For many, it may seems that the advent of licensed sets3 correlates with the perceived increase in prices. The 1990s and before were a nostalgic heyday of affordable LEGO sets. This is not quite true. Below is a chart that compares the price per piece of licensed sets and unlicensed sets starting in 1999. 1999 is the first year that LEGO had major licensed themes.
The most controversial line of this period was the Pretenders. Pretenders consisted of a Transformer contained inside an action figure shell who could "pretend" to be either a human or a monster. Complaints with this line were numerous, including the lack of articulation of the figures (the shells could only move their arms), the simple transformation of the robots within, and their increasing lack of resemblance to any sort of modern recognizable vehicle. Still, despite the complaints, the Pretender line continued through all but the final year of Generation One, with variations such as Beast Pretenders, Monster Pretenders, Classic Pretenders, Mega Pretenders and Ultra Pretenders, each with variations on the theme or increasing levels of complexity.
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.
Armor Knight Optimus Prime is a retool of Age of Extinction: Generations Leader Class Optimus Prime. It features a new head sculpt with a rotatable faceplate (one side with the mask, the other without, the whole part rotates), along with other remolded body parts (such as his skirt, feet, and chest), giving it a more screen accurate appearance. He includes more movie-accurate weapons, featuring a new sword and shield, albeit in not-so-accurate colors (the sword's transparent orange blade was also a nod to the sword's "heat up" mode in the concept art.). He is covered in metallic paint, along with additional chrome details on his rims and bumper.
The Japanese release of the figure also underwent the changes in weapon shapes, but never featured a silver Roller; instead, their original release of Prime featured a Diaclone-style Roller without the two rear pegs, and the differently-shaped launcher that accommodated him, before a running change switched over to the Hasbro version of the mold. Finally, in some European countries, Prime sported red feet, as opposed to his traditional blue; this version of the figure is also known in some cases to feature a differently-painted forehead crest which leaves the three central indentations unpainted blue.
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.
Optimus foiled Megatron's attack on 21st century Tokyo after informing his old foe that wherever he would pop up, the Autobots would be there to thwart his evil intentions. Henkei! Henkei! volume 1 Optimus and Bumblebee later intervened when Astrotrain attacked Shinjuku Station, using their bodies to shield nearby humans from the destruction the triple-changer brought about. They were unaware that Astrotrain's rampage was really a distraction staged to keep their attention away from Megatron's gathering of energon cubes nearby. Henkei! Henkei! volume 2 Optimus continued to do battle against Astrotrain until Rodimus showed up to provide the Autobots with additional firepower. Henkei! Henkei! volume 3
This version of Leader-class Optimus Prime features a new lower face sculpt that lacks a faceplate, as well as the replacement of his fuel tank/exhaust assemblies with new, transforming versions that can combine into his ion blaster/barrage cannon. To the simultaneous pleasure and displeasure of people who had already purchased the first release of Leader-class Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime, Buster Optimus Prime features an extensive paint job that closely matches Prime's appearance on the big screen, including covering almost all of his grey plastic with silver paint or chrome, expanding and outlining all of the flame tampographs white for greater accuracy to ILM's computer model, and generally painting in small details, nooks and crannies that were neglected on the first release due to cost-cutting reasons. The red and blue plastic colors also vary from the original release, to better match his film appearance.
Produced to coincide with the 20th anniversary of The Transformers: The Movie and its release on DVD by Sony, this edition of Prime is a redeco of his 20th Anniversary figure. It replaces the original's metallic paint with flatter colors and does away with any and all vacuum-metalized plastic, as well as altering several other small details across the body, like the color of the lights on his feet and chest.
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 Garry Chalk, who previously voiced Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines.
Came with the Mini-Con Sparkplug. Could combine with Armada Jetfire (and its repaints) and/or Armada Overload (and its repaints). The trailer could convert into a base for Mini-Cons. In Japan a gold chrome edition of this toy was released as a Lucky Draw special. With its trailer the vehicle mode of this toy bears a great resemblance to G1 Star Convoy. According to the Armada video game Armada Optimus Prime is supposed to be 22 feet 10 inches tall (696 cm tall) and the toy is 17.5 cm tall. So that's a scale of 1:40.
Although Cybertron's Energon stocks were destroyed, the Autobots discovered a recording pointing to the Logicon planet Metascan Alpha, which had Energon in abundance. Optimus ordered Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus to take a team each to find the planet. The Autobots discovered they were being spied on by the Decepticon Clones, and Optimus swore that Galvatron could pay. He led a team to the derelict space destroyer which the Decepticons were using for a base and fought their leader one-on-one. As he was about to destroy the Nullification Cannon, Scorponok took a swing at him which connected instead with the Cannon, obliterating it. Optimus was helped away from the destruction by Blurr and Sureshot. The War Against the Destructons, Chapter 1 of 3
He comes with the Star Saber, which has a 5mm handle and a post on its hilt, as well as two spring-loaded, missile-firing "Ionic Pulse Launchers" (which are called "Eaglefire Missile Launchers" in the instructions). The launchers each feature a 5mm post, have flip open prods, and can peg onto the ports near the wheels on his robot back, giving him a pair of back-mounted rocket engines.
The color scheme of this special redeco of Super class Optimus Prime was decided through a colouring contest held in the December 2004 issue of TV Magazine, in which entrants coloured in lineart of Prime in the scheme they wanted to see. The winning entry rendered Prime in a... distinct palette of grey, cream, dark red, and purple chrome, with blue, white, and yellow drones. It was limited to only ten pieces, making it one of the rarer Transformers toys in existence.
In Axiom Nexus, General Optimus Prime found himself inducted into the Convoy, a group of Optimus Primes and their kin dedicated to safeguarding the multiverse. While the other Convoy members tended to stay in the upper reaches of Axiom Nexus, the General was able to use his unusual appearance for an Optimus Prime to venture in the Offworlder zones without suspicion, a great help to Offworlder Zone Security Administration Commander Cheetor. The General was also assisted in his new mission by his longtime scout, Sergeant Hound. General Optimus Prime profile card Sgt. Hound profile card
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.
Revenge of the Fallen Legends class Optimus Prime is an all-new, much more accurate mold compared to the 2007 Legends class Prime, having a much greater accuracy in both robot and vehicle mode. In particular, his vehicle mode isn't inexplicably missing one smokestack like the 2007 toy. It should be noted that he was molded in only one paintable plastic color, with red and blue deco patterns decked on it. The top of the truck's bunk (ending up on his back in robot mode) has a slot to combine with Jetfire. For some reason, this isn't mentioned in the instructions, though they're hardly needed.
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.
The smallest of the Energon Igniters, the 3-inch Speed series transforms between modes in 7 steps or less. Unlike previous small movie figures, this series has a lot of detailing and articulation. The bots don’t end up looking like carved blocks of plastic. They could use a few more paint apps, but that’s to be expected at this price point. They even interact with cores sold with the larger figures (though “interact” in this case seems to mean “tow behind”).
A movie tie-in game for the sequel to the 2011 movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon was released a few weeks prior to the movie on June 14, 2011 (the movie is set to be first screened on July 1, 2011). It has similar gameplay and features as that of the War for Cybertron game as it's made by the same developers, High Moon Studios. The game takes place on Earth just two years after the events of Revenge of the Fallen and will focus on both factions in their "final battle". Adjustments to the previous concept of the game had been made, including the online multiplayer where you can customize iconic characters appearance, abilities and weapons rather than the unknown transformers that were in the game prior to this one by High Moon Studios where you could only customize the appearance, abilities and choose the weapons.
Later, at the peace celebration, Prime was watching a procession of Autobots when Decepticons attacked. Optimus ordered Omega Supreme into action but the huge Autobot was quickly overcome by Menasor, Piranacon and Predaking. The Art of War #3 Prime hopped into the fray, saved a civilian from getting smushed by the falling Omega, rode Sixshot into Piranacon's face, smashed Astrotrain into the ground, and carried a wounded civilian out of danger.
Alternity Convoy was simultaneously available in both this silver coloration, and a deco based on his traditional appearance termed "Vibrant Red" (see below). The figure was later redecoed to create "Convoy Super Black" (representing not Optimus Prime, but Universe Nemesis Prime), Alternity Ultra Magnus, and Alternity Dai Atlas. It was retooled into Transformers GT GT-R Prime, GT-R Saber, GT-R Megatron and GT-R Maximus.
He reappeared in the third crossover, where he apparently acted as Optimus Prime's right-hand man. Putting a team together to look for the missing team that had journeyed to Earth (who had been captured by Serpentor and the Decepticons), he would later lead the combined G.I. Joe/Autobot force that rescued Optimus Prime. In contrast to his usual "youthful rookie" portrayal here Hot Rod seems to be in a high command position, outranking Ultra Magnus, Prowl and Ironhide among others. However, by the fourth crossover Hot Rod is forced to wait on Cybertron under Magnus's command as Optimus Prime journeys to Earth.
Released as part of TakaraTomy's Welcome to Transformers 2010 campaign, the "Sons of Cybertron" set includes a redeco of the 2006 Classics "Ultimate Battle" pack Deluxe class Optimus Prime, cast mostly in translucent plastic (his shoulders remain opaque Polyoxymethylene (POM)). He comes packaged with a similarly translucent redeco of Classics Rodimus.
Optimus Prime is among the three Autobot figures available to play in the Monopoly Transformers Collectors Edition game. As the figurehead of the entire Transformers franchise, Optimus Prime has been on more pieces of merchandise than can be stated here. Several statues and busts of Optimus Prime as well as Optimus Prime themed objects have been released by various companies since the return of Transformers to prominence, such as the "Optimus Prime Oral Care Station". Other figures released include various PVCs as part of Takara's "Super Collection Figure" line, which were later imported as part of Hasbro's "Heroes of Cybertron" series. Larger "Mega Collection Figure" PVCs were articulated and came with energy axe and gun figures. As part of the merchandising wave for the first Transformers film in 2007, Hasbro's Playskool line released a Transformers-themed version of Mr. Potato Head based on Optimus Prime. To keep with the potato theme, the toy was labeled "Optimash Prime" and the packaging included the slogan "More than meets the fry", a potato-oriented version of the Transformers slogan "More than meets the eye".
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!
Animated Optimus Prime, in an Earth-based fire truck mode, appears as a hidden character in the Transformers Netjet video game by Hasbro. Instead of being leader of the Autobots, Prime was actually a washout from the Elite Guard. Despite no longer being a member, he maintains his military ranking of "Prime". The scale chart released for the series indicates Optimus Prime stands about 22 feet tall.
In Transformers: The Last Knight, he is brother-in-arms with Bumblebee who he fought alongside with to foil the Nazi Party in World War 2. He speaks with a thick French accent due to being stuck in France for so long, much to his own embarrassment. He wields a special gun which can briefly slow down time. He is also the only Transformer who is shown to speak in vehicle mode. 
Optimus Prime's Japanese name is "Convoy", which is named after his original name "Battle Convoy" in the Diaclone toyline, because the name "Optimus Prime" is difficult for Japanese kids to remember and pronounce. All Optimus-inspired characters were called variations of Convoy in Japan up until the 2007 Transformers film, at which point TakaraTomy changed their minds and began using the name Optimus Prime as well. Presumably to avoid confusion, this change includes the Generation 1 version of the character as well, who is now called Optimus Prime in newer products and fiction such as Transformers United and Transformers: All Spark, though his name remains Convoy in material aimed at adult collectors such as Alternity and Masterpiece.
JETWING OPTIMUS PRIME Black Ver. is a black, teal, and chrome redeco of Jetwing Optimus Prime exclusive to the Asian market. He appears to have been based on the cancelled TakaraTomy contest prize Jetwing Optimus Prime Black Version (see above), with a few color alterations here and there, plus the obvious addition of chrome. It was originally solicited by online retailers as the far goofier-sounding "Dark Nightwatch Jetwing Optimus Prime".
In 2003, Transformers: Armada launched a pivotal new era in the toy line. After several lines of toys produced by one company or the other, Hasbro and Takara united to produce what was purported to be a single, identical line of Transformers for release worldwide. In tandem with this new endeavor, Armada signaled a new continuity in its accompanying animated series and a new focus in both the show and the toys on Mini-Cons, a new faction of Transformers. The Mini-Cons were much smaller robots (not much larger than humans) who were neutral in the Autobot/Decepticon fight, but due to their incredible power and abilities, were sought by both factions.
However, the situation was still so desperate that Optimus not only decided to recruit human allies The battle is far from over!, but aggressively tried to recruit and deputise human children, including giving them the power to co-ordinate Autobot teams in battles. He wouldn't even make a final move on the Decepticons until he had enough child soldiers on his side. Earthlings: THE S.T.A.R.S. need your help now! Have the Decepticons defeated us once and for all? In at least one case, this likely led to the death of a small boy at Decepticon hands. Can one boy, alone, hold back the evil Decepticons?
Released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Revenge of the Fallen, this Studio Series Optimus Prime is a retool of the figure above, featuring many new parts, namely a new backpack, chest piece, and a pair of non-transforming fenders/legs, to better resemble his appearance in the first two movies. These new parts allow him to combine with Studio Series Jetfire to form "Jetwing Optimus Prime." His color scheme features a much higher contrast than the previous release. Instead of Energon Swords, he now comes with an ion blaster like that used in the battle of Mission City. He also comes with a cardboard backdrop display depicting the highway fight with Bonecrusher from the first Transformers film.
Optimus Prime narrated the events of what happened before the Ark crashed on Earth. He became the new leader of a long line of Autobot leaders via the discovery of the Matrix. On their quest for more Energon, the Autobots were chased by Decepticons to the planet known as Earth and crashed on it. When they emerged from the Ark, Optimus Prime scanned his truck altmode, stating that the war would not end on Earth. Action Blast 1
This gold vacuum metallized (save for his black joints, which they were made out of unpaintable plastic) Protoform Optimus Prime figure was featured as a Lucky Draw giveaway (along side similarly gold vac-metal versions of Voyager class Optimus Prime and Protoform Starscream) in the December 2007 issue of TV Magazine. Released in 2008, only 5 pieces were made, making it one of the rarest Lucky Draw figures; the images at right represent the only known photographs of it.
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.
Replacing the weapons of the Hasbro releases, these new Mini-Cons transform into their larger parnter's signature weapons. They came as unassembled, unpainted model kits, similarly using stickers to fill in details. Several Arms Microns also came by themselves in bagged kits, plus there was a metric ton of promotional Microns throughout the line, possibly more than any prior line (even Micron Legend!), and that's not counting the ones that were released during the First Edition series. The Arms Microns also had multiple 5 mm posts and holes, and could be combined into super weapons, plus the larger toys were retooled to have new Arms Micron mounting points.
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.
Released exclusively in Japan, Bumblebee Legendary Optimus Prime is an all-new Leader Class mold, taking many cues from the Age of Extinction Evasion Mode Optimus Prime mold. His head can also switch into either maskless or masked faces. He also comes with an Ion Blaster, which can be pegged on his 5mm compatible hands and can store on his back. His truck mode can tow Convoy's (MP-10) trailer.
As leader of the Autobots, Prime headed up their mission to search for new sources of energy to revitalize the depleted Cybertron. Optimus vowed to Elita that he would return from his mission for her, but just before the launch of the Ark, Optimus was mistakenly led to believe that Elita was killed. Shortly after its launch, the Autobots' craft was attacked by the Decepticons' space cruiser, the Nemesis, and boarded by Megatron and the Decepticons. In the ensuing struggle, the G-forces of a nearby planet pulled both craft down, and the Autobots' ship crashed into a volcano, thrusting all the occupants into emergency stasis. Four million years later, in the Earth year 1984, a volcanic eruption jarred the ship's computer, Teletraan I, back to life. The computer reactivated the Decepticons, programming them with new Earth-based disguise modes. As a parting gesture, Starscream fired upon the Autobot ship, creating a landslide. The vibrations from that landslide knocked Prime into the path of the computer's restoration beam, restoring him to life, thus beginning the war anew on Earth.
Optimus Prime was the central figure of Kabaya's final Cybertron candy toy series, Change Galaxy, which was themed around his combinations with Leobreaker and Wing Saber. In addition to being transformable (again, through partial disassembly), this figure of Prime combines with the Change Galaxy versions of his partners, forming Savage Claw Mode and Sonic Wing Mode. Prime himself came packaged with an alternate Super Mode head and his leg armour in order to complete his appearance in each of these forms. Additional Super Mode pieces were not created for this line, as that wasn't the point.
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Optimus Prime leads Bumblebee, Drift, Kup, Prowl, Ratchet, and Wheeljack in Las Vegas when a Cybertronian ship crashes, containing Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge, and an infestation of zombies from another universe. Galvatron attempts to take command of the Autobots and, after fighting them, explains his mission to stop an undead infestation. Wheeljack sets up an energy shield around the city to keep the infestation contained, but it only last for 24 hours. Despite the containment effort, Kup realizes that Bayonet, a Decepticon in Galvatron's command, is not all she seems. She turns out to be the extradimensional vampire Britt.
Generation 2 Optimus Prime comes with all his original accessories, as well as two major new play features. To increase his arsenal, he is armed with a pair of black missile launchers that fit in his fists and fire red spring-loaded missiles; these launchers were retooled from the G.I. Joe figure Barricade. Secondly, he comes with an electronic "sound and lights module" that can either plug into the front of the trailer (where it resembles the air conditioners used on refrigerated trailers), or hook onto Optimus's back in robot mode (via a new slot sculpted into the cab robot). Unfortunately, the soundbox is heavy enough that doing so can easily overpower Prime's hip joints, causing him to topple backward. The soundbox features a large, vacuum metalized Autobot symbol on its front, and three grey buttons which trigger two flashing red LEDs on either side of the module, and a trio of sound effects: a truck engine noise, a laser gun sound effect and a garbled voice that said "I am Optimus Prime!". The module also features ports on either side into which the missile launchers can peg.
Based on the Classics toy line, the Timelines 2007 story is set 15 years after the end of the Marvel Comics story (ignoring all events of the Marvel UK and Generation 2 comics). According to exclusive bio information in the Transformers Collectors' Club magazine #15, Hot Rod followed Optimus Prime back to Cybertron from the Planet Klo. Once back, Hot Rod took up racing, but after a while found it pointless. Optimus Prime assigned to help organize the millions of Cybertronian refugees who returned to their home world. Hot Rod chaired the Cybertron Grand Challenge race, a race which featyred combined Autobot/Decepticon teams. With his maturing Hot Rod changed his name to Rodimus and was chosen to return with Optimus Prime to Earth to stop Megatron. Optimus Prime returned to Earth commanding Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Grimlock, Jetfire, Mirage and Rodimus. When the Cybertronians Skyfall and Landquake arrive on Earth unexpectedly, Megatron attempts to destroy them, but Optimus Prime and his Autobots are able to drive Megatron away. Rodimus is wounded on a mission with Optimus Prime, before being brought back to the Autobot base.