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.
Fellow Seibertronian Actar has written an in depth review on the new Transformers Studio Series Jetfire. He gave us great images of all modes including the combined mode and the giant cannon. We see how it scales with both SS ROTF Megatron and the ROTF Fallen. Enjoy! Alrighty! Just got my hands on the latest SS Voyagers and Leaders. However, the one that has won me over the most is Jetfire. So, I was rather hesitant and critical about Jetfire when I first saw him, but - Read More
General Hawk stated in an interview that his typical transportation in Axiom Nexus was his Convoy colleagues. As the seats of General Optimus Prime's vehicle mode were manufactured at the same location as the VAMPs of his universe, Hawk was able to find a degree of familiarity in the strange world of Axiom Nexus. Andromeda - Axiom Nexus News, 2016/05/01

The Power Plus series are similar to the Power series, except these come with the core that unlocks extra features. The Bumblebee figures in this series are nearly the same as the Power series versions (Camaro ‘Bee’s Power Plus figure has his unmasked head), so if you’re going to get them, and you want the cores, go with these versions. If you want Optimus Prime at this size, though, you’ll have to go with this version.
At about 2/3 the size of the Smallest Transforming Transformers, this diminutive version of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime toy is the smallest figure of the Autobot leader made to date. It was sold as part of Takara's blindpacked Mini Toy Shop Collection line, a series of miniaturized figures from numerous classic Takara toylines, including Transformers, Microman, Licca-chan, Choro-Q and others. Both of Prime's modes are represented by non-transforming individual figures, which come together in a two-pack. In-box, his truck form is even packed in a miniature recreation of his original Japanese packaging, which also includes a shrunken version of his sticker sheet. A tiny version of the original Takara Transformers catalog completes the set.
The main torso-bot is based on Generation 1 Optimus's original body. Two of his limbs are based on Armada Optimus Prime; one "normal" (Inferno helmet), one pre-Earth-body (Knock Out helmet). Another is based on live-action Optimus (Soundwave helmet), and the remaining one (Ironhide helmet)... actually looks to be based on the Optimus-like-but-not-Optimus Micromaster Overload! The heck?
Optimus Prime comes with many accessories in addition to the aforementioned Matrix, including the character's traditional laser rifle, now termed (and henceforth known as) an ion blaster. The initial release of the figure cast the ion blaster in grey plastic, but later assortments recast it in its more familiar black coloration. Other accessories include a transparent orange energon-axe that plugs into either wrist when Prime's fist is retracted, and even a non-transforming gun mode Megatron weapon, with removable stock, silencer and scope accessories, in homage to several instances in the Generation 1 cartoon when Prime was forced to wield his enemy. Pack-in bonuses that came with the figure included an inner cardboard tray illustrated to resemble the interior of Prime's Combat Deck, and in later releases, a small poster drawn by Pat Lee.
I you can get an official reissue for around the same price, do it. I lucked out and got an opened but mint Encore for $50 last week but you'll be getting lucky that way. All Hasbro reissues have short smokestacks and long stacks are harder to get separate to swap out. Average price for a Japanese reissue is around $100 opened. If you are on a budget and the kid doens't care about slight issues, the $40 KO would be the better option.
Golden Lagoon Convoy is a gold and gold chrome redeco of MP-10 in homage of the original cartoon episode of the same name. He retains his energon axe, ion blaster, and Matrix of Leadership. Part of TakaraTomy's 35th anniversary celebration, he was initially released at Summer Wonder Festival 2018, then later through Cybertron Satellite stores across Japan and TakaraTomy Mall.
However, Prime was encouraged to keep fighting by the cheers of a human boy named Junpei. Megatron, surprised at Prime's resilience, attempted to finish his foe off with his Tornado Axe attack. Prime countered with his Double Wheel-Torque Mega-Ton, which trumped Megatron's attack and injured the Decepticon badly. Megatron teleported back to his ship and left Earth's atmosphere, vowing to return.
The second Nightwatch Optimus Prime was released as part of the "AllSpark Power" second half of the Movie line. He is similar to the UK version of Nightwatch Prime, replacing most of his red and blue with different shades of blue and black, retaining his resemblance to Diaclone Powered Convoy in most respects. However, the subdued black and copper on the first Nightwatch Prime have been replaced with gold and a very bright blue, to signify the All Spark energy affecting the Transformers.
However, Prime was encouraged to keep fighting by the cheers of a human boy named Junpei. Megatron, surprised at Prime's resilience, attempted to finish his foe off with his Tornado Axe attack. Prime countered with his Double Wheel-Torque Mega-Ton, which trumped Megatron's attack and injured the Decepticon badly. Megatron teleported back to his ship and left Earth's atmosphere, vowing to return.
The Monster XL also features not one, but TWO barrels with 6 different nozzles per barrel. That adds up to about 36 different ways to put out your best friend's eye. The ludicrous weight and the fact that it takes 43 fucking pumps to get the water up to pressure offer up reasonable disadvantages, but since water gun fights are always half water gun fight and half "who brought the biggest dick" competition, none of that really matters.
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.

Unfortunately for both Takara and Hasbro, the Generation Two series of Transformers sold poorly, and Hasbro abandoned it after two years. There were toys planned that never saw release. Most of these were G1 combiner team recolors or recolors of recent figures. Four unreleased molds were released in the Machine Wars line, and four more resurfaced in the Robots In Disguise series.
Prime would make one further surprise appearance in Dreamwave's Transformers: Armada comic series, although it would not be the Prime of Dreamwave's first series. When the Optimus Prime of the Armada universe disappeared, pulled into another dimension by the power of Unicron, the Chaos-Bringer sent something back in his stead: a nearly dead Optimus Prime from that universe, who warned the transformers of Unicron's coming into their universe before dying.
This unusual iteration of Optimus Prime is a redeco of Beast Wars 10th Anniversary Optimus Primal, transforming into a robotic gorilla in the pseudo-technorganic-looking style of the other Jungle Planet toys. He comes with a Jungle Planet Cyber Key stamped with the code d7s9, which plugs into his flying surfboard accessory to reveal a spring-loaded missile launcher. His brown and cream deco seems inspired by Donkey Kong, while the scar over his beast mode eye seems intended to homage Peter Jackson's King Kong.
Meanwhile, the U.K. offices of Marvel Comics were producing their own storylines. Writer Simon Furman offered a different take on Prime, that he was weary of the war he had been forced to fight. In the "Prey" storyline, Prime arranged for Wheeljack to build a copy of himself and destroy it to see how the Autobots could cope without him. Unfortunately, the plan was derailed by Megatron and the Predacons. During the battle, Prime, Megatron, and Ultra Magnus were transported to Earth. There, Prime accidentally interrupted his own funeral service. The theme of war-weariness would again come to the fore in the U.K. strips detailing Prime's U.S. death.
In the movie, he starts out as a 1976 Camaro before modernizing himself. But the 2007 version (the fifth generation of the model) was a concept car-- you couldn’t even buy a new Camaro until 2009. They later switched to the production version for the 2009 sequel Revenge of the Fallen and he was yet another updated model for Dark of the Moon in 2011 (the SS model). In Age of Extinction, he appears both as a 1967 model and another new model of the current version. Finally, back in June, Bay tweeted that in next year’s The Last Knight, Bee would be a custom-built 2016 Camaro. Over the first two years of the relaunch, Chevy sold an astounding 140,000 Camaros and saw a 10% spike in the yellow model, thanks largely to our friend Bumblebee.
Kiss Players Convoy is a redeco of Alternators Optimus Prime. Unlike the Alternators version's bare red plastic, he is covered in a deeper red paint. Some of his body parts are cast in different colours, such as his shins, and has a much more intricate paint deco based upon Masterpiece Convoy. He is armed with his small engine pistol and a pink surfboard that can be reconfigured into either two small blades or a large double-bladed sword.
A redeco of of the Cyber Commander toy above, this Prime features grey plastic replacing the original blue, some deco differences on the arms, body & legs. He also features a flame tampograph on the sides of his vehicle front. He comes in an altered packaging that replaces the first version's painted prototype stock photos with CG renders depicting the new deco, and also features a new Hasbro product code number, thus making him officially a separate product rather than a drastic running change variant.
In Spotlight: Doubledealer, Hot Rod's search was interrupted by Dealer's arrival on Earth, with orders for Hot Rod: find the Magnificence and use it to learn what they could about the Expansion. Hot Rod took Dealer to his hiding spot, which turned out to be the planet where they first found the device. As Dealer and Hot Rod closed on the Magnificence, he went over his first visit to the planet in his mind, and how things could have gone so wrong. Eventually he began to have suspicions, and upon locating the Magnificence, asked it the question that haunted him: had Dealer betrayed him? Sadly, it revealed the truth, and Hot Rod was forced to kill Dealer as the traitor attacked. Looking down on his remains, Hot Rod realized the truth had been staring him in the face, he just had not wanted to accept it. He then used the Magnificence to find out all he could about the Expansion, and relayed the information to the Autobots.

The TakaraTomy version, part of the seventh wave of Japanese Prime toys, is dubbed Arms Master Optimus, uses darker, metallic plastics, casts the backs of his thighs in metallic red, replaces his metallic silver paint with glossy gray, and replaces a few of his paint operations with customer-applied foil stickers, such as his insignias, shins, headlamps, the tiny yellow lights on his torso, and the blue deco on his truck panel sides. He has also been retooled with additional 5mm pegs for his thighs, roof, and lower backpack, as well as ports for his forearms, shoulders, smokestacks, fuel tanks, and roof. Instead of the rifle, he comes with a very large Matrix which can tab onto his chest as armor or mount onto the back of the truck cab, with the Matrix also being covered in 5mm posts and holes so that Arms Microns can be attached to it. He additionally comes with a clear-blue "Shining" version of the Arms Micron, R.A., who can combine with the Matrix to form the colossal Matrix Saber.
Unusually for the smaller Voyager Class of toys, Robo-Vision Optimus Prime comes packed in robot mode in a special hexagonal column box with many windows, similar to the original packaging for 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime. The package also includes a Robo-Vision Decoder. Strangely, this Target exclusive preceded the release of the regular Voyager by a large margin, coming out on June 2, 2007 with the initial wave of movie toys.
One reason that people perceive that the cost of Lego has gone up is that the cost of so many other toys has gone down. You can now buy so much crap for a buck or two that Lego seems like a luxury item in comparison. It’s interesting to look in toy catalogs from the early eighties and see that Lego didn’t seem as costly then because the other toys were all costly as well.

The earliest version, as shown in the first patent application for the toy, was to have the Prime cab be a triplechanger, turning from truck cab to jet or robot.[16] The nosecone of the jet and robot legs were released by the Powermaster lock in the same fashion as the legs in the final version. Optimus would have had winged arms in non-super robot mode. The super robot mode's head was also integrated into the trailer's hitch... and lacked a faceplate.
"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.
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.
Great read. I have noticed an absolute drop in quality myself. My sets in my youth range from 83 to 90. My sons are from 2011 and there is a clear distinction. Aside from the weight of identical bricks being different, the older bricks stay together in a much more durable way than the new bricks. To test this, I created the same models using all old bricks and all new bricks and the difference was marked. I understand doing certain things to reduce costs, but not at the expense of quality…
Part of the fourth wave of Prime: Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander Class toys, Beast Blade Optimus Prime is a jungle-themed green and blue redeco of his Series 3 Cyberverse Commander Class toy, coming with a new Battlewing Shield accessory in addition to retaining both the Thunder Lance and Star Saber. His shield can open up to form wings, and can be pegged onto the ridge on top of the vehicle's cage compartment, or mount onto the screw-hole on his, er, robot butt.

Commemorating the death of Optimus Prime in The Transformers: The Movie, this set contains a special version of the original Optimus Prime figure with show-inspired translucent blue windows. It was packaged with Ligier and Alert, in an apparent homage to the similar Diaclone "Powered Convoy DX" giftset that packaged the "Powered Convoy" version of the Optimus mold with figures using the molds of Ligier and Alert.

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