Aside from the Powermaster feature itself, the main gimmick of the toy is the ability of the truck cab to combine with the trailer to form the larger "Super Optimus Prime" figure. This is essentially accomplished by standing the trailer up, folding the cab in half and inserting it into the empty cavity in the trailer's torso, forming an imposing—if almost entirely unposeable—robot form armed with all four weapons. The head of this super robot form is a separate piece which can be stored in the rear of Prime's trailer when not in use. While Hi-Q was always shown plugged into Prime's chest in artwork of this mode (as seen in the picture here), this was actually entirely unnecessary as transforming into Super Optimus Prime didn't require the standard Prime toy's legs to be unlocked.
While Beast Machines was still running in Canada, Japan's Takara made a bid to return to the familiar vehicle-transforming robots concept. In 2000, Car Robots was released. This line was brought by Hasbro to America as the Robots In Disguise series, and featured the Autobots facing off against the Predacons. This series is usually regarded by most as filler while Hasbro contemplated the next direction for Transformers. However most fans of Transformers recognise that most if not all of the toys released from this line were of excellent quality (with the Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus figures gaining considerable praise), combining the ball-joint articulation with detailed, well painted alternate modes.
The earliest releases of Energon Optimus Prime have no ridges on the inside of the chest windows and a different head sculpt featuring an Optimus Primal-style mouth-slit in Prime's mouthplate. This was soon replaced with a full mouthplate, and it was this version of the toy which appeared in the Energon cartoon and was released by Takara. Other changes made to Takara's version of the toy involved a chromed front grill, more vibrant plastic colors on Digger-3 and Submarine-4, a darker blue plastic on Prime himself, and more intricate paint operations. Takara's release lacks the electronic sound effects seen in Hasbro's version, which were commonly gutted for the Japanese releases of any Autobot toys who had them, though Prime retains his light-up chest.
Part of TakaraTomy's Movie Advanced Series lineup, Revenge Optimus Prime is redeco of the 2010 Transformers Battle Blades mold, featuring darker plastic, a pair of flip-out swords (the first release of this mold) from the Hasbro release, and chromed fuel tank-guns & sun visors. His shins & wheel joints are bronze from the Hasbro release as opposed to the grey of Takara's Autobot Alliance release.
This figure was released during the short-lived period when Hasbro was treating the Beast Wars as an extension of the Autobot/Decepticon war, and Optimus Primal was presented as being the same character as Optimus Prime. This was soon relegated to the realms of micro-continuity when the Beast Wars animated series began and clearly established that the two Optimuses were different characters, but the toy remains one that was officially branded as Prime, and is consequently listed here.
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.
Hasbro's subsidiary Milton Bradley (MB) released the toy in Europe in late 1985, following a slight delay due to licensing issues; there are no less than three variants of MB-packaged Optimus Prime, one of them manufactured by Takara and sporting blue feet, the other two manufactured by Joustra as part of a deal with Hasbro/MB, one of them with blue and the other one with red feet;
This set's Optimusses are based on the Prime incarnation. The larger Optimus is a smaller, simpler build than the first big kit, and makes use of ball-and-socket parts for increased articulation. It also carries a spring-loaded missile launcher. The Optimus Kreon's tampographs are based directly on the Prime cartoon model, though he carries an energon axe akin to the one from the War for Cybertron games. He also has a clear-blue extra "energon" torso piece.
The first Generation 2 Optimus Prime toy was largely identical in sculpt to the original Generation 1 figure release. While his cab robot retained his original red and blue color scheme, his trailer was recast in black, with the original blue and silver striped sticker replaced with a red and silver one displaying Optimus's name. On the first release of the trailer, the internal components and Roller matched the blue of the cab robot. Later, the internal components were changed to a lighter blue, as was Roller. Another running change followed, making the dark blue of the cab robot match this lighter shade. A bright yellow "Autobot" tampograph was also added to the back of his right leg.
This series introduced the dangerous Predacon faction, robotic dragons and mythical creatures that posed a threat to Autobot and Decepticon alike. In response, the 'Bots and 'Cons don new armor (the Autobots in spiky, over-weaponized armor reminiscent of Mad Max, while the Decepticons take on more beastly traits) and are armed with new gimmick-laden launching/spinning weapons. On-package bios were reduced in length to just a sentence or two, and the instruction sheets instead feature facts about one of the figure's main weapons, as well as a chapter of the Tales of the Beast Hunters prose story.
Then he dreamed of awakening, only to find his troops smashed. Realizing his only hope for survival lay with Cybertron, Optimus then boarded the ship the Autobots were repairing, and travelled back to his home planet. Arriving on Cybertron, he found it completely under Decepticon domination. Optimus then met an old Autobot codger who pleaded that he return to Earth to gather a force that could overthrow the Decepticon’s regime. Optimus remorsefully told the old Autobot that there could be no reinforcements from the planet Earth. The two Autobots were then swarmed by Decepticon police officers, who Optimus fought until his dying breath…
The set also includes a redeco of Generations War for Cybertron Optimus Prime figure, which changes the original figure's dark red plastic to a brighter, more vibrant red, changes the gray plastic to a darker charcoal tone, changes the "windows" from gray to nearly black, and replaces most of the original figure's pink-ish red paint details (which were yellow on the redeco from the "Rage over Cybertron" three-pack) to teal.
Also, as a new feature, most figures include advanced "automorph technology", which is designed to create quicker and easier conversion, which means moving one part of the vehicle or robot causes other parts to move, creating a final shift to battle mode; this was successful because the transformation was more complex in the movie line than in any other Transformers toy line.
In the third nexus, Optimus oversaw Ironhide testing Sparkplug's latest invention, the Sun-Pak, a miraculous device capable of fuelling a Transformer for an entire Earth day after being charged for only an hour in sunlight. As the trial-run wound down to an end, the Decepticons suddenly burst into the Autobots' secret underground testing facility, forcing Optimus to decide whether to order a tactical retreat, or have his Autobots fight the intruders despite his troops' low energy reserves. If he chose to stand and fight, he had the additional choice to either make the Autobots concentrate on Starscream, who is leading the charge against the Autobots, or divide his troops' attention onto all of the Decepticon assailants. If Optimus chose to attempt to eliminate Starscream once and for all, the Decepticon Seeker would beg for mercy, forcing Optimus into a choice yet again: accept the snivelling Decepticon's surrender, or continue his attempt to end Starscream's evil once and for all. Accepting Starscream's surrender spells victory for the Autobots, whereas ignoring Starscream pleas ultimately leads to Sparkplug being kidnapped by the Decepticons, necessitating Optimus to send Buster, Blaster and Bumblebee on a perilous retrieval mission while the other Autobots recharge at the Autobots' home base.
This Japanese series, told through radio plays using the Transformers: Alternators Optimus Prime toy mold, branches off from the original animated series. It is set in a different universe than both the original G1 and Binaltech continuities. Set in the year 2006, one year after Prime's death in The Transformers: The Movie and four years before the third season, it sees Prime's corpse covertly transported to Japan by the Earth Defense Command, a government organization. The convoy transporting his body was attacked by a group of female commandos, led by Marissa Faireborn, who had known Prime years ago as a child. Believing they had secured Prime's body, the commandos were taken by surprise by EDC "Kiss Player" operative Ringo and her Autrooper mechanoid partner, who killed them all except Marissa. Marissa went to Prime's body just as an Autrooper began to fuse with it and, reflecting on her childhood memories of Prime, she gave his faceplate a final kiss. This initiated a transformation where Marissa and Prime were fused together and Prime was reborn with a new body, capable of transforming into a Dodge Ram SRT-10.
Upon discovering that the Matrix was the key to destroying Unicron, Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus went alone to face Unicron while the rest of the Autobots executed the plan to restore the original timeline. They hoped that at least one of these plans would be successful. Prime was injured in the confrontation with Unicron and, although his injuries were not mortal, he passed the Matrix to Magnus, who shed his outer armor and managed to complete the mission, destroying Unicron.
Optimus Prime also appears in Transformers: Rescue Bots, stated to take place in the same universe as Prime, as the leader of the Autobots who transforms into a semi-trailer truck, though unlike his Prime appearance, it's flatnosed like his G1 counterpart. He gave the Rescue Bots their mission and mainly appears mainly via view-screen, appearing physically in the first episode and then in the first-season finale, where his truck mode is seen for the first time on screen. He then returns, with or without Bumblebee, many times throughout the second and third seasons as a recurring character. In the episode "Land Before Prime," Optimus Prime arrives on Wayward Island to help the Rescue Bots. He scans Trex as a secondary form where gains a Tyrannosaurus form, making him a Triple Changer, though he states that scanning anything techno-organic might have unpredictable results. While he loses control of this "Primal Mode" at first, the Rescue Bots determine that his loss of control is due to low Energon reserves, and are able to replenish his energies and restore him to normal using an energon patch. At the conclusion of the third season, Optimus helps his old friend, High Tide, along with the new recruits, Blurr and Salvage, save Griffin Rock and subsequently sends Heatwave and his team on a new mission to use the island as "testing place" to reveal their true identities as aliens.
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).
Henkei! Henkei! Transformers Convoy is a redeco of Classics Optimus Prime. He features a significantly altered colour scheme, generally to make the toy more closely resemble his appearance in the Generation One cartoon and the original toyline. His truck mode features less silver paint striping, but compensates by vacuum-metalizing the entire grill/fender area silver chrome. In robot mode all of his previously grey plastic has been replaced with red plastic and mostly painted silver (or in case of the grill & bumper, chromed), along with smaller decos. Since Henkei! toys do not feature a heat-sensitive rubsign, Henkei Convoy has two Autobot sigils tampographed onto his shoulders.
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. 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.
This redeco of Henkei Convoy is cast almost entirely in translucent colored plastic. Also known by the nickname "Crystal Convoy" among fans, it was first released as an exclusive for the Japanese convention Tokyo Toy Fair 2008, limited to 1000 pieces at the event, but was later made available through e-HOBBY. It was sold in a monochrome-blue version of Henkei Convoy's regular packaging.
Mission Racer Optimus Prime features a pull-back gimmick by using a rubber band: insert the rubber band onto the front and rear post, then place Optimus Prime onto the ramp and pull his trailer backwards, and release the trailer for allowing the truck to zoom forward. The rubber band also has Optimus Prime's name and the Autobot insignia tampographed oh it.
Though he was packaged on an individual box, he was initially sold as part of a set with Dark Energon Megatron. He was eventually made available on his own, and all of the Dark Energon Series toys were eventually made available in Singapore as mass-retail releases. The Voyager Class toys, in particular, also saw mass-retail release in the Philippines.
The "Unicron Trilogy" version of Optimus Prime is a fictional character of this branch of Transformers lore. Appearing in Transformers: Armada, Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Cybertron (known as the aforementioned trilogy), Optimus is the leader of the heroic Autobots. He often converted to his super combat mode. In all three series, Optimus' English voice actor is Garry Chalk, who previously voiced Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines.
If all four Autobots ventured together into the Decepticons’ lab, they first encountered Laserbeak, only to quickly dispatch him. Venturing further into the lab, the group soon spotted the antidote they were after, and sent Mirage to fetch it. Mirage returned with the beaker and news; he had heard Ramjet and Starscream talking about using a new poison to turn humans into mindless slaves.
Due to the interference of Ravage, the same as the one who appears in the Beast Wars, most of the events of the original animated feature do not transpire. The most influential of these events is the Battle of Autobot City. Because this battle did not occur, Optimus Prime and Megatron do not have their final showdown. This means that, for this continuity, Optimus Prime does not die and Megatron is never reformatted into Galvatron. As a result, Optimus Prime is able to lead the Autobots during the Binaltech saga.
With the Japanese Binaltech toy series having transformed into the Kiss Players line, the second figure to be released as a Kiss Players character was Hot Rodimus. Based on the same Ford GT mold as Mirage, Hot Rodimus features several differences from Mirage. First, it has a unique head sculpt, which includes a movable crest to allow a "visor" to be lowered over his eyes, referencing a scene from the animated Transformers Movie during which Hot Rod is on Lookout Mountain. Additionally, it includes a fishing-rod accessory, which can be split and connected in a different configuration to create a tri-barreled arm weapon, reminiscent of Hot Rod's exhaust-pipe blasters. The figure also includes a PVC figurine named Syao Syao and a CD featuring a Kiss Players radio drama. The vehicle mode stays true to the Ford GT's factory color scheme, lacking Hot Rod's signature "flame" detailing, and, like Binaltech, is fully painted. Meanwhile, the robot mode reveals additional orange and yellow body parts, such as the chest, abdomen, arms and hands, as well as flame-like paint applications on the lower arms to link the figure with the original Hot Rod.
Platinum Optimus is a redeco of the Leader Class Optimus Prime. Optimus' color palette is now darkened with some additional paint details. His "Sword of Judgment" is now a light blue. Optimus features more chrome on his "Vector Shield", chest, and on his head. The set was a shared exclusive, available from BigBadToyStore and Toys"R"Us, and was also sold during a Taiwanese event celebrating the launch of Transformers Rising.
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 shutting 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.
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."
Inspired by the 1985 promotional version of Optimus Prime that featured Pepsi stickers on his trailer, this outlandish incarnation of Prime is a slightly altered version of Takara's 2005 Pepsi Convoy figure (which represented a different character to Prime). The figure was only sold by Hasbro Toy Shop at various conventions, and given away as a promotional prize by Pepsi, via their Mountain Dew brand.
Hasbro executives, high off the revival of G.I. Joe through the same marketing concept, decided to acquire rights to toys from a variety of Japanese “Super Robot” series. Transformers didn't introduce the concept of super robots to the United States, but for the first time, the genre became widely recognized and popular outside of Japan. As the Transformers brand grew throughout G1, it began to define the genre, and all other super robots were measured competitively to Transformers' standard.
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.
Many Transformers come with tech specs (short for technical specifications) printed on the back of the box that they are sold in. The owner of the new Transformer is encouraged to cut out the tech specs and save it. This card has information on the Transformer, and will usually include the character's name, picture, indication of allegiance (Autobot, Decepticon or other), function, a quote, a description of the character, and numerical values of the character's various attributes. Although only the numbers can be truly deemed "technical specifications", the entire card is usually referred to as the Transformer's tech specs. Each specification is rated by a value from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest, and 10 being the highest.
This gold vacuum metallized (save for his black joints, which they were made out of unpaintable plastic) Protoform Optimus Prime figure was featured as a Lucky Draw giveaway (along side similarly gold vac-metal versions of Voyager class Optimus Prime and Protoform Starscream) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Released in 2008, only 5 pieces were made, making it one of the rarest Lucky Draw figures; the images at right represent the only known photographs of it.