The 1986 line featured another significant change in that many, if not the majority, of the toys were conceived as futuristic vehicles and bore little resemblance to present-day machinery. This was due to changes in the movie and television series, which leaped ahead twenty years to the year 2005. Many have speculated that this change might have been what signaled the beginning of the end for the Transformers, as part of the novelty of the first lines was the realistic vehicles that turned into robots.
The other new additions were two black spring-loaded missile launchers that fire red projectiles. In vehicle mode, these attached to the soundbox (an echo of Powermaster Optimus Prime's cannons, perhaps), and could be held in Optimus Prime's fists in robot mode. These launchers were not created for Prime; they were retooled versions of the launcher from Barricade of the G.I. Joe line.
Smallest Transforming Prime was redecoed the following year for the second wave of the line, into a color scheme based on his Generation 1 cartoon appearance featuring brighter reds and blues, white thighs, yellow details on his bumper, and blue eyes and windows. This version of the figure was made available for a second time in the next wave ("Wave 2.5"), with a new anime-decorated version of the Combat Deck now available as a rare "chase" figure.
Eleven years after their arrival on Earth, Prime and the Autobots made a new human ally in Wataru Hoshinoumi when he stumbled into the midst of a battle between Prime's team and Starscream and Ramjet. Enter! The Transformers When Megatron joined the fight soon after, he held Bumblebee and Wataru hostage, daring Prime to make a move against him. Prime opened fire, but Megatron merely used the defeated Starscream for a shield, then turned his cannon on the younger duo. Prime unleashed his ion blaster and apparently deflected the blast with a shot of his own, saving Bumblebee and Wataru and prompting the Decepticons to retreat. The Emperor of Destruction Appears!
Distant Thunder was ultimately unsuccessful, but as the universe started to rip apart, a black Optimus Prime clone appeared. The Binaltech universe was split into its own separate continuity, while the original timeline was also restored, stabilizing the multiverse. The clone, friendly to the transformers, proclaimed that the Binaltech universe must be allowed to continue, as it was important to the future. Optimus Prime questioned the black doppelganger, who explained only that he carried "the Protector's" spark, but refused to reveal any more detailed information. Soon after, the clone, who was originally developed by Dr. Archeville as a weapon of evil, ejected the spark that had invaded and taken over the black figure, reverting to its original evil programming. The malevolent Nemesis Prime, no longer just a black version of Optimus, escaped.
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.
This silver-chromed redeco of the Leader-class Optimus Prime figure first saw the light of day as a prize in a TV Magazine mail-in, offered alongside a gold chrome version of the same toy (see above). Both figures were later made available again as prizes in a second contest in the September 2005 issue of TV Magazine, together with "Galaxy Convoy Custom Color Version" (see below). Despite being offered in equal quantities in these contests, this silver version is apparently much harder to come by.
Part of the first wave of TakaraTomy Lost Age: Movie Advanced toys, this Japanese-exclusive redeco of 2007 Transformers Protoform Optimus Prime is given a Generation 1-styled color scheme (which is also based on his appearances in IDW's Transformers: Foundation comic-book mini-series). Protoform Optimus Prime transforms into his "entry" mode. This mode somewhat resembles a cybertronic truck, with false wheels sculpted onto the sides, and Optimus Prime's trademark windows in front. His now-blue flame decoration piece fits to the back of the "vehicle", creating the illusion of a flaming comet's tail (Not sure if this was mean to represent his jetpack blast effect or his atmospheric entry heat effect, which is for no reason: entirely blue instead of hot red). The bottom of the vehicle has small wheels to roll the toy across smooth surfaces.