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.
Optimus Prime's Japanese name is "Convoy", which is named after his original name "Battle Convoy" in the Diaclone toyline, because the name "Optimus Prime" is difficult for Japanese kids to remember and pronounce.[2] All Optimus-inspired characters were called variations of Convoy in Japan up until the 2007 Transformers film, at which point TakaraTomy changed their minds and began using the name Optimus Prime as well. Presumably to avoid confusion, this change includes the Generation 1 version of the character as well, who is now called Optimus Prime in newer products and fiction such as Transformers United and Transformers: All Spark, though his name remains Convoy in material aimed at adult collectors such as Alternity and Masterpiece.
Inspired by a 1985 special limited release of Optimus Prime with bonus Pepsi decals for his trailer in the US market, Pepsi Optimus Prime sports an egregious number of new new Pepsi-themed paint masks and decals, as well as an entirely new trailer unit, specially designed to carry a single 500ml-size bottle (a common size in Japan), three 350ml cans, or 12 bottle caps (bottle cap figurines being a common and popular collectible item in Japan).
Available exclusively through e-Hobby, this black and teal repaint of Hybrid Style Convoy features the traditional "Nemesis Prime" color scheme, but represents a version of Optimus Prime himself. In addition to all the original accessories, the toys also includes several more deliciously metatextual goodies, themed around the Generation 2 toy and comics: two new large guns patterned after the new weapons wielded by the Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy, and two additional (blue) Prime heads that can be swapped with the figure's regular noggin, sculpted explicitly in the style of Generation 2 comic artist Derek Yaniger. One head is pristine, the other decorated to match the battle damage seen on the cover of the first Generation 2 issue.
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.
General Hawk stated in an interview that his typical transportation in Axiom Nexus was his Convoy colleagues. As the seats of General Optimus Prime's vehicle mode were manufactured at the same location as the VAMPs of his universe, Hawk was able to find a degree of familiarity in the strange world of Axiom Nexus. Andromeda - Axiom Nexus News, 2016/05/01
After a long period of stalemate, Prime grew frustrated at the lack of progress his troops were making against Megatron's forces. To remedy the situation, he ordered the creation of several new Transformers who would be perfectly adapted for combat on Earth. The first among these was Pirhana. Piranha's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile But one of the Autobots' great victories came not through superior numbers or firepower, but trickery and cunning. As part of a plan devised by Optimus Prime's new second-in-command Prowl, the Autobots allowed Starscream to "overhear" that they had uncovered an ancient Cybertronian ship with the means to return to Cybertron. They then stationed themselves around the vessel, atop of Table Mountain in Africa, and awaited the inevitable Decepticon attack over its possession. Optimus met Megatron in battle, but ordered his troops to withdraw after a brief skirmish, declaring the Decepticons too powerful to hold back. Once the Decepticons claimed their prized and entered the ship, they found themselves locked inside it. The ship then shot up away from the planet, leaving the Decepticons without the means to control it. Though the Autobots knew this wouldn't rid them permanently of the Decepticons, they were satisfied with a brief period of calm while they were off-world. Day of the Decepticons
In addition to the small engine-pistol of his Alternators figure, Prime comes with the "Surfblade", a pink surfboard that can be reconfigured into either two small knives or a large double-bladed sword. As with all the Kiss Players figures, Prime also comes with a PVC figurine of a cute girl: in this case, Marissa Faireborn, who can perch upon his shoulder or sit in his driver's seat, and comes with two pairs of interchangeable arms and legs. Additionally, the set includes a CD featuring the first five episodes of the Kiss Players radio drama, as well as the exclusive bonus audio adventure, "Someday, Under the Sun."
Optimus Prime is the fictional protagonist of the Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Fire Convoy in the original Japanese version) branch of the Transformers universe.[38] Based on the character of the same name, Prime once again leads the Autobots against the Decepticons. His voice actor, Neil Kaplan, does his voice in a style reminiscent of that of Peter Cullen, the voice of the original Optimus Prime. Wired Magazine nominated Fire Convoy as one 12 most ridiculous Transformers ideas of all time.[39]
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