period when the Beast Wars was still considered to be an extension of the Autobot/Decepticon war, and Optimus Primal was the same character as Optimus Prime. This was soon relegated to the realms of micro-continuity when the Beast Wars animated series began and clearly established that the two Optimuses were different characters, but the toy remains one that was officially branded as Prime, and is consequently listed here.
Part of the first wave of Prime Series 2 Cyberverse Commander Class toys, Optimus Prime is a smaller-scale toy, and features translucent plastic for his torso so that the toy can be illuminated using the electronic lights featured in the larger playsets. He comes with two translucent "battle cannon" weapons which feature multiple 3mm posts and ports, allowing them to be held by his hands, or store/mount onto numerous ports on his person. Additionally, he features a 5mm port for a trailer hitch.
A very limited number of Gold Masterpiece Convoy figures were given away in a Lucky Draw contest in Japan. The figure uses the same design as Masterpiece Convoy, but every piece, including the windows and weapons, is cast in a gold color, reminiscent of his electrum coating from the episode The Golden Lagoon. The only exception is the tires, which remain black rubber. It comes packaged in the usual Masterpiece Convoy box, with the only telltale sign being the gold lettering in the "Master Piece" label. It's not clear how many were made, but it is thought to be no more than 10 or 20.
Bumblebee seems to have finally settled on one mode for the film franchise: the Camaro. Chevrolet had actually stopped producing the Camaro in 2002, after having it in their stable since 1966. It wasn’t without controversy that Bay and company decided to make Bumblebee a Camaro for the first live-action film in 2007, but Chevrolet used the product placement opportunity to help relaunch the brand.
One reason that people perceive that the cost of Lego has gone up is that the cost of so many other toys has gone down. You can now buy so much crap for a buck or two that Lego seems like a luxury item in comparison. It’s interesting to look in toy catalogs from the early eighties and see that Lego didn’t seem as costly then because the other toys were all costly as well.
The real selling point of the toy, however, is the colossal Omega Combat Armor. Optimus' trailer transforms into nearly two feet of limb extensions, armor, and wings. The armor remains completely integrated (except for the Ultimax Super Cannon) during transformation, with no partsforming, although this renders the final power-up robot mode somewhat limited in articulation, having no leg articulation whatsoever aside from swinging the hips out slightly and twisting at the ankles for maximum stability. The armor adds six more 5mm ports of dubious utility around the feet, retains the four from the cab robot and the eight from the trailer (on the backs of the wings), and has his own pair of 5mm fist holes. In trailer mode, it can support itself using folding blue landing gear, although the attached ball-jointed struts make it somewhat less than realistic.
A K-Mart exclusive set released on "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving, the most hellishly busy shopping day of the year), this set consists of Super Base Optimus Prime, Jetfire, their respective partner Mini-Cons Sparkplug and Comettor, the Adventure Mini-Con Team, and oddly enough, Longarm. Optimus Prime's red plastics and paint were replaced with gold, the only changes made to anyone in the set. It is this set from which the name of Optimus Prime's combined mode with Jetfire, Jet Prime, comes.
Nonetheless, I remain a big fan of Lego and although I think they have somewhat moved away from their roots with the excess of licensed products (and the earlier licensed products were, in my opinion, not very good because they contained too many specialized non-generic pieces that weren’t useful for generic building. But that situation is improved and in particular we have found the Star Wars sets to be of most value for generic building, because they generally have very few really specialized pieces (although to be fair the sets are most useful for building other spaceships, etc).