Great read. I have noticed an absolute drop in quality myself. My sets in my youth range from 83 to 90. My sons are from 2011 and there is a clear distinction. Aside from the weight of identical bricks being different, the older bricks stay together in a much more durable way than the new bricks. To test this, I created the same models using all old bricks and all new bricks and the difference was marked. I understand doing certain things to reduce costs, but not at the expense of quality…
He resembles previous Optimus characters in robot mode: 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.
2. Piece diversity: Today the total range of piece types and the number of new piece types introduced every year has skyrocketed since the decade of the 80s. As a kid, the new pieces introduced every year were indeed one of the great answers to my parents’ pleas of “don’t you already have ENOUGH Legos?!?!” However, the quantity of new piece types again coupled with the broad color diversity again requires much more Lego to be purchased to attain that “critical mass”.
By the ‘90s, the genre had begun to fade, and boys' minds turned to more high-impact action, often centered around mutants, monsters, and karate. Hasbro saw potential in the embers of the Transformers brand, and turned it over to newly-acquired subsidiary Kenner for a jump-start. Kenner threw out all the old rules, and invented a line of Transformers that were more poseable, more feature-packed, and more exciting. Backed by a high-tech CGI cartoon, Beast Wars turned the brand around, making Transformers a bestseller again.
This Walmart-exclusive redeco and retool of the 2010 Transformers toyline "Battle Blades" Optimus Prime toy features the Japanese release's hooks (instead of swords), plus an all-new mouthplate-less, mouthed face. As part of the set's lunar theme, reflections of stars are painted across his vehicle mode sides and on his windshield, with a sharp reflection of Earth's Moon in one of his windows. This time, his Matrix of Leadership is cast in orange plastic.

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.
Optimus suffers from a design flaw that many other Voyager Class figures in the Combiner Wars line experience: the detents, or "click points", on the heavily-ratcheted outward motion of his hips (which also form the hips of his torso mode) are few in number and very far apart. As a result, Prime's legs have great difficulty assuming the natural "A-stance" formation that the angled design of his foot sculpt seems to have been meant to accommodate. Likewise, when forming the torso of Ultra Prime, the interactions of the knee-lock mechanism and the hip detents almost always force Ultra Prime's legs into either an awkwardly knock-kneed arrangement or an equally awkward, and often unstable, bow-legged posture (as seen in the image to the right) that prevents Ultra Prime from standing flat-footed. Unlike Motormaster, this version of Optimus was the only one to not receive the improved hip ratchets implemented in its future releases in some shape or form by Hasbro, though they would be used for the Battle Core redeco later in the line. However, there are third party ratchet replacements for the hips.
Meanwhile, the U.K. offices of Marvel Comics were producing their own storylines. Writer Simon Furman offered a different take on Prime, that he was weary of the war he had been forced to fight. In the "Prey" storyline, Prime arranged for Wheeljack to build a copy of himself and destroy it to see how the Autobots could cope without him. Unfortunately, the plan was derailed by Megatron and the Predacons. During the battle, Prime, Megatron, and Ultra Magnus were transported to Earth. There, Prime accidentally interrupted his own funeral service. The theme of war-weariness would again come to the fore in the U.K. strips detailing Prime's U.S. death.
Optimus once considered having the unruly Dinobots shut down before they could accidentally cause damage, but they proved their worth during a sudden Decepticon attack. S.O.S. Dinobots When the Insecticons gained enough power that they'd be able to overrun Earth in seven days, Optimus Prime was forced to negotiate an alliance with the Decepticons in order to defeat them. Harvest of the Insecticons Following the disappearance of Grimlock and Swoop, Optimus attempted to stop the other three Dinobots from attacking the Decepticon base, and was mauled for his trouble. The distraction at least allowed Wheeljack to take a scan of the rogue Dinobots. Day of the Dinobots - Part 1

On a version of Cybertron where Energon shortages have left many of the surviving Autobots and Decepticons all-but immobile, Hot Rod opted to be converted into a smaller and more efficient Micromaster, and thus retained his mobility. Detesting the corrupt system that has fallen into place, Hot Rod seeks to reform Cybertronian society from within the established government, while his former comrade Grimlock joined the resistance in an effort to bring down the old order. Feeling this approach to be no better than Megatron's rebellion that triggered the Great War, Hot Rod opposed Grimlock's efforts, particularly when his plans came to include using the G-Virus to turn a large number of "Builders" into immobile clones of Galvatron, unaware that the effects would also spread to a number of Maximals, Predacons, and Micromasters. Fortunately, Grimlock was betrayed by one of his own men, who destroyed most of the virus, though not before one Cybertronian was infected.
Voyager Optimus Prime is a redeco of the toy from the first movie's toyline. Like several redecos or retools of 2007 movie toys, there has been some effort to make this release noticeably different from the previous releases, though the toy ends up looking less accurate to the actual movie appearance than those previous releases. Optimus Prime has a sort of faded Autobot logo on the side of the truck's bunk, and kanji (Chinese characters) on the roof (ending up on his knee in robot mode.) The word "上海将军" means "Shanghai General", while "大将" means "Grand general".
This redeco of Henkei Convoy is cast almost entirely in translucent colored plastic. Also known by the nickname "Crystal Convoy" among fans, it was first released as an exclusive for the Japanese convention Tokyo Toy Fair 2008, limited to 1000 pieces at the event, but was later made available through e-HOBBY. It was sold in a monochrome-blue version of Henkei Convoy's regular packaging.
Ultra Magnus's legendary status was exceeded only by the legendary status of Optimus Prime. Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus toy bio Upgraded with the power of combination, Optimus could combine with any bots to form Ultra Prime. Combiner Wars Optimus Prime toy bio With mastery over the power of Combiners, the combined courage of Optimus and the Autobots would stop the Decepticon Combiners threatening cities and entire civilizations. Combiner Wars Battle Core Optimus Prime toy bio
INFOBAR Optimus Prime (ANNIN) is a redeco of INFOBAR Optimus Prime (NISHIKIGOI), transforming into a recreation of the ANNIN edition of the INFOBAR cellphone. All-white in cellphone mode, he sports additional blue and red detailing in robot mode. Like the other figures in this line, he is not a working cellphone but can be paired via Bluetooth with a smartphone, such as an iPhone, to act as a notification alarm in either robot or INFOBAR mode. The screen is non-functional, but pre-printed cards are included which can be slid into the screen to show an Autobot logo, Decepticon logo, a mockup of a cellphone home screen, or a technical "Transformers INFOBAR" design. The figure also includes a display stand.
This unusual iteration of Optimus Prime is a redeco of Beast Wars 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal, transforming into a robotic gorilla in the pseudo-technorganic-looking style of the other Jungle Planet toys. He comes with a Jungle Planet Cyber Key stamped with the code d7s9, which plugs into his flying surfboard accessory to reveal a spring-loaded missile launcher. His brown and cream deco seems inspired by Donkey Kong, while the scar over his beast mode eye seems intended to homage Peter Jackson's King Kong.
"Convoy Last Production" was the final re-use of the Masterpiece toy mold before it was at last retired after numerous re-releases and redecos. The figure is essentially identical to the original Japanese MP-1 release, aside from a slightly brighter red, and the addition of the words "LAST SHOT" in Transformers typeface molded into the small of Convoy's back, hidden beneath its headlight-flaps in robot mode. Lacking the trailer of MP-4, the figure instead comes with a redecoed version of the electronic base included with Hasbro's "DVD Edition" of the figure from five years prior, which now features a collection of sixteen soundbytes of Convoy delivering famous lines from the Japanese version of the Generation 1 cartoon, recited by the character's original Japanese voice actor Tesshō Genda. The base was promoted as containing a hint as to the identity of the next Masterpiece toy; as it would turn out, this was a new version of Convoy himself (see below), foreshadowed by a sound clip on the base which played only intermittently, and which had Convoy announce that he would "soon be reborn".
We're sure we're not telling you anything you don't already know when we say that Hot Wheels are miniature die-cast cars with dynamic multi axular momentum technology (ie, they roll). They are usually based on real-life production cars but sometimes are modeled after bad acid trips, with wheels added later (for the rolling). Shortly after the introduction of the cars, Mattel launched various tracks to take full advantage of the cars' rollability.
As a result of striving for vehicle realism and painstaking accuracy to his visual portrayal in the live-action films, this Optimus Prime ends up being ridiculously complex. Transforming him back into a truck is probably more complicated than shown in the movie and can only be considered torture. Very unfortunately, the instructions for this toy are infamous for being amazingly vague and unclear in their visual depiction of the transformation steps, making transformation even harder. Also, let us not forget that, upon transforming him back to robot mode, he will declare his identity over and over and over and over and over until you're finished.
Generations "Combat Hero Optimus Prime" is a metallic-blue, gunmetal, and red redeco of United Laser Optimus Prime, having the retooled tab, and being based on the canceled Generation 2 Combat Hero Optimus Prime figure, sporting a red mouthplate inspired by the official catalog image for the unreleased toy (packaged samples had featured a traditionally colored gray mouthplate). He comes packed with a (vaguely) Generation 2-styled Deluxe Class Autobot Jazz, as well as unchanged releases of Generations Legends Class Thundercracker and Motorbreath.
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.

Part of the first wave of Age of Extinction: Generations Leader Class toys, this is yet another completely new "big" Optimus Prime figure. While smaller than the First Edition toy, this one features more silver and chrome paint in vehicle mode, a more poseable robot mode, and a Vector Shield accessory instead of the Sentinel Shield. Unlike the First Edition figure, Leader Class Optimus Prime's pauldrons and hip-skirts are formed from truck kibble, giving him a marginally smaller backpack. His accessories have roughly the same functionality as the First Edition toy, with his sword being hand-held and pegged onto his hands or storing underneath the truck, and his shield mounting onto his left forearm or storing on the back of the truck. Additionally, the sword sheath underneath the truck can be folded up and used in robot mode.


Bludgeon's recovered files bring Optimus Prime to Earth, where an Autobot detachment led by Prowl has discovered that a Decepticon infiltration unit led by Starscream has broken standard protocol after discovering a new form of Energon. This Ore-13 appears to be the same "Ultra-Energon" that Bludgeon used to revive Thunderwing, who had been dormant for millennia after the apocalypse. Starscream had already used it to fuel a failed attempt to usurp Megatron's leadership, as detailed in the Infiltration miniseries.
Although the original Japanese incarnation of Transformers: Cybertron, known as Transformers: Galaxy Force, was produced apart from Armada and Energon, the series, as originally conceived by Hasbro, was as the third part of the trilogy. The English language dub of the series treats it as such.[50] Consequently, inconsistencies arise between Cybertron and the other two series, but have been explained by the Cybertron comic book, available exclusively through the Official Transformers Collectors Club, as the result of fluctuations in the fabric of reality caused by the Unicron-induced black hole.
In a completely different scenario, Optimus agreed to Prowl’s plan to go on the offensive and try and discover the full extent of the Decepticons’ plans. Optimus nominated Prowl, Bumblebee and Mirage to go along with him on the mission. The group refuelled with the gas that Sparkplug brought back from the Autobots’ secret storage area, and took off. The group soon happened upon the Decepticons’ lab in the middle of a barren, polluted wasteland.
The details between these events differ between universes. Sometimes Optimus Prime merged with Vector Sigma soon after defeating the Hate Plague, and returned much, much later as Star Convoy. Sometimes Optimus Prime partnered up with Marissa Faireborn to receive upgrades through mutual kissing. Sometimes... look, he did a lot of weird stuff, okay? He later sacrifices himself to restore the Matrix of Leadership.
Kabaya's second candy toy of Energon Optimus Prime was released as part of the Hyper Transformers series. This non-transforming figurine depicts Prime in his lesser-seen combined mode with Wing Saber: "Fight Mode", as Hasbro called it, or "Cannon Mode" in Japan. The figure's shoulder cannons came on a separate sprue in-package and had to be removed by the buyer. Prime's head can be removed and attached to the Hyper Transformers Omega Supreme figure, creating Optimus Supreme. As a candy toy, Prime came with a stick of gum.
This version of Ultimate Class Beast Hunter Optimus Prime is exclusive to Cybertron Con 2013. While Prime itself is unchanged, he has been packaged in the box with his backpack plugged into his back, allowing the cannons to rotate when his spiky stomach-fenders are pushed down. The box itself also has slightly different text and graphical layouts, is encased in a large, slip-on outer covering, and features a designated number as part of the Thrilling 30 line.

Only available at ToysЯUs, this Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Classics figure. He features a cartoon/toy accurate deco on his truck/robot parts, and vacuum-metallized upper legs & front grille to evoke his original Generation 1 toy. Like every Classics Optimus Prime mold, he still features all of his accessories. This Optimus was packaged along with the redecoed Age of Extinction Optimus Prime.
With this reconstruction, Orion Pax became Optimus Prime, the first of the Autobot warriors. 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.
The TakaraTomy version, part of the seventh wave of Japanese Prime toys, is dubbed Arms Master Optimus, uses darker, metallic plastics, casts the backs of his thighs in metallic red, replaces his metallic silver paint with glossy gray, and replaces a few of his paint operations with customer-applied foil stickers, such as his insignias, shins, headlamps, the tiny yellow lights on his torso, and the blue deco on his truck panel sides. He has also been retooled with additional 5mm pegs for his thighs, roof, and lower backpack, as well as ports for his forearms, shoulders, smokestacks, fuel tanks, and roof. Instead of the rifle, he comes with a very large Matrix which can tab onto his chest as armor or mount onto the back of the truck cab, with the Matrix also being covered in 5mm posts and holes so that Arms Microns can be attached to it. He additionally comes with a clear-blue "Shining" version of the Arms Micron, R.A., who can combine with the Matrix to form the colossal Matrix Saber.
In an alternate version of the following events, Bumblebee would return to base, reporting that the Decepticons were planning to destroy the humans' farmlands in an attempt to starve mankind and force them into submission. Upon hearing these news, Optimus gathered a squad of Autobots and headed out to stop the evil robots. However, once they found themselves in the open country, they found themselves at the mercy of a Decepticon ambush; Bumblebee had been fed false information! In one iteration of the events that followed, Optimus could have avoided his death if only he had listened to your warning! In another iteration, Optimus had to decide whether he should send his Autobots away to the safety of a nearby bridge while he fended off the encroaching Decepticon horde, or if he should remain by the side of his troops as they all made a break for the bridge. Remaining as a single unit would spell their doom, but by sticking together, the Autobots could make it back to the safety of their base. Battle Drive
This Japanese-exclusive vacuum metalized golden redeco of Super Base Optimus Prime, whose name means "Shining Golden", was available as a prize in several draws, including a colouring contest held in the pages of TV Boy magazine, and in-store lottery draws at Tobu Department Stores. Between the draws, at least 58 "Kinpika" Prime toys are known to have been given away, making it one of the more widely available Lucky Draw figures, comparatively speaking. It came packaged in a plain white box, and including all the accessories and features of the standard release of the figure, including a gold-chromed Sparkplug (or "Prime", as he's confusingly known in Japan).
Activision and Traveller's Tales, creators of the Lego Star Wars games, released Transformers: The Game in 2007, accompanied by Transformers Autobots and Transformers Decepticons, to tie in with the live-action feature film for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PC, Sony PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2. The player was able to play as both the Autobots and the Decepticons, pick up and throw objects, and transform at any time. The steering in vehicle mode was compared to that of the Grand Theft Auto games and had a free-roaming environment.
A redeco (or should that be de-deco?) of the Grand Convoy Super Mode Pla-Kit, Grand Convoy Super Mode White Version was available exclusively on July 17th and 18th at the Japanese convention, Kodansha Super Chara Festival 2004 ("K-Fest"). It is a solid white version of the normal model kit, possessing all the features of the normal figure, which was intended to be used in a customization/painting contest held at the convention. It lacks the comic of the normal release.
After the Decepticons declared war, junior officer Optimus managed to turn the tide against them in a battle over Iacon, and rose up in rank to become Autobot leader. Optimus Prime's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile His second-in-command, Jazz, once saved his life after a surprise attack rendered him him temporarily non-functional on the battlefront. Jazz's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile The war raged for centuries, with Cybertron's fuel sources steadily decreasing. Optimus ordered the construction of the Ark to seek out new sources of energy, unaware that Megatron was building a ship of his own. The Ark's first foray into space was interrupted by a Decepticon attack, and all involved were too distracted to notice as they entered an asteroid belt. A collision between two meteorites sent the Transformers crashing into Earth. After countless eons of slumber, the Autobots awoke to a world populated by humans, and once more took up the fight against the Decepticons. From Cybertron to Earth the War Continues...
Star Convoy was reissued by Takara in 2005, with some notable alterations to his deco: his white plastic was replaced with metallic silver, and the yellow star on his chest was chromed golden. Star Convoy himself retained some of his original decals but most notably his "simulated head lights" and "wind shield panels" were stamp graphed on him, similarly, Hot Rod's were replaced with the same stamp graphing applications. Additionally, where the original toy had been packaged in robot mode in a tall box decorated with the standard Japanese package art of the time, the reissue was packaged in vehicle mode, in a long, wide box more reminiscent of the original Generation 1 toys.
In the final episode of Transformers: Cybertron, Optimus Prime proposed a new Space Bridge project using the power of the four Cyber Planet Keys and the four great Cybertronian ships. Many Autobots and former Decepticons joined in the project. Jetfire was left in charge of Cybertron as Optimus Prime led the Atlantis with the Earth Cyber Planet Key, joined by Red Alert, Safeguard, Scattorshot, Leobreaker, Menasor, and Heavy Load.
Available only via mail-order through Dengeki Hobby magazine, the "Limited Black Version" of G1 Convoy is just that: a straight black repaint of the G1 Convoy toy. He comes with all his original accessories, appropriately redecoed (including a silver version of his axe), as well as a gold-chromed version of the "Calamity Defenser" Solitarium weapon that came with Psycho-Orb.
Like Chomp & Stomp Grimlock, his truck kibble from the back can accommodate One-Steps and Power Battlers (Both Hasbro and TakaraTomy), activating his various voice clips and flashing lights by interacting with the magnets in their feet. He is notably less kibbly than other AOE Optimus Primes...from the front, at least. The back and sides are not so promising with large chunks of Western Star truck kibble hanging off his legs, making him look as if he's wearing a petticoat. At least the jetpack helps balance the whole thing out....
Hot Rod would make his first IDW Publishing appearance in a Spotlight issue focusing on him. In this, he was shown to be newly promoted to command of a group of Autobots including Gizmo, Backbeat and Dealer, who had been sent to secure the Magnificence, a device of some sort that could predict the future. Getting past the guardians, Hot Rod was swapping it with a fake to prevent the Decepticons from getting their hands on it when a seeming Decepticon ambush wiped out his squad. Determined to rescue the only survivor, Dealer, Hot Rod staged a daring solo rescue mission that managed to rescue Dealer - unaware that he was really Doubledealer, a Decepticon spy sent by Banzaitron to retrieve the Magnificence and now out to find where Hot Rod had stashed it.[10]
Transformers Siege Greenlight will be released sooner than later, especially compared to exclusives from previous years. We have our first preorder up on Amazon.ca revealing two important points: who the exclusive retailer is and what the price point will be. Now we know that it will be an Amazon exclusive. While we only know for sure that this will be the case in Canada, it stands to reason that it will be an Amazon exclusive elsewhere to, which is great news since those are always the - Read More
Released as part of TakaraTomy's Transformers Movie The Best toyline to conclude the 10th anniversary of the live-action film series, this Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of his Evasion mode toy. He also uses the faceplated head and the dark gray-colored Ion Cannon used for the Evolution 2-pack/Platinum Edition 5-pack release. While his deco had taken cues from both the TakaraTomy release of Evasion Mode Optimus Prime and the Platinum Edition Breakout Battle figure, the weathering pattern bears a similar resemblance to his rusty version of the figure. Unfortunately, this release suffers from heavy mold degradation, particularly in the form of ill-fitting tabs around the truck front/shoulder area.
The original 1984 Optimus Prime toy was part of Takara's 1983 Diaclone toy line named "Battle Convoy". It was designed by the creative design team of Hiroyuki Obara, Shoji Kawamori, famous for his work in Macross, and Kohjin Ohno.[19] The toy's characteristics, such as the head design and the use of the cab front as the upper torso, have become design elements in nearly every incarnation and variant of Optimus Prime. This particular toy has been reissued multiple times, mostly to commemorate the anniversary of the transformers franchise. Optimus Prime was also released as an Action Master and Powermaster toy in the original transformers toy line.
I agree with Aidan but would expand on his point. It’s not just that the sets seemed bigger; they were. As the relative complexity of sets has increased, so too has the piece count, but there has been an overall decline in the size of the models due to increased build complexity and a corresponding reduction in size of the pieces required to create such detail. The negative affect on perceived value in this is apparent, though I would argue, misguided when one considers the build quality and detail of new and recent sets.
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.
Tomica Optimus Prime is a die-cast non-transforming toy of his truck mode from Prime. It was sold as part of the "Dream Tomica Series", a subline featuring exclusively fictional vehicles. Like all Tomica toys & all Generation 2 GoBots and Spychangers, Optimus Prime features smooth-rolling axle/wheel construction that lets the toys be quickly zipped along smooth surfaces. However, they do not convert into robot mode.
Sold by Hasbro Toy Shop at various conventions, Pepsi Optimus Prime is a repackaging of a virtually unaltered 2005 Japanese Pepsi Convoy. (Again, his stacks are shortened for safety reasons.) However, this U.S. release is, officially, a different character. Whereas the Japanese release's bio explicitly identifies the product as a separate character from Convoy (created with help from NASA, no less), the U.S. bio conversely indicates that their version of the character most definitely is Optimus Prime. His motivation for schilling Pepsi is, apparently, that he wanted a new disguise but basically couldn't be arsed to actually reformat into a new altmode.
Optimus Prime has fictionally shown a dislike of certain kinds of music and dance. For the Marvel Comics continuity, the letters page for issue 324 mentions he hates the music of Mötley Crüe. In the cartoon continuity, "Blaster Blues" and "Quest for Survival" have Optimus react noticeably more passive-aggressively to Blaster's choice of music than the other Autobots. And in the Dreamwave Generation One continuity, Hardwired features an uncalled for negative remark about Jazz's dance skills.
Released as part of the Target-exclusive Reveal The Shield subline, this Tiny Turbo Changer 3-pack contains a redecoed Optimus Prime and Bumblebee (in their first non-blindpacked release) and a new Steelbane figure. This version of Optimus features red wheels & Tech Spec-esque patterns on his robot mode chest and... groin-flaps, though the real decoding is on his vehicle mode roof, which when seen through the attached clear-red weapons (or similar plastic device) reveals... an Autobot symbol. Surprise.

When I was a child in the 1960s, I bought most of my own Lego, using money from paper routes I had from the ages of 7-16. But the items I bought we not ‘kits’. They were small boxes of standard bricks. Each box contained only a single shape and colour, but you could find most of the basic shapes 1×1 or 1×2 or 1×4 or 1×8, 2×2 or 2×3 or 2×4, bevels, doors or windows, if you found the right box. The boxes were only 50 cents, and had an average of 12 bricks per box. That works out out to about 4-5 cents per brick. The kits were expensive, but buying the standard boxes was a lot cheaper, and that is what most people did back then. With my paper route, at the age of 7 I could buy 100 pieces per week using my own money. Name any 7 year old that afford to do that now!

Optimus Prime has a wide range of articulation for a relatively bulky figure. He has ratcheting joints in his shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, with swivel joints and ball joints supporting them in his biceps, lower knee joints and ankles. Again, unusually for a mainline figure, especially at the Leader pricepoint, his hands have individually articulated fingers and thumbs, but no wrists.


Some time later, as the war raged between Autobots and Decepticons on Earth, Optimus had requested the Aerialbots as reinforcements from Cybertron. Though they nearly defected to the Decepticons, Optimus was able to secure the Aerialbots as allies. Later, when a power plant had to be evacuated of its human workers due to the fear of landslides, Optimus posted Denfensor at the location to secure its protection. Optimus then drove off to check up on the rest of his troops who were aiding in the area’s evacuation. Though he passed a military convoy heading towards a plant, he thought nothing of it, unaware that they were the newly created Combaticons in disguise. Optimus then reached the Ark, and from there opened communications with the Aerialbots. Optimus had someone come into the know that the Decepticons were moving in towards the plant. He watched from afar as Defensor and Superion fought Menasor and Bruticus, wary to send more Autobots into the fray while these titans wreaked havoc onto the battlefield. Optimus allowed himself a smile when the Aerialbots and the Protectobots proved themselves superior teams to the Decepticons’, though at the back of his mind, he was wary. After all, Megatron himself had chosen not to add his considerably weight to the battle... The Special Teams
A Deluxe class toy of Prime in his Protoform stage. One of the first released movie figures, Prime's Entry Mode resembles a huge metallic asteroid. With this figure standing 5.5 inches tall and Optimus being 28 feet (336 inches) tall, the toy is about 1/61 scale. This rock-like alternate mode has led some fans to sarcastically refer to the movie protoform toys as Rock Lords.

In Transformers Ongoing, which takes place two years after the events of All Hail Megatron, the Autobots would remain on Earth as Prime feared the return of the Decepticons. Unfortunately, this led to the capture of a number of Autobots by Skywatch, including Windcharger, Gears and Prowl. Hot Rod was reformatted into a Pagani Zonda. Already frustrated, he lashed out at Optimus, accusing him of keeping the Autobots on the planet because he needed someone to protect and demanding he be allowed lead a team to rescue Prowl. An admonished Prime agreed to a covert operation, but with Ironhide along to watch over things. While Prowl was freed, it turned out the humans had used him as bait to draw the other Autobots in. However Wheeljack's new shielding protected Hot Rod's team from Skywatch's inhibitors and in a panic the soldiers switched to lethal measures. Hot Rod was targeted and Ironhide was killed protecting him. An enraged Hot Rod turned on the humans, damaging their equipment and machinery.

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