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.
After the film, in season three, Rodimus did not have time to rest on his laurels as commander, immediately finding himself and the Autobots targeted by the Quintessons, who lured him to their planet of Quintessa and detonated it in hopes of destroying the Matrix. Rodimus and the Autobots survived, however, and Rodimus proceeded to voluntarily short-circuit himself to allow his life-force to enter the Matrix, feeling that the answer to the mystery of the Quintessons' identity lay within it. His hunch proved correct – the Quintessons, he discovered, were the Transformers' creators, and Rodimus knew that the future would be a difficult time for the Autobots.
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.
Not long after his resurrection, Optimus was alerted by Monitorus to an attack on Tau-Ursa. Optimus's impending speech was interrupted by a Decepticon attack led by Sixshot. Prime soon discovered that the attack was a diversion, while Galvatron tried out his Nullification Cannon on Cybertron's Energon supplies. Optimus rushed to the Energon plant, but, after clouting Slugslinger so hard that the Decepticon was left dangling over a precipice, Prime's morals forced him to rescue the Decepticon instead of stopping Galvatron from getting away.
At this point in the future, the Autobots had become something of a group of peacekeepers among the many races in the galaxy, and Rodimus would attend many meetings, parties and conferences to this end, most notably chairing the peace conference between the planets of Xetaxxis and Lanarq. Despite the brave public face he wore at these events, his own doubts continued to plague him, and he was particularly fazed by Galvatron's threat of an "ultimate weapon", though the revelation that this was a bluff stirred him to action. Later still, Rodimus was among the Autobots who had their minds transferred into synthetic human forms by crime lord Victor Drath, who used their Transformer bodies to commit crimes. While Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Springer tackled this problem, Rodimus returned to Drath's compound where he was aided by Drath's mole, Michelle, between whom a spark of romance seemed to bloom, until she betrayed him to Drath. Through a combined effort, however, Drath was brought to justice and the Autobots regained their bodies.
Another Hasbro release of the MP-10 mold, which is basically a reissue of the 2010 Transformers line's Masterpiece Optimus Prime, but with the Japanese release's ID Number. Surprisingly he is NOT mistransformed on the initial official photography... until secondary stock photos had the vehicle mode slightly mistransformed. Unlike the original, Hasbro version, this version features silver paint on the interior of the trailer. This version also removes the red paint on the die cast hinge piece in his body and replaces it with blue paint. Sadly, this figure doesn't come with the Key to Vector Sigma. Due to compact packaging, the trailer is prone to scuffing.
This toy, as well as "Shake Bulkhead", was a bit of a chore to obtain. First you had to buy a Happy Meal on July 30th or 31st, which netted you a Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime or Bumblebee toy and a "weekend exclusive Special DVD and MechTech Sheet with red ticket". Said ticket was then traded in at participating toy stores when buying any Dark of the Moon toy to get one of the two charms. (Completing the set with "Potato Bumblebee" was considerably easier, at least.)
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 "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 Gary Chalk, who previously voiced Optimus Primal in Beast Wars and Beast Machines.
Part of the first wave of Age of Extinction: Generations Leader Class toys, this is yet another completely new "big" Optimus Prime figure. While smaller than the First Edition toy, this one features more silver and chrome paint in vehicle mode, a more poseable robot mode, and a Vector Shield accessory instead of the Sentinel Shield. Unlike the First Edition figure, Leader Class Optimus Prime's pauldrons and hip-skirts are formed from truck kibble, giving him a marginally smaller backpack. His accessories have roughly the same functionality as the First Edition toy, with his sword being hand-held and pegged onto his hands or storing underneath the truck, and his shield mounting onto his left forearm or storing on the back of the truck. Additionally, the sword sheath underneath the truck can be folded up and used in robot mode.
Instead of his trailer, Prime can alternately combine with Armada Jetfire, who forms a pair of legs, as "Jet Prime" (Jet Optimus on the cartoon, or "Jet Convoy" if you own the Japanese version). In addition to this, Armada Overload can form a pair of massive cannons that attach to either Prime's base mode, or mount over the shoulders of his super robot torso (with either his trailer or Jetfire as legs), forming Optimus Prime Megaweapon (or Magna Convoy).
Optimus Prime is a redeco of Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime with predominately red forearms and red/silver thighs, which it was meant to be a Generation 1-inspired deco. He comes bundled with redecos of The Fallen, Megatron, Jetfire, and Starscream in a Kmart-exclusive five-pack. To date, this is the only Hasbro release of this figure that acknowledges the combining feature between Jetfire and Optimus Prime.
As a result of striving for vehicle realism and painstaking accuracy to his visual portrayal in the live-action films, this Optimus Prime ends up being ridiculously complex. Transforming him back into a truck is probably more complicated than shown in the movie and can only be considered torture. Very unfortunately, the instructions for this toy are infamous for being amazingly vague and unclear in their visual depiction of the transformation steps, making transformation even harder. Also, let us not forget that, upon transforming him back to robot mode, he will declare his identity over and over and over and over and over until you're finished.
Optimus Prime was originally known as Orion Pax, a police captain from Rodion. An encounter with a pre-Decepticon Megatron would change the course of his life, teaching him that freedom was not just the right of all "civilised" beings, but of all sentient beings, and causing him to publicly reclaim the name "Autobot", previously used only at Cybertronians as a derogatory term, before the corrupt Senate.
The TakaraTomy version of Premium Series Optimus Prime has a considerably different deco to Hasbro's release. Similar to the unique chrome Optimus Prime, Optimus Prime Battle Mode features vacuum-metallized parts for nearly all of the silver truck parts, for a greater resemblance to the polished chrome on the real prop trucks. Unfortunately, as his feet are the front fenders and grill, this will likely lead to chipping. In robot mode he retains several decos that were removed from Hasbro's Premium Optimus Prime for cost reasons, such as the blue and gold decos on his thighs. Finally, the flip-out energy sword is coloured gold to reflect its "powered up" appearance.
In this universe, Optimus is a veteran military commander and second in command who wields an ion blaster and a double bladed energon axe. He became the leader of the Autobots after Zeta Prime fell in battle, but is not certain he wants the responsibility. The war with the Decepticons was going badly, and it looked like there was no end in sight. He vowed to himself and to the warriors under his command that he would never surrender, never retreat, and never stop fighting until the Decepticons were defeated.
After many battles on Earth, Optimus died by standing purposefully in the path of the Hydra-Cannon built by Megatron from the three Mini-Con weapons, the Star Saber, the Skyboom Shield, and the Requiem Blaster. He managed to partially reflect the beam, damaging the Hydra-Cannon. It was the Mini-Cons themselves, however, who resurrected him, entering the Matrix and reconstructing a new body for him. Subsequently, Unicron forced Optimus to face the dark part of his soul and that, on some level, he enjoyed the thrill of combat. Following Unicron's defeat, Optimus's denial was sorely tested as Galvatron, an upgraded Megatron, forced him into one final furious battle. The battle ended when Starscream sacrificed himself to end the circle of hate that powered Unicron. Floating through space, Optimus found the Matrix, but said he did not deserve it. Before beginning the battle with Galvatron, he was upgraded by the minicons. His red torso turned black and he was able to battle Galvatron one on one.
In 2017, the Jazz action figure from the "Power of the Primes" line featured printed in Cybertronian alphabet "MAGA", an acronym for the phrase "Make America Great Again" most notably associated with Donald Trump and Alt-right. A spokesperson for Hasbro responded to io9 about the issue and stated that it was inserted onto the figure by one of their vendors and would address it with them.
Also, as a new feature, most figures include advanced "automorph technology", which is designed to create quicker and easier conversion, which means moving one part of the vehicle or robot causes other parts to move, creating a final shift to battle mode; this was successful because the transformation was more complex in the movie line than in any other Transformers toy line.
Alternatively, if Optimus chose to retreat either when initially confronted with the overwhelming Decepticon threat, or after realizing that his troops are too weak to fight after ordering them to concentrate their firepower equally amongst the intruding Decepticons, the ensuing underground adventure can have multiple outcomes; the Autobots become the captive of the Insecticons, forcing Optimus to either entrust Beachcomber with the fate of his troops, or to bargain with the Insecticons for the safe release of his Autobots; or dealing with the theft of the Sun-Pak by either duelling Megatron for the device's ownership, stealing the Sun-Pak back from the Decepticons or charging Mirage and Buster with the device's retrieval. If Optimus duels Megatron for the device, he either wins through brute force or by being more "cunning" than Megatron and destroying the device before the Decepticons can claim it as their victory prize. If Optimus attempts to steal the Sun-Pak under the Decepticons' noses, Optimus is shot by Megatron when the Decepticon leader notices Optimus and Smokescreen skulking towards the Sun-Pak. The Autobots nonetheless retrieve it when Smokescreen blots out the sun with his emission fumes, forcing Megatron to pass the Sun-Pak towards Buzzsaw in order to bypass the Autobots' smog cover, only for Optimus to intercept Megatron's pass and drive away with the Sun-Pak in Autobot possession. Finally, if Optimus has entrusted the Sun-Pak's retrieval to Mirage and Buster, the Autobot leader makes the duo swear not to engage the enemy for fear of their safety. If his Autobots keep their promise to him, Optimus is called in alongside the rest of the Autobots when the Insecticons are discovered, and Optimus leads a successful ambush towards the Insecticons, at the cost of the Sun-Pak itself. Attack of the Insecticons
LEGO is not ignoring the lower priced market, however. As we can see from the chart below, the average price of a set of LEGO has been relatively stable since the 80s2. Even with the average piece count of sets increasing over time, the average price has remained stable. This shows that for all the larger expensive sets being released, they are also releasing plenty of average priced sets that balance out the average. Not only has the size of sets increased but so has the number of sets released per year (prices are in US dollars).
A extensive retool of Lockdown, transforming into a Lamborghini Centenario. An exclusive to Walmart stores and part of the "Autobots Unite" subline, While almost the entire figure has been remolded, the lower legs and feet remain unchanged. The figure is overall a bit taller in stature than the base mold and includes extra steps in the transformation which further differentiate the two. Uncommon for deluxe class toys, the figure does not include any weapons or accessories.
A new series of reissues means a new release of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure, and Takara's Encore series proved no different. This edition of the figure featured no extra accessories, but it did include the original, thick-barrelled version of Prime's rifle, as reinstated to the mold by the Transformers Collection version of the toy a few years prior. Both his blue and red plastics are lighter than normal, though not to the extent of Hasbro's 25th Anniverary releases. Notably, this edition addresses the small but persistent issue of Prime's shoulder-sticker: the figure's shoulders are textured with small bumps, which had, since 1984, made evenly applying the Autobot symbol sticker to his left arm a challenge. Encore Prime finally replaces the sticker with a tampograph, and also adds one to his right shoulder for symmetry.
Bumblebee, being the popular character he is, was one of the first five characters inducted into the Hall in 2010, during a ceremony at BotCon; the convention for all things Transformers. He was joined, not surprisingly, by other super-popular transformers: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, and the Dinobots. Humans enshrined in the Transformers Hall of Fame over the last few years include everyone from director Michael Bay to Peter Cullen (the iconic voice of Optimus).
The 2010 Transformers "Reveal the Shield" Legends Class Optimus Prime sculpt in the deco from the first Chronicle EZ Collection wave (see below) was released as a "Dollar Store" exclusive (available at stores such as Dollar General and Big Lots) in generic 2010 Transformers packaging packaging alongside Starscream, Bumblebee and Megatron. The initial release saw the copyright year removed, while a later running change variant featured the new tooling originally used for Generations Legends Class Motorbreath, with not only the retooled hands and a hole on the back of his head/top of his vehicle mode compatible with 3mm posts, but also Motorbreath's sword accessory.
Available only at KB Toys, Machine Wars Optimus Prime is a redeco and slight retool of the European Generation 1 exclusive Turbomaster leader Thunder Clash, transforming into a Cybertronic truck cab. It's easy to see why Thunder Clash was chosen to become the new Optimus Prime, given his adherence to Prime tradition: the cab disconnects to become the robot, while the trailer unfolds to become an assault tower with twin missile launchers. On the original Thunder Clash version of the mold, the launchers operated on a gravity-feed system that saw a new missile drop into the launcher from above each time one was fired, allowing for twelve to be fired in rapid succession, but for Machine Wars Prime, this feature had to be dialed back for safety reasons. The missiles had to be lengthened to prevent choking hazards, and so the toy's launchers were modified to accommodate them, becoming straightforward spring-loaded single-firing weapons.
A second die-cast vehicle representing Prime was also part of the Mini Car Collection, this one a red redeco of Majorette toy #291, a Chevrolet K-10 pick-up. To distinguish it from the other Optimus vehicle, this one is randomly allocated the "Super Mode" label, and features an image of the leader in his powered-up form on is hood in addition to the Autobot symbol and series logo.
General Optimus Prime hailed from Primax 096.0 Beta. Ask Vector Prime, 2015/09/06 During the third Cybertronian war, General Optimus Prime profile card he fought on Earth against Megatron: in the Battle of Sherman Dam, the two fought directly but the battle would have gone against the Autobots if not for the arrival of the Dinobots. Ask Vector Prime, 2015/09/06 In the latter stages of the war, he upgraded himself with heavier armor and weaponry in order to match Megatron's flight and combination upgrade.
This redeco of the Ginrai tooling of the Powermaster Optimus Prime figure (released concurrently with the 2001 reissue of the Ginrai figure) was a Toys R Us Japan exclusive black repaint, made to represent the original Optimus Prime equipped for a special mission. All of his red and blue plastics were changed to black, his clear blue windows were now tinted red, making his overall colour scheme very reminiscent of the now-familiar 'Black Convoy' color schemes.
In true Prime style, forward portion of the vehicle mode detaches to become Prime himself, while the rear "trailer" transforms into a gun emplacement. In robot mode, the barrel of the truck's left cannon detaches to become a hand-held rifle for Prime, and the figure features an opening chest compartment concealing a removable Matrix of Leadership accessory. Prime's gigantic hands mean that he can't hold it especially neatly, but he can certainly grip hold of it. Atypical of both most Unicron Trilogy figures and indeed, Optimus Primes in general, Prime's hands are not designed to accommodate weapons with 5mm posts, instead featuring a small peg-hole in his palm that allows him to tightly grip objects designed to fit there, like his own rifle, Leobreaker's whip, Cybertron Wing Saber's swords, and Cybertron Metroplex's axe. However Cybertron Wing Saber's sword hilts will also act as adaptors allowing Prime to hold and use 5mm weapons.
In the Japanese exclusive Transformers: The Headmasters storyline (which replaced the "Rebirth" finale in Japanese continuity), Hot Rod appeared as part of Optimus Prime's inner circle. When Galvatron and his Headmaster warriors launched a devastating attack on Cybertron, Vector Sigma was damaged, and Hot Rod was sent to Earth to retrieve the Matrix. Recovering it, he returned it to Prime, only to be surprised when the ghost of Alpha Trion once again reformatted him into Rodimus Prime to help Optimus. After Prime's second death, Rodimus once again took command of the Autobots. However, when Scorponok destroyed Vector Sigma, Rodimus decided to leave the war, and left Fortress Maximus in command of the Autobots.
Produced as an action figure by the Japanese company Kaiyodo, the main selling point of the line is the 'Revolver' joint. This gives the figure a high degree of articulation, allowing for many dynamic and varied poses. Hot Rodimus is number 047 in the Yamaguchi series, and comes with extra sets of hands, a pair of pistols, an extra head (which is molded with his binocular vision, as seen in The Transformers: The Movie) and a display stand.
Released as part of the "W Convoy" campaign ("Double" Convoy, that is!) alongside a silver chrome version of Energon Rodimus, this gold chrome "Mēki" ("plating") version of the Deluxe size Optimus Prime toy was available only as a prize in a mail-in Robot Points contest. Initially limited to 20 units in the original draw, it appears that many more were made available through toy store drawings, given how many went on to appear on online auction sites through 2005 and 2006.
It uses the 1985 post-rub mold, no metal plates, and the trailer's launcher fires short(this can be modded with some disassembly, Toy Polloi has a video showing how). The wheels roll a bit iffy, this is a common documented issue. Personally I believe there is a slight molding error in the robot, the legs do not seem to fold down quite as far as an official cab's legs do, causing a very slight lean backwards.
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.
This line features robot versions of various Star Wars characters. Confirmed figures are Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Commander Cody and Jango Fett. Darth Vader turns into his custom Tie Fighter while Luke Skywalker turns into an X-wing. Jango Fett and Boba Fett become Slave I, and Commander Cody turns into a Turbo Tank. There is combiner of Millennium Falcon of two characters, Han Solo and Chewbacca and Primus/Unicron-like Death Star that transforms into a giant Darth Vader. There are more Star Wars characters into Transformers like General Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi. This line was later revived and merged into the Transformers: Crossovers toy line, many more Transformers included characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars like Ahsoka Tano who transforms into her Jedi starfighter, and Captain Rex who transforms into an AT-TE.
Like the original figure, Powermaster Prime is composed of two major components: his truck cab, which transforms into Prime himself, and his trailer, which is essentially a heavily-armed version of the original. The trailer has a fold-down ramp to allow the storage of a smaller Transformer, or perhaps spare accessories. The trailer transforms into a battle station armed with two long black rifles and two grey double-barreled cannons (featuring seating for Powermaster engine figures), all of which Optimus Prime can also wield in his fists.