In 2004 the LEGO group was in trouble. They were losing money and losing market share to other toys and entertainment products4. In order to address some fundamental issues in their business, they needed to cut costs. Leading up to this crisis, LEGO bricks had been adding new designs and colors without consideration for the cost to the business. LEGO went through a large reorganization and cut the production of unique elements in half, the variety of colors in half, and the number of suppliers by 80%. This, in addition to an increase in licensed sets and an expansion into video games, saved the LEGO Company.
A special edition Bearbrick released in celebration of the Transformers 30th anniversary, Optimus Prime is a redeco of Bearbrick G1 Optimus Prime in a deco based on his Age of Extinction appearance. He transforms from a Bearbrick painted up like himself to a bear-eared robot and comes with no accessories, but holes in his robot mode hands can accommodate other toys' weapons.
The toy that would ultimately end up as the original Optimus Prime toy was originally released in August 1983 as No.17 Battle Convoy from Takara's Diaclone Car Robo toyline in Japan. In 1984, Joustra released their own version (still with Diaclone sticker on the trailer) as part of their Diaclone line in Europe, either simply called Truck (according to the pack-in catalog) or Diaclone (in the pack-in comic). It's possible that GiG also released a version called Camion Convoy as part of their Trasformer line in Italy, but to this day no packaged sample has surfaced.
Metalforce Prime was available in both a matte-paint "anime" version that more precisely echoed the colours of the actual series, and a metallic-paint version (pictured), which is less show-accurate but more shiny. The plain-colours version was the first release and has an Autobot symbol tampograph on his shoulder as per the cartoon, while the later metallic-finish version instead came with a decal sheet.
We know that despite starting his fictional life as a lovable, horn-headed robot who could turn into a Volkswagen in Generation 1, Bumblebee's most well-known these days as a round-headed robot who turns into a Camaro. In fact, younger viewers might not even realize he was ever anything but the Chevy muscle car. But there’s one quirky continuity where he’s able to switch between original and movie modes at will.
The first Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy was largely identical in sculpt to the original release. However, his trailer was cast in black plastic, with the original blue and silver striped sticker replaced with a red and silver one that had "Optimus" in large block letters on it. The trailer also featured a soundbox attachment with a sculpted Autobot symbol on the front. The soundbox could activate a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a (badly) garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". This soundbox could also be attached onto Optimus Prime's back and be used as a sort of backpack.
Generation 2 Optimus Prime comes with all his original accessories, as well as two major new play features. To increase his arsenal, he is armed with a pair of black missile launchers that fit in his fists and fire red spring-loaded missiles; these launchers were retooled from the G.I. Joe figure Barricade. Secondly, he comes with an electronic "sound and lights module" that can either plug into the front of the trailer (where it resembles the air conditioners used on refrigerated trailers), or hook onto Optimus's back in robot mode (via a new slot sculpted into the cab robot). Unfortunately, the soundbox is heavy enough that doing so can easily overpower Prime's hip joints, causing him to topple backward. The soundbox features a large, vacuum metalized Autobot symbol on its front, and three grey buttons which trigger two flashing red LEDs on either side of the module, and a trio of sound effects: a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". The module also features ports on either side into which the missile launchers can peg.
In the final episode of Transformers: Cybertron, Optimus Prime proposed a new Space Bridge project using the power of the four Cyber Planet Keys and the four great Cybertronian ships. Many Autobots and former Decepticons joined in the project. Jetfire was left in charge of Cybertron as Optimus Prime led the Atlantis with the Earth Cyber Planet Key, joined by Red Alert, Safeguard, Scattorshot, Leobreaker, Menasor, and Heavy Load.
Both Jet Power Optimus Prime and the accompanying redeco of Voyager-Class Revenge of the Fallen Megatron would have come with an issue of the Unite for the Universe comic book, but due to the cancellation of both figures, the comics were eventually included with the Movie Masterpiece releases of Leader-Class Starscream and Bumblebee. Of amusement is the fact the comics are essentially showcasing toys that have been canceled.
A figure of Prime combined with Jetfire was released as part of the second Big Transformers wave, which came with no accessories of its own, but could hold any of the weapons released with the other second wave figures, including Jetfire's gun, the Star Saber, the Skyboom, and the Requiem Blaster. As with the first wave figures, he came packaged with Ramune candy.
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Oddly, he had a different plate in those films when in car mode: 900 STRA. In Dark of the Moon, they finally decided to keep his robot and car mode plates consistent. In robot mode in the Dark of the Moon and Revenge of the Fallen video games, he wears 5BBM2. 5LKZ213 was seen in some set photos of robot mode for the first film. Various models for promotional exhibits have featured KDM 0814, FXPERTS, and, of course, BUMBLBE.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 2 five-packs, this redeco of the original Optimus Prime toy is cast in translucent blue plastic, with his cab painted white. Despite possessing translucent plastic and more lopsided stats than a regular Bot Shot, he is apparently not labeled as a Super Bot. This version of Optimus comes with similarly-themed with new redecos of Bumblebee, Mirage, Ironhide, and Jetfire.
The conclusion to the storyline was forestalled when Hasbro retracted 3H Enterprise's license, but an explanation can be found in issue 8 of the Transformers Collectors Club magazine, Cybertron/Robots in Disguise. In this issue, Prime tells the tale of how Unicron's forces were defeated in the last battle by Optimus Primal's forces and Unicron disappeared into the black hole opened in Transformers: Energon. Combined as Omega Prime, they could not escape fast enough, and were sucked into another dimension.
The First Edition Voyagers were never released in the US, forcing buyers to import him from Canada or Japan... at first. ToysЯUs later picked up this toy, along with most of the "First Edition" line, as part of a huge block of US market exclusives for holiday season 2012. This second run introduced a deco variant, in which the red paint on, beside, and below the truck side windows is omitted, revealing the patch of brown plastic underneath. As he is packaged in robot mode, with his front wheels and shoulders covering said patch, the only way to identify which version is which while in the box is by looking at the hinge joints beside his two painted torso lights, with the center portions of the hinges being unpainted brown on the variant. All releases of this mold also have a minor issue with the truck mode windvane/robot mode heels refusing to connect solidly to the truck cab in vehicle mode, leaving a visible gap above Prime's windshield.
In the Escalation miniseries, Megatron engages Prime and, boosted by Ore-13, overcomes him. Believing their leader dead, the rest of the Autobots attempt to buy the newly arrived Hot Rod time to collect the clone. Prime, who had transferred his consciousness to a backup memory in his trailer command post, advised them to exploit Ore-13's weakness and assault Megatron all-out, catalyzing the Decepticon leader's Energon supply and crippling him.
The bio for the Botcon 2015 version of Megatron reveals that he comes from an alternate reality where Megatron achieved victory during events similar to Dark of the Moon and killed both Optimus and Sentinel Prime. However, Rodimus Prime then arose to challenge him, facing him in a battle that Megatron ultimately chose to flee, resulting in him ending up in the Axiom Nexus.
This release of the Japanese Super Ginrai version of the of Powermaster Optimus Prime was a Toys R Us Japan exclusive black repaint, made to represent the original Convoy/Optimus Prime equipped for a special mission. All of his red and blue plastics were changed to black, his clear blue windows were now tinted red, making his overall colour scheme very reminiscent of the now-familiar 'Black Convoy' colour schemes.
The 1984 and 1985 toy lines contained several figures of note. Megatron, the Decepticon leader, originally transformed into a realistic Walther P38 pistol with stock and barrel extensions and scope. The Megatron toy was delayed till 1985 for release in the UK. The Constructicons were the first "gestalt" team in the Transformers line, but were different from most subsequent gestalt teams in that they consisted of six members instead of five. The Autobot Jetfire was repainted from a Macross toy, specifically the VF-1 Valkyrie, and the character was renamed Skyfire in the animated television series program for copyright reasons.
He includes the Sword of Judgment and Sentinel Shield accessories, which he can respectively wield and mount on his left forearm, all via 6mm post. In truck mode, the sword is stored underneath, while the shield mounts onto the trailer hitch. The sword also features a 5mm post on its hilt. Interestingly, the truck mode is able to pull G1 Optimus Prime's trailer.
A Mega Super Collection Figure of Prime in his "normal mode" was released a few months after the first figure. He came with a translucent blue Star Saber, and a much larger version of the Convoy Gun accessory, creating a sense of comparative scale, even though he's the same height as the Super Mode figure. Like the Super Mode figure, only his right fist has a peg-hole in it, so he can't hold both weapons at once.
Optimus Prime is one of the playable Autobot characters in the 2010 video game Transformers: War for Cybertron. In the Autobot campaign, he starts off as Optimus, a warrior who rallies his fellow autobots against the Decepticons following the reported death of their leader Zeta Prime. He succeeds in defending the Autobots' home city of Iacon from Starscream and his forces. Optimus then receives a distress call from Zeta Prime. Knowing that this is most likely a trap set by Megatron, he proceeds anyway with a rescue mission. He lets himself, Bumblebee, and SideSwipe be captured by the Decepticons and is sent to a prison in Kaon, the decepticon capital, in an elaborate scheme to free Zeta Prime and all imprisoned Autobots. He frees all the other prisoners, and defeats Soundwave and his minions Frenzy, Rumble, and Laserbeak, but he is too late to save Zeta Prime. After taking Zeta Prime's body back to the Autobot high council, he is bestowed upon the well earned title of Prime.
When animating the scene in which Primal removes Prime's spark, Mainframe's animators consulted The Transformers: The Movie for reference on the interior of Prime's chest. Not realizing the importance of the Matrix of Leadership, they rendered it as a container for Prime's spark. Beast Wars writers Larry DiTillio and Bob Forward have since claimed that in their view, Prime had not received the Matrix from Alpha Trion at this point, but a later comic produced for Botcon indicated that the Matrix was in fact stored in a secondary compartment, hidden behind Prime's spark. In this particular comic, the alien Vok used the Matrix, the Transmetal Driver, and a control suit once piloted by the Predacon Quickstrike to create Primal Prime.
At one time, Optimus Prime worked alongside Megatron, bringing order throughout dimensions with the power of SARA. But Megatron was ambitious, and sought to use SARA's power for his own ends. Optimus saved Metropolis from Megatron's rebellion, and the Autobots banished Megatron from Metropolis. Optimus Prime remained behind as the leader of the Autobots. Fate As head of the space-time guardians residing in Cloud World's Metropolis, he was a valiant and powerful leader who commanded the utmost respect from his subordinates. Optimus Prime stood for peace and freedom for all sentient beings in all of time and space. His sense of responsibility in this regard was a bit too great for his own good, as it often left him worrying about things outside of his control.
A redeco of the sword-wielding version of Battle Masters Optimus Prime, Silver Knight Optimus Prime is a non-transforming "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots"-like toy with arms that punch through the use of levers in his legs. He can also be placed on the included controller handle, allowing the punches to be activated with a pair of triggers. Optimus Prime was only available in a Target-exclusive two-pack with Grimlock.
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.
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Like the original figure, Powermaster Prime is composed of two major components: his truck cab, which transforms into Prime himself, and his trailer, which is essentially a heavily-armed version of the original. The trailer has a fold-down ramp to allow the storage of a smaller Transformer, or perhaps spare accessories. The trailer transforms into a battle station armed with two long black rifles and two grey double-barreled cannons (featuring seating for Powermaster engine figures), all of which Optimus Prime can also wield in his fists.
In a completely different scenario, Optimus agreed to Prowl’s plan to go on the offensive and try and discover the full extent of the Decepticons’ plans. Optimus nominated Prowl, Bumblebee and Mirage to go along with him on the mission. The group refuelled with the gas that Sparkplug brought back from the Autobots’ secret storage area, and took off. The group soon happened upon the Decepticons’ lab in the middle of a barren, polluted wasteland.
The largest Movie Optimus Prime toy (until Revenge of the Fallen, that is), Leader Class Optimus Prime features the most accurate representation yet of the CGI designs' complex transformation sequence, the only difference being the arms which are placed behind the cab while they constitute the hood in the CGI model. He transforms into a heavily-customized Peterbilt 379 conventional extended-hood, and unusually for a mainline figure, he has rubber tires on all his wheels. His Ion Blaster weapon is stored in the rear of the truck's bunk, exposed like an engine block. Though Optimus has no trailer, he has a hole where the fifth wheel (known among fans as a 'hitch') is sculpted in the rear of the truck, should owners find a suitable trailer to use. Due to safety reasons, the tips of his long smokestacks are made of rubber. A switch on top of the cab roof activates horn sounds and window lights.
The 2010 Transformers "Reveal the Shield" Legends Class Optimus Prime sculpt in the deco from the first Chronicle EZ Collection wave (see below) was released as a "Dollar Store" exclusive (available at stores such as Dollar General and Big Lots) in generic 2010 Transformers packaging packaging alongside Starscream, Bumblebee and Megatron. The initial release saw the copyright year removed, while a later running change variant featured the new tooling originally used for Generations Legends Class Motorbreath, with not only the retooled hands and a hole on the back of his head/top of his vehicle mode compatible with 3mm posts, but also Motorbreath's sword accessory.
Legion Class Optimus Prime has been found at Family Dollar and Dollar General stores in the United States. A later variant repleaced the red Autobot insignia with a black version. This later version was also released at general retail in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Russia. In Singapore it was released together with Bumblebee and Starscream as part of the promotion for Age of Extinction in selected cinemas.
In addition to the small engine-pistol of his Alternators figure, Prime comes with the "Surfblade", a pink surfboard that can be reconfigured into either two small knives or a large double-bladed sword. As with all the Kiss Players figures, Prime also comes with a PVC figurine of a cute girl: in this case, Marissa Faireborn, who can perch upon his shoulder or sit in his driver's seat, and comes with two pairs of interchangeable arms and legs. Additionally, the set includes a CD featuring the first five episodes of the Kiss Players radio drama, as well as the exclusive bonus audio adventure, "Someday, Under the Sun."
Rodimus can be unlocked by beating "Dam 6" in Arena Mode, credited as Hot Shot. Rodimus is described as being young, impetuous, showing enthusiasm and confidence which borders on arrogance. He boldly claims that he has both skill and looks, though he is not too keen being paired with Kup on missions. Somehow, he became corrupted by Dark Energon. If the player manages to defeat him, he calms down, shrugging off the effects of the Dark Energon and returning to his regular self.
The sequel series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise sees Optimus contacting Bumblebee to warn him of danger on Earth-a prison ship's complement of Decepticon prisoners escaping upon the ship crashing and appearing briefly in physical form to help Bumblebee's unlikely new team defeat the Decepticon Underbite. Optimus appears throughout the first season as a vision to Bumblebee, though he is only allowed to do so when the latter's need is dire. Residing in the "Realm of the Primes", Optimus Prime begins training to combat an "ultimate evil" where his first part of the training is overseen by Micronus Prime. At the conclusion of the first season, Optimus is upgraded by the Thirteen Primes when the Fallen arrives on Earth, during which he gains a body that closely resembles his Beast Hunters form. After the Fallen is seemingly destroyed, Optimus Prime remains with Bumblebee's group, though he states he would only do so as Bumblebee's "equal", rather than leader. However, the Thirteen subsequently reclaim the additional power they granted him, leaving him weakened but still determined to aid the team.
Optimus Prime appears in the Transformers live-action film series as the leader of the Autobots and one of the main protagonists. In the first three films, he 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 gains a first generation-style trailer form before changing into a 2014 Western Star 5700 Concept. 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.
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.
On Cybertron, Optimus Prime kicked back to do a little bit of paperwork and reminisce. With Shockwave defeated, Cybertron was enjoying a new era of peace. He was interrupted by Hot Rod, who reported that a group of "pesky humans with their peashooters" were giving an Autobot team on Earth a hard time. Prime suspected Cobra's involvement and counseled Hot Rod not to be so dismissive of the humans. The Art of War #1 When the team returned to Cybertron and mysteriously vanished in the Gladiator Zone, Prime was prepared to go search for them, but was convinced by Hot Rod to stay behind and organize a peace ceremony. The Art of War #2
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
Early versions of this storyline featured Rodimus returning as "Rodimus Primal," a techno-organic Maximal with a form similar to Optimal Optimus'. This concept was discarded in favor of Rodimus working alongside Primal Prime, but was later adapted for a storyline feature in "Ask Vector Prime." In an alternate reality where Starscream had possessed Waspinator and brought a premature end to the Beast Wars, Rodimus Primal led the Wreckers as one of several resistance group's to Megatron's rule over Cybertron. Eventually, Megatron was overthrown by his rebellious generals Obsidian and Tankor, splintering the Vehicon force prior to the pair being abducted by Unicron. Without Obsidian's leadership, the Vehicons crumbled, and Rodimus Primal became part of a new Cybertronian ruling council that also included "Waspscream," Magmatron, and Mutant leader Icebird.
Cloud Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Classics Voyager Class Optimus Prime mold, transforming into a modern cab-over style truck of made up model, dominated by a large "energy unit" on his roof (actually a wind vane). He features a similar Generation 1-inspired deco to the original toy, but aims for a "cleaner" appearance by omitting many paint details such as stripes on the cab, while the energy unit is colored black with a silver Autobot insignia in homage to Generation 2 Optimus Prime. In robot mode, Prime's energy unit transforms into a large blaster and his smokestacks transform into a smaller laser cannon. Additionally, both weapons can combine together to form a double-barrelled over-shoulder weapon. He was available exclusively at TakaraTomy Mall.
The original Ultra Magnus figure has been reissued and redecoed several times down the years, and this article strives to list each edition of the figure under its own heading. The first alteration to Magnus, however, was a running change made while he was still on shelves: Originally, his tires were made of rubber and he sported paint on both his small and large robot heads, but this version was soon replaced with one featuring plastic tires and no paint on either head. In addition, the clear yellow plastic that formed his windows was removed from the cab, leaving just holes instead; and his thighs and fuel tanks were left white, as opposed to the vacuum metalized chrome ones of the original release.