shockwave00 wrote:Numerous different models that all seem pretty similar (for example, what the heck is the difference between Leader Optimus, Striker Optimus, Buster Optimus, Jetwing Optimus, and Jetfire Optimus? And how does Jetwing and Jetfire Optimus differ from the Leader Optimus + Leader Jetfire I already have, or from that dual pack that includes both Leader Optimus and Leader Jetfire?)
Basically, they're just variations on a theme. ROTF leader class OP
= First of its mold, sold during the release of ROTF. Takara Tomy also released an identical toy in Japan.Buster OP
= Takara's "pimped out" OP, with silver paint apps and more detailed flames on the toy. Head is also remolded with an exposed mouth. Fuel tanks can now be combined to form his gun.Jetwing OP
= slight remold of ROTF OP (fuel tanks can convert into gun, swords removed for Gatling guns to plug in, back modified to hold "flight tech", "abs" and crotch remolded to replicate DOTM aesthetics). DOTM "flight tech" is included, hence the name--it's not screen-accurate,though, as it was made from an early piece of concept art. No additional paint apps. Striker OP
= Another remold of ROTF OP. Silver paint apps, with additional parts to form "stealth mode" in alt mode. The two parts convert into OP's shield and shotgun as seen in DOTM. Amazon exclusive includes a pair of energon swords that can be held on his hands.Optimus/Jetfire set
= Don't remember too much about this one, but the biggest difference is that OP has spring-operated battle hooks as seen in the ROTF forest fight instead of swords. Otherwise identical to original ROTF LC OP, or were there additonal paint apps? Pretty sure Jetfire has additional paint apps, though.
shockwave00 wrote: How do you keep track of what sizes ( Leader, Voyager, etc) are available for each version?
Keep yourself updated on seibertron with frequent visits, I guess, or browse some online toy shops.
Googling helps, too.
shockwave00 wrote:What is the difference between the Transformers Prime Domestic RID Voyager figures and the Transformers Prime Import AM and Arms Micron figures?
In a nutshell, Hasbro versions come (barely) pre-painted while Takara ones come with stickers for the owner to apply. Takara versions also come with simple model kits called Arms Microns that converted from robot or animal into the main figure's weapons. The Takara versions also have additional ports to mount weapons on.
All in all, you just have to lurk around different TF sites to keep yourself updated, or simply post a question and ask. Members here are usually more than willing to clue you in.EDIT
: Drat, RACast beat me to it...