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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.
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.
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.
Hot Rod identified the Decepticons on board through the damaged hull and immediately attacked the targets within using low powered, rapid fire bursts. When the Decepticons returned fire, Hot Rod changed tactics and began firing more concentrated blasts at the shuttle itself. Eventually, he managed to disable the shuttle. With their cover blown, Megatron ordered his forces to attack and the Decepticons began pouring out, beginning their planned assault on Autobot City. Before focusing his attention on the onslaught, an incensed Megatron destroyed the observation platform on which Hot Rod and Daniel were standing. True to his protective Autobot instincts, the first concern of Hot Rod was for the safety of Daniel. Quickly shielding the young boy, the two survived the platform collapse but were soon cornered by Blitzwing and Shrapnel. Timely intervention by the old and experienced Autobot Kup diverted the cannon fire from Blitzwing and allowed the three of them to escape.
This Optimus Prime is a somewhat/nearly screen-accurate redeco of the Leader Class figure, but uses the original Leader mold instead of the Armor Knight retool unfortunately. In comparison to the first Age of Extinction Leader Class figure, his vacuum-metalized front truck bumper, sun visors, robot mode chest, smokestacks and side tanks chest was omitted, revealing the grey plastic underneath. His chromed chest was also stripped of chrome for adding paint operations, his shield was unpainted, and both of his sword and truck mode windows were casted in colorless plastic. He also features some extra silver paint on his robot mode forehead, and his white-colored Autobot insignia is slightly tampographed on the left. And lastly, his light-piping eyes is neutered by blue paint.
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Rodimus and Cyclonus appear together in the story Wreckers: Finale Part II from 2007. During the invasion of Cybertron, Cyclonus and Rodimus come to final blows, fighting each other to a stand-still. Both severely wounded, Cyclonus is about to kill Rodimus when the Predacon Rotorbolt arrives and kills Cyclonus for betraying him. Rodimus then helps Cheetor to drain the power of the Divine Light from Cryotek. When Rodimus is dying from wounds he received battling Cyclonus, Tigatron is unable to save the former Autobot leader, having given up the power of the Vok to save the Predacon Fractyl.
Optimus appears again in the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Optimus receives his own armory consisting of weapons and flight tech that transforms into a trailer for him to carry in vehicular form. After assisting NEST operatives in fighting Shockwave at Chernobyl, Optimus learns that the humans have concealed the discovery of a Cybertronian ship on the moon. He and Ratchet go to investigate the Ark, where they recover Sentinel Prime, Optimus's predecessor and mentor. Optimus returns him to life using the Matrix of Leadership back on Earth, explaining how they lost the war and Cybertron has become a barren wasteland. Later Optimus shows Sentinel the natural beauty of Earth, and takes the opportunity to offer him the Matrix, but was allowed to keep it. Sentinel later betrayed the Autobots, having formed an alliance with the Decepticons because he wants to restore life to Cybertron. Optimus attempted to reason with Sentinel, but failed as several Decepticons came through a space bridge. After Sentinel Prime insisted that the humans expel the Autobots from Earth, the Wreckers prepare the Autobot ship Xantium for flight. Sam attempts to find out what their counter-attack plan is, but Optimus states they have none, and that Earth's fight is their own. During the departure, the Autobots escape in the first booster stage and return to Earth before Starscream destroys the ship. Arriving in Chicago, Optimus shoots down a Decepticon fighter as he tells Sam and Epps that he never expected the Decepticons to keep their word and that they are going to fight back. Optimus loses his trailer when Shockwave and his Driller arrive. He manages to retrieve it later and uses it as a flight pack, decaptitating the Driller's main head. During the battle, Optimus got caught in exposed wires and the Wreckers helped free him. Flying down onto the main battlefield, he abandoned his flight pack and used the momentum to attack and kill many Decepticons before he finally killed Shockwave. After using Shockwave's cannon to disable the control pillar for the space bridge, Optimus fights Sentinel Prime. Optimus Prime's right arm is cut off and Sentinel is about to end Optimus's life when Megatron intervenes and attacks Sentinel. After defeating Sentinel Prime, Megatron proposes a truce, but, instead, Optimus slices his head off, killing the Decepticon leader. Optimus Prime then grabs Megatron's shotgun and prepares to execute Sentinel, who pleads for his life, saying that he betrayed Optimus just because he wanted to save their race. Optimus executes him anyway, replying that Sentinel betrayed himself. With the Decepticons defeated and the war finally over, Optimus and the Autobots accept Earth as their true home.
In "Reunification", Optimus is seen building his new ultimate weapon, Omega Doom. He learns that Megatron has supposedly been killed by watching a broadcast from the Autobot reporter Rook. When Kup leads the Autobots Camshaft, Hound, and Warpath, in an attempt to assassinate Optimus Prime, the Autobot leader easily defeats the four rebels. Alpha Trion then attempts to kill Optimus, but Optimus uses Omega Doom against the ancient robot. Prime then sends Doom against the Decepticons.
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).
The China KO has been out for years. It's about 95% the same quality as an official product. The average price is $35-$40 shipped from China. Do not purchase from buyallhappy as this seller fraudulently claims to ship from Los Angeles but ships from China and prices the toy much higher. The seller also ships in a crappy cardboard box and the toy will likely arrive crushed. Most China sellers will use 6 pieces of thick styrofoam as a box which is much more durable.
On another plane of existence, Optimus travelled the path to the Matrix, guided by the voice of his old mentor Alpha Trion. The path led him to Grimlock, who had also been killed by Megatron; Prime rescued Grimlock from Kremzeek, the demonic eater of souls. At the gateway to the great beyond, they encountered Bludgeon, who announced that only those who bore the "key to Vector Stigmata" may pass through. Prime realized that the wounds on his body form the key, but the angel insisted that these would grant Prime access. Prime took Grimlock's sword and bestowed the key on Grimlock, allowing the former Autobot King to ascend into the Matrix while Prime stayed behind. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #12
Late in 2008, this version of Optimus prime was one of four Classics figures repainted into HasbroToyShop.com exclusives (the other three being the Megatron from this set in G1 colors, Grimlock repainted into Overkill, and Mirage repainted into Dragstrip). Unlike those three, it's debatable just how much repainting went into Optimus, but he comes in a snazzy new box.
A redeco of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime cab robot sporting an egregious number of Pepsi-themed paint masks and details, Pepsi Prime's differences from Pepsi Convoy are minimal: he features the shortened smokestacks previously seen on the Commemorative Series release of the mold, the blue pattern on his decals are different (matching the American Pepsi can/bottle look at the time rather than the one used in Japan), and also has a different layout for the Pepsi logo on his right shoulder. Like Pepsi Convoy, he comes with an entirely new trailer unit, specially designed to carry either a single 500ml (16.9 oz) size soft drink bottle, three 350ml cans, or 12 bottle caps (bottle cap figurines being a common and popular collectible item in Japan). In a first for the Prime mold, the figure's fists store in holes on the underside of the trailer while he is in vehicle mode. His ion blaster (which also stores under the trailer) is the first Hasbro reissue to feature the original, thick-barrel sculpt, which was reinstated to the mold by the Transformers Collection release of Prime a few years prior.
As Megatron explained that the Matrix was giving them a vision of the future, they witnessed themselves battling on Sherman Dam. The nature of their surroundings established, Megatron resumed the scheduled beating, but a series of setting shifts ended with Optimus reunited with Grimlock. Grimlock handed Prime a sword and suggested he finish Megatron for good. The War Within #5 Optimus found Megatron again, engaging him in combat and announcing that he was playing the game by Megatron's rules now—without mercy. Though he did not slay Megatron, he inflicted enough damage onto him to expunge from his memory the visions the Matrix had granted him. A short time later, Optimus joined the other Autobots in attacking the Decepticons who were trying to use Cybertron's planetary engines. Grimlock was finally impressed with Prime. Thanks to the combined efforts of Optimus and Grimlock's squad, the Decepticons were driven away and the engines were destroyed before they could tear the planet apart. Afterwards, Optimus's group arrived back at Iacon to find it destroyed. Optimus announced the Autobots were no longer evacuating the planet and threw away the Golden Disk full of the knowledge of his predecessors which the council had given him, saying he would choose his own course. The War Within #6
Available in a two pack set with Battle Changer Megatron, this Optimus is largely the same as as the single release, with some minor differences. He uses a new "double harness" piece on his torso instead of using two harnesses, leaving more space for his head to grip the neck-post. He also has different windshield decals, and his reds and blues are slightly darker. And, most obviously, he has an additional buildable trailer, though it doesn't really attach to the truck mode in any meaningful way.
Also during this time, Micromasters were introduced, and would become one of the last sub-groups of Generation One. Micromasters were tiny Transformers created to compete with the Micro Machines, a hugely popular toy line of the time. While many of the figures had simple transformations and little detail due to their small size, the line eventually expanded to feature Micromaster Transports and Bases, in which Micromasters came with larger vehicles or bases that transformed.
TakaraTomy released another reissue based on the Encore version as part of their Chronicle line in 2011, lacking the original Generation 1 trailer. Instead, the Chronicle version was available in a two-pack with Dark of the Moon Deluxe Class Optimus Prime and a new trailer that could be used by both Optimuses, thanks to a retooled trailer hitch on the Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure.