Towering at only barely over two inches, this was actually not just the smallest movie-verse Optimus but even the smallest transformable figure of Optimus Prime for a while - ironically enough, being even slightly tinier than the Smallest Transforming Transformers Optimus Prime - that is, until he was later "out-tinied" by two other cute super deformed versions.
The main Prime line in Japan, while mostly using the same molds, was quite a bit different from the Hasbro version. Hoping to snag a slightly-older market, the toys were given a bit of "model kit" vibe. Paint operations were reduced and replaced with old-fashioned sticker sheets, so you had to customize/complete the toy itself... and then there was the blatantly model-kit Arms Microns packed in with every toy.
The single carded release of Optimus Prime is a redeco of Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class Optimus Prime, exclusive to Walmart in the US and Asda in the UK. Deco changes included in this toy are the top half of the knee armor's blue being omitted and an Autobot insignia tampographed on the left knee, and similar to the Legends Class Power Armor Optimus Prime: the red arms, and the abdomen was replaced into blue.
It took two further years, but this figure was eventually released as part of the Japanese counterpart to the Alternators line (Binaltech) in 2008. Binaltech Convoy features some additional paint details, like his silver pelvis, additional patterns on his shoulders, and red paint on his engine-gun, and like all Binaltech figures, he also includes die-cast metal pieces. Unlike previous Binaltech releases, a bio-card was not included.
The Hasbro website explains it best: "The rogue DARK NINJA MASTER was exiled to a cave beneath Arashikage Mountain for betraying the ninja clans. After finding the Moon's Blood, a mystical stone of great power, he was able to channel the energy of dead ninjas, making him almost unstoppable. Seeking revenge, he has emerged from his subterranean prison to destroy all ninjas. Only two people can stop him: STORM SHADOW and SNAKE EYES. The two adversaries must join forces, for only by working together will they be strong enough to defeat this evil super-ninja."
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.
With the data from the piece price evaluations I was able to also evaluate the average size of LEGO sets each year. As you can see on the chart below, the average size of sets released each year stayed somewhat constant from 1980-1990 until around 2000 which set sizes started to increase. The average set size seems to have peaked in 2008 (which saw the release of the Taj Mahal), but since then it hasn’t fallen to its pre-2000 levels. It seems to have found a new normal around 300 pieces.
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 Triple Changer, 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.
In the interim year, with the Decepticons defeated, the Autobots entered into an even closer relationship with Earth. The Autobots also began the colonization of other worlds, the first of which was the planet Athenia, where Optimus Prime was stationed. It soon became apparent, however, that the consequences of releasing the energy of the Matrix to cure the Hate Plague were more far-reaching than Optimus had anticipated. Without the energy of the Matrix to act as a balancing factor, Vector Sigma had become destabilized. The Decepticons suddenly returned to exploit this, assaulting Cybertron in order to seize control of the mega-computer. Prime took a squad of troops to aid in the battle on the planet. When the arrival of the Autobot Headmasters tipped the battle in their favor, Prime broke off from the main attack and headed down into the depths of the planet, planning on stabilizing Vector Sigma at any cost.
Part of the first wave of Bot Shots Series 1 single-packs, Optimus Prime is a teeny little long-nosed semi truck with "trailer", with a spring-loaded automatic transformation to robot mode triggered when his front bumper is pressed. He has a "spinner" in his chest that shows his three attack types and power levels. His truck mode and robot body are influenced by the live-action Optimus Prime, while his head is taken from the original. His blue paint is light and sparkly-metallic, his red paint is dull matte, and his optics are yellow.
Henkei! Henkei! Transformers Convoy is a redeco of Classics Voyager Class Optimus Prime. He features a significantly altered colour scheme, generally to make the toy more closely resemble his appearance in the Generation 1 cartoon and the original toyline. His truck mode features less silver paint striping, but compensates with a vacuum-metalized grill/fender area. In robot mode all of his previously grey plastic is replaced with red plastic, with a majority of it being painted silver, chromed, or painted gunmetal gray. He features a different shade of red, blue, and clear blue plastic than the Classics version. Since Henkei! toys do not feature a heat-sensitive rubsign, Henkei Convoy has two Autobot sigils tampographed onto his shoulders.
In his first appearance in the series, Optimus looks similar to the original G1 Optimus Prime until he copies himself with a semi-truck and his design in robot mode changes. Soon after, he retrieves his Mini-Con partner, Sparkplug Witwicky. The cab of his truck mode detaches to form Optimus himself, while the trailer transforms into a battle station mode operable by Optimus and several Mini-Cons. Optimus can also combine with his base to form a "Super Mode" robot that, when combined with Sparkplug, can fire a series of powerful lasers. Additionally, Optimus can combine with Jetfire and/or Overload in his Super Mode for additional power.
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.
Transformers GT "GT-R Prime" is a heavy retool of Alternity Convoy, transforming into a 1:32 replica of the Motul Autech GT-R race car used by the Nismo team in the Super GT racing championship series. He retains the flip-out blasters of the Alternity toy and can also wield his new Impact Wrench Gun accessory (also called the "Optimus Rifle" on the Transformers GT website), a weapon based on the impact wrenches used in car repairs. Like all GT toys, Prime also comes with a GT Sister, poseable human figures themed after race queens, his partner being a lady named Misaki.
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.
Hot Rod would make his first IDW Publishing appearance in a Spotlight issue focusing on him. In this, he was shown to be newly promoted to command of a group of Autobots including Gizmo, Backbeat and Dealer, who had been sent to secure the Magnificence, a device of some sort that could predict the future. Getting past the guardians, Hot Rod was swapping it with a fake to prevent the Decepticons from getting their hands on it when a seeming Decepticon ambush wiped out his squad. Determined to rescue the only survivor, Dealer, Hot Rod staged a daring solo rescue mission that managed to rescue Dealer - unaware that he was really Doubledealer, a Decepticon spy sent by Banzaitron to retrieve the Magnificence and now out to find where Hot Rod had stashed it.
The second Optimus Primal toy was an ape in the Ultra size class. Though the transformation from primate to humanoid was a relatively simplistic one, the toy compensated with more than a fair share of weaponry and action features. A compartment on his right forearm opened to reveal a skull-shaped mace he could hold in his fist. His left forearm could open into a double-barreled missile launcher. On his back were two spring-loaded missile launchers which auto-flipped over each shoulder. By pulling a lever in the center of his back, both arms would either spin at the bicep or bend in and out at the elbow, depending on the placement of notch-buttons located on either bicep. This gimmick was shown to be an effort to simulate a gorilla beating its chest while Optimus was in beast mode, but could also be used in robot mode, making him swing his weapons wildly before himself. And finally, like many first-year Beast Wars toys, a battle mask/"mutant head" could be deployed over his robot head.
Hero Optimus Prime was the first new-mold Optimus Prime toy created for the Generation 2 line. He transforms into a Kenworth truck of unknown model which defies Optimus convention by being one continuous unit, rather than the traditional cab-and-trailer combo. Decals form the windows of a faux truck face to represent his chest, featuring both his name and what appears to be a life support readout coming alive towards the end. In addition to a small gun, he is armed with a large missile launcher, which can fire a rubber-tipped rocket by means of a bellows which you slam your fist down on to produce a puff of air. The launcher is accessible in both modes, ending up mounted on his right forearm in robot mode; the bellows is attached via a rubber hose and cannot be disconnected, but stores on the figures's back when not in use, as do the rockets. A similar air-launching system with identical missiles was used by the simultaneously-released Hero Megatron, and by Laser Optimus Prime the following year (see below).
Part of the first wave of Transformers: Robots in Disguise Hyperchange Heroes, Optimus Prime transforms from a futuristic trailer truck to robot in just 3 easy steps! His arms & legs serve as his trailer, while his chest serves as his truck front. He is also one of the few Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime toys which does not feature a faux window chest in robot mode. Both of his arms are articulated with 5mm holes in each hand.
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.
In the alternate universe of the 2003–2004 toyline and series, Transformers: Energon, Rodimus (lacking the "Prime" suffix in English, but still called Rodimus Convoy in Japan) was a great leader on Cybertron ages in the past and was viewed as a hero by many, including similar character Hot Shot. Desiring to escape the war that had consumed the planet, Rodimus departed Cybertron with a contingent of like-minded troops, most of whom settled on an alien planetoid and became the energon-mining Omnicons. Still, Rodimus continued on his journey with Prowl and Landmine, carrying the "flag of peace" from world to world.
Outstanding work here. After reading a number of complaints about how the price has ‘increased’ over the years, it’s great to see this analytical approach. One additional hypothesis I have is related to the increase in the number of sets released each year, which would appear to be supported by your data. More sets to buy to be ‘complete’ makes for more money out of pocket.
↑ The African American entrepreneur: then and now By W. Sherman Rogers page 321. Books.google.com. http://books.google.com/books?id=mbTUorcuXkoC&pg=PA321&dq=%22generation+2%22+transformers&hl=en&ei=woyoTPq8KI7hnQeIwOWjDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22generation%202%22%20transformers&f=false. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
The Beast Wars raged on prehistoric Earth, eventually leading to the discovery of the buried Ark sometime after its crash on prehistoric Earth. Megatron, following his namesake's instructions in a desperate gambit, decided to attempt to change history by killing Prime, who was still lying in the Ark in stasis lock. Megatron hoped that this would result in the Decepticons winning the Great War and eventually Predacon control of Cybertron. Megatron unleashed a full-power weapon blast at Optimus Prime's face, near-fatally injuring him. The Agenda (Part III) However, Optimus Primal proceeded to take Prime's spark into his body to protect it from surgical trauma while his injuries were repaired. The subsequent power increase caused by Prime's spark's connection to the Matrix mutated Primal into a large, Transmetal "Optimal Optimus" form. Then, with the repairs complete, Prime's spark was restored, and he briefly activated before sinking back into normal stasis. Optimal Situation
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.
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.
Throughout the first two seasons, Optimus Prime has led the Autobots to many victories, such as stopping Megatron from controlling the crystal of power, stopping the Dinobots' rebellion by saving Grimlock, defeating Devastator with his detach arm, helping capture Nightbird, rescuing Blaster and Cosmos from the Decepticons on the Moon with the help of Omega Supreme, and helping save Perceptor and the other Transformers from the cosmic rust disease.
Like Chomp & Stomp Grimlock, his truck kibble from the back can accommodate One-Steps and Power Battlers (Both Hasbro and TakaraTomy), activating his various voice clips and flashing lights by interacting with the magnets in their feet. He is notably less kibbly than other AOE Optimus Primes...from the front, at least. The back and sides are not so promising with large chunks of Western Star truck kibble hanging off his legs, making him look as if he's wearing a petticoat. At least the jetpack helps balance the whole thing out....
Optimus once considered having the unruly Dinobots shut down before they could accidentally cause damage, but they proved their worth during a sudden Decepticon attack. S.O.S. Dinobots When the Insecticons gained enough power that they'd be able to overrun Earth in seven days, Optimus Prime was forced to negotiate an alliance with the Decepticons in order to defeat them. Harvest of the Insecticons Following the disappearance of Grimlock and Swoop, Optimus attempted to stop the other three Dinobots from attacking the Decepticon base, and was mauled for his trouble. The distraction at least allowed Wheeljack to take a scan of the rogue Dinobots. Day of the Dinobots - Part 1
Optimus Prime features a MechTech Blaster that can convert into an Energon Battle Axe reminiscent of the Generation 1 character's iconic weapon, though the weapon cannot be locked in battle axe mode. There is also a pair of C joint rods on the underside of both forearms. His MechTech blaster can plug into the port on each of his arms or be held in either hand in robot mode, or plug into one of two holes on his truck roof/robot shoulders.
Available only at Kay-Bee toys (well, at first), Machine Wars Optimus Prime is a redeco and slight modification of the European Generation One exclusive Turbomaster leader Thunder Clash, transforming into a Cybertronic truck cab. It also lacks the mouthplate, revealing the mouth. The trailer unit unfolds to become a missile-launching assault tower. The tower's gravity-feed missile launchers were retooled to accommodate the new, longer spring-loaded missiles in lieu of the much smaller original projectiles due to projectile choke-gate safety testing.
Rodimus appeared in the text-based fiction Dungeons & Dinobots as one of the Autobots who attacked the Arch-Ayr fuel dump. Sent to capture rogue Dinobots for the Autobots, he was part of the group that captured Swoop. Together with Blurr, he then tracked Grimlock, but ran into competition with the Decepticon allies Sideswipe and Cliffjumper. After Grimlock bit off his left hand Ratchet replaced it with a circular saw (a reference to one of the original Rodimus' melee weapons in The Transformers: The Movie).
An additional oddity is that unlike every other toy in the Go! toyline, Optimus Exprime came packaged in a box without a window. This is potentially because of the sheer amount of information TakaraTomy wanted to print on the box, or because they were unable to fit him into the box in robot mode with all of his accessories displayed. Whatever the reason, it left him with a smaller box than the other voyagers in the line, a substantially-altered box layout, and a much shorter profile.
On the battlefield, there are few who rival Optimus Prime's prowess. He is easily the strongest of any Autobot his size, and his ion blaster and energon-axe are deadly weapons. He would sacrifice his life to protect his fellow Autobots or those under their care and does so on a regular basis. His compassion for other sentient beings is his only real weakness, and one the Decepticons have taken advantage of time and again... though it's also the source of his strength!
The problem there is that Star Wars took over the Space theme and Harry Potter took over the Castle theme. Just keeping up with the kids- sign of the times. What’s a castle lover to do? Compare 6075 (Castle) with (7094 Kings Castle Siege) and 4757 (Hogwarts) and they all have their own fantastic attributes. Sell the Harry minifigs and buy some crownies- problem solved.
There is some difference of opinion on how the super mode of Leader Class Optimus Prime is supposed to assembled. Takara toys and the television series portrayed with the wings up and his two large guns underslung, however Hasbro later sold the toy with pictures and instructions having the wings down and the guns over the shoulders. Commercials and repainted models by Hasbro went back to the way Takara assembled the super mode. In 2006 a Costco exclusive of Optimus Prime packaged with Wingsaber and a DVD (with Armada Supercon Optimus Prime printed on it!) of the episode United was sold, again with the wings-under gun-over super mode. In Japan a gold chrome edition of this toy was released as a Lucky Draw special.
I am so not in for this, it will still look arguably better then MP-01. But the true MP Optimus Prime is MP-10. This new one is all about animation, and the backpack is pretty huge. MP-10 has a built in part for weapon storage... it was not actually needed. Idk about this new direction. I’ve been pretty much exclusively 3rd party and older MP’s. This new style of lavishly G1 animation is not for me. MP-10 was the standard and the perfect blend. For whatever reason Takara is/has been pushing a new direction that a good majority don’t really want to go in on. See Transformers 3rd party market. If there wasn’t a itch that needed scratching it wouldn’t exist.
A limited edition of the Optimus Prime toy sold as a mail-away exclusive by PepsiCo was made available in North America in 1985. This version of the figure came with a small fold-out leaflet glued to the top-right of the packaging, which contained two Pepsi logo stickers for the buyer to attach to Prime, mid-way through the traditional silver-and-blue stripe on his trailer. Canada also got a version of this promotional figure, but with much larger stickers that were the full length and height of the trailer. This promotion would go on to serve as the inspiration for the Japanese character of Pepsi Convoy, who would in turn be released by Hasbro as a new "Pepsi Optimus Prime" in 2007.