A few months ago, I wrote a post examining what I believed to be the 5 worst Transformers of all time. In writing that article, I learned something: transfans are very protective of their favorites. Whereas I might think that one Transformer is the worst of all time, it might be another fan’s favorite. So, in the spirit of that article, and fully realizing that my list may not be YOUR list, I want to submit to you, the general public, what I think are the 5 greatest Transformers of all time. This is not based on characterization, but rather on the figure itself. So, without further ado, let’s get this dog and pony show on the road.
5. Megatron (Cybertron)
Depending on which backstory you believe, this Megatron is either a completely new character (Japan) or the summation of the Unicron Trilogy (America). But, that really doesn’t matter, because if you own this toy, you own the best Megatron figure ever made. I know some might argue with me, but just look at that guy! Not only is he a triple changer (robot, car, jet) but he also wears the freakin’ armor of UNICRON. Yeah, that Unicron. It’s easy to see the design similarities. Not only is this Megatron super poseable, and not only is his design awesome, but he also towers head and shoulders over most other Megatron figures. Think Masterpiece size. He’s got a great, engaging transformation sequence, and the redeco, Galvatron is even better, as he is in G1 Megatron colors. A perfect addition to your shelf of Decepticons.
4. Bulkhead (Transformers: Prime First Edition)
You might be wondering why I’m including such a new toy in a list like this. Surely these things take time to ferment, right? Figures need time to become worn and vintage! Well, this is where I go rogue and say that First Edition Transformers Prime Bulkhead is one of the greatest Transformers ever made. Why? Do I even have to explain why? For those that have him, they know this to be true: Bulkhead is a engineering marvel that should make all toy designers quake in fear. I have no way to explain his transformation sequence other than to say that he explodes from a tiny, compact SUV into the big, bulky bodied robot that we all know and love. And somehow, he manages to do all this while maintaining a high level of show accuracy. It really is a shame that more people didn’t get to have this mold because I know from the moment that it touched my hands that it was one of the best ever made. If you haven’t tracked down a First Edition Bulkhead, you owe it to yourself to do whatever it takes to get one and steer far, far away from the PRID version, which is total and complete crap.
3. Masterpiece Optimus Prime (MP-01)
This was the figure that made me believe that anything could be done with plastic and metal. I will never forget when I first opened the package and slid Prime out, all wrapped in plastic with his tons of accessories. As gently as I could, I took the figure out of it’s package and painstakingly transformed him once and back again. After that, he stayed in robot mode, towering over all the other Transformers that I owned at the time and caused me to become a Masterpiece addict. As you will see from the next toy on my list, I love Masterpiece figures, simply for the level of detail and accuracy to the character, but also for all the extras that are thrown in. Optimus came with a matrix, his rifle, Megatron in gun form and his energy axe, and included features like a communications panel that flipped up on his left arm, a button on his head to make his faceplate move for “talking”, and a light behind the matrix that made it shine with the power from within! This truly was the greatest Optimus Prime figure ever made…..until MP-10 came out earlier this year.
The figure was given a brand new mode, rescaled and made to be more show accurate in both robot and truck mode, and even came with a trailer and Spike figure! As for why he’s not #1 on the list…..
2. Masterpiece Grimlock
Maybe you’ve disagreed with me so far on this list, and that’s ok, but can we just agree on one simple fact that holds the universe together? Dinosaurs are awesome. I’ve never met a person that didn’t like dinosaurs. Somewhere along the way in our lives, as we grow up, we go through this period where we believe that dinosaurs are for kids and that liking them makes us babies, but seriously….dinosaurs rock. But, do you know what’s ever better than dinosaurs? Robot dinosaurs. That’s what the people at Takara must’ve been thinking back in the day when they decided to release robotic dinosaurs that transformed into even more awesome robots. Now, most people agree that Grimlock is the most popular of the Dinobots, which landed him a Masterpiece release just a few years ago, and man, what a release. Grimlock came loaded with features and accessories (if you managed to get the Japanese version) including: the ability to change his eyes from red to blue in both robot and dinosaur mode to match either the animation model or original figure, light up fist to plug his sword or gun into, turning head when you pull the tail, and more! The TakaraTomy version included a cloth apron and serving tray with drinks, which were seen on Grimlock during the third season of the animated series. The American release did not get the apron and accessories, but did pick up a crown, which Grimlock wore in the American comics when he became leader of the Autobots. All in all, it’s a great toy, with great articulation and features, and the level of detail is really amazing. The only gripe most people have is that for a Masterpiece figure, his transformation sequence really is quite easy. But overall, this is an amazing toy.
1. Devastator (G1)
Call it personal preference, call it nostalgia, heck, call it whatever you want, but this is it. The number one Transformer of all time is a neon green and purple brick of ultimate destruction, formed from the bodies of 6 other robots. Say what you want, but the original Devastator was amazing, simply because it introduced the concept of combiners to the Transformers toy line, which became a mainstay in the line to this day. The reasons this is the number one Transformer toy of all time are many. First, each robot is a nice piece in and of itself. The 6 Constructicons that make up Devastator are iconic characters, each with their own signature look. Their alt modes are very faithful to actual vehicles, which was one of the things that made the original 80’s Transformers so great. At the time, there was no equal to Devastator, as the original Autobot combiner, Superion, was a year or so off into the future. Plus, the transformation sequence to combine all of the Constructicons into Devastator was unique and engaging, a pattern that unfortunately would not be repeated with the rest of the line’s combiners, which used a plug system for arms and legs that made the combined modes pretty uniform. There was nothing like putting this guy together as a kid and wrecking some Autobots, and hey, even better, the Dinobots and Devastator were rivals in the cartoon, which led to the epic face off during the animated movie.
So, do you agree or disagree with me? Why not let us know in our comments section, and maybe include your favorite Transformer of all time, so we see how our list measures up.