At this point in the future, the Autobots had become something of a group of peacekeepers among the many races in the galaxy, and Rodimus would attend many meetings, parties and conferences to this end, most notably chairing the peace conference between the planets of Xetaxxis and Lanarq. Despite the brave public face he wore at these events, his own doubts continued to plague him, and he was particularly fazed by Galvatron's threat of an "ultimate weapon", though the revelation that this was a bluff stirred him to action. Later still, Rodimus was among the Autobots who had their minds transferred into synthetic human forms by crime lord Victor Drath, who used their Transformer bodies to commit crimes. While Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Springer tackled this problem, Rodimus returned to Drath's compound where he was aided by Drath's mole, Michelle, between whom a spark of romance seemed to bloom, until she betrayed him to Drath. Through a combined effort, however, Drath was brought to justice and the Autobots regained their bodies.
For the 1987 and 1988 lines, Hasbro introduced even more radical ideas through new sub-groups. The Headmasters and Targetmasters came with partners who transformed into the figure's head or weapon, respectively. Powermasters, including the new version of fan favorite Optimus Prime, came with partners that transformed into engines. Each line would see various permutations over the two-year span, including smaller Headmasters, Double Targetmasters, and a Powermaster with two engines.
Available only at KB Toys, Machine Wars Optimus Prime is a redeco and slight retool of the European Generation 1 exclusive Turbomaster leader Thunder Clash, transforming into a Cybertronic truck cab. It's easy to see why Thunder Clash was chosen to become the new Optimus Prime, given his adherence to Prime tradition: the cab disconnects to become the robot, while the trailer unfolds to become an assault tower with twin missile launchers. On the original Thunder Clash version of the mold, the launchers operated on a gravity-feed system that saw a new missile drop into the launcher from above each time one was fired, allowing for twelve to be fired in rapid succession, but for Machine Wars Prime, this feature had to be dialed back for safety reasons. The missiles had to be lengthened to prevent choking hazards, and so the toy's launchers were modified to accommodate them, becoming straightforward spring-loaded single-firing weapons.
Part of the first wave of Beast Hunters Series 3 Voyager Class toys, Optimus Prime is functionally an upsized copy of his Beast Hunters Series 3 Cyberverse toy, though with certain sculpted details based on his larger toys, the replacement of his ball joints with more robust ratchet joints, the addition of thigh swivels, and various deco differences. As a result, his complexity is lower than in his previous Voyager Class toys, but he ends up being much, much more massive.
In an alternate version of the following events, Bumblebee would return to base, reporting that the Decepticons were planning to destroy the humans' farmlands in an attempt to starve mankind and force them into submission. Upon hearing these news, Optimus gathered a squad of Autobots and headed out to stop the evil robots. However, once they found themselves in the open country, they found themselves at the mercy of a Decepticon ambush; Bumblebee had been fed false information! In one iteration of the events that followed, Optimus could have avoided his death if only he had listened to your warning! In another iteration, Optimus had to decide whether he should send his Autobots away to the safety of a nearby bridge while he fended off the encroaching Decepticon horde, or if he should remain by the side of his troops as they all made a break for the bridge. Remaining as a single unit would spell their doom, but by sticking together, the Autobots could make it back to the safety of their base. Battle Drive
In 1989, the entire line became limited to Pretenders and Micromasters. For the first time, the Transformers received a new design for their title logo. But many also regarded this as a time of a dearth in creativity and the lowest point in the toyline's history. The year 1990 saw the last American burst with the release of more Micromaster characters and the introduction of the Action Masters, non-transforming action figures who came with Transforming companions. Larger Action Master sets came with transforming vehicles and bases. The Action Master line was criticized for its perceived desperation for a gimmick, although it had a few defenders. The line predictably faded and would be the last Transformers output in the US until 1992.
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.
The U.S. release of Super Fire Convoy had the Japanese voice replaced with an English voice (with the lines, "Optimus Prime, Maximize!" and "Autobots, Transform"), and Autobot insignias were added on the side panels. Much like the Japanese version, Optimus Prime's normal robot mode can combine with Ultra Magnus (sold separately) to form Omega Prime.
The TakaraTomy "Autobot Alliance" release of this toy has some significant differences, including casting the red plastic in a darker shade, making his shin and wheel joints grey rather than Hasbro's bronze, painting the Matrix of Leadership silver, and swapping out the dual energon swords for battle hooks, similar to 2010's Leader class Optimus Prime. However, due to the Japanese release retaining the Hasbro packaging, the box still advertises the dual energon swords rather than the hooks. He retains the masked face used for the Hasbro release.