Answering my own questions since 2001

Why Did They Kill Optimus Prime?

Children of the Eighties may recall a particularly dark day in 1986 when they watched Optimus Prime (another absurdly long Wikipedia entry), head o’ the Transformers, bite the big one. I know it was a depressing day for my 12-year-old self.

Via the Movie Blog, twenty years later we learn the real reason MC OP was killed off: to sell more toys. Here’s a three-minute clip (WMV, I think) from Amazon.com discussing why Prime shuffled off his mortal coil.

2 Responses to “Why Did They Kill Optimus Prime?”

  1. Ada

    I was just talking about Optimus Prime on the playgound with another mother. She can vividly remember the day he died. It was a sober and bonding momemt for the two of us – nice to know it was all for marketing purposes.

  2. gillian

    Oh God, I’m such a geek. From IMDB:

    The movie was being produced by the same company, and at the same time, as _G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987 video)_ . It had been agreed that both movies would suffer the loss of the lead heroes, Optimus Prime and Duke. Production had begun on G.I. Joe first, and was thus expected to be released first. During the production of the two films, G.I. Joe Got held up while Transformers finished production. Release dates were changed and Transformers got a theatrical release in 1986. Optimus Prime’s death sparked some controversy and caused the writers to change Duke’s death to a coma. G.I. Joe never got to the theaters, and was released to video instead. Had G.I. Joe been released first, Optimus Prime might have survived the movie.

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