We know that despite starting his fictional life as a lovable, horn-headed robot who could turn into a Volkswagen in Generation 1, Bumblebee's most well-known these days as a round-headed robot who turns into a Camaro. In fact, younger viewers might not even realize he was ever anything but the Chevy muscle car. But there’s one quirky continuity where he’s able to switch between original and movie modes at will.
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.
It should also be mentioned that a few years back, I think around 2009 roughly, TLG started using smaller boxes for the same size sets. It was part of a move to not only save money, but also become greener as a company. Because the sets now take up less physical space on the shelf, and boxes with the same number of pieces appear smaller than sets from previous years, it could also contribute to the perception that you are getting less for your money today. In reality they are one and the same product.
On another plane of existence, Optimus travelled the path to the Matrix, guided by the voice of his old mentor Alpha Trion. The path led him to Grimlock, who had also been killed by Megatron; Prime rescued Grimlock from Kremzeek, the demonic eater of souls. At the gateway to the great beyond, they encountered Bludgeon, who announced that only those who bore the "key to Vector Stigmata" may pass through. Prime realized that the wounds on his body form the key, but the angel insisted that these would grant Prime access. Prime took Grimlock's sword and bestowed the key on Grimlock, allowing the former Autobot King to ascend into the Matrix while Prime stayed behind. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12
A gold-chromed version of the Voyager Optimus Prime toy was available as part of the same Lucky Draw contest as the Golden Protoform Optimus (see above) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Limited to only 3 pieces, it is insanely rare. The photographed sample here features a chromed truck grill, while a boxed unit has an unchromed grey grill; the owners of both pieces, the Mapes Brothers of Transformers @ The Moon, believe both are genuine TakaraTomy toys, so it unsure if the one with the chromed grill is a testshot or a production variant.
In April 2007, photos of a repainted Alternators Mirage, in a color scheme similar to Kiss Players Hot Rodimus, and in Alterators-style "fishbowl" packaging began to appear on the internet. Simply called Rodimus, the 27th Alternator lacks almost all of the Kiss Players accessories, including the fishing pole, but keeps the new head sculpt. This figure also sports the classic "flame" detailing in lieu of the Kiss Player's white stripes, while the vanity plate reads "TOO HOT". Rodimus was first sold as a convention exclusive at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con. The Monday after the convention, it was made available on the Hasbro Toy Shop website, where it would sell out that same morning. The instructions present an alternate name for the figure: Rodimus Prime; whether this is merely an oversight is unknown.
In the Japanese exclusive Transformers: The Headmasters storyline (which replaced the "Rebirth" finale in Japanese continuity), Hot Rod appeared as part of Optimus Prime's inner circle. When Galvatron and his Headmaster warriors launched a devastating attack on Cybertron, Vector Sigma was damaged, and Hot Rod was sent to Earth to retrieve the Matrix. Recovering it, he returned it to Prime, only to be surprised when the ghost of Alpha Trion once again reformatted him into Rodimus Prime to help Optimus. After Prime's second death, Rodimus once again took command of the Autobots. However, when Scorponok destroyed Vector Sigma, Rodimus decided to leave the war, and left Fortress Maximus in command of the Autobots.
The third United Optimus Prime toy is a redeco and slight retool of the Deluxe Class figure from Hasbro's 2010 Transformers toyline, itself an homage to Prime's Generation 2 "Laser" form. The toy features translucent blue plastic as opposed to Hasbro's orange, red paint is used on the biceps instead of blue paint, extra red paint applications on the knees like the original's sticker detail, and more broken-up red apps on the shoulders. Silver detailing was added to the cab mode on the grill, the bumper, and near the doors. The blue plastic in cab mode is now black plastic to make the figure more accurate to the Generation 2 original. The gray plastic is changed from the Hasbro version to more closely match the 2006 reissue of Laser Optimus Prime. Black paint was applied to the cab mode to mimic the fade from red to black on the original Laser Optimus, but still includes a flame deco like the Hasbro version, only in a different design. It lacks the roof-mounted rubsign of the Hasbro version, instead including Autobot insignias on the cab doors. (Disappointingly, they are Generation 1 insignias, rather than Generation 2 ones!) Additionally, a retool was made to the peg on the inside of his right shoulder, to make it shorter and wider than the Hasbro version, allowing it to move freely without hitting the torso, unlike the Hasbro release.
The Transformers: Prime toyline hit shelves in November 2011. Originally, Hasbro played coy with the series receiving a toyline at all, emphasizing that it was a television series first and foremost. There were initial plans to release a small assortment of three Deluxe figures (Bumblebee, Arcee, and Starscream) in the Generations line before they were moved into the expanded "First Edition" launch line.
Optimus made his way to the Primal Basilica, where he found Perceptor standing over the Mistress of Flame's battered corpse. Unable to do anything for her, Prime activated the Basilica's defenses as a means of stalling Trypticon. Learning from Perceptor that Rodimus had given up the Matrix, the two entered the chamber of the Chorus of the Primes to have the Matrix returned to him. Desperate Actions However, Optimus revealed the Matrix was not for him, but rather for Perceptor, as he wanted to make sure it would be taken as far away from Trypticon's grasp as possible. He guided Perceptor to a secret exit from the Basilica and sent the scientist on his way. Run for Our Lives Warned by the Chorus to "beware the power of the Primes", Optimus charged back towards the battlefield and began attacking Trypticon, rescuing Victorion. Optimus led the Combiners in battle against Trypticon, but the Titan managed to hit him, sending him hurtling towards some sharp rubble. Thankfully, he was caught at the last moment by Fortress Maximus. In Good Hands