INFOBAR Optimus Prime (ANNIN) is a redeco of INFOBAR Optimus Prime (NISHIKIGOI), transforming into a recreation of the ANNIN edition of the INFOBAR cellphone. All-white in cellphone mode, he sports additional blue and red detailing in robot mode. Like the other figures in this line, he is not a working cellphone but can be paired via Bluetooth with a smartphone, such as an iPhone, to act as a notification alarm in either robot or INFOBAR mode. The screen is non-functional, but pre-printed cards are included which can be slid into the screen to show an Autobot logo, Decepticon logo, a mockup of a cellphone home screen, or a technical "Transformers INFOBAR" design. The figure also includes a display stand.
Hero Optimus Prime was the first new-mold Optimus Prime toy created for the Generation 2 line. He transforms into a Kenworth truck of unknown model which defies Optimus convention by being one continuous unit, rather than the traditional cab-and-trailer combo. Decals form the windows of a faux truck face to represent his chest, featuring both his name and what appears to be a life support readout coming alive towards the end. In addition to a small gun, he is armed with a large missile launcher, which can fire a rubber-tipped rocket by means of a bellows which you slam your fist down on to produce a puff of air. The launcher is accessible in both modes, ending up mounted on his right forearm in robot mode; the bellows is attached via a rubber hose and cannot be disconnected, but stores on the figures's back when not in use, as do the rockets. A similar air-launching system with identical missiles was used by the simultaneously-released Hero Megatron, and by Laser Optimus Prime the following year (see below).
The styling is a little blocky, but these are toys aimed at a younger audience that actually wants to play with their Transformers. They don’t need 45 step transformations that result in perfect representations of what they see on screen. They want something that they can switch quickly between modes and that have added play potential, with power-up engines that unlock special features.
The instruction manual for the MP-04S Convoy Sleep Version reveals a hidden message saying that Rodimus will be the next installment in the Masterpiece series. Concept sketches of the figure were released online in July 2010. The figure is a faithful modern recreation of the original G1 toy. Gimmicks include retractable binoculars, spinning saw blade and the Matrix of Leadership, but the figure's main feature is the ability to transform into both Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime. The transition between the two incarnations involves rotating the face, extending the legs and adjusting the spoiler on the back.
A Japanese-exclusive, the final new-design G1 Convoy toy was a departure from previous versions. He now transformed into a small extended hood cab truck of made-up model pulling an implausibly large trailer equipped with motorized caterpillar treads. The trailer could additionally pull along the auxiliary trailer transformer Grandus, on which the shuttle Sky Garry could land, forming the spaceship "Battlestars". Even without combining, Star Convoy's truck mode was a behemoth, including a Micro Trailer semi as a small accessory and an upgraded Roller that was now patterned after a tracked ballistic missile carrier.
For the Generation 2 toy line, the original Optimus Prime toy was altered somewhat and an electronic sound maker was added. Later Generation 2 toys of Optimus were completely new designs, such as Combat Hero Optimus Prime, Laser Optimus Prime, and Gobot Optimus Prime, who could become a red Lamborghini car. In 2003, Takara introduced the Masterpiece MP-01 Convoy/Optimus Prime. While retaining the original concept of a transforming semi-trailer truck, this die-cast figure incorporated modern toy manufacturing techniques for improved detail and articulation, while, at the same time, captured the look of the cartoon character. It has since been released by both Hasbro and Takara Tomy in different variations. In 2010, a version of the Masterpiece toy, called Masterpiece Convoy Sleep Mode, was released, painted in dark colors to match the appearance of Optimus Prime after his death in the 1986 film. In 2006, Hasbro introduced Alternators Optimus Prime, which turned into a licensed 1:24 scale model Dodge Ram SRT-10. In 2011, Takara Tomy released MP-10 Convoy, a smaller, more show-accurate version of the Masterpiece Optimus Prime figure.
The Transformers Animated series was broadcast internationally in 2008 except in Japan, where it aired in 2010. This new series uses a very different art-style from the previous series. The Autobots and Decepticons, while fighting in space for possession of the Allspark, crash-landed onto a futuristic Earth and resume their battle after laying dormant for years. In addition to the Decepticons, the Autobots have to face the human villains as well. Classic characters such as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Prowl, Starscream, Megatron, Jazz and Ultra Magnus appear in this series.
Softimus Prime is, as his name suggests, a plush G1 Optimus Prime toy. Obviously, he has no problems with articulation and passes the drop test with flying colors. His main draw is the ability to "transform" into his Freightliner FL86 vehicle mode by turning the plush toy inside out, his transformation roughly similar to the Powermaster cab Prime's. He is love.
Most notably in terms of new tooling, the panels on the undersides of Powermaster Optimus Prime's forearms feature slots under the fists, which allow the guns to tab in and be held much more stably than with Ultra Magnus. And due to the amount of empty space in the cab area in vehicle mode, Powermaster Prime can fully transform without the need to remove his head.
A standard brick with two rows of four studs delivers a profit to LEGO that is orders of magnitude greater than any specialized element, all because the brick is what LEGO calls a “universal” or “evergreen” element that can be used in so many different sets. A one-of-a-kind, specialized piece, however, generally works in just one or a few sets. Moreover, the cost of molding a standard brick is orders of magnitude cheaper than producing a specialized piece.
Although the original Japanese incarnation of Transformers: Cybertron, known as Transformers: Galaxy Force, was produced apart from Armada and Energon, the series, as originally conceived by Hasbro, was as the third part of the trilogy. The English language dub of the series treats it as such. Consequently, inconsistencies arise between Cybertron and the other two series, but have been explained by the Cybertron comic book, available exclusively through the Official Transformers Collectors Club, as the result of fluctuations in the fabric of reality caused by the Unicron-induced black hole.
Arms Master Optimus's "Space Blaster Mode" is a mode designed for fighting in outer space, introduced in the Cybertron Satellite segment of "Infinite Transformation! Multiplying Enemies". He wears R.A. and Shining R.A. on his shoulders as wings, C.L. and C.L. GR on his back as thrusters, and B.H. and B.H. B on his feet as... more thrusters. His weapon of choice in this mode is the Matrix Blaster.
This figure contains an unusual amount of sculpted detail on the inside of the plastic. The gorilla mode's chest has a ribcage, and the inside of the gorilla's face has a sculpted microphone, which lines up perfectly with the robot mode's head! Also, opening this toy's chest in robot mode reveals sculpted detail resembling the Key to Vector Sigma as it appeared in Beast Machines.
Hot Rod first appeared in the Headmasters limited series as one of the Autobot crew led by Fortress Maximus. He became a Targetmaster in the fourth and final issue of the series. However, his Targetmaster partner is called Sparks, instead of Firebolt (though the UK comic would occasionally call him Firebolt). Hot Rod made sporadic appearances, with a few UK stories starring him as the lead, but most of those were set in the past or future. Kup's Story revealed the first meeting between Kup and Hot Rod, and how Hot Rod's influence shook Kup out of depression; and Ark Duty starred Hot Rod and set up the creation of Autobot City. Hot Rod debuted in the main continuity after the loss of many wars to the Underbase powered Starscream, as part of Fortress Maximus' group. He served as an eager soldier who idolized Optimus. However, he was killed during the Decepticon ambush on Klo in the last issue of the Marvel G1 comic, only to be resurrected by Prime and the Last Autobot.
Optimus dueled Megatron atop of an overpass in a human city. Though he managed to knock Megatron's cannon loose early in the scuffle, Megatron managed to turn the tables on the Autobot leader, reattach his primary weapon, and blast his old foe. When Megatron moved in for the kill, Optimus got his second wind, and knocked Megatron clear off the overpass. They were always real to me.
LEGO is not a cheap toy and has never been. The brand has stood for nothing but the highest quality and hopefully any issues it has had with changes in manufacturing are only the result of temporary growing pains. Next time you are out buying a LEGO set for a loved one or for yourself, take a second to thank everyone who ever bought one for you as a gift.
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).