By the ‘90s, the genre had begun to fade, and boys' minds turned to more high-impact action, often centered around mutants, monsters, and karate. Hasbro saw potential in the embers of the Transformers brand, and turned it over to newly-acquired subsidiary Kenner for a jump-start. Kenner threw out all the old rules, and invented a line of Transformers that were more poseable, more feature-packed, and more exciting. Backed by a high-tech CGI cartoon, Beast Wars turned the brand around, making Transformers a bestseller again.
Optimus became the leader of the Autobots for a time, then disappeared, leaving his people to be ruled tyrannically by Megatron.Targetmasters Megatron never stopped seeking out his old foe, rewarding any of his troops that provided him with information that could lead to Optimus's whereabouts. The Golden Boys As for the Autobots, they were uncertain exactly as to why Optimus had disappeared; some believed Optimus had simply abandoned his troops, while other believed he was fulfilling some greater purpose and would return to them in their hour of need. Ultimately, it was Snake-Eyes and Duke who found the Autobot leader, lost in the void between dimensions. Form Follows Function There, the three of them became ensnared by the Quintessons. They escaped the extra-dimensional entities' mind-probe and made their way back to normal space. En route, Optimus learned from Duke that Bumblebee had traveled to Earth and met his demise there. His human companions went off to help their friends on Cybertron, while Optimus headed for T.H.E. P.I.T. on Earth, eviscerating numerous Coltonbolt satellites as he entered the atmosphere. Everybody Hates Metroplex
The brand was yet to get its biggest revitalization, though. In 2007, Paramount Pictures released a high-budget live-action movie. Though many long-time fans resented the changes in style and story that the movie brought forth, it performed incredibly well at the box office and launched the brand into the public eye all over the world. Now, everyone recognized the concept of alien robots disguised as cars, and everyone associated the concept with the name: Transformers.
In the past 80 or so years, the yo-yo has seen some pretty mundane innovations, such as a ball bearing axle for better spin efficiency and the addition of flashing lights, to name a few. But finally, someone has rolled up their sleeves and is ready to fuck shit up all over the yo-yo world. Meet the ReGEN; half yo-yo, half MP3 player and just a pinch retarded.
This military-colors redeco of the Auto Roller Dirtbag was planned for late Generation 2 and widely solicited alongside fellow redeco Sargent Hound, but never saw release. Transforming into an "earth mover" dump truck, he has an auto-transforming gimmick activated by rolling his rear wheels; roll forward to go to robot mode, and back to dump truck. A switch on his back end separates the gears of the gimmick, allowing him to roll freely in either mode. In vehicle mode, his missiles can peg onto the front end of the dump-bed for storage. In robot mode, he has a twin spring-loaded missile launcher in his right arm, and a clamping "stun gun" claw on the left.
Megatron is captured by the Autobot Targetmasters in the episode "Do Over". When Optimus learns Megatron has been captured, he rushes to be the one who kills his old enemy, despite the closing launch window of the Ark. When confronted by Optimus Prime, Megatron attempts to use the Autobot Targetmaster Nightstick to shoot the Autobot leader, but Nightstick takes control of Megatron's arm. Megatron then tricks Optimus into using Megatron's own sword to cut his hand off, freeing him from Nightstick. Optimus fails to kill his foe and misses the launching of the Ark, which has been taken over by Rodimus. He then takes out his anger on Blurr.
The second known version  ditched the triplechanging gimmick on the cab and simplified things a good bit. This Powermaster Prime has several distinct characteristics only seen in the second design, such as the wider "block head" and two faux smokestacks on top of either shoulder as opposed to one. Also, in a rather odd twist, this design features a black head and fists for both super and regular modes rather than the traditional blue. It also had yellow eyes in either mode a la the original Optimus Prime.
Megatron came upon Optimus and challenged his old foe to a duel. Optimus managed to gain the upper hand, but hesitated to deliver the killing blow when he discovered that Megatron had married the Matrix to his spark, corrupting it. Several Decepticons then swarmed Optimus, allowing Megatron to blast a hole through his chest. Dead and defeated, Optimus plummeted down into the bowels of Cybertron. Pax Megatronus Rodimus and Duke travelled far beneath Cybertron, where they discovered Ultra Magnus- the Autobot god of death -carrying Optimus's body away. Earth: R.I.P.
In Transformers vs. G.I. Joe comics, Bumblebee is offed as well. His ship is damaged during a space chase with Starscream, so he lands on Earth where G.I. Joe and Cobra are going at each other (as per usual). But his fatal mistake was helping G.I. Joe favorite Snake Eyes, who was trying to take on Starscream. In the process, Bumblebee got in the Joe-Cobra crossfire and was ripped apart by missiles. This wasn’t a true death, however. First, Starscream took Bee’s head to Megatron, who wore it on a necklace (yes, really), but eventually the head got back to the Autobots, who planted it back on his repaired body and he came back to life.
Powermaster Prime's animation model as used in the commercials and as a character guide for the Marvel comics is a composite of the second and third designs. The body of the model is actually a straight tracing of the concept lineart for the third version (including its different rifles and twin faux shoulder stacks), with a slightly simplified drawing of the second version's head drawn on top.
The TakaraTomy release of Optimus Prime has considerable differences from the Hasbro release. His blue and red plastics are darker and metallic, his translucent blue plastic is darker, and a few of his paint operations have been omitted and replaced with customer-applied foil stickers, such as his shins, feet, headlamps, and insignias. His legs, outer forearms and truck mode "sleeper cabin" side panels have been retooled to include 5mm post-holes as part of the line-wide "Arms Micron" gimmick. As such, he does not come with the Hasbro version's weapons, but instead an Arms Micron partner named O.P. who transforms into a weapon resembling Optimus's in-show blaster cannon. This version of the mold was also used to make Prime Nemesis Prime.
The original Optimus Prime toy was a re-deco of the Diaclone Battle Convoy toy and transforms into a late 1970s red Freightliner FL86 Cab-over-Engine triple-axle semi trailer truck. The truck mode features rubber tires, and the cab is partially constructed of die cast metal. The windscreen section can open to reveal ultimately-unused seats that were originally designed for driver figures part of the Diaclone line. His trailer opens up into his Combat Deck, which features a missile-armed repair drone pod (with seating for one) mounted upon a boom lift arm. Situated in the base of this boom is a spring-loaded launcher that can be used to launch Roller out of the Combat Deck. Roller himself has seating for 4 passengers, and can be equipped to carry Optimus Prime's rifle or a fuel pump. The interior space of the trailer allows storage room for one Autobot car. In robot mode, he is armed with a black laser rifle, that, due to design, cannot be held straight. His fists are separate pieces which must be stored elsewhere in vehicle mode; there are pegs to store them in the trailer.
This gold vacuum metallized (save for his black joints, which they were made out of unpaintable plastic) Protoform Optimus Prime figure was featured as a Lucky Draw giveaway (along side similarly gold vac-metal versions of Voyager class Optimus Prime and Protoform Starscream) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Released in 2008, only 5 pieces were made, making it one of the rarest Lucky Draw figures; the images at right represent the only known photographs of it.