Prime comes with a unique Cyber Key, designed after the twin-handled appearance of the Matrix of Leadership, bearing the code l8p3. When inserted into the cannon that the rifle is part of, a pair of additional spring-loaded missile launchers flip down from the its sides. Slotting the key into the electronic cannon opens up the panels covering the front of the barrel, unlocking a different sound with its button is pressed. The paint job of the key is the principal difference between the Hasbro and Takara versions of the figure; the Japanese release features a metallic gold paint border around the key, furthering its resemblance to the Matrix. Other differences include more thoroughly painted knees and leg-armor cannons, yellow-painted signal lights above the cab, and the use of metal hinges to hold on Prime's wing tips, which were removable on Hasbro's version, and came disconnected in-package.
Great read. I have noticed an absolute drop in quality myself. My sets in my youth range from 83 to 90. My sons are from 2011 and there is a clear distinction. Aside from the weight of identical bricks being different, the older bricks stay together in a much more durable way than the new bricks. To test this, I created the same models using all old bricks and all new bricks and the difference was marked. I understand doing certain things to reduce costs, but not at the expense of quality…
Upon witnessing the incredible power of a lightning storm for the first time, Optimus Prime had Sparkplug Witwicky explain the phenomenon to him. Intrigued by the potential of lightning, Prime put Huffer and Gears to work finding a way to harness its energy, so they could use it to aid in the rebuilding of their spaceship. Huffer constructed a giant lightning rod, and Optimus Prime and the Autobots gathered to watch its first test. They were shocked, however, when a fleet of battered, damaged Decepticons flew out of the mountain housing the antenna and off into the night. The evil robots had attempted to discover the device's secrets and been seriously electrocuted! Once the lightning rod had been checked, Prime vowed to make the lightning-harnessing technology the Autobots' gift to Earth once they had left the planet. Autobots' Lightning Strike
This gold vacuum metallized version of Optimus Prime is a prize in Hasbro's Asia Age of Extinction campaign. To qualify for winning this toy, one must be the biggest spender of the day during the midnight launch of the AoE toyline at specific Toys R Us or participate in a lucky draw. This toy is limited to 7 pieces. 2 are in mainland China, while Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan each have one.
There are two versions of the voice changer helmet with two different pre-recorded voices. An earlier release features a voice similar to Garry Chalk, while the later release features the voice of Peter Cullen. The latter version has modified packaging under the 'Try Me!' blurb, stating it has 'Real Movie Voice!', though the updated version has also appeared in the original packaging without the 'Real Movie Voice!' notice.

Optimus Prime would also be a major character in Devil's Due Publishing's various G.I. Joe meets the Transformers series. Devil's Due Publishing does not address Prime's early years, save that he survived an assassination attempt by Bludgeon soon after receiving the Matrix. The traditional Ark storyline left the transformers crashed on Earth. In this series, instead of being reactivated by the Ark, the transformers and the ark were discovered by the terrorist organization called Cobra. The transformers inside were reformatted into Cobra vehicles, remotely controlled by the Televipers. Prime was turned into a Cobra Sentry Missile System tank, which was a 1985 Sears store exclusive red repaint of the HISS tank.[14] After an attack on a U.N. summit in Washington D.C., Optimus was able to get a message to Wheeljack, alerting G.I. Joe to where the Cobra base was hidden. Subsequently, he and the other captive Autobots and Decepticons broke free. After the ensuing battle, Optimus fought and defeated his enemy Megatron. After Megatron's defeat, the transformers returned to Cybertron in a second Ark Class vessel, but not before giving their human allies the ability to build and use mecha based on Transformers technology.

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
But around the mid-’90s, Hasbro let the trademark for a toy named “Bumblebee” lapse. At that point, the Generation 1 Transformers were almost passé, as they focused on the newfangled Beast Wars and Beast Machines lines. In fact the Unicron Trilogy continuity (mid-2000s) character called Hot Shot was originally going to be called Bumblebee, and in fact had a lot of Bee’s personality traits and yellow color, until they realized they couldn’t use the name. Fortunately, they got it back soon after.

A repaint of the Armada Supercon Optimus Prime, minus the Mini-Con, but instead had a Cyber Key with a Mini-Con port in it. Repainted to match Cybertron Galaxy Force Optimus Prime. This is supposed to be a drone which Optimus Prime controls to get into small places, built for him by Metroplex. Several paint variations of this toy exist, and early releases have the forearms swapped, just as had occurred with the last repaints of the mold.[61]
The line was released as "The Transformers" in the United States, Canada and the UK in 1984 (One year after the Gobots) but Takara was still marketing Diaclone at least during 1984. Hence in Japan "The Transformers" did not debut under that brand till 1985, when the line was also rolled out to the majority of the rest of the world between Takara and Hasbro. Hasbro Europe still will not accept, however, that the range was released in the UK in 1984[citation needed], not even with evidence such as Argos 1984 catalogues containing the range, the UK comic launching in September 1984 or even the 1984 Transformers product catalogue produced by "Hasbro Industries (UK) Ltd, Wokingham". It is thought that Hasbro Europe as it now stands did not come into existence till 1985, hence no records of Transformers sales in 1984.[citation needed] UK Transformers toys were sold in boxes identical to those of their American counterparts until around 1998/9 when the range started to have UK exclusives.
As the battle wore on, Optimus attempted to drive the Autobots too wounded to outrun the Beast themselves to safety, carrying them within his trailer. Jetfire showed up in time to rescue most of his passengers, leaving Optimus to deal with The Beast on his own. Seeing a city coming closer over the horizon, Optimus attempted to reach the Dinobots one last time from within The Beast. As his former troops remained unresponsive, Optimus led The Beast to its doom, blasting it a few more times before leading it to fall into a chasm. Optimus himself was rescued from the fall at the last possible moment by Jetfire’s timely return. As the two of them looked on at the Beast’s inert form, Optimus wondered out loud if their battles would truly ever come to an end. The Beast Within Part 2, Consequences
Some time later, as the war raged between Autobots and Decepticons on Earth, Optimus had requested the Aerialbots as reinforcements from Cybertron. Though they nearly defected to the Decepticons, Optimus was able to secure the Aerialbots as allies. Later, when a power plant had to be evacuated of its human workers due to the fear of landslides, Optimus posted Denfensor at the location to secure its protection. Optimus then drove off to check up on the rest of his troops who were aiding in the area’s evacuation. Though he passed a military convoy heading towards a plant, he thought nothing of it, unaware that they were the newly created Combaticons in disguise. Optimus then reached the Ark, and from there opened communications with the Aerialbots. Optimus had someone come into the know that the Decepticons were moving in towards the plant. He watched from afar as Defensor and Superion fought Menasor and Bruticus, wary to send more Autobots into the fray while these titans wreaked havoc onto the battlefield. Optimus allowed himself a smile when the Aerialbots and the Protectobots proved themselves superior teams to the Decepticons’, though at the back of his mind, he was wary. After all, Megatron himself had chosen not to add his considerably weight to the battle... The Special Teams
The paint deco is... unfocused, to say the least. In vehicle mode, the grill, headlights, bumps (thus his feet) are painted silver, yet the red in the small Autobot insignia has been removed. There is silver paint on the fuel tanks (toy battery cover), but not on the other tool boxes and equipment in the same location. There is also silver paint on all 6 wheel rims, the air cleaners and the windscreen visor. In robot mode the silver paint is mainly located on his thighs and crotch, though in order to save on costs, the dark blue and gold paint on his thighs and knee joints have been sacrificed.

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...
Transported to a parallel Universe, as the walls of reality began to crumble, foretelling the coming of Unicron to the Armada universe, Optimus Prime and Jetfire were reformatted by their Mini-Con companions using the Mini-Con Matrix into new "Powerlinx" forms. Optimus Prime and Jetfire combined to hold the chaos-bringer at bay. Unicron was eventually defeated by the united power of the Mini-Cons.
The TakaraTomy "Autobot Alliance" release of this toy has some significant differences, including casting the red plastic in a darker shade, making his shin and wheel joints grey rather than Hasbro's bronze, painting the Matrix of Leadership silver, and swapping out the dual energon swords for battle hooks, similar to 2010's Leader class Optimus Prime. However, due to the Japanese release retaining the Hasbro packaging, the box still advertises the dual energon swords rather than the hooks. He retains the masked face used for the Hasbro release.
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