I suspect that part of the problem with people’s perception of price is also due to changes in tastes as they grow up. A small child will be pleased with relatively small sets, since their lego collection and experience is likely to be almost non-existent. But as they get older, they will tire of the small sets and want ever bigger sets. For adults, most of the fun is in building rather than playing, meaning that size is everything. This means that over their lifetime, the price an individual person (or their parent) pays for lego sets does go up–because the composition of their purchases changes–even though the prices of lego sets over time does not.
The single carded release of Optimus Prime is a redeco of Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class Optimus Prime, exclusive to Walmart in the US and Asda in the UK. Deco changes included in this toy are the top half of the knee armor's blue being omitted and an Autobot insignia tampographed on the left knee, and similar to the Legends Class Power Armor Optimus Prime: the red arms, and the abdomen was replaced into blue.
In some continuities, though, it’s our lovable pal Bee who takes the leadership reigns. In the animated series Transformers: Robots in Disguise, with Optimus having died at the end of the previous series, Bumblebee starts off as the Autobot leader, but he’s apprehensive about it. And he even takes the leadership mantle in the live-action film series; taking over for Optimus, who leaves the Autobots behind to head into space to search for the Seed at the end of the last movie, Age of Extinction.
LEGO is not ignoring the lower priced market, however. As we can see from the chart below, the average price of a set of LEGO has been relatively stable since the 80s2. Even with the average piece count of sets increasing over time, the average price has remained stable. This shows that for all the larger expensive sets being released, they are also releasing plenty of average priced sets that balance out the average. Not only has the size of sets increased but so has the number of sets released per year (prices are in US dollars).
Rodimus and Cyclonus appear together in the story Wreckers: Finale Part II from 2007. During the invasion of Cybertron, Cyclonus and Rodimus come to final blows, fighting each other to a stand-still. Both severely wounded, Cyclonus is about to kill Rodimus when the Predacon Rotorbolt arrives and kills Cyclonus for betraying him. Rodimus then helps Cheetor to drain the power of the Divine Light from Cryotek. When Rodimus is dying from wounds he received battling Cyclonus, Tigatron is unable to save the former Autobot leader, having given up the power of the Vok to save the Predacon Fractyl.
Part of the new Adventure Shokugan series, this Optimus Prime is a transformable snap-fit kit molded in red, blue, and yellow plastic with detailing from stickers. The kit's transformation engineering is borrowed from the Warrior class figure. But unlike the said toy, the Axe must be pegged onto Prime's legs before transforming, and his shoulders are molded on his front truck halves/shoulders not being flipped down. Also, the stickers are used to cover the molded cavity on the front shoulders. As with Fixit & Underbite, Optimus Prime is fully transformable.
Epic Optimus Prime is a 22 inches tall, non-transforming Optimus Prime figure, featuring limited articulation in the waist, shoulders and wrists. His chest can be opened to reveal a command center with a seat and room to display at least three figures. His arms also feature one seat each to accommodate more figurines. The back of his arms and legs are hollow with "shelves" that allow even more figurines to be displayed.
An undocumented transformation step includes flipping Optimus Prime's knees out in vehicle mode to form a back bumper with tail lights. Oddly, the toy itself and the package art show Optimus Prime with four fingers on each hand, while he has 5 fingers in the video game. The vehicle mode pictured here is minimally mis-transformed: The exhaust pipes have not been rotated to hide the indentations against the vehicle body. The instructions show the rifle being plugged in by its shorter peg, but the packaging depicts the rifle stored by its grip, which keeps the weapon higher off Prime's body, but is also more secure.
Part of TakaraTomy's Movie Advanced Series lineup, Revenge Optimus Prime is redeco of the 2010 Transformers Battle Blades mold, featuring darker plastic, a pair of flip-out swords (the first release of this mold) from the Hasbro release, and chromed fuel tank-guns & sun visors. His shins & wheel joints are bronze from the Hasbro release as opposed to the grey of Takara's Autobot Alliance release.
Each arm features flip-out blades that trigger when a button on the forearm is pressed. Each of these blades has a Cyberglyphic symbol on it. The blades severely restrict Prime's arm articulation when retracted, as they get in the way of the kibble, but as there is very little one can do with Prime's arms without causing the blades to deploy, this is hardly noticeable.
Knight Armor Turbo Changer Optimus Prime is a Voyager-sized figure that transforms from truck to robot in just 2-steps: pulling his whole truck kibble to the front then fold down to complete the robot mode, although converting him back requires some few steps. His only articulation is the elbows, and he features 5mm compatible hands. He also features a "Knight Armor" gimmick, which consists of his mask popping out to his head with the press of the button on his chest. Take note that you need to flip back the mask manually before you turn him back into Truck Mode.
Optimus Prime returns in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He leads the Autobots as part of NEST in hunting down the remaining Decepticons on Earth. He later engages in a battle with Starscream, Grindor, and a resurrected Megatron. Although Optimus manages to injure Starscream and kill Grindor, he is eventually impaled and killed by Megatron. However, Optimus is resurrected during the battle in Egypt by Sam using the Matrix of Leadership. He is then fused with the dead body of Jetfire, giving him an extremely powerful upgraded mode. After severely maiming Megatron, he kills The Fallen, forcing Megatron and Starscream to retreat. At the end of the film, Optimus thanks Sam for reviving him and again transmits a message to space, hoping to find more Autobots.
Optimus Prime features a MechTech Blaster that can convert into an Energon Battle Axe reminiscent of the Generation 1 character's iconic weapon, though the weapon cannot be locked in battle axe mode. There is also a pair of C joint rods on the underside of both forearms. His MechTech blaster can plug into the port on each of his arms or be held in either hand in robot mode, or plug into one of two holes on his truck roof/robot shoulders.
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.
During the May 30 launch event for the Revenge of the Fallen toyline in Japan, Legends Optimus were given out to attendees. The only difference is a sticker on the packaging commemorating the event. Optimus also saw release as a blindpacked figure for the first wave of the Revenge of the Fallen EZ Collection sets. And like all first waves, he comes with a flyer advertising the TakaraTomy releases of the Revenge of the Fallen toyline. His pair of legs is also mistranformed to fit in the bubble.
Optimus awakened to the sound of Ratchet's voice. Taking in his surroundings, he noted that he was now in an organic forest, surrounded by unfamiliar Cybertronians. It soon dawned on him that he had been transported to the dimension where Megatron had intended to begin his conquest: the OG World. The 'bots surrounding him were the local counterparts to his own Autobots, including his own doppelgänger! The locals informed him that they had found him thanks to the help of his "companion," a small robotic girl. Before Optimus could puzzle out who this humanoid was, the group came under attack by the local Megatron. Though badly injured, "Cloud Optimus Prime" had the strength to fight alongside "G1 Optimus Prime" against the Decepticons, and protect the girl that had brought the Autobots to him. During the fight, blasts from both Primes' rifles collided with a blast from Megatron's fusion cannon, knocking all of the combatants down. Cloud Optimus Prime ensured that the girl was safe before before his attention was drawn to the horizon by a familiar voice. It was "Cloud Megatron," who had also survived his inter-dimensional trip, and had come to continue his fight against his nemesis. Leap
According to an early Universe-style profile published in The Transformers Comics Magazine, Optimus Prime's "official" nicknames were at one point considered to be "Autobot Commander", "Chief", "Big Boss" and "Roller". As far as it is known, no piece of fiction has ever purposely addressed him using these nicknames, though it's a fair bet he's been called "chief" at least once or twice anyway. And technically part of him is called "Roller" with some frequency.
In the alternate universe of the 2003–2004 toyline and series, Transformers: Energon, Rodimus (lacking the "Prime" suffix in English, but still called Rodimus Convoy in Japan) was a great leader on Cybertron ages in the past and was viewed as a hero by many, including similar character Hot Shot. Desiring to escape the war that had consumed the planet, Rodimus departed Cybertron with a contingent of like-minded troops, most of whom settled on an alien planetoid and became the energon-mining Omnicons. Still, Rodimus continued on his journey with Prowl and Landmine, carrying the "flag of peace" from world to world.
Prime is loaded with a ridiculous number of features and accessories. The robot itself is highly poseable, and both the smokestacks on Prime's shoulders and the fuel tanks on his legs can be rotated forward to act as guns, even featuring sculpted detail to this effect. As ever, he comes with a trailer that opens up into his crazy-detailed Combat Deck, featuring more action features than ever before. In trailer mode alone, it features a flip-down support stand so it can stand alone, a spring-loaded pop-out ramp instead of a fold-down one, and when the trailer is split for transformation, the traditional support legs underneath automatically swing out into place. The trailer houses most of Prime's accessories, including his ion blaster (with a moveable ammo clip to allow for multiple poses) and energon-axe, as well as his classic gas pump accessory, now with a poseable wire instead of a rubber hose. Two fold-out compartments provide storage space for six of Prime's interchangeable fists, while the other two remain attached the robot: two clenched, two open, a pointing right fist, a tilted left fist (for holding the ion blaster's ammo clip), and two fists with slots to grip the miniscule Matrix of Leadership that fits in a tiny chamber in Prime's chest. The Combat Deck's artillery robot features two flip-out handles that Prime can grip as if aiming the drone's guns, and Roller is also included, with three different 3mm ports to hold Prime's gun and gas pump. Lastly, Prime comes with a rocket pack like those used by the Autobots in such Generation 1 cartoon episodes as "Dinobot Island", and a stand shaped like the Autobot insignia that allows him to be displayed in mid-air, as if in flight. The rocket pack also has 3mm ports for Prime's weapons, and stores on the front of the trailer in vehicle mode.
The Hasbro release comes with a pack-in file card. In addition to the regular version, Optimus was also released in a special "advance release" assortment alongside Bulkhead, Megatron and Starscream, with each figure including a mini-DVD that contains the Transformers: Prime episode "Masters & Students". Yes, all four of them come with the same episode.
During the promotion of the Transformers films, Optimus Prime appeared in several commercials. Optimus Prime, along with other transformers, were featured in several commercials for General Motors. Scenes with Optimus Prime were used in several General Motors commercials. A commercial for the Discovery Channel featured Optimus Prime singing part of a promotional song.
Here is another thing, people complain about the presence of stickers in a LEGO set. I have news for them, stickers keep down the cost of a set. The latest modular building will have stickers with it, but it isn’t the last time a set geared toward adults will have stickers with it. At least LEGO listened to our wishes and got rid of STAMPS (Stickers across multiple pieces). Still that modular will be the only set that will have a red baseplate and printed golden star tiles. Translation, that set will be very hot on the secondary market when it is retired. It is going to be very hard to source out the baseplate if people try to build Palace Cinema by sourcing its parts. (Which is a project some are doing with Cafe Corner and the UCS Falcon)
But in between those two most well-known alternate modes, Bumblebee has had at least six others. For the Transformers: Alternity Japanese toy line, he was a yellow Suzuki Swift Sport, which at least is still a small, quirky car. Ditto the AMC Pacer, the form he took when he travelled back in time to the ‘70s in a G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers crossover comic. Somewhat similarly, he’s a Supermini police car in the Transformers Animated series. But then he’s also been a couple of other muscle cars: as the Timelines Deluxe Goldbug toy, he’s a Chrysler ME 412 concept car, and in the Transformers: Prime animated series he can take the form of the fictional Urbana 500 muscle car. Bumblebee also has a number of different Cybertronian vehicle modes.
A special edition Bearbrick released in celebration of the Transformers 30th anniversary, Optimus Prime is a redeco of Bearbrick G1 Optimus Prime in a deco based on his Age of Extinction appearance. He transforms from a Bearbrick painted up like himself to a bear-eared robot and comes with no accessories, but holes in his robot mode hands can accommodate other toys' weapons.
Hasbro executives, high off the revival of G.I. Joe through the same marketing concept, decided to acquire rights to toys from a variety of Japanese “Super Robot” series. Transformers didn't introduce the concept of super robots to the United States, but for the first time, the genre became widely recognized and popular outside of Japan. As the Transformers brand grew throughout G1, it began to define the genre, and all other super robots were measured competitively to Transformers' standard.
Optimus Prime's body was hauled out of the Arctic Ocean by the US military. While a terrorist organization run by the enigmatic Lazarus was able to seize control of several of the other Transformers that fell back to Earth, the military worked unsuccessfully to reactivate Prime. They eventually called in Spike Witwicky. Prime Directive #1 Spike was forced by the project chief, General Robert Hallo, to use his piece of the Matrix to reactivate Prime. Functional again, Prime used the Matrix to reactivate more of his fallen comrades. Prime Directive #2
The main selling point of the toy is the ability of the truck cab to combine with the trailer to form Super Optimus Prime. The cab portion folded in half and sat in the chest cavity of the trailer's torso, giving him the classic Optimus Prime truck-chest appearance. The two double-barreled cannons were attached to his shoulders and a large, separate head piece was mounted onto the hole on top of the truck cab.
After many battles on Earth, Optimus died by standing purposefully in the path of the Hydra-Cannon built by Megatron from the three Mini-Con weapons, the Star Saber, the Skyboom Shield, and the Requiem Blaster. He managed to partially reflect the beam, damaging the Hydra-Cannon. It was the Mini-Cons themselves, however, who resurrected him, entering the Matrix and reconstructing a new body for him. Subsequently, Unicron forced Optimus to face the dark part of his soul and that, on some level, he enjoyed the thrill of combat. Following Unicron's defeat, Optimus's denial was sorely tested as Galvatron, an upgraded Megatron, forced him into one final furious battle. The battle ended when Starscream sacrificed himself to end the circle of hate that powered Unicron. Floating through space, Optimus found the Matrix, but said he did not deserve it. Before beginning the battle with Galvatron, he was upgraded by the minicons. His red torso turned black and he was able to battle Galvatron one on one.
A new series of reissues means a new release of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure, and Takara's Encore series proved no different. This edition of the figure featured no extra accessories, but it did include the original, thick-barrelled version of Prime's rifle, as reinstated to the mold by the Transformers Collection version of the toy a few years prior. Both his blue and red plastics are lighter than normal, though not to the extent of Hasbro's 25th Anniverary releases. Notably, this edition addresses the small but persistent issue of Prime's shoulder-sticker: the figure's shoulders are textured with small bumps, which had, since 1984, made evenly applying the Autobot symbol sticker to his left arm a challenge. Encore Prime finally replaces the sticker with a tampograph, and also adds one to his right shoulder for symmetry.
Cyber Slammers Optimus Prime is an amazingly cute truck that transforms into an amazingly cute Autobot. "Slam" his robot mode down into car mode and he rolls along for a while, then snaps back up into robot mode. Sure to please the toddler you brought with you to the PG-13 movie! Like most Cyber Slammers, Prime manages to cram most of his vehicle mode's major details into a compact, super-deformed version of that mode.
This line features robot versions of various Star Wars characters. Confirmed figures are Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Commander Cody and Jango Fett. Darth Vader turns into his custom Tie Fighter while Luke Skywalker turns into an X-wing. Jango Fett and Boba Fett become Slave I, and Commander Cody turns into a Turbo Tank. There is combiner of Millennium Falcon of two characters, Han Solo and Chewbacca and Primus/Unicron-like Death Star that transforms into a giant Darth Vader. There are more Star Wars characters into Transformers like General Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi. This line was later revived and merged into the Transformers: Crossovers toy line, many more Transformers included characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars like Ahsoka Tano who transforms into her Jedi starfighter, and Captain Rex who transforms into an AT-TE.
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.
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.
Take one part bicycle, two pages out of the Flintstones automobile design book and one hard-spoiled child and you have a pedal car. It seems like a really fun idea in theory but, in actuality, the single-speed gearing of a bike mixed with the weight of the metal shell, seats and wheels meant operation of the thing bordered on child labor. Still, the pedal car remained very sought after for generations to come.
The Japanese release of the figure also underwent the changes in weapon shapes, but never featured a silver Roller; instead, their original release of Prime featured a Diaclone-style Roller without the two rear pegs, and the differently-shaped launcher that accommodated him, before a running change switched over to the Hasbro version of the mold. Finally, in some European countries, Prime sported red feet, as opposed to his traditional blue; this version of the figure is also known in some cases to feature a differently-painted forehead crest which leaves the three central indentations unpainted blue.