I agree with Aidan but would expand on his point. It’s not just that the sets seemed bigger; they were. As the relative complexity of sets has increased, so too has the piece count, but there has been an overall decline in the size of the models due to increased build complexity and a corresponding reduction in size of the pieces required to create such detail. The negative affect on perceived value in this is apparent, though I would argue, misguided when one considers the build quality and detail of new and recent sets.
For this re-release of Masterpiece Convoy, Takara submitted to the biggest desire fans had for the figure and produced a full-size, fully transforming plastic and die-cast metal trailer. The trailer opens up into Convoy's Combat Deck, with storage for its accessories and a functional repair drone, though Roller is conspicuous by its absence. Like the original Combat Deck, the drone can extend through holes in the roof and front of the closed trailer, and the interior has enough room to accommodate one Alternators figure in vehicle mode. Some reports suggest that the paint on this figure's chest chips more easily than past editions.
Unusually for the smaller Voyager Class of toys, Robo-Vision Optimus Prime comes packed in robot mode in a special hexagonal column box with many windows, similar to the original packaging for 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime. The package also includes a Robo-Vision Decoder. Strangely, this Target exclusive preceded the release of the regular Voyager by a large margin, coming out on June 2, 2007 with the initial wave of movie toys.
TakaraTomy released another reissue based on the Encore version as part of their Chronicle line in 2011, lacking the original Generation 1 trailer. Instead, the Chronicle version was available in a two-pack with Dark of the Moon Deluxe Class Optimus Prime and a new trailer that could be used by both Optimuses, thanks to a retooled trailer hitch on the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure.
In 2004 the LEGO group was in trouble. They were losing money and losing market share to other toys and entertainment products4. In order to address some fundamental issues in their business, they needed to cut costs. Leading up to this crisis, LEGO bricks had been adding new designs and colors without consideration for the cost to the business. LEGO went through a large reorganization and cut the production of unique elements in half, the variety of colors in half, and the number of suppliers by 80%. This, in addition to an increase in licensed sets and an expansion into video games, saved the LEGO Company.
In true Prime style, forward portion of the vehicle mode detaches to become Prime himself, while the rear "trailer" transforms into a gun emplacement. In robot mode, the barrel of the truck's left cannon detaches to become a hand-held rifle for Prime, and the figure features an opening chest compartment concealing a removable Matrix of Leadership accessory. Prime's gigantic hands mean that he can't hold it especially neatly, but he can certainly grip hold of it. Atypical of both most Unicron Trilogy figures and indeed, Optimus Primes in general, Prime's hands are not designed to accommodate weapons with 5mm posts, instead featuring a small peg-hole in his palm that allows him to tightly grip objects designed to fit there, like his own rifle, Leobreaker's whip, Cybertron Wing Saber's swords, and Cybertron Metroplex's axe. However Cybertron Wing Saber's sword hilts will also act as adaptors allowing Prime to hold and use 5mm weapons.
It uses the 1985 post-rub mold, no metal plates, and the trailer's launcher fires short(this can be modded with some disassembly, Toy Polloi has a video showing how). The wheels roll a bit iffy, this is a common documented issue. Personally I believe there is a slight molding error in the robot, the legs do not seem to fold down quite as far as an official cab's legs do, causing a very slight lean backwards.
The back story of the Transformers on ancient Cybertron is told in Transformers: Defiance. In this story, Starscream returns to Cybertron after encountering an enemy scout ship in the Eshems Nebula. After being repaired for minor damage by Ratchet, Starscream and Ironhide report to Optimus Prime and Megatron. In issue #2, Optimus Prime is ordered by Megatron to counter-attack Cybertron's invaders, but instead, Optimus organizes a resistance to Megatron's decision. In issue #3, Optimus Prime, Jazz, and Prowl break into Megatron's quarters while he is away looking for clues to why he is acting so strangely. What they find is an ancient artifact that Megatron had restored.
The Reveal the Shield Legends Prime mold was redecoed again for the inclusion in the second EZ Collection wave. This version of the figure replaces his blue on the head with black, and the blue paint on the legs is stripped off, revealing the black plastic underneath. and like the Megatron redeco in the same wave, features a Generation 2 Autobot symbol instead of a Generation 1 insignia.
Studio Series Optimus Prime is an all new Voyager Class mold that transforms from robot into a Peterbilt 379 semi-truck. He comes with a pair of Energon Swords, which can be mounted onto his arms or store on the back of his robot mode or truck mode. The figure combines engineering concepts from his Age of Extinction Voyager Class figure with techniques previously used on Prime: First Edition Optimus Prime. He also features a more subdued color scheme compared to other Optimus Prime figures. Like the rest of the Studio Series figures, the figure prioritizes robot mode scale and thus stands shorter than his Voyager Class wavemate Starscream. The CG renders depict him possessing long smokestacks, but the final product has them shortened... again. He also comes with a cardboard backdrop display depicting the climatic forest battle from Revenge of the Fallen.
Optimus Prime started life as Optronix (Orion to his friends), Hardwired a data archivist at the Vaults. After taking note of a battle in which the Autobot leader Sentinel Prime had been defeated by Megatron, he was summoned to the Council of Ancients and informed that the Matrix had chosen him to be the next leader of the Autobots. He received the Matrix of Leadership shortly thereafter, gaining a powerful new body in the process. After dispatching a Decepticon assassination squad sent to, well, assassinate him, he ordered the Autobots to prepare to evacuate Cybertron, intending to leave the Decepticons to their own devices. The War Within #1
Takara's version of the figure was released in their markets slightly earlier, as the first of what would come to be several installments in their Masterpiece line. In addition to coming with a cardboard trailer that the buyer could assemble to "complete" Prime's truck mode, Takara's release differed from Hasbro's by featuring longer smokestacks (kept short on the Hasbro version for safety reasons, but incorrectly shown to be long in the stock photography shown at right), and lacking the black scorch-marked "battle damage" paint applications Hasbro included on the figure's shoulders, wrists and abdomen.
While the Transformers animated series came to an end in America in 1987 after The Rebirth, production was continued in Japan with three new, exclusive animated series spin-offs to continue the story. The first of these series, Transformers: The Headmasters, supplanted the events of The Rebirth. With the Decepticons defeated, the Autobots entered into an even closer relationship with Earth. The Autobots also began the colonization of other worlds, the first of which was the planet Athenia, where Optimus Prime was stationed. It soon became apparent, however, that the consequences of releasing the energy of the Matrix to cure the Hate Plague were more far-reaching than Optimus had anticipated. Without the energy of the Matrix to act as a balancing factor, Vector Sigma had become destabilized. The Decepticons suddenly returned to exploit this, assaulting Cybertron in order to seize control of the mega-computer. Prime took a squad of troops to aid in the battle on the planet. When the arrival of the Autobot Headmasters tipped the battle in their favor, Prime broke off from the main attack and headed down into the depths of the planet, planning on stabilizing Vector Sigma at any cost.
Ten years after Unicron's defeat, Cybertron was seemimngly at peace, but Optimus still feared another attack from Unicron. Although the Autobot High Council dismissed his fears, a mental link with Primus confirmed that Unicron was still alive. Megatron's disembodied spark, trapped within the chaos-bringer, called out to Prime. Events overtook Prime as Unicron's four Horsemen, Rhinox, Airazor, Cheetor, and Terrorsaur, attacked Cybertron, devastating it. Prime's link with Primus allowed him to upgrade himself into his Energon form and drive them off.
In "Human Error" Parts 1 and 2, Soundwave captures the Autobots with the help of his minions, Laserbeak and Ratbat, in order to brainwash them. Part of Soundwave's elaborate scheme consists of tricking the Autobots into thinking they have turned human. Optimus Prime's human form is a male caucasian in his early 20s wearing a red jacket. Sari forms a group of "Substitute Autobots" which consists of Scrapper, Wreck-Gar, and Snarl, to rescue them. They free the Autobots from Soundwave's control and Optimus grabbes Laserbeak to engage in a guitar vs. keytar battle with Soundwave, who used Ratbat. Optimus smashes Soundwave and Ratbat into pieces using Laserbeak in guitar mode, but Laserbeak grabs Soundwave's surviving components and flees.
The Japanese release of Powermaster Optimus Prime actually represented a new character named Ginrai, and featured several retools: the cab featured die-cast metal, shortened smokestacks, vacuum-metalized plastic and clear blue windows, while the trailer was given retractable super robot fists. This Japanese version was eventually issued by Hasbro in 2003 as part of the Commemorative Series collection (see below).
Optimus Prime appears in the Transformers live-action film series as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists. In the first three films, he is able to transform into a conventional Peterbilt 379 cab, rather than the cab over design of his original Generation 1 body. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he gains a first generation-style trailer form before changing into a 2014 Western Star 5700 Concept. Also straying from the G1 design, Prime's vehicle mode is now decorated with red flames painted onto a blue body à la Rodimus Prime, his Generation 1 successor. The reason for the change was due to Director Michael Bay's decree that mass displacement does not occur when they transform, requiring Optimus's vehicle form to have more mass to achieve the desired size in his robot form.
Yet another rerelease of the original toy mold, this gift set of course includes the cab, combat deck trailer, and Roller. Hasbro stock photography of the set depicts Prime with full-length smokestacks, but this would not be the first time that stock photography does not accurately represent the final product. The set also includes a reprint of the first issue of the Marvel Comics series, as well as a DVD containing the entire "More than Meets the Eye" pilot. The set also features a battery-powered Autobot symbol that plays the classic transformation sound, speech recorded by Peter Cullen, and a snippet of the G1 series theme song.
Optimus dueled Megatron atop of an overpass in a human city. Though he managed to knock Megatron's cannon loose early in the scuffle, Megatron managed to turn the tables on the Autobot leader, reattach his primary weapon, and blast his old foe. When Megatron moved in for the kill, Optimus got his second wind, and knocked Megatron clear off the overpass. They were always real to me.
Battle Blades Optimus Prime is a brand new sculpt that attempts to replicate his Leader Class design. He is much more movie accurate than the previous Voyager incarnations. He features two energon swords made of soft plastic, similar to his Leader Class incarnation, albeit not spring-loaded. They can be detached from the mushroom joints they're on, although doing this excessively may cause them to warp.
Prime suffered a severe, though unfair, defeat when Megatron challenged him to one-on-one combat while imbued with the different abilities of all the Decepticons. Teletraan I, the Ark's computer, discovered the deception in time, and the Autobots were able to drive off the Decepticons. In "Prime Problem", Megatron created a clone of Optimus, which caused confusion with the other Autobots. Windcharger and Spike, however, were able to identify the clone before it led the Autobots into their demise.
Power of the Primes "Evolution Optimus Prime" transforms from a truck with a trailer into a robot and back. The individual truck transforms into his "Orion Pax" form based on his appearance in the Generation 1 episode "War Dawn", and he is able to form the core of Optimus Prime's robot mode. His trailer forms Prime's entire body, and his ion blaster can be split into two weapons. He includes the Matrix of Leadership, which can store in his chest in the 'Evolved' form. The center of his Matrix of Leadership can be replaced with any Prime Master. In an undocumented feature, his rifle can be stored on his back as Optimus Prime by pegging it into Orion Pax's hands.The Takara version of the mold lacks the production numbers located at his right shins. Depending on the individual copy, Optimus Prime is prone to having a number of quality control issues: ranging from two left/right arms and/or legs/feet on the evolution armor, to lacking stickers on the trailer pieces.
The TakaraTomy version, part of the first wave of Movie Advanced Series toys, is dubbed "Classic Optimus Prime", and opts for a deco closer to Prime's previous on-screen appearances, omitting the blue paint on his feet and hands to reveal the gray plastic underneath, and adding new paint details all over. Instead of painting it in clear light blue, his light-piping eyes is neutered with opaque light blue paint. In terms of quality control, at least one sample has missing it's silver paint on the head's left cheek.
Optimus was able to rally Autobot factions from across Cybertron to the cause and launch an all-out attack on Shockwave's fortress. He headed the assault himself, but broke rank when he saw the image of Shockwave blasting Ultra Magnus upon one of the many monitor screens planted around the Decepticon's headquarters. Optimus charged in to confront Shockwave, beating down all opposition along the way. Coming upon Shockwave's throne room, Prime was greeted by Ultra Magnus, who pointed him towards a secret passage through which Shockwave had absconded. Leaving his wounded brother to rest, Optimus barged into Shockwave's secret chambers, only to be overpowered and have the Matrix ripped from his chest. With it, Shockwave was finally able to activate Vector Sigma. Countdown to Extinction Stalling, Prime listened as Shockwave recounted the history of Cybertron, and eventually Ultra Magnus arrived, having recovered, to attack and defeat Shockwave. Prime and Grimlock helped him escape from the fortress as it crumbled to the ground. With Shockwave's defeat, the Autobots would now be able to start rebuilding Cybertron towards true peace... but Optimus remained troubled by Shockwave's motives; he recognized that Shockwave would not be urged to action by mere fancy. Optimus pondered what greater threat awaited Cybertron for Shockwave to so thoroughly plan for its arrival. Revelation The injuries Prime took in this conflict necessitated a prolonged restoration period in stasis. Both he and Ultra Magnus were tended to by Perceptor and Hoist as they recuperated. Generation 1 #0 Though Magnus recovered in due course, Optimus's systems had received a more severe shock due to the Matrix being forcefully removed from his frame. Thus, he needed additional time spent in recovery before he could reboot. Black Sunshine
The Autobots helped repair a Smitco Oil Refinery site which the Lazarus-controlled Transformers had attacked. Optimus had no answer for Spikes accusation that the Transformers' presence on Earth was responsible for the destruction. When Megatron's activities at Lazarus's base were spotted by the military, Optimus insisted on the Autobots going in without backup. They discovered Megatron in the middle of a plan to reformat Earth into a new Cybertron using a cyber-virus. Optimus rejected Megatron's suggestion he should just let it happen, but while the two factions fought, the human military unleashed Operation Clean-Up, dropping a bomb on them. Prime Directive #3
The First Edition Voyagers were never released in the US, forcing buyers to import him from Canada or Japan... at first. ToysЯUs later picked up this toy, along with most of the "First Edition" line, as part of a huge block of US market exclusives for holiday season 2012. This second run introduced a deco variant, in which the red paint on, beside, and below the truck side windows is omitted, revealing the patch of brown plastic underneath. As he is packaged in robot mode, with his front wheels and shoulders covering said patch, the only way to identify which version is which while in the box is by looking at the hinge joints beside his two painted torso lights, with the center portions of the hinges being unpainted brown on the variant. All releases of this mold also have a minor issue with the truck mode windvane/robot mode heels refusing to connect solidly to the truck cab in vehicle mode, leaving a visible gap above Prime's windshield.
Although the original Japanese incarnation of Transformers: Cybertron, known as Transformers: Galaxy Force, was produced apart from Armada and Energon, the series, as originally conceived by Hasbro, was as the third part of the trilogy. The English language dub of the series treats it as such. Consequently, inconsistencies arise between Cybertron and the other two series, but have been explained by the Cybertron comic book, available exclusively through the Official Transformers Collectors Club, as the result of fluctuations in the fabric of reality caused by the Unicron-induced black hole.
Starscream was my first transformer. I got it because my parents bribed me to climb to the top of the pole in the gym class. Shit was scary. Do they even make kids do that anymore? Anyway, I protected that with my life. Sorry to hear about yours. I didn't have siblings at the time but within a few years I did have some who pretty much did destroy everything they touched. Luckily by then I was a teenager and figured out good hiding places for important stuff.
Later, at the peace celebration, Prime was watching a procession of Autobots when Decepticons attacked. Optimus ordered Omega Supreme into action but the huge Autobot was quickly overcome by Menasor, Piranacon and Predaking. The Art of War #3 Prime hopped into the fray, saved a civilian from getting smushed by the falling Omega, rode Sixshot into Piranacon's face, smashed Astrotrain into the ground, and carried a wounded civilian out of danger.
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.
Thanks to TFW2005 user Fc203, we have some screencaps from what appears to be a stop-motion review video featuring Studio Series Shatter, among other Transformers and non-Transformers toys. The screencaps give us a good look at her robot and alt mode as well as a few poses. Like her partner Dropkick, Shatter only comes with one alt mode. However, that alt mode is her car mode and not her aircraft mode; whereas Dropkick is the opposite. She also seems to be sporting a bit more of a generic head that isn’t quite movie-accurate, but the rest of the figure seems to pay a good deal of homage to her pre-jet mode on-screen model.
Calibur Optimus Prime is a retool of the Armor Knight Optimus Prime figure, who is a retool of the original Age of Extinction Leader Class figure, with the fifth wheel hitch now forming his handheld shield based on the one used in Dark of the Moon, which results in a backpack-less robot mode. He also comes with an axe based on the one used in the third film.
A Toys "R" Us exclusive, the U.S. release of Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy by Hasbro does not come with the detachable trailer, but is offered with his Targetmaster partner Offshoot (renamed from Firebolt due to trademark issues) and a remold of Optimus Prime's Matrix of Leadership, which does not fit in his chest. Like the Takara Tomy version, a smaller Matrix that fits in his chest is included. While the Japanese version is based on the animation design, the Hasbro redeco bears a closer resemblance to the original G1 toy. Parts of the figure's legs have been re-engineered after owners of the Japanese version complained that the hinges of the leg armor easily broke off. Masterpiece Rodimus Prime was first offered at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Many of the small features and electronics of the original Masterpiece mold are left out. Instead, this Convoy features better overall cartoon accuracy (chest interior, head, etc.), an extensive red paint job that covers much of his red plastic, corrected robot mode proportions, improved articulation, and its gun can now collapse and store inside a compartment on its back in either mode. In addition to Convoy's trailer, which can transform into Combat Deck, it also comes with Roller, a small Spike Witwicky figurine, a die-cast metal Matrix of Leadership (with a clear blue plastic center), and an energy axe that slips over Convoy's right hand. Spike can fit inside the cab in vehicle mode, ride in Roller's seat, or fit into any of the seating compartments inside Convoy's trailer. Roller has options to plug in Convoy's gun or pull Convoy's trailer, and the trailer itself can store Convoy's weapons in any mode. Although not easily breakable, care must be taken for posing the index fingers; extending the finger even far would cause it to pop off.