A Japanese-exclusive, the final new-design G1 Convoy toy was a departure from previous versions. He now transformed into a small extended hood cab truck of made-up model pulling an implausibly large trailer equipped with motorized caterpillar treads. The trailer could additionally pull along the auxiliary trailer transformer Grandus, on which the shuttle Sky Garry could land, forming the spaceship "Battlestars". Even without combining, Star Convoy's truck mode was a behemoth, including a Micro Trailer semi as a small accessory and an upgraded Roller that was now patterned after a tracked ballistic missile carrier.
Forming a roughly 11-inch figure when fully assembled, Diablock Convoy is highly articulated, save for his head, which is only able to move up and down. Said head is also by far the most stylised aspect of the figure, with no real attempt to approximate Prime's face or mouthplate, instead featuring only a reversed block that gives the odd impression of a cycloptic eye. It is possibly intended to actually represent his forehead grill, as a yellow block inside his head construction remains barely-visible through a slit in his face, possibly intended to represent the classic toy's yellow eyes.
The lowest priced toys in the Armada line were three-packs of Mini-Cons. Each larger price point consisted of an Autobot or Decepticon who came with a Mini-Con partner. Mini-Cons could be used to unlock a variety of features on each larger robot, such as firing weapons, electronic lights and sounds, or alternate modes. Some three-pack Mini-Cons combined into other forms or had additional features. According to the storyline, Mini-Cons also enhanced the power of other Transformers, giving incentive to collect as many of them as possible.
Optimus was providing cover-fire for a cross-universal battle when he suddenly seized up. Though he rebooted momentarily, he had terrible news for his Protector allies: using the power of the lower-dimensional Planicrons, Megatron had succeeded in sundering the Alternity's aggregate! Optimus urged his subordinates to not lose hope however, reassuring them that events were still unfolding within the parameters they had foretold. Sure enough, the battle swayed back in the Autobots' favor when Thundercracker, disgusted by Megatron's reckless use of their power, freed the Planicrons and robbed Megatron of his most powerful weapon. Optimus then tasked Elita Seven, the black Convoy, and Bumblebee to track down the doorway that would allow the Planicrons to ascend to the higher-dimensions, putting them on the path to supersede the Alternity as multiversal protectors. While they attended to this task, the rest of the now-former Alternity busied themselves by destroying Megatron's auto-avatars, weakening the villain and disallowing him from interfering further with the Planicrons' destiny.
Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in April 2012, "Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver. BLACK" (コンボイ復刻版 BAPE® Ver. BLACK) is a redeco of the original Optimus Prime toy sporting a unique new grey color scheme, along with a grey trailer decorated with a camouflage pattern. Both trailer and Prime himself feature the A Bathing Ape logo in place of an Autobot symbol, while the floor of the trailer's Combat Deck mode features new Bathing Ape-themed labels. The figure comes in a recolored version of the original Japanese packaging.
It was expected that the release of a new movie would involve the production and release of associated toys from Takara and Hasbro. Images surfaced, on-line, of some toy prototypes, notably Starscream and a new Decepticon who was to be named Blackout, along with packaged samples of movie preview "Protoform" Optimus Prime and Starscream toys. Similarly, fans found preliminary artwork of multiple characters, although it was not known at the time how close these were to the final designs. The designs were significantly different from those of the Generation 1 characters with the same names. Reactions varied widely: some fans objected strongly to the designs, occasionally going so far as to threaten a boycott if the designs were not changed to be more traditional, while others liked them. The issue became a divisive one, as detractors accused supporters of lacking respect for the franchise's history, while supporters accused detractors of being "stuck in the past", and not accepting change.
The figure seems to have some transformation scheme & design related problems in it: The front truck cab's upper two pieces are supposed to be pushed to the front in robot mode, but the piece keeps collapsing back due to looseness when the figure is standing straight (Though pressing the two halves together firmly tends to reduce this issue for a while), while the tab underneath the truck grill does not connect well with the bottom port. Additionally, his 5mm compatible hands have a slight problem with wielding weapons with short 5mm posts.
The original Optimus Prime toy was a re-deco of the Diaclone Battle Convoy toy and transforms into a late 1970s red Freightliner FL86 Cab-over-Engine triple-axle semi trailer truck. The truck mode features rubber tires, and the cab is partially constructed of die cast metal. The windscreen section can open to reveal ultimately-unused seats that were originally designed for driver figures part of the Diaclone line. His trailer opens up into his Combat Deck, which features a missile-armed repair drone pod (with seating for one) mounted upon a boom lift arm. Situated in the base of this boom is a spring-loaded launcher that can be used to launch Roller out of the Combat Deck. Roller himself has seating for 4 passengers, and can be equipped to carry Optimus Prime's rifle or a fuel pump. The interior space of the trailer allows storage room for one Autobot car. In robot mode, he is armed with a black laser rifle, that, due to design, cannot be held straight. His fists are separate pieces which must be stored elsewhere in vehicle mode; there are pegs to store them in the trailer.
The more interesting "Sky Master Mode", revealed in the "Cybertron Satellite" segment of "Phantom Transformation! Mind-Diving", has him using O.P. as a blaster, two B.2s as leg-thrusters, and two sets of C.L./Jida(!) combinations as back-mounted jet packs. The AMW versions of C.L. and Jida, while not as color-coordinated, are a far more economical option than buying two of each Cliffjumper. Good luck with the second B.2. This mode was created as a "counter" to the aerial combatant Starscream, along with the Energon Sniper Combo Weapon (despite it being a Decepticon-Micron-formed weapon). Apparently, the "Arms Up Mission" game isn't picky about factions.
Using their network of human allies, the Autobots tracked the Decepticons to Stanley Lake. When Optimus learned that the Decepticons had taken over the hydro-plant, he lured them out into the valley in front of the dam so that Jazz and the humans could flood the valley, washing the Decepticons away. Menace at the Dam Starscream attempted to defect as part of a ploy to get a spy into the Autobots' midst, but Optimus wasn't fooled at all. He and his men concocted a false plan which they shared with Starscream, and while the Decepticons were subsequently on a wild goose chase, Optimus's team smashed the Decepticon base flat. As they let Starscream go, Optimus couldn't help mocking him. Espionage!!!!!
Knight Armor Turbo Changer Optimus Prime is a Voyager-sized figure that transforms from truck to robot in just 2-steps: pulling his whole truck kibble to the front then fold down to complete the robot mode, although converting him back requires some few steps. His only articulation is the elbows, and he features 5mm compatible hands. He also features a "Knight Armor" gimmick, which consists of his mask popping out to his head with the press of the button on his chest. Take note that you need to flip back the mask manually before you turn him back into Truck Mode.
In the Autobot Campaign, Optimus Prime provides intelligence and missions to Bumblebee in his search for the Allspark. Eventually, the clues lead the Autobot to Sam Witwicky. After saving Sam from Barricade, Bumblebee finally completes preparations for the Autobots to arrive on Earth. Once on Earth and having informed the two teenagers of their mission, Prime and the Autobots are discovered by Sector 7. Optimus sends Jazz on a high-speed destruction distraction mission, then sends Ironhide to rescue Jazz from a double-threat posed by the government agents and various Decepticon scouts. When Bumblebee is captured, Prime transforms and chases the chopper which from which the small Autobot is tied. After a lengthy chase, Prime manages to catch the net, only to be thrown off by another Cybertronian meteor. As Bumblebee is carried away, Optimus promises he will not fail him again. Jazz informs him that the meteor is not an Autobot. Prime confronts the new threat, who turns out to be the Decepticon triplechanger Shockwave. The two battle it out across Tranquility before Optimus finally destroys him. During the battle, Optimus overhears Starscream's transmission revealing the location of the Allspark. Optimus then returns to an intel role as he guides Bumblebee in his mission to retrieve the Allspark from Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, the Decepticons manage to free Megatron, leading to the final battle in Mission City. As the Autobots battle it out with the Decepticons to protect Sam and the Allspark, things seem to take a turn for the worse as Megatron finally arrives. Before he can claim the Allspark, Optimus attacks him. Optimus defeats Megatron and leaves him on the ground, seemingly devoid of life. However, just as Sam is giving the Allspark to Optimus, Megatron awakens, leaping at Optimus with his chain-flail out, making one last attempt at defeating his adversary. Optimus grabs the chain, pulling Megatron in closer, and, with the Allspark clutched in his fist, delivers a punch through Megatron's spark, killing him. Optimus reflects on the losses and rewards of this battle, as the Autobots have a new home, but many were killed in the battle. The story ends with Optimus and the Autobots choosing to remain in Earth, proclaiming it as their new home.
The Transformers: Prime toyline hit shelves in November 2011. Originally, Hasbro played coy with the series receiving a toyline at all, emphasizing that it was a television series first and foremost. There were initial plans to release a small assortment of three Deluxe figures (Bumblebee, Arcee, and Starscream) in the Generations line before they were moved into the expanded "First Edition" launch line.
Platinum Optimus is a redeco of the Leader Class Optimus Prime. Optimus' color palette is now darkened with some additional paint details. His "Sword of Judgment" is now a light blue. Optimus features more chrome on his "Vector Shield", chest, and on his head. The set was a shared exclusive, available from BigBadToyStore and Toys"R"Us, and was also sold during a Taiwanese event celebrating the launch of Transformers Rising.
Although the original Japanese incarnation of Transformers: Cybertron, known as Transformers: Galaxy Force, was produced apart from Armada and Energon, the series, as originally conceived by Hasbro, was as the third part of the trilogy. The English language dub of the series treats it as such. Consequently, inconsistencies arise between Cybertron and the other two series, but have been explained by the Cybertron comic book, available exclusively through the Official Transformers Collectors Club, as the result of fluctuations in the fabric of reality caused by the Unicron-induced black hole.
Nearly all the chrome is worn off, the tips of both smokestacks are broken, the fists and guns and voice box are long gone, there's a huge chip of plastic broken off one of the shoulders. I still have the trailer, but it's also broken in a few places. The door is gone. The spring-loaded gimmick doesn't work anymore. The repair drone broke off entirely near one of the joints on the main arm and was thrown away many years ago.
Optimus Prime would also be a major character in Devil's Due Publishing's various G.I. Joe meets the Transformers series. Devil's Due Publishing does not address Prime's early years, save that he survived an assassination attempt by Bludgeon soon after receiving the Matrix. The traditional Ark storyline left the transformers crashed on Earth. In this series, instead of being reactivated by the Ark, the transformers and the ark were discovered by the terrorist organization called Cobra. The transformers inside were reformatted into Cobra vehicles, remotely controlled by the Televipers. Prime was turned into a Cobra Sentry Missile System tank, which was a 1985 Sears store exclusive red repaint of the HISS tank. After an attack on a U.N. summit in Washington D.C., Optimus was able to get a message to Wheeljack, alerting G.I. Joe to where the Cobra base was hidden. Subsequently, he and the other captive Autobots and Decepticons broke free. After the ensuing battle, Optimus fought and defeated his enemy Megatron. After Megatron's defeat, the transformers returned to Cybertron in a second Ark Class vessel, but not before giving their human allies the ability to build and use mecha based on Transformers technology.
After having spent an extended period of time lost on Quintessa, Optimus was returned to Cybertron by the Turbomasters during their efforts to retrieve the similarly lost Flash, who he had been drawn into Perceptor's Dimensional Interface Assembly. The Age of Wrath Pt.5 Though badly damaged, Optimus led an insurrection against the then Megatron-controlled Cybertron, and successfully overthrew his enemy from power, all the while thwarting a Quintesson invasion. The Age of Wrath Pt.6
Like all Predacons Rising releases, the Optimus Prime/Predaking two-pack was exclusive to Target stores in the United States and Canada and to Tesco stores in the UK, and is also supposed to be exclusive to Carrefour elsewhere in Europe (presumably in France and/or Spain, though there have been no sightings as of yet). It has also been found at Rossmann drug stores in Germany and Ripley stores in Chile and popped up at BigW stores in Australia much later, in mid-2014. Also, like all Predacons Rising multi-pack redecos of Beast Hunters Cyberverse figures, the Cyberverse logo is nowhere to be found on the packaging.
Of particular note to Prime completists is that this otherwise traditional reissue of the Generation One Prime cab has a brand-new head sculpt which is essentially a miniaturisation of the Masterpiece/20th Anniversary Prime's noggin. Not only does this give the "classic" Prime toy a more show-accurate head, it's also the first iteration of this familiar mould in which the head is actually poseable. Being one of the better-articulated early Generation One toys, Prime can finally look in any direction he can aim.
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.
The largest Action Master set, this incarnation of Optimus Prime is a non-transforming action figure which comes with the "Armored Convoy", a large, heavily armed tractor trailer. The cab of the truck transforms into a small jet that can seat one Action Master figure, while the trailer itself converts into a larger battle station with turrets that several Action Masters can man. The sculpt of the Prime figure itself is closely based on his character model, albeit with a coloration that seems to have been based at least partially on the small robot form of his Powermaster body.
While the Transformers animated series came to an end in America in 1987 after The Rebirth, production was continued in Japan with three new, exclusive animated series spin-offs to continue the story. The first of these series, Transformers: The Headmasters, supplanted the events of The Rebirth. With the Decepticons defeated, the Autobots entered into an even closer relationship with Earth. The Autobots also began the colonization of other worlds, the first of which was the planet Athenia, where Optimus Prime was stationed. It soon became apparent, however, that the consequences of releasing the energy of the Matrix to cure the Hate Plague were more far-reaching than Optimus had anticipated. Without the energy of the Matrix to act as a balancing factor, Vector Sigma had become destabilized. The Decepticons suddenly returned to exploit this, assaulting Cybertron in order to seize control of the mega-computer. Prime took a squad of troops to aid in the battle on the planet. When the arrival of the Autobot Headmasters tipped the battle in their favor, Prime broke off from the main attack and headed down into the depths of the planet, planning on stabilizing Vector Sigma at any cost.
This Kabaya candy toy of Cybertron Optimus Prime transformed into cab mode through disassembling into its component pieces and being rebuilt, hence the line's name of Blockformers. He came with his hand-held rifle, and a stick of chewing gum. Each figure in the Blockformers line came with additional pieces that could combine with Prime to either make his trailer in vehicle mode, or convert his robot form into Super Mode. Prime himself came with his missile pod/shoulder brackets, his leg armor and guns, his right cannon came with Leobreaker, his backpack and wings came with Override, his Super Mode head came with Scourge, and his left cannon came with Evac.
The brand was yet to get its biggest revitalization, though. In 2007, Paramount Pictures released a high-budget live-action movie. Though many long-time fans resented the changes in style and story that the movie brought forth, it performed incredibly well at the box office and launched the brand into the public eye all over the world. Now, everyone recognized the concept of alien robots disguised as cars, and everyone associated the concept with the name: Transformers.
Released as part of the Target-exclusive Reveal The Shield subline, this Tiny Turbo Changer 3-pack contains a redecoed Optimus Prime and Bumblebee (in their first non-blindpacked release) and a new Steelbane figure. This version of Optimus features red wheels & Tech Spec-esque patterns on his robot mode chest and... groin-flaps, though the real decoding is on his vehicle mode roof, which when seen through the attached clear-red weapons (or similar plastic device) reveals... an Autobot symbol. Surprise.
A retool of Crash Combiner Optimus Prime available in a two-pack with Grimlock, featuring a new Optimus Prime-ish Combiner head and new arm parts with a green dinosaur-themed front shoulder pads, and he features a lighter shade of red plastic. Like the previous versions, Optimus Prime can become the top half of any Crash Combiner gestalt, though his official combination is with Grimlock as Primelock.
Another release of the Reveal the Shield Legends Class sculpt. The deco for its initial release is unchanged from the Transformers release from 2012, whereas the tooling is identical to the 2012 release's running change variant, with the retooled hands and a hole on the back of his head/top compatible with Cyberverse 3mm pegs. Bizarrely, the package art is lifted directly from the Generations Legends Class Optimus Prime/Autobot Roller two-pack's packaging, whereas the stock photos depicted on the back of the packaging are taken from Reveal the Shield Optimus Prime's packaging and only slightly altered, advertising a "Reveal the Shield" rubsign gimmick the toy doesn't actually have. Meanwhile, Hasbro's official stock photos provided to online retailers (including an in-packaging photo) depict the toy with the sword that came with the running change variant of the sculpt's 2012 release, even though the actual toy doesn't include the sword.
If Optimus led his troops back to the Decepticons’ poison lab, the convoy happened upon the Decepticons hauling barrels of poison out of the poison lab. Windcharger and Ironhide suggested two different plans to Optimus: Windcharger wanted to use his magnetic powers to cause a confusion, while Ironhide wanted to simply go in for a full frontal assault.
This reissue of the original Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime figure was made using the modified version of the mold created for Robots in Disguise Scourge, lacking the sculpted Generation 2 Autobot insignias on the disks featured on the original. It sported a modified deco, with the flat grey plastic on both the trailer and Prime's chest now replaced with silver chrome; additionally, new Autobot symbol tampographs were added to the doors of Prime's cab mode and the front end of his trailer, and a pair of new chest-window stickers featuring an illustration of the Matrix of Leadership replaced the original decals.
Oh, also, I should add that I would like to see if this trend is the same for specific themes, or just over all themes. Although I would guess that the individual themes would show the same general trend you discuss here, one reason individuals might believe in the “price increase fallacy” might be because of the individual themes they support. But again, I think that if you do this, you will find the themes fit the trend as well. If you are looking to go into the numbers more, this might be an interesting area to investigate.
Available exclusively from Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape in July 2011, concurrently with a range of exclusive Transformers t-shirts, "Convoy Reissue BAPE Ver." (コンボイ復刻版 BAPE® Ver.) is a redeco of the original Optimus Prime toy sporting a unique new green color scheme, along with a tan trailer decorated with a camouflage pattern. Both trailer and Prime himself feature the A Bathing Ape logo in place of an Autobot symbol, while the floor of the trailer's Combat Deck mode features new Bathing Ape-themed labels. The figure comes in a recolored version of the original Japanese Optimus Prime packaging.
Released in the first wave of the Authentics toyline, "Autobot Optimus Prime" is a new mold the size of a 2015 Robots in Disguise Battle Pack toy. He changes from an evergreen-inspired robot into a more G1-based truck in just four steps. His instructions are incorrect; for truck mode, his legs must be folded in before the arms, otherwise the locking tabs on the arms will get in the way. Due to his transformation, he ends up with no elbows and a fake chest. He also has problems standing up due to hollow legs.
I suspect that part of the problem with people’s perception of price is also due to changes in tastes as they grow up. A small child will be pleased with relatively small sets, since their lego collection and experience is likely to be almost non-existent. But as they get older, they will tire of the small sets and want ever bigger sets. For adults, most of the fun is in building rather than playing, meaning that size is everything. This means that over their lifetime, the price an individual person (or their parent) pays for lego sets does go up–because the composition of their purchases changes–even though the prices of lego sets over time does not.
Having been removed from toy store shelves after 1985, Optimus Prime was made available as a mail-away toy in the "Digital Doom on the Highway to Destruction" offer in the US in 1986 to coincide with the Transformers movie premiering that year. He cost $21.50 and 5 Robot Points. He was also offered in 'The Autobots Have A Special Mission For...' mail-away pamphlet and came with a special "Movie Edition Certificate" and a round sticker that read " Movie . Edition . Transformer" with the Autobot symbol in the middle. (This item is considered rare.)