2. Piece diversity: Today the total range of piece types and the number of new piece types introduced every year has skyrocketed since the decade of the 80s. As a kid, the new pieces introduced every year were indeed one of the great answers to my parents’ pleas of “don’t you already have ENOUGH Legos?!?!” However, the quantity of new piece types again coupled with the broad color diversity again requires much more Lego to be purchased to attain that “critical mass”.
An exclusive to Amazon.co.jp, this redeco of Optimus Prime is bundled with the Japanese release of the Revenge of the Fallen DVD. He is another in a long line of black repaints, swapping most of his red and blue plastic for black, some of his bright grey plastic for a cool grey and blue, and is covered with gold and silver flames. His orange blades are now translucent blue.
The values started becoming inconsistent and skewed in Generation 2 and Beast Wars, when Hasbro apparently thought no child will ever want a toy that is described as anything less than perfect. Thus it became rarer and rarer to see any low numbers. Most characters' numbers hardly ever dipped below 8, the Go-Bot version of Optimus Prime was the first character to have all values at 10, a trend that would repeat for most "leader" characters. When even more powerful versions of the Optimus Primal toy (such as Optimal Optimus) were introduced, Hasbro even invented a "10+" rating in an attempt to keep increasing the power levels. With the Transformers: Cybertron line a few characters even got "Unknown" and "Infinity" ratings.
In the grand Optimus tradition, the cab of Laser Optimus Prime disconnects to become the highly poseable robot mode of Prime himself. Like Powermaster Prime and Hero Prime, the toy features the iconic windshield pecs and grill abs, despite not actually being formed from the actual truck components they emulate. In robot mode, pressing the button on Prime's cab (now on his back) activates a red LED in his right fist which illuminates his clear-plastic sword (which stores beneath his legs in truck mode).
This gold vacuum metallized (save for his black joints, which they were made out of unpaintable plastic) Protoform Optimus Prime figure was featured as a Lucky Draw giveaway (along side similarly gold vac-metal versions of Voyager class Optimus Prime and Protoform Starscream) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Released in 2008, only 5 pieces were made, making it one of the rarest Lucky Draw figures; the images at right represent the only known photographs of it.
When the narrative begins, we’re taken to Cybertron, where a narrator tells us of the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons, a war fueled by the Decepticons’ desire for total domination. We’re told, “The Autobots, on the verge of extinction, battled valiantly to survive.” Then, two Autobots in robot form climb out from under a grate, armed with a bunch of energy conductor sticks: Wheeljack and Bumblebee. Wheeljack transforms into a Cybertronian vehicle, then Bumblebee loads the sticks inside him. Bumblebee is so relatively small that he remains in robot form and hops inside Wheeljack for a ride, rather than transform himself.
The lowest priced toys in the Armada line were three-packs of Mini-Cons. Each larger price point consisted of an Autobot or Decepticon who came with a Mini-Con partner. Mini-Cons could be used to unlock a variety of features on each larger robot, such as firing weapons, electronic lights and sounds, or alternate modes. Some three-pack Mini-Cons combined into other forms or had additional features. According to the storyline, Mini-Cons also enhanced the power of other Transformers, giving incentive to collect as many of them as possible.