For many, it may seems that the advent of licensed sets3 correlates with the perceived increase in prices. The 1990s and before were a nostalgic heyday of affordable LEGO sets. This is not quite true. Below is a chart that compares the price per piece of licensed sets and unlicensed sets starting in 1999. 1999 is the first year that LEGO had major licensed themes.
Hot Rod is featured again in Maximum Dinobots. Returning to Earth to continue his search, Hot Rod arrived at the gates of the Machination's complex, and Scorponok prepared himself to deal with the intruder. Unfortunately, Hot Rod found himself fighting well out of his weight class as he was man handled by Scorponok, who cheerfully bashed his face in, put out one of his optics and snapped his leg. The Headmasters dragged him into Scorponok's control room where, with absolutely no prompting, the big man explained his entire plan for the Dynobots, Skywatch and the Machination. Hot Rod seemed less than impressed with this rather mundane approach, which ticked Scorponok off enough for him to point out that it was obviously just the first stage in his master plan. He was also warned to remain awed or he'd be of no further interest. When the Dynobots and newly arrived Monsterbots seemed to turn Scorponok's plan on its head, Hot Rod burst out laughing, at which point, Scorponok ordered him taken out and shot. In the lift to the surface, Hot Rod suddenly erupted in flames, killing his captors, but draining his power supply. Weakened and with a crippled leg, he collapsed on the floor.
Billed on his packaging as "BIGGEST Optimus Prime Toy!", Ultimate Optimus Prime consists of an articulated tractor-trailer. The cab can transform into a "normal" Optimus Prime on its own, roughly equivalent to a Voyager in size and complexity, though with a lower degree of screen-accuracy than most large Optimus toys. Prime has 5mm fist holes, as well as additional 5mm ports on his front wheel wells and both sets of external fuel tanks. Four of these remain available in robot mode. The trailer has twelve more 5mm ports. Despite this, the toy comes with no weapons scaled such that the cab-only robot can usefully wield them.
Tim Bailey, Sara Blackburn, Stephen Clark, Jeffrey Cohen, Adam Dimuzio, Mathias DeRider, Tom Fassbender, Luke Forney, Logan Giannini, Travis Hanson, Sean Hallenbeck, Michael Harrison, Kim Haynes, Whit Honea, Greg Howley, Michael J., Angela Leach, Michael LeSauvage, Jim MacQuarrie, Eric Parrish, Michael Pistiolas, Ricardo Rebelo, Drew Rich, Mitchell Roush, Mariana Ruiz, Tony Sims, Randy Slavey, Erik Stanfill, Andrew Terranova, Gerry Tolbert, Mark Vorenkamp, Chris Wickersham
The Transformers Energon figure pen is based on Optimus Prime in his standard Energon body. About the size of a scout class toy, he transforms from truck mode to robot mode almost identically to his mainline toys, apart from the fact that his feet contain the pen and cannot bend. It's really hard to write with, and almost impossible to pose, even though it has full arm articulation. Amusingly, this figure can position itself to transform into his super robot mode (by flipping his helmet on, opening his chest and flipping his hands in), but because there are no versions of the Prime Force drones in this scale, it's impossible to complete him.
Certainly the most iconic, and most common, leader of the Autobots is Optimus Prime. But the thing about Optimus Prime is that he dies... a lot. And every time he dies, someone has to take his place-- until he’s invariably resurrected in one way or another, that is. In many storylines, including the original animated Transformers: The Movie, it’s Hot Rod who takes over as Rodimus Prime.
Back in the 60s, Hasbro was commissioned to play down the negative stigma surrounding US soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War. The result was four, 12-inch tall dress-up dolls featuring realistic camouflage fatigues and weapons of the time. The figurines represented the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. There was no real storyline at the time which limited the allure of the toys.
The character Optimus Prime appears in the live action films Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists of the three films. In these movies, Optimus Prime is able to transform into a conventional Peterbilt 379 cab, rather than the cab over design of his original Generation 1 body. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he regains his first generation trailer. Also straying from the G1 design, Prime's vehicle mode is now decorated with red flames painted onto a blue body à la Rodimus Prime, his Generation 1 successor. The reason for the change was due to Director Michael Bay's decree that mass displacement does not occur when they transform, requiring Optimus's vehicle form to have more mass to achieve the desired size in his robot form.
Rodimus appeared in the text-based fiction Dungeons & Dinobots as one of the Autobots who attacked the Arch-Ayr fuel dump. Sent to capture rogue Dinobots for the Autobots, he was part of the group that captured Swoop. Together with Blurr, he then tracked Grimlock, but ran into competition with the Decepticon allies Sideswipe and Cliffjumper. After Grimlock bit off his left hand Ratchet replaced it with a circular saw (a reference to one of the original Rodimus' melee weapons in The Transformers: The Movie).
In 2016, the figure saw re-release with the Combiner Force packaging. Being the tenth use of the sculpt at this point, some instances of mold deterioration have affected the figure, including: the vehicle front's bumper (which affects the space on the head/front bumper transformation), the headlights, and/or the legs, and the hole on the left shoulder is also prone to develop a stress mark due to the right shoulder's slightly "thickened" peg. Although the re-released badge didn't seem to unlock Optimus Prime after it was scanned, a later update to the game amended this.
Forming a roughly 11-inch figure when fully assembled, Diablock Convoy is highly articulated, using 12 ball-jointed block pieces, giving him a range of motion similar to Masterpiece Prime, with the exception of the head, which can only move up and down, not side-to side. Speaking of the head, it is by far the most stylised aspect of the figure, with no real attempt to approximate Prime's face or mouthplate inside a simplified helmet, mainly featuring only a reversed block that gives the odd impression of a cycloptic eye. It is possibly intended to actually represent his forehead grill, as a yellow block inside his head construction remains barely-visible through a slit in his face, possibly intended to represent the classic toy's yellow eyes.
Fire Blast Optimus Prime is a redeco of the previously released Power Hook Optimus Prime fast action battler. The color scheme is loosely based upon Generation 1 Rodimus Prime, explained rather oddly in the card bio as being the camouflage Optimus took while hunting Decepticons on Mars post-movie... because there are so many long-nose cabs driving around Mars. Yeah.
Later, the Transformers were all transported to Cybertron by Primus to battle Unicron. Although Unicron had tainted the Matrix after killing Thunderwing, Prime managed to reacquire and purify the Matrix. Prime then sacrificed his life one more time to destroy Unicron by plunging the Matrix into his maw. The Powermaster process, however, had been working to fully bond Prime and Hi-Q. Prime's death completed the process, and the two minds and souls became one. Hi-Q's biomechanical body was stripped down and reconstructed by the Last Autobot, resurrecting Optimus Prime once more with the two minds now one. Prime rejoined the other Transformers on the planet Klo and routed Bludgeon's Decepticons.
Optimus was one of the many soldiers fighting under the command of the Autobot leader, Jetfire. He was among the Autobots who launched in the Ark to clear a path through an asteroid belt. When the Decepticons attacked the ship, he fought a Seeker Decepticon while Jetfire sent the Ark crashing into Earth, knocking everyone aboard offline. Four million years later, they were repaired when the ship's systems were reactivated by a volcanic eruption. In the Transformers
Of course, while Bumblebee does a lot of serious action in the films, tumbling and punching and kicking, you don’t see McFly doing a whole lot of that in the Back to the Future films. In fact, McFly doesn’t get up to too much more hard-core physical action, aside from some skateboarding and wailing on the guitar. Nevertheless, Fox does have a distinctly bowlegged gait, and you can see some of that in Bumblebee, and you can maybe see some Fox mannerisms in his more casual interactions with Sam Witwicky.
The Autobots United 5 Pack includes another redeco of Voyager Class Evasion Mode Optimus Prime. This release features the faceplated headsculpt and, unlike the rest of the set, which strives for screen-accuracy, features a heavily Generation 1-inspired deco. Deco changes include replacing most of the blue & grey plastic into red, with blue paint applied on it, and his dark grey plastic is now a lighter shade. His Ion Cannon is now painted black to resemble his Generation 1 toy's blaster, color-wise.
In the series released by Marvel Comics, before the Great War broke out on Cybertron, the robot who would be Optimus Prime, before he received the Matrix of Leadership from Sentinel Prime, was a Transformer of note, displaying his skills in the Infraformers Sharpshooting Competition. When the war began, Prime quickly made a name for himself as a combat leader of the Autobots.
Though Prime's ultimate fate is unknown, in a story entitled "The Last Days of Optimus Prime", also from Transforce, Prime laments the new Transformers age without war and passes on to a Transformers afterlife, referred to as "J'nwan". The story is vague, however, and may be a metaphor for Prime rejoining the Matrix, as his time had come. In this realm, he was approached by the Predacon Sandstorm, who tried to plead for the help of Prime and the other legendary Transformers in dealing with a Unicron/Predacon hybrid named Shokaract. Prime refused, but later led a group of Transformers, including Megatron, Grimlock, and Soundwave), to distract the creature while Primus dealt the final blow.
Hot Rod has a youthful attitude, and serves as an older brother figure to Daniel Witwicky, son of Autobot ally Spike Witwicky. He has a sort of mentor-student relationship with the veteran Autobot Kup. He was also good friends with Springer and Arcee. Later in life, he temporarily bears the Autobot Matrix of Leadership and becomes Rodimus Prime (Rodimus Convoy in Japan), and new leader of the Autobots.
A Toys "R" Us exclusive, the U.S. release of Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy by Hasbro does not come with the detachable trailer, but is offered with his Targetmaster partner Offshoot (renamed from Firebolt due to trademark issues) and a remold of Optimus Prime's Matrix of Leadership, which does not fit in his chest. Like the Takara Tomy version, a smaller Matrix that fits in his chest is included. While the Japanese version is based on the animation design, the Hasbro redeco bears a closer resemblance to the original G1 toy. Parts of the figure's legs have been re-engineered after owners of the Japanese version complained that the hinges of the leg armor easily broke off. Masterpiece Rodimus Prime was first offered at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International.
So as a MOC builder, I have found that I tend to design MOCs on LDD and acquire parts as needed for each MOC from bricklink. I now tend to pass on licensed themes. I am especially turned off by the rehashing of many of the Star Wars vehicles. Sets that I buy tend to be Creator sets for my kids or the occasional “special edition” set that appeals to me such as the Sopwith Camel set.
When the long-lost Titan Masters reemerged into modern society and joined the Autobot-Decepticon war, Optimus Prime was partnered with the Titan Master Apex, who carried a portion of Prime's spark, boosting the legendary commander's already formidable abilities. Titans Return Apex/Powermaster Optimus Prime toy bio On Velocitron, Optimus Prime was present for the biggest race of the year when Scourge and Crashbash arrived and attempted to botnap Hyperfire. Optimus ordered Sentinel Prime and Hardhead to battle against them. Later, Optimus was part of a battle on Cybertron against Soundwave. During the battle, the Autobots' base Fortress Maximus transformed to thwart the Decepticon advance. Optimus Prime declared that to defeat the Decepticons, the Autobots would need to master the power of the Titan Masters. Titans Return: The Power of the Titan Masters
Optimus Prime grew concerned when Hound picked up a communication from Laserbeak that indicated the Decepticons had grown interested in a mysterious structure near a human village. Prime and a team of Autobots headed out to investigate, and they battled the Decepticons over the structure, which turned out to be a harmless windmill. Laserbeak's Fury
The Transformers Adventure Easy Dynamic Series release, titled "Big Optimus Prime", features extra paint details and has two additional Autobot symbols on his shoulders. He also includes a different scannable badge, which is compatible with TakaraTomy's Transformers Adventures app. Scanning this will unlock Big Optimus Prime in the collection list. Unlike the American release, Big Optimus Prime is packaged in a windowed box, instead of an an open package.
Originally, Optimus Prime was created as the leader of the Autobots, though it is unknown how he was created or his origins. In a possible future, Megatron was threatened by the existence of the Aerialbots and had Shockwave build a time machine to send them back in time to get rid of them. However, he only ended up changing history for the better. In the revised timeline, Optimus Prime began his life as a robot named Orion Pax, a mostly defenseless dock worker during the Golden Age of Cybertron nine million years ago, with a girlfriend named Ariel and a best friend named Dion. During this time, a new breed of robot with new flight capabilities appeared on the planet that Orion idolized. When Megatron, the leader of the new group of robots, approached him with inquiries about using one of the dock warehouses, Orion was swayed by Megatron. Both Orion and Ariel were severely wounded when Megatron and his forces attacked in order to claim the energy stored there. Searching for someone to help them, the time-displaced Aerialbots took Orion and Ariel to the ancient Autobot, Alpha Trion, who used them as the first subjects for the new reconstruction process he had developed involving rebuilding the frail Autobot frames into more battle-hardy configurations.
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 Transformers Ongoing, which takes place two years after the events of All Hail Megatron, the Autobots would remain on Earth as Prime feared the return of the Decepticons. Unfortunately, this led to the capture of a number of Autobots by Skywatch, including Windcharger, Gears and Prowl. Hot Rod was reformatted into a Pagani Zonda. Already frustrated, he lashed out at Optimus, accusing him of keeping the Autobots on the planet because he needed someone to protect and demanding he be allowed lead a team to rescue Prowl. An admonished Prime agreed to a covert operation, but with Ironhide along to watch over things. While Prowl was freed, it turned out the humans had used him as bait to draw the other Autobots in. However Wheeljack's new shielding protected Hot Rod's team from Skywatch's inhibitors and in a panic the soldiers switched to lethal measures. Hot Rod was targeted and Ironhide was killed protecting him. An enraged Hot Rod turned on the humans, damaging their equipment and machinery.