[…] What Happened with LEGO When I was working on my last presentation, I totally had the idea of buying a bunch of lego people and taking pictures to make the slides (like those awesome slide decks you see online). However I was surprised to find that you didn’t just buy a pack of people, but you could buy different bodies, heads, beards, hair, and other accessories – oh, and they weren’t cheap! […]
As with other earlier Cyber Series figures, Optimus Prime had a rather strange release cycle. At first, he only retailed exclusively in Asia and Latin America, with the closest to a U.S. release being in limited quantities from online retailer BigBadToyStore.com. He did, however, end up being available in the Universal Studios Theme Park, and also later as a Walgreens exclusive.
A gold chrome remold of the 2007 movie Leader Class figure by Hasbro Hong Kong. Limited to 88 units, with only 10 released to the public at the 2008 Animation and Comic Show convention; all of which were sold only to the first 10 people to spend more than HK$3,000 at the Hasbro booth. Because the figure is permanently fixed to the trophy base, it is no longer transformable.
Part of the first wave of Siege Voyager Class figures, Optimus Prime transforms from robot to short-smokestacked Cybertronian armored truck and back. He includes two weapons compatible with the C.O.M.B.A.T. System—the "W-50 Dual-Mech Energon Strikeshield", which is an axe that transforms into a shield, and the "W-M3 RF Ion Blaster". Both weapons can combine to form the "Sentrystrike Ultra-Blaster". Optimus Prime also features "battle damage" paint applications on several parts of his body, as well as multiple hardpoints all over himself and his weapons to accommodate "Fire Blasts" from the Battle Masters assortment, which can be used to simulate blaster fire or explosions.
Two custom-made pieces (presented in robot and vehicle mode) by the Hasbro Transformers team as the grand prize for G4TV and Jumpcut's contest for fans to remix selected Transformers clips. Won by TFW2005.com member James Zahn, this one of a kind (well, two of a kind) piece is a almost fully vacuum-metallized Leader class Optimus Prime in red, silver and blue (based heavily upon Generation One Optimus Prime), presented with a custom display base with an embossed silver Autobot insignia and a perspex display case.
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.
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This figure contains an unusual amount of sculpted detail on the inside of the plastic. The gorilla mode's chest has a ribcage, and the inside of the gorilla's face has a sculpted microphone, which lines up perfectly with the robot mode's head! Also, opening this toy's chest in robot mode reveals sculpted detail resembling the Key to Vector Sigma as it appeared in Beast Machines.
Distant Thunder was ultimately unsuccessful, but as the universe started to rip apart, a black Optimus Prime clone appeared. The Binaltech universe was split into its own separate continuity, while the original timeline was also restored, stabilizing the multiverse. The clone, friendly to the transformers, proclaimed that the Binaltech universe must be allowed to continue, as it was important to the future. Optimus Prime questioned the black doppelganger, who explained only that he carried "the Protector's" spark, but refused to reveal any more detailed information. Soon after, the clone, who was originally developed by Dr. Archeville as a weapon of evil, ejected the spark that had invaded and taken over the black figure, reverting to its original evil programming. The malevolent Nemesis Prime, no longer just a black version of Optimus, escaped.
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., and was later available for purchase at Cybertron Con 2010 in Shanghai.
The Power Plus series are similar to the Power series, except these come with the core that unlocks extra features. The Bumblebee figures in this series are nearly the same as the Power series versions (Camaro ‘Bee’s Power Plus figure has his unmasked head), so if you’re going to get them, and you want the cores, go with these versions. If you want Optimus Prime at this size, though, you’ll have to go with this version.
Optimus Prime led a group of Autobots who left Cybertron aboard the Ark, which was shot down over Earth, sending them into stasis for four million years. Optimus was badly damaged in the crash, and the prognosis wasn't great, but he recovered in time to announce the Autobots had no choice but to involve the humans in their war. Following a battle at Dyson Dam, Prime persuaded Jetfire to join the Autobot team. When the Decepticons headed through the space bridge to Cybertron, Optimus followed, only for him and his team to be ambushed and imprisoned.
Power Surge Optimus Prime's scannable Autobot insignia is on his robot mode left shoulder. As he's packaged in robot mode, this badge is easily scannable while still in-package. Like his wavemate Bumblebee, this figure eventually saw release in the 11th wave of the Warrior Class line with the "Combiner Force" packaging. His scannable sticker is also altered, but scanning the badge only unlocks Energon currency, but not the character. This also applies to the original release's badge, but it unlocks 8 Ultra Sparks instead.
Optimus and Bumblebee snuck into the Decepticons' base, and found their enemies upgrading themselves with Autobot parts. The pair took offense to this, and Bumblebee set about sabotaging the process. Megatron wound up tripping on some gumballs thanks to the Autobot's mucking about, and Optimus congratulated his fellow Autobot on a prank well done! Intro!
French die-cast model producers Majorette teamed with Kabaya to produce the Transformers Mini Car Collection, a line of Armada-themed die-cast vehicles, all of which were redecos of pre-existing Majorette toys. Prime was a redeco of Majorette toy #256—a long-nosed tow truck—in his traditional red and blue, now bearing the Autobot insignia, the Micron Legend logo, and an image of the Autobot leader on its hood. The toy came with a pack of gum.
Available only at Kay-Bee toys (well, at first), Machine Wars Optimus Prime is a redeco and slight modification of the European Generation One exclusive Turbomaster leader Thunder Clash, transforming into a Cybertronic truck cab. It also lacks the mouthplate, revealing the mouth. The trailer unit unfolds to become a missile-launching assault tower. The tower's gravity-feed missile launchers were retooled to accommodate the new, longer spring-loaded missiles in lieu of the much smaller original projectiles due to projectile choke-gate safety testing.
Part of the first wave of Generations: Combiner Wars Voyager Class toys, this is a bigger, bulkier incarnation of Optimus Prime with a striking resemblance to Ginrai. He comes with two blasters which he holds via 5mm post. One of the guns is based on his trademark Ion Blaster, and both weapons store on the back of his vehicle mode as a makeshift engine block. His torso mode has several details that appear to be influenced by Energon Optimus Prime's super mode, including the head, chest, and thighs. In particular, the chest details are modeled after the Spark of Combination. He also features two pair of fake windows on his robot and gestalt chest halves. The combiner head can be used as a robot mode head if you're feeling silly.
On a mission with the Triggerbots to stop Megatron from claiming the Underbase, Prime was forced to jettison the massive databank into space to prevent anyone from acquiring its power. With this action, he proved his wisdom and skill to the Autobot Council of Elders. He continued to move up in rank, eventually becoming the field command over the Autobot armies.
In "Sick Mind", Optimus is infected with the life-threatening Cybonic plague, prompting Arcee and Bumblebee to infiltrate the Nemesis to find a cure for the virus Megatron himself created. As Optimus grows weaker, he learns of Megatron's survival of the space bridge explosion. It was Bumblebee entering Megatron's mind via cortical psychic patch and retrieving the cure that saved Optimus. In the next episode, "Out of His Head", Optimus is, surprisingly, saved by the revived Megatron when he intercepted Starscream's attempted nosedive to kill him.
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.
The Hot Rod from the future animated movie continuity would also appear. Target: 2006 had Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr timejump from 2006 (specifically partway through the Transformers movie) to 1986 to thwart Galvatron's scheme, under the influence of Unicron; later post-movie stories revealed that Firebolt had died on Earth years before 2007, and Space Pirates had Rodimus Prime briefly reverting to Hot Rod during the Quintesson attack on Autobot City. This Hot Rod also appeared in several of the "Aspects of Evil" stories. Told from the flashbacks of an aged Rodimus Prime, these had Hot Rod come up against some of the greatest Decepticon villains. He accepted the surrender of Scorponok - only to wind up defending him and a human town against the Micromaster Air Strike Patrol: defending Autobot City from a full-scale attack by Shockwave: and being captured and used as a pawn by Megatron to flush out an Autobot spy in his ranks. (Marvel UK #223-227)
A gold-chromed version of the Voyager Optimus Prime toy was available as part of the same Lucky Draw contest as the Golden Protoform Optimus (see above) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Limited to only 3 pieces, it is insanely rare. The photographed sample here features a chromed truck grill, while a boxed unit has an unchromed grey grill; the owners of both pieces, the Mapes Brothers of Transformers @ The Moon, believe both are genuine TakaraTomy toys, so it unsure if the one with the chromed grill is a testshot or a production variant.
As leader of the Autobots, Prime headed up their mission to search for new sources of energy to revitalize the depleted Cybertron. Optimus vowed to Elita that he would return from his mission for her, but just before the launch of the Ark, Optimus was mistakenly led to believe that Elita was killed. Shortly after its launch, the Autobots' craft was attacked by the Decepticons' space cruiser, the Nemesis, and boarded by Megatron and the Decepticons. In the ensuing struggle, the G-forces of a nearby planet pulled both craft down, and the Autobots' ship crashed into a volcano, thrusting all the occupants into emergency stasis. Four million years later, in the Earth year 1984 A.D., a volcanic eruption jarred the ship's computer, Teletraan I, back to life. The computer reactivated the Decepticons, programming them with new Earth-based disguise modes. As a parting gesture, Starscream fired upon the Autobot ship, creating a landslide. The vibrations from that landslide knocked Prime into the path of the computer's restoration beam, restoring him to life, thus beginning the war anew on Earth.
"Optimus Prime Figure" (オプティマスプライム・フィギア) is a redeco of 2001 Robots in Disguise Spychanger Scourge, painted to resemble Movie Optimus Prime. Of note is the tampographed detailing on his chest resembling Movie Prime's distinctive chest design. Like most Spychangers, he features high speed axles and can roll very well across smooth surfaces, but lacks the weight to propel him quickly.
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.
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.