Multiple reports suggest that the toy suffers from a design flaw, inferior plastic quality, or both: Due to his hands having peg-holes that are a bit too small to accommodate 5mm posts, they have a tendency to show stress marks on the inside after pegging his sword handle (or most other pegs) inside. Stress marks also tend to appear near his tiny hinged wrists. Fortunately, there have been no reports of the hands actually breaking on either location thus far.
The paint deco is... unfocused, to say the least. In vehicle mode, the grill, headlights, bumps (thus his feet) are painted silver, yet the red in the small Autobot insignia has been removed. There is silver paint on the fuel tanks (toy battery cover), but not on the other tool boxes and equipment in the same location. There is also silver paint on all 6 wheel rims, the air cleaners and the windscreen visor. In robot mode the silver paint is mainly located on his thighs and crotch, though in order to save on costs, the dark blue and gold paint on his thighs and knee joints have been sacrificed.

A black and red version of the First Edition deluxe Optimus Prime could be seen in the San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Transformers slide show, inside a mock-up of the wearable Matrix of Leadership package done for the convention that year. This figure was presumably a test-shot, as it seems to share plastic colors with Generations Sky Shadow (who was, coincidentally, first revealed at that same Comic-Con).
Within G.I. Joe's headquarters, Optimus found Doctor Venom controlling a robotic suit made out of the remains of both Bumblebee and Soundwave. The battle between him and the Joes spilled out into the open and into another battle, where Decepticobra was attacking the United Nations. As more factions joined the brawl, Optimus yanked Bumblebee's components free from Soundwave's body and took to the skies, back to Cybertron. Expelled from the Garden There, he was able to reunite Bumblebee's body with his head. Headmasters

The real selling point of the toy, however, is the colossal Omega Combat Armor. Optimus' trailer transforms into nearly two feet of limb extensions, armor, and wings. The armor remains completely integrated (except for the Ultimax Super Cannon) during transformation, with no partsforming, although this renders the final power-up robot mode somewhat limited in articulation, having no leg articulation whatsoever aside from swinging the hips out slightly and twisting at the ankles for maximum stability. The armor adds six more 5mm ports of dubious utility around the feet, retains the four from the cab robot and the eight from the trailer (on the backs of the wings), and has his own pair of 5mm fist holes. In trailer mode, it can support itself using folding blue landing gear, although the attached ball-jointed struts make it somewhat less than realistic.
Part of the first wave of Generations: Combiner Wars Voyager Class toys, this is a bigger, bulkier incarnation of Optimus Prime with a striking resemblance to Ginrai. He comes with two blasters which he holds via 5mm post. One of the guns is based on his trademark Ion Blaster, and both weapons store on the back of his vehicle mode as a makeshift engine block. His torso mode has several details that appear to be influenced by Energon Optimus Prime's super mode, including the head, chest, and thighs. In particular, the chest details are modeled after the Spark of Combination. He also features two pair of fake windows on his robot and gestalt chest halves. The combiner head can be used as a robot mode head if you're feeling silly.
This highly accurate model kit of Optimus Prime is a Japanese exclusive. It is extremely possible, and comes with his two swords that can be mounted either on his fore-arm, or the hand can be removed and it placed in the wrist via ball joint. His appearance is based on his Dark of the Moon look, as it his "Abbs". The head can be made either with the face-plate on or the face-plate of which reveals a detailed face. Interestingly though, he doesn't come with any of the guns he uses in the films, though it is thought he can hold Buster Prime's gun.
Interesting work but I would like to know whether you would find the amount of new sets offered in toto has changed over the survey period. Is there an economy of scale at work? This seems to have two implications: first, the number of units for a particular set may have increased thereby affecting the price of all sets belonging to that class (but doubtful you could find exactly how many Death Star sets were produced in relation to, say, hogwarts castles); second, the popularity of certain set classes may affect what kinds of sets are available. Like with language, we are all confined to use the words we know. And so with Lego, set designers are confined to use what’s economical, unless, of course, the design calls for new styled pieces. These relations are difficult to grasp in statistical analyses, but would seem to play a role in price steering.
Universe Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Robots in Disguise Scourge Spy Changer toy. He replaces most of the black plastic with predominantly red and blue, with silver for detailing, with an overall deco making him resemble the original Optimus Prime. Like most Spychangers, he features high speed axles and can roll very well across smooth surfaces, but lacks the weight to propel him quickly.
An extremely simplified version of Optimus Prime, this McDonald's Happy Meal toy transforms into a trailer-less truck cab. He is formed out of a large percentage of translucent plastic, and can combine with the other Happy Meal Armada toys (Hot Shot, Red Alert, and Smokescreen) into a human (well, robot) pyramid-style configuration, notionally considered a "Mighty Robot".
Although Rodimus plays the part of the brash youth, he is actually very intelligent, and has no loyalty to Optimus Prime; only his own personal gain. According to his biography, Rodimus used to be leader of the Wreckers, a mercenary group hired by Optimus Prime; but after the deaths of the other members, he joined the Autobot Seekers under the command of Goldbug.
When Bumblebee, Hound and Spike brought a badly-damaged Starscream back to the Ark, Optimus struggled with the ethical implications of allowing Wheeljack and Ratchet to mess with the Decepticon's logic circuits, but gave them the go ahead. Starscream proved to be amnesic, and Optimus was able to take the opportunity to help him as much as possible, even physically preventing Megatron from retrieving his former lieutenant when Starscream opted to stay with the Autobots. Though Starscream left as soon as he regained his memory, Prime reflected that they'd learned that maybe it was possible to reason with a Decepticon. Redemption Center
The earliest version, as shown in the first patent application for the toy, was to have the Prime cab be a triplechanger, turning from truck cab to jet or robot[3]. The nosecone of the jet and robot legs were released by the Powermaster lock in the same fashion as the legs in the final version. Optimus would have had winged arms in non-super robot mode. The super robot mode's head was also integrated into the trailer's hitch... and lacked a faceplate.
If Sparkplug suggested that the Autobots not worry about subtlety, the entire squad transformed and began prowling the streets in search of Decepticons. Oblivious to the panic they were causing, Optimus assumed that the Decepticons were spotted nearby when a police officer declared that the city was under siege by giant robots. Unable to restore order in time to halt the Decepticons’ plot, Optimus and the rest of his team were destroyed in the ensuing earthquake.
Exclusive to Walmart, this Deluxe Class Optimus Prime is an all-new mold, close in scale to Voyager Class Megatron. He has a high range of motion, with ball jointed shoulders and hips, swivels at the neck, knees, and feet, and double swivels in the elbows. As a result of the transformation process, he can also rotate at the waist, though this is hindered considerably by his "backpack" kibble. This can be remedied by pointing the truck nose downward, as it is in the packaging. Optimus Prime also features the spring loaded "Automorph" feature in his head, if the truck kibble pushes the small grey switch from his back before splitting the chest into half.
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.

The SS-03 version of Takara's Deluxe-class Optimus figure, based on the Anniversary release, was released in Hasbro markets in a two pack with the smaller Japanese Megatron figure. There are some tiny but notable differences between this and the Anniversary figure; the Hasbro version uses a more neutral dark-gray for the main body as opposed to the Takara version's blue-tinted dark-gray, plain dark-blue plastic rather than dark-blue-with-sparkles, and plain yellow paint for the cab's lights rather than sparkly-yellow/gold.
Back in the 60s, Hasbro was commissioned to play down the negative stigma surrounding US soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War. The result was four, 12-inch tall dress-up dolls featuring realistic camouflage fatigues and weapons of the time. The figurines represented the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. There was no real storyline at the time which limited the allure of the toys.
This new roughly 11-inch leader-sized mold of Optimus Prime transforms from a robot to trailer/truck combination and back, with the transformation taking cues from both the Reveal the Shield Legends Class and the Robots in Disguise Legion Class toys. Surprisingly, he does have a reasonable amount of articulation, including a balljointed head and hinged joints for his arms, shoulders and legs, plus lateral hinges for his feet. His head includes light-piping and, unlike other Cyber Series toys, his truck windows have actual transparent plastic rather than just being merely painted.
As this is the Unicron Triogy we're talking about, it should come as no surprise that Prime can transform into a Super Mode by combining with his trailer, which becomes a massive winged backpack and a pair of large boots, generally evocative of God Ginrai. To complete his Super Mode look, a small lever of the back of Prime's head raises his traditional mouthplate into place, covering his Optimus Primal-style mouth slot, and two "crests" fold out from either side of his helmet. Hasbro's instructions and stock photography for the figure orient the wings so that the two cannons point over Prime's shoulders, but Takara's have wings arcing up past his shoulders, with the cannons slung under his arms. This was the way Prime appeared in the cartoon series, and was the way all subsequent Hasbro redecos of the toy were positioned. In Super Mode, Prime is a rather top-heavy robot, and his hip joints are not that tight, which makes standing him up a challenging prospect.

(As an odd postscript to this tale of footwear-induced madness, although the promo pictures all showed the shoeformer as a white and navy blue sneaker that transforms into a white and aqua blue robot, the product actually released sported much darker colors for all the robot-mode parts, with a deep teal instead of aqua, and almost all the white replaced by an icky tan/cream/grey color, including the head. Basically, the figure looks like the promo picture viewed through really dark sunglasses. Although this certainly doesn't make it look any more like Prime, you might argue that it looks a little less like Magnus. Sorta. Maybe. Not really.)

The subject of Bumblebee’s voice is a bit of a complicated matter. Just as he was the second Transformer ever seen on the original TV show, he was also the second to speak and did so in the loud and clear voice of Dan Gilvezan, who voiced him throughout the original series and animated movie. But by the time we get to the first live-action movie, he could only talk via audio clips because, according to a prequel comic, Megatron had destroyed his voice capacitor during a battle on Cybertron.
During the May 30 launch event for the Revenge of the Fallen toyline in Japan, Legends Optimus were given out to attendees. The only difference is a sticker on the packaging commemorating the event. Optimus also saw release as a blindpacked figure for the first wave of the Revenge of the Fallen EZ Collection sets. And like all first waves, he comes with a flyer advertising the TakaraTomy releases of the Revenge of the Fallen toyline. His pair of legs is also mistranformed to fit in the bubble.
The series begins when Optimus and his crew, after picking up a disillusioned ninja named Prowl, are sent to clear rubble from a space bridge passage. There, the Autobots stumbled upon the Allspark and are immediately attacked by Megatron's battle cruiser, the Nemesis. Through treachery by Megatron's second-in-command, Starscream, Megatron was fragged and the Autobots crashed on Earth in the early 21st century. After being in stasis under Lake Erie for 50 years, the Autobots awaken in Detroit of the near future, where they immediately discovered humans in need and became heroes of the city. During the battle for the possession of the Allspark, Optimus goes offline after defeating Starscream, only to be revived by Sari Sumdac and her Allspark-infused key.
Thanks to fellow Seibertron user, Sabrblade, we have discovered some new in-hand pictures of the forthcoming Transformers Studio Series #38 Voyager Class Transformers Bumblebee Optimus Prime figure! These come couresty of YouTuber TonTon Reviews, presumably as a preview of his next review. For comparison, they have put this new entry into the Studio Series with MP-10 and Takara Tomy's Movie Advanced series "Classics Optimus Prime" (Evasion Mode Optimus Prime). This gives us a good - Read More

This is not to suggest that specialized pieces are bad. Far from it. LEGO Indiana Jones would never feel real without Indy’s whip; LEGO Board Games would never spring to life without their unique dice. But there’s no denying that specialized pieces are costly to produce, and their proliferation was a prime reason why the LEGO Group’s profits plummeted through much of the 1990s, despite steady sales.
This Collector's Edition Japanese e-HOBBY exclusive was a redeco of Targetmaster Kup, released in conjunction with the 2006 reissue of Kup and designed to represent the character Orion Pax from the Generation 1 television series episode "War Dawn". Orion transforms into a Cybertronic pickup truck and came with both a gun and Barrelroller, a redeco of Recoil. He has full shoulder rotation, though the way his elbows are set up means he cannot make full use of their joints. His legs feature no articulation whatsoever.
1. Color diversity: Back in the 80s, most sets were comprised of a few basic colors; red, blue, yellow, white, gray, and black. It was much easier to acquire a “critical mass” of pieces in each color to start building one’s own creations in coherent color schemes. Space, Town, Castle sets all had the same basic colors. Today Lego uses a much wider array of colors in their sets. While this adds a lot of variety and visual appeal to today’s sets, this means that one has to buy a much larger number of sets (or scour bricklink) to get achieve a workable critical mass of pieces in each color. After buying some of the modern sets, I end up with a few dark-blue or lime-green pieces that I don’t really have enough to much with other than use as accent colors. They end up in my misc color bin in the event I decide to build the set they originally came with or sell them off on bricklink.
For Universe, a redeco of the Armada Super-Con Optimus Prime in more Generation 1-inspired colors was released in a Sam's Club exclusive five-pack alongside Runamuck, Longrack, Buzzsaw, and Blurr. Optimus was the only toy in the set different from the original releases. He came with a translucent red version of the remolded style of Cyber Key previously included with this mold's release during the Cybertron line, featuring a Powerlinx port to activate his punching gimmick.
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.
Outstanding work here. After reading a number of complaints about how the price has ‘increased’ over the years, it’s great to see this analytical approach. One additional hypothesis I have is related to the increase in the number of sets released each year, which would appear to be supported by your data. More sets to buy to be ‘complete’ makes for more money out of pocket.
Optimus Prime was the central figure of Kabaya's final Cybertron candy toy series, Change Galaxy, which was themed around his combinations with Leobreaker and Wing Saber. In addition to being transformable (again, through partial disassembly), this figure of Prime combines with the Change Galaxy versions of his partners, forming Savage Claw Mode and Sonic Wing Mode. Prime himself came packaged with an alternate Super Mode head and his leg armour in order to complete his appearance in each of these forms. Additional Super Mode pieces were not created for this line, as that wasn't the point.

Prime's personality had been copied onto a floppy disk by Ethan Zachary, the technician running the game. He employed Prime in various video game scenarios he developed. Prime's damaged mind led him to believe that he himself was a video game character and, in an attempt to bring him back to life, Goldbug, Joyride, Slapdash, and Getaway took the disk to the planet Nebulos. They built a new body for Optimus Prime and upgraded it with the ability to combine with the trailer to form a larger robot. In an effort to keep Transformers off their planet, the Nebulans had poisoned their fuel. The sensation of dying, however, convinced Prime that he was truly alive and not a game character. To save his life, the Nebulan scientist Hi-Q bonded with him, creating Powermaster Optimus Prime. A UK story set around the same time in UK #198, Prime returned to Earth and tried to rekindle his feeling for the planet. After a battle between his forces and an advance force from Cybertron ruined a small town's Christmas festivities, he realized that bringing the Transformers to Earth was far worse than anything his troops could have done and vowed to protect its inhabitants from Decepticon aggression.[6]
Created with the specific purpose of producing an Optimus Prime as accurate to the original animated series as possible, the toy is exceptionally poseable, partially constructed from die-cast metal, features rubber tires and vacuum-metalized plastic and is heavily detailed, with sliding pistons in its joints and working spring-loaded suspension in vehicle mode. The figure also contains multiple non-intrusive gimmicks, such as a moving mouthplate to emulate Prime's traditional method of speech, flip-up communications panels on the forearms depicting images of Bumblebee and Starscream, and an opening, light-up Matrix chamber in the chest, which contains a removable vacuum-metalized Matrix of Leadership that can also be pulled open.
Nearly all the chrome is worn off, the tips of both smokestacks are broken, the fists and guns and voice box are long gone, there's a huge chip of plastic broken off one of the shoulders. I still have the trailer, but it's also broken in a few places. The door is gone. The spring-loaded gimmick doesn't work anymore. The repair drone broke off entirely near one of the joints on the main arm and was thrown away many years ago.
A redeco of Legends Optimus Prime replacing his red plastic with more blue and silver, but sprucing things up a bit with red flame paint operations. Defender Optimus Prime (ディフェンダーオプティマスプライム) was only available in Japan as part of their Transformers Animated promotion in March 2010. It was given away for free to customers who purchased Animated merchandise at Edion, Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera stores.
This occurs in a Japanese toy line, animated series, and mobile video game called Q-Transformers. Specifically, the video game is called Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns. Both Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are able to switch between their Generation 1 and movie modes in the series and game-- specifically Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns. Strangely, though, when he’s in Generation 1 mode, he’s not a Volkswagen but another small, quirky car: a Daihatsu Copen. The show is pretty meta, with the characters being aware that they’re toys and they even talk about the Mystery of Convoy video game that they’re in.
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.
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).
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