Optimus Prime is a relatively naive and idealistic young leader, prone to long-winded "inspirational" speeches, who leads a small and inexperienced Autobot space bridge maintenance team under the supervision of Ratchet. Despite his humble "Bot Next Door" persona, he performs his job with a dedicated seriousness. He transforms into a red truck cab that can be fitted with many kinds of "trailer" attachments (most notably one that makes him look like a fire engine) and wields a kick-ass, rocket-powered, extendable battle axe, as well as wrist-mounted grappler cables.
Transformers Animated cartoon
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On a mission, Optimus and Elita 1 accompanied Sentinel Prime to a forbidden organic planet in search of a lost Decepticon ship rumored to be rich in Energon. After finding the planet to be infested with giant spiders, the trio finally decided to leave, but their retreat was not easy. Though Optimus and Elita found the Decepticon ship and its coveted energon cubes, they were forced to escape when spiders surrounded them. However, Elita was left behind, presumed destroyed in an energon explosion. Sentinel Prime was furious and blamed Optimus for her death.
Some time after this dark moment, Prime either abandoned or flunked the Autobot Academy and eventually found himself leading a small space bridge repair crew a thousand stellar cycles later. Prime and his crew came across the AllSpark while repairing a Space Bridge and brought the artifact aboard their ship. During transport, they were discovered by the Decepticons, and Megatron came after them. He proved too strong to take head on (in spite of his subordinate planting a bomb on his chassis), but when the Autobot ship neared Earth, Prime knocked Megatron overboard. The Autobots stayed in stasis for the next 50 years until they were accidentally awakened by an apparent intruder. Optimus and the Autobots took on Earth vehicles as alternate modes in an attempt to assimilate with what they believed to be the local dominant culture. Prime and his team were able to dispatch a bio-mechanical insectoid that was attacking Detroit. They were hailed as heroes for it.
Over the next several weeks, the Autobots got to learn human culture and and customs, doing their best to prevent disasters and save lives. Eventually, Starscream came for the AllSpark, and Optimus found that the schemer could pack quite a punch. The Autobot officer was still able to keep Starscream from getting the artifact, though at the cost of his life. However, he was quickly revived by Sari Sumdac and her AllSpark-influenced key. Later, the Autobots helped rebuild parts of Detroit that were destroyed in their battle with Starscream.
Unfortunately for Optimus, he had gained a reputation outside of Earth's atmosphere—not as a hero, but as the slayer of Megatron. The Decepticon Blitzwing placed a large bounty on his head, and pretty soon, Lockdown came to collect. He captured Prime and stole his axe and grapplers. Fortunately, Ratchet saved him, finally getting the old bot to open up more.
During the Autobots' first Halloween on Earth, the Decepticon Blackarachnia showed up and kidnapped Sari. When Optimus Prime tried to fight her, she dodged all his moves, as she had trained with him. Prime was shocked to learn that Blackarachnia was his old Autobot Academy classmate Elita-1, who hadn't died but been mutated while fighting off the giant arachnids those many years ago. Blackarachnia tried to use Sari's AllSpark key to remove the organic aspects from her biology, but the key began to drain the life from everything organic around and nearly killed Blackarachnia herself. Prime removed the key, saving Blackarachnia and the organics. Still calling her Elita, Prime tried to convince her to return to the Autobots so they could try and help her. She repaid that kindness by injecting him with venom and telling him that she would never trust him again. Prime was left to reflect on the friend he'd failed not once, but twice.
When Decepticon energy signals were detected near the city, the Autobots quickly realized that their options were limited. Bulkhead mentioned that the Dinobots might help, forcing Prowl to reveal how the two moved them to Dinobot Island. Prime's reaction was...displeased, to say the least. Prime also concluded that the Key was no longer safe with Sari, and he ordered Ratchet to take it from her. As Sari ran off crying, Bumblebee mouthed off that their situation was an indication that Prime was unfit for command.
Heading to Dinobot Island, Prime did not get off to a good start with Grimlock, mostly because Grimlock considered him lunch. After Prowl smoothed things over, Prime tried to convince them to help the Autobots fight the Decepticons, but Grimlock was uninterested. Receiving word from Ratchet that the Key had been stolen, Prime ordered Ratchet to guard the AllSpark while the Autobots headed back for the mainland. Prime himself also began to wonder if he was fit for command, seeing as all his decisions had blown up in his face. When Bumblebee contacted the Autobots to inform them that Starscream was at Sumdac Tower, he refused Prime's order to hold back and went to attack the Decepticon on his own. Prime dryly noted that the day just kept getting better and better.
Then everything pretty much went to hell when Megatron burst out of Sumdac Tower, to the shock and horror of just about everyone.
Quickly regaining their composure, the Autobots attacked. Megatron beat the slag out of them. Though Optimus faired slightly better, Megatron still brought him down fairly quickly. They were only able to escape when Megatron punished Starscream for his betrayal. Taking refuge within Sumdac Tower, Professor Sumdac explained his role in Megatron's revival, and helped repair the Autobots with residual key energy. After Bumblebee called Prime to answer for his earlier assessment of them, Prime admitted he was wrong, and asked them for forgiveness. As Ratchet and Sari showed up with the Ark, the Autobots took flight, hoping to lure the Decepticons away from Earth to prevent human casualties. Unfortunately, the Decepticons shot down the Ark and caused it to crash on Dinobot Island.
As the Autobots took on the Decepticons, Optimus faced down Megatron. It went as well as the first time. When Megatron got into the Ark, he took the AllSpark and placed it within him, using it as a weapon against Prime. However, Megatron had dropped the key, and Sari threw it to Prime. The Autobot officer used the key to send a surge of energy through the AllSpark, causing it to disperse while still in Megatron. With the threat passed, Prime apologized to Sari and returned the key, saying it was too important to be trusted with an Autobot.
After the battle with the Decepticons, the Cybertron Elite Guard arrived to take the AllSpark back to Cybertron. Optimus explained that the AllSpark had been dispersed, and that the Decepticons had been defeated. Sentinel Prime accused Optimus of lying, and took every chance he could to belittle his former friend, but Ultra Magnus decided to investigate their claims. Optimus took them to Dinobot Island, but the Autobots did not make a good impression on the Dinobots. Before they could investigate, they recieved a message from Ratchet, saying that police drones had gone haywire at a Sumdac Systems manufacturing plant. Optimus managed to get Sari inside and shut off the assembly line, but the key was stuck in the console. Before Optimus could help, Sentinel pushed him aside and promised to see Optimus charged for high treason. Tired of Sentinel's slag, Optimus finally stuck up for himself and told Sentinel where to shove it, destroying the console the key was stuck in and revealing an AllSpark fragment. Ultra Magnus accepted the shard as proof of Optimus Prime's claims. Though Sentinel still refused to believe him, Magnus said that Optimus Prime displayed many qualities that Sentinel himself could use.
- Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime (Deluxe, 2008)
- Based on his pre-Earth Cybertronian look, the first version of Animated Optimus Prime transforms into a half-track Cybertronic truck loosely based on the Mitsubishi Fuso Hybrid concept truck. As a half-track, instead of rear wheels, he has molded, caterpillar-linked tracks with smaller wheels inside for rolling along smooth surfaces. Prime's axe weapon is stored by partially folding the axe at the grey hinge near the handle peg, then placing the handle peg in a hole on the back of the cab (actually his two fists' holes, thus helping them holding in position) with the blade facing down and a grey peg facing up, acting as a "fifth wheel" (known as a trailer hitch among fans), should one find a suitable trailer to attach onto it.
- He has a superb range of articulation, as is the standard with Animated toys, due to the extensive use of ball joints and universal hinge joints. As stated above, the hitch assembly becomes his axe, which can be wielded with one blade (for the rocket-boosted look) or have the single blade split to form a double-bladed axe. The truck roof is mounted on his left arm as a shield or can be separated in two and be attached to the axe to become giant energon blades.
- Optimus Prime vs. Megatron: The Battle Begins (Deluxe class figure multi-pack, 2008)
- The Deluxe-class Earth Mode Optimus Prime has a very similar engineering design to to the Deluxe-class Cybertron Mode Optimus Prime figure. He has a battle-damaged deco and comes with a Deluxe-class Cybertron Mode Megatron figure as well as a DVD featuring the first episode of Transformers Animated. He has a distinctively more Generation 1 look than other Animated Primes, given the addition of smokestacks (a detail absent from the animation model) and lack of black beneath the silver stripes.
- Optimus Prime (Activators, 2008)
- Optimus Prime (Voyager, 2008)
- Based on his Earth look, a futuristic fire truck. His rear portion transforms into a giant extinguisher, which can really squirt water, and wings, which transform into a giant, opened-up energon axe. The toy features a mouthplate which can slide up to cover his face, or retract down below. He also has an Automorph feature: pressing a button on his... butt... flips down and rotates his... crotch... into the proper position for robot mode. Please, Hasbro, no more features in those areas.
- Roll-Out Command Optimus Prime (Supreme, 2008)
- This toy will feature sound clips from the TV show. Rolling the toy forward in vehicle mode causes the torso to spin, slowly unfolding it into robot mode. He also has some butt kibble. Hasbro, what did we just get through telling you?
- Optimus was killed off after only one episode (three if you want to get technical) and revived 1 minute and 15 seconds later. That's gotta be a new record.
- The placement of Optimus' Cybertronian vehicle mode front wheels is similar in location to those on Optronix.
- The twin cylinder shaped protrusions connected to Optimus' small antennae are inspired by the head design of the 2007 movie rendition of Optimus Prime, as opposed to the traditional single cylinder.
- While Sentinel Prime does a lot of down talking to Optimus Prime, they are, in fact, the same rank.