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Blog: does Prime need a trailer?

Posted by:
Knightwing at 2007-09-16 3:26 pm
This is once agian a question that I am entirly serious about.  Does Optimus Prime in fact need a trailer?

For many fans and collectors the answer is a definate yes.  I have to admit, for a long while I too thought Prime needed a trailer.  I thought this for the most simple and obvious of reasons, he was a semi.  Semi's have trailers.  Or, do they?  To actually fit the definition of semi yes it does have a trailer.  A Semi would be defined as a tractor/trailer combo. 

So, was Optimus Prime a semi?  In fact,  usually he wasn't.  By my count there are 61 unique molds for Prime/Primal/Convoy (62 if you count E-Hobby's Orion Pax).  All of whom are often thought of as Optimus Prime by some loose standards.  Only 42 unique molds actually bear the name Optimus Prime.  Several of which were fire trucks, one was a shoe, and one was a Lamborgini (g2 go-bot).  None of these even have a true possibility of a detachable trailer with an independent cab.  Limiting the discussion to actuall semi alt modes brings the number down to 31 unique Primes.  That number drops to 29 because both G2 Hero Prime & Star Convoy, while semis, cannot detach their trailers from the cab protion of their alt mode. 

So we go from 61 to 29 possible trailers.  There are in that 29, in fact, only 12 true tractor/trailer combos.  Three of those trailers you had to buy seperatly (Masterpeice, Worlds Smallest, Transformers Junior Powermaster).  Re-referencing the previous question, was Optimus Prime a semi.  My answer is no.  Using the tractor/trailer combo as a definition in only 4 of these 12 instances does the trailer combine with Optimus for a "super" mode.  The other trailers generally turn into some version of a base mode.  In all of these cases Optimus Prime him self is the cab.  The trailer is an addition of some kind.

So out of 61 possible "Pimes" we have 4 where the trailer can be an integral part of the Optimus bot mode and still detach.  While I admit generally it looks odd to see a "semi" bob-tailing (running down the road without a trailer) in real life, the fact is it's not uncomon.  As my personal collection has grown, the number of Pimes that I have that are cab only toys has grown to the point that the trailered toys are the oddity.

If you insist that a semi-tractor needs a trailer, in most cases making a custom trailer would not be all that dificult.  Usually simply painting a non-tranformers semi-trailer and placing a correctly sized peg in the front would do.  For me, I'll do with out.  The extra trailers would simply take up valualbe shelf space anyway.

List of Primes with combining traiers
G1 Powermaster
TFJR 1 & 2 (basicly a wst Powermaster)
Energon (well the Prime Force combines and rides in his trailer)

Additional Primes with detachable trailers
Pepsi Prime
Worlds Smallest Transformers (wst)
THS-02 Hybrid
G2 (repanited G1)
G2 Laser
Machine Wars

semi Primes without a detachable trailer
G1 Star Convoy
G2 Hero Optimus Prime

sithlordsmart said,  - 2007-09-16 16:35:17
You can do so much with a trailor, esp. in todays movie age. And I would love to see roller make an appearance!!
Starscream/Ty said,  - 2007-09-16 16:50:19
Very interesting topic Knightwing. Personally I don't care if Prime has a trailer or not. But, he looks cooler without one. (such as the movie Optimus P.) Hey sithlordsmart, your name shows you are both a star wars fan and a transformers fan, tell me, do you collect star wars transformers figures? I do.
Jumpercliff said,  - 2007-09-16 16:55:14
I'm with Starscream/Ty on this one. All those were just part of the whole storyline.
Starscream/Ty said,  - 2007-09-16 16:58:11
Your right my friend, Prime is Prime.
Chaos Bringer said,  - 2007-09-16 18:51:01
The trailer is part of what made G1 Prime great. It added so much play value due to its interaction with Prime AND other figures.
G1 Prime would have been a mediocre figure without a trailer. It wouldn't have included Roller, the hose attatchment, or a spot to store the gun. And the option of making the trailer serve as a battle platform or a repair bay gave the figure a value that at the time was unmatched. Add that to the fact that you could fit Autobot cars in the trailer and you've got one fun toy.
Powermaster Prime would have had zero play value without a trailer. It was a really good move to include one.
Lazer Prime was a great figure but would have looked plain without the trailer.
Machine wars Prime needed SOMETHING to make it good. The Trailer definitely did that.
Say what you want about Armada or Energon Prime, but both were better off with the trailer than without it.
I say keep the trailers. It adds much more value than it takes away.
Starscream/Ty said,  - 2007-09-16 20:34:15
(Way off topic). Who here thinks there should be movie deluxe protoforms of each movie transformer? Vote! i
Scorpomike said,  - 2007-09-16 22:47:22
I think Prime needs a trailer. I think the fire trucks shouldn't have had a separate super mode. In fact, If I had my way, Prime wouldn't have been a fire truck. They should have been one piece. Infernos robot mode used the whole fire truck. Anyway, I think Prime needs a trailer whether it combines with him or not. I think my least favorite trailer was the Energon one. All it did was store the Prime force. I'll have to admit that Movie Prime was great without a trailer. Find a way to modify the hitch on the Masterpiece trailer plus make up for the height difference, this trailer looks good with movie Prime. Speaking of Masterpieces, I think they should've made Roller for the Masterpiece Prime Trailer. Also I wish they'd make a Masterpiece trailer for Magnus, not just that piece of you know what cardboard. I noticed that the recent Primes have just been a cab, Titanium War Within, Classics, Movie and Animated.
megatron said,  - 2007-09-16 22:53:13
lets remember that prime is also stronger with trialer in g1 because when anyone of those two other parts get hit, prime is also affected .so i think having a trailer is better , thats what got me to love tranformers in the first place. so if you have a movie prime and a mp trailer put them together and see for your self.
Michael010188 said,  - 2007-09-16 23:45:35
As long as Optimus Prime has a Semi-truck mode, then the option of having a trailor is up to him. I think they can introduce his trailor component in the second movie as coming from the ark, because the trailor itself is like a mobile base station with repair features, research gear, and hidden weapons.
Rhinox said,  - 2007-09-17 03:21:49
You forgot about cyb. prime my friend,if powermaster counts then so does cyb prime.
Perceptor said,  - 2007-09-17 12:02:11
Another great topic, KW.
Hm, if you'd have asked me 5-6 years ago, I'd have said, absolutely yes. OP needs a trailer to be cool. Then came along Masterpiece. Then came along this leader class movie OP and all that went out the window. Does OP need a trailer? I'd say not! Those toys rock and I don't miss a trailer a bit on either of them. Plus there's the whole, never-answered, "what happens to the trailer when he transforms?!" question... Every Prime that's come with them, I enjoy it. But I no longer think it's necessary the way I use to.

Of course, how about that for TF2, OP combines w/ his trailer! You wouldn't hear me complaining!
cyberwuss said,  - 2007-09-17 12:49:25
I think the trailer isn't needed really but it does add something to his bag of tricks. He is cool with or without it.
BATTLEMASTER said,  - 2007-09-17 14:57:45
I would like to see Prime with his trailer back again. Just picturing him jack-knife and slide sideways mowing down Decepticons is satisfying to the imagination and would be satisfying on the big screen. Plus those Autobots need something that can transform into a weapons and repair platform again. That helped out a lot!
Knight wing said,  - 2007-09-17 15:34:40
Rhinox, I didn't forget Cybertron Optimus. He's one of the "several firetruck" versions. On top of that the "trailer" isn't a trailer.
optimus prime said,  - 2007-09-17 16:09:37
i've seen takara master piece trailer for about 60 bucks on ebay might work with the movie prime maybe not
Scorpomike said,  - 2007-09-17 22:34:22
No, The Masterpiece trailer does not match up height wise with the cab of Movie Prime. The height on the back end of the cab is too low. Like I said earlier, it would look cool if someone could design an adapter to compensate for the height difference. I put the trailer on (without an adapter of course) and it does look really good considering the difference in wheels. I'm going to see how the G1 trailer fits the Voyager Movie Prime. I'll update later. I have human energon to drink right now, beer.
draconis of nebulos said,  - 2007-09-17 23:19:25
Hey Knightwing, I really don't want to bash your list - nor am I trying to - But I noticed something. From one Optimus Prime-loving fan to another, there are, I think, actually two Primes that "technically" have trailers, but they don't detach. The first certainly is Star Convoy, no doubt about that, but I noticed that you didn't throw Gen2 "Heroes" Optimus Prime (the one with the air-powered missiles) in that particular list as well. It's been a while since I've had this figure, but I remember the paint scheme trying to show the illusion of a trailor hitched onto the cab. (The end of the trailor split into the arms and the front end became feet and legs) Someone might have brought this up before and I just didn't notice it, but I remember this one so well because he was actually one of my favorites when I was younger.
Now to actually answer your Q? No, I don't think Optimus Prime really "has" to have a trailor; Movie Prime definately proved that. But there are some molds out there that just wouldn't have worked without one ("Energon" comes to mind) But with or without one, Optimus Prime still rocks!
(But Predaking is better...Gesalts rule!) :)
Knight wing said,  - 2007-09-18 05:18:12
No need to be applogetic. You are correct Draconis. I'll make the changes right now. Thanks.
dollarjoe said,  - 2007-09-18 19:50:01
the whole "robots in disguise" thing would work out better with a trailer attached. You usually don't see many cabs without trailers.
draconis of nebulos said,  - 2007-09-19 04:01:49
Thank you, Knightwing, for always giving your fellow transfans something fun and interesting to talk about! :)
Black Starscream said,  - 2007-09-20 00:07:43
I don't think prime regularly needs a trailor, but as mentioned earlier the trailer always adds to his arsenal. As far as the count of primes/convoys that are semis and combine with their trailers, there is technically another one. The mold that became ultra magnus was originally called "powered convoy", so if you count diaclone then there might actually be five.
In answer to your question Starscream/ty, i don't think that there should be deluxe protoforms of every movie figure. Cause voyagers would be better!
Knight wing said,  - 2007-09-20 04:53:58
As with all of collecting Transformers, it depends on where you draw the line. Personally, I wouldn't count it as it would be a toy that doesn't bare the Transformers trademark. However, you could (and did) certinly make a case that it count.
Aethril said,  - 2007-09-20 09:01:14
Imagine the awesome Highway scene where Prime transforms to fight Bonecrusher. The story would have ended completely different had Prime needed to park the trailer on the shoulder so no humans were harmed by a 70mph out-of-control trailer, Bonecrusher would have been all over him!
Bruticus_42 said,  - 2007-09-21 06:55:11
The trailer is important to the Alt. mode. The G1 series only shown it once as a weapon, shame, I think it would have made Prime more a bad ass having a trailer that transforms into a cannon type of weapon more often. The toy's description said it was a mobile command center. Why didn't they use that in the cartoon?! Prime should have a trailer, nuff said! Go Phillies!!
Slashwing said,  - 2007-09-21 19:26:25
I guess a trailer would be a good flavor addition to movie prime for the next movie.Just imagine this: " using the reverse-engineered technology from megatron a few renegade scientists that once worked for sector 7 could actually design something that would able the autobots face the new decepticon gestalt threat until the aerialbots could be fixed: the new Tactical Remote-control Armored Intelligence Land Operations Robot-drone T.R.A.I.L.O.R" the rest is up to you to complete
binaltech rules!
dollarjoe said,  - 2007-09-22 21:19:29
Unless the cab and trailer combine to form his alt mode, what does he do with his trailer while he's transformed?In the g1 cartoons, it just disappeared.I imagine it could make an easy target for the 'cons.
hhh said,  - 2008-10-18 09:34:03
prime looks cool with a,the trailer can function as powered up armor & double shoulder canon to merge with prime & jet packs for him to cool is tat?!!!!! super!!
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