Ever wonder what it would be like to meet Optimus Prime for real?  Well, a lot of people have, and here's your chance too!  He lives in Ohio, and is a Military Fire Fighter and Transformers fanatic.  This Transfan, who legally changed his name to Optimus Prime, took some time out of his busy schedule pushing the Decepticons and fires back across the battle lines to answer some questions for us.  Let's get to know Optimus Prime!

Botcollector:  First off, we want to thank you for taking it upon yourself to protect the life, wellbeing, and property of citizens in your area by being a firefighter, as well as that of Americans everywhere by being a National Guardsman. We appreciate that and salute you.  How long have you been a firefighter?

Optimus:  I have been a Military Fire Fighter for 8 years now. 5 years in the U.S. Navy, and 3 years now with the U.S. Army Ohio National Guard 5694TH Fire Fighters in Mansfield.

Botcollector:  Now, to 'Bot-related business; how long have you been a fan of Transformers?

Optimus:  I've been a fan and collector since 1984!

Botcollector:  Who's your favorite one (assuming it's not totally obvious to our readers)?

Optimus:  Well, aside from the obvious, my favorite Transformer besides Optimus Prime has always been Omega Supreme.  On Christmas, he goes around my tree using extra track I got for him.  The first time my family saw my Omega Supreme around the tree was about all they could take. They wanted to commit me right there. All my guy friends think it is the best tree train of all time though.

Botcollector:  You must have been pretty pleased to see Optimus' 2000 incarnation (out of Japan) being a firetruck, and then also being released this way in the Robots In Disguise series.

Optimus:  I was of course ecstatic about Prime being a Ladder Engine. My all time hero becoming what I love to do most in life. Deep in my heart, I am Optimus Prime.

Botcollector:  Are you the one responsible for getting your mini-bot offspring into Transformers?

Optimus:  I sure am. My son loves Transformers. His favorite is Rodimus Prime, and he picked Rodimus on his own. Thatís my boy! My sis got mad when her daughter asked for a Transformers B-Day cake!!!

Botcollector:  Having your kids be fans of Transformers as well as yourself must be cool; do you guys share a lot of activities and conversations about this toyline?  What's the lifestyle of a Transfan family like?

Optimus:  Well, just my son and I are into Transformers a LOT.  We made fully transforming Lego-Bots (THEY DO NOT NEED TO COME APART AT ALL), and his Power Wheels Ford F-150 has Autobot stickers and ĎAUTOBOTí plates just like his Dadís. My family still laughs when someone comes looking for Optimus Prime. That is what it is about thoughÖ having fun with your life. Let me tell you, being the real Optimus Prime is very fun.


Botcollector:  So your 30th birthday you legally became Optimus Prime.  Did the other people in your unit like that?  Do any of them like Transfomers?

Optimus:  They liked them as kids. They of course razzed me for months on end about the name change.  They respect me for what I have done now though. They tell me that I am my own person more than anyone they know.  More than that, many of them have said that if our Fire Fighting unit ever sees battle, they know that I will be one of the first to take point against enemy fire.

Botcollector:  What about at the homefront?  Anyone in your family have a problem with this?

Optimus:  My family didnít believe me at first, and then they all fell over laughing. The only person I have ever met that has a problem with my new name is my sonís mother. We are divorced; I got the name change right after it happened. She has a nervous breakdown every time the subject comes up. Sheís worried about our son Sean growing up and dealing with it. She will learn in time to just be happy and have fun though. She may not like my name, but she is the best mom on Earth.

Botcollector:  So what did you do to change it?  In Michigan, it's the secretary of State and the courts (you have to swear in and everything before changing a name legally).

Optimus:  I just went to the County Court house and submitted the paperwork for the name change. I never had to go to court.

Botcollector:  Did the person who processed the name change recognize the new one?

Optimus:  The person assisting me didnít recognize the name. Some people ask what it means. Optimus Prime means ĎThe first and the bestí.

Botcollector:  Does anyone in the course of your normal daily life recognize the name?  Any stories?

Optimus:  My name gets recognized all the time. They always ask for my license when they read the credit card. I took this girl out not too long ago, and we went to a nice restaurant. After the waiter took my card, she came back with about 6 employees. They all asked me if I was really Optimus Prime. Brownie points for me later on (Laughs).

Botcollector:  Any plans to name your children using other Transformers names?

Optimus:  I would never give my child such a name. They would be teased to no end in school. Life is hard enough. I am a tough S.O.B., and you canít mess with this PRIME!!!

Botcollector:  Well let's say they went through the name changes themselves when they are of legal age, and maybe even followed suit with their own children; an entire Generation (as it were)!

Optimus:  Hey, a family of Transformers would be a kick! By the way, if there is any woman out there who will changer her name to Elita-1, I will marry you on the spot. I would kill to find a female Transformer fan.

Botcollector:  Hey, we'll be sure to mention that to the future Botcollector Babes:>).  Now, to legally change your name, you must feel that you share some qualities with Optimus Prime of the Transformers Universe; care to elaborate?

Optimus:  I do share qualities with him, because I keep Optimus Prime very close to my heart. Optimus is all that I had after my father died in 1983. Prime was my dad to a "T". I found my father in him again. I feel Prime was there to help my deal with my fatherís death. I cherish all life, sentient or not. It burns in my blood to rescue and save. I love all people, and have no prejudices to anyone or anything. I have seen Hell on Earth, and the planet bathed in its most beautiful splendors. I would die for this Earth and all its people without a second thought.

Botcollector:  Wow, that's the most serious fan story we've heard here at Botcollector.  Being so close to the character, what would you say your Matrix is?

Optimus:  My Matrix is my spiritual connection with the Earth. Sometimes she will let me feel her like a wave of energy passing through me. I guess itís what some people would refer to as finding your chi. It is like feeling every living thing on earth all at once. Itís an enlightening time.

Botcollector:  It sure sounds like it.  Are there any other thoughts you'd like to share with the Transformers fan community?

Optimus:  I am a Gemini, and every part of my life exemplifies this. The Transformers were the only toys that really caught my 
spark. Geminiís have 2 personalities, as do the Transformers. I love technology and nature in the same way. As an Army Fire Fighter, we rescue and kill. I am the most polite and quiet man you will ever meet, until you push me. I can also become a nightmare the likes of which you have never known, who shoots first and doesnít ask any questions.  The one thing I want people to know about me is this:

Remember, Optimus Prime will always be there for youÖ no matter the cost.  Autobots, transform and roll out!

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Botcollector would like to thank Optimus for taking the time to answer our questions.  You can also check out his website at:




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