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.
The first Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy was largely identical in sculpt to the original release. However, his trailer was cast in black plastic, with the original blue and silver striped sticker replaced with a red and silver one that had "Optimus" in large block letters on it. The trailer also featured a soundbox attachment with a sculpted Autobot symbol on the front. The soundbox could activate a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a (badly) garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". This soundbox could also be attached onto Optimus Prime's back and be used as a sort of backpack.
The set is a counterpart to TakaraTomy's simultaneously-available Transformers Animated Sons of Cybertron set, which also features translucent versions of that line's Deluxe Optimus Prime and Rodimus figures. It was intended as an exclusive for the Japanese Chara Hobby 2010 festival, but was also initially offered as a raffle prize at the 2010 "Autobot Alliance" event in the Philippines.,[1] and was later available for purchase at Cybertron Con 2010 in Shanghai.
Optimus was challenged to a duel by Megatron as a distraction while the Constructicons attempted to strike against Teletraan I. Heavy Metal War - Part 1 Concerned that the Decepticons might try to steal a new Energon related technology from a science facility, Optimus sent Blaster to infiltrate and protect the base. Espionage Optimus was impressed with Grapple and Hoist's plans for a Solar Power Tower, but thought it would be too difficult to defend from the Decepticons. The Master Builders Following the return of the Aerialbots from a trip to Cybertron, they told Optimus and Elita One about how they'd encountered Orion Pax and Ariel. Golden Age Optimus was among the Autobots affected after Megatron sabotaged their recharging chamber. Turned evil, Optimus was sent to attack Rutter Military Base and obtain a solar power satellite. He and the other Autobots were returned to normal by Sparkplug's attitude exchanger, and Optimus promised to repair the base. Attack of the Autobots

Naturally, Optimus Prime got the biggest of the sets in the first year of Kre-O. The set can be built into a large long-nose tractor-trailer rig with a removable "sleeper" cab that hides a computer station, and a trailer that can carry the set's two motorcycles or open up to carry larger car builds. The robot mode build includes a huge Optimus, based largely on the live-action movie Optimus, though with a head based almost directly on the Classics Voyager Optimus. He is armed with a distressingly plain brick that fires pressure-launched missiles (aka his smokestacks). Most of the leftover parts in robot mode become a "headquarters" which is mostly just a random assemblage of mismatched-color panels and a pair of barricades. Both main builds leave numerous parts unused if you go expressly by the instructions, but hey, it's a building kit, surely you can find someplace to apply most of them.
Ultra Magnus's legendary status was exceeded only by the legendary status of Optimus Prime. Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus toy bio Upgraded with the power of combination, Optimus could combine with any bots to form Ultra Prime. Combiner Wars Optimus Prime toy bio With mastery over the power of Combiners, the combined courage of Optimus and the Autobots would stop the Decepticon Combiners threatening cities and entire civilizations. Combiner Wars Battle Core Optimus Prime toy bio
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.
Prime's body was entombed in a massive deep-space mausoleum with the many other fallen Autobots. In 2006, his grave was desecrated and his body reanimated by Quintessons in an attempt to destroy the Autobots by using Prime to lure their space fleet into a trap. The Matrix was able to purify Prime of the Quintesson influence, and he ordered the other Autobots to clear out while he piloted his flagship into the Quintessons' detonator, triggering the explosion of a nearby sun. Prime was supposedly destroyed in the explosion. According to "The Return of Optimus Prime", Prime's body was recovered from the craft by two human scientists, Jessica Morgan and Gregory Swofford, just minutes before the explosion. As their ship departed, it was coated with solar spores, which induce rage and madness in any sentient being they came into contact with, released by the explosion of the sun. Jessica's father, Mark Morgan, loathed all Transformers, and his hatred only grew when an attempt by the Decepticons to steal a heat-resistant alloy he had developed resulted in Jessica being paralyzed. Swofford and Morgan reconstructed Optimus Prime's body, planning to use it as a delivery system for the spores in order to destroy the Transformers.
The toy that would ultimately end up as the original Optimus Prime toy was originally released in August 1983 as No.17 Battle Convoy from Takara's Diaclone Car Robo toyline in Japan. In 1984, Joustra released their own version (still with Diaclone sticker on the trailer) as part of their Diaclone line in Europe, either simply called Truck (according to the pack-in catalog) or Diaclone (in the pack-in comic). It's possible that GiG also released a version called Camion Convoy as part of their Trasformer line in Italy, but to this day no packaged sample has surfaced.

Reissued in 2003 as part of Takara's Transformers Collection line of reissues. This version (#13 in the Collection series) was retooled from the 2000/2002 Rodimus Major tooling in order to make the fists and engine block hole wide enough to equip Firebolt. In addition, the original 2 guns had their posts modified so that a Targetmaster Hot Rod could still use them, if the owner chose to.
Outstanding work here. After reading a number of complaints about how the price has ‘increased’ over the years, it’s great to see this analytical approach. One additional hypothesis I have is related to the increase in the number of sets released each year, which would appear to be supported by your data. More sets to buy to be ‘complete’ makes for more money out of pocket.
Pressing the button on his robot mode chest activates the red lights (well, because the blue ones are expensive for the price point) on his chest, and the sounds and voice phrases (provided by Taitem Kusunoki) were played along with the light-up gimmick. Pressing the button for a few seconds will activate his long voice line with transformation sounds.

Optimus dueled Megatron atop of an overpass in a human city. Though he managed to knock Megatron's cannon loose early in the scuffle, Megatron managed to turn the tables on the Autobot leader, reattach his primary weapon, and blast his old foe. When Megatron moved in for the kill, Optimus got his second wind, and knocked Megatron clear off the overpass. They were always real to me.


Oh, also, I should add that I would like to see if this trend is the same for specific themes, or just over all themes. Although I would guess that the individual themes would show the same general trend you discuss here, one reason individuals might believe in the “price increase fallacy” might be because of the individual themes they support. But again, I think that if you do this, you will find the themes fit the trend as well. If you are looking to go into the numbers more, this might be an interesting area to investigate.
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While the other Autobots searched for the Matrix on Earth, Optimus Prime searched for Vector Sigma, guided through the dangers of the planet's catacombs by the spirit of Alpha Trion. Prime eventually arrived at the computer, only to find his way barred by Cyclonus and Scourge. At that moment, Hot Rod arrived with the Matrix, the same with which Alpha Trion merged, re-energizing it. The Matrix transformed Hot Rod back into Rodimus Prime and, for the first time, the two Primes fought side-by-side and defeated Galvatron. Before Rodimus could implement the Matrix to stabilize Vector Sigma, however, Optimus Prime merged himself with the computer, restoring its balance to save the planet. Optimus Prime sacrificed himself, dying again only a few short episodes after his rebirth. Later, Prime would make a final and permanent return in the Japanese Transformers continuity, Battlestars: Return of Convoy. This entry was only available in print, appearing in the TV Magazine, a Japanese publication.

The first toy in TakaraTomy's United toyline is a redeco of the War for Cybertron Deluxe Class Optimus Prime, transforming into a Cybertronic "armored truck". As has been TakaraTomy's wont of late, he now sports a metallic red paint job, with brighter pink paint applications and cooler grey parts, and features several additional paint details to those present on the Hasbro figure in the form of black chest windows and pink lines on his face mask. His rifle transforms as well, folding and plugging into the roof of the vehicle mode. The rifle can also peg into his forearms, and, in its compact configuration, can attach to his shoulders via peg holes on the backs of his front tires or stored behind his back in robot mode.
This redeco of Leader-class Optimus Prime replaced most of the plastics in the cab robot with colored translucent equivalents, with chromed silver wrist-pipes, a golden chrome Matrix, and red chrome window frames. His trailer remained opaque, but was cast in much deeper red plastic, with a more metallic silver used for his cannons. He was available only in a Toys"R"Us Japanese exclusive giftset released in October 2005, with a redeco of Wing Saber, and the Coby Sen'yō Rumble.
This mold was redecoed in 2000 as Car Robots Black Convoy, and slightly retooled as his US incarnation "Scourge". After Scourge, the next use of this mold was planned to be Toxitron, which ended up being canceled. The slightly retooled version of this mold was released in 2006 in Japan as reissue Battle Convoy, which was the name of this toy during the Japanese Generation 2. The reissue used the Robots in Disguise modified tooling, with a slightly modified deco using silver vacuum-metalized plastic on his chest and trailer sides along with additional paint applications and G2 symbols. The mold was also redecoed to create a new Generation 2 version of Ultra Magnus as an E-Hobby exclusive (unusual in that the character was killed in the course of Japan's Generation One fiction).
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.
Rounding out a bumper year of Japanese-exclusive Generation 1 Optimus Primes, the Takara-licensed Kawada brand Diablock Convoy is a fully transformable Lego-style block building figure similar in premise to the earlier American Built to Rule sets. The Diablock figure, however, easily outstrips the Built to Rule sets by both being an accurate representation of the toy on which it is based, and being able to transform between modes without having to be partially disassembled and put back together first.
While Beast Machines was still running in Canada, Japan's Takara made a bid to return to the familiar vehicle-transforming robots concept. In 2000, Car Robots was released. This line was brought by Hasbro to America as the Robots In Disguise series, and featured the Autobots facing off against the Predacons. This series is usually regarded by most as filler while Hasbro contemplated the next direction for Transformers. However most fans of Transformers recognise that most if not all of the toys released from this line were of excellent quality (with the Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus figures gaining considerable praise), combining the ball-joint articulation with detailed, well painted alternate modes.
While Transformers ended poorly for the US market, the same can not be said for the UK, Canada, and Japan markets as they went on to produce their own continuing series between 1991 and 1993, despite the UK market in particular missing a substantial amount of figures prominent in the comics and animated series throughout the line's run. Each country produced their own continuity. The UK and Canada continued with new Action Master figures and introduced the Turbo Masters and Predators. Japan continued with the Micromasters concept.
The Beast Wars were waged on prehistoric Earth, eventually leading to the discovery of the buried Ark. The beast Megatron, following the original Megatron's instructions in a desperate gambit, attempted to change history by killing Optimus Prime, who was still lying in The Ark in stasis lock. Megatron hoped that this would result in the Decepticons winning The Great War and the eventual rule of Cybertron by the Predacons, the descendants of the Decepticons. Megatron unleashed a full-power weapon blast at Optimus Prime's face, delivering a near fatal blow. Optimus Primal, however, took Prime's spark into his body to protect it from surgical trauma while his injuries were repaired. The subsequent power increase caused by Prime's spark's connection to the Matrix augmented Primal into the large, transmetal "Optimal Optimus" form with three alternate modes (jet, land vehicle, and transmetal gorilla). Then, with the repairs complete, Prime's spark was restored, and he briefly activated before sinking back into normal stasis.
When a new threat, the Elder Gods, appeared, a group of Autobots acquired the help of Tobias Muldoon and Nikola Tesla to travel to the glacier and waken Prime. Infestation 2: The Transformers #1 Tesla's Tesla tower wasn't enough on its own, so Wheeljack, Ratchet, Trailblazer, and Hound gave energy necessary to recharge Optimus Prime. Optimus awoke and revived the other Autobots with his energon reserves, before traveling to Port Cenotaph, Nova Scotia where an Elder God had risen from the sea. Diving into the ocean, Optimus cleaved parts off the Elder God until it and its followers returned to the depths. Though Tobias asked if the creature was dead, Optimus wasn't sure, but promised the Autobots would be there to defend Earth if it ever returned. Infestation 2: The Transformers #2 Infestation 2 #1
Main event time! Nitro figures are more like your traditional Generations/Power of the Primes deluxe bots. Standing at 7-inches, they feature increased detail, additional paint applications and all come with a core to unlock additional features. In addition to Barricade, Optimus Prime, and VW Bumblebee (this one’s my favorite of the entire line), the Nitro series will also have a Camaro ‘Bee.
Oh, also, I should add that I would like to see if this trend is the same for specific themes, or just over all themes. Although I would guess that the individual themes would show the same general trend you discuss here, one reason individuals might believe in the “price increase fallacy” might be because of the individual themes they support. But again, I think that if you do this, you will find the themes fit the trend as well. If you are looking to go into the numbers more, this might be an interesting area to investigate.
Once combined, DaiKenzan has three new phrases (spoken in Kenzan's voice), while DaiGekisou has four (in Gekisoumaru's voice). In either combined form, pressing and holding the button activates an additional, longer phrase for their "final attack". DaiGekisou is armed with a scissors-esque "shuriken" made from combining Optimus Exprime's two swords, while DaiKenzan simply wields them separately.

Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Go! toys, Hunter Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Voyager Class Beast Hunters Optimus Prime toy. His red and blue plastics are now cast in metallic shades, his translucent green plastic has been replaced with translucent blue, his yellow highlights are more orange-yellow, his yellow-painted side windows are now blue, and his gray plastic is now cast in two different, darker shades. The Matrix Saber, aside from being blue, uses a bluer shade of gunmetal paint for its hilt and handle.
Hasbro's subsidiary Milton Bradley (MB) released the toy in Europe in late 1985, following a slight delay due to licensing issues;[13] there are no less than three variants of MB-packaged Optimus Prime, one of them manufactured by Takara and sporting blue feet, the other two manufactured by Joustra as part of a deal with Hasbro/MB, one of them with blue and the other one with red feet;[14]
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 2 five-packs, this redeco of the original Optimus Prime toy is cast in translucent blue plastic, with his cab painted white. Despite possessing translucent plastic and more lopsided stats than a regular Bot Shot, he is apparently not labeled as a Super Bot. This version of Optimus comes with similarly-themed with new redecos of Bumblebee, Mirage, Ironhide, and Jetfire.
The figure has diecast in its feet, shins, and abdomen. It features pinstriped flames, articulated fingers, a headsculpt with a face that can rotate between masked and unmasked modes in a method identical to Armor Knight Optimus Prime's, and an abdomen that opens to reveal a chamber housing a diecast Matrix of Leadership. He comes with said Matrix, his Ion Cannon, and a pair of Energy Swords that tab in behind his wrists (the hands unfortunately have to be bent forward to accommodate these). All three weapons can combine and store on the fifth wheel in vehicle mode.
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.
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