It’s Optimus Prime Repaint week on PsychoAndy.com — All the posts this week will be custom toys based on the most iconic Transformer, Optimus Prime! And all of them will be characters who… aren’t Optimus? Whaaat?
Additionally, all of these repaints were completed in January of 2021, so this is the first time ANY of them have been posted to the Internet.
So let’s kick things off with the most sinister of repaints possible, NEMESIS PRIME!
“Andy, that’s just a black Optimus Prime.”
You’re right! And also…not!
In 2001, Transformers: Robots in Disguise debuted in the United States (it debuted a year earlier in Japan as Transformers: Car Robots). This series featured a character named Scourge, an evil clone of Autobot leader Optimus Prime.
And that was it. Suddenly, Takara and Hasbro had the freedom to repaint every single Optimus prime figure into a black-and-teal (with red accents) evil version of the character. But Scourge was also the name of a prominent character in 1986’s Transformers: The Movie, so something had to be done about the name.
In 2002, the first full-on reboot of Transformers, Armada, debuted. And near the end of the series, a character very similar to RID’s Scourge appeared, but with a new name: Nemesis Prime.
Ah, there it is. The missing piece of the puzzle. NOW Hasbro and Takara could repaint every single Optimus Prime toy into a black-and-teal version. And they’ve come pretty close!
But there was never a Heroes of Cybertron Nemesis Prime, so I had to make one for myself. I decided to use the version that had Optimus with his energon Axe, because the Transformers: Legends mobile card game used art of Nemesis with an axe for his hand. This same art was later used on the Transformers Trading Card Game version of the character, so it’s pretty much become the way my brain first thinks of the character.
Chris McFeely’s fantastic YouTube series, Transformers: The Basics has a wonderful video about the origins and different interpretations on Nemesis Prime over the years. If you’ve got ten minutes, check it out!