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.
The figure also features a hollow trailer (which also serves as his legs), fit for the Warrior Class-sized toys. The trailer can also be converted into a battle station. Because of the toy's design & transformation, he is kinda show-accurate. Optimus also features 5mm-compatible ports on his trailer, arms, shoulders, legs, knees, waist armor, and the pop-out Decepticon Hunters. He also includes many weapons, including his axe with a short handle. The included weapons can also be combined with the Decepticon Hunters into a dual-bladed weapon. All of his included weapons can be wield by any Warrior Class figures, although the accessories are associated with Bumblebee, Grimlock, Sideswipe, Strongarm, Jazz, & Drift.
Takara's release of Optimus Prime the following year made a few changes, noticeably replacing the gold paint and plastic of the Hasbro toy with bright yellow and much brighter gold. The deco has been tweaked to be a bit closer to the original prototype glimpsed in early catalogs, with yellow added back to cab Prime's feet and the cab grill painted silver, and the Super Mode's waist getting much more paint. This version of the figure was never burdened with the mobility-inhibiting shoulder tabs. Completing the Super Mode combination triggered a new clip of Prime shouting "Convoy, ready for battle!" in Japanese instead of generic mechanical sounds. Late in the run, JUSCO stores offered this toy with blind-packed "Space Galaxy" versions of the individual Destruction Mini-Con Team members, one toy per box.
Optimus Prime is usually depicted as being a member of an ancient Transformers race called the Dynasty of Primes, often receiving the title "The Last Prime" in many stories, in which he is depicted as being the last of the Primes. In the Transformers: Covenant of Primus, it was established that Optimus Prime was the last born of the original Thirteen Transformers. It was his unique spark and his inspiring reassurance that "All are One" that allowed the Primes to rally and succeed in their battle against the Chaos Bringer Unicron. When tragedy at last ended the era of the Primes and brought forth the new race of lesser descendant Transformers he alone chose to be reborn in the Well of All Sparks as one of them, that he might know them and their needs more completely. All memory of his past life gone, he took the name "Orion Pax" and sought his way like any other robot on the new world becoming Optimus Prime once more when receiving the Matrix of Leadership when Cybertron faced a new enemy in his former friend, Megatron and his army of followers, the Decepticons. This brings a Great War to their planet of Cybertron. Optimus's origins and personality can vary depending on which "universe" he's seen in. This origin is the most consistent between the various incarnations. Further differences are listed in the respective sections below.
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.
The "Breakout Battle" set includes another take on a screen-accurate "Scrapyard Optimus Prime", featuring a brown paint wash on tan plastic. The set was a shared exclusive between Toys "R" Us, online retailers such as Big Bad Toy Store, and Myer in Australia. The set was released in Australia, Singapore, and Canada but never actually made it to retail in the U.S. The set also includes Rollbar and a Vehicon.
The color scheme of this special redeco of Super class Optimus Prime was decided through a colouring contest held in the December 2004 issue of TV Magazine, in which entrants coloured in lineart of Prime in the scheme they wanted to see. The winning entry rendered Prime in a... distinct palette of grey, cream, dark red, and purple chrome, with blue, white, and yellow drones. It was limited to only ten pieces, making it one of the rarer Transformers toys in existence.
Optimus Prime appears in the Transformers live-action film series as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists. In the first three films, he 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 gains a first generation-style trailer form before changing into a 2014 Western Star 5700 Concept. 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.
This gold vacuum metallized (save for his black joints, which they were made out of unpaintable plastic) Protoform Optimus Prime figure was featured as a Lucky Draw giveaway (along side similarly gold vac-metal versions of Voyager class Optimus Prime and Protoform Starscream) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Released in 2008, only 5 pieces were made, making it one of the rarest Lucky Draw figures; the images at right represent the only known photographs of it.