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.
It should also be mentioned that a few years back, I think around 2009 roughly, TLG started using smaller boxes for the same size sets. It was part of a move to not only save money, but also become greener as a company. Because the sets now take up less physical space on the shelf, and boxes with the same number of pieces appear smaller than sets from previous years, it could also contribute to the perception that you are getting less for your money today. In reality they are one and the same product.
Today, generally the creator sets only emphasize Lego as a building system. They come with pieces and instructions for two alternate models. Generally, Creator sets utilize a more basic color selection and look less “realistic” due to the emphasis on a versatile piece selection. Contrast that with current licensed themes and even Lego’s own proprietary themes. Themed/licensed sets are now trying to achieve more “realistic” models. As a result, piece and color selection skews toward more specialized pieces and colors again making the “critical mass” of pieces harder to achieve.
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.
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.
Hybrid Style Optimus Prime is an insanely detailed and complex transforming toy, created under the supervision of famed mecha designer Shōji Kawamori. Standing only three and three-quarter inches tall in robot mode, the figure is partially constructed from die-cast metal and features one of the most complex transformation sequences ever seen on a Transformers figure of its size. Alas, the small size of the figure also works against it, as it required several design concessions that resulted in (if we're being nice about it) an unimpressive cab mode.
GT-R Prime was racing against GT-R Saber and GT-R Maximus when they were rudely interrupted by GT-R Megatron, a ruthless racer out to prove his worth by defeating all others. A fight broke out, but Prime interrupted it and convinced Megatron that they all shared the same need for speed, persuading him to settle things with a race instead. Transformers GT: Mission GT-R

Power of the Primes "Evolution Optimus Prime" transforms from a truck with a trailer into a robot and back. The individual truck transforms into his "Orion Pax" form based on his appearance in the Generation 1 episode "War Dawn", and he is able to form the core of Optimus Prime's robot mode. His trailer forms Prime's entire body, and his ion blaster can be split into two weapons. He includes the Matrix of Leadership, which can store in his chest in the 'Evolved' form. The center of his Matrix of Leadership can be replaced with any Prime Master. In an undocumented feature, his rifle can be stored on his back as Optimus Prime by pegging it into Orion Pax's hands.The Takara version of the mold lacks the production numbers located at his right shins. Depending on the individual copy, Optimus Prime is prone to having a number of quality control issues: ranging from two left/right arms and/or legs/feet on the evolution armor, to lacking stickers on the trailer pieces.
An extremely simplified version of Optimus Prime, this McDonald's Happy Meal toy transforms into a trailer-less truck cab. He is formed out of a large percentage of translucent plastic, and can combine with the other Happy Meal Armada toys (Hot Shot, Red Alert, and Smokescreen) into a human (well, robot) pyramid-style configuration, notionally considered a "Mighty Robot".
Although peacetime in the decade that followed the apparent deaths of Unicron and Galvatron afforded Prime the opportunity to train his own elite squadron of Autobots the martial art of Kumite. The re-emergence of the war, however, forced him to return to his role as commander. The conflict for control of the Mini-Cons and the truths he was forced to face in his confrontation with Unicron seems to have changed him. Optimus Prime, Grand Convoy' in the Japanese version, was now a stern, more direct commander and shows little of the conflict that held him back before. Despite this, he is still known to make the same kind of decisions, which include an emphasis on team work and the foundation of the Autobot values.
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

This increase in average piece count could be a factor in why LEGO is perceived to be more expensive now than in the past. LEGO sets have become larger and more complex. They have started to market directly to an older crowd with sets such as the Modular Buildings and the Architecture series. These new sets have rekindled interest in LEGO for an older generation but at the same time, it has introduced this same generation to the relatively high price of LEGO sets.
Released in the latter stages of the Cybertron toyline, this redeco of the Leader-class Optimus Prime figure introduced a new colour scheme that several other tail-end releases would emulate. Taking its name from the Japanese version of Cybertron and with a bio noting that this new body depicts Prime after he embarks on his galaxy-spanning mission at the end of the Cybertron cartoon, "Galaxy Force" Optimus Prime replaces the original toy's blue parts with black and the translucent blue with smokey clear, and moulds several—but not all—grey parts out of red plastic, including the toy's rifles, rail gun covers, missile launchers, and Super Mode leg guns. In the realm of new paint operations, Prime now sports all four Cyber Planet Key symbols on his shoulders, and his unique Matrix-shaped Cyber Key (now with the code lo9x) finally has a gold-painted border, as it had always had in Japan. Additionally, Prime's hip joints were tightened up with this release, making it easier to stand him up in Super Mode.
Prime comes with a unique Cyber Key, designed after the twin-handled appearance of the Matrix of Leadership, bearing the code l8p3. When inserted into the cannon that the rifle is part of, a pair of additional spring-loaded missile launchers flip down from the its sides. Slotting the key into the electronic cannon opens up the panels covering the front of the barrel, unlocking a different sound with its button is pressed. The paint job of the key is the principal difference between the Hasbro and Takara versions of the figure; the Japanese release features a metallic gold paint border around the key, furthering its resemblance to the Matrix. Other differences include more thoroughly painted knees and leg-armor cannons, yellow-painted signal lights above the cab, and the use of metal hinges to hold on Prime's wing tips, which were removable on Hasbro's version, and came disconnected in-package.
A Toys "R" Us exclusive, the U.S. release of Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy by Hasbro does not come with the detachable trailer, but is offered with his Targetmaster partner Offshoot (renamed from Firebolt due to trademark issues) and a remold of Optimus Prime's Matrix of Leadership, which does not fit in his chest. Like the Takara Tomy version, a smaller Matrix that fits in his chest is included. While the Japanese version is based on the animation design, the Hasbro redeco bears a closer resemblance to the original G1 toy. Parts of the figure's legs have been re-engineered after owners of the Japanese version complained that the hinges of the leg armor easily broke off. Masterpiece Rodimus Prime was first offered at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International.
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.
In some continuities, though, it’s our lovable pal Bee who takes the leadership reigns. In the animated series Transformers: Robots in Disguise, with Optimus having died at the end of the previous series, Bumblebee starts off as the Autobot leader, but he’s apprehensive about it. And he even takes the leadership mantle in the live-action film series; taking over for Optimus, who leaves the Autobots behind to head into space to search for the Seed at the end of the last movie, Age of Extinction.

On a version of Cybertron where Energon shortages have left many of the surviving Autobots and Decepticons all-but immobile, Hot Rod opted to be converted into a smaller and more efficient Micromaster, and thus retained his mobility. Detesting the corrupt system that has fallen into place, Hot Rod seeks to reform Cybertronian society from within the established government, while his former comrade Grimlock joined the resistance in an effort to bring down the old order. Feeling this approach to be no better than Megatron's rebellion that triggered the Great War, Hot Rod opposed Grimlock's efforts, particularly when his plans came to include using the G-Virus to turn a large number of "Builders" into immobile clones of Galvatron, unaware that the effects would also spread to a number of Maximals, Predacons, and Micromasters. Fortunately, Grimlock was betrayed by one of his own men, who destroyed most of the virus, though not before one Cybertronian was infected.
In robot mode, like Combat Hero Prime, the bottom of the truck became his familiar windowed chest based upon the original Optimus Prime toy. His main gimmick was light up LED headlights, and a lightpipe in the bottom of his right fist, illuminated by an LED in his right forearm, that would illuminate his clear sword or his double-barreled rifle if they were used in that hand. All three LEDs were activated simultaneously by pressing the sunroof-like depression on the roof of the truck.
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