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Transformers - 'Optimus Prime lives!' Date & Specs for S3,P2/S4

Posted by David Lambert
    Quintesson: I did it! Optimus Prime lives!
    Sky Lynx: It's true. Our leader is back.
    Optimus Prime: Yes, Sky Lynx, and this time no force in the universe is going to stop me.

In October-November of 1986, the last dozen or so episodes of The Transformers third season aired, and then the "G1" version of the show left U.S. airwaves...apparently for good. But that wasn't good enough for the people behind the show, who realized that the fans were upset. In the course of putting together Transformers: The Movie, the plan had been to "knock off" as many of the older characters as possible, in order to replace them with new characters.

But why the cold-blooded destruction? Well, The Transformers show was viewed as merely a big commercial for the hot-selling toy line, and new characters meant new toys. It was assumed that kids viewing the show, and the film, would merely pester Mom and Dad for the latest and greatest toys. The decision-makers on this didn't count on how beloved many of these deactivated characters had become to the fans.

Optimus Prime was the worst of the situation, and the powers-that-be recognized this. So, in March '87 an "addition" to the third season was released: a double-length episode titled "The Return of Optimus Prime." This epic was co-written by none other than Marv Wolfman. Long-time comic book readers will recognize that as one of the most respected names in the business, having written DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths and loads of Superman and Teen Titans stories, and having spent time at rival Marvel Comics as their Editor-In-Chief! Wolfman had been involved with The Transformers since the first season; over time he had been a Writer, Story Editor, and Executive Consultant with the show. Here he, along with fellow writer Cherie Wilkerson (Ducktales, Batman: The Animated Series), were challenged to engineer the return of the most favorite Autobot of them all! But, IF Optimus Prime returned, would he again be a force for good? Would he be the genuine article? Would he be the same as he once was? Or is it all a bizarre trap, to lead to the ultimate destruction of every Transformer on Earth?

For the first time ever, "The Return of Optimus Prime" comes to DVD, along with a dozen more episodes from the end of Season 3. To complete the deal, the three episodes that aired as "Season 4" in the United States before the show was finally cancelled - which already are on DVD in the 2001 Rhino release Transformers: Heroes - are being rolled into this package. This will make fans very happy who wanted every episode of the "G1" series in consistant packaging. We've shown it before, but here it is again:

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On March 9th, be the first on your block to own The Original Transformers - Season 3, Part 2/Season 4. This compilation has an SRP of $49.95 for 3 DVDs of programming, running at or about 390 minutes. The "original audio" option is again included, as is a remixed 5.1 Surround Sound audio option. Video is 4x3 as always. Exclusive bonus materials will be on the set, but this is the only portion of the release which Rhino has yet to announce. Here are the exact episodes included:

  • Season 3 (Part 2): Ghost in the Machine, The Dweller in the Depths, Nightmare Planet, The Ultimate Weapon, The Quintesson Journal, The Big Broadcast of 2006, Only Human, Grimlock's New Brain, Money Is Everything, Call of the Primitives, The Burden Hardest to Bear, The Face of Nijika, The Return of Optimus Prime (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Season 4: The Rebirth (Part 1), The Rebirth (Part 2), The Rebirth (Part 3)

This is the one fans have been waiting for. On March 9th you can transform and roll out to a store near you and complete your original-series Transformers collection. "I would have waited an eternity for this..."

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