While the Transformers animated series came to an end in America in 1987 after The Rebirth, production was continued in Japan with three new, exclusive animated series spin-offs to continue the story. The first of these series, Transformers: The Headmasters, supplanted the events of The Rebirth, picking up one year after the events that saw Optimus Prime's return to life.
The designs for the original 28 figures were made by Kojin Ono, Takashi Matsuda, Hideaki Yoke, Hiroyuki Obara, and Satoshi Koizumi. Hasbro would go on to buy the entire toy line from Takara, giving them sole ownership of the Transformers toy-line, branding rights, and copyrights, while in exchange, Takara was given the rights to produce the toys and the rights to distribute them in the Japanese market.
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.
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.
As the Universe War began, Optimus Primal was shown a myriad of Transformers from across all timelines that he could choose to recruit into his Children of Primus in the battle against the Minions of Unicron. One such possibility was a Transformer who was either Thunder Clash or Optimus Prime, but, regardless, Primal chose Depth Charge and Rhinox instead. Homecoming
Exclusive to Walmart, this Deluxe Class Optimus Prime is an all-new mold, close in scale to Voyager Class Megatron. He has a high range of motion, with ball jointed shoulders and hips, swivels at the neck, knees, and feet, and double swivels in the elbows. As a result of the transformation process, he can also rotate at the waist, though this is hindered considerably by his "backpack" kibble. This can be remedied by pointing the truck nose downward, as it is in the packaging. Optimus Prime also features the spring loaded "Automorph" feature in his head, if the truck kibble pushes the small grey switch from his back before splitting the chest into half.
Alternatively, the Autobots could concoct a plan where Optimus would pretend to allow himself to be taken prisoner, per Buddy’s suggestion. The Decepticons, fooled into thinking they’ve won, took Optimus Prime into their base. Having hidden his troops inside his trailer, Optimus and the Autobots then led a surprise attack on their unsuspecting foes.
In 2017, the Jazz action figure from the "Power of the Primes" line featured printed in Cybertronian alphabet "MAGA", an acronym for the phrase "Make America Great Again" most notably associated with Donald Trump and Alt-right. A spokesperson for Hasbro responded to io9 about the issue and stated that it was inserted onto the figure by one of their vendors and would address it with them.
QT-M Optimus Prime is a redeco of the GT-R Optimus Prime mold in the colors of the Transformers-sponsored Nissan GT-R used by the Team Mach racing team (a vehicle previously used as the base for non-toy character Mach Five Racing Prime). Like Transformers GT's Safety Prime, this toy was a collaboration with the Super GT racing series and was given away free to young children who attended TakaraTomy-sponsored "Kids Walk" events held by Super GT in the fall season of 2015.
In Transformers: Armada, Optimus Prime shares the role of main protagonist with Rad, Alexis, Carlos, Starscream and Hot Shot. The Optimus of this universe shares many similarities with his parallel universe versions, including nobility of spirit and a strong desire to protect all humans on Earth. In this continuity, the two sides are not looking for energon, but a small race of power-enhancing transformers known as Mini-Cons. Optimus led his small band of Autobots to stop Megatron from acquiring their power for himself.
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.
The U.S. release of Super Fire Convoy had the Japanese voice replaced with an English voice (with the lines, "Optimus Prime, Maximize!" and "Autobots, Transform"), and Autobot insignias were added on the side panels. Much like the Japanese version, Optimus Prime's normal robot mode can combine with Ultra Magnus (sold separately) to form Omega Prime.
The Autobots and the Decepticons came to a distant world in the grip of an ice age. Assuming alternate modes based upon the dominant (though doomed) indigenous creatures of this planet, they continued their ancient, unending war. However, the Autobots, with their energy levels dangerously low, withdrew from combat as the world grew colder. They sought refuge in a deep cavern and entered stasis lock, awaiting the day when surface conditions changed to better suit their operation. Hearts of Steel #1 Optimus lay under the Mare Rurek Glacier. Infestation 2: The Transformers #1 Millions of years later, Bumblebee was awoken by the hammering of humans working on a rail line. He briefly considered awakening Optimus Prime, but thought better of it. After discovering the world had changed significantly, Ratchet thought there was no reason to awaken Prime. Hearts of Steel #1 When Bumblebee discovered the Decepticons were once again active on this world, Ratchet and Prowl agreed that the Autobots must intervene, but again decided out of rousing Optimus from his slumber. Hearts of Steel #2
The toy itself is a mix of different versions. The cab has the safety modifications, including the shortened smokestacks and longer missiles (and thicker rifle), but also has the modified hitch of the 2011 Chronicle DOTM two pack. Meanwhile, the trailer is the lighter grey version from the 2008 Universe release. This version also seems to suffer from mold deterioration.
The character Optimus Prime appears in the live action films Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists of the three films. In these movies, Optimus Prime is able to transform into a conventional Peterbilt 379 cab, rather than the cab over design of his original Generation 1 body. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he regains his first generation trailer. Also straying from the G1 design, Prime's vehicle mode is now decorated with red flames painted onto a blue body à la Rodimus Prime, his Generation 1 successor. The reason for the change was due to Director Michael Bay's decree that mass displacement does not occur when they transform, requiring Optimus's vehicle form to have more mass to achieve the desired size in his robot form.
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.
The Masterpiece Optimus Prime toy was featured in a print ad for Nokia 6820 phones in December 2004. He is posed bent over to look at the phone and scratching his head. Pleasantly, most of the pose pictured is perfectly possible with an un-kitbashed, un-Photoshopped version of the toy. (The real toy can't bend forward at the waist like that, alas.)
In late 1993, Hasbro relaunched the Transformers franchise with the Generation 2 line, with production again largely being done by Takara. The subgroups concept was done away with for the first year, but there were no new molds or characters. Generation 2 re-used the molds for many of the characters from the 1984 and 1985 line, but with mostly different color schemes and finishes, as well as different weapons and accessories. Megatron's figure was released later on. As noted previously, Megatron's original alternate mode, or "transformation identity", was a handgun with attachments, but in Generation Two, this was changed to a tank due to safety and security concerns. Most of the 1994 figures were re-releases or recolors of European G1 releases.