[…] What Happened with LEGO When I was working on my last presentation, I totally had the idea of buying a bunch of lego people and taking pictures to make the slides (like those awesome slide decks you see online).  However I was surprised to find that you didn’t just buy a pack of people, but you could buy different bodies, heads, beards, hair, and other accessories – oh, and they weren’t cheap! […]
Hot Rod first appeared in the Headmasters limited series as one of the Autobot crew led by Fortress Maximus. He became a Targetmaster in the fourth and final issue of the series. However, his Targetmaster partner is called Sparks, instead of Firebolt (though the UK comic would occasionally call him Firebolt). Hot Rod made sporadic appearances, with a few UK stories starring him as the lead, but most of those were set in the past or future. Kup's Story revealed the first meeting between Kup and Hot Rod, and how Hot Rod's influence shook Kup out of depression; and Ark Duty starred Hot Rod and set up the creation of Autobot City. Hot Rod debuted in the main continuity after the loss of many wars to the Underbase powered Starscream, as part of Fortress Maximus' group. He served as an eager soldier who idolized Optimus. However, he was killed during the Decepticon ambush on Klo in the last issue of the Marvel G1 comic, only to be resurrected by Prime and the Last Autobot.
Hot Rod was then summoned to Earth by Optimus Prime, as revealed in The Transformers: Escalation. With typical bravado Hot Rod and Hardhead insisted on heading to assist Prime's unit in stopping Megatron. Hot Rod left Hardhead to assist the other Autobots while he captured the Decepticon facsimile. Unfortunately, he almost collided with Prowl, who had had the same idea. Despite some bickering between the two, they were able to eventually capture the facsimile, forcing the Russian troops to back down. When Hot Rod heard the battle between the Ore-13 powered Megatron and the rest of Prime's troops, Prowl forbade him from interfering, entrusting him with the safe return of the facsimile. Calling Nightbeat for transport out, he was jumped and severely damaged by Skywarp and Thundercracker. Nightbeat teleported him away, but Hot Rod had been badly damaged, and the facsimile reportedly killed.
The toy itself is a mix of different versions. The cab has the safety modifications, including the shortened smokestacks and longer missiles (and thicker rifle), but also has the modified hitch of the 2011 Chronicle DOTM two pack. Meanwhile, the trailer is the lighter grey version from the 2008 Universe release. This version also seems to suffer from mold deterioration.
The paint deco is... unfocused, to say the least. In vehicle mode, the grill, headlights, bumps (thus his feet) are painted silver, yet the red in the small Autobot insignia has been removed. There is silver paint on the fuel tanks (toy battery cover), but not on the other tool boxes and equipment in the same location. There is also silver paint on all 6 wheel rims, the air cleaners and the windscreen visor. In robot mode the silver paint is mainly located on his thighs and crotch, though in order to save on costs, the dark blue and gold paint on his thighs and knee joints have been sacrificed.
Today, generally the creator sets only emphasize Lego as a building system. They come with pieces and instructions for two alternate models. Generally, Creator sets utilize a more basic color selection and look less “realistic” due to the emphasis on a versatile piece selection. Contrast that with current licensed themes and even Lego’s own proprietary themes. Themed/licensed sets are now trying to achieve more “realistic” models. As a result, piece and color selection skews toward more specialized pieces and colors again making the “critical mass” of pieces harder to achieve.
Optimus Prime appears in the prequel novel Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday, where he and a group of Autobots travel in the Ark searching for the Allspark, battling Starscream's Decepticons along the way. While going through a worm hole, the Autobots find themselves encountering a group of humans in a spacecraft reverse-engineered from studying Megatron. With this discovery, Prime realizes the significance of Earth, as both Megatron and the Allspark are there. After saving Bumblebee from a pit of rock-chewing cave worms, Prime battles Starscream. He is about to be gunned down by Starscream and Bonecrusher when he is saved by the human craft. In retaliation, Starscream obliterates it.
But around the mid-’90s, Hasbro let the trademark for a toy named “Bumblebee” lapse. At that point, the Generation 1 Transformers were almost passé, as they focused on the newfangled Beast Wars and Beast Machines lines. In fact the Unicron Trilogy continuity (mid-2000s) character called Hot Shot was originally going to be called Bumblebee, and in fact had a lot of Bee’s personality traits and yellow color, until they realized they couldn’t use the name. Fortunately, they got it back soon after.

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.
This reissue of the original Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime figure was made using the modified version of the mold created for Robots in Disguise Scourge, lacking the sculpted Generation 2 Autobot insignias on the disks featured on the original. It sported a modified deco, with the flat grey plastic on both the trailer and Prime's chest now replaced with silver chrome; additionally, new Autobot symbol tampographs were added to the doors of Prime's cab mode and the front end of his trailer, and a pair of new chest-window stickers featuring an illustration of the Matrix of Leadership replaced the original decals.
Leader class figure, this is his form used in the Cybertron television series. Can combine with Leobreaker (or Nemesis Breaker) and/or Cybertron Wing Saber, and can use Metroplex's axe or Vector Prime's sword. At first, Optimus Prime's (Galaxy Convoy in the Japanese version) alt-mode is a futuristic firetruck, although some believe it to be some sort of mobile weapons platform (the show itself treats it as a firetruck). This can also transform into a wing mode, with wings and cannons on each side of the truck. In addition to his standard robot mode, he can combine with his rear 'trailer' section to form a heavily armed super mode. That trailer section can also form an independent weapons platform, usable by anyone. His face, designed in the classic Prime style, merges the two mouth-plate elements - a slitted version to expose his mouth, like Beast Wars Optimus Primal did on the television series and a full mouth-plate which can rise to cover it.[60]
This Optimus Prime is an extensive screen-accurate redeco of the Dark of the Moon Supreme Class/Leader Class Striker retool, using the Ion Blaster accessory from the Buster Optimus Prime and the Toys R Us Japan-exclusive battle blade accessories. He also comes with the Knuckle piece and the Battle Hooks and uses the 2-2-1 articulated fingers featured from the second Asia Premium Series release. He also features a Japanese language sound box for his voice gimmick, replacing Peter Cullen's "I am Optimus Prime" voice line.
A Walmart exclusive set featuring a redeco of the first Cyberverse Commander Optimus Prime figure, featuring moderately brighter colors and paint, while his jetpack and rifles are now black, with the jetpack's wings having silver flames. He also lacks the flame pattern on top of his hood, and features different flame patterns on the sides of the hood.
As had first been done in the Armada line, Takara elected to supplement their release of the Super class Optimus Prime figure with a new-mold Deluxe class toy. Coming without trailer, Prime Force or electronics, this Prime discarded the larger toy's ability to form Super Mode in favor of being able to Powerlinx with the other compatible toys of the Energon line, forming either a torso or a pair of legs that the other Autobots could connect to. Like the Deluxe Armada Prime, this one too was on the small side for its size class, but just as that figure could, this small Prime can still tow the Super class figure's trailer.
In search of new energy sources, Optimus led a team to central South America. When they spotted Mount Sheelah, their two human friends John and Tim Gordon explained volcanoes, and, believing it to be of possible use, the Autobots went to examine it. During a battle with the Decepticons over the volcano, Optimus was convinced by the two humans to retreat, ultimately saving them when Mount Sheelah erupted. Terror of Mount Sheelah After discovering that the Decepticons were kidnapping humans, Optimus sent Bumblebee to scout the Decepticon base. When Bumblebee returned with the Decepticons' global crystal, Optimus was able to use it to blackmail the Decepticons into letting the humans go. Bumblebee to the Rescue
LEGO® sets are not cheap toys. They are made to the highest standards and have the price to go along with it.  However, in the past couple decades it seems that the price of LEGO sets has become outrageous. New sets can sell for up to $500 retail and old sets can sell for twice that in a secondary market. This is a children’s toy, right? There is no way LEGO sets have always been this expensive; it is just molded plastic. Let’s take a look at the history of LEGO pricing and try to figure out what is going on.
Alternity Convoy transforms into a 1:32 scale Nissan GT-R, featuring die-cast metal parts, an opening hood, trunk and doors, as well as an interior, complete with his feet and thighs being sculpted to form the back seats. This complex figure stands at 6.5" tall, and is armed with a pair of blasters on each arm. In the hyper-dimensional world of the oft-confusing Alternity fiction, this figure specifically represents the Optimus Prime of universal stream Primax 903.0 Beta.

While stock photos and renders show the figure with a faceplate, this image posted by the Transformers Facebook page shows him with his mouth exposed. This was later found as a variant at least once. A running change was made, changing the blades to be more translucent. The semi-translucent blades release features a date code "73461", whereas the translucent orange blades version features a date code written as "80171".

For reasons unknown, his ion blaster was sculpted with a large, rectangular handle, requiring accommodating fists. In order to make use of the other weapons in the line (like his own rocket launcher and the solitarium weapons), he comes with an extra pair of replacement fists with smaller, circular peg-holes. This replacement-fist method is also used to plug in his clear-plastic energy axe.

Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in 2015, MP Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. is a trailer-less redeco of the MP-10 mold sporting a unique deep red color scheme matching the Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. RED of the original G1 toy, with "BAPE's famous camouflage pattern" and an ape head print on the shoulder replacing the usual faction symbol.

Hero Optimus Prime was the first new-mold Optimus Prime toy created for the Generation 2 line. He transforms into a Kenworth truck of unknown model which defies Optimus convention by being one continuous unit, rather than the traditional cab-and-trailer combo. Decals form the windows of a faux truck face to represent his chest, featuring both his name and what appears to be a life support readout coming alive towards the end. In addition to a small gun, he is armed with a large missile launcher, which can fire a rubber-tipped rocket by means of a bellows which you slam your fist down on to produce a puff of air. The launcher is accessible in both modes, ending up mounted on his right forearm in robot mode; the bellows is attached via a rubber hose and cannot be disconnected, but stores on the figures's back when not in use, as do the rockets. A similar air-launching system with identical missiles was used by the simultaneously-released Hero Megatron, and by Laser Optimus Prime the following year (see below).


In the United States, Canada, and Hasbro's Asian markets, Masterpiece Movie Series Optimus Prime was exclusively available from Toys"R"Us, whereas in Spain, he saw a wider release, being at least available via the Spanish subsidiaries of Amazon and Carrefour. It's currently unknown if he was also available in stores, or limited to online purchases. In Greece, he was officially available via at least one toy store chain, aptly named simply "Toys-Shop", but again might have been available online only.
This. Is. Awesome. I remember running LEGO piece auctions ~1998/99 on RTL (rec.toys.lego) then later my own website. I’d buy sets at Walmart and other places on discount, break them out, and sell the pieces as lots. I knew I’d always make good money if I could average < $0.10/piece cost (ideally around $0.07) and sell for $0.15 – $0.20+ … fun times!

Originally, Optimus Prime was created as the leader of the Autobots, though it is unknown how he was created or his origins. In a possible future, Megatron was threatened by the existence of the Aerialbots and had Shockwave build a time machine to send them back in time to get rid of them. However, he only ended up changing history for the better. In the revised timeline, Optimus Prime began his life as a robot named Orion Pax, a mostly defenseless dock worker during the Golden Age of Cybertron nine million years ago, with a girlfriend named Ariel and a best friend named Dion. During this time, a new breed of robot with new flight capabilities appeared on the planet that Orion idolized. When Megatron, the leader of the new group of robots, approached him with inquiries about using one of the dock warehouses, Orion was swayed by Megatron. Both Orion and Ariel were severely wounded when Megatron and his forces attacked in order to claim the energy stored there. Searching for someone to help them, the time-displaced Aerialbots took Orion and Ariel to the ancient Autobot, Alpha Trion, who used them as the first subjects for the new reconstruction process he had developed involving rebuilding the frail Autobot frames into more battle-hardy configurations.
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