In 1986, Optimus Prime was actually killed off in the Transformers movie, in order to make way for new and more expensive toys. He was eventually resurrected due to Hasbro underestimating the backlash over his death.

The Transformers: The Movie

According to director Nelson Shin, the decisions on which characters to include or kill off were made by Hasbro: “They created the story using characters that could best be merchandised for the film. Only with that consideration could I have freedom to change the storyline.” According to the screenwriters, Hasbro underestimated the extent to which Prime’s death would shock the young audience. Story consultant Flint Dille said: “We didn’t know that he was an icon. It was a toy show. We just thought we were killing off the old product line to replace it with new products.”

Transformers: The Movie writer Ron Friedman, who had written for the original Transformers series, advised against killing Prime; he said in a 2013 interview: “To … Continue Reading (6 minute read)

6 thoughts on “In 1986, Optimus Prime was actually killed off in the Transformers movie, in order to make way for new and more expensive toys. He was eventually resurrected due to Hasbro underestimating the backlash over his death.”

  1. fugiwama

    They rewrote the GI Joes animated movie because of the backlash this movie had for killing Prime.

  2. Sensual_Razor_Wire

    I saw it in the theater with my brother. I had to console him for days. There was no one to console me.

  3. GRZMNKY

    I actually wrote them a sternly written letter after watching the movie. Got a response back from someone in marketing that basically said “Autobots never really die”.

  4. iosef78

    First time I ever cried due to a movie.

  5. Sss_mithy

    “YOU GOT THE TOUCH! YOU GOT THE POWER!”

  6. bluebirdgm

    Not just Optimus Prime—they offed lots of Transformers, Autobot and Decepticon (that shot of fire erupting from Prowl’s face was nightmare fuel for little old me), in order to make room for a new wave of Transformers toys based on the movie.

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