In the waning days of the Generation One era, the budget allocated to entertainment had been severely cut by Hasbro management. To keep the cartoon going into a fifth season it was decided to repackage old episodes with bookends featuring a live action puppet of Powermaster Optimus Prime interacting with a character named Tommy Kennedy (played by actor Jason Jankowski aka Jason Jansen). The writers of these segments used these intros and outros to name drop figures that were current at the time including the Pretender, Landmine and Quickswitch but none of those characters ever actually appeared.
Screen Capture from Jason Jansen's video on Vimeo
Over a dozen episodes of the original series were given this treatment however little is known about this production beyond what Jansen has revealed in interviews. Now thanks to Jansen, fans have some of the most incredible behind the scenes footage of filming for these scenes ever released! Filming took place in 1988 at New York City's Silvercup Studios where puppeteers worked with Jansen to create the scenes that would be used to bookend the fifth and final season of the US based G1 series (in Japan, G1 would continue to run with shows including Masterforce). You can view the video here (there does not appear to be an embed option on the page).
Special thanks to Jansen for sharing this wonderful footage.