For many, it may seems that the advent of licensed sets3 correlates with the perceived increase in prices. The 1990s and before were a nostalgic heyday of affordable LEGO sets. This is not quite true. Below is a chart that compares the price per piece of licensed sets and unlicensed sets starting in 1999. 1999 is the first year that LEGO had major licensed themes.
The figure's transformation scheme is based on the original G1 figure, the only differences being that the fists are not removed but become the headlights, and instead of flipping backwards inside the chest, Diablock Convoy's noggin flips forwards with the aid of opening chest windows. A "laser rifle" in the shape of his ion cannon can be built from black bricks, and stickers bearing the Autobot faction symbol can be placed on his shoulders, although this is not recommended as it is designed to permanently stick to multiple tiles which dislodge easily and may damage the sticker.
During the war, Optimus was killed in battle by Megatron, but was eventually resurrected. The Fight Begins Coming to the dire realization that the war against the Decepticons had become a never-ending arms race, Optimus Prime challenged Megatron to single-combat, with their troops acting as witnesses to their terrible and final clash. The battle between both faction leaders ended with Megatron beaten down and goading Optimus into delivering the kill shot...
When they could not reanimate him, they used his body as a lure instead, bringing the Autobots to their lab, where they are infected. As this "Hate Plague" began to spread across the galaxy, Sky Lynx retrieved a Quintesson, who fully restored Optimus Prime to life. Coating himself in Morgan's heat-resistant alloy, Prime reclaimed the Matrix from Rodimus and unleashed its concentrated wisdom to destroy the Hate Plague.
The original Optimus Prime toy was a re-deco of the Diaclone Battle Convoy toy and transforms into a late 1970s red Freightliner FL86 Cab-over-Engine triple-axle semi trailer truck. The truck mode features rubber tires, and the cab is partially constructed of die cast metal. The windscreen section can open to reveal ultimately-unused seats that were originally designed for driver figures part of the Diaclone line. His trailer opens up into his Combat Deck, which features a missile-armed repair drone pod (with seating for one) mounted upon a boom lift arm. Situated in the base of this boom is a spring-loaded launcher that can be used to launch Roller out of the Combat Deck. Roller himself has seating for 4 passengers, and can be equipped to carry Optimus Prime's rifle or a fuel pump. The interior space of the trailer allows storage room for one Autobot car. In robot mode, he is armed with a black laser rifle, that, due to design, cannot be held straight. His fists are separate pieces which must be stored elsewhere in vehicle mode; there are pegs to store them in the trailer.
We say "intended", because in actuality, the thing appears to have been produced in such huge quantities that it's wound up being made available in loads of other places—it was handed out at San Diego Comic-Con 2011, offered as a free giveaway with any order that included Transformers toys on Hasbro Toy Shop), as a free gift on the cover of the Awesome Autobots Activity Book, and came as a free gift attached to, of all things, issue #240 of the UK children's comic, Doctor Who Adventures (but not the UK's Transformers comic, you'll note!).
The lowest priced toys in the Armada line were three-packs of Mini-Cons. Each larger price point consisted of an Autobot or Decepticon who came with a Mini-Con partner. Mini-Cons could be used to unlock a variety of features on each larger robot, such as firing weapons, electronic lights and sounds, or alternate modes. Some three-pack Mini-Cons combined into other forms or had additional features. According to the storyline, Mini-Cons also enhanced the power of other Transformers, giving incentive to collect as many of them as possible.