Very well written piece. It is very expensive, but as seems to be the trend on here, I would agree you are paying for the quality with LEGO. I like that they have provided the opportunity for adults to build sets with the LEGO Modular buildings range, those sets use real architectural techniques in their construction and are really quite impressive.
Optimus suffers from a design flaw that many other Voyager Class figures in the Combiner Wars line experience: the detents, or "click points", on the heavily-ratcheted outward motion of his hips (which also form the hips of his torso mode) are few in number and very far apart. As a result, Prime's legs have great difficulty assuming the natural "A-stance" formation that the angled design of his foot sculpt seems to have been meant to accommodate. Likewise, when forming the torso of Ultra Prime, the interactions of the knee-lock mechanism and the hip detents almost always force Ultra Prime's legs into either an awkwardly knock-kneed arrangement or an equally awkward, and often unstable, bow-legged posture (as seen in the image to the right) that prevents Ultra Prime from standing flat-footed. Unlike Motormaster, this version of Optimus was the only one to not receive the improved hip ratchets implemented in its future releases in some shape or form by Hasbro, though they would be used for the Battle Core redeco later in the line. However, there are third party ratchet replacements for the hips.
Naturally, Optimus Prime got the biggest of the sets in the first year of Kre-O. The set can be built into a large long-nose tractor-trailer rig with a removable "sleeper" cab that hides a computer station, and a trailer that can carry the set's two motorcycles or open up to carry larger car builds. The robot mode build includes a huge Optimus, based largely on the live-action movie Optimus, though with a head based almost directly on the Classics Voyager Optimus. He is armed with a distressingly plain brick that fires pressure-launched missiles (aka his smokestacks). Most of the leftover parts in robot mode become a "headquarters" which is mostly just a random assemblage of mismatched-color panels and a pair of barricades. Both main builds leave numerous parts unused if you go expressly by the instructions, but hey, it's a building kit, surely you can find someplace to apply most of them.
A slight redeco of Takara's Deluxe-size Optimus Prime was released as part of a special set commemorating both the 20th anniversary of Transformers and the 30th anniversary of its progenitor, Microman. Coming with an exclusive metallic redeco of Takara's Kicker, which was based on the Microman body, this Prime featured a chromed grill where the original had painted plastic, and supposedly slightly shinier plastics. Very slightly.
Multiple reports suggest that the toy suffers from a design flaw, inferior plastic quality, or both: Due to his hands having peg-holes that are a bit too small to accommodate 5mm posts, they have a tendency to show stress marks on the inside after pegging his sword handle (or most other pegs) inside. Stress marks also tend to appear near his tiny hinged wrists. Fortunately, there have been no reports of the hands actually breaking on either location thus far.
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.
He was only available as an Amazon exclusive in the United States, but was also released at brick and mortar retails in Australia and Hasbro's Asian markets, such as Singapore. Oddly enough, even though the official press release for the figure identifies it as "14 of 30" in Hasbro's Thrilling 30 campaign, the packaging does not sport any such markings. To complicate matters further, a later retrospective by Hasbro on Facebook identifies another product as "14 of 30", which doesn't sport any such markings on its packaging either.
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 Gary Chalk, who previously voiced Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines.
The Joes discovered a cavern where the people of Cobra-La were growing metal-eating spores as a last defense against Unicron. Flint and Cosmos took a load of the spores into space just as Unicron appeared in Earth orbit. Prime, Hawk and Colton headed deeper into Cobra-La to rescue Firewall and kick butt. Prime was tackled and pinned by a giant bug creature, but made a dramatic recovery and tossed the bug aside. He then took the machine-hating Cobra-La leader Golobulus to task with a single punch. Flint and Cosmos released the spores, which devoured Unicron from the inside and defeated the giant Transformer before he could harm Earth.
Optimus Prime has appeared in numerous video games since the introduction of the Transformers series. He makes a cameo in the 1999 Beast Wars Transmetals video game for Nintendo 64, where he is killed by Megatron at the end of the campaign, showing what would have happened in the Beast Wars series with a Predacon victory. Prime is also one of the playable characters in the 2003 Japan-only Transformers game for the PlayStation 2 and the 2010 Transformers: War for Cybertron. Optimus Prime is also playable in the Hasbro Net Jet Transformers fighting game Transformers Battle Universe. Three versions of Optimus Prime are playable characters, including the first generation incarnation, his incarnations from the 2007 live-action film, and the incarnation from Transformers Animated. In this game, Optimus Primal is also a playable character. He is a regular character in the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 2003 fighting game DreamMix TV World Fighters. He appeared as a boss in a simple Flash-based video game on the Hasbro web site.
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.
When the long-lost Titan Masters reemerged into modern society and joined the Autobot-Decepticon war, Optimus Prime was partnered with the Titan Master Apex, who carried a portion of Prime's spark, boosting the legendary commander's already formidable abilities. Titans Return Apex/Powermaster Optimus Prime toy bio On Velocitron, Optimus Prime was present for the biggest race of the year when Scourge and Crashbash arrived and attempted to botnap Hyperfire. Optimus ordered Sentinel Prime and Hardhead to battle against them. Later, Optimus was part of a battle on Cybertron against Soundwave. During the battle, the Autobots' base Fortress Maximus transformed to thwart the Decepticon advance. Optimus Prime declared that to defeat the Decepticons, the Autobots would need to master the power of the Titan Masters. Titans Return: The Power of the Titan Masters
When Sergeant Hound apprehended a criminal going by the name "C-81", rumors that the prisoner was in reality a "Megatron" that had gotten past the TransTechs' security procedures piqued General Optimus Prime's interest. Though Cheetor assured him that it was impossible for a "Megatron" to have been allowed in Axiom Nexus, the General's concerns did not fade. More pressing concerns took over, however, when the entirety of Axiom Nexus, and nearly all of the TransTechs suffered a sudden shutdown due to a surge in the Global Net. General Optimus Prime tasked Bruticus with keeping guard over the prison while he and Hound went to investigate the source of the surge, the planet's core.
The lowest priced toys in the Armada line were three-packs of Mini-Cons. Each larger price point consisted of an Autobot or Decepticon who came with a Mini-Con partner. Mini-Cons could be used to unlock a variety of features on each larger robot, such as firing weapons, electronic lights and sounds, or alternate modes. Some three-pack Mini-Cons combined into other forms or had additional features. According to the storyline, Mini-Cons also enhanced the power of other Transformers, giving incentive to collect as many of them as possible.
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.
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.
Optimus was able to rally Autobot factions from across Cybertron to the cause and launch an all-out attack on Shockwave's fortress. He headed the assault himself, but broke rank when he saw the image of Shockwave blasting Ultra Magnus upon one of the many monitor screens planted around the Decepticon's headquarters. Optimus charged in to confront Shockwave, beating down all opposition along the way. Coming upon Shockwave's throne room, Prime was greeted by Ultra Magnus, who pointed him towards a secret passage through which Shockwave had absconded. Leaving his wounded brother to rest, Optimus barged into Shockwave's secret chambers, only to be overpowered and have the Matrix ripped from his chest. With it, Shockwave was finally able to activate Vector Sigma. Countdown to Extinction Stalling, Prime listened as Shockwave recounted the history of Cybertron, and eventually Ultra Magnus arrived, having recovered, to attack and defeat Shockwave. Prime and Grimlock helped him escape from the fortress as it crumbled to the ground. With Shockwave's defeat, the Autobots would now be able to start rebuilding Cybertron towards true peace... but Optimus remained troubled by Shockwave's motives; he recognized that Shockwave would not be urged to action by mere fancy. Optimus pondered what greater threat awaited Cybertron for Shockwave to so thoroughly plan for its arrival. Revelation The injuries Prime took in this conflict necessitated a prolonged restoration period in stasis. Both he and Ultra Magnus were tended to by Perceptor and Hoist as they recuperated. Generation 1 #0 Though Magnus recovered in due course, Optimus's systems had received a more severe shock due to the Matrix being forcefully removed from his frame. Thus, he needed additional time spent in recovery before he could reboot. Black Sunshine
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.
Optimus Prime started life as Optronix (Orion to his friends), Hardwired a data archivist at the Vaults. After taking note of a battle in which the Autobot leader Sentinel Prime had been defeated by Megatron, he was summoned to the Council of Ancients and informed that the Matrix had chosen him to be the next leader of the Autobots. He received the Matrix of Leadership shortly thereafter, gaining a powerful new body in the process. After dispatching a Decepticon assassination squad sent to, well, assassinate him, he ordered the Autobots to prepare to evacuate Cybertron, intending to leave the Decepticons to their own devices. The War Within #1
The details between these events differ between universes. Sometimes Optimus Prime merged with Vector Sigma soon after defeating the Hate Plague, and returned much, much later as Star Convoy. Sometimes Optimus Prime partnered up with Marissa Faireborn to receive upgrades through mutual kissing. Sometimes... look, he did a lot of weird stuff, okay? He later sacrifices himself to restore the Matrix of Leadership.
Featuring a complex transformation, essentially the front and back ends of the truck fold and converge to become Optimus Prime's legs, as much of the truck rear is connected to the robot thighs via a series of folding panels. The rear wheel cowlings feature a hinge joint in the middle of them so they do not impede his knee articulation. The rear cabin of the cab, directly connected to the smokestacks, rotate and connect to his torso and unfold into his arms. As with most mainline Movie toys, Optimus Prime features Automorph gimmicks, and due to his pricepoint has three of them. Firstly, during initial transformation, rotating his front fenders to become his heels flips the top parts of the grill to become his toes. Secondly, sliding out the double-barrel cannon in his right forearm flips out his spring-loaded Ion Blaster, which lands into place for his right hand. (The Ion Blaster can actually be popped off his forearm fairly easily, held in place by a simple clip.) Optimus' final Automorph, located in his torso, is activated by flipping the silver lever on his stomach activating a series of spring-loaded actions where the truck windows are pushed apart, and the lever between them is raised, enabling the head to spring up from the chest cavity. At this point yellow LEDs light up the chest windows and Optimus Prime's eyes, accompanied by a "powering up" sound effect.
Prime filled one of the chase figure slots for the tenth wave as well. This rare figure was the same as the regular Super Mode PVC, except instead of wielding his Convoy Gun, Prime was armed with the Star Saber sword. As with the previous chase figure, it could only be found in one out of every ten cases, and took the place of the full-colour Prime figure in that assortment.
This toy's design has directly and indirectly influenced numerous others over the years, including many future versions of Generation One Optimus Prime himself as well as new interpretations of the character for Armada, the live-action movie, and Transformers Animated. Redecos of those toys have in turn spread the toy's iconic look to several other characters and many of their subsequent toys: Ultra Magnus, Scourge, and the various Nemesis Primes. Additionally, a toy that was originally intended to be the original Optimus Prime was eventually retconned to be the new character Optimus Primal, bringing Prime's appearance over to that character (and eventually Primal Prime as well.) In Japan, this began a tradition of Beast Era Convoys emulating Prime's look, spawning still more toys that trace part of their lineage back to this one.
Available with Grimlock, this Optimus Prime is a redeco (or possibly a repaint) of the figure above, featuring extra paint applications on the chest and thighs, and he features a different flame pattern on his side doors. His Autobot insignia is now tampographed on his right arm. The cyberglyphs on his front hood is confusingly translated as "PRIME". The 2-pack also comes with a card, which the glyphs being decoded as "DINOBOTS". Optimus Prime and Grimlock also saw release as a Toys"R"Us Japan exclusive, making this Optimus Prime redeco/slight retool to be first sold at Japanese markets.
A giant-sized transforming Optimus Prime figure is set to be released for the third film. The set comes with a Leader Class-sized Optimus Prime figure and a trailer that transforms into his Omega Combat Armor - both of which combine to form Prime's Ultimate mode. This set will be released on August 1st, 2011, a month after the film's premiere.
Optimus appeared in the 2008 BotCon voice actor play "Bee in the City", voiced by David Kaye. In this story, Professor Sumdac attempts to create a teleportation system to get the Autobots to Cybertron, but an interaction with Sari's key ends up transporting Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Sari to Transtech Cybertron. There, they met Flareup and are detained by Shockwave. Bumblebee teams up with Beast Wars Megatron to free his comrades, but must then stop Megatron from taking the key for himself. Afterward, the Autobots and Sari returned to their own dimension.
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. He can also hold small weapons, such as Cyberverse.
Realizing that the planet is dying, Optimus orders a mass evacuation of all Autobot cities, but many transport ships are destroyed by the Decepticon satellite Trypticon, under orders from Megatron that no one shall leave the planet. He orders the Aerialbots Jetfire, Silverbolt and Air Raid to fly and destroy Trypticon. The aerial trio manages to destroy Trypticon's jet pack and send the Decepticon behemoth crashing into Cybertron, where Optimus Prime and the Autobots band together to narrowly defeat him, sending him plunging into a pool of raw energon. Optimus and the remaining Autobots volunteer to stay and defend Cybertron from Megatron for as long as possible while the rest evacuate the planet. He commissions a massive vessel known as "the Ark" to transport the remaining Autobots into space when the time comes.
Rounding out a bumper year of Japanese-exclusive Generation 1 Optimus Primes, the Takara-licensed Kawada brand Diablock Convoy is a fully transformable Lego-style block building figure similar in premise to the earlier American Built to Rule sets. The Diablock figure, however, easily outstrips the Built to Rule sets by both being an accurate representation of the toy on which it is based, and being able to transform between modes without having to be partially disassembled and put back together first.
Bludgeon's recovered files bring Optimus Prime to Earth, where an Autobot detachment led by Prowl has discovered that a Decepticon infiltration unit led by Starscream has broken standard protocol after discovering a new form of Energon. This Ore-13 appears to be the same "Ultra-Energon" that Bludgeon used to revive Thunderwing, who had been dormant for millennia after the apocalypse. Starscream had already used it to fuel a failed attempt to usurp Megatron's leadership, as detailed in the Infiltration miniseries.
In Transformers Ongoing, which takes place two years after the events of All Hail Megatron, the Autobots would remain on Earth as Prime feared the return of the Decepticons. Unfortunately, this led to the capture of a number of Autobots by Skywatch, including Windcharger, Gears and Prowl. Hot Rod was reformatted into a Pagani Zonda. Already frustrated, he lashed out at Optimus, accusing him of keeping the Autobots on the planet because he needed someone to protect and demanding he be allowed lead a team to rescue Prowl. An admonished Prime agreed to a covert operation, but with Ironhide along to watch over things. While Prowl was freed, it turned out the humans had used him as bait to draw the other Autobots in. However Wheeljack's new shielding protected Hot Rod's team from Skywatch's inhibitors and in a panic the soldiers switched to lethal measures. Hot Rod was targeted and Ironhide was killed protecting him. An enraged Hot Rod turned on the humans, damaging their equipment and machinery.