The second known version  ditched the triplechanging gimmick on the cab and simplified things a good bit. This Powermaster Prime has several distinct characteristics only seen in the second design, such as the wider "block head" and two faux smokestacks on top of either shoulder as opposed to one. Also, in a rather odd twist, this design features a black head and fists for both super and regular modes rather than the traditional blue. It also had yellow eyes in either mode a la the original Optimus Prime.
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.
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.
Limited to 10 pieces, this gold chrome redeco of Evasion Mode Optimus Prime is released as part of the Transformers Battle Command Campaign given away to ten winners via a lucky draw. The initial phase for entry was operated in July 2014, when those wishing to enter the draw had to mail in the proof of purchase from the Takara-Tomy Lost Age Optimus Prime. The actual mailing out of prizes was to take place in November 2014.
Part of the first wave of Age of Extinction Custom Kreons, this Optimus comes with a buildable parts rack on which to hang/store his many many extra pieces. His "normal" helmet and blaster are chromed, plus he comes with an extra clear-plastic helmet, torso and legs. He also has a pair of extra arms (originally from the Kre-O Battleship aliens) plus a spare hand, as well as a buildable battle-axe, a buildable smokestack-pack, and an extra Wheeljack-style wing-pack.
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.
Ugh. Hey, congrats to everyone who wanted this, but do we really need another MP Prime? MP-10 is fantastic as it is, and it certainly looks better than this. MP-10’s only problem for me was the faux grille. If they made a new MP Prime that looked good and didn’t use a faux grille, then I would be interested. Instead it looks like none of the front uses any real truck parts; even the chest windows look different from the truck windows!
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.
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.
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.
This retool of Revenge of the Fallen Leader-Class Optimus Prime features the head from Buster Optimus Prime and has had his blades replaced with semi-articulated Battle Hooks for face-destroying action! He has a darker paint job and sports black splotches on his body and head to signify battle damage. However, due to these extra "battle damage" paint applications, some other paint applications that were present on the Revenge of the Fallen release were omitted. He also sports a new voice box in robot mode, replacing the infamous "I am Optimus Prime!" with "We must stop the Decepticons!" The international release, however, retains the same abbreviated "Optimus Prime" sound clip as the original release. To the annoyance of many fans, this version was the main version released just about anywhere outside the United States (all of Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia). The box also mentions racing sounds, which may or may not be referring to the button-activated diesel engine noises carried over from the Revenge of the Fallen version of the figure.
Being a brand new and intricate remake of the Autobot leader, MP-10 was used as the gold standard in terms of scale for future Masterpiece figures, with all the upcoming releases being sized to best match him. Much like his older incarnation, he was also cherished by collectors, generating heated debates on which version is the best one up to this day.
This mold was redecoed in 2000 as Car Robots Black Convoy, and slightly retooled as his US incarnation "Scourge". After Scourge, the next use of this mold was planned to be Toxitron, which ended up being canceled. The slightly retooled version of this mold was released in 2006 in Japan as reissue Battle Convoy, which was the name of this toy during the Japanese Generation 2. The reissue used the Robots in Disguise modified tooling, with a slightly modified deco using silver vacuum-metalized plastic on his chest and trailer sides along with additional paint applications and G2 symbols. The mold was also redecoed to create a new Generation 2 version of Ultra Magnus as an E-Hobby exclusive (unusual in that the character was killed in the course of Japan's Generation One fiction).
At BotCon 2005, Hideaki Yoke revealed that Optimus Prime (or more accurately, Diaclone Battle Convoy) was not designed by a single person, but rather a team of Takara designers as the one who was originally assigned the job had fallen behind. It is said that a young Shoji Kawamori was also a member of this team at some point, who would design THS-02 Convoy over 20 years later. The patent for the toy, however, lists Hiroyuki Obara as the designer.
Equipped with knowledge of the future and the danger that would soon be threatening the transformers, Ravage's machinations included trapping Megatron and a large army of Decepticons in a spacial rift with the intention of protecting the Decepticons from the approaching Unicron and forcing the Autobots to face the planet-eater unaided. The Decepticons would then be in a position to conquer the victor of that battle.
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.
Released alongside a Sega Mega Drive version of Megatron and outside of any other toyline, "Optimus Prime featuring Original PlayStation" transforms from robot to a scaled-down non-functional Sony PlayStation video game console. He features an opening disc compartment and comes with two accessories, a memory card and a controller that splits in two and attaches to his lower arms to act as blasters.
Generation 2 Optimus Prime comes with all his original accessories, as well as two major new play features. To increase his arsenal, he is armed with a pair of black missile launchers that fit in his fists and fire red spring-loaded missiles; these launchers were retooled from the G.I. Joe figure Barricade. Secondly, he comes with an electronic "sound and lights module" that can either plug into the front of the trailer (where it resembles the air conditioners used on refrigerated trailers), or hook onto Optimus's back in robot mode (via a new slot sculpted into the cab robot). Unfortunately, the soundbox is heavy enough that doing so can easily overpower Prime's hip joints, causing him to topple backward. The soundbox features a large, vacuum metalized Autobot symbol on its front, and three grey buttons which trigger two flashing red LEDs on either side of the module, and a trio of sound effects: a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". The module also features ports on either side into which the missile launchers can peg.