Saturday, June 25, 2011


More Than Meets The Eyes,
Robots in Disguise
With the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon (TF3) this week, I thought it would be great to present my list of the TOP 10 TRANSFORMERS. The Transformers were a toy and cartoon which defined my childhood in the 1980's. They were great, robot toys that transformed into all kinds of vehicles, weapons, dinosaurs (i.e. Dinobots), bugs, (i.e. Insecticons) even cities (i.e. Omega Supreme)! Originally based on Japanese toys fro Takara/Tomy then developed by the American company, Hasbro. The criteria for the best Transformers are not based on their characters importance in the cartoon or movies but more on the creativity and diversity of the toy. Despite the many incarnations and generations of Transformers this list ONLY deals with those classic Generation One Transformers (1984-1986) and no others. This list might have some of your favorites too, enjoy! "Transform and roll out!"

#10 Perceptor (Autobot Scientist) - Keeping with a more educational/scientific theme to the later Generation 1 Transformers, Perceptor changed from a robot into a functional Microscope! Although the microscope aspect of the toy could only magnify up to 1x, it still made for a unique toy design.

#9 Jetfire (Autobot Air Guardian) a.k.a. Skyfire (cartoon) - While most of the original Transformers were taken from older Japanese toys, Jetfire in particular, was modeled almost identically after the VF-1S Super Valkyrie Fighter from the anime Macross (a.k.a. Robotech). One of the many popular Transformers toys, Jetfire was also the most articulated of the early Transformer toys.

#8  Sharkticon (Gnaw) - Introduced along with many newer Transformer toys for the 1986 animated Transformers: The Movie, the Sharkticon's had a unique organic (and fearsome) style, much like the other Transformers based on animals (Dinobots, Insecticons) but the Sharkticon presented a much more exaggerated look with huge yellow eyes, two legs, a mace-like tail and of course a huge jaw full of metallic teeth.

#7 Devastator (Decepticons, Constructicons) - The Constructicons were a group of six Decepticons who could transform into (green) construction equipment/vehicles. The incentive for collecting (buying) all of the Constructicons was the ability to combine all of them in order to form a giant robot known as Devastator!

#6 Grimlock (Dinobots) - The Dinobots were an interesting concept, Transformers that could change into robotic dinosaurs. Out five different characters, Grimlock, a Tyrannosaurus Rex was the most popular and the apparent leader of the Dinobots. The designs for all the Autobots were very unique in their design incorporating the various spikes, claws, horns and wings of the different dinosaur designs.

#5 Shockwave (Decepticon Military Operations Commander) - Although the Decepticons already had a robot that could turn into a gun (i.e. Megatron) Shockwave perfected the idea with a more sci-fi/futuristic element as a laser/ray gun. With a glowing pinkish barrel and absent a face, only a single yellow light Shockwave made for a very menacing toy. Especially with laser gun sound effects!

#4 Soundwave (Decepticon Communicator) - Soundwave has always been one of the most popular and highly-sought after Transformers toys. Although unique in design, he remains very 1980's as he could transform into a tape cassette recorder. Originally he came with cassettes that would transform into miniature minions (i.e. Lazerbeak and Rumble).Always a fan favorite, particularly in the cartoon with his echoing, monotone voice.
Megatron (gun form)
#3 Megatron (Decepticon Leader) - Megatron is the ultimate Transformers villain, while in robot form, the toy was very awkward with the gun barrel on his left shoulder, but as a gun (specifically a Walther P-38 Pistol) it was a very realistic looking toy weapon. I have to admit, I never owned this toy as a child because my parents thought it looked TOO real, and was apparently banned in many countries and even on airlines! Despite his reputation as the best villain in the Transformers saga, in the cartoon it was always odd when Megatron would trasform from a giant robot with a huge shoulder cannon and shrink to the size a small gun which Starscream could hold in his hands.

#2 Optimus Prime (Autobot Commander) - What would the Transformers be without Optimus Prime? The quintessential Transformer, leader of the heroic autobots. In robot form he is very impressive and even in vehicle form as a semi-truck with a tractor trailer. With his shiny red cab huge trailer that turns into a command center Optimus has always been the #1 Transformer. However, I always found the trailer part to be awkward and cumbersome. In the cartoon it would rarely make an appearance and often dissapear during battle? Despite being THE most popular Transformer, the trailer is one reason it is not #1 on my list.

#1 Omega Supreme (Motorized Autobot Defense Base) - There is one Transformer that at it's time (1985), was one of the most unique and biggest toys ever and due to his uniqueness of design, function and popularity is why Omega Supreme earns the #1 spot on this list! Omega Supreme was huge, he functioned as an Autobot base which consisted of a laser cannon tank and a launching pad complete with a rocket. The best part about Omega Supreme was that he was motorized (battery-operated), he could walk in robot form and the tank would roll around the base on a rail. It was truly an impressive Transformer!