While Transformers ended poorly for the US market, the same can not be said for the UK, Canada, and Japan markets as they went on to produce their own continuing series between 1991 and 1993, despite the UK market in particular missing a substantial amount of figures prominent in the comics and animated series throughout the line's run. Each country produced their own continuity. The UK and Canada continued with new Action Master figures and introduced the Turbo Masters and Predators. Japan continued with the Micromasters concept.
With the failure of the Generation 2 series, Hasbro and Takara decided the franchise needed an overhaul. They went in a new direction and a new beginning. While there had been Transformers that change into robotic animals, the premise of the new line was that all figures would transform into animals with realistic appearances. The Beast Wars toy line was launched in the autumn of 1995, and Mainframe Entertainment produced a computer-generated imagery, or CGI, animated series program to tie in with the new toy line. A fresh idea coupled with a TV series program with strong stories assured this series the success Hasbro and Takara needed, as this series was a giant hit in international markets as well as in Takara's home market, Japan.
Designated "Optimus Prime" rather than the traditional Japanese "Convoy", this figure is a redeco of the previous Music Label Convoy figure into the character's traditional red, blue and silver color scheme. Unlike previous re-issues of the mold, iPod Optimus Prime's sports a paint application similar to KissPlayers Convoy, having its ABS/PVC parts painted over with a thin layer of his iconic red, white (silver if you will) and blue motif paint applications (with the exception of his iPod docking trailer). This includes his trailer, though the effect is somewhat marred by the large, visible gap on one side. When reconfigured into dock mode, the interior surfaces surrounding the speakers are decorated with black-on-silver techno-patterns as well as three "Optimus Prime" logos. The recessed space also features a stylised, almost Frank Milleresque, high-contrast portrait of Prime's face, although this is largely covered when an iPod is inserted. The figure comes in identical packaging to the original Music Label Convoy, save for the addition of a sticker illustrating the different color of its contents.
A redeco of Cybertronian Optimus Prime with a translucent red front section, additional (painted) "scratched paint" details, some red paint highlights either omitted or changed to yellow and additional yellow circuitry pattern detailing reminiscent of the jammed abilities/mode lock/EMP effect from the War for Cybertron game, available in a Toys"R"Us-exclusive three-pack with redecos of Cybertronian Megatron and Cybertronian Bumblebee.
Smallest Transforming Prime was redecoed the following year for the second wave of the line, into a color scheme based on his Generation 1 cartoon appearance featuring brighter reds and blues, white thighs, yellow details on his bumper, and blue eyes and windows. This version of the figure was made available for a second time in the next wave ("Wave 2.5"), with a new anime-decorated version of the Combat Deck now available as a rare "chase" figure.
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".
In yet another possible scenario, Beachcomber returned from his day off early to inform Optimus that Jessie had been taken prisoner by the Decepticons. Optimus deployed a team of Autobots to go to the girl’s rescue. Shortly before arriving at their destination, the Autobots had to choose their next course of action; they could either storm the Decepticon fortress by force, or try to sneak in through a secret passage Buster had previously discovered.
In "Sick Mind", Optimus is infected with the life-threatening Cybonic plague, prompting Arcee and Bumblebee to infiltrate the Nemesis to find a cure for the virus Megatron himself created. As Optimus grows weaker, he learns of Megatron's survival of the space bridge explosion. It was Bumblebee entering Megatron's mind via cortical psychic patch and retrieving the cure that saved Optimus. In the next episode, "Out of His Head", Optimus is, surprisingly, saved by the revived Megatron when he intercepted Starscream's attempted nosedive to kill him.
Unfortunately for both Takara and Hasbro, the Generation Two series of Transformers sold poorly, and Hasbro abandoned it after two years. There were toys planned that never saw release. Most of these were G1 combiner team recolors or recolors of recent figures. Four unreleased molds were released in the Machine Wars line, and four more resurfaced in the Robots In Disguise series.
The stickers may not be cut right, my copy has them off-center, they're probably using an 80's type bladed stamp with little QC to rush them out. The cab will not have the stripes applied, those are included on a strip of mylar/foil/whatever silver but you have to measure and cut them to fit. Every KO can be identified easily by these missing stickers in the box. Older releases also had the trailer's stickers separate but those have not been made in some time.
After the rise of the Decepticons and the death of the merciless Zeta Prime, he became the Prime, and entered what would become a millions-of-years-long war of attrition with the Decepticons, which would lead to the death of Cybertron and the spreading of the Cybertronian civil war far beyond their homeworld in a push for resources. With the end of the war and the emptying of the Matrix of Leadership to restart Vector Sigma and rebirth Cybertron, he found himself rejected by the returning civilian population, and - secretly gladly - abdicated his rank and returned to his original name of Orion Pax as he travelled through the galaxy.
Prime comes with all the accessories of his previous release, although his ever-changing ion blaster is now somewhat confusingly cast in blue plastic. He features one major additional accessory: an electronic display base sculpted with the image of the Matrix and the Autobot insignia. Pressing the insignia's crest triggers a series of electronic soundbytes, mostly quotes from the movie recited not by original actor Peter Cullen, but by Hasbro's in-house actor, Ron Hayden: "Autobots, transform and roll out!", "I want you to make a special run to Autobot City," "Megatron must be stopped!", "All we need is a little energon, and a lot of luck," and two samples of the classic transformation sound effect, one ascending, one descending.
The first Nightwatch Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of the previously released Leader-class Optimus Prime, replacing most of his red and blue with different shades of blue and black. In fact, he resembles the original Diaclone Powered Convoy color scheme of Generation One Ultra Magnus's truck cab. The previously blue and red flames have been replaced with silver flames, as has various other decos, replaced by copper.
In one possible scenario, Optimus was surprised to see Beachcomber return to Autobot headquarters soon after his departure. Beachcomber informed Optimus that he had uncovered the Decepticon's newest hidden fortress, and he suspected that the Decepticons were up to something big. Optimus sent out Beachcomber once more, this time along with Powerglide and Windcharger to investigate the Decepticons' plot further.
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.
When the Decepticons turned up in the same forest that the Autobots were taking a vacation in, Optimus took great pleasure in stopping them and returning the forest to pristine condition. Forest Rescue Mission Optimus was undertaking some repairs when Bumblebee offered to help, but Prime told him the repairs were too hard for him. When later the other Autobots were dismissive of Bumblebee's report of a Decepticon attack, Optimus alone listened to him, and they subsequently defeated the Decepticons. Bumblebee's Dangerous Mission
"Vibrant Red" Alternity Convoy is a redeco of the "Ultimate Silver" figure in the much more traditional red and blue Prime color scheme, representing the Optimus Prime of universal stream Primax 109.0 Beta. The figure was available simultaneously with the Ultimate Silver version, sharing the same packaging and pack-in materials, save for the color of the illustration on the front of the box, and a sticker that identified the figure within.
As with all Action Master toys, Optimus Prime himself could not transform. His sculpt is based heavily upon the The Transformers cartoon model, though the colour scheme may be based upon his Powermaster (pre-supermode cab robot only) body, with blue forearms as opposed to just blue fists, although unlike the Powermaster cab robot it has blue thighs as well. His truck cab vehicle and the trailer do transform, though neither have robot modes. The truck cab can transform into a small plane, while the trailer transforms into a battle station with turrets that several Action Masters can man.
Prime soon had other things to worry about, as Magnus arrived on Earth with the intention of taking the Matrix, which he believed was rightfully his, at all costs. Prime, who refused to fight back, was seriously injured by Magnus. Magnus tracked Optimus to a desert island, where he pretended to offer him the hand of friendship, only to attempt to absorb the Matrix for himself. During the struggle, the brothers combined into the form of Omega Prime, also known as the God Fire Convoy. Through this link, Magnus was also able to channel the power of the Matrix, which he used to supercharge the Autobot Brothers into newly colored forms. Prime went on to battle the Decepticons on many other occasions. Although Magnus remained a free agent, refusing to take orders from his brother, over time, his animosity dwindled, and he frequently helped the Autobots by combining with Prime to battle the Predacons and Decepticons. During the final battle with Megatron's new form, Galvatron, the two brothers finally reconciled. Together, they faced Galvatron at the Earth's core and defeated him once and for all.
Interesting work but I would like to know whether you would find the amount of new sets offered in toto has changed over the survey period. Is there an economy of scale at work? This seems to have two implications: first, the number of units for a particular set may have increased thereby affecting the price of all sets belonging to that class (but doubtful you could find exactly how many Death Star sets were produced in relation to, say, hogwarts castles); second, the popularity of certain set classes may affect what kinds of sets are available. Like with language, we are all confined to use the words we know. And so with Lego, set designers are confined to use what’s economical, unless, of course, the design calls for new styled pieces. These relations are difficult to grasp in statistical analyses, but would seem to play a role in price steering.
We know that despite starting his fictional life as a lovable, horn-headed robot who could turn into a Volkswagen in Generation 1, Bumblebee's most well-known these days as a round-headed robot who turns into a Camaro. In fact, younger viewers might not even realize he was ever anything but the Chevy muscle car. But there’s one quirky continuity where he’s able to switch between original and movie modes at will.
The second War Within Optimus Prime toy in the Titanium series, but also the first official transforming toy from the War Within series. Personally designed by comic artist Don Figueroa (who created much of the War Within comic designs), Optimus Prime transforms into a Cybertronic truck. He is armed with a silver painted Ion blaster, on which the word "DON" can be clearly seen sculpted into the body.
Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in 2017, MP Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. is a trailer-less redeco of the MP-10 mold sporting a unique black color scheme matching the Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. BLACK of the original G1 toy, with "BAPE's famous camouflage pattern" and an ape head print on the shoulder replacing the usual faction symbol.
Released in the latter stages of the Cybertron toyline, this redeco of the Leader-class Optimus Prime figure introduced a new colour scheme that several other tail-end releases would emulate. Taking its name from the Japanese version of Cybertron and with a bio noting that this new body depicts Prime after he embarks on his galaxy-spanning mission at the end of the Cybertron cartoon, "Galaxy Force" Optimus Prime replaces the original toy's blue parts with black and the translucent blue with smokey clear, and moulds several—but not all—grey parts out of red plastic, including the toy's rifles, rail gun covers, missile launchers, and Super Mode leg guns. In the realm of new paint operations, Prime now sports all four Cyber Planet Key symbols on his shoulders, and his unique Matrix-shaped Cyber Key (now with the code lo9x) finally has a gold-painted border, as it had always had in Japan. Additionally, Prime's hip joints were tightened up with this release, making it easier to stand him up in Super Mode.
In 2002, 3H secured the official Transformers convention license as well as licenses to produce comic books and start a fan club. Optimus Prime appeared in Transformers Collectors Club comics, a comic released by 3H enterprises. In the comic, he is the same Optimus Prime from the Robots in Disguise continuity, but is taken to the Transformers: Universe reality.
Alternators Optimus Prime transforms into an accurate 1:24 scale Dodge Ram SRT-10. The vehicle mode features rubber tires, functional steering, opening hood, tail gate and doors with a detailed cabin interior. Several of the details of his robot mode body are based on the sculpt of the 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime figure, but the head itself shares more similarities with the Powermaster mold. He is armed with a small pistol which transforms into his vehicle mode engine.
Like several new-mold Revenge of the Fallen toys, Optimus Prime suffers from some cost-cutting measures that affected the final production version of the mold. According to Hasbro's stock photos/back-of-box photo of the hand-painted prototype, the toolboxes on the sides of his legs were designed to fold away further for a sleeker, cleaner look. Additionally, the rear tires would have been able to split in half, with the inner half of the tire going inside the outer half to recreate the thin tires seen on Prime's CG design. Some articulation was lost on the toy between Hasbro stock photography and the final release. His fingers are no longer articulated; instead, the entire hand is now one molded piece. Finally, the lower arms appear to have been originally designed so that his hands could slide in or out of them during transformation. Sadly, he also lacks rubber tires, which the original movie Prime did have. Meanwhile, the articulated fingers was later used for the Asia Premium Series & Movie The Best releases.
The figure's transformation scheme is based on the original G1 figure, the only differences being that the fists are not removed but become the headlights, and instead of flipping backwards inside the chest, Diablock Convoy's noggin flips forwards with the aid of sideways-opening windows, akin to Masterpiece Prime. A "laser rifle" in the shape of his ion cannon can be built from black bricks, and stickers bearing the Autobot faction symbol can be placed on Diablock Convoy's shoulders, although this is not recommended as it is designed to permanently stick to multiple tiles which dislodge easily and may damage the sticker.
If Optimus ordered his troops to attack the Decepticon base, they soon reached an area free of the anti-gravity beam’s influence. They were then attacked by a small fleet of Decepticons. Optimus targeted their squad leader, Dirge, knowing that by downing him, the Decepticons would be significantly demoralized. Dirge was forced to break-off his attack when his back-up was taken out, knowing he wouldn’t be able to take Optimus on without it. Losing their advantage quickly, the Decepticons retreated. But with the battle over, the Autobots noticed a small human boy at their feet. The boy was Buddy, a stowaway from the nearby town, and though Optimus was displeased with the tag-along, the Autobots could not spare the time to bring him home. Arriving at the Decepticon base, Megatron delivered an ultimatum; if the Autobots did not surrender Optimus Prime to the Decepticons immediately, he would use his gravity beam to have the nearby humans float off into space.
Distant Thunder was ultimately unsuccessful, but as the universe started to rip apart, a black Optimus Prime clone appeared. The Binaltech universe was split into its own separate continuity, while the original timeline was also restored, stabilizing the multiverse. The clone, friendly to the transformers, proclaimed that the Binaltech universe must be allowed to continue, as it was important to the future. Optimus Prime questioned the black doppelganger, who explained only that he carried "the Protector's" spark, but refused to reveal any more detailed information. Soon after, the clone, who was originally developed by Dr. Archeville as a weapon of evil, ejected the spark that had invaded and taken over the black figure, reverting to its original evil programming. The malevolent Nemesis Prime, no longer just a black version of Optimus, escaped.
Legion Class Optimus Prime has been found at Family Dollar and Dollar General stores in the United States. A later variant repleaced the red Autobot insignia with a black version. This later version was also released at general retail in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Russia. In Singapore it was released together with Bumblebee and Starscream as part of the promotion for Age of Extinction in selected cinemas.
In a later scene, Hot Rod fled the city with Kup and the Dinobots when Galvatron, a recreated Megatron, attacked the city again, this time only smaller, after being reformatted by Unicron and taking revenge on Starscream. After meeting up with the other Autobots after a series of adventures on the planets Quintessa and Junk, Hot Rod returned to the other Autobots and rushed to Cybertron to save it from being eaten by Unicron. Facing Galvatron inside Unicron's body, Hot Rod was able to get his hands on the Autobot Matrix of Leadership in the confrontation, as the voice of Optimus Prime was heard saying, "Arise, Rodimus Prime". The power of the Matrix reformatted Hot Rod into Rodimus Prime, maturing him, giving him a larger body, deeper voice, and different vehicle mode. It also destroyed Unicron's body, bringing the events of the film to a close with Rodimus Prime as the new Autobot leader.
The first Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy was largely identical in sculpt to the original Generation 1 figure release. While his cab robot retained his original red and blue color scheme, his trailer was recast in black, with the original blue and silver striped sticker replaced with a red and silver one displaying Optimus's name. On the first release of the trailer, the internal components and Roller matched the blue of the cab robot. Later, the internal components were changed to a lighter blue, as was Roller. Another running change followed, making the dark blue of the cab robot match this lighter shade. A bright yellow "Autobot" tampograph was also added to the back of his right leg.
In 2007, following the release of the Matrix's energy, Prime began to suffer from visions which foretold a great transformation for Cybertron. Events began with the Decepticons' theft of the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber, which forced Prime to consult Alpha Trion within Vector Sigma. Prime learned that the mega-computer had orchestrated events in order to restore Cybertron's Golden Age. When the Plasma Energy Chamber was opened and threatened to drive Earth's Sun supernova, Spike Witwicky and the Nebulans, who had become involved in the conflict as a result of these events, were able to drain off the excess solar energy and revitalize Cybertron. With the Decepticons driven off Cybertron and Nebulon free from tyranny, Cybertron enters into a Golden Age of peace and prosperity under the leadership of Optimus Prime and the Autobots.
Released to celebrate the Year of the Goat, Platinum Edition "Year of the Goat" Optimus Prime is a redeco of Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime, featuring the same discs lacking the G2 Autobot logo found on the Robots in Disguise Scourge version of the mold, but otherwise keeping all the electronics from the original release. Like Year of the Goat Soundwave, Year of the Goat Optimus Prime features an awkward mix of orange, black, clear pink (in some parts including missiles, the discs, and even the pump!), some clear blue (the missile's tips), translucent plastic, and some hint of chrome silver (mostly his trailer parts).
Like the previous Prime, it is loaded with features, though it ditches the first movie's Automorphing for the new Mech Alive gimmick. When a grey tab on his midriff is pressed, Prime's entire pectoral region "flexes", lights in his chest and eyes glow, and he declares "I am Optimus Prime" in Peter Cullen's voice. For the European release of the figure, to get past the language barrier, the Cullen sound clip is abbreviated to just "Optimus Prime"; in some regions, including Quebec and the UK (but only after a month or two), both versions were made available. A transformation sound effect activates when his torso is transformed, and once Prime is in truck mode, an almost unnoticeable button (a small square located beside the screw for the battery compartment, undocumented in his instructions) is revealed, which activates engine-idling noises.
Ultra Magnus is a redeco of the Diaclone "Powered Convoy" figure, itself a redeco and slight retool of "Battle Convoy", the toy that became the original Optimus Prime figure, sporting a new trailer. One of the last few Diaclone toys to be released in the Transformers toyline, Magnus was recolored from the original toy's dark blue, red and black color scheme into a more patriotic red, white and blue, though his chestplate, which was rendered white in his package art followed a more the blue color scheme of his shoulders. He transforms into a Freightliner COE, towing a car-carrier trailer capable of transporting up to four normal-sized Autobot cars. As with Optimus Prime, his cab transforms into a small robot, which can then combine with the trailer to form a "super robot", although all original Generation 1 fiction prior to the 21st century ignored this and simply rendered the super robot as Magnus's default robot form. To facilitate this combination, Magnus sports a slightly longer front axle than Prime, thereby creating tabs on either side of the cab that slide into grooves in the trailer to help lock the small robot into place. He is armed with a rifle sporting two handles that allow either of his robot modes to hold it, and two shoulder-mounted missile launchers, whose spring-loaded firing mechanism was removed for the Hasbro release of the figure.