Excellent article. Especially for pointing out how different we remember things from ‘when we were kids.’ (I swear Optimus Prime was two feet tall!) My only criticism is linking to those two Brickset articles about supposed “quality decline”… the headlines are sensationalist and inflammatory, and a LEGO rep eventually replied to the spurious claims with information that deflates much of the (somewhat unfounded) criticism. Also the comments give me a headache. Otherwise great stuff!

An exclusive version of Titan Class Metroplex was made available at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. He comes with 12 small, non-transforming figurines of Orion Pax, Megatron, Bumblebee, Thundercracker, Trailcutter, and Hoist, all in both modes. The figurines are based on their Thrilling 30 Generations Deluxe Class toys, and similarly to Decoys, the Autobot figurines are cast in red plastic, and the Decepticons in purple.
Or instead of adding a surface to the package, sell it with its own little plaque / platform. A really thin piece of hard plastic or something that is smooth as well as possibly having a graphic or something printed on it. And then market it as a collectible and only make so many of them. I'm thinking in the price range of $199-$299. I'm not sure the costs going into it, so I can't say.
A figure of Prime combined with Jetfire was released as part of the second Big Transformers wave, which came with no accessories of its own, but could hold any of the weapons released with the other second wave figures, including Jetfire's gun, the Star Saber, the Skyboom, and the Requiem Blaster. As with the first wave figures, he came packaged with Ramune candy.

When Sideswipe was accused and convicted of destroying the Nova Suspension Bridge, Optimus was infuriated that one of his own Autobots could commit such a heinous act. Optimus was tasked to hunt down and deactivate Sideswipe, though the task proved to be easy as Sideswipe did not run, hide or resist. After Optimus had deactivated Sideswipe, he was approached by Prowl, who pointed out that Sideswipe's actions made little sense, as he had committed the crime in broad daylight before many witnesses. Agreeing that the Decepticons might be behind the situation, Optimus allowed Prowl to take a team of Autobots to Carob Island to clear Sideswipe's name while Optimus and Jazz stayed behind to continue working on human/Autobot relations. Prowl returned with evidence that it was indeed a Decepticon-controlled clone of Sideswipe that had committed the crime. Optimus then presumably reactivated Sideswipe when his name was cleared. Deadly Paradise
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