In Titan Magazines' UK Transformers magazine, a comic strip on Optimus Prime, written by Simon Furman, would reveal where he was during the events of Movie Prequel #1. As he carries out his fateful plan to send the Allspark into space, the Autobot base is attacked by one of Megatron's drones with specific orders to kill him. As it locates the Allspark, Prime does the only thing he could think of to prevent it from transmitting its location to Megatron. He transforms into protoform mode and physically rams through it. Recovering in time to see the Allspark blast off, Prime is granted a vision of their war on Earth.
Optimus Prime is among the three Autobot figures available to play in the Monopoly Transformers Collectors Edition game. As the figurehead of the entire Transformers franchise, Optimus Prime has been on more pieces of merchandise than can be stated here. Several statues and busts of Optimus Prime as well as Optimus Prime themed objects have been released by various companies since the return of Transformers to prominence, such as the "Optimus Prime Oral Care Station". Other figures released include various PVCs as part of Takara's "Super Collection Figure" line, which were later imported as part of Hasbro's "Heroes of Cybertron" series. Larger "Mega Collection Figure" PVCs were articulated and came with energy axe and gun figures. As part of the merchandising wave for the first Transformers film in 2007, Hasbro's Playskool line released a Transformers-themed version of Mr. Potato Head based on Optimus Prime. To keep with the potato theme, the toy was labeled "Optimash Prime" and the packaging included the slogan "More than meets the fry", a potato-oriented version of the Transformers slogan "More than meets the eye".
Sold at the rather exorbitant price of $75, this re-release of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime toy is actually one of the most visually different from the other "straight" reissues of the mold, despite Hasbro's assurance that this is the toy you had as a kid. Positively anemic in comparison with the original toy, this Prime's red parts are visibly paler than usual, while his blue parts are much lighter (although the version released at Canadian retail reportedly sports a deeper shade of red again). This shade of blue extends to both Roller (a lighter blue than his traditional dark shade, yet darker than the lightest the figure has been in its history) and the internal workings of his Combat Deck, which is itself a much flatter shade of light grey, compared to its normal dark, swirled metallic silver color. In addition, the toy features the now-customary shortened smokestacks, and the elongated missiles seen on the Commemorative Series release. While all reissues of the Prime mold since 2003 have used the original thick-barreled mold for his ion blaster, this version includes the slender sculpt instead.
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.
In 1984, a volcanic eruption re-activated the Ark, which, in turn, brought the Transformers back on-line. Prime led the Autobots in their opening battles to prevent the Decepticons from plundering Earth's resources, but, following their initial victory, the Transformers were all deactivated by Shockwave. Shockwave killed Prime and leeched the energy of the Creation Matrix from his mind. He used this energy to give life to his creations, the Constructicons. Shockwave was unaware that the Matrix was not just a program in Prime's mind, but a physical object in his chest. Before Shockwave could give life to Jetfire, his next Decepticon, Prime transferred the Matrix energy into the mind of Buster Witwicky. Buster used the energy to turn Jetfire on Shockwave, allowing Prime to reclaim his body and retake leadership of the Autobots. As a reward, he gave Jetfire true life.
In the United States, Prime was only available in a special two-pack with a similarly unique Classics Megatron toy, and the specially-produced "The Ultimate Battle" DVD (which is, inappropriately enough, entirely about the Unicron Trilogy). The two-pack (including the DVD) was also available as a Walmart exclusive "Bonus Value" version with two randomly selected members of the Cybertron Giant Planet Mini-Con Team, in the combinations Overcast/Longarm, Overcast/Deepdive and Deepdive/Longarm. International markets, including European countries, saw the two-pack in a considerably smaller, differently-shaped box that was lacking the DVD case (the DVD was instead made available separately). In addition, Mexico, Singapore and some European countries such as the Netherlands and Hungary also received the two figures on individual cardbacks. For the United States market, the two-pack was rebranded and re-released in 2003 Universe-branded packaging later in 2007, available from Dollar General, Big Lots and KB Toys, and again in 2010 Transformers-branded packaging in 2011, this time available from Dollar General and Big Bad Toy Store.
The first reissue of the original Optimus Prime toy in North America since the Generation 1 toyline reached its end, this "Commemorative Series" edition of the figure was a Toys R Us exclusive. It was mostly identical to the original figure, save for some necessary modifications made for safety reasons: In the first instance of what would become a recognizable alteration to the mold, the toy's smokestacks were shortened, while the Combat Deck's firing missiles were elongated to prevent potential choking, as was the case with all other Commemorative Series figures' firing missiles. This release also had the trailer's launching feature removed.
A redeco of the Super Optimus Prime mold with a primarily red cab, much deeper blue, and a Prime Force uniformly colored in black was planned to be released with Smallest Transforming Transformers Generation 1 Optimus Prime as a Target exclusive. The toy got far enough along in development to have package artwork created by Dan Khanna, which was later revealed online, but it was canceled shortly before making it to full production. Its red, white, and black coloration earned it the festive nickname of "Santa Prime" among fans online.
If Optimus ordered his troops to come to the humans’ aid, they found themselves taking part in a struggle in futility, as the entire town was near-weightless, meaning they couldn’t put the humans anywhere where they wouldn’t float away once more. Then, the Autobots heard Decepticons approaching. Helpless in their current position, the Autobots were quickly eradicated by the Decepticons.
Sold by Hasbro Toy Shop at various conventions, Pepsi Optimus Prime is a repackaging of a virtually unaltered 2005 Japanese Pepsi Convoy. (Again, his stacks are shortened for safety reasons.) However, this U.S. release is, officially, a different character. Whereas the Japanese release's bio explicitly identifies the product as a separate character from Convoy (created with help from NASA, no less), the U.S. bio conversely indicates that their version of the character most definitely is Optimus Prime. His motivation for schilling Pepsi is, apparently, that he wanted a new disguise but basically couldn't be arsed to actually reformat into a new altmode.
During the period between December 26 2010 and January 31 2011, Hasbro ran their "Supercharge Your Holidays" promotion: for every $20 spent on Hasbro-branded product, customers could receive a free, random product from a list provided by Hasbro. Among the items on the list was "Transformers Activator & Speed Stars Mini Vehicle". According to this discussion thread on Allspark.com, Rally Rumble Optimus Prime (as the figure is listed in the thread) was one of the figures distributed.
Released as part of TakaraTomy's Transformers Movie The Best toyline to conclude the 10th anniversary of the live-action film series, this Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of his Evasion mode toy. He also uses the faceplated head and the dark gray-colored Ion Cannon used for the Evolution 2-pack/Platinum Edition 5-pack release. While his deco had taken cues from both the TakaraTomy release of Evasion Mode Optimus Prime and the Platinum Edition Breakout Battle figure, the weathering pattern bears a similar resemblance to his rusty version of the figure. Unfortunately, this release suffers from heavy mold degradation, particularly in the form of ill-fitting tabs around the truck front/shoulder area.
From this chart, you can see that there has been no real trend in the price per piece in these particular sets. The weighted average (larger sets weigh heavier than smaller sets) for the price is 13.19 cents per piece. The size of the ships did seem to increase in the last couple years; however, 3 data points does not make a trend (I will visit this idea later). For those of you who had a pirate ship growing up (I was lucky enough to get the Skull’s Eye Schooner), you may not have realized it, but it wasn’t cheap. And, the prices in this chart do not take inflation into account.
This straight reissue of the original Optimus Prime figure was released in Hasbro's European markets in the early 1990s, at the same time as many other Generation 1 figures were being re-released as "Classics". Oddly, although he shares their golden packaging, Prime is not actually identified as a "Classics" figure anywhere on his box, but is generally considered to be part of the sub-line for simplicity's sake.
Nonetheless, I remain a big fan of Lego and although I think they have somewhat moved away from their roots with the excess of licensed products (and the earlier licensed products were, in my opinion, not very good because they contained too many specialized non-generic pieces that weren’t useful for generic building. But that situation is improved and in particular we have found the Star Wars sets to be of most value for generic building, because they generally have very few really specialized pieces (although to be fair the sets are most useful for building other spaceships, etc).