Question for any Transformers G1 fans out there, why do all G1 Autobot leaders except for Rodimus and all the ancient Primes before him look like Optimus in a cosplay?

In Transformers Beast Wars II, Lio Convoy looks not only like Optimus wearing a lion costume, but before they land on Giea he looks exactly like Optimus and is even directly called "Convoy" by Apache.

Big Convoy in Beast Wars Neo looks just like Optimus as well. He just looks like OP wearing an ax costume. Or even in Car Robots (not the English dub) Fire Convoy LOOKS JUST LIKE OPTIMUS! Or even earlier in the Japanese conuintity, Star Saber looks like if Optimus was a Gundam. I could also say that Godmaster Ginrai looks like Optimus, but his transtector IS Optimus. Anyways, if anyone knows or has a theory why this is, please tell me.

Oh, and even Grand Convoy from the Maximal council is an Optimus look alike.

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    My guess... Toys. Why create a brand new mould when you can re-colour, re-paint (or even re-brand) an existing one? – Kwola-T Jun 6 '17 at 18:23

This is a tough one to answer, because there's probably not an in-universe answer. The similar appearance of Autobot leaders is a gimmick used in the franchise to keep the "Prime" character recognizable to the audience. That said, there ARE a few possibilities...

  • Reincarnation: The Transformers believe in the concept of reincarnation, at least to some degree. It's possible that the similar-looking characters are supposed to be reincarnations of the original Optimus Prime character from G1. Note that Primes prior to him did not share this blue/red truck appearance.
  • Bloodlines: Obviously, the term is used loosely in the case of Transformers, but there are familial "bloodlines" that result in similar appearances. In G1, Autobots Sideswipe and Sunstreaker were said to be twins, and both shared near-identical body shapes & vehicle appearances, albeit different colors and slightly different details. Maximal leader Optimus Primal was revealed to be a "descendant" of the original Optimus Prime, and G1 commander Ultra Magnus (who was just a recolor of Optimus Prime) was a "cousin" to the original. How exactly mechanical beings can have "blood" relatives was never addressed as far as I know.
  • The Matrix Did It: Given that the Matrix of Leadership was frequently shown to "enhance" or even recreate a Prime's body upon acceptance, it's possible that the Matrix did this on purpose, maybe believing the Optimus Prime body (and its longest host) to be the "ideal" design.
  • Tribute by Design: Lastly, it's possible that the successive leaders had a similar appearance by design, most likely to honor the original Optimus Prime - who was, by all accounts, the most legendary leader in all of Transformer history.

This is all speculation, of course, so I guess you can pick whichever one (or combination thereof) makes the most sense to you... and just run with it.

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