It should be noted that in the lead up to the premiere of the Japanese translation of this series, TakaraTomy marketing director Masahiko Yamazaki indicated changes would be made to place it as a prequel to the 2007 Transformers live-action film. This would have made this version of Optimus Prime an earlier version of the film character. In practice however, the only changes that were made consisted of trimming for time to allow additional promotional material to be added to the start and end, and the name change of Bulkhead into "Ironhide" (with Ironhide becoming "Armorhide"). The future 22nd century Detroit setting and characterizations of the cast remain as they were in the original production.
Optimus Prime is another redeco of Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class Optimus Prime, features gunmetal-stque grey plastic, and his paint operations being similar to the first Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class toy. He is also packaged with Grimlock, himself a redeco of none other than Energon Cruellock. Like other Legion-themed product, he is exclusive to Walmart in the US and Asda in the UK.

Another release of the Leader Class Optimus Prime figure, now redecoed from the original Revenge of the Fallen Leader Class mold, but with the gimmick-less arms from the Supreme Class retool, and a pair of articulated fingers which was not previously used for the original release. He also retains his pair of Energon Swords and Hooks, and his Knuckle piece. He also retains the fuel tanks that can combine to form his ion blaster. In terms of deco, he features a darker plastic color and paint (which resulted in a two-tone shades of silver & gunmetal), which is meant to go with this line's Jetfire.


Billed on his packaging as "BIGGEST Optimus Prime Toy!", Ultimate Optimus Prime consists of an articulated tractor-trailer. The cab can transform into a "normal" Optimus Prime on its own, roughly equivalent to a Voyager in size and complexity, though with a lower degree of screen-accuracy than most large Optimus toys. Prime has 5mm fist holes, as well as additional 5mm ports on his front wheel wells and both sets of external fuel tanks. Four of these remain available in robot mode. The trailer has twelve more 5mm ports. Despite this, the toy comes with no weapons scaled such that the cab-only robot can usefully wield them.
Released as part of The blindpacked EZ Collection Real by TakaraTomy's "TakaraTomy A.R.T.S", this Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of the Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class figure, sharing the same paint mask with the Battle Damaged figure sans the weathering. Like all land-based vehicles in this line, He also features an extra paint applications on the wheels rims. This redeco also uses the slightly small fuel tank/elbow tabs.
Released as part of a new line called Transformers: Tribute, Orion Pax is a redeco of Titans Return Sergeant Kup, and transforms from a red-and-blue Cybertronic pickup truck which is also an homage to Generation 1 Crosshairs's vehicle mode G1 Optimus's e-HOBBY toy. His Titan Master, retooled from Flintlock, features a new face that is based on the Thrilling 30 Orion Pax toy. As a redeco of the Kup mold, Orion Pax still suffers the leg panel misassembly.
Based on Optimus Prime's Cybertronian form as seen in the Dreamwave comic book "The War Within", this version of Prime transforms into Cybertronian truck. The figure was personally designed by comic artist Don Figueroa, who created the original comic design in the first place, and his signature is left on the figure in the most literal way: the word "DON" can be seen sculpted into the barrel of his silver ion blaster.

Optimus Prime's body was hauled out of the Arctic Ocean by the US military. While a terrorist organization run by the enigmatic Lazarus was able to seize control of several of the other Transformers that fell back to Earth, the military worked unsuccessfully to reactivate Prime. They eventually called in Spike Witwicky. Prime Directive #1 Spike was forced by the project chief, General Robert Hallo, to use his piece of the Matrix to reactivate Prime. Functional again, Prime used the Matrix to reactivate more of his fallen comrades. Prime Directive #2
French die-cast model producers Majorette teamed with Kabaya to produce the Transformers Mini Car Collection, a line of Armada-themed die-cast vehicles, all of which were redecos of pre-existing Majorette toys. Prime was a redeco of Majorette toy #256—a long-nosed tow truck—in his traditional red and blue, now bearing the Autobot insignia, the Micron Legend logo, and an image of the Autobot leader on its hood. The toy came with a pack of gum.
A second Target-exclusive redeco of the Voyager Class Optimus Prime toy, the gray molded pieces were recolored beige-grey, and multiple parts that were previously molded in blue and red (the chest, shoulder pads, and leg interiors) had their mold colors swapped, with extra paint operations to make up the difference. As such, the toy has very few visual differences from the regular release of the sculpt, in a "doing things differently to achieve a very similar end result" sense. This version was only available in a pack with an unchanged Deluxe Class Bonecrusher.
While they wandered through the tunnels, the Joes and Prime found cave paintings that described the last visit to Earth by the planet-eating god Unicron. They were attacked again by Bludgeon and Cobra-La minions, but were led away by a ragged Joe Colton, prisoner of Cobra-La for the last 25 years. Black Horizon, Part 1 of 2 Bludgeon managed to find them again and during a second battle Prime tore open the Pretender's shell, revealing Bludgeon's robot form inside. Bludgeon tripped and dangled dangerously over a chasm, but rather than let Optimus Prime save him, Bludgeon forced Prime to drop him to his death laughing all the way down.
This figure suffers from a design flaw, in that his knee joint pegs are slightly too big for their sockets, and that the resulting connection is so tight that it makes the sockets form stress marks and eventually crack, or even cracking during assembly. The problem can be remedied by simply sanding down the pegs prior to sliding the legs onto the peg.

Released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Revenge of the Fallen, this Studio Series Optimus Prime is a retool of the figure above, featuring many new parts, namely a new backpack, chest piece, and a pair of non-transforming fenders/legs, to better resemble his appearance in the first two movies. These new parts allow him to combine with Studio Series Jetfire to form "Jetwing Optimus Prime." His color scheme features a much higher contrast than the previous release. Instead of Energon Swords, he now comes with an ion blaster like that used in the battle of Mission City. He also comes with a cardboard backdrop display depicting the highway fight with Bonecrusher from the first Transformers film.
Optimus and Prowl received message from Skyfire of a coal transport in Africa, and discovered Megatron was using human slaves. Megatron detonated his coal mines with the world's largest explosion, killing the humans and forging the world's largest diamond — that he would use to as a lens for a satellite to focus the Sun's beams, melting the Rocky Mountains! Prime ordered Skyfire to attack the satellite, and Ratchet to build a square mile panel of metal to deflect the beam, blowing the satellite up. Satellite of Doom The Decepticons attempted to drain the Prudhoe Bay oil reservoir, causing volcanic eruptions and Russia to approach America, accelerating tensions between the countries. Optimus ordered razon gas to be pumped into the reservoir, returning the oil below and raising the Decepticons' aquatic drill. When Continents Collide

Get ready to turn heads with TRANSFORMERS MIGHTY MUGGS Figures. Call it a moodswing, or call it a moodSPIN, these TRANSFORMERS MIGHTY MUGGS figures feature a push-and-turn mechanism that lets fans change the figure’s facial expression by pushing down on the head. With 3 different expressions and classic character designs, these figures will have fans doing a triple take. Characters include BUMBLEBEE, OPTIMUS PRIME, MEGATRON and more. Each sold separately. Available at most major retailers and on HasbroToyShop.com.


For many, it may seems that the advent of licensed sets3 correlates with the perceived increase in prices. The 1990s and before were a nostalgic heyday of affordable LEGO sets. This is not quite true. Below is a chart that compares the price per piece of licensed sets and unlicensed sets starting in 1999. 1999 is the first year that LEGO had major licensed themes.
A large, non-transforming toy that features light & sound effects and voice tracks by Peter Cullen. The figure itself is a representation of Optimus Prime combined with Jetfire's parts - only designed for younger children. A lever on his waist extends his wings, and flying sounds are emitted when he is moved around off the ground. The Power Bots line replaces the 2007 Cyber Stompin' line of the first film.

There are two versions of the voice changer helmet with two different pre-recorded voices. An earlier release features a voice similar to Garry Chalk, while the later release features the voice of Peter Cullen. The latter version has modified packaging under the 'Try Me!' blurb, stating it has 'Real Movie Voice!', though the updated version has also appeared in the original packaging without the 'Real Movie Voice!' notice.

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.
The Beast Wars were waged on prehistoric Earth, eventually leading to the discovery of the buried Ark. The beast Megatron, following the original Megatron's instructions in a desperate gambit, attempted to change history by killing Optimus Prime, who was still lying in The Ark in stasis lock. Megatron hoped that this would result in the Decepticons winning The Great War and the eventual rule of Cybertron by the Predacons, the descendants of the Decepticons. Megatron unleashed a full-power weapon blast at Optimus Prime's face, delivering a near fatal blow. Optimus Primal, however, took Prime's spark into his body to protect it from surgical trauma while his injuries were repaired. The subsequent power increase caused by Prime's spark's connection to the Matrix augmented Primal into the large, transmetal "Optimal Optimus" form with three alternate modes (jet, land vehicle, and transmetal gorilla). Then, with the repairs complete, Prime's spark was restored, and he briefly activated before sinking back into normal stasis.

A single-packed version of the battle damaged Voyager Optimus Prime toy from the Sam's Club exclusive three-pack. Although the assortment number and the general packaging style (which are both the same also used for the Premium Series redecos of Voyager Class Autobot Ratchet and Megatron) seemed to indicate that this might be a Best Buy exclusive, it was later confirmed to be an "international market" exclusive. It was released in Hasbro's Southeast Asian markets, but was not available in the USA outside the Sam's Club three-pack.


The main selling point of the toy is the ability of the truck cab to combine with the trailer to form Super Optimus Prime. The cab portion folded in half and sat in the chest cavity of the trailer's torso, giving him the classic Optimus Prime truck-chest appearance. The two double-barreled cannons were attached to his shoulders and a large, separate head piece was mounted onto the hole on top of the truck cab.
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.
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Oh, also, I should add that I would like to see if this trend is the same for specific themes, or just over all themes. Although I would guess that the individual themes would show the same general trend you discuss here, one reason individuals might believe in the “price increase fallacy” might be because of the individual themes they support. But again, I think that if you do this, you will find the themes fit the trend as well. If you are looking to go into the numbers more, this might be an interesting area to investigate.
With the failure of the Generation 2 series, Hasbro and Takara decided the franchise needed an overhaul. They went in a new direction and a new beginning. While there had been Transformers that change into robotic animals, the premise of the new line was that all figures would transform into animals with realistic appearances. The Beast Wars toy line was launched in the autumn of 1995, and Mainframe Entertainment produced a computer-generated imagery, or CGI, animated series program to tie in with the new toy line. A fresh idea coupled with a TV series program with strong stories assured this series the success Hasbro and Takara needed, as this series was a giant hit in international markets as well as in Takara's home market, Japan.
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.
Optimus Prime is the awe-inspiring leader of the Autobot forces. Selfless and endlessly courageous, he is the complete opposite of his mortal enemy Megatron. Originally a mere civilian known as Orion Pax or Optronix, he was chosen by the Matrix of Leadership to command, the first in a number of heavy burdens he has been forced to bear. Another is his bringing of the Transformers' conflict to Earth. Every casualty, human or Cybertronian weighs heavily on his spark. He does not show this side to his soldiers and never succumbs to despair. The Autobots need a decisive, charismatic leader and that is what he gives them. It was that leadership which turned the tide of the Great War.
This incarnation of Optimus Prime first appeared in the Transformers: Universe comic series in issue #2. As part of Omega Prime, he was escaping with various other Transformers from Unicron. He appeared again at the end of issue #3, brought in to Alpha Trion's lab to aid Optimus Primal. After this, both Prime and Magnus became part of Optimus Primal's army of Autobots, battling against Unicron's Decepticons.
Generations Selects Ricochet and Red Swoop - Following our last news post regarding this new "Generations Selects" toyline (previously called "Select Series"), we finally have new images of the first two releases, Deluxe Class Red Swoop and Ricochet! These two figures are redecos of Power of the Primes Swoop and Jazz respectively. Red Swoop is based of the original G1 toy's colors (which can be found on the stock renders for the Power of the Primes toy), while Ricochet is meant to evoke the Headmasters character Stepper.
He reappeared in the third crossover, where he apparently acted as Optimus Prime's right-hand man. Putting a team together to look for the missing team that had journeyed to Earth (who had been captured by Serpentor and the Decepticons), he would later lead the combined G.I. Joe/Autobot force that rescued Optimus Prime. In contrast to his usual "youthful rookie" portrayal here Hot Rod seems to be in a high command position, outranking Ultra Magnus, Prowl and Ironhide among others. However, by the fourth crossover Hot Rod is forced to wait on Cybertron under Magnus's command as Optimus Prime journeys to Earth.
Part of the first wave of Beast Hunters Series 3 Voyager Class toys, Optimus Prime is functionally an upsized copy of his Beast Hunters Series 3 Cyberverse toy, though with certain sculpted details based on his larger toys, the replacement of his ball joints with more robust ratchet joints, the addition of thigh swivels, and various deco differences. As a result, his complexity is lower than in his previous Voyager Class toys, but he ends up being much, much more massive.

Excellent article. Especially for pointing out how different we remember things from ‘when we were kids.’ (I swear Optimus Prime was two feet tall!) My only criticism is linking to those two Brickset articles about supposed “quality decline”… the headlines are sensationalist and inflammatory, and a LEGO rep eventually replied to the spurious claims with information that deflates much of the (somewhat unfounded) criticism. Also the comments give me a headache. Otherwise great stuff!


The original Optimus Prime toy, as well as the Diaclone Battle Convoy toy that it was based based upon, transforms into a late 1970s red Freightliner FL86 Cab-over-Engine triple-axle semi trailer truck. The truck mode features rubber tires, and the cab is partially constructed of die cast metal. The windscreen section can open to reveal ultimately-unused seats that were originally designed for Diaclone's driver figures.

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.
Beast Wars: Transformers had to be renamed in some countries, particularly Canada, because of concern over the word "war" in the title. So, in some countries, it was released under the title Beasties. Long-time Transformers fans noticed the prominence of the words "Beast Wars" over "Transformers", the latter appearing in small type under the former. The Transformers' fan base splintered into two groups as a direct result, with the one enjoying Beast Wars for what it was and the other refusing to accept it as official canon in the Transformers mythology.
After a long period of stalemate, Prime grew frustrated at the lack of progress his troops were making against Megatron's forces. To remedy the situation, he ordered the creation of several new Transformers who would be perfectly adapted for combat on Earth. The first among these was Pirhana. Piranha's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile But one of the Autobots' great victories came not through superior numbers or firepower, but trickery and cunning. As part of a plan devised by Optimus Prime's new second-in-command Prowl, the Autobots allowed Starscream to "overhear" that they had uncovered an ancient Cybertronian ship with the means to return to Cybertron. They then stationed themselves around the vessel, atop of Table Mountain in Africa, and awaited the inevitable Decepticon attack over its possession. Optimus met Megatron in battle, but ordered his troops to withdraw after a brief skirmish, declaring the Decepticons too powerful to hold back. Once the Decepticons claimed their prized and entered the ship, they found themselves locked inside it. The ship then shot up away from the planet, leaving the Decepticons without the means to control it. Though the Autobots knew this wouldn't rid them permanently of the Decepticons, they were satisfied with a brief period of calm while they were off-world. Day of the Decepticons
Armada Built to Rule Optimus Prime transforms into a fair approximation of his vehicle mode, but the robot mode is quite inaccurate, due to the very broad, flat Trans-Skeleton with thin, stick-like limbs attached to it. The set came with a very simplistic "Mini-Con" Sparkplug partner kit that did have a more dedicated "Powerlinx" connector than the standard construction pegs, though these are a bit too thin to be used as attachment points for regular Mini-Cons (they stay, sort of, but it's a very loose connection). The 101-piece set also features pressure-launch missile-firing "smokestack" cannons.
Tomica Optimus Prime is a die-cast non-transforming toy of his truck mode from Prime. It was sold as part of the "Dream Tomica Series", a subline featuring exclusively fictional vehicles. Like all Tomica toys & all Generation 2 GoBots and Spychangers, Optimus Prime features smooth-rolling axle/wheel construction that lets the toys be quickly zipped along smooth surfaces. However, they do not convert into robot mode.
Prime's trailer opens up into his Combat Deck, containing the scout drone, Roller. The interior of the Combat Deck features three pegs that can accommodate Prime's laser rifle, fuel pump and nozzle accessories, and seating for two Diaclone drivers. As its central feature, the Combat Deck features a missile-armed repair drone pod mounted upon a boom lift arm (featuring another cockpit for a Diaclone driver), which can also be extended through holes in the trailer's roof and front-end when it is closed. Situated in the base of the boom arm is a spring-loaded launcher that can launch Roller out of the Combat Deck and into action. Roller himself has seating for four Diaclone passengers, and features a port that can accommodate either Prime's rifle or the fuel pump. The interior space of the trailer allows storage room for one standard Autobot car, which can also be shot forward by the launcher.
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