Optimus Prime (Transformers Generation 1)

Transformers Generation 1 Optimus Prime

Autobot faction symbol
Name: Optimus Prime
Allegiance: Autobots
Function: Autobot Leader
Timeline: Generation 1

Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.

Profile:

Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime robot mode
Optimus Prime is the single greatest Cybertronian of his generation. He is far more than a powerful and intelligent leader - he is an exemplar of many virtues of history's greatest leaders, such as honesty, loyalty, courage, justice, and above all, humility. Optimus Prime is kind beyond measure, with compassion for all living things. Optimus Prime is fully dedicated to the Autobot mission of safeguarding peace throughout the universe. When he speaks, he does so with conviction and gravitas; his speeches never fail to inspire those under his command. Even the Decepticons respect Optimus Prime as a worthy adversary. But Optimus Prime is far more than a military leader. To those closest to him, Optimus Prime is a compassionate and loyal friend, willing to lay down his life for any under his command. He is a father to his men, and makes sure to spend his time with them as a friend as well as a commander. In the time between missions, Optimus Prime can be found swapping stories with Ironhide and Kup, listening to Jazz's latest beats, or shooting some hoops with Spike and Bumblebee. To Optimus Prime, the Autobots are a family as well as a military organisation. Some, like Grimlock, consider Optimus Prime's compassion a weakness, however his attitudes and the way he treats his men - even his critics - engenders their absolute loyalty. Optimus Prime sometimes finds himself compared to the greatest leaders of human history - a comparison that sometimes embarrasses the humble Autobot leader, who has an altogether more humble and down-to-Earth opinion of himself. His closest confidants also know that although Optimus Prime is a genuinely strong, selfless leader, he sometimes feels the weight of the responsibility that rests upon his shoulders. When he hears of Autobot casualties, he sometimes blames himself, asking himself if there was something more that he could have done. It is testament to Optimus Prime's character as a leader that on such occasions, he always hardens his resolve. For the sake of those who have fallen, and for those yet to come, for the sake of all sentient beings across the galaxy, Megatron and his Decepticons must be defeated once and for all.

Freightliner FLT Truck mode:

Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime Truck mode with trailer Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime Truck mode cab

Author notes:

Funny story - I found Optimus Prime to be a very challenging bio to write. I started with one simply note: this is the hero from my childhood. And how on Earth could I write a bio for such a larger than life individual?

In the end, I decided to keep to the basics. In my mind, I have a very clear image of what the Optimus Prime was in my childhood. Rather than get too hung up on how Optimus Prime actually was in the older cartoons and comics, I decided to simply write the version I remembered from back then. This post was the end result: a character with all the nobility and virtue of the original Optimus Prime, and very few of the flaws added by later writers. One thing I did add in was the Optimus who questioned himself from the later Marvel comics, since to me that was such an integral part of who Optimus Prime is to me. He's not just this ultimate hero character, he's got a softer side behind all the heroism.

As a fun fact to close out this part of the post: in writing this bio I went back to the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime bio written by Bob Budiansky. In reading that bio I saw the note that Optimus Prime had "the personality of an Abraham Lincoln". In looking up what that meant, I came to the realisation that Dreamwave's writers had clearly done the same thing when they wrote their version of Optimus Prime's profile. It was a fun realisation, and a testimony to how definitive Bob Budiansky's work has been on these characters.

Toys of Transformers Generation 1 Optimus Prime

Transformers Masterpiece MP-10 Convoy Version 2.0

Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime robot mode posed Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime Generation 1 Box Art pose Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime posed with ion rifle Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime with ion rifle alternate pose
Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime energon axe Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime energon axe alternate pose Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime Matrix chamber Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime light our darkest hour
Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime Truck mode with trailer alternate view Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime Trailer Combat Deck mode Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime Roller drone

Masterpiece Optimus Prime is an excellent (some may even say perfect) rendition of the character. He's a lovely and solid figure who really captures the heroic look of the original Optimus Prime. Plus he also has an amazing range of articulation, meaning he can recreate some of the most iconic poses struck by Optimus in the cartoons and comics.

I actually waited on picking this figure up in the day - at the time I was happy with MP1, the 20th Anniversary edition of Optimus Prime. It took a bit of enabling on the part of my friends - one of whom compared this toy to the shadow on the wall in Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It sounds a little overblown, but they won me over, and I agree with them. This figure truly is that good.

Although there is now a newer Masterpiece version of Optimus Prime out there, to me this is still one of the best renditions of Optimus Prime, if not the best.

More information on Masterpiece MP-10 Convoy (Optimus Prime) at TFW2005

See more Transformers Masterpiece toys in my collection.

Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime

Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime blasting the camera Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime heroic pose Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime running pose Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime punching pose
Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime blasting rifle Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime Generation 1 box art pose Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime 1986 Movie jumping pose
Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime open chest Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime light our darkest hour Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime energon axe Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime energon axe battle ready pose
Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime with Megatron gun mode Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime rocket pack Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime rocket pack alternate angle
Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime truck mode Transformers Earthrise Optimus Prime trailer combat deck mode with Roller

This is an almost perfect update of the original Optimus Prime, which completely nails the iconic look of Optimus Prime, boasting excellent articulation and a great deco. He's even got the Matrix and can hold it in his hands! If this figure has one fault, it's the price point. This is a leader class toy, but the main figure is only Voyager sized, and has a bit less mass than the similar sized Ultra Magnus cab figure. The rest of that price tag is the trailer, which I'll be honest has spent a lot of its time on the shelf or in a box. The main 'bot has been getting all the attention. Additionally, if you want a complete Optimus Prime - with Roller - you need to pick up the hard to get Centurion Drone with its accessory bundle.

Those criticisms aside, this is a spectacular version of Optimus Prime. We aren't going to see an Optimus Prime toy at this price that does a better job of updating the classic Optimus Prime design. In fact, this does such a good job that if Hasbro's "retro Headmasters" experiment succeeds, I can see Earthrise Optimus Prime getting the same treatment and getting a rerelease in a G1 inspired box.

More information on Earthrise Optimus Prime at TFW2005

See more Transformers Earthrise toys in my collection.