A redeco of the sword-wielding version of Battle Masters Optimus Prime, Silver Knight Optimus Prime is a non-transforming "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots"-like toy with arms that punch through the use of levers in his legs. He can also be placed on the included controller handle, allowing the punches to be activated with a pair of triggers. Optimus Prime was only available in a Target-exclusive two-pack with Grimlock.
Also during this time, Micromasters were introduced, and would become one of the last sub-groups of Generation One. Micromasters were tiny Transformers created to compete with the Micro Machines, a hugely popular toy line of the time. While many of the figures had simple transformations and little detail due to their small size, the line eventually expanded to feature Micromaster Transports and Bases, in which Micromasters came with larger vehicles or bases that transformed.
At about 2/3 the size of the Smallest Transforming Transformers, this diminutive version of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime toy is the smallest figure of the Autobot leader made to date. It was sold as part of Takara's blindpacked Mini Toy Shop Collection line, a series of miniaturized figures from numerous classic Takara toylines, including Transformers, Microman, Licca-chan, Choro-Q and others. Both of Prime's modes are represented by non-transforming individual figures, which come together in a two-pack. In-box, his truck form is even packed in a miniature recreation of his original Japanese packaging, which also includes a shrunken version of his sticker sheet. A tiny version of the original Takara Transformers catalog completes the set.
Available in the Timelines "Generation 2" 2-pack alongside Sgt. Hound at BotCon 2015, General Optimus Prime is a redeco of Generations Voyager Class Roadbuster based on the cancelled Generation 2 General Optimus Prime toy. He transforms into an off-road vehicle and comes with numerous weapons, all of which peg via 5mm post onto his vehicle rear/legs, shoulders, upper & lower arms, and hands: a spring-loaded, missile-firing launcher, a pistol, a rifle, and two small cannons that respectively form the scope and stock of the rifle. All of his weapons can combine to form an unwieldy superweapon. It was unknown if this figure has the loose ratcheted shoulder joints from the Legends release of the mold.
Take one part bicycle, two pages out of the Flintstones automobile design book and one hard-spoiled child and you have a pedal car. It seems like a really fun idea in theory but, in actuality, the single-speed gearing of a bike mixed with the weight of the metal shell, seats and wheels meant operation of the thing bordered on child labor. Still, the pedal car remained very sought after for generations to come.
For Transformers: Age of Extinction, Optimus Prime initially transforms into a rusty 1973 Marmon semi cab-over truck and later on a new alternate mode in a blue and red Western Star 5700 Custom semi-truck. After humanity turns on all Transformers, regardless of faction, Optimus and the other Autobots go into hiding. Eventually, they find themselves being hunted by a rogue organization called Cemetery Wind. Optimus is severely injured in a trap set by the group, while many of the other Autobots, including Ratchet and Leadfoot, are slain. An inventor, Cade Yeager, comes to Prime's aid and helps restore his health. After uniting with a small band of Autobots, Optimus faces Lockdown, a ruthless bounty hunter allied with the humans, and KSI, an organization that produces man-made Transformers. Optimus is captured by Lockdown, but the Autobots rescue him. Optimus is quickly losing faith in humanity, but at the urging of Cade, chooses to stay and fight a resurrected Megatron and his new army. Prime awakens the ancient Dinobots, and rides a newly tamed Grimlock into battle through Hong Kong. He kills Lockdown and Harold Attinger at the film's climax as revenge for killing many of his friends, including Ratchet and Leadfoot. At the end of the film, he leaves Earth and flies off into deep space, seeking to find out the truth about his mysterious Creators.
As he and Prowl discussed the wisdom of evacuating, a huge explosion obliterated the Forum of Enlightenment. Optimus led a team there, realising that the destruction was a message from Megatron. Leaving his team, he ventured underground, encountering Shrapnel, who blasted him into a pit. The War Within #2 Exploring the underground, Prime had a strange vision of a transparent version of himself, which warned that he had to grasp Cybertron's significance. Then he was attacked by Soundwave and the Insecticons, whom he was able to easily best by using the labyrinthine environment to his advantage. He then felt himself led to a confrontation against Megatron, and both faction leaders met atop of a bridge, overlooking a deep abyss. Starscream blasted the bridge Optimus and Megatron were standing on, plunging them into the chasm. The War Within #3 Recovering, Prime heard another disembodied voice telling him about Cybertron. Before he could look for a way out, Megatron found him, and informed him about the true nature of the Matrix, telling Optimus how it could be used to power Cybertron's planetary engines, transforming it into a space-faring war-world. This spurred Optimus to fight back, but before long, Megatron took control of the battle, smashing his fist into Prime's chest to get at the Matrix. A blaze of light enveloped the pair, who found themselves abruptly on 20th century Earth. The War Within #4
Takara's version of the figure was released in their markets slightly earlier, as the first of what would come to be several installments in their Masterpiece line. In addition to coming with a cardboard trailer that the buyer could assemble to "complete" Prime's truck mode, Takara's release differed from Hasbro's by featuring longer smokestacks (kept short on the Hasbro version for safety reasons, but incorrectly shown to be long in the stock photography shown at right), and lacking the black scorch-marked "battle damage" paint applications Hasbro included on the figure's shoulders, wrists and abdomen.
Really great, well-researched article. I think you hit the nail on the head here – the fact that there are more expensive sets than ever before affects perception. Also, I’m pretty sure the presence of a baseplate (light but large) in the old sets made them seem bigger. I don’t like the lack of baseplates in new sets – it does make them seem smaller.
This military-colors redeco of the Auto Roller Dirtbag was planned for late Generation 2 and widely solicited alongside fellow redeco Sargent Hound, but never saw release. Transforming into an "earth mover" dump truck, he has an auto-transforming gimmick activated by rolling his rear wheels; roll forward to go to robot mode, and back to dump truck. A switch on his back end separates the gears of the gimmick, allowing him to roll freely in either mode. In vehicle mode, his missiles can peg onto the front end of the dump-bed for storage. In robot mode, he has a twin spring-loaded missile launcher in his right arm, and a clamping "stun gun" claw on the left.
Trailer (トレーラー Torērā) was often sleepy, but was the strongest of the BeCools. He could carry stuff in his trailer. The Self-Introduction Chapter When Trailer came across a traffic jam, he crashed into the BeCools holding him up, forcing them to transform into robot mode and realize they could just walk past the jam. The Story of the Surprising and Big Traffic Jam! When the same bunch of BeCools were stuck before a hole, Trailer selflessly used his body to act as a bridge for the other BeCools. Yellow Sports Car was so inspired by his heroism that he offered to fill the hole so that Trailer could pass through. Trailer did so and sped away, leaving Yellow Sports Car in the hole. The Story of Mister Trailer's Big Success!
The TakaraTomy version of Premium Series Optimus Prime has a considerably different deco from 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.
1. Color diversity: Back in the 80s, most sets were comprised of a few basic colors; red, blue, yellow, white, gray, and black. It was much easier to acquire a “critical mass” of pieces in each color to start building one’s own creations in coherent color schemes. Space, Town, Castle sets all had the same basic colors. Today Lego uses a much wider array of colors in their sets. While this adds a lot of variety and visual appeal to today’s sets, this means that one has to buy a much larger number of sets (or scour bricklink) to get achieve a workable critical mass of pieces in each color. After buying some of the modern sets, I end up with a few dark-blue or lime-green pieces that I don’t really have enough to much with other than use as accent colors. They end up in my misc color bin in the event I decide to build the set they originally came with or sell them off on bricklink.
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.
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.
Available exclusively at the Tokyo Toy Show 2012 (along with Prime Shining Optimus Prime), Black Optimus Prime is a very minor redeco of the previously unreleased Gentei! Gentei! black version of Henkei! Henkei! Convoy, itself a redeco of the Classics Voyager Class toy. As such, Black Optimus Prime is mostly cast in black plastic, with some gray parts, translucent red windows and teal paint operations.
Q-Transformers Optimus Prime is a super deformed toy based on his Age of Extinction design, transforming into a cute little Western Star 4900 SB. It was sold as an exclusive at Transformers Expo months before the proper release of the toyline. Being only one inch and a half tall, this is actually the smallest transformable figure of movie-verse Optimus Prime, and it even gets close to being the tiniest transformable Optimus Prime ever made if it wasn't for another slightly smaller Q-Transformers release.
Optimus battled alongside the Alternity to fend off the beast, when unexpectedly, Megatron overwrote the beast's higher functions with his own. At first, it seemed that the Hytherion had been killed, but a newly empowered Megatron (in two bodies) appeared and declared that, now possessing a power that rivaled the Alternity's, he challenged his opponents to take him on or see the multiverse itself burn. To Mega Therion
A giant-sized transforming Optimus Prime figure is set to be released for the third film. The set comes with a Leader Class-sized Optimus Prime figure and a trailer that transforms into his Omega Combat Armor - both of which combine to form Prime's Ultimate mode. This set will be released on August 1st, 2011, a month after the film's premiere.
A Bic Camera and Joshin Kids' Land exclusive, this redeco is the first release of the Prime: First Edition Deluxe class Optimus Prime figure in Japan, featuring a slightly lighter hue of red (the stock photography provided by TakaraTomy, showed Orion Pax's red plastic features more pink than its original toy, this seems to have been a trick of the lighting or a photoshop), and greyish blue plastic. He features several customer-applied foil stickers, including Decepticon insignias of varying sizes. He comes with a gold vac-metal version of the Arms Micron, R.A., as well as the normal blaster-cannon.
This series introduced the dangerous Predacon faction, robotic dragons and mythical creatures that posed a threat to Autobot and Decepticon alike. In response, the 'Bots and 'Cons don new armor (the Autobots in spiky, over-weaponized armor reminiscent of Mad Max, while the Decepticons take on more beastly traits) and are armed with new gimmick-laden launching/spinning weapons. On-package bios were reduced in length to just a sentence or two, and the instruction sheets instead feature facts about one of the figure's main weapons, as well as a chapter of the Tales of the Beast Hunters prose story.
Fire Blast Optimus Prime is a redeco of the previously released Power Hook Optimus Prime fast action battler. The color scheme is loosely based upon Generation 1 Rodimus Prime, explained rather oddly in the card bio as being the camouflage Optimus took while hunting Decepticons on Mars post-movie... because there are so many long-nose cabs driving around Mars. Yeah.
In this set, both the buildable Optimus Prime and the included Kreon figure are in the style of Beast Hunters Optimus Prime. In addition to the robot mode having a buildable shield and sword, both it and the vehicle build have two firing missile launchers. Additionally, four hands are included, with two possibilities for each arm. These Optimus Primes come with a buildable Predacon beast Lazerback and an Energon Kicker Kreon.
A Japan-exclusive release of the Voyager Class figure with a trailer and a different Mech Tech weapon. The trailer opens like the original G1 toy and fits up to two Deluxe Class vehicles of the same toy line. In addition, the trailer can hold over 20 Mech Tech weapons. The supplied Mech Tech weapon is a blaster with a retractable blade designed similarly to Optimus' forearm swords.
Generations Selects Ricochet and Red Swoop - Following our last news post regarding this new "Generations Selects" toyline (previously called "Select Series"), we finally have new images of the first two releases, Deluxe Class Red Swoop and Ricochet! These two figures are redecos of Power of the Primes Swoop and Jazz respectively. Red Swoop is based of the original G1 toy's colors (which can be found on the stock renders for the Power of the Primes toy), while Ricochet is meant to evoke the Headmasters character Stepper.
The Autobots United 5 Pack includes another redeco of Voyager Class Evasion Mode Optimus Prime. This release features the faceplated headsculpt and, unlike the rest of the set, which strives for screen-accuracy, features a heavily Generation 1-inspired deco. Deco changes include replacing most of the blue & grey plastic into red, with blue paint applied on it, and his dark grey plastic is now a lighter shade. His Ion Cannon is now painted black to resemble his Generation 1 toy's blaster, color-wise.
This miniature model kit of Energon Optimus Prime comes unassembled and unpainted, moulded mainly from white, red and black plastic and featuring some stickers for essential detail. Standing at around 4.5 inches tall, he comes with his Prime Force drones and can combine with them in the usual ways; while Fire-1, Gyro-2 and Digger-3 are moulded in their normal colours, Submarine-4 is stuck being black, and like every other non-color-molded, non-stickered detail on the kit, must be painted by the buyer. Prime's transformation involves removing his feet and head (an alternate Super Mode head is included, as his antenna does not transform into a helmet), and he does not come with a trailer for the Prime Force, but his gun can shoot small orange plastic BBs via a pressure-launching mechanism, and he comes with a small gold-chromed Energon star that fits onto his left shoulder. The kit also comes with "Episode 1" of the "Optimus Prime VS Scourge" mini-comic, printed on the back of the instructions.
In a completely different scenario, Optimus agreed to Prowl’s plan to go on the offensive and try and discover the full extent of the Decepticons’ plans. Optimus nominated Prowl, Bumblebee and Mirage to go along with him on the mission. The group refuelled with the gas that Sparkplug brought back from the Autobots’ secret storage area, and took off. The group soon happened upon the Decepticons’ lab in the middle of a barren, polluted wasteland.
Activision and Traveller's Tales, creators of the Lego Star Wars games, released Transformers: The Game in 2007, accompanied by Transformers Autobots and Transformers Decepticons, to tie in with the live-action feature film for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PC, Sony PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2. The player was able to play as both the Autobots and the Decepticons, pick up and throw objects, and transform at any time. The steering in vehicle mode was compared to that of the Grand Theft Auto games and had a free-roaming environment.
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.
What makes LEGO sets seem more expensive now is that the effective piece count seems lower. I remember that in the 80s, each set was full of bricks that were not overtly specialized only to that set. So they were useful for more things. Now the sets usually come with less bricks and plates (things that could be useful everywhere) and bring more things like minifigure accessories, flick fire missiles and other things that are not that useful. Although I think that everything was far worse in the late 1990s/Early 2000s than it is now.
The project was crowd-funded through Japanese crowd-funding site Makuake. For 5,400 yen, contributors received an INFOBAR Optimus Prime, or for 16,200 yen, received INFOBAR Optimus Prime, INFOBAR Megatron and INFOBAR Bumblebee, the only way to obtain the last two items. The project received one million yen in the first 24 hours, ultimately topping out at over 32 million yen.
The styling is a little blocky, but these are toys aimed at a younger audience that actually wants to play with their Transformers. They don’t need 45 step transformations that result in perfect representations of what they see on screen. They want something that they can switch quickly between modes and that have added play potential, with power-up engines that unlock special features.
Optimus and Wheeljack returned to Autobot HQ after an absence to find Grimlock had taken leadership. Though they failed to resist him, he soon bored with leading the Autobots and let Optimus take command again. Me, Grimlock, King Impressed with Bumblebee's success as team leader, Optimus assigned Pipes to lead a team. The B-Team Part Deux With Optimus badly damaged and without the Matrix, the Autobots were driven off Earth and sought refuge on Cybertron. Once Optimus had recovered, he put together a team which returned to Earth and retook it from the Decepticons, with Optimus badly damaging Megatron in combat. All Hail Megatron
When Sergeant Hound apprehended a criminal going by the name "C-81", rumors that the prisoner was in reality a "Megatron" that had gotten past the TransTechs' security procedures piqued General Optimus Prime's interest. Though Cheetor assured him that it was impossible for a "Megatron" to have been allowed in Axiom Nexus, the General's concerns did not fade. More pressing concerns took over, however, when the entirety of Axiom Nexus, and nearly all of the TransTechs suffered a sudden shutdown due to a surge in the Global Net. General Optimus Prime tasked Bruticus with keeping guard over the prison while he and Hound went to investigate the source of the surge, the planet's core.
There is one aspect not looked at in the price and that is the shift to model building vs. creation leading to a change in the utility of the pieces. I seem to need many more sets to get a useful variety of pieces these days as many of the sets contain a lot of pieces that are very specific to the needs of the set and are less useful when one wants to create their own designs. It would be a fascinating addition to rate each of the block types on its utility, perhaps by its prevalence in other sets, and then assess each set on its total utility score. So then the question is how many sets would you need to by to achieve different levels of utility and how has this changed over time.
This Japanese-exclusive reissue of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime figure featured tinted blue windows, like those sported by the "Goodbye Convoy" edition of the toy, as well as show-accurate blue eyes. Prime came with all his original accessories, including both versions of his rifle, as well as a new die-cast metal Matrix of Leadership accessory, which could be looped around his neck on a removable chain. Additionally, the set included a show-accurate redeco of the Action Master Optimus Prime figure, a sheet of Autobot insignia stickers of varying sizes, and a mouse pad decorated with the Autobot symbol.