Originally, Optimus Prime was created as the leader of the Autobots, though it is unknown how he was created or his origins. In a possible future, Megatron was threatened by the existence of the Aerialbots and had Shockwave build a time machine to send them back in time to get rid of them. However, he only ended up changing history for the better. In the revised timeline, Optimus Prime began his life as a robot named Orion Pax, a mostly defenseless dock worker during the Golden Age of Cybertron nine million years ago, with a girlfriend named Ariel and a best friend named Dion. During this time, a new breed of robot with new flight capabilities appeared on the planet that Orion idolized. When Megatron, the leader of the new group of robots, approached him with inquiries about using one of the dock warehouses, Orion was swayed by Megatron. Both Orion and Ariel were severely wounded when Megatron and his forces attacked in order to claim the energy stored there. Searching for someone to help them, the time-displaced Aerialbots took Orion and Ariel to the ancient Autobot, Alpha Trion, who used them as the first subjects for the new reconstruction process he had developed involving rebuilding the frail Autobot frames into more battle-hardy configurations.
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.

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.


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.
Rodimus also appears in the novel Transformers: Retribution as part of the crew of the Ark. Along with Kup and Bumblebee, he suspects that something is amiss with the inhabitants of the planet Aquatron, and takes a small drops ship down into the planet's oceans to investigate. The trio are captured and brainwashed by the Quintessons, who force them to testify against Optimus Prime in a mock trial. Fortunately, they are later returned to normal and return to space aboard the Ark with the rest of the Autobots.
This Classics Optimus Prime is a smaller, Deluxe Class figure with a noticeable physical resemblance to Takara's Robotmasters Prime figure, and a transformation that is about as successful. The figure is armed with a tommy gun-shaped laser rifle that transforms into a turret-like configuration and mounts on the rear of his truck mode, and features a spinning "power punch" action that sees the whole upper half of his torso spin when a button on his back is pressed. Pressing the button "unlocks" the spinning mechanism; pull hard on the button, and you can lock the torso back into place.

The series begins when Optimus and his crew, after picking up a disillusioned ninja named Prowl, are sent to clear rubble from a space bridge passage. There, the Autobots stumbled upon the Allspark and are immediately attacked by Megatron's battle cruiser, the Nemesis. Through treachery by Megatron's second-in-command, Starscream, Megatron was fragged and the Autobots crashed on Earth in the early 21st century. After being in stasis under Lake Erie for 50 years, the Autobots awaken in Detroit of the near future, where they immediately discovered humans in need and became heroes of the city after stopping a Sumdac Industries experiment gone wrong. During the battle for the possession of the Allspark, Optimus goes offline after defeating Starscream, only to be revived by Sari Sumdac and her Allspark-infused key.
There is also a smaller "Legends of Cybertron" Micro sized version of this Optimus Prime, without a trailer, and a Burger King Kid's Meal toy, again without a trailer. There is also a rotating sucker holder version of Cybertron Optimus Prime. Later releases of the Leader class and Micro class Optimus Prime were repainted in darker colors, supposedly representing Optimus Prime after the television story. This toy is called Galaxy Force Optimus Prime. A special metallic painted version of this toy was included with Megalo COnvoy in Japan.
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.
Great read. I have noticed an absolute drop in quality myself. My sets in my youth range from 83 to 90. My sons are from 2011 and there is a clear distinction. Aside from the weight of identical bricks being different, the older bricks stay together in a much more durable way than the new bricks. To test this, I created the same models using all old bricks and all new bricks and the difference was marked. I understand doing certain things to reduce costs, but not at the expense of quality…
Nonetheless, I remain a big fan of Lego and although I think they have somewhat moved away from their roots with the excess of licensed products (and the earlier licensed products were, in my opinion, not very good because they contained too many specialized non-generic pieces that weren’t useful for generic building. But that situation is improved and in particular we have found the Star Wars sets to be of most value for generic building, because they generally have very few really specialized pieces (although to be fair the sets are most useful for building other spaceships, etc).
We know that despite starting his fictional life as a lovable, horn-headed robot who could turn into a Volkswagen in Generation 1, Bumblebee's most well-known these days as a round-headed robot who turns into a Camaro. In fact, younger viewers might not even realize he was ever anything but the Chevy muscle car. But there’s one quirky continuity where he’s able to switch between original and movie modes at will.
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.
What I find more interesting is who’s in this wave. Not only is there Hot Rod and Barricade in ’80s muscle car form, but Optimus Prime in his red G1 Peterbilt truck form (just with movie Optimus’ head! Maybe Bumblebee will explain the origin of his “rip off everyone’s face” fetish). Two versions of Bumblebee round out the wave, his traditional movie-verse Camaro and G1 VW Bug.
In one reality, while the Autobots were boarding the Ark, Optimus voiced his lack of confidence in his leadership, before welcoming aboard Geosensus, who was incapable of transforming to robot mode. Four million years later, Prime and Prowl found the Ark was under attack and defended it with deadly force. In examining the wreckage of the attackers, they realised that the robot Optimus had destroyed was not a Decepticon but Geosensus, who had forced himself to transform in an attempt to fight off the Decepticons. Though Prime was willing to take the rap, Prowl insisted on covering up the mistake to protect Optimus's image as a leader. Parts
Another redeco of Deluxe-Class Dark of the Moon Prime, this release uses a darker grey, a less magenta-y red, and less gold on the front end. Included is the trailer originally available with the Chronicle release. The trailer holds up to seven MechTech or similar 5mm peg accessories. Four holes are located on the top-front end of the trailer, with another three inside. The door also folds down to become a ramp, and the inside of the trailer is big enough for several Legion or Commander Cyberverse toys, or one smaller-end Deluxe figure. Two C joint bars also run along the bottom of both sides.
The set is a counterpart to TakaraTomy's simultaneously-available Transformers Animated Sons of Cybertron set, which also features translucent versions of that line's Deluxe Optimus Prime and Rodimus figures. It was intended as an exclusive for the Japanese Chara Hobby 2010 festival, but was also initially offered as a raffle prize at the 2010 "Autobot Alliance" event in the Philippines.,[1] and was later available for purchase at Cybertron Con 2010 in Shanghai.
As had first been done in the Armada line, Takara elected to supplement their release of the Super class Optimus Prime figure with a new-mold Deluxe class toy. Coming without trailer, Prime Force or electronics, this Prime discarded the larger toy's ability to form Super Mode in favor of being able to Powerlinx with the other compatible toys of the Energon line, forming either a torso or a pair of legs that the other Autobots could connect to. Like the Deluxe Armada Prime, this one too was on the small side for its size class, but just as that figure could, this small Prime can still tow the Super class figure's trailer.
This Optimus Prime is a non-transforming truck that is loaded with a number of gimmicks: Pressing the back button activates his Weaponizer-sque (or Stealth Force-sque) battle mode on his truck form, with the lights being emitted in the same time. He features both spring-loaded (truck front) and pressure-firing (both sides of the launcher) discs, with a flat character art of Slipstream & Sawback being sculpted on it. Optimus Also comes with additional Slipstream and Sawback figurines, which they can be (uselessly) attached on Optimus Prime's truck top & both sides of the launchers.

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Not depicted in the instructions or stock photos, Roller can attach to Prime in vehicle mode via two tabs on the vehicle front which slot into two corresponding slots on Prime's feet. Another undocumented feature is that the butt of the Ion Blaster can be inserted between the barrels of Roller's weapon mode to form a longer weapon. Also not shown in the instructions but depicted on the stock photo on the card-back is that Prime's shoulderpads can be rotated up; the intended positioning for this is notched, although you can position them at other angles.
When a two-part race was being held with a massive supply of oil and gasoline as the prize, both the Decepticons and the Autobots badly wanted to win it. Megatron entered the race by hiding himself inside a hollowed-out car and harassed Cliffjumper all throughout the contest. When Prime discovered the car was being driven by his arch foe, he swiftly pulled a telephone pole out from the ground and used it to bash the mortal hell out of the cheating Decepticon. Thanks to Prime's violent intervention, Cliffjumper was able to win the race. Afterward, Optimus Prime celebrated the Minibot's victory with a gargantuan smile as all the Decepticons starved to death. The Great Car Rally
He comes with a shield with a fold-out handle, allowing Optimus to hold onto it with either hand in robot mode. It has a simple transformation gimmick for vehicle mode which is activated by pressing a button at the top of the shield, causing the sides to spring outwards. In vehicle mode, the shield can be laid flat across the bed of the truck, attaching via a post on the back onto the truck’s trailer hitch. Alternatively, the bumpers on the shield can be rotated outwards, and the front can be bent down in order to form a new front end and hood for "battle vehicle mode", resembling the Stealth Force vehicle modes seen in Dark of the Moon.
Marketed as a reissue of Powermaster Optimus Prime, this Toys R Us-exclusive Commemorative Series figure is in truth based on the Ginrai tooling on the toy that had previously been exclusive to Japan. It features a die-cast metal cab with translucent blue windows, and shortened, chrome smokestacks, and comes packaged with the drone Apex Bomber (formerly Ginrai's partner Godbomber), who splits into several components and combines with Prime to form "Apex Armor". As with all other Commemorative Series figures, Prime's new spring-loaded missile launcher featured an elongated missile.

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


A later prototype/mock-up was much closer to the final product but still has some noticeable differences, such as a head with much larger antennae, longer smokestacks and a front grille section that includes the rectangular section that would sport the "Freightliner" logo on the real-life truck (on the final toy, the rectangular section is part of the hinged upper section that includes the windows). It would have also been possible to attach the ion blaster to either of his shoulders.[12]
Q-Transformers Optimus Prime is a tiny super deformed toy based on the Alternity Convoy design, transforming into a Nissan GT-R R35, though his legs retain the traditional blue truck bed motif. The English name on the packaging refers to him as just "Optimus". He comes with a code for unlocking "GTR Optimus Prime" as a playable character in the Q-Transformers: Mystery of Convoy Returns game. Standing at only slightly less than one inch and a half, this is actually the smallest transforming Optimus Prime ever made, which is a fairly impressive feat considering the surprising amount of detail in sculpt and paint apps.
As part of the Robot Replicas line, this version of Optimus is a non-transforming action figure that utilizes Revoltech-style jointing. The sculpt hews much closer to the movie CGI model than is possible with the full transforming toys, plus the universal jointing of the line allows for his forearm to be replaced with his hand-cannon... or bits from other Robot Replicas.
If instead of all heading into the lab together, the Autobots had sent in Bumblebee alone, and Bumblebee subsequently managed to escape with the antidote to the Decepticons’ poison, the Autobots escaped from the Valley of Poison and returned to Autobot headquarters. Once the other Autobots were cured, they all drank a toast to Bumblebee, to celebrate his part in the mission Decepticon Poison 

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While Transformers ended poorly for the US market, the same can not be said for the UK, Canada, and Japan markets as they went on to produce their own continuing series between 1991 and 1993, despite the UK market in particular missing a substantial amount of figures prominent in the comics and animated series throughout the line's run. Each country produced their own continuity. The UK and Canada continued with new Action Master figures and introduced the Turbo Masters and Predators. Japan continued with the Micromasters concept.

Using the Spacebridge to travel to Earth, Prime was sidetracked when Megatron transported him to Unicron's body. Megatron attempted to cajole him into distracting Unicron long enough to transfer his consciousness into a new body. Prime refused until Megatron showed him what was happening on Earth. A massive Terrorcon invasion had devastated many of Earth's greatest cities, with the stalwart Autobot defenders nearly overwhelmed. Megatron offered to deal with the invasion if Prime would aid his rebirth. Out of options, Prime agreed, and battled Unicron's internal defences to disable a sensor, allowing Megatron's resurrection. As Megatron teleported to Earth to keep his end of the bargain, Prime, still inside Unicron, prepared to fight back.
During a Decepticon attack, Cliffjumper pleaded with Optimus to let him jump into the fray. Optimus denied his request, telling him that they already had the Decepticons on the run. In the battle’s aftermath, the Decepticon’s activity seem to vanish altogether. Grateful for the quiet, Optimus decided to head out and fetch extra fuel for the Autobots with Sparkplug. He returned just in time to find his Autobots in the middle of a battle with the Decepticons. With Sparkplug and Prowl’s help, Optimus refuelled his troops, and once more drove the Decepticons back. Revenge of the Decepticons
Originally, Optimus Prime was created as the leader of the Autobots, though it is unknown how he was created or his origins. In a possible future, Megatron was threatened by the existence of the Aerialbots and had Shockwave build a time machine to send them back in time to get rid of them. However, he only ended up changing history for the better. In the revised timeline, Optimus Prime began his life as a robot named Orion Pax, a mostly defenseless dock worker during the Golden Age of Cybertron nine million years ago, with a girlfriend named Ariel and a best friend named Dion. During this time, a new breed of robot with new flight capabilities appeared on the planet that Orion idolized. When Megatron, the leader of the new group of robots, approached him with inquiries about using one of the dock warehouses, Orion was swayed by Megatron. Both Orion and Ariel were severely wounded when Megatron and his forces attacked in order to claim the energy stored there. Searching for someone to help them, the time-displaced Aerialbots took Orion and Ariel to the ancient Autobot, Alpha Trion, who used them as the first subjects for the new reconstruction process he had developed involving rebuilding the frail Autobot frames into more battle-hardy configurations.
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