He’s continued to be lovable through many different continuities, all the way to the current live-action film series. But as much as you love him, there may be a few things you don’t know about him. So let’s take a look at some of his strange real-world facts, storyline goofiness, pop-culture tie-ins and even his relationship to Back to the Future.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 2 launchers, this new-mold Optimus Prime transforms into a very boxy Generation 1-styled truck with trailer. As a Spin Shot, one manually winds up his upper body beforehand when transforming him into vehicle mode, where striking the front of the vehicle will cause him to burst open and spin while auto-transforming. He comes with a launcher used to propel him to great speeds, as well as four cube targets for him to knock over.
Over the course of the next twenty years, the Decepticons succeeded in seizing control of all of Cybertron, forcing the Autobots to operate from their new city on Earth and two bases on Cybertron's moons. In the Earth year 2005, Prime, stationed on Moonbase One, dispatched troops to Earth to acquire energy for an upcoming strike on Cybertron. The Decepticons, however, got wind of the plan and used the shuttle run to attack Autobot City. A distress call summoned Prime and support troops to Earth. In the fearsome, ensuing, epic battle with Megatron, Optimus Prime sustained fatal wounds, but not before turning the tide of battle and forcing the Decepticons to flee. Despite the efforts of Perceptor, Optimus Prime went offline after passing the Matrix and role of leader to Ultra Magnus. His last words were "Until that day... 'till all are one." The Matrix later fell into the hands of Galvatron, a recreated Megatron, and was finally taken back by the young Autobot Hot Rod, who became Rodimus Prime after bearing the Matrix. In season 3, set a year after the events in The Transformers: The Movie, Rodimus was the new leader of the Autobots.
As the Autobots were having trouble with Rumble, Optimus Prime told them try to use his earthquakes to their advantage, which led to the end of the Decepticon. Prime subsequently ordered the Aerialbots to combine and save Grimlock and Roadblock from falling off a cliff. Wolves As they got closer to the Cobra Terrordrome, however, Prime started regretting getting the Autobots involved with the humans' war. He offered to carry G.I. Joe across the water separating them from the Terrordrome, but told them that Autobots only fight if they have no choice, and they had no reason to fight anymore. Moments later, he saw that Cobra were using innocent prisoners as human shields, and Duke added that anyone who Cobra didn't enslave, they murdered. Filled with righteous anger, Optimus Prime ordered his troops to roll out. Trenches
A redeco of the Generation 2 Go-Bot Firecracker, Go-Bots Optimus Prime transforms into a red Hot Wheels-sized Lamborghini Diablo. Like all Go-Bots, he features high speed axles and can roll very well across smooth surfaces, but lacks the weight to propel him quickly. He is armed with a small red laser rifle. The plastic colors are a "solid" version of Firecracker's color layout, substituting opaque red for transparent red plastic.
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Go! toys, Hunter Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Voyager Class Beast Hunters Optimus Prime toy. His red and blue plastics are now cast in metallic shades, his translucent green plastic has been replaced with translucent blue, his yellow highlights are more orange-yellow, his yellow-painted side windows are now blue, and his gray plastic is now cast in two different, darker shades. The Matrix Saber, aside from being blue, uses a bluer shade of gunmetal paint for its hilt and handle.
The other new additions were two black spring-loaded missile launchers that fire red projectiles. In vehicle mode, these attached to the soundbox (an echo of Powermaster Optimus Prime's cannons, perhaps), and could be held in Optimus Prime's fists in robot mode. These launchers were not created for Prime; they were retooled versions of the launcher from Barricade of the G.I. Joe line.
This gold vacuum metallized version of Optimus Prime is a prize in Hasbro's Asia Age of Extinction campaign. To qualify for winning this toy, one must be the biggest spender of the day during the midnight launch of the AoE toyline at specific Toys R Us or participate in a lucky draw. This toy is limited to 7 pieces. 2 are in mainland China, while Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan each have one.
With the data from the piece price evaluations I was able to also evaluate the average size of LEGO sets each year. As you can see on the chart below, the average size of sets released each year stayed somewhat constant from 1980-1990 until around 2000 which set sizes started to increase. The average set size seems to have peaked in 2008 (which saw the release of the Taj Mahal), but since then it hasn’t fallen to its pre-2000 levels. It seems to have found a new normal around 300 pieces.
Part of the fifth wave of Kabaya's revival of the Transformers Gum series, this snap-on transforming model kit of War for Cybertron Optimus Prime is sculpted from red, light blue, and gray plastics, and uses stickers for detail. He comes with a blue non-transforming version of his hand-held blaster rifle, which mounts at the rear in vehicle mode. He comes packed with a model kit of Tigerbreast, and a stick of gum.
This mold was redecoed by Takara in 2000 as Car Robots Black Convoy. The following year, it was released by Hasbro as Black Convoy's 2001 Robots in Disguise franchise counterpart, Scourge, with retooled discs that lacked the Autobot insignia. Following this, the next use of the mold was planned to be Universe Toxitron, which ended up being canceled. The modified tooling was also used when Laser Prime was reissued by Takara in 2006 with a modified deco (see below), and for the e-Hobby exclusive Laser Ultra Magnus that accompanied the reissue's release. In 2015, Platinum Edition Year of the Goat Optimus Prime, another repaint version, comes with partially transparent plastic torso.
Prime's new trailer is essentially a heavily armed version of the original, with two double-barreled heavy laser cannons mounted on two arms with visible fists. The rear has a fold-down ramp to allow the storage of a smaller transformer, or perhaps spare accessories. The trailer can be transformed into a Powermaster battlestation that can allow other Powermaster engine figures to man the heavy laser cannons.
Optimus Prime is composed of two parts, his truck cab and his trailer. His new truck cab is reminiscent of the original Optimus Prime truck cab, but is constructed entirely of plastic, lacks vacuum-metalized plastic and has no clear windows. It also transforms differently in that the front of the truck is no longer the robot mode's chest. His chest is now formed out of the truck's cabin rear, styled after his cartoon appearance. He is armed with two long black rifles, based in part upon his cartoon rifle.
In some continuities, though, it’s our lovable pal Bee who takes the leadership reigns. In the animated series Transformers: Robots in Disguise, with Optimus having died at the end of the previous series, Bumblebee starts off as the Autobot leader, but he’s apprehensive about it. And he even takes the leadership mantle in the live-action film series; taking over for Optimus, who leaves the Autobots behind to head into space to search for the Seed at the end of the last movie, Age of Extinction.
Surely one of the strangest examples of licensed Transformers products, Sports Label Convoy transforms into a shoe. Something of a shellformer, this baffling incarnation of Prime is colored primarily white and red in his alt mode of a realistic-looking (if notably undersized) Nike Free 7.0 sneaker, complete with gratuitously long real fabric shoelaces. In robot mode, he is made instantly recognizable by his incorporation of some additional blue and silver in predictable areas, and a traditionally Prime-styled head. Less traditionally, and somewhat perversely, Prime's feet are sculpted in the likeness of his own sneaker mode, making it seem like he's wearing himself!
Optimus once considered having the unruly Dinobots shut down before they could accidentally cause damage, but they proved their worth during a sudden Decepticon attack. S.O.S. Dinobots When the Insecticons gained enough power that they'd be able to overrun Earth in seven days, Optimus Prime was forced to negotiate an alliance with the Decepticons in order to defeat them. Harvest of the Insecticons Following the disappearance of Grimlock and Swoop, Optimus attempted to stop the other three Dinobots from attacking the Decepticon base, and was mauled for his trouble. The distraction at least allowed Wheeljack to take a scan of the rogue Dinobots. Day of the Dinobots - Part 1
In the United Kingdom, this Optimus Prime was released as an Argos exclusive along with several other sets branded as part of the Reveal the Shield subline imprint. His United States release was initially claimed to be exclusive to Target by online retailers from Asia, but even though the other Reveal the Shield products eventually became available at Target, Voyager Class Optimus Prime was released as a Toys"R"Us exclusive in the United States instead, complete with a "Toys"R"Us exclusive" sticker. Also, both his United States and Asian releases lack the "Reveal the Shield" logo the United Kingdom release has (but still feature the "Reveal hidden images" call-out).
The original Optimus Prime toy started life as the Diaclone toy, "Battle Convoy", created by a team of Takara designers who came on board when the original designer fell behind. This team included Hiroyuki Obara (listed as the sole creator on the toy's patent) and famed mecha designer Shōji Kawamori. The toy transforms into two major components; the first component being a red and blue White Freightliner WFT-8664T cabover semi-trailer truck partially composed of die-cast metal, and the second component being a large silver trailer of currently-undetermined model.
The 5-inch Power series is a little more complex (4-9 steps) and a little more spoilery, because it’s the first hint we’ve gotten that Megatron might be a part of the Transformers: Bumblebee movie. Sporting a similar form to previous versions, his alt mode is a 4-track Cybertronian tank (with the usual very conspicuous face…funny how a lazy toy design decision from the first movie has now become cannon). The Power series also has the only Dropkick Energon Igniters toy. You can use the cores sold with the Power Plus and Nitro toys to unlock special features. Camaro ‘Bee and Hot Rod round out this series.
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".
Released as part of the Energon Igniters Power Plus Series subline, this Optimus Prime is a Scout-sized mold that converts from robot to truck based on his appearance in Age of Extinction in just a few steps. His only articulation is the swiveling upper arms & pivoting arm joints, and his fuel tanks also doubles as a flip-out cannons, activated in vehicle mode. As with all Nitro and Power Plus figures, Optimus also comes with an energon core, which allows his vehicle mode to propel forwards.
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.