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.
Star Convoy was reissued by Takara in 2005, with some notable alterations to his deco: his white plastic was replaced with metallic silver, and the yellow star on his chest was chromed golden. Star Convoy himself retained some of his original decals but most notably his "simulated head lights" and "wind shield panels" were stamp graphed on him, similarly, Hot Rod's were replaced with the same stamp graphing applications. Additionally, where the original toy had been packaged in robot mode in a tall box decorated with the standard Japanese package art of the time, the reissue was packaged in vehicle mode, in a long, wide box more reminiscent of the original Generation 1 toys.
This occurs in a Japanese toy line, animated series, and mobile video game called Q-Transformers. Specifically, the video game is called Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns. Both Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are able to switch between their Generation 1 and movie modes in the series and game-- specifically Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns. Strangely, though, when he’s in Generation 1 mode, he’s not a Volkswagen but another small, quirky car: a Daihatsu Copen. The show is pretty meta, with the characters being aware that they’re toys and they even talk about the Mystery of Convoy video game that they’re in.
General Optimus Prime later attended a meeting of the Convoy held by Starscream. There, he assured the others present that he had been mistaken about the rumored Megatron's identity. Starscream was convinced, but the rest of the Convoy were savvy to the truth. The other Optimuses supported General Optimus Prime's decision, stating that if C-81 had earned the General's trust, that was good enough for the rest of them. Optimus was later seen hanging out with Spy-Eye on his off-time. Cybertron's Most Wanted
Note: Although American importers shouldn't have too much trouble, those living in parts of the world using higher strength A/C current outlets should be warned NOT to simply plug the A/C adaptor in with only a socket adapter, as this will overload the device and fry it completely. Buying the appropriate kind of universal A/C adaptor and a stepup/stepdown transformer (the electrical kind) with advice from an electronics specialty shop is recommended.
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Like some other Legends/Legion Class toys, several of the loose units were dumped in some Hobby Shop dealers in Asia, although this one is very likely to be an identical knockoff of the toy. While the paint applications are pretty much identical to the real deal, the pegs on the legs/trunk front can be a little too tight when attached. in some worst cases; it can break off if attempted to pull off by force.
For Transformers: Age of Extinction, Optimus Prime initially transforms into a rusty 1973 Marmon semi cab-over truck and later on a new alternate mode in a blue and red Western Star 5700 Custom semi-truck. After humanity turns on all Transformers, regardless of faction, Optimus and the other Autobots go into hiding. Eventually, they find themselves being hunted by a rogue organization called Cemetery Wind. Optimus is severely injured in a trap set by the group, while many of the other Autobots, including Ratchet and Leadfoot, are slain. An inventor, Cade Yeager, comes to Prime's aid and helps restore his health. After uniting with a small band of Autobots, Optimus faces Lockdown, a ruthless bounty hunter allied with the humans, and KSI, an organization that produces man-made Transformers. Optimus is captured by Lockdown, but the Autobots rescue him. Optimus is quickly losing faith in humanity, but at the urging of Cade, chooses to stay and fight a resurrected Megatron and his new army. Prime awakens the ancient Dinobots, and rides a newly tamed Grimlock into battle through Hong Kong. He kills Lockdown and Harold Attinger at the film's climax as revenge for killing many of his friends, including Ratchet and Leadfoot. At the end of the film, he leaves Earth and flies off into deep space, seeking to find out the truth about his mysterious Creators.
This TakaraTomy Asian market-exclusive Leader Class two-pack consists of a redecoed Jetfire and a slightly altered Buster Optimus Prime. Buster Optimus Prime is almost identical to the single-pack Japanese release of the toy, but unlike the standalone Buster Prime, has a head with a faceplate, itself containing more paint details than the first release of Revenge of the Fallen Leader-class Optimus Prime. The flames are outlined with light blue instead of white for accuracy to the physical truck prop (though it ends up being inaccurate in robot mode). Jetfire has a subtle, more movie-accurate colour scheme.
The key sports a tampographed Autobot insignia, a red border, and the Key Code "D56B" tampographed on the back. This code, when entered on Hasbro's website, was supposed to unlock additional information on the character or the toy, but due to an error on behalf of Hasbro, it unlocked information intended for Optimus Prime's wave-mate, the aforementioned Deluxe Class Demolishor; Optimus Prime's information was instead unlocked using the code "dt67", which was tampographed on the back of the Cyber Key included with said Demolishor toy.
Refractor and Laser Prime were only available in a box set named "Chaos on Velocitron" that includes Dynamus and Quickswitch, Parsec and Autobot Nautica, Fastclash, and a Rodimus Prime Titan Master head. The set was officially announced by Hasbro to be a Toys"R"Us exclusive, and was sold at stores in the United States, Canada, and Hasbro's Asian markets (such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong). Despite this, it later became available via Amazon in the United States (but not in Canada) as well, actually sold by Amazon directly (as compared to a third-party seller).
This is a redeco of the 2004 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime, released to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the original Transformers animated movie and DVD release. He is painted in flatter, non-metallic colours to more closely resemble the original cartoon model, as well as the Voyager-class Classics Optimus Prime figure. The color of the light of his feet has changed too. As a cost-cutting measure, all vacuum-metalized plastic has been replaced with with silver and gold paint. Confusingly, his Ion blaster is now cast in blue plastic.
Although the character was redesigned to some extent, like the other characters in the film, many classic design elements remain in his robot mode including a predominantly red torso, primarily blue legs, the presence of windows in his chest, smoke stacks on his shoulders, and a head design influenced by the original, featuring the iconic faceplate and ear finials. The faceplate is able to retract to reveal a mouth. His weapons include his iconic ion blaster stored in the form of the fuel tanks on his back, and a shell cannon stored on his back, two retractable energon blades that extend from both forearms, which is a homage to Prime's energy axe in the Generation 1 animated series, two retractable energon hooks on both of his forearms, and bladed knuckles. The trailer contains an energy axe, a shield, and flight gear. In the later IDW comics, he displays the ability to produce a holographic driver.
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This is an arbitrary line but it is a line that needed to be drawn. There have been many promotional sets over the years which have very few pieces but carry a higher price because of their promotional status. These can range from keychains to individual minifigs to seasonal items. They are not representative of the typical price of a LEGO brick and therefore should not be included in the evaluation.
An extensive redeco of the Protoform Optimus Prime mold that was exclusively available at the Japanese C3xHobby Convention in August of 2007, and later offered by e-HOBBY in limited quantities. Most of the body is made out of transparent turquoise plastic in order to mimic its frozen state in the "coldness" of space, while orange paint is used on the front end of the "entry" mode, mimicking the heat effects of sudden atmospheric entry. The flame attachment is made out of clear blue plastic, with the tail end being covered in gold paint.
Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in 2014, MP Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. is a trailer-less redeco of the MP-10 mold sporting a green color scheme matching the Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. of the original G1 toy, with "BAPE's famous camouflage pattern" and an ape head print on the shoulder replacing the usual faction symbol.
Although peacetime in the decade that followed the apparent deaths of Unicron and Galvatron afforded Prime the opportunity to train his own elite squadron of Autobots the martial art of Kumite. The re-emergence of the war, however, forced him to return to his role as commander. The conflict for control of the Mini-Cons and the truths he was forced to face in his confrontation with Unicron seems to have changed him. Optimus Prime, Grand Convoy' in the Japanese version, was now a stern, more direct commander and shows little of the conflict that held him back before. Despite this, he is still known to make the same kind of decisions, which include an emphasis on team work and the foundation of the Autobot values.
He’s continued to be lovable through many different continuities, all the way to the current live-action film series. But as much as you love him, there may be a few things you don’t know about him. So let’s take a look at some of his strange real-world facts, storyline goofiness, pop-culture tie-ins and even his relationship to Back to the Future.
Q-Transformers Optimus Prime is a tiny super deformed toy based on the Alternity Convoy design, transforming into a Nissan GT-R R35, though his legs retain the traditional blue truck bed motif. The English name on the packaging refers to him as just "Optimus". He comes with a code for unlocking "GTR Optimus Prime" as a playable character in the Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns game. Standing at only slightly less than one inch and a half, this is actually the smallest transforming Optimus Prime ever made, which is a fairly impressive feat considering the surprising amount of detail in sculpt and paint apps.
Early in this new series of encounters with Megatron, Red Alert contacted the Autobots on Earth and asked for Optimus Prime to join then on Velocitron. Ransack and Crumplezone tricked Hot Shot and Dirt Boss into believing that a race between them would determine which of them would be allowed to race Override for the Planet Cup. During the race, Ransack and Crumplezone caused a rockslide that buried Hot Shot. Hot Shot was saved when Optimus Prime, Vector Prime, and Landmine arrived, but Optimus was upset that Hot Shot had become involved with the locals. Clocker and Brakedown were eager to help the Autobots. After being unable to obtain the Planet Cup from Override herself, Optimus Prime endorsed Hot Shot's plan to win the cup in a race with the aide of the other Autobots. Ransack and Crumplezone were contacted by Megatron and were told to keep on eye on things. They also decided to enter the race, either to win the cup and cause as much damage as they could to the other racers. Override, Dirt Boss, Ransack, Crumplezone, Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Red Alert, Landmine, Clocker and Brakedown participated in the qualification round. 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.
It should also be mentioned that a few years back, I think around 2009 roughly, TLG started using smaller boxes for the same size sets. It was part of a move to not only save money, but also become greener as a company. Because the sets now take up less physical space on the shelf, and boxes with the same number of pieces appear smaller than sets from previous years, it could also contribute to the perception that you are getting less for your money today. In reality they are one and the same product.
His main gimmick, however, is his quintet of "Firebreath Cyclocannons"—spring-loaded dragon-headed missile launchers mounted on an ornate, rotating circular contraption attached to his back/roof. Turning the handle on top makes the backpack rotate and cycle through each cannon, and pressing the handle's button will trigger and fire whatever cannon is at the top/front. When the cannons are cycled through in robot mode, his eyes and windshield-chest light up, and one can alternatively rotate (but not fire) the cannons and activate his light-up features by pushing down on the fake spiky fenders on his stomach. Out of the package, the handle itself comes detached to allow the rest of the toy to fit.
Legends class Optimus Prime is an extremely simplified toy of the extremely complex movie design. As such, he features numerous unavoidable inaccuracies, such as not transforming or even looking very much like the original design or the larger toy versions in robot mode. However, proportionally Legends class Optimus Prime is not far off from the real truck and the Leader class toy's vehicle mode, aside from missing a smokestack on the driver's side. He is articulated at the shoulders and upper legs via ball-joints.
In reorganizing the company, LEGO became more efficient. The data shows that they have been able to standardize costs and it is likely that they were able to hedge the price of plastic against future price fluctuations. In protecting their business, they have also been able to normalize prices for their customers. A stable price is good for everyone; it helps LEGO ensure that future production costs are budgeted for and it helps the consumer manage their budget. This allows LEGO to protect and grow its market share.
The Masterpiece Optimus Prime toy was featured in a print ad for Nokia 6820 phones in December 2004. He is posed bent over to look at the phone and scratching his head. Pleasantly, most of the pose pictured is perfectly possible with an un-kitbashed, un-Photoshopped version of the toy. (The real toy can't bend forward at the waist like that, alas.)
If Optimus led his troops back to the Decepticons’ poison lab, the convoy happened upon the Decepticons hauling barrels of poison out of the poison lab. Windcharger and Ironhide suggested two different plans to Optimus: Windcharger wanted to use his magnetic powers to cause a confusion, while Ironhide wanted to simply go in for a full frontal assault.
Not long after his resurrection, Optimus was alerted by Monitorus to an attack on Tau-Ursa. Optimus's impending speech was interrupted by a Decepticon attack led by Sixshot. Prime soon discovered that the attack was a diversion, while Galvatron tried out his Nullification Cannon on Cybertron's Energon supplies. Optimus rushed to the Energon plant, but, after clouting Slugslinger so hard that the Decepticon was left dangling over a precipice, Prime's morals forced him to rescue the Decepticon instead of stopping Galvatron from getting away.
The Heroes of Cybertron PVC figurine line is an adaptation by Hasbro of Takara's own Super Figure Collection line. The main differences between the two lines is that Hasbro cast Autobot and Decepticon figures in clear blue or clear red PVC respectively, then completely painted the figurines. This allowed the eyes to 'glow' when placed in front of the light source.
In an alternate version of this reality, Rodimus was forced to deal with a militant and aggressive Optimus Prime, and Cybertron was soon wracked by a three-way war between Optimus' Autobots, Rodimus' Omnicons, and Megatron's Decepticons. Unfortunately, the balance of the conflict tipped with the arrival of dimension-hopping tyrant Megazarak, whose Destructicons allied with the Decepticons, creating a force that soon annihilated Autobot and Omnicon alike. However, the Destructicons then turned upon their allies and destroyed them before being abducted by Unicron. This universe was then drained of all life and energy by Tornedron, whose creator Primacron was also destroyed.
A fourth version is shown in the 1987-88 Transformers product catalog that has several minor differences from both Powermaster Prime and God Ginrai, such as having God Ginrai's sliding fists but in red, a completely different trailer hitch assembly partially based on the third design, an offset Autobot symbol in base mode, extended feet also based on third design, far more detailed super mode outer leg panels, completely different front bumper, and the first instance of single faux shoulder smokestacks rather than two. It is still unknown as to why Powermaster Prime has completely different arms from God Ginrai or all earlier concept versions.
Over the course of the next twenty years, the Decepticons succeeded in seizing control of all of Cybertron, forcing the Autobots to operate from their new city on Earth and two bases on Cybertron's moons. In the Earth year 2005, Prime, stationed on Moonbase One, dispatched troops to Earth to acquire energy for an upcoming strike on Cybertron. The Decepticons, however, got wind of the plan and used the shuttle run to attack Autobot City. A distress call summoned Prime and support troops to Earth. In the fearsome, ensuing, epic battle with Megatron, Optimus Prime sustained fatal wounds, but not before turning the tide of battle and forcing the Decepticons to flee. Despite the efforts of Perceptor, Optimus Prime went offline after passing the Matrix and role of leader to Ultra Magnus. His last words were "Until that day... 'till all are one." The Matrix later fell into the hands of Galvatron, a recreated Megatron, and was finally taken back by the young Autobot Hot Rod, who became Rodimus Prime after bearing the Matrix. In season 3, set a year after the events in The Transformers: The Movie, Rodimus was the new leader of the Autobots.
"Garbage Truck" is a redeco of the same Optimus Prime toy in blue and white, a common coloration for Japanese garbage trucks that bears ends up bearing a coincidental resemblance to the Bot Shots Polar Assault Team Optimus. His stickers now picture his truck mode being loaded with garbage, his truck mode driving around, and the word "cleaning" in both English and Japanese.
In the war for Cybertron eons ago, Optimus was once Orion Pax, a historical archivist in the Iacon library. Throughout his studies on Cybertron's past, Orion became aware of the social inequality among Cybertron's populace. He became inspired by a gladiator taking the name of one of the thirteen original Primes, Megatronus. Megatronus attempted to start a revolution to overthrow Cybertron's current leadership and take the mantle of Prime. However, Orion preached a different ideology, declaring that violence is not the means to achieve justice, and thus, Megatronus changed his name to Megatron and severed ties with Orion, starting the Great War that destroyed Cybertron. Orion soon ventured into the core of Cybertron and was bestowed with the Matrix of Leadership by Primus, becoming Optimus Prime. After Cybertron became barren and lifeless, he and Megatron took their war to Earth, after which Megatron disappeared for three years. With Ratchet, Arcee, Bumblebee, Bulkhead, and Cliffjumper under his command, the Autobots were granted asylum on Earth by the US government if they kept the Decepticons at bay. However, in "Darkness Rising", the Decepticons return, killing Cliffjumper and target Jack, Raf, and Miko, three children who were seen with Arcee and Bumblebee. Optimus requested they be brought to base and know the full story, much to Arcee and Ratchet's dismay. Megatron returned soon after, wielding Dark Energon and nearly killing Optimus and Ratchet with a horde of reanimated Cybertronian corpses. Optimus later fought Megatron on the latter's space bridge, which Megatron intended to use to bring forth an army of undead to conquer Earth. Though Optimus is nearly killed by Megatron, he is able to gain the upper hand, and leaves Megatron to his apparent destruction when the Autobots destroy the space bridge. However, Optimus later confided in Ratchet that he still mourns Megatron's death, as he had a small glimmer of hope he could be turned to good. However, he does not underestimate Megatron's successor, Starscream.
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.
Rodimus also appears in the novel Transformers: Retribution as part of the crew of the Ark. Along with Kup and Bumblebee, he suspects that something is amiss with the inhabitants of the planet Aquatron, and takes a small drops ship down into the planet's oceans to investigate. The trio are captured and brainwashed by the Quintessons, who force them to testify against Optimus Prime in a mock trial. Fortunately, they are later returned to normal and return to space aboard the Ark with the rest of the Autobots.
Part of the third wave of Prime Cyberverse Commander Class toys, Nightwatch Optimus Prime is a redeco of Series 2 Cyberverse Optimus Prime, using the faceplate-less head sculpt that is gang-molded with the original head. His blue plastic is now gray, his smokestacks and thighs are left unpainted, he loses the Autobot insignia on his right forearm/door, and he gains yellow paint highlights for his eyes and lights, along with various other minor deco differences. Instead of the original release's cannons, he now comes with a pair of swords, which each have a pair of 3mm posts for wielding/mounting.
The third version  would quite possibly have been the most gimmick loaded Transformer in the history of the line, simultaneously being a Powermaster, Headmaster, and triple changer. The Headmaster also would have been a triplechanger, turning into a sort of armored four-wheeled rover (Roller II?) and robot as well as a rather silly looking Optimus Prime head with four vertically aligned wheels jutting off the sides. It seems that when the extra Headmaster gimmick was scrapped, the super mode head remained separate rather than being reintegrated into the trailer hitch such as on the earliest design. Notably, the body of this design is extremely close to the final design.
Optimus Prime was subject to several molding and color variations in his early days. The earliest release of the figure featured larger fists, a gun with a thick, round barrel, a slightly-differently shaped gas pump, grey rockets, a grey Roller, a grey launcher in his Combat Deck, and metal plates in the floor of the Combat Deck (a holdover from the Diaclone version of the toy, to which the magnetic feet of the pilots could cling). In short order, his fists were slimmed down, the gun's barrel was pared down to a more slender form, the gas pump's shape was altered, the rockets and launcher were recast in black plastic, the metal plates were removed from the Combat Deck, and Roller's color was changed to a light blue. Along with Roller's color change, however, the Combat Deck's drone pod also became light blue, and a third running change soon followed that saw it restored to its original darker blue, and Roller changed along with it. These modified components would become the default accessories used by subsequent reissues of the Prime toy would take, though Roller stills fluctuates back and forth between grey and dark blue, depending on how show-accurate each reissue wants to be.