Thanks to @CybertronBeast on Twitter, we have an interesting piece of info from the Hasbro Q&A at Fan Expo Canada 2019! A fan asked why the recent Walmart reissue of Optimus Prime lacked its trailer, and the answer was simple: the mold isn't in good enough shape to use anymore.
Questions— The Beast @ #FanExpoCanada (@CybertronBeast) August 23, 2019
"Why didn't the G1 Optimus Prime reissue come with a Trailer?"
The Mold for the Trailer wasn't in a condition to use for production.
This isn't exactly a surprise to those of us who collect toys: the last time a full reissue of Optimus Prime was done was in 2012, and is noted on the TFWiki as suffering from Mold Deterioration. The short and sad answer is that everything wears down eventually, and as one of the most-reproduced Transformers Prime was an excellent candidate to see his tooling reach the end of its useful life.
The figure itself is probably in a better position to last longer, as a variety of alternate parts have been made for various safety regulations and collector purposes over the years. Smokestacks, fists, rifles... all of those will very likely outlast the core Optimus Prime mold, which of course predates even The Transformers itself as a Diaclone transplant. All told we're doing pretty well, because we'd be willing to guarantee that this tooling was never intended to last almost forty years!
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