At BotCon 2005, Hideaki Yoke revealed that Optimus Prime (or more accurately, Diaclone Battle Convoy) was not designed by a single person, but rather a team of Takara designers as the one who was originally assigned the job had fallen behind. It is said that a young Shoji Kawamori was also a member of this team at some point, who would design THS-02 Convoy over 20 years later. The patent for the toy, however, lists Hiroyuki Obara as the designer.
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.
Classics Optimus Prime was initially intended to be Deluxe-sized. An alleged list of the tentative Classics line-up included a Deluxe-sized Optimus Prime without a trailer and a version with a trailer at the Voyager price point; however, it appears the decision was eventually made to upscale Optimus to Voyager size instead. Don Figueroa's control drawings for the Deluxe version were leaked before the Classics line was even released at retail. A gray model prototype was later shown as part of an interview with TakaraTomy's staff in Transformers Generations 2009 vol. 1. It's unclear whether the trailer ever made it past the early planning stage before the size of the figure was changed.
A redeco of Cybertronian Optimus Prime with a translucent red front section, additional (painted) "scratched paint" details, some red paint highlights either omitted or changed to yellow and additional yellow circuitry pattern detailing reminiscent of the jammed abilities/mode lock/EMP effect from the War for Cybertron game, available in a Toys"R"Us-exclusive three-pack with redecos of Cybertronian Megatron and Cybertronian Bumblebee.
This sculpt was redecoed from the Generation 2 Gobot Firecracker. The plastic colors are a "solid" version of Firecracker's color layout, substituting opaque red for transparent red plastic. It was redecoed again for the third wave of Go-Bots to become Sideswipe (who Prime really looks a lot like), and would later be used to created Robots in Disguise R.E.V..
Released in conjunction with Japanese cellphone maker au, au x Transformers INFOBAR Optimus Prime celebrates 15 years since the 2002 au Design Project that resulted in the INFOBAR cellphone, as well as the 10th anniversary of the live-action films. He transforms into a (non-functional) scaled-down replica of the 2002 au INFOBAR, and in lieu of cellphone functions, the figure can be paired via Bluetooth with a smartphone, such as an iPhone, to act as a notification alarm in either robot or INFOBAR mode. The screen is also non-functional, but pre-printed cards are included which can be slid into the screen to show an Autobot logo, Decepticon logo, a mockup of a cellphone home screen, or a technical "Transformers INFOBAR" design. The figure also includes a display stand.
Of particular note to Prime completists is that this otherwise traditional reissue of the Generation One Prime cab has a brand-new head sculpt which is essentially a miniaturisation of the Masterpiece/20th Anniversary Prime's noggin. Not only does this give the "classic" Prime toy a more show-accurate head, it's also the first iteration of this familiar mould in which the head is actually poseable. Being one of the better-articulated early Generation One toys, Prime can finally look in any direction he can aim.
In 2003, Takara introduced the Masterpiece MP-01 Convoy/Optimus Prime. While retaining the original concept of a transforming semi-trailer truck, this die-cast figure incorporated modern toy manufacturing techniques for improved detail and articulation, while, at the same time, captured the look of the cartoon character. It has since been released by both Hasbro and Takara Tomy in different variations. In 2010, a version of the Masterpiece toy, called Masterpiece Convoy Sleep Mode, was released, painted in dark colors to match the appearance of Optimus Prime after his death in the 1986 film.
In the Japanese exclusive Transformers: The Headmasters storyline (which replaced the "Rebirth" finale in Japanese continuity), Hot Rod appeared as part of Optimus Prime's inner circle. When Galvatron and his Headmaster warriors launched a devastating attack on Cybertron, Vector Sigma was damaged, and Hot Rod was sent to Earth to retrieve the Matrix. Recovering it, he returned it to Prime, only to be surprised when the ghost of Alpha Trion once again reformatted him into Rodimus Prime to help Optimus. After Prime's second death, Rodimus once again took command of the Autobots. However, when Scorponok destroyed Vector Sigma, Rodimus decided to leave the war, and left Fortress Maximus in command of the Autobots.
The character of Optimus Prime first appears in the 2007 Transformers film as the leader of the Autobots in the search for the Allspark. He intends to destroy it, even if it means sacrificing himself, before the Decepticons can use it to create a new army to conquer the universe. After arriving and scanning a Peterbilt truck, Optimus greets Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Banes, introducing his men and explaining why they have come to Earth. During the final battle, Optimus slays the hate-filled Decepticon Bonecrusher and faces his ancient enemy, Megatron. Unable to match Megatron in combat, Optimus urges Sam to push the Allspark into his chest, which will destroy them both. Instead, Sam rams the Allspark into Megatron's chest, destroying it and killing the Decepticon leader. The film ends with Optimus sending out a deep-space signal, inviting other Autobots to join them on Earth.
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.
This Voyager-sized Optimus Prime is an all new mold (with a similar transformation scheme to Age of Extinction Voyager Class Galvatron, notably the shoulders, rooftop backpack, and the leg/wheels combo) based on his Leader Class figure. He features a similar but different transformation scheme, which results in a somewhat clean robot mode, although most of his vehicle kibble hangs on his back. He also features the sword & the shield based on his final design in the movie, albeit the sword being painted similarly to the Armor Knight Optimus Prime's sword. His Sword can store underneath his Vehicle mode or his robot mode backpack, while the shield can be stored on the truck's fifth wheel hitch, which can also tow the trailer included from the Japanese exclusive Mechtech Voyager. Although the pectoral armor can be slightly pushed up a little bit further, the pieces have to actually stop at where the rectangular pegholes are located.
Available with Grimlock, this Optimus Prime is a redeco (or possibly a repaint) of the figure above, featuring extra paint applications on the chest and thighs, and he features a different flame pattern on his side doors. His Autobot insignia is now tampographed on his right arm. The cyberglyphs on his front hood is confusingly translated as "PRIME". The 2-pack also comes with a card, which the glyphs being decoded as "DINOBOTS". Optimus Prime and Grimlock also saw release as a Toys"R"Us Japan exclusive, making this Optimus Prime redeco/slight retool to be first sold at Japanese markets.
In light of this news, if Optimus decided to nonetheless head back directly to Autobot headquarters, his squad returned to find their comrades nearly dead from the poison. But with Ratchet’s help, the antidote was quickly distributed, and the Autobots sprung back to life. Now cured, the Autobots discussed their next course of action; they had to prevent the Decepticons from poisoning the nearby water reservoir.
Takara's iteration of Combiner Wars Optimus Maximus is sold in a gift set including all five Autobots (minus the Rodimus mold). This version of Convoy has numerous changes in deco to better match his look in the Generation 1 cartoon. Like Unite Warriors Menasor, the set also features some minor improvements to the original sculpts, such as improved hip-ratchets for Convoy for increased stability. He also had the slightly modified pegs that Legends Class Rodimus (or Blackjack, Runabout, and Runamuck) can securely attach to, which was previously used for Battle Core Optimus Prime. While he features foil insignia stickers on his robot mode shoulders, he also features tampographed Autobot symbols on his side truck panels.
When Sideswipe was accused and convicted of destroying the Nova Suspension Bridge, Optimus was infuriated that one of his own Autobots could commit such a heinous act. Optimus was tasked to hunt down and deactivate Sideswipe, though the task proved to be easy as Sideswipe did not run, hide or resist. After Optimus had deactivated Sideswipe, he was approached by Prowl, who pointed out that Sideswipe's actions made little sense, as he had committed the crime in broad daylight before many witnesses. Agreeing that the Decepticons might be behind the situation, Optimus allowed Prowl to take a team of Autobots to Carob Island to clear Sideswipe's name while Optimus and Jazz stayed behind to continue working on human/Autobot relations. Prowl returned with evidence that it was indeed a Decepticon-controlled clone of Sideswipe that had committed the crime. Optimus then presumably reactivated Sideswipe when his name was cleared. Deadly Paradise