This is a weird one. Back in the late-’80s, the original TV show had ended and Marvel Comics decided to take the “transform” part of the property a step further and gave a handful of Transformers an organic, human-looking shell. Bumblebee was one of the lucky Autobots to get one. According to the storyline, the Decepticons developed the technology first, but the Autobots secretly caught wind, made their own human shells, and fooled the bad guys into thinking they were fighting mere humans, until they burst out of their shells.
The set also includes a redeco of Generations War for Cybertron Optimus Prime figure, which changes the original figure's dark red plastic to a brighter, more vibrant red, changes the gray plastic to a darker charcoal tone, changes the "windows" from gray to nearly black, and replaces most of the original figure's pink-ish red paint details (which were yellow on the redeco from the "Rage over Cybertron" three-pack) to teal.
The original Ultra Magnus figure has been reissued and redecoed several times down the years, and this article strives to list each edition of the figure under its own heading. The first alteration to Magnus, however, was a running change made while he was still on shelves: Originally, his tires were made of rubber and he sported paint on both his small and large robot heads, but this version was soon replaced with one featuring plastic tires and no paint on either head. In addition, the clear yellow plastic that formed his windows was removed from the cab, leaving just holes instead; and his thighs and fuel tanks were left white, as opposed to the vacuum metalized chrome ones of the original release.
A large, non-transforming toy that features light & sound effects and voice tracks by Peter Cullen. The figure itself is a representation of Optimus Prime combined with Jetfire's parts - only designed for younger children. A lever on his waist extends his wings, and flying sounds are emitted when he is moved around off the ground. The Power Bots line replaces the 2007 Cyber Stompin' line of the first film.
The largest 2007 Transformers movie Optimus Prime toy, Leader Class Optimus Prime featured, at the time, the most accurate representation of the CGI designs' complex transformation sequence. He transforms into a heavily-customized Peterbilt 379 conventional extended-hood, and unusually for a mainline figure, he has rubber tires on all his wheels. His Ion blaster weapon is stored in the rear of the truck's bunk, exposed like an engine block. Though Optimus has no trailer, he has a hole where the fifth wheel hitch is sculpted in the rear of the truck, should owners find a suitable trailer to use. Due to safety reasons, the tips of his long smokestacks are made of rubber. A switch on top of the cab roof activates horn sounds and window lights.
Hot Rod is often portrayed as energetic, yet brash and headstrong, with an overwhelming self-confidence that borders on arrogance. As Rodimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, he is significantly more mature, physically powerful and instilled with the wisdom of the previous holders of the Matrix of Leadership. In a reversal of his behavior as Hot Rod, Rodimus is plagued by lack of confidence in his role as Autobot commander and often doubts his own decisions, feeling both inferior to and in some ways living in the shadow of the previous leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime.
Starscream was my first transformer. I got it because my parents bribed me to climb to the top of the pole in the gym class. Shit was scary. Do they even make kids do that anymore? Anyway, I protected that with my life. Sorry to hear about yours. I didn't have siblings at the time but within a few years I did have some who pretty much did destroy everything they touched. Luckily by then I was a teenager and figured out good hiding places for important stuff.
There is also the release of Optimus Prime as a deluxe sized brown gorilla which is a repaint of the Beast Wars 10th anniversary Optimus Primal toy most likely trying to tie Optimus Prime in some way to the jungle planet Animatros in the Cybertron series. According to his bio, Optimus Prime was temporarily mutated into this form by the Animatros Cyber Planet Key. The colors of this toy are a homage to Transformers: Universe Optimus Primal.
The second known version  ditched the triplechanging gimmick on the cab and simplified things a good bit. This Powermaster Prime has several distinct characteristics only seen in the second design, such as the wider "block head" and two faux smokestacks on top of either shoulder as opposed to one. Also, in a rather odd twist, this design features a black head and fists for both super and regular modes rather than the traditional blue. It also had yellow eyes in either mode a la the original Optimus Prime.
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.
Prime: First Edition Matrix of Leadership Optimus Prime converts from robot mode to his truck mode. He comes with a gun than he can wield with his hands, as well as peg onto his hitch in vehicle mode, with different pegs for either configuration. Similar to a previous Optimus Prime toy, he features some faux-kibble in the form of his actual windshield chest being covered by sculpted panels featuring his characteristic windshield-chest. His arms are slightly longer than his original design's arms.
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.D., 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.
This figure suffers from a design flaw, in that his knee joint pegs are slightly too big for their sockets, and that the resulting connection is so tight that it makes the sockets form stress marks and eventually crack, or even cracking during assembly. The problem can be remedied by simply sanding down the pegs prior to sliding the legs onto the peg.
Part of the first wave of Prime: Robots in Disguise Weaponizer Class toys, Optimus Prime is a large toy, similar in size to Leader Class figures from previous Transformers toylines. He features a simpler transformation and design compared to previous Leader-sized figures, with him having fake chest windows (again) and a simplified, hollow truck rear where his feet, arms, and fake chest windows are plainly visible. He comes with a blaster which can mount onto his hands, shoulder-pads, and the sides of his legs/truck rear.
During the promotion of the Transformers films, Optimus Prime appeared in several commercials. Optimus Prime, along with other transformers, were featured in several commercials for General Motors. Scenes with Optimus Prime were used in several General Motors commercials. A commercial for the Discovery Channel featured Optimus Prime singing part of a promotional song.
Optimus Prime features a MechTech Blaster that can convert into an Energon Battle Axe reminiscent of the Generation 1 character's iconic weapon, though the weapon cannot be locked in battle axe mode. There is also a pair of C joint rods on the underside of both forearms. His MechTech blaster can plug into the port on each of his arms or be held in either hand in robot mode, or plug into one of two holes on his truck roof/robot shoulders.
This is not to suggest that specialized pieces are bad. Far from it. LEGO Indiana Jones would never feel real without Indy’s whip; LEGO Board Games would never spring to life without their unique dice. But there’s no denying that specialized pieces are costly to produce, and their proliferation was a prime reason why the LEGO Group’s profits plummeted through much of the 1990s, despite steady sales.
Hot Rod would make his first IDW Publishing appearance in a Spotlight issue focusing on him. In this, he was shown to be newly promoted to command of a group of Autobots including Gizmo, Backbeat and Dealer, who had been sent to secure the Magnificence, a device of some sort that could predict the future. Getting past the guardians, Hot Rod was swapping it with a fake to prevent the Decepticons from getting their hands on it when a seeming Decepticon ambush wiped out his squad. Determined to rescue the only survivor, Dealer, Hot Rod staged a daring solo rescue mission that managed to rescue Dealer - unaware that he was really Doubledealer, a Decepticon spy sent by Banzaitron to retrieve the Magnificence and now out to find where Hot Rod had stashed it.
Optimus Prime was one of three Transformers characters immortalized in Gummy Candy form by the Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company. Released during the time when Classics had just replaced Cybertron on the toy shelves, Prime's candy depicts him in his Cybertron body, alongside Generation 1 Bumblebee and a kooky Cybertron/Classics Megatron cross-breed. The candies were all sold individually in blister bubbles.
The box seems to have been created rather hastily from the Japanese original. It is roughly identical to the Tomy release, but with the Japanese text edited out... mostly. Random Japanese text remains floating in space on the top of the back panel and underneath the "Jetwing Optimus Prime" name on the front. Curiously, the left flap has been rewritten to eliminate mention of NEST and the jetpack's ability to detach, while the right flap has been (badly) edited to remove all mentions of MechTech.
Available in a two pack set with Battle Changer Megatron, this Optimus is largely the same as as the single release, with some minor differences. He uses a new "double harness" piece on his torso instead of using two harnesses, leaving more space for his head to grip the neck-post. He also has different windshield decals, and his reds and blues are slightly darker. And, most obviously, he has an additional buildable trailer, though it doesn't really attach to the truck mode in any meaningful way.
Note: Although American importers shouldn't have too much trouble, those living in parts of the world using higher strength A/C current outlets should be warned NOT to simply plug the A/C adaptor in with only a socket adapter, as this will overload the device and fry it completely. Buying the appropriate kind of universal A/C adaptor and a stepup/stepdown transformer (the electrical kind) with advice from an electronics specialty shop is recommended.
When they could not reanimate him, they used his body as a lure instead, bringing the Autobots to their lab, where they are infected. As this "Hate Plague" began to spread across the galaxy, Sky Lynx retrieved a Quintesson, who fully restored Optimus Prime to life. Coating himself in Morgan's heat-resistant alloy, Prime reclaimed the Matrix from Rodimus and unleashed its concentrated wisdom to destroy the Hate Plague.
Refractor and Laser Prime were only available in a box set named "Chaos on Velocitron" that includes Dynamus and Quickswitch, Parsec and Autobot Nautica, Fastclash, and a Rodimus Prime Titan Master head. The set was officially announced by Hasbro to be a Toys"R"Us exclusive, and was sold at stores in the United States, Canada, and Hasbro's Asian markets (such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong). Despite this, it later became available via Amazon in the United States (but not in Canada) as well, actually sold by Amazon directly (as compared to a third-party seller).
As the two Titans battled, Optimus found Megatron watching the fight and demanded he assist them, but Megatron refused. When Trypticon swallowed the Enigma of Combination and took control of the Combiners, Optimus attempted to attack them as a distraction, but he was caught and the Combiners attempted to pull him apart. Optimus managed to break free of his captors and was further saved by the timely arrival of Megatron. Against Optimus's wishes, Perceptor returned and tricked Trypticon into swallowing the Matrix. Consumed However, this ultimately proved successful, and Trypticon released all that he had swallowed during the conflict before falling inert once again. The relief was short-lived, though, as Megatronus suddenly appeared before them, proving Optimus's fears. Optimus and Maximus attempted to surprise attack Megatronus, but he brushed off their blows and fired a beam through Optimus's chest, killing the Autobot once more. All Things Must Pass
With the Japanese Binaltech toy series having transformed into the Kiss Players line, the second figure to be released as a Kiss Players character was Hot Rodimus. Based on the same Ford GT mold as Mirage, Hot Rodimus features several differences from Mirage. First, it has a unique head sculpt, which includes a movable crest to allow a "visor" to be lowered over his eyes, referencing a scene from the animated Transformers Movie during which Hot Rod is on Lookout Mountain. Additionally, it includes a fishing-rod accessory, which can be split and connected in a different configuration to create a tri-barreled arm weapon, reminiscent of Hot Rod's exhaust-pipe blasters. The figure also includes a PVC figurine named Syao Syao and a CD featuring a Kiss Players radio drama. The vehicle mode stays true to the Ford GT's factory color scheme, lacking Hot Rod's signature "flame" detailing, and, like Binaltech, is fully painted. Meanwhile, the robot mode reveals additional orange and yellow body parts, such as the chest, abdomen, arms and hands, as well as flame-like paint applications on the lower arms to link the figure with the original Hot Rod.
The first Nightwatch Optimus Prime is an extensive redeco of the previously released Leader-class Optimus Prime, replacing most of his red and blue with different shades of blue and black. In fact, he resembles the original Diaclone Powered Convoy color scheme of Generation One Ultra Magnus's truck cab. The previously blue and red flames have been replaced with silver flames, as has various other decos, replaced by copper.
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.
Optimus Prime and his troops lay deactivated on the Fera Islands for three million years until G.I. Joe stumbled upon them one day in 1939. The Line The Autobots were reactivated by a repair drone and given new disguises, with Optimus Prime being reformatted into an unknown World War II-era human vehicle. He explained to Duke who they were, and learned that Megatron's Decepticons had been reactivated a year prior, and were currently wreaking havoc on Europe along with Cobra. While hesitant at first, Optimus Prime soon joined G.I. Joe in their mission to destroy Cobra and the Decepticons. Transformed After commanding the Aerialbots to get the Seekers out of the way, Prime advanced across the Fera Islands, but met resistance in the form of Rumble. Trial by Fire
What I find more interesting is who’s in this wave. Not only is there Hot Rod and Barricade in ’80s muscle car form, but Optimus Prime in his red G1 Peterbilt truck form (just with movie Optimus’ head! Maybe Bumblebee will explain the origin of his “rip off everyone’s face” fetish). Two versions of Bumblebee round out the wave, his traditional movie-verse Camaro and G1 VW Bug.
The Universe incarnation of Generation One Optimus Prime is a redeco of the Robots in Disguise Scourge's Spychanger toy, a smaller, simplified version of the original mold. He replaces most of the black plastic with predominantly red and blue, with silver for detailing, with an overall deco making him resemble the original Optimus Prime. Like most Spychangers, he features high speed axles and can roll very well across smooth surfaces, but lacks the weight to propel him quickly.
The Power Plus series are similar to the Power series, except these come with the core that unlocks extra features. The Bumblebee figures in this series are nearly the same as the Power series versions (Camaro ‘Bee’s Power Plus figure has his unmasked head), so if you’re going to get them, and you want the cores, go with these versions. If you want Optimus Prime at this size, though, you’ll have to go with this version.
In robot mode he resembles previous Optimus characters: his angular chest windows are reminiscent of Cybertron Optimus Prime, while his near-animalistic limbs and color scheme are evocative of Beast Wars Optimus Primal. He has excellent articulation due to his many ball joints, and is armed with a rifle. The flame attachment can fit onto the end of the (non-firing) gun barrel.
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.
The Transformers Animated series was broadcast internationally in 2008 except in Japan, where it aired in 2010. This new series uses a very different art-style from the previous series. The Autobots and Decepticons, while fighting in space for possession of the Allspark, crash-landed onto a futuristic Earth and resume their battle after laying dormant for years. In addition to the Decepticons, the Autobots have to face the human villains as well. Classic characters such as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Prowl, Starscream, Megatron, Jazz and Ultra Magnus appear in this series.
The Heroes of Cybertron PVC figurine line is an adaptation by Hasbro of Takara's own Super Figure Collection line. The main differences between the two lines is that Hasbro cast Autobot and Decepticon figures in clear blue or clear red PVC respectively, then completely painted the figurines. This allowed the eyes to 'glow' when placed in front of the light source.
In 1984, a volcanic eruption re-activated the Ark, which, in turn, brought the Transformers back on-line. Prime led the Autobots in their opening battles to prevent the Decepticons from plundering Earth's resources, but, following their initial victory, the Transformers were all deactivated by Shockwave. Shockwave killed Prime and leeched the energy of the Creation Matrix from his mind. He used this energy to give life to his creations, the Constructicons. Shockwave was unaware that the Matrix was not just a program in Prime's mind, but a physical object in his chest. Before Shockwave could give life to Jetfire, his next Decepticon, Prime transferred the Matrix energy into the mind of Buster Witwicky. Buster used the energy to turn Jetfire on Shockwave, allowing Prime to reclaim his body and retake leadership of the Autobots. As a reward, he gave Jetfire true life.
These include two large guns, patterned after the new weapons included with the G2 version of the classic Optimus Prime toy, which can be attached to the trailer in a similar fashion to those of Powermaster Prime. Also included are two additional (blue) Prime heads, sculpted explicitly in the style of Generation 2 comic artist Derek Yaniger's interpretation of Prime, especially as seen on the cover of the first issue, one pristine and the other battle-damaged.
Optimus Prime led a group of Autobots who left Cybertron aboard the Ark, which was shot down over Earth, sending them into stasis for four million years. Optimus was badly damaged in the crash, and the prognosis wasn't great, but he recovered in time to announce the Autobots had no choice but to involve the humans in their war. Following a battle at Dyson Dam, Prime persuaded Jetfire to join the Autobot team. When the Decepticons headed through the space bridge to Cybertron, Optimus followed, only for him and his team to be ambushed and imprisoned.
This Optimus Prime is a minor redeco of the One-Step Changer figure, omitting the paint apps on the knees, the flames on his shoulders, and changing the robot mode chest's deco. Along with his wavemate Bumblebee, Optimus Prime loses his pin on his leg, which is used to activate Stomp & Chomp Grimlock's pop-out weapons and gimmicks. As with the first wave of the Turbo Changers, Optimus features a nearly invisible tampograph on his vehicle front, which can be revealed with Mega Turbo Changer Dragonstorm's UV-powered Cyberfire gimmick.
Optimus was one of the many soldiers fighting under the command of the Autobot leader, Jetfire. He was among the Autobots who launched in the Ark to clear a path through an asteroid belt. When the Decepticons attacked the ship, he fought a Seeker Decepticon while Jetfire sent the Ark crashing into Earth, knocking everyone aboard offline. Four million years later, they were repaired when the ship's systems were reactivated by a volcanic eruption. In the Transformers
The character of Optimus Prime first appears in the 2007 Transformers film as the leader of the Autobots in the search for the Allspark. He intends to destroy it, even if it means sacrificing himself, before the Decepticons can use it to create a new army to conquer the universe. After arriving and scanning a Peterbilt truck, Optimus greets Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Banes, introducing his men and explaining why they have come to Earth. During the final battle, Optimus slays the hate-filled Decepticon Bonecrusher and faces his ancient enemy, Megatron. Unable to match Megatron in combat, Optimus urges Sam to push the Allspark into his chest, which will destroy them both. Instead, Sam rams the Allspark into Megatron's chest, destroying it and killing the Decepticon leader. The film ends with Optimus sending out a deep-space signal, inviting other Autobots to join them on Earth.
Excellent article. Especially for pointing out how different we remember things from ‘when we were kids.’ (I swear Optimus Prime was two feet tall!) My only criticism is linking to those two Brickset articles about supposed “quality decline”… the headlines are sensationalist and inflammatory, and a LEGO rep eventually replied to the spurious claims with information that deflates much of the (somewhat unfounded) criticism. Also the comments give me a headache. Otherwise great stuff!
TFcon has announced their latest guest update: Bill Ratner! People will recognize Ratner as the voice of Dashiell Faireborn in the Transformers Generation 1 cartoon. He is also better known by his code name Flint in G.I. Joe. TFcon 2019 is earlier than normal, taking place in Los Angeles, California from March 15-17. The guest roll call already includes Michael Bell, Neil Ross, Alan Oppenheimer, Paul Eiding, Arthur Burghardt, Michael Horton, Morgan Lofting, Jack Lawrence, Alex Milne, Donald - Read More
Thanks to the efforts of fellow Seibertron user, Sabrblade, we now have pictures of the box that Entertainment Earth's Transformers Select Series exclusive Red Swoop will be shipped in when he's available this March! As you can tell from the images it's just an ordinary brown box... But a brown box with symbols relating to the Power of the Primes line! You can see all the Prime symbols present and Cybertronian writing, which according to Sabrblade, when translated says: - Read More
In "Decepticon Air", Optimus receives a secret distress call from the Elite Guard ship that is carrying Decepticon prisoners. During the flight, the ship enters an electrical storm, which revives an inactive Swindle and he frees other prisoners to take over the ship. Transwarping to the ship via Swindle's personal transport field, Optimus joins forces with the Elite Guard, rounding up most of the Decepticons in the end.
The Diaclone Powered Convoy figure had several additional features and modes which were mostly excised or left unmentioned for the Transformers release of Ultra Magnus. Principally, Powered Convoy came packaged with "Powered Buggy", who was left out of Magnus's release (see notes below for further details). Omitted from Magnus's instructions is the ability of his chestplate and super robot head to combine to form a small vehicle; the Powered Convoy version of the figure included small rolling wheels on the underside of the chestplate which were removed for Ultra Magnus. Additionally, three additional modes were included in the Diaclone instructions that Hasbro left out: a "preparation base" mode and an "Autobot base" mode were excluded entirely, while the third, a "catapult launcher" mode originally intended and proportioned to accommodate the Diaclone Jet Robo figure that became Starscream, was shown only on the front of his packaging, interacting with Silverbolt. The Japanese release of Ultra Magnus—released as part of the Scramble City sub-line—did include instructions for the preparation base and catapult launcher modes, but replaced the original Autobot base mode with a new configuration.