Here we have the 1991 European "Original" Classic-era - or "Gold Box" - Optimus Prime, the first real reissue of the G1 Prime, released across Europe by Hasbro in a new packaging style. This isn't a standard one though, it was bought MISB directly from an ex-Hasbro Europe employee, responsible for signing off products such as this in their research and development division. Having never sat on a store shelf, this particular version is a production sample, possibly no different to full release, but special nonetheless.
|Box back of Classic Optimus Prime|
Optimus Prime is from the second year of these gold box releases, and is the UK version that says "Original" on the box. Later Spanish versions are much more common and don't say "Classic" or "Original". Other second year English-language packaged items like Tracks, Astrotrain, Springer, Sandstorm and Sideswipe all still say "Classic". The Spanish versions do not. The first year releases like Prowl, Sunstreaker and Wheeljack have boxes with slightly darker gold cardboard and a slightly different overall look, missing the red and black stripe motif behind the box artwork.
Because this specimen was sealed, I wasn't able to verify that the styrofoam insert tray does not have a normal flat bottom like vintage G1 Optimus styro, but a number of large rectangular cutaways, the same as you see with 90s Chinese-manufactured G1 Optimus Primes in the grid-style vintage packaging from China, Singapore, Portugal etc.
This was a really beautiful item, a shame to sell it but as with any MISB toy in my possession, it always ran the risk of being opened. I just hope the new owner appreciates it for more than just being a sealed Optimus, but also a piece of history, and quite possibly the only complete production sample out there of such a massive re-release at the time, sourced direct from the Hasbro Europe employee who would have signed it off for release in the 90s.
|Year 2 Classic Optimus with year 1 Classic cars|
You can read more on Classic G1 Transformers HERE
All the best