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.
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)