For all the positive aspects, these changes are not without their drawbacks. The LEGO community has been crying foul over the perceived decline in quality of the bricks5. While nowhere as bad as their competitor, any decline in quality reflects poorly on a company known for quality control. The LEGO group has been expanding its manufacturing base to places outside of Denmark, into Mexico, the Czech Republic, and China (although so far it seems only their “signature brand” non-set items are made in China). LEGO claims that this has not changed their dedication to the quality of standards by which they abide. However, it seems that the molds have changed to reduce plastic6. Whether or not this affects the durability of the bricks is yet to be seen.
Walmart have uploaded a very nice commercial via their YouTube Channel that we are sure will please your optics. What is it about? This video features several famous and iconic cars like KITT from “Knight Rider”, Ecto-1 from “Ghostbusters”, Lightning McQueen from “Cars”, the Mystery Machine from “Scooby Doo” and even Fred Flintstone’s footmobile. As some of you should expect, our small yellow hero is present here in his Bumblebee Movie VW Beetle design, and with an impressive entrance emulating Ironhide’s jump from the 2007 live action movie.
As seen in the episode "War Dawn", Optimus Prime began his life as a robot named Orion Pax, a mostly defenseless dock worker during the Golden Age of Cybertron nine million years ago, with a girlfriend named Ariel and a best friend named Dion. During this time, a new breed of robot with new flight capabilities appeared on the planet that Orion idolized. When Megatron, the leader of the new group of robots, approached him with inquiries about using one of the dock warehouses, Orion was swayed by Megatron. Both Orion and Ariel were severely wounded when Megatron and his forces attacked in order to claim the energy stored there. Searching for someone to help them, the time-displaced Aerialbots took Orion and Ariel to the ancient Autobot, Alpha Trion, who used them as the first subjects for the new reconstruction process he had developed involving rebuilding the frail Autobot frames into more battle-hardy configurations. With this reconstruction, Orion Pax became Optimus Prime, the first of the Autobot warriors.
I mean you could argue that they are returning to the way the original Transformer toys worked. Here is an example of the OG Optimus toy. I went to Hasbro's website to see what the most current version of Optimus is that they are selling and I found this. That actually looks surprisingly similar, though I would argue they have gone more of the direction of making the robot look more robotic and the truck a little less truck like but its still a solid middle ground.
Released as part of the "W Convoy" campaign ("Double" Convoy, that is!) alongside a silver chrome version of Energon Rodimus, this gold chrome "Mēki" ("plating") version of the Deluxe size Optimus Prime toy was available only as a prize in a mail-in Robot Points contest. Initially limited to 20 units in the original draw, it appears that many more were made available through toy store drawings, given how many went on to appear on online auction sites through 2005 and 2006.
When Optimus transforms, his cab becomes an ion blaster and his trailer disconnects, forming a combat deck. The combat deck supports a mobile battle-station and command headquarters armed with assorted artillery and beam weapons that fire automatically. The combat deck can also serve as a radio antenna for battlefield communications between the autobots. The combat deck also included "Roller", a mobile scout buggy meant to scout behind enemy lines. When Roller is deployed, Optimus can see and hear what Roller sees and hears. Injury to one component is felt by each of the others. If the combat deck or Roller were to be destroyed, Prime could survive. However, despite the slight degree of autonomy they possess, the combat deck and Roller would not be able to survive without Optimus.
Universe Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Robots in Disguise Scourge Spy Changer toy. He replaces most of the black plastic with predominantly red and blue, with silver for detailing, with an overall deco making him resemble the original Optimus Prime. Like most Spychangers, he features high speed axles and can roll very well across smooth surfaces, but lacks the weight to propel him quickly.
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.
When Highbrow was captured by the Decepticon leader Scorponok, Optimus Prime agreed to surrender himself to ensure his fellow Autobot's safety. Naturally, though, Prime did not expect Scorponok to hold up his end of the bargain, and he had Hosehead and Fizzle rescue Highbrow while he allowed himself to be imprisoned. Their mission successful, Hosehead and Fizzle then sprang Prime from his cell, and the team beat a hasty retreat. Autobot Hostage
Prime's firing missile and Mini-Con activated gimmicks remain accessible in this mode, but look a bit doofy if you deploy them. The initial Hasbro release of Prime had tabs in its Super Mode shoulders that prevented them from rotating above the horizontal default position, so as not to break the wires that run through the toy's right arm. Coupled with the limited elbow joints, this left Optimus Prime able only to point his weapons towards the ground, and the tabs were removed on subsequent editions of the figure.
The original Optimus Prime toy, as well as the Diaclone Battle Convoy toy that it was based based upon, 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 Diaclone's driver figures.
This minor redeco of the Optimus Prime Launcher features grey wheels, blue optics, and added red paint on its upper arms, while the launcher has grey plastic in place of black, smaller Autobot symbols on its sides, and gold paint on its interior instead of silver. The stock photography on the packaging depicts Optimus with a blue stripe on his built-in "trailer", which was omitted in the final product.
A redeco of Legends Optimus Prime replacing his red plastic with more blue and silver, but sprucing things up a bit with red flame paint operations. Defender Optimus Prime (ディフェンダーオプティマスプライム) was only available in Japan as part of their Transformers Animated promotion in March 2010. It was given away for free to customers who purchased Animated merchandise at Edion, Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera stores.
The figure seems to have some transformation scheme & design related problems in it: The front truck cab's upper two pieces are supposed to be pushed to the front in robot mode, but the piece keeps collapsing back due to looseness when the figure is standing straight (Though pressing the two halves together firmly tends to reduce this issue for a while), while the tab underneath the truck grill does not connect well with the bottom port. Additionally, his 5mm compatible hands have a slight problem with wielding weapons with short 5mm posts.
In a break from tradition, Energon Optimus Prime's large mode resembled a configuration similar to Voltron or to the Super Sentai action figures. This design was unpopular with many fans due to design issues with the toy. The small robot's body was large in proportion to his arms and legs which made the figure appear fat, earning it the nickname "Fatimus Prime" or "Obese-imus Prime". The 4 vehicles that combined with the robot were small, lacking the intricate detail that made other toys in the line popular. Fans were also angered by early releases of this toy in which the head was molded with a mouth rather than the traditional face plate design. Later releases of the toy eliminated the visible mouth feature.
The Animated Tech Spec written by Derrick J. Wyatt in Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club #24 states that Rodimus as having the rank of Prime and clearly being the leader of a team like Optimus and Sentinel. His toy is listed as "Rodimus Minor" which Hasbro explained at San Diego Comic-Con 2009, was because "there were already too many Primes in the toy line". Within the series, he is only ever called or credited as "Rodimus".
A K-Mart exclusive set released on "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving, the most hellishly busy shopping day of the year), this set consists of Super Base Optimus Prime, Jetfire, their respective partner Mini-Cons Sparkplug and Comettor, the Adventure Mini-Con Team, and oddly enough, Longarm. Optimus Prime's red plastics and paint were replaced with gold, the only changes made to anyone in the set. It is this set from which the name of Optimus Prime's combined mode with Jetfire, Jet Prime, comes.
Legion Class Optimus Prime is a redeco/retool of the first Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class figure, with the deco resembling the paint job from Optimus Prime's Western Star "5700 OP" concept truck. While the main body is identical to the figure, the arms and legs are newly tooled, with simple assemblies for the wheels. The retooled legs now features a more solid stopping point, which prevents the center front grill/legs to swing back further. It should be noted that his flame decals are painted over the side windows.
Though the figure does a much better job of conveying the on-screen character model than the ROTF Leader Class mold did, there are still a few inaccuracies—most notably the forearm and shoulder pad designs and the head/torso proportions. The final product also lacks certain paint details visible in stock and packaging imagery, such as the blue rings on his feet and the gold on his pelvis. It should be noted that this mold does not combine with Jetfire.
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.
Yet another Reveal the Shield redeco with the Motorbreath retooling, Convoy is cast in clear red and black plastic. He has been retooled to include a magnet in his right foot, allowing him to interact with Lost Age Battle Command Optimus Prime and Age of Extinction Stomp & Chomp Grimlock. Convoy was available at a variety of 2014 events, including on May 3 at a "Kids Walk" event at Fuji Speedway, in special packaging on May 16 at the "Transformers Celebration 2014" midnight event at the Sunshine City Toys"R"Us store in Ikebukuro, on June 15 at Tokyo Toy Show 2014, at the Aeon Mall in Kasukabe on July 19, and at the "Transformers Expo" event in Yokohama on August 9. Convoy was also available as one of three preorder bonuses for Cloud Roadbuster.
In Super Mode, Optimus Prime can combine with Leobreaker to form "Savage Claw Mode", which sees the feline Autobot become a gigantic clawed arm for his leader. Alternately, if Prime's backpack is removed, he can merge with Wing Saber into "Sonic Wing Mode", with the aerial ace forming a new winged backpack and chestplate for Optimus, and providing him with new hand-held sword weapons and firing missile launchers that connect to his Super Mode boots. The nature of the combination means that the two partners cannot combine with Prime at once—at least, not without physically removing one of Prime's own arms.
With the data from the piece price evaluations I was able to also evaluate the average size of LEGO sets each year. As you can see on the chart below, the average size of sets released each year stayed somewhat constant from 1980-1990 until around 2000 which set sizes started to increase. The average set size seems to have peaked in 2008 (which saw the release of the Taj Mahal), but since then it hasn’t fallen to its pre-2000 levels. It seems to have found a new normal around 300 pieces.
This release of Buster Optimus Prime was susceptible to a paint scraping issue on the silver painted slide-out barrel of his blaster. This problem was fixed for the DOTM Re-release by relocating the silver paint app from the barrel to the inside wall of an exposed gas tank that had been previously left as unpainted grey plastic. The black paint app on the barrel was left unchanged.
In robot mode he resembles previous Optimus characters: his angular chest windows are reminiscent of Cybertron Optimus Prime, while his near-animalistic limbs and color scheme are evocative of Beast Wars Optimus Primal. He has excellent articulation due to his many ball joints, and is armed with a rifle. The flame attachment can fit onto the end of the (non-firing) gun barrel.
The problem there is that Star Wars took over the Space theme and Harry Potter took over the Castle theme. Just keeping up with the kids- sign of the times. What’s a castle lover to do? Compare 6075 (Castle) with (7094 Kings Castle Siege) and 4757 (Hogwarts) and they all have their own fantastic attributes. Sell the Harry minifigs and buy some crownies- problem solved.
Released exclusively in Asia, Shadow Spark Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Age of Extinction Leader Class Optimus Prime, featuring dark grey plastics, weathered deco patterns, and some opaque plastic which was recasted from transparent plastics. He features a scratched Autobot insignia on the right side of his sleeper-cab, and a Cyberglyphic on the left side of the front hood. Some weathered parts does not match well with some other parts (the fenders, for example).
Generation 2 Optimus Prime comes with all his original accessories, as well as two major new play features. To increase his arsenal, he is armed with a pair of black missile launchers that fit in his fists and fire red spring-loaded missiles; these launchers were retooled from the G.I. Joe figure Barricade. Secondly, he comes with an electronic "sound and lights module" that can either plug into the front of the trailer (where it resembles the air conditioners used on refrigerated trailers), or hook onto Optimus's back in robot mode (via a new slot sculpted into the cab robot). Unfortunately, the soundbox is heavy enough that doing so can easily overpower Prime's hip joints, causing him to topple backward. The soundbox features a large, vacuum metalized Autobot symbol on its front, and three grey buttons which trigger two flashing red LEDs on either side of the module, and a trio of sound effects: a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". The module also features ports on either side into which the missile launchers can peg.