Optimus Prime is the leader of the main group of Autobots in the iteration of the Transformers franchise primarily marked by the 2010 computer animated series Transformers: Prime on The Hub. Optimus Prime was created as the last of the Thirteen Primes, the first generation of Transformers, each created directly by Primus as a band of unique warriors to combat and defeat Unicron. Upon his creation, Optimus united the Thirteen by his greeting All are one. While all of the other members of the Thirteen each possessed unique abilities and artifacts, Optimus wielded no special powers or weapons. It was only through his vision and courage that allowed the Thirteen to finally defeat Unicron. Reborn through the Well of All Sparks, Orion Pax became Optimus Prime, a veteran military commander and second in command who wields an ion blaster and a double bladed energon axe. He became the leader of the Autobots after Sentinel Zeta Prime fell in battle, but is not certain he wants the responsibility.
The Autobots tracked SARA's energy signature to a decrepit old building. While a team headed by Jazz stormed the building's main floor as a distraction, Optimus, Hot Rodimus and Brawl infiltrated its basement covertly. Coming upon the Decepticons' inner sanctum, they found Megatron having already wired SARA into his own body! Horrified by this development, Optimus demanded to know what Megatron was planning to do. The true extent of Megatron's megalomania was then revealed; the Decepticon leader planned to use SARA's energy to become ruler of all space-time, even if it meant destroying his home dimension in the process. Both Hot Rodimus and Brawn were knocked aside by Megatron in short order, leaving Optimus with no back-up and few options. Deciding he needed to take down Megatron, even at the cost of his own life, Optimus transformed to vehicle mode and rammed the Decepticon. He then lost consciousness...
The TakaraTomy version of Premium Series Optimus Prime has a considerably different deco to Hasbro's release. Similar to the unique chrome Optimus Prime, Optimus Prime Battle Mode features vacuum-metallized parts for nearly all of the silver truck parts, for a greater resemblance to the polished chrome on the real prop trucks. Unfortunately, as his feet are the front fenders and grill, this will likely lead to chipping. In robot mode he retains several decos that were removed from Hasbro's Premium Optimus Prime for cost reasons, such as the blue and gold decos on his thighs. Finally, the flip-out energy sword is coloured gold to reflect its "powered up" appearance.
As the Binaltech saga unfolds, the multiverse is threatened with destruction, until the original continuity is restored and the Binaltech universe is split into and preserved within its own separate universe. Overdrive confirms that the threat is over by visiting the dimension occupied by the original timeline, and reveals that in that world, Hot Rod had received the Matrix and taken over leadership of the Autobots as Rodimus Prime.
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.
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.
It may be that the price of an individual brick has gone down over time, but what does it matter if the size of the bricks has decreased overtime? Sure, the average number of pieces in a set has increased, but how many of those pieces are tiny details? To answer this question, I compiled all the weight data on brickset.com and compared the sets by their price per gram in a similar fashion to how I compared them by price of piece. Below is the chart of my results (prices are in US dollars).
Optimus took the mantle of leadership as the civil war against the Decepticons erupted, and would remain in that position for the next nine million years. Ariel was rebuilt into Elita One, the commander of the Autobot resistance on Cybertron. The fate of Dion is left unrevealed. It has been speculated by fans that Dion might have become Ironhide or Ultra Magnus just as Orion and Ariel became Optimus and Elita, but this remains fan speculation only, and, his close friendship with Optimus notwithstanding, there is no evidence to support the idea.
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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.
Optimus has the ability to change any part of his robotic body into a tool or gadget. He has swing lines in his wrists. His wrists can also fire capture bolas. His arsenal includes a grappler, fire extinguisher and a negative friction spray. It is interesting that, unlike all the previous series, his face can almost always be seen, because his mouthplate is retractable like in the 2007 live action film.
Optimus Prime is then informed that Megatron has infected the core of Cybertron with dark energon and is given the task to undo the damage done. After rescuing Omega Supreme, Optimus, Ironhide, and Prowl fight their way to the core, but it's too late. The core informs Optimus that it is far too corrupted. It can repair itself by shuting down, but it will take millions of years. By that time, Cybertron will have to become cold, barren, and uninhabitable. The core gives Optimus a small piece of itself, saying it will still survive as long as the piece does. Optimus accepts the burden and the core relinquishes the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.
In the Escalation miniseries, Megatron engages Prime and, boosted by Ore-13, overcomes him. Believing their leader dead, the rest of the Autobots attempt to buy the newly arrived Hot Rod time to collect the clone. Prime, who had transferred his consciousness to a backup memory in his trailer command post, advised them to exploit Ore-13's weakness and assault Megatron all-out, catalyzing the Decepticon leader's Energon supply and crippling him.
Prime's cab and trailer can also combine to form a super robot mode. Transforming the cab into the torso portion sends the transformation command to the trailer, which raises itself up off the ground to become a pair of immobile, statuesque legs (as long as you're not playing with it on carpet), and when the pair are connected, the super-robot head pops up with a metallic shriek sound effect. Pressing the Autobot symbol on the figure's chest activates a pulsing laser sound effect, and the small grey button on his right shoulder illuminates his fist with a red LED, which can illuminate either of his guns, as well as the Star Saber sword (the Star Saber was specifically cast in clear plastic for this purpose, but in practice, the light failed to carry even halfway up the blade).
Based on his appearance in War for Cybertron, Generations Optimus Prime transforms from a red, blue, and silver robot into an "armored truck mode." He comes with a hand-held rifle that is held via either of its two 5mm posts, and can fold up to store in either mode. He features additional 5mm ports on his forearms, roof, and front-wheel panels. Optimus has a stylized sculpted Autobot insignia on his back, as seen in the game, but it is obscured by kibble.
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.
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.
Optimus Prime was given the Matrix by Primus himself, and used to be friends with Megatron. Prowl is his closest friend and Ratchet is his oldest. Searching for Energon, the Autobots landed on Earth, but were followed by the Decepticons. With the help of their human allies, they bested their foes, and knowing they would return, decided to stay and wait to defend the planet once more. Optimus Prime was proud to be an Autobot. I Am Optimus Prime
As a 25th anniversary set, Prime includes several new pack-in bonuses: a reprint of the first issue of the original Marvel comic book, a DVD containing all three parts of the animated series pilot "More than Meets the Eye", and three desktop wallpapers, and a battery-powered Autobot symbol that plays transforming sound effects, part of the first version of the Transformers theme song, and three voice clips performed by Peter Cullen: "I am Optimus Prime!", "Autobot, transform and roll out!" and "Megatron must be stopped, no matter the cost." There are some reports that the Autobot symbol could be worn out or damaged during the time of purchase.
This Japanese exclusive release of Optimus Prime features much more black coloring than the previous releases, and it's (coincidentally) based on the Fast Action Battlers Power Armor Optimus Prime toy, so as to be used with the similarly-repainted Legends Jetfire figure to form the Optimus' powered up combination. For some reason, he has red eyes. This redeco also uses the slightly small fuel tank/elbow tabs from the Battle Damaged release.
JETWING OPTIMUS PRIME Black Ver. is a black, teal, and chrome redeco of Jetwing Optimus Prime exclusive to the Asian market. He appears to have been based on the cancelled TakaraTomy contest prize Jetwing Optimus Prime Black Version (see above), with a few color alterations here and there, plus the obvious addition of chrome. It was originally solicited by online retailers as the far goofier-sounding "Dark Nightwatch Jetwing Optimus Prime".
If Cosmos radioed his findings to Optimus immediately, Optimus’s convoy moved in to investigate a nearby Decepticon base. En route, the Autobots passed near a human town, but began floating in mid-air before being able to reach it. Optimus quickly deduced that this phenomenon was caused by an anti-gravity beam, courtesy of the Decepticons. Worried about the nearby humans also being affected by the lapse in gravity, Optimus had to decide whether he would order his troops to stop and help the townspeople, or to continue forward and attack the Decepticon base.
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.
Trailer (トレーラー Torērā) was often sleepy, but was the strongest of the BeCools. He could carry stuff in his trailer. The Self-Introduction Chapter When Trailer came across a traffic jam, he crashed into the BeCools holding him up, forcing them to transform into robot mode and realize they could just walk past the jam. The Story of the Surprising and Big Traffic Jam! When the same bunch of BeCools were stuck before a hole, Trailer selflessly used his body to act as a bridge for the other BeCools. Yellow Sports Car was so inspired by his heroism that he offered to fill the hole so that Trailer could pass through. Trailer did so and sped away, leaving Yellow Sports Car in the hole. The Story of Mister Trailer's Big Success!
A second Target-exclusive redeco of the Voyager Class Optimus Prime toy, the gray molded pieces were recolored beige-grey, and multiple parts that were previously molded in blue and red (the chest, shoulder pads, and leg interiors) had their mold colors swapped, with extra paint operations to make up the difference. As such, the toy has very few visual differences from the regular release of the sculpt, in a "doing things differently to achieve a very similar end result" sense. This version was only available in a pack with an unchanged Deluxe Class Bonecrusher.
The price per minifigure has definitely gone up in the past 5 years. You used to be able to get 4 minifigs (along with some other stuff) at the $9.99 price point, now these are $12.99. And there are fewer minifigs in most $19.99, $29.99, etc. sets now. Lego Minifigures Series 1 was $1.99 each, subsequent series $2.99 each – I know it’s supply and demand, but it still feels kind of exploitative. I admit the cleverness of the builds keeps improving though.
TakaraTomy released another reissue based on the Encore version as part of their Chronicle line in 2011, lacking the original Generation 1 trailer. Instead, the Chronicle version was available in a two-pack with Dark of the Moon Deluxe Class Optimus Prime and a new trailer that could be used by both Optimuses, thanks to a retooled trailer hitch on the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure.