Quote:Season 3 ended in March 1987. That Headmasters comic must have come out May 1987, as there was two-month gap there between when Marvel (and perhaps other comic book company) issues were really released, and what they're listed cover-month was (at least back then; or maybe March, see also: http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Ring_of_Hate!). TFTM was released in the states on Aug. 8th of 1986 (see also: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092106/?ref_=nv_sr_1).
Which only makes the scedule more hectic and complicated.
That indicates that between Aug 1986 and March 87 Hasbro made the decision to get rid of Rodimus (within just 9 months of introducing him).
It was well known how unpopular the decision to kill off Optimus in the movie was, so perhaps this is the best possible explanation for why there was such an apparant rush to get rid of Rodimus? Optimus was given the Matrix back at the end of Season 3, Target Master Hot Rod was introduced in the comics just a short time after that, and he was introduced in the animated series soon after that.
Quote:So you're saying that the RP toy was only rereleased in 1987 because it was a good seller?
What I'm saying is that its well known that Hasbro never expected the negative reaction to the death of Optimus Prime and they were probably intent on pushing Rodimus as the new leader of the Autobots for some time, and had likely filled shelves with his toys as was their fashion.
That negative reaction did happen though and Hasbro hurriedly reintroduced Optimus into all of their media, but that still left them with a lot of rodimus toys to move, so it would seem to make good business sense (even if it doesnt make good continuity sense) to sell the Rodiums and Hot Rod toys simultaniously for a time.
Quote:But Optimus Prime wasn't originally supposed to have returned. I still can't help thinking if they hadn't brought him back, Rodimus Prime would still have to be in charge, and there's be a TM HR too, as they're on the 1987 toy catalog together, and the catalogs usually featured toys that were promoted in the corresponding years of each season, and is reflected in some 1987 toy commercial cartoons. For example, Rodimus and Goldbug are shown at the start of the Punch/Counterpunch commercial toon, and him, Kup and Blurr in the Monsterbots one.
Yes, Optimus' return wasnt initially planned and was the result of audience pressure, and I'm sure that had he not returned that Rodimus would have continued to feature in the comics, the TV series and on the shelves. What we dont know however is whether Hasbro would still have introduced him as a Target Master had that been the case.