Saturday, May 14, 2011

Optimus Prime Action Figures: Famous and Clearly Loved

When the Transformers aired in 1984, who could have guessed we would be still talking about a cartoon about humanoid robots that can transform into cars and planes in order to save our world? However what began as a Saturday morning childs cartoon expanded into a multi-million dollar franchise over the years. You might say that the success of Transformers may be tracked through the progression of the franchise’s most recognizable personality, Optimus Prime.

Prime In The Beginning

Action figures are nothing new to the gadget industry, and there’s little sign today of the trend slowing down in the near future. Optimus Prime toys together with other products along those lines, have continued to stay a staple in the toy boxes and Christmas dream lists of little kids since the early eighties.

The first Optimus Prime action figure included its own trailer to hitch onto it when Prime was in his truck mode. The rigs front grill plate has since then become synonymous with the good transformers of the series, the Autobots. Casual admirers may well not be aware that the original title for the Prime toy was “battle convoy”, but in due course the name was altered by comic book writer/editor Dennis O’Neil. The standard was now set for the subsequent line of Prime figures.

Pre-Millennium Prime

Transformers began to change throughout the 90s after a decade-long run at the head of the group. If you were to look back at the Optimus Prime items, this shift gets to be slight yet visible. The action figures by themselves began to sell as non-transformable gadgets strangely enough. Many came with gear like fight platforms and other special features, literally. One model of Prime in 1993 included an LED pulsating fist.

Prime additionally went through what you could refer to as a makeover in the early 90s. One line of toys modified the head of the Autobots regular red, white and blue appearance in favor of a red-black splash of paint. The shift proved to be short lived however given that by this time Prime’s image had become associated with the Transformers franchise. The series would even spin off different off shoots of different transformers so that they can keep up with the times and capture new followers.

Prime According to Hollywood

Michael Bays reinvention of the Transformers series came out in 2007, initiating another generation of youth to the adventures of Prime and his Autobots versus Megatron as well as the devious Decepticons. Other transformers may have altered their forms, but Prime remained essentially the same Prime that lasted the test of time. Other Autobots progressed into the latest designs of sports and utility autos, but Bays Prime kept his big rig transforming same at it has been since the 1980s, albeit with the newest CGI special effects.

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