Optimus Prime's Japanese name is "Convoy", which is named after his original name "Battle Convoy" in the Diaclone toyline, because the name "Optimus Prime" is difficult for Japanese kids to remember and pronounce. All Optimus-inspired characters were called variations of Convoy in Japan up until the 2007 Transformers film, at which point TakaraTomy changed their minds and began using the name Optimus Prime as well. Presumably to avoid confusion, this change includes the Generation 1 version of the character as well, who is now called Optimus Prime in newer products and fiction such as Transformers United and Transformers: All Spark, though his name remains Convoy in material aimed at adult collectors such as Alternity and Masterpiece.
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Lost Age: Movie Advanced toys, this Japanese-exclusive redeco of 2007 Transformers Protoform Optimus Prime is given a Generation 1-styled color scheme (which is also based on his appearances in IDW's Transformers: Foundation comic-book mini-series). Protoform Optimus Prime transforms into his "entry" mode. This mode somewhat resembles a cybertronic truck, with false wheels sculpted onto the sides, and Optimus Prime's trademark windows in front. His now-blue flame decoration piece fits to the back of the "vehicle", creating the illusion of a flaming comet's tail (Not sure if this was mean to represent his jetpack blast effect or his atmospheric entry heat effect, which is for no reason: entirely blue instead of hot red). The bottom of the vehicle has small wheels to roll the toy across smooth surfaces.
In Transformers vs. G.I. Joe comics, Bumblebee is offed as well. His ship is damaged during a space chase with Starscream, so he lands on Earth where G.I. Joe and Cobra are going at each other (as per usual). But his fatal mistake was helping G.I. Joe favorite Snake Eyes, who was trying to take on Starscream. In the process, Bumblebee got in the Joe-Cobra crossfire and was ripped apart by missiles. This wasn’t a true death, however. First, Starscream took Bee’s head to Megatron, who wore it on a necklace (yes, really), but eventually the head got back to the Autobots, who planted it back on his repaired body and he came back to life.
There have also been a number of spin-offs based on the toys including a comic book series, an animated television series, and a feature-length animated movie. The original series program was followed by a number of spin-offs with varying levels of popularity. A live-action film series directed by Michael Bay has produced five films, with more planned.
This Classics Optimus Prime is a smaller, deluxe-class toy bearing a greater resemblance to the original G1 toy. He was only available in a special Versus pack with a similarly unique Classics Megatron toy and later the FAB version of the 2007 movie Prime. Later releases of this toy had him individually packed in some European countries. His vehicle mode and robot mode is based upon the original toy, but due to limitations in design, budget and gimmick, does not succeed very well. His thighs cannot collapse into his lower legs, meaning they are exposed in vehicle mode, as is his head. Although to be fair, you wouldn't really notice the leg thing if he had a trailer. But, he is greatly articulated.
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.
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.
Prime's personality had been copied onto a floppy disk by Ethan Zachary, the technician running the game. He employed Prime in various video game scenarios he developed. Prime's damaged mind led him to believe that he himself was a video game character and, in an attempt to bring him back to life, Goldbug, Joyride, Slapdash, and Getaway took the disk to the planet Nebulos. They built a new body for Optimus Prime and upgraded it with the ability to combine with the trailer to form a larger robot. In an effort to keep Transformers off their planet, the Nebulans had poisoned their fuel. The sensation of dying, however, convinced Prime that he was truly alive and not a game character. To save his life, the Nebulan scientist Hi-Q bonded with him, creating Powermaster Optimus Prime. A UK story set around the same time in UK #198, Prime returned to Earth and tried to rekindle his feeling for the planet. After a battle between his forces and an advance force from Cybertron ruined a small town's Christmas festivities, he realized that bringing the Transformers to Earth was far worse than anything his troops could have done and vowed to protect its inhabitants from Decepticon aggression.
Similar to the Activators toyline, One-Step Changer Optimus Prime features a spring-loaded transformation. He features swivel articulation in the head and both arms. He shares a similar (not identical) transformation with his fellow One-Step changer, Hound. Also, due to his transformation scheme, his shoulders can be pushed forward (the arms is pushed on the same time), which also allows him to wield a close ranged weapons with longer handles with both hands.
Released by TakaraTomy as part of a 2010 promotion honoring the "future era" of the original cartoon (which was set in 2010 in Japanese continuity, you see!), this exceptionally morbid re-release of the Masterpiece Convoy figure recolors the Autobot leader in blacks and greys, representing his dead body from The Transformers: The Movie—but don't worry, kids, it's actually a "sleep mode", according to the figure's name! Limited to 2010 pieces in Japan (see what they did there?), it comes with all its customary accessories, including the Perfect Edition trailer, redecoed where appropriate: the trailer itself has become translucent, its energon-axe is now transparent grey, and Megatron, in another movie homage, is rendered in translucent purple, evoking the scene depicting his transformation into Galvatron. The figure was also released in other parts of Asia as a limited edition of 2010 as well, combined with the Japanese edition for 4020 total. The Japanese version denotes "Serial Number in Japan: ####/2010" on its bio card with the number out of 2010, while the Asian version denotes "C1 - ####/2010" with the number out of 2010 on its bio card.
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.
Hot Rod first appeared in the American animated series during the events of The Transformers: The Movie (as a main protagonist), where he was one of the many Autobots stationed at Autobot City. He was first seen fishing with Daniel Witwicky. When Daniel saw the shuttle that was going to make a supply run to Autobot City, he told Hot Rod and together they both went to an observation point, only to see a hole in the shuttle. The ship had been previously hijacked by Decepticon forces led by Megatron, with its crew killed.
A redeco of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime cab robot sporting an egregious number of Pepsi-themed paint masks and details, Pepsi Prime's differences from Pepsi Convoy are minimal: he features the shortened smokestacks previously seen on the Commemorative Series release of the mold, the blue pattern on his decals are different (matching the American Pepsi can/bottle look at the time rather than the one used in Japan), and also has a different layout for the Pepsi logo on his right shoulder. Like Pepsi Convoy, he comes with an entirely new trailer unit, specially designed to carry either a single 500ml (16.9 oz) size soft drink bottle, three 350ml cans, or 12 bottle caps (bottle cap figurines being a common and popular collectible item in Japan). In a first for the Prime mold, the figure's fists store in holes on the underside of the trailer while he is in vehicle mode. His ion blaster (which also stores under the trailer) is the first Hasbro reissue to feature the original, thick-barrel sculpt, which was reinstated to the mold by the Transformers Collection release of Prime a few years prior.
Prime invited Wataru to visit the Autobots' subterranean base, and he gave the boy a personal tour as he carried the injured Bumblebee to the infirmary. Telling him the story of the Energon Cube and the Autobots' coming to Earth, Prime showed Wataru the large chunk of the cube that they had managed to recover. He then turned his attention to repairing Bumblebee's wounds, and as such, did not notice Wataru reaching out to touch the cube sliver. A bizarre energy discharge resulted that not only showed the Autobots images of Another Time & Place, but also healed both Autobots' wounds. Prime dived at Wataru and hauled him away from the shard, returning things to normal, but leaving Prime with grave concerns over what the strange occurrence might mean. Kingdom of Giants
Refractor and Laser Prime were only available in a box set named "Chaos on Velocitron" that includes Dynamus and Quickswitch, Parsec and Autobot Nautica, Fastclash, and a Rodimus Prime Titan Master head. The set was officially announced by Hasbro to be a Toys"R"Us exclusive, and was sold at stores in the United States, Canada, and Hasbro's Asian markets (such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong). Despite this, it later became available via Amazon in the United States (but not in Canada) as well, actually sold by Amazon directly (as compared to a third-party seller).
The subject of Bumblebee’s voice is a bit of a complicated matter. Just as he was the second Transformer ever seen on the original TV show, he was also the second to speak and did so in the loud and clear voice of Dan Gilvezan, who voiced him throughout the original series and animated movie. But by the time we get to the first live-action movie, he could only talk via audio clips because, according to a prequel comic, Megatron had destroyed his voice capacitor during a battle on Cybertron.
As the battle wore on, Optimus attempted to drive the Autobots too wounded to outrun the Beast themselves to safety, carrying them within his trailer. Jetfire showed up in time to rescue most of his passengers, leaving Optimus to deal with The Beast on his own. Seeing a city coming closer over the horizon, Optimus attempted to reach the Dinobots one last time from within The Beast. As his former troops remained unresponsive, Optimus led The Beast to its doom, blasting it a few more times before leading it to fall into a chasm. Optimus himself was rescued from the fall at the last possible moment by Jetfire’s timely return. As the two of them looked on at the Beast’s inert form, Optimus wondered out loud if their battles would truly ever come to an end. The Beast Within Part 2, Consequences
Transformers: Cybertron, named Galaxy Force in Japan, was a follow-up to the successful Armada and Energon lines. The companion anime series program was not originally conceived or produced as a continuation of the Armada/Energon storyline, and it was only later that it was retconned to be a continuation. Thus, several inconsistencies exist. Once again, a new feature was introduced for the line—Cyber Keys, which activated special functions on the figures in a manner similar to the Mini-Cons in Armada. Each figure came with a Cyber Key regardless of size, but there were several Cyber Keys crucial to the plot of the anime series which only came with certain figures. Again, many of the same characters were included but with entirely new figures from new molds.
Just like Optimus Primal's basic bat toy, this figure was released during the short-lived period when the Beast Wars was still considered to be an extension of the Autobot/Decepticon war, and Optimus Primal was the same character as Optimus Prime. This was soon relegated to the realms of micro-continuity when the Beast Wars animated series began and clearly established that the two Optimuses were different characters, but the toy remains one that was officially branded as Prime, and is consequently listed here.
The Autobots gained a human ally in their quest when they befriended Doctor Osamu Kihara of the Governmental Special Diplomatic Agency, who provided more assistance than they could have imagined when his son, Akira, was discovered to be a "Booster", one of many legendary beings born with the ability to control and detect the energies of the Energon Cube. Alas, the Decepticons had followed Prime's Autobots to Earth, and Megatron sought the boy's powers for his own. To protect Optimus Prime and himself, Akira unleashed the full extent of his powers, driving Megatron back, but causing his body to burn out and disintegrate. Prime was wracked with guilt over what had occurred, and it would haunt him afterward. Time of Resurrection
The main difference is an extensive redeco, rendering Prime in his traditional colours instead of the iPod-inspired white. (Yes, it actually had more to do with iPods than Magnus, believe it or not.) Reminiscent of the Kiss Players, iPod Optimus Prime's entire ABS/PVC structure is painted over, including his fists and the silver stripe that runs along his chest. His wind shield is colored blue like the one in the 2002 New Years Convoy reissue. The silver-grey trailer has a fairly elaborate deco, featuring detailing that resembles the outward appearance of the traditional Prime trailer, including the doglegging blue stripe and Autobot symbol, an effect 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, count 'em, three logos proclaiming the name "Optimus Prime". The recessed space also features a stylised, almost Frank Milleresque, high-contrast portrait of Prime's face, although this would be largely covered by the intended insertion of an iPod.
Part of the fourth wave of Prime: Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander Class toys, Beast Blade Optimus Prime is a jungle-themed green and blue redeco of his Series 3 Cyberverse Commander Class toy, coming with a new Battlewing Shield accessory in addition to retaining both the Thunder Lance and Star Saber. His shield can open up to form wings, and can be pegged onto the ridge on top of the vehicle's cage compartment, or mount onto the screw-hole on his, er, robot butt.
Powermaster Prime's animation model as used in the commercials and as a character guide for the Marvel comics is a composite of the second and third designs. The body of the model is actually a straight tracing of the concept lineart for the third version (including its different rifles and twin faux shoulder stacks), with a slightly simplified drawing of the second version's head drawn on top.
In an amusing (but glaring) example of poor quality control in a Takara product, the back of the packaging features a small amount of Engrish, notably the word "kinetic" being written as "Kinetick". The bio also mentions the elemental metal as the "Cyber-Matter" living metal, which is used for the Aligned continuity family. Oddly, TakaraTomy's stock photo of the robot mode figure was later used as a cutout "battle figure" included with Telebi Magazine's Burning Megatron.
Although the animated series ended in the U.S. after The Rebirth, Optimus Prime continued to appear in animated sequences of Transformers toy commercials, progressing from Powermaster to Action Master. He even made an appearance as a computer-generated Combat Hero. Many episodes of the series were re-aired to promote Transformers: Generation 2. During these sequences, computer-generated scenes featuring key G1 characters are borrowed from Generation 2 commercials to serve as opening, closing, and commercial bumpers. Optimus Prime is shown in the opening and closing fighting Generation 2's Ramjet.
Although MechTech Optimus Prime's deco is similar to the first Deluxe Class figure, some of his parts (robot shoulder flaps, chest piece/truck front) were recast in blue plastic (with the chest being painted red), and his paint applications on the pelvis, headlights & thighs are omitted. His front truck hood/backpack's deco is altered: the truck steps and the fenders were painted blue, and the gold sprays on the flame tampographs are removed, while he features additional flame tampos on both sides of his front hood, and an Autobot Insignia on his left robot shoulder. He still retains the light-piping gimmick, but cast in clear plastic, with the eyeballs being (halfheartedly) painted with clear blue. His MechTech weapon is cast in transparent orange plastic, with the exception of the scope/lever and the gun barrel, which remained opaque silver plastic due to being cast with unpaintable plastic. He also features Cyberglyphics on the left side of his vehicle mode front hood.
A black and red version of the First Edition deluxe Optimus Prime could be seen in the San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Transformers slide show, inside a mock-up of the wearable Matrix of Leadership package done for the convention that year. This figure was presumably a test-shot, as it seems to share plastic colors with Generations Sky Shadow (who was, coincidentally, first revealed at that same Comic-Con).
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.