The Transformers toyline was created from toy molds mostly produced by Japanese company Takara in the toylines Car-Robots (Diaclone) and Micro Change (Microman). Other toy molds from other companies such as Bandai were used as well. In 1984, Hasbro bought the distribution rights to the molds and rebranded them as the Transformers for distribution in North America. They approached Marvel Comics to create a backstory with names and short descriptions for each character, most of which were written by Bob Budiansky.

This deluxe-size, highly-poseable version of Armada Optimus Prime is an entirely new mold, retaining the ability to tow Super Base Prime's trailer, though he cannot combine with it. He comes with the Mini-Con Over-Run, who can transform into a gun for him, or can peg onto the Powerlinx plug on Optimus's back to activate a double-fisted "punching" action (that looks more like hyperactive shrugging). Like the Super Base figure, Prime has a flip down chestplate, but lacks a molded-in Matrix, and his smokestacks can be removed (and in many cases will simply fall off), but cannot peg together as a gun. Shipping in a great many waves throughout most of the later run of the line, Super-Con Optimus became a notorious pegwarmer.


A mold for a standard LEGO piece costs anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000; over its lifetime, it will spit out some sixty million bricks. The cost of making the mold, spread out over all those bricks, is essentially zero. But when designers concoct a specialized piece and LEGO manufactures just fifty thousand of them, the molding cost rises to as high as $1 per piece. Including just a few of these specialized pieces, as LEGO did with unrelenting frequency during the Plougmann era, can potentially kill a LEGO set’s profit potential.


Like the original figure, Powermaster Prime is composed of two major components: his truck cab, which transforms into Prime himself, and his trailer, which is essentially a heavily-armed version of the original. The trailer has a fold-down ramp to allow the storage of a smaller Transformer, or perhaps spare accessories. The trailer transforms into a battle station armed with two long black rifles and two grey double-barreled cannons (featuring seating for Powermaster engine figures), all of which Optimus Prime can also wield in his fists.
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
This Optimus Prime is a new mold that matches the character's more cartoony and simplified appearance in the Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns cartoon. The "Watashi ni ii kangae ga aru" added to his name means "I have a good idea" (私にいい考えがある). A line originally spoken by G1 Optimus Prime at various times in the Japanese dub of the original cartoon, it has a reputation as a catchphrase of his among Japanese fans and has been reused by many Optimus Primes since, including the Prime in the Q-Transformers cartoon.

A fourth version is shown in the 1987-88 Transformers product catalog that has several minor differences from both Powermaster Prime and God Ginrai, such as having God Ginrai's sliding fists but in red, a completely different trailer hitch assembly partially based on the third design, an offset Autobot symbol in base mode, extended feet also based on third design, far more detailed super mode outer leg panels, completely different front bumper, and the first instance of single faux shoulder smokestacks rather than two. It is still unknown as to why Powermaster Prime has completely different arms from God Ginrai or all earlier concept versions.

Optimus Prime is usually depicted as being a member of an ancient Transformers race called the Dynasty of Primes, often receiving the title "The Last Prime" in many stories, in which he is depicted as being the last of the Primes. In the Transformers: Covenant of Primus, it was established that Optimus Prime was the last born of the original Thirteen Transformers. It was his unique spark and his inspiring reassurance that "All are One" that allowed the Primes to rally and succeed in their battle against the Chaos Bringer Unicron. When tragedy at last ended the era of the Primes and brought forth the new race of lesser descendant Transformers he alone chose to be reborn in the Well of All Sparks as one of them, that he might know them and their needs more completely. All memory of his past life gone, he took the name "Orion Pax" and sought his way like any other robot on the new world becoming Optimus Prime once more when receiving the Matrix of Leadership when Cybertron faced a new enemy in his former friend, Megatron and his army of followers, the Decepticons. This brings a Great War to their planet of Cybertron. Optimus's origins and personality can vary depending on which "universe" he's seen in. This origin is the most consistent between the various incarnations. Further differences are listed in the respective sections below.


One reason that people perceive that the cost of Lego has gone up is that the cost of so many other toys has gone down. You can now buy so much crap for a buck or two that Lego seems like a luxury item in comparison. It’s interesting to look in toy catalogs from the early eighties and see that Lego didn’t seem as costly then because the other toys were all costly as well.

Now I'm 30, so I don't know exactly what transformer toys you grew up with, but I had a bunch of the "Beast Wars" toys. Which with my nostalgia glasses on seemed much more detailed in my memory than what these new Transformers toys look like they are advertising on their website. However searching for a picture of my Optimus Primal toy... it isn't quite as detailed as I remembered. So my point is that it is probably a bit of nostalgia making you think yours were so much better than what they have now.
Yet another rerelease of the original toy mold, this gift set of course includes the cab, combat deck trailer, and Roller. Hasbro stock photography of the set depicts Prime with full-length smokestacks, but this would not be the first time that stock photography does not accurately represent the final product. The set also includes a reprint of the first issue of the Marvel Comics series, as well as a DVD containing the entire "More than Meets the Eye" pilot. The set also features a battery-powered Autobot symbol that plays the classic transformation sound, speech recorded by Peter Cullen, and a snippet of the G1 series theme song.

Optimus Prime appears as leader of the Autobot forces in the Transformers: Timelines story "Shattered Glass" by Fun Publications. When Cliffjumper, the Generation 1 character from a parallel universe, is seemingly discovered alive, Optimus welcomes his old friend back to the Autobot fold. After learning that Clffjumper is not the evil Autobot he remembers, he shoots Cliffjumper and leaves him to fend for himself in the Rad Zone. Optimus plans to launch his new warship, the Ark, to conquer Earth, but Cliffjumper aids Megatron's heroic Decepticon forces in a successful attack on the Ark's launch platform.[175]
The voice actor drama was written for OFTCC 2004 by Simon Furman, set after the events in the comics. Among those taken from their world via teleportation beam by Unicron and his Decepticon minions were Spy Changers Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ultra Magnus, and Ironhide. The Autobot forces opposing Unicron attempted to deflect a beam, leaving them all trapped on an uninhabited ice-world. The Autobot forces teamed up to overcome the Decepticons led by Reptilion. The Autobots were then, presumably, returned to their own worlds.
The Autobots gained a human ally in their quest when they befriended Doctor Osamu Kihara of the Governmental Special Diplomatic Agency, who provided more assistance than they could have imagined when his son, Akira, was discovered to be a "Booster", one of many legendary beings born with the ability to control and detect the energies of the Energon Cube. Alas, the Decepticons had followed Prime's Autobots to Earth, and Megatron sought the boy's powers for his own. To protect Optimus Prime and himself, Akira unleashed the full extent of his powers, driving Megatron back, but causing his body to burn out and disintegrate. Prime was wracked with guilt over what had occurred, and it would haunt him afterward. Time of Resurrection
It should also be mentioned that a few years back, I think around 2009 roughly, TLG started using smaller boxes for the same size sets. It was part of a move to not only save money, but also become greener as a company. Because the sets now take up less physical space on the shelf, and boxes with the same number of pieces appear smaller than sets from previous years, it could also contribute to the perception that you are getting less for your money today. In reality they are one and the same product.

Legends Class Optimus Prime is based on his original Generation 1 appearance. He features a fake grill for his robot mode, and his large legs result in a fairly thick and compact truck bed. He is part of "Reveal the Shield", a subline that outfits all its toys with rubsigns, and in this case, it's located on the left side of the truck/his left elbow.
As the number of sets released has increased, the harder it has been for stores to parcel out their shelving space. In order to make more sales, decisions have to be made as to which sets will be carried. Not every store can carry the whole product line (not even all official LEGO stores carry the whole product line). This process will favor the sets that drive sales the most, such as the licensed sets. The traditional boxes of bricks are pushed out of the way for the more profitable lines.
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.
In his stronghold, Serpent O.R. questioned Prime about his own worthiness to carry the Matrix, but Optimus broke free of his chains and aggressively ordered him to surrender. The Art of War #4 A group of Decepticons broke in and nearly took Prime apart, but not before Serpent O.R. took the Matrix for himself and changed into the massive Serpentor Prime. The Matrix showed Serpentor Prime the error of his ways but as he was about to commit suicide Cobra Commander tripped a device and took over Serpentor Prime's body. Moments before he crushed Arcee, a severely damaged Optimus Prime threw Hawk toward the Matrix but warned the human not to touch the artifact. Hawk did so anyway and through a quasi-mystical transfer of power Serpentor Prime was vanquished.

Yet another rerelease of the original toy mold, this gift set of course includes the cab, combat deck trailer, and Roller. Hasbro stock photography of the set depicts Prime with full-length smokestacks, but this would not be the first time that stock photography does not accurately represent the final product. The set also includes a reprint of the first issue of the Marvel Comics series, as well as a DVD containing the entire "More than Meets the Eye" pilot. The set also features a battery-powered Autobot symbol that plays the classic transformation sound, speech recorded by Peter Cullen, and a snippet of the G1 series theme song.

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With this reconstruction, Orion Pax became Optimus Prime, the first of the Autobot warriors. Optimus took the mantle of leadership as the civil war against the Decepticons erupted, and would remain in that position for the next nine million years. Ariel was rebuilt into Elita One, the commander of the Autobot resistance on Cybertron. The fate of Dion is left unrevealed. It has been speculated by fans that Dion might have become Ironhide or Ultra Magnus just as Orion and Ariel became Optimus and Elita, but this remains fan speculation only, and, his close friendship with Optimus notwithstanding, there is no evidence to support the idea.
When the Decepticons turned up in the same forest that the Autobots were taking a vacation in, Optimus took great pleasure in stopping them and returning the forest to pristine condition. Forest Rescue Mission Optimus was undertaking some repairs when Bumblebee offered to help, but Prime told him the repairs were too hard for him. When later the other Autobots were dismissive of Bumblebee's report of a Decepticon attack, Optimus alone listened to him, and they subsequently defeated the Decepticons. Bumblebee's Dangerous Mission
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.
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