One more thought: LEGO is a Danish company. The fluctuations in the price of LEGO such as the big bump around 1985-7 in Figures 1 and 2 could be because of a change in exchange rates. The conversion rate between the Danish Kronor and the US$ went from over 10 in 83 and 84 to less than 7 in 86 and 87. LEGO might have been slow to respond to changes in exchange rates, leading to the temporary bump. If you’d like to share data we can redo your graphs in DKK.
Optimus Prime leads Bumblebee, Drift, Kup, Prowl, Ratchet, and Wheeljack in Las Vegas when a Cybertronian ship crashes, containing Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge, and an infestation of zombies from another universe. Galvatron attempts to take command of the Autobots and, after fighting them, explains his mission to stop an undead infestation. Wheeljack sets up an energy shield around the city to keep the infestation contained, but it only last for 24 hours. Despite the containment effort, Kup realizes that Bayonet, a Decepticon in Galvatron's command, is not all she seems. She turns out to be the extradimensional vampire Britt.
This is a new line which features robot versions of various Marvel Comics superheroes (and later more of the Star Wars Transformers figures once it merged with this line). Confirmed figures are Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Venom and Hulk. Hulk turns into a tank while Iron Man turns into a jet. Spider-Man becomes a helicopter, Wolverine turns into a 4WD, Venom turns into a turbocharged retro car. They are not to be confused with the Marvel Megamorphs toy line, which also featured transformable mecha piloted by the superheroes. Eventually, the Star Wars Transformers figure joined the line with reissues of previous figures, as well as all new molds.
As the figurehead of the entire Transformers franchise, Optimus Prime has been on more pieces of merchandise than can be stated here. Several statues and busts of Optimus Prime as well as Optimus Prime themed objects have been released by various companies since the return of transformers to prominence, such as the "Optimus Prime Oral Care Station". Other figures released include various PVCs as part of Takara's "Super Collection Figure" line, which were later imported as part of Hasbro's "Heroes of Cybertron" series. Larger "Mega Collection Figure" PVCs were articulated and came with energy axe and gun figures.
Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.
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.
Optimus appeared in the 2008 BotCon voice actor play "Bee in the City", voiced by David Kaye. In this story, Professor Sumdac attempts to create a teleportation system to get the Autobots to Cybertron, but an interaction with Sari's key ends up transporting Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Sari to Transtech Cybertron. There, they met Flareup and are detained by Shockwave. Bumblebee teams up with Beast Wars Megatron to free his comrades, but must then stop Megatron from taking the key for himself. Afterward, the Autobots and Sari returned to their own dimension.
This Optimus Prime is a non-transforming truck that is loaded with a number of gimmicks: Pressing the back button activates his Weaponizer-sque (or Stealth Force-sque) battle mode on his truck form, with the lights being emitted in the same time. He features both spring-loaded (truck front) and pressure-firing (both sides of the launcher) discs, with a flat character art of Slipstream & Sawback being sculpted on it. Optimus Also comes with additional Slipstream and Sawback figurines, which they can be (uselessly) attached on Optimus Prime's truck top & both sides of the launchers.
As the Autobots were having trouble with Rumble, Optimus Prime told them try to use his earthquakes to their advantage, which led to the end of the Decepticon. Prime subsequently ordered the Aerialbots to combine and save Grimlock and Roadblock from falling off a cliff. Wolves As they got closer to the Cobra Terrordrome, however, Prime started regretting getting the Autobots involved with the humans' war. He offered to carry G.I. Joe across the water separating them from the Terrordrome, but told them that Autobots only fight if they have no choice, and they had no reason to fight anymore. Moments later, he saw that Cobra were using innocent prisoners as human shields, and Duke added that anyone who Cobra didn't enslave, they murdered. Filled with righteous anger, Optimus Prime ordered his troops to roll out. Trenches
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Optimus Prime's character returns in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He leads the Autobots as part of NEST in seeking and destroying remaining Decepticons on Earth. At the beginning of the film, the massive Decepticon Demolishor is rampaging through Shanghai, China, and Optimus parachutes out of a plane to take him on. Before he is killed, Demolishor tells them that the Earth is "not theirs to rule" and that "the Fallen shall rise again". At the NEST base, Optimus tells Theodore Galloway that they do not know what The Fallen is and that if they are asked to leave Earth, the Autobots will comply. When the remaining Allspark shard is stolen, Optimus asks Sam for his help in convincing the Earth's leaders to allow the Autobots to stay, but Sam refuses. When Megatron is resurrected and Sam, Mikaela and Leo Spits are kidnapped, Optimus and Bumblebee attack the Decepticons holding them. Optimus fights Megatron, Starscream, and Grindor on his own to protect Sam in a forest. Though he manages to kill Grindor and rip Starscream's arm off, Optimus is ultimately killed by Megatron. His last words were for Sam to run. His body is taken to a military base where Galloway orders the Autobots to bring his body back to Diego Garcia. Meanwhile, Sam hears from Jetfire that "The Fallen" is an ancient Prime and that only a Prime could kill him. He also said that the Matrix of Leadership may be able to revive him. After a long battle with the Decepticons in Egypt, Sam resurrects Optimus using the Matrix, but it is subsequently stolen by The Fallen. Because Optimus is still weak, Jetfire offers to sacrifice himself to help. Ratchet and Jolt convert parts from Jetfire into a jet mode for Optimus. Optimus flies over to the pyramids and destroys the Sun Harvester. After severely damaging Megatron, he kills The Fallen, forcing Megatron and Starscream to retreat. At the end of the film, he thanks Sam for reviving him and again transmits a message to space, hoping to find more Autobots.
Being only an inch and three quarters half, he is the second smallest transformable movie version of Optimus Prime around, only losing the first spot to the Q-Transformers version. Much like the normal-colors Bumblebee, he was available in both Series 1 and 2 of the line, with no noteworthy changes between releases. Not even their bag codes were altered. Their instruction books were updated to say "Series 2".
Commemorating the death of Optimus Prime in The Transformers: The Movie, this set contains a special version of the original Optimus Prime figure with show-inspired translucent blue windows. It was packaged with Ligier and Alert, in an apparent homage to the similar Diaclone "Powered Convoy DX" giftset that packaged the "Powered Convoy" version of the Optimus mold with figures using the molds of Ligier and Alert.
The second known version  ditched the triplechanging gimmick on the cab and simplified things a good bit. This Powermaster Prime has several distinct characteristics only seen in the second design, such as the wider "block head" and two faux smokestacks on top of either shoulder as opposed to one. Also, in a rather odd twist, this design features a black head and fists for both super and regular modes rather than the traditional blue. It also had yellow eyes in either mode a la the original Optimus Prime.
The largest Movie Optimus Prime toy (until Revenge of the Fallen, that is), Leader Class Optimus Prime features the most accurate representation yet of the CGI designs' complex transformation sequence, the only difference being the arms which are placed behind the cab while they constitute the hood in the CGI model. He transforms into a heavily-customized Peterbilt 379 conventional extended-hood, and unusually for a mainline figure, he has rubber tires on all his wheels. His Ion Blaster weapon is stored in the rear of the truck's bunk, exposed like an engine block. Though Optimus has no trailer, he has a hole where the fifth wheel (known among fans as a 'hitch') is sculpted in the rear of the truck, should owners find a suitable trailer to use. Due to safety reasons, the tips of his long smokestacks are made of rubber. A switch on top of the cab roof activates horn sounds and window lights.
Surely one of the strangest examples of licensed Transformers products, Sports Label Convoy transforms into a shoe. Something of a shellformer, this baffling incarnation of Prime is colored primarily white and red in his alt mode of a realistic-looking (if notably undersized) Nike Free 7.0 sneaker, complete with gratuitously long real fabric shoelaces. In robot mode, he is made instantly recognizable by his incorporation of some additional blue and silver in predictable areas, and a traditionally Prime-styled head. Less traditionally, and somewhat perversely, Prime's feet are sculpted in the likeness of his own sneaker mode, making it seem like he's wearing himself!
The lowest priced toys in the Armada line were three-packs of Mini-Cons. Each larger price point consisted of an Autobot or Decepticon who came with a Mini-Con partner. Mini-Cons could be used to unlock a variety of features on each larger robot, such as firing weapons, electronic lights and sounds, or alternate modes. Some three-pack Mini-Cons combined into other forms or had additional features. According to the storyline, Mini-Cons also enhanced the power of other Transformers, giving incentive to collect as many of them as possible.