After the Decepticons declared war, junior officer Optimus managed to turn the tide against them in a battle over Iacon, and rose up in rank to become Autobot leader. Optimus Prime's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile His second-in-command, Jazz, once saved his life after a surprise attack rendered him him temporarily non-functional on the battlefront. Jazz's The Official Transformers: Generation 2 Annual profile The war raged for centuries, with Cybertron's fuel sources steadily decreasing. Optimus ordered the construction of the Ark to seek out new sources of energy, unaware that Megatron was building a ship of his own. The Ark's first foray into space was interrupted by a Decepticon attack, and all involved were too distracted to notice as they entered an asteroid belt. A collision between two meteorites sent the Transformers crashing into Earth. After countless eons of slumber, the Autobots awoke to a world populated by humans, and once more took up the fight against the Decepticons. From Cybertron to Earth the War Continues...

In lieu of combining with the Prime Force, Optimus Prime can also merge with Energon Wing Saber in a similar fashion, with Wing Saber splitting into four components that connect to Prime as limbs. Wing Saber's red and white torso components can become arms for Prime while his legs attach to Prime's own, creating Prime's "Flight Mode", but the parts can also be swapped around, with Wing Saber's legs deploying large missile launchers and becoming arms to make Prime's "Fight Mode". Alternately, Prime can combine with Energon Omega Supreme to form what his packaging calls "Powerlinx Omega Supreme", but which the cartoon named "Optimus Supreme". The Prime Force drones can attach to four connectors on Optimus Supreme's body.

Unfortunately for both Takara and Hasbro, the Generation Two series of Transformers sold poorly, and Hasbro abandoned it after two years. There were toys planned that never saw release. Most of these were G1 combiner team recolors or recolors of recent figures. Four unreleased molds were released in the Machine Wars line, and four more resurfaced in the Robots In Disguise series.

The figure was released in Japan along with Legends Megatron and Starscream, under the "EZ Collection" banner, in the same packaging as the Hasbro release but with a small card insert featuring the Japanese logo and nomenclature, similar to a USA Edition. As with all the EZ Collection figures, this release features a substantially greater number of paint operations that increase Optimus's resemblance to his larger figure.


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.
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Oh, also, I should add that I would like to see if this trend is the same for specific themes, or just over all themes. Although I would guess that the individual themes would show the same general trend you discuss here, one reason individuals might believe in the “price increase fallacy” might be because of the individual themes they support. But again, I think that if you do this, you will find the themes fit the trend as well. If you are looking to go into the numbers more, this might be an interesting area to investigate.
The 2010 Transformers "Reveal the Shield" Legends Class Optimus Prime sculpt in the deco from the first Chronicle EZ Collection wave (see below) was released as a "Dollar Store" exclusive (available at stores such as Dollar General and Big Lots) in generic 2010 Transformers packaging packaging alongside Starscream, Bumblebee and Megatron. The initial release saw the copyright year removed, while a later running change variant featured the new tooling originally used for Generations Legends Class Motorbreath, with not only the retooled hands and a hole on the back of his head/top of his vehicle mode compatible with 3mm posts, but also Motorbreath's sword accessory.
Chronicle "Movie Optimus Prime" is an e-Hobby exclusive redeco of the Deluxe-Class Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime figure, and comes in a two-pack with a reissue of the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure. Instead of the blaster/axe MechTech weapon the original release of the figure came with, Prime is armed with a redeco of Dark of the Moon Jolt's Blaster/Hand Cannon weapon.
For the 1987 and 1988 lines, Hasbro introduced even more radical ideas through new sub-groups. The Headmasters and Targetmasters came with partners who transformed into the figure's head or weapon, respectively. Powermasters, including the new version of fan favorite Optimus Prime, came with partners that transformed into engines. Each line would see various permutations over the two-year span, including smaller Headmasters, Double Targetmasters, and a Powermaster with two engines.
In "Reunification", Optimus is seen building his new ultimate weapon, Omega Doom. He learns that Megatron has supposedly been killed by watching a broadcast from the Autobot reporter Rook. When Kup leads the Autobots Camshaft, Hound, and Warpath, in an attempt to assassinate Optimus Prime, the Autobot leader easily defeats the four rebels. Alpha Trion then attempts to kill Optimus, but Optimus uses Omega Doom against the ancient robot. Prime then sends Doom against the Decepticons.
Released as part of the "W Convoy" campaign ("Double" Convoy, that is!) alongside a silver chrome version of Energon Rodimus, this gold chrome "Mēki" ("plating") version of the Deluxe size Optimus Prime toy was available only as a prize in a mail-in Robot Points contest. Initially limited to 20 units in the original draw, it appears that many more were made available through toy store drawings, given how many went on to appear on online auction sites through 2005 and 2006.

The Autobots subsequently returned to Cybertron aboard a refueled and repaired Ark with the defeated Decepticons, taking the Decepticons on Cybertron unawares and quickly capturing control Cybertron. Peace reigned for a time until a series of natural disasters began, the source of which was determined to be the planet Moebius in a parallel universe. The Autobots assembled a team to travel to this alternate universe and stop the threat; Optimus Prime personally led the team, unwilling to put anyone in more danger than himself. Wheeljack, Hoist, Jazz, Prowl, and Silverstreak constituted the rest of the team; they dubbed themselves Spy Changers because they aimed to achieve their goal with stealth and diplomacy. The team modified their bodies to match the native cyborgs using data acquired from the Sky Spy and traveled to the 22nd Strata but were soon attacked by the local Guardians, who mistakenly presumed them to be Renegades. The Spy Changers were then rescued by the real Renegades, who presumed them to be potential allies and took them back to their flagship, the Rogue Star. Renegade leader Cy-Kill attempted to court the Spy Changers as allies, but Optimus saw through Cy-Kill's deception. Eventually, the Autobots formed a secret alliance with the Guardians as well as discovered the cause of Cybertron's troubles: Renegade bases on Moebius were draining the planet's energy. The planet's geometry had turned it into a crude Dimensional Interfacer, and Moebius was tapping into Cybertron to sustain itself. Hoist was able to end the crisis by triggering the bases' remote detonation sequence. Cy-Kill was furious, but in the ensuing battle, the Autobot-Guardian alliance triumphed over the Renegades. Optimus Prime and Leader-1 shook hands as a symbol of the transdimensional friendship, and the Autobots returned to their home reality, secure in the knowledge that they had allies in places as distant as alternate realities. Ask Vector Prime, 2015/09/30
Cyber Slammers Optimus Prime is an amazingly cute truck that transforms into an amazingly cute Autobot. "Slam" his robot mode down into car mode and he rolls along for a while, then snaps back up into robot mode. Sure to please the toddler you brought with you to the PG-13 movie! Like most Cyber Slammers, Prime manages to cram most of his vehicle mode's major details into a compact, super-deformed version of that mode.
Optimus Prime led a group of Autobots who left Cybertron aboard the Ark, which was shot down over Earth, sending them into stasis for four million years. Optimus was badly damaged in the crash, and the prognosis wasn't great, but he recovered in time to announce the Autobots had no choice but to involve the humans in their war. Following a battle at Dyson Dam, Prime persuaded Jetfire to join the Autobot team. When the Decepticons headed through the space bridge to Cybertron, Optimus followed, only for him and his team to be ambushed and imprisoned.

One peaceful day, Optimus decided it was too quiet, and sent Bumblebee and Mirage to find out what the Decepticons were up to. Sure enough, the Decepticons were looking for a factory, so Optimus had Mirage create a holographic factory as a trick, and ambushed the Decepticons. Optimus himself hurled Megatron into orbit. Decepticon Patrol Optimus and his Autobots rescued Sparkplug and Buster Witwicky when the pair were captured by Decepticons, and afterwards Prime was amazed when Sparkplug repaired Wheeljack and Prowl. After Bumblebee and Hound discovered that the Decepticons were attacking Hoover Dam, Optimus and his team defeated them. The Deadly Fuel Shortage
I suspect that part of the problem with people’s perception of price is also due to changes in tastes as they grow up. A small child will be pleased with relatively small sets, since their lego collection and experience is likely to be almost non-existent. But as they get older, they will tire of the small sets and want ever bigger sets. For adults, most of the fun is in building rather than playing, meaning that size is everything. This means that over their lifetime, the price an individual person (or their parent) pays for lego sets does go up–because the composition of their purchases changes–even though the prices of lego sets over time does not.
Ten years after Unicron's defeat, Cybertron was seemimngly at peace, but Optimus still feared another attack from Unicron. Although the Autobot High Council dismissed his fears, a mental link with Primus confirmed that Unicron was still alive. Megatron's disembodied spark, trapped within the chaos-bringer, called out to Prime. Events overtook Prime as Unicron's four Horsemen, Rhinox, Airazor, Cheetor, and Terrorsaur, attacked Cybertron, devastating it. Prime's link with Primus allowed him to upgrade himself into his Energon form and drive them off.
In addition to being probably the most popular Generation 2 figure, Laser Optimus Prime was, prior to 2003, a regular contender for most popular Transformers toy ever, back in the days of the annual Transformers fan awards, "The Trannies." The toy won twice, and actually lost once to his repaint, Scourge. The launch of the Armada and Alternators line, along with Masterpiece Prime, saw Laser Prime drop down that list distinctly.
The 1986 line featured another significant change in that many, if not the majority, of the toys were conceived as futuristic vehicles and bore little resemblance to present-day machinery. This was due to changes in the movie and television series, which leaped ahead twenty years to the year 2005. Many have speculated that this change might have been what signaled the beginning of the end for the Transformers, as part of the novelty of the first lines was the realistic vehicles that turned into robots.
I mean you could argue that they are returning to the way the original Transformer toys worked. Here is an example of the OG Optimus toy. I went to Hasbro's website to see what the most current version of Optimus is that they are selling and I found this. That actually looks surprisingly similar, though I would argue they have gone more of the direction of making the robot look more robotic and the truck a little less truck like but its still a solid middle ground.
He does not come with his Mini-Con partner Over-Run in this release; instead, Optimus Prime and his wave-mate Demolishor debuted a new brand of Cyber Key: retooled from the standard Cybertron style key, this version lacked a sculpted insignia, so that any symbol could be tampographed on to it, and featured a Mini-Con-style Powerlinx socket on the back, allowing it to operate the figure's formerly-Mini-Con-activated "punching" feature without the figure itself having to be retooled.
Originally, the Alternators Dodge Ram mold was intended by Hasbro to be a completely different character altogether than Optimus Prime (which character is unknown), but Takara reportedly demanded the Ram be made into Optimus out of fear that the toy (whose vehicle mode is scarce in Japan as a real vehicle) wouldn't sell as well in their market if it wasn't a popular and easily recognized figure; as the figure reportedly cost twice as much to build as the others, Hasbro had to agree in order for Takara to continue fronting part of the production cost. In an ironic turn of events, the Dodge Ram was prematurely solicited by Takara not as "Convoy" (Optimus Prime), but as his Masterforce look-alike Ginrai. As a matter of fact, the head sculpt for the Alternators Oprimus Prime toy is based on the Super Ginrai (Powermaster Optimus Prime's "super mode") toy's head sculpt. Ultimately, however, Ginrai was cancelled, with only Hasbro releasing Optimus Prime as originally planned. Eventually, Takara released the Dodge Ram as as part of the new Kiss Players line, now named "Convoy" (Optimus Prime), and he will be released in Binaltech this year.

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.
In Transformers Ongoing, which takes place two years after the events of All Hail Megatron, the Autobots would remain on Earth as Prime feared the return of the Decepticons. Unfortunately, this led to the capture of a number of Autobots by Skywatch, including Windcharger, Gears and Prowl. Hot Rod was reformatted into a Pagani Zonda. Already frustrated, he lashed out at Optimus, accusing him of keeping the Autobots on the planet because he needed someone to protect and demanding he be allowed lead a team to rescue Prowl. An admonished Prime agreed to a covert operation, but with Ironhide along to watch over things. While Prowl was freed, it turned out the humans had used him as bait to draw the other Autobots in. However Wheeljack's new shielding protected Hot Rod's team from Skywatch's inhibitors and in a panic the soldiers switched to lethal measures. Hot Rod was targeted and Ironhide was killed protecting him. An enraged Hot Rod turned on the humans, damaging their equipment and machinery.
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