[Much like Ironhide’s post, this post will be completely ignoring IDW’s 2007 assertion that Beast Wars Prowl is the same character as G1 Prowl. In this case especially because they already had a better Beast Wars Prowl to choose from.]
Prowl is kind of a tool. That’s the eternal summation of his fictional appearances. All of them. Rather boringly logical, he’s a stickler for protocol, kind of a teacher’s pet, or something like Star Trek’s Spock without any of the charm. At one point Prowl became interesting in the IDW comics when it was revealed that he was actually logical to the point of coldly calculating and sometimes morally ambiguous, but they put a stop to that pretty quickly (much to the chagrin of the fans.)
As toys go, he is one of the original Autobot cars, and the car that was released — minus the lightbar — as Bluestreak that same year and then Smokescreen the following year. *gasp!* Yes, Hasbro has been doing this repaint thing the whole time! Everyone that gets offended by it nowadays just need to realize that and hush up.
Despite his reputation as a jerk, he’s still been a mainstay of the Autobot forces, which was enough to garner him an update in the Classics line.
Of course, this being a longstanding tradition, Prowl’s Classics release was then remolded into Bluestreak (now called Silverstreak) and then into Smokescreen. In between his G1 and Classics releases, Prowl also received an update in the Alternators line.
From a Datsun 280ZX to an Acura RSX to a Nissan 350Z, his two updates stay true to his original alt mode, being deco’ed out as standard Japanese police cars.
I don’t know, maybe being a jerk pays off? Prowl’s original toy received three reissues (of which mine is the 2003 Commemorative Series release), plus updates and even a release in the recent Kre-O line.