Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.
A Deluxe class toy of Prime in his Protoform stage. One of the first released movie figures, Prime's Entry Mode resembles a huge metallic asteroid. With this figure standing 5.5 inches tall and Optimus being 28 feet (336 inches) tall, the toy is about 1/61 scale. This rock-like alternate mode has led some fans to sarcastically refer to the movie protoform toys as Rock Lords.
In the United States, Canada, and Hasbro's Asian markets, Masterpiece Movie Series Optimus Prime was exclusively available from Toys"R"Us, whereas in Spain, he saw a wider release, being at least available via the Spanish subsidiaries of Amazon and Carrefour. It's currently unknown if he was also available in stores, or limited to online purchases. In Greece, he was officially available via at least one toy store chain, aptly named simply "Toys-Shop", but again might have been available online only.
Battle Blades Optimus Prime is a brand new sculpt that attempts to replicate his Leader Class design. He is much more movie accurate than the previous Voyager incarnations. He features two energon swords made of soft plastic, similar to his Leader Class incarnation, albeit not spring-loaded. They can be detached from the mushroom joints they're on, although doing this excessively may cause them to warp.
Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in 2015, MP Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. is a trailer-less redeco of the MP-10 mold sporting a unique deep red color scheme matching the Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. RED of the original G1 toy, with "BAPE's famous camouflage pattern" and an ape head print on the shoulder replacing the usual faction symbol.
One more thought: LEGO is a Danish company. The fluctuations in the price of LEGO such as the big bump around 1985-7 in Figures 1 and 2 could be because of a change in exchange rates. The conversion rate between the Danish Kronor and the US$ went from over 10 in 83 and 84 to less than 7 in 86 and 87. LEGO might have been slow to respond to changes in exchange rates, leading to the temporary bump. If you’d like to share data we can redo your graphs in DKK.
Walmart have uploaded a very nice commercial via their YouTube Channel that we are sure will please your optics. What is it about? This video features several famous and iconic cars like KITT from “Knight Rider”, Ecto-1 from “Ghostbusters”, Lightning McQueen from “Cars”, the Mystery Machine from “Scooby Doo” and even Fred Flintstone’s footmobile. As some of you should expect, our small yellow hero is present here in his Bumblebee Movie VW Beetle design, and with an impressive entrance emulating Ironhide’s jump from the 2007 live action movie.

Instead of his trailer, Prime can alternately combine with Armada Jetfire, who forms a pair of legs, as "Jet Prime" (Jet Optimus on the cartoon, or "Jet Convoy" if you own the Japanese version). In addition to this, Armada Overload can form a pair of massive cannons that attach to either Prime's base mode, or mount over the shoulders of his super robot torso (with either his trailer or Jetfire as legs), forming Optimus Prime Megaweapon (or Magna Convoy).
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
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.
The figure's transformation scheme is based on the original G1 figure, the only differences being that the fists are not removed but become the headlights, and instead of flipping backwards inside the chest, Diablock Convoy's noggin flips forwards with the aid of opening chest windows. A "laser rifle" in the shape of his ion cannon can be built from black bricks, and stickers bearing the Autobot faction symbol can be placed on his shoulders, although this is not recommended as it is designed to permanently stick to multiple tiles which dislodge easily and may damage the sticker.

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The use of a G1-based Orion Pax design and an Aligned-based Optimus Prime design with Movie Optimus Prime packaging art makes it hard to know where on the wiki this should go, but given the general movie-themed bent of the Tribute line, we're putting it here. Continuing the tradition, the 2-pack was first released in some Asian countries like Taiwan without any prior announcement from Hasbro itself. A few months after the 2-pack's release, Tribute Optimus Prime & Orion Pax saw worldwide release through Amazon, including an Amazon Japan listing bearing a The Last Knight ID number.

Like the larger First Edition figure, you can actually separate the robot mode from his vehicle shell, displaying both of his modes at once... albeit unlike the First Edition figure, this tweak could sacrifice the even stability between those two separated figures. Some of the pieces like the legs/rear wheels are particularly difficult to separate.
Menasor cut off Prime's escape and handed him the Reflector trio, who confronted Prime with a hologram of Serpent O.R. The new Decepticon leader carried Megatron's memories and information downloaded from Soundwave, from which he learned of the Matrix of Leadership. Serpent O.R. offered Optimus a trade: hostages and peace if he handed over the Matrix. Optimus agreed.
Once again Optimus Prime and Megatron were re-engineered, with Prime now a fire truck and Megatron a six changer, whose modes included a dragon, bat, jet, land-craft and a giant hand. Another G1 character to get a new toy for this line was Ultra Magnus, who could combine with Optimus Prime to form Omega Prime. Other combiners were created for the series too, such as Landfill and Rail Racer. Bruticus, a combiner from G1 was also recoloured and introduced into the series, with a coinciding toy re-release. The Combaticons that formed Bruticus were the first of the Decepticons to be introduced into the show along with Scourge, who as a toy was a black repaint of G2 Laser Prime. These were not the only toys to be re-released for this series, with many from past lines being repainted and packaged in RID boxes. Robots In Disguise was responsible for introducing a lot of concepts that would be re-used often in the next incarnations of Transformers.
Transformers GT "GT-R Prime" is a heavy retool of Alternity Convoy, transforming into a 1:32 replica of the Motul Autech GT-R race car used by the Nismo team in the Super GT racing championship series. He retains the flip-out blasters of the Alternity toy and can also wield his new Impact Wrench Gun accessory (also called the "Optimus Rifle" on the Transformers GT website), a weapon based on the impact wrenches used in car repairs. Like all GT toys, Prime also comes with a GT Sister, poseable human figures themed after race queens, his partner being a lady named Misaki.
Prime was brought back to the Autobot base for treatment, but the Decepticons exploited the Autobots' lack of manpower and struck again before Prime recovered. With his men taking a pummeling, the unconscious Prime had a vision of Akira, who spurred him on to awaken and rejoin the battle. With another power boost from Wataru, Prime unleashed a super-charged shot from his ion blaster that took down the fleeing Decepticons. Time of Resurrection
Many of the small features and electronics of the original Masterpiece mold are left out. Instead, this Convoy features better overall cartoon accuracy (chest interior, head, etc.), an extensive red paint job that covers much of his red plastic, corrected robot mode proportions, improved articulation, and its gun can now collapse and store inside a compartment on its back in either mode. In addition to Convoy's trailer, which can transform into Combat Deck, it also comes with Roller, a small Spike Witwicky figurine, a die-cast metal Matrix of Leadership (with a clear blue plastic center), and an energy axe that slips over Convoy's right hand. Spike can fit inside the cab in vehicle mode, ride in Roller's seat, or fit into any of the seating compartments inside Convoy's trailer. Roller has options to plug in Convoy's gun or pull Convoy's trailer, and the trailer itself can store Convoy's weapons in any mode. Although not easily breakable, care must be taken for posing the index fingers; extending the finger even far would cause it to pop off.
Prime soon had other things to worry about, as Magnus arrived on Earth with the intention of taking the Matrix, which he believed was rightfully his, at all costs. Prime, who refused to fight back, was seriously injured by Magnus. Magnus tracked Optimus to a desert island, where he pretended to offer him the hand of friendship, only to attempt to absorb the Matrix for himself. During the struggle, the brothers combined into the form of Omega Prime, also known as the God Fire Convoy. Through this link, Magnus was also able to channel the power of the Matrix, which he used to supercharge the Autobot Brothers into newly colored forms. Prime went on to battle the Decepticons on many other occasions. Although Magnus remained a free agent, refusing to take orders from his brother, over time, his animosity dwindled, and he frequently helped the Autobots by combining with Prime to battle the Predacons and Decepticons. During the final battle with Megatron's new form, Galvatron, the two brothers finally reconciled. Together, they faced Galvatron at the Earth's core and defeated him once and for all.
Though Optimus allowed himself to be destroyed when he betrayed his own moral code while playing a video game, a copy of his mind survived on a floppy disk. Years later, he was restored as a Powermaster, binary bonded to the Nebulan, Hi-Q. Optimus Prime slowly earned the respect of Decepticon leader Scorponok, mourned the loss of his friend Ratchet, and ultimately sacrificed everything to defeat Unicron. Though Optimus died again, his mind persisted in Hi-Q, and the Last Autobot was able to restore him as an Action Master in time to bring a temporary end to the war.
The Beast Wars were waged on prehistoric Earth, eventually leading to the discovery of the buried Ark. The beast Megatron, following the original Megatron's instructions in a desperate gambit, attempted to change history by killing Optimus Prime, who was still lying in The Ark in stasis lock. Megatron hoped that this would result in the Decepticons winning The Great War and the eventual rule of Cybertron by the Predacons, the descendants of the Decepticons. Megatron unleashed a full-power weapon blast at Optimus Prime's face, delivering a near fatal blow. Optimus Primal, however, took Prime's spark into his body to protect it from surgical trauma while his injuries were repaired. The subsequent power increase caused by Prime's spark's connection to the Matrix augmented Primal into the large, transmetal "Optimal Optimus" form with three alternate modes (jet, land vehicle, and transmetal gorilla). Then, with the repairs complete, Prime's spark was restored, and he briefly activated before sinking back into normal stasis.
Asia Premium Series Optimus Prime Ultimate Edition is an extensive screen-accurate redeco of Jetwing Optimus Prime (with a maskless head from Buster Optimus Prime), this figure features loads of accessories from the Striker & Jetwing figures, and includes brand-new knuckle and battle hooks based on the HFTD Optimus', which can be installed in either hand. The figure lacks the chrome of previous releases, instead opting for silver paint. The pin-striping is also absent, but he does have painted pupils. The figure also features 2-2-1 articulated fingers, which the first Leader Class did not have due to budget cuts. The ion cannon included lacks the black paint application, leaving it completely silver. When purchased from select retailers, this toy will also include a shiny metal number plate and a bonus mini AllSpark cube accessory. His instructions depict a weaponised mode which has some clearance issues, as his Gatling guns are shown attached to the jetwing, which pushes against his arms. His Eliminator Gun and Assault Blaster cannot tab into the Gatling gun tightly either.
In late 1993, Hasbro relaunched the Transformers franchise with the Generation 2 line, with production again largely being done by Takara. The subgroups concept was done away with for the first year, but there were no new molds or characters. Generation 2 re-used the molds for many of the characters from the 1984 and 1985 line, but with mostly different color schemes and finishes, as well as different weapons and accessories. Megatron's figure was released later on. As noted previously, Megatron's original alternate mode, or "transformation identity", was a handgun with attachments, but in Generation Two, this was changed to a tank due to safety and security concerns. Most of the 1994 figures were re-releases or recolors of European G1 releases.
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