The seldom seen 5th season re-airing of the show featured the G1 episodes retold by a stop-motion Powermaster Optimus Prime to the live-action youngster Tommy Kennedy. Although no back story was ever provided for how Prime became a Powermaster, the new sequences are said to take place after the four previous seasons. This indicates that Prime became a Powermaster in the original Sunbow continuity.
A gold chrome remold of the 2007 movie Leader Class figure by Hasbro Hong Kong. Limited to 88 units, with only 10 released to the public at the 2008 Animation and Comic Show convention; all of which were sold only to the first 10 people to spend more than HK$3,000 at the Hasbro booth. Because the figure is permanently fixed to the trophy base, it is no longer transformable.
Another redeco of Deluxe-Class Dark of the Moon Prime, this release uses a darker grey, a less magenta-y red, and less gold on the front end. Included is the trailer originally available with the Chronicle release. The trailer holds up to seven MechTech or similar 5mm peg accessories. Four holes are located on the top-front end of the trailer, with another three inside. The door also folds down to become a ramp, and the inside of the trailer is big enough for several Legion or Commander Cyberverse toys, or one smaller-end Deluxe figure. Two C joint bars also run along the bottom of both sides.
Replacing the weapons of the Hasbro releases, these new Mini-Cons transform into their larger parnter's signature weapons. They came as unassembled, unpainted model kits, similarly using stickers to fill in details. Several Arms Microns also came by themselves in bagged kits, plus there was a metric ton of promotional Microns throughout the line, possibly more than any prior line (even Micron Legend!), and that's not counting the ones that were released during the First Edition series. The Arms Microns also had multiple 5 mm posts and holes, and could be combined into super weapons, plus the larger toys were retooled to have new Arms Micron mounting points.
When reports from both Jetfire and Mirage corroborated that the Decepticons were constructing giant rockets to shift Earth out of its orbit, Optimus took to the skies and led his troops on a sabotage mission. Upon their approach, Optimus, Jetfire, and Deftwing overheard Megatron declare that the engines would fire up in twenty minutes. With little time to prevent the destruction of Earth's biosphere, the more maneuverable air-bound Autobots entered the thruster tubes to destroy the rockets from within. Jetfire and Deftwing were successful in their task, and the Autobots beat a hasty retreat to avoid the resulting lava swell. Optimus heaped praise upon the pair afterwards, embarrassing the bashful Jetfire. Moving Day Planet Earth
Prime filled one of the chase figure slots for the tenth wave as well. This rare figure was the same as the regular Super Mode PVC, except instead of wielding his Convoy Gun, Prime was armed with the Star Saber sword. As with the previous chase figure, it could only be found in one out of every ten cases, and took the place of the full-colour Prime figure in that assortment.
The Premium Series Optimus Prime is both a retool and a redeco of the Leader Class Optimus Prime toy. The major selling point is a more movie-accurate headsculpt with longer ears and detailing based on the final CG head design, and a flip-out energy sword to replace the ion blaster that was included with previous versions of the toy. A smaller laser is seen when it flips out with the sword. This energy sword is detachable and attaches where the Ion Blaster did, compatible with non-premium Optimus Prime leader class based releases. Because his ears are much longer, the truck roof panel that hides his head now has two holes cut into so the head can fit inside the cabin.
He resembles previous Optimus characters in robot mode: his angular chest windows are reminiscent of Cybertron Optimus Prime, while his near-animalistic limbs and color scheme are evocative of Beast Wars Optimus Primal. He has excellent articulation due to his many ball joints, and is armed with a rifle. The flame attachment can fit onto the end of the (non-firing) gun barrel.
On a mission with the Triggerbots to stop Megatron from claiming the Underbase, Prime was forced to jettison the massive databank into space to prevent anyone from acquiring its power. With this action, he proved his wisdom and skill to the Autobot Council of Elders. He continued to move up in rank, eventually becoming the field command over the Autobot armies.
If instead of all heading into the lab together, the Autobots had sent in Bumblebee alone, and Bumblebee subsequently managed to escape with the antidote to the Decepticons’ poison, the Autobots escaped from the Valley of Poison and returned to Autobot headquarters. Once the other Autobots were cured, they all drank a toast to Bumblebee, to celebrate his part in the mission Decepticon Poison
This Walmart-exclusive redeco and retool of the 2010 Transformers toyline "Battle Blades" Optimus Prime toy features the Japanese release's hooks (instead of swords), plus an all-new mouthplate-less, mouthed face. As part of the set's lunar theme, reflections of stars are painted across his vehicle mode sides and on his windshield, with a sharp reflection of Earth's Moon in one of his windows. This time, his Matrix of Leadership is cast in orange plastic.
Surprisingly, this was also the first Hasbro exclusive transforming Movie Optimus Prime figure to be based on the final design seen in Age of Extinction. He even features the forearms that Prime had before obtaining the Sword of Judgement, which unfortunately means that he is inaccurate to his appearance in the battle of Hong Kong and the entirety of The Last Knight. The sword's blade is still painted as the heated-up version from the concept art.
For all the positive aspects, these changes are not without their drawbacks. The LEGO community has been crying foul over the perceived decline in quality of the bricks5. While nowhere as bad as their competitor, any decline in quality reflects poorly on a company known for quality control. The LEGO group has been expanding its manufacturing base to places outside of Denmark, into Mexico, the Czech Republic, and China (although so far it seems only their “signature brand” non-set items are made in China). LEGO claims that this has not changed their dedication to the quality of standards by which they abide. However, it seems that the molds have changed to reduce plastic6. Whether or not this affects the durability of the bricks is yet to be seen.
The main build of the set is a massive vehicle based on Optimus's truck cab, capable of seating a single Kreon in the driver's seat. Pushing the trailer-hitch on the back end towards the cab opens up the front grill, revealing a huge spring-loaded rocket launcher with rubber-tipped projectile. The cab can also stow the included stasis pod ussed to lock away the baddies.
Optimus Prime appears in the prequel novel Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday, where he and a group of Autobots travel in the Ark searching for the Allspark, battling Starscream's Decepticons along the way. While going through a worm hole, the Autobots find themselves encountering a group of humans in a spacecraft reverse-engineered from studying Megatron. With this discovery, Prime realizes the significance of Earth, as both Megatron and the Allspark are there. After saving Bumblebee from a pit of rock-chewing cave worms, Prime battles Starscream. He is about to be gunned down by Starscream and Bonecrusher when he is saved by the human craft. In retaliation, Starscream obliterates it.
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.
Part of the Legend Commander Collection sold at Transformers Expo, Convoy is a redeco of Robotmasters G1 Convoy. While most of the paint masks are identical to the original mold, other changes includes replacing the transparent parts into clear blue plastic, and the panel-lining on the grill is stripped off. Unlike the first toy, he does not include a pair of swappable 3mm fists, his missile launcher, or his Calamity Defenser weapon.
Super class Energon Optimus Prime transforms into a Cybertronic short-nosed truck cab. A switch on his back offers four selectable sound effects, each one corresponding to one member of the Prime Force, the four drone vehicles contained within Prime's parallelogram-shaped trailer. A tiny, slightly recessed button above the switch activates the sounds. When Prime transforms to robot mode, the trailer stands upright to become a launch base of sorts for the Prime Force, with three of the trailer's four storage compartments featuring launching mechanisms that propel the vehicles into action. The Prime Force consists of Fire-1, a fire truck with an extending ladder and rotating turret; Copter-2, a helicopter with spinning rotors; Digger-3, a drill tank with a gear-wheel-activated spinning drill; and Submarine-4, a submarine with opening capture claws beneath its bow. The four interchangeable drones can combine with Prime to create his Super Mode; any drone is capable of forming any limb. When in Super Mode, Prime's chest panels are opened, in turn pressing a button on his side that creates more electronic sounds and lights up a red LED in his chest, representing the Spark of Combination.
Screen Rant is exclusively announcing that the Transformers brand will join the pop culture series of toys with figures from Star Wars and Marvel and you can get your first look below. Hasbro relaunched their Mighty Muggs line in January 2018 with by announcing plans for over 50 figures from Star Wars and Marvel, with each collectible figure including the new push-and-turn head feature that changes their facial expressions. And yes, this new feature applies to your favorite Cybertronians too!
I agree with Aidan but would expand on his point. It’s not just that the sets seemed bigger; they were. As the relative complexity of sets has increased, so too has the piece count, but there has been an overall decline in the size of the models due to increased build complexity and a corresponding reduction in size of the pieces required to create such detail. The negative affect on perceived value in this is apparent, though I would argue, misguided when one considers the build quality and detail of new and recent sets.
The Transformers: Prime toyline hit shelves in November 2011. Originally, Hasbro played coy with the series receiving a toyline at all, emphasizing that it was a television series first and foremost. There were initial plans to release a small assortment of three Deluxe figures (Bumblebee, Arcee, and Starscream) in the Generations line before they were moved into the expanded "First Edition" launch line.
When the Ark's sensors picked up two Transformer power emissions in the Brazilian rain forest of non-Decepticon origin, Optimus headed into the field to investigate, bringing along Jazz and Blaze. Though their search went poorly at first, the surrounding vegetation interfering with their energy trackers, one of the mystery Transformers soon found them! The source of the readings turned out to be two terrifying robot dinosaurs! As Optimus charged one of them, Megatron and his troops turned up, and blasted the Autobot leader unconscious. He awoke to find the Decepticons fleeing in defeat, and the creatures transformed into their Autobot forms. Grimlock introduced himself and Snarl, but told Optimus that they wouldn't be following the Autobots back to home-base, as they had two more companions to unearth first. Optimus bid him farewell with a handshake before leaving to carry on the war against Megatron. The Dinobots!
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.
Part of the fifth wave of Kabaya's revival of the Transformers Gum series, this snap-on transforming model kit of War for Cybertron Optimus Prime is sculpted from red, light blue, and gray plastics, and uses stickers for detail. He comes with a blue non-transforming version of his hand-held blaster rifle, which mounts at the rear in vehicle mode. He comes packed with a model kit of Tigerbreast, and a stick of gum.
This reissue of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure comes in a two-pack with the Deluxe-Class Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime figure. Prime himself is almost identical to the Encore release, save for his trailer hitch which was retooled to allow a peg to be inserted within it while still being able to be inserted into the trailer itself (making it compatible with his G1 trailer and the new trailer included). Like the Encore release, he features lighter colors and tampographed shoulder symbols (which vary slightly from the Encore release).
Using their network of human allies, the Autobots tracked the Decepticons to Stanley Lake. When Optimus learned that the Decepticons had taken over the hydro-plant, he lured them out into the valley in front of the dam so that Jazz and the humans could flood the valley, washing the Decepticons away. Menace at the Dam Starscream attempted to defect as part of a ploy to get a spy into the Autobots' midst, but Optimus wasn't fooled at all. He and his men concocted a false plan which they shared with Starscream, and while the Decepticons were subsequently on a wild goose chase, Optimus's team smashed the Decepticon base flat. As they let Starscream go, Optimus couldn't help mocking him. Espionage!!!!!
This Japanese-exclusive black-and-gold redeco of First Edition Voyager Class Optimus Prime was available exclusively at the fourteen stores taking part in the Cybertron Satellite promotion. It depicts Prime coated in an alloy reverse-engineered by Ratchet from MECH equipment that protects Optimus against Dark Energon and other techno-biological hazards.
Hot Rod's tech specs list him as an Autobot Cavalier, while as Rodimus Prime, he is listed as an "Autobot Protector" - unlike Optimus Prime's, which directly states "Autobot Commander". A commercial for the toy hinted at his ascension, but pitted him against Cyclonus and Scourge instead of Galvatron, who was his chief adversary in the animated series.
Apparently, early plans for the shield were to have it colored gold and silver, but it was later changed to gray and red. When a hand-painted prototype of the toy was first displayed at the 2013 New York Comic Con, the shield was colored yellow and silver; in addition, the original versions of the official Hasbro stock photos also depict the gold color, but the versions featured on the back of the toy's packaging were edited so they would accurately depict the final toy's colors for the shield. Meanwhile, the versions of the stock photos provided to websites and online retailers depict the shield in its final colors for the robot mode, whereas the vehicle mode photo is the unedited version featuring the shield's original colors. Furthermore, UK-based retailer Argos also featured unedited versions of the stock photos for both modes in one of its catalogs, causing some confusion among fans. Sometimes, the spring loaded "Automorph" feature in his head is too strong and causes the head to fly off...
This is a weird one. Back in the late-’80s, the original TV show had ended and Marvel Comics decided to take the “transform” part of the property a step further and gave a handful of Transformers an organic, human-looking shell. Bumblebee was one of the lucky Autobots to get one. According to the storyline, the Decepticons developed the technology first, but the Autobots secretly caught wind, made their own human shells, and fooled the bad guys into thinking they were fighting mere humans, until they burst out of their shells.
In the Autobot Campaign, Optimus Prime provides intelligence and missions to Bumblebee in his search for the Allspark. Eventually, the clues lead the Autobot to Sam Witwicky. After saving Sam from Barricade, Bumblebee finally completes preparations for the Autobots to arrive on Earth. Once on Earth and having informed the two teenagers of their mission, Prime and the Autobots are discovered by Sector 7. Optimus sends Jazz on a high-speed destruction distraction mission, then sends Ironhide to rescue Jazz from a double-threat posed by the government agents and various Decepticon scouts. When Bumblebee is captured, Prime transforms and chases the chopper which from which the small Autobot is tied. After a lengthy chase, Prime manages to catch the net, only to be thrown off by another Cybertronian meteor. As Bumblebee is carried away, Optimus promises he will not fail him again. Jazz informs him that the meteor is not an Autobot. Prime confronts the new threat, who turns out to be the Decepticon triplechanger Shockwave. The two battle it out across Tranquility before Optimus finally destroys him. During the battle, Optimus overhears Starscream's transmission revealing the location of the Allspark. Optimus then returns to an intel role as he guides Bumblebee in his mission to retrieve the Allspark from Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, the Decepticons manage to free Megatron, leading to the final battle in Mission City. As the Autobots battle it out with the Decepticons to protect Sam and the Allspark, things seem to take a turn for the worse as Megatron finally arrives. Before he can claim the Allspark, Optimus attacks him. Optimus defeats Megatron and leaves him on the ground, seemingly devoid of life. However, just as Sam is giving the Allspark to Optimus, Megatron awakens, leaping at Optimus with his chain-flail out, making one last attempt at defeating his adversary. Optimus grabs the chain, pulling Megatron in closer, and, with the Allspark clutched in his fist, delivers a punch through Megatron's spark, killing him. Optimus reflects on the losses and rewards of this battle, as the Autobots have a new home, but many were killed in the battle. The story ends with Optimus and the Autobots choosing to remain in Earth, proclaiming it as their new home.
Optimus Prime is primarily voiced by Peter Cullen in most of his incarnations, who voiced him in the original series. Following the production of the 2007 film, Cullen reprised his role for the sequels and supporting media and would even voice Optimus in later series such as Transformers: Prime. Optimus has been voiced by a number of other voice actors in other series such as Neil Kaplan, Garry Chalk, and David Kaye in the series Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Unicron Trilogy, and Transformers Animated, respectively.
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.
This toy's design has directly and indirectly influenced numerous others over the years, including many future versions of Generation One Optimus Prime himself as well as new interpretations of the character for Armada, the live-action movie, and Transformers Animated. Redecos of those toys have in turn spread the toy's iconic look to several other characters and many of their subsequent toys: Ultra Magnus, Scourge, and the various Nemesis Primes. Additionally, a toy that was originally intended to be the original Optimus Prime was eventually retconned to be the new character Optimus Primal, bringing Prime's appearance over to that character (and eventually Primal Prime as well.) In Japan, this began a tradition of Beast Era Convoys emulating Prime's look, spawning still more toys that trace part of their lineage back to this one.
Optimus Prime is then informed that Megatron has infected the core of Cybertron with dark energon and is given the task to undo the damage done. After rescuing Omega Supreme, Optimus, Ironhide, and Prowl fight their way to the core, but it's too late. The core informs Optimus that it is far too corrupted. It can repair itself by shuting down, but it will take millions of years. By that time, Cybertron will have to become cold, barren, and uninhabitable. The core gives Optimus a small piece of itself, saying it will still survive as long as the piece does. Optimus accepts the burden and the core relinquishes the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.
Outstanding work here. After reading a number of complaints about how the price has ‘increased’ over the years, it’s great to see this analytical approach. One additional hypothesis I have is related to the increase in the number of sets released each year, which would appear to be supported by your data. More sets to buy to be ‘complete’ makes for more money out of pocket.