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Daily Prime - Original G1 #5796 Optimus Prime Bio: Personality of Abraham Lincoln

Today we are looking at some ephemera from the creation of Transformers Generation 1 Optimus Prime character by Sunbow Productions. The original 1984-85 development binders were made public when Ron Friedman's collection was put up for auction in 2010. The 1984-1985 Briefing Book profiling the 1984 characters included artwork, product info, functions, abilities, weapons, power specifications, details about their mannerisms, and traits for each one of the characters.

The Optimus Prime pages feature some interesting details, starting from as early as December 1983 when the “Battle Convoy” name, carried over from the Diaclone toy, was still being used. The name was later revised in May 1984 to be “Optimus Prime”. We also learn the wholesale price for the toy was $15.99 USD, that were packed six in a case. What was a case price of just $95.45 USD, is at least 10 times less than a single MISB 1984 G1 Optimus Prime, in 2023.

Other interesting things are documented in the character profile, much of what we know now was developed in these texts. However, there are some esoteric factoids that time has forgotten. We see that Prime is originally described as the “brain center” for Roller and his Trailer / Combat Deck, that would later be renamed the “Autobot Headquarters” on this G1 Bio card. The next page has the intimate details of what his character is supposed to be like. He is described in human terms as being like “...a doctor, a mechanic, a scientist and a warrior.” He has no equal among the Autobots when it comes to intelligence and strength, able to lift 400,000 lbs and throw a punch with 12,000 lbs of force. His laser rifle can hit targets 30 miles away. His companion Roller and Combat deck can be remotely controlled, with more of their abilities also described in detail.

With all this power, comes a weakness. Defined as having a “personality of an Abraham Lincoln”. Optimus Prime is so compassionate and protective, it can cloud his judgement. As we have seen time again, his belief, “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings”, reflects the immense kindness of his character that is often taken advantage of by those who are more ruthless than he is. Read on to see the original Sunbow 1984-1985 Briefing Book text below, followed by scans of the actual binder pages, thanks to The Sunbow Marvel Archive.

More Daily Optimus Prime Features




Product: Tractor Trailer
Code Name: Optimus Prime
Wholesale Price: $15.99
Average Retail: $
SKU: 5796 Robot/Tractor Trailer (pack 6)


Largest, strongest and wisest of all Autobots. Feels his role is the protection of all life, including Earth-life... fights unceasingly to defeat the Decepticons. Splits into three autonomous modules: Optimus, the brain center... has vast strength ...laser rifle; Roller, the spy... operates up to 1200 miles away; Combat Deck... has many artillery and radiation weapons. Injury to one module is felt by other two.

Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.

STR: 10 INT: 10 SPD: 6 END: 10 RNK: 10 CRG: 10 FRP: 10 SKL: 10


Profile: If he had been on Earth, he would be a doctor, a mechanic, a scientist and a warrior. But on Cybertron there is no difference between these professions. So Optimus uses his skills to heal and repair - which are the same thing to Autobots - to improve the world around him and, if necessary, to fight. He is the leader of the Autobots, and also the largest, strongest and wisest of them. Both in power and intelligence, he has no equal. He has the personality of an Abraham Lincoln. He can be immensely kind and his compassion extends to all that lives, including the creatures of Earth. Yet he will battle unceasingly to protect the weak and defend what he believes in. To accomplish this, Optimus knows that the Decepticons must be defeated for all time.

Abilities: In autobot mode, Optimus Prime actually splits into three components. The Optimus module is the roboid sentient being that is the storehouse of his vast knowledge and strength. He can lift 400,000 lbs. (- and a blow from his fist exerts a force of 12,000 lbs. per sq. inch. He carries a laser rifle and can burn a hole in the nosecone of a Decepticon jet fighter at a distance of 30 miles, aided by his outstanding visual acuity. His Prime module, also known as Roller, is a small cart-shaped device which he uses to unobtrusively slip behind enemy lines. He can maintain radio control over it at distances up to 1200 miles and having Roiler present somewhere is like being there himself. He can operate by remote-control his Combat Deck module up to a distance of 1500 feet. The Auto-Launcher mounted on the Deck can use a variety of artillery and radiation beam weapons, including most of those used by his fellow Autobots. The Launcher also includes a highly dexterous grapple-arm which allows it to load itself and change its weaponry. The communications disk antenna mounted on the launcher provides a link between Optimus and all his fellow Autobots within a radius of 50 miles. It can be adapted to a satellite hook-up which increases its effective range 10-fold.

Weaknesses: Although Optimus Prime can function as three independent modules, injury to any one of the modules is felt by the other two. Roller's particularly vulnerable, especially in the behind-the-lines situations in which he specializes. However, the Optimus module is by far the most important component of the trio and although he could survive without the other two, they could not survive without him. Otherwise, the only weakness he could be accused of is being too compassionate and concerned about the safety of others. He would be a more effective military commander if he were more ruthless, but then he wouldn't be Optimus Prime.

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