Function: Autobot Leader
Motto: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
Optimus Prime is the largest, strongest and wisest of all Autobots. His role is to protect all life in the fight to defeat the Decepticons. Splits into three autonomous modules: 1) Optimus Prime...the brain centre known as the commander, 2) Roller, the Autobot scout car...a spy who operates up to 1200 miles away, 3) Autobot headquarters...the combat deck equipped with a versatile mechanic/artillery robot. Injury to one module is felt by the other two.
Optimus Prime is one of, if not the most well known and recognised Transformers. As with the majority of the other original Autobots, Optimus Prime was first released in Japan in 1983 under the Diaclone line named "Battle Convoy".
Although there are several differences between Battle Convoy and the Optimus Prime figure, Battle Convoy does share similarities with Hasbros initial pre-rub sign Optimus Prime and Takaras own 1985 release of Convoy. These details are documented further down the page.
Optimus Prime transforms into a Kenworth K100 cab over engine truck and pulls a large silver trailer, there are 10 wheels in total each with rubber tires. Transformation is straightforward and he comes with lots of accessories to loose. The trailer is also large enough to fit an Autobot car or several Minibots.
The cab transforms into the recognisable robot mode and the trailer opens up to become a command base or a repair bay. The combat deck robot in the trailer also has an opening canopy which would have sat an Inch Man, there are also 2 other seats in the trailer which would have sat the other inch men. The combat robot can fire missiles and has an articulated arm which can perform repairs on Optimus Prime.
The trailer also features a spring loaded launcher which fires out the small scout vehicle called Roller (or "Buggy" in Japan). The strength of the spring was limited by Hasbro but can be easily modified, although you have to trim away a small plastic tab which stops the launcher.
This figure is a must for any G1 fan; though the originals can be quite pricey for those in good condition, there are still plenty of reissues available for decent prices on the secondary market.
History (not including Ultra Magnus releases)
Battle Convoy, Diaclone (Takara, 1983)
Camion Convoy Portauto, Diaclone (GiG, 1984)
|Technically this is really "Ultra Magnus" however this is the only Diaclone "Optimus Prime" that Italy got at the time. The colours are identical to Takaras Battle Convoy and came with blue fists. Source: Maz|
Diaclone Truck, Diaclone (Joustra, 1984)
G1 (Hasbro, 1984)
Canadian box variant, G1 (Hasbro, 1985)
Convoy, G1 (Takara, 1985)
Convoy vs Megatron VSX (Takara, 1985)
|The Convoy included in this set is identical to the Convoy 01 release.|
Pepsi giveaway, G1 (Hasbro, 1985)
G1 (Milton Bradley, 1985)
|Red foot variant - this version possibly came about due to a mix up in the factory where they were applying paint to the diecast metal sections. A very sought after variant. Source: 20th Century Toy Collector|
G1 (Cegi Revel, 1985)
|Red foot variant. Source: eBay|
G1 (IGA, 1985)
Commander, G1 (GiG, 1985)
Commander, G1 (GiG, 1986) - Plastic variant
|Italian "Commander" / Optimus Prime; similar to the later Ultra Magnus versions this variant has plastic wheels and feet though retains the metal chest. Source: Elvin Pena|
Good Bye Convoy, G1 (Takara, 1986)
Convoy Trophy, G1 (Takara, 1987)
|Trophy made for Takara staff to commemorate Transformers 3rd anniversary. The plaque reads "Transformers 3rd Year Anniversary, June 11th, 1987. Takara, Inc"|
Convoy Trophy, G1 (Takara, 1988)
|TV Magazine lucky draw limited to 100 pieces, the plaque reads "Transformers colouring contest: Congratulations TV Magazine, March 1st 1988, Takara."|
G1 (Marcanka, 1988)
Chinese Reissue, G1 (Hasbro, 1990)
|The particular specimen was sold in Portugal. One way to identify a Chinese reissue is to check the borders around the photographs of the Truck, robot and base on the front of the box; if they are black then it is a reissue. Another tell is a small sticker with Chinese text in the corner on the box flap. Source: Maz|
European Exclusive Reissue, G1 (Hasbro, 1991)
|Later light blue variant. Source: eBay|
|This is the Italian box variant. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
|The first Transformer reissue released in 2000 had to be Optimus Prime. This Japanese release was very different to Takara's initial 1985 release. It comes with a silver Buggy with 2 pegs on the back end, the thin gun, black missiles, and the fists have been remoulded to allow the robot mode to hold the gun better than it initially could. The spring on the trailer though not as strong as the Diaclone version is still stronger than Hasbros original version. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
15th Anniversary Gold Version (Takara, 2000)
|a.k.a Millennium Convoy where the chrome on Convoy is now gold and Buggy has also been repainted with gold chrome. Source: Rik Ruff|
15th Anniversary Black Version (Takara, 2000)
|A black repaint limited to 2000 pieces which was available at Jafcon 8, Wonderfest and Osaka Toyland between July and September. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
Special Edition (Takara, 2002)
|A reissue which features both the standard and bloated guns, a die-cast Matrix, the Action Master which was previously unreleased in Japan, Buggy (Roller) is now blue, a mouse mat and Convoy has the blue windscreen last seen in the Good Bye Convoy set. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
Commemorative Series (Hasbro, 2002)
|Hasbros version comes with shorter smokestacks, longer missiles, a silver Roller and the spring in the trailer to fire Roller has been removed. The box art on this release is also Takaras version. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
Transformers Collection (Takara, 2003)
|Comes with a blue coloured Buggy (Roller), a bloated gun and a new energy axe weapon. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
Pepsi Convoy (Takara, 2005)
|A repainted cab in Pepsi's colours. This comes with a new trailer which can store a Pepsi bottle and the "bloated" gun. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
Pepsi Optimus Prime (Hasbro, 2007)
Encore (Takara, 2007)
|Near identical to the 2000 reissue featuring a silver Buggy (Roller) and "bloated" gun. This version however features the Cybertron / Autobot logos printed on the shoulders. Source: eBay|
Music Label (Takara, 2007)
|In Apples trademark white colour, this features an all new trailer which is an ipod docking station. The robot mode also has a newly moulded head which is now on a ball joint. This also comes with the "bloated" gun.|
|Repainted in the familiar G1 deco|
Music Label "Exile" edition (Takara, 2008)
|A repaint promoting Japanese pop band "Exile". Source: eBay|
Universe (Hasbro, 2008)
|European version which did not come with the DVD but retains the comic. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
|An exclusive redeco of the 2007 Encore version. Source: soundwavesoblivion.com|
Convoy Reissue Bape Ver. Black Bathing Ape (Takara, 2012)
Reissue (Hasbro, 2012)
Convoy Reissue Bape Ver. Red Camo Bathing Ape (Takara, 2013)