Transformers: From worst to best

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by rherk, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. rherk

    rherk KNERDOUT

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    Since 1984 we have been given many different series and univeres of the Transformers. Here is my list of toy series from worst to best. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. Feel free to wiegh in with your worst to best.

    Armada - I could easily go on alone just on how terrible the cartoon was but this list is judged by the toys themselves and when it came to Armada they just plain stunk. They were designed for six year olds and had very little imagination. The only redeeming quality is the Supercon Prime was an excellent toy.

    Beast Machines - After a long wonderful run of creative Beast Wars toys that took the Transformers universe in a whole new direction, Beast Machines toys were not only way out of scale from their television counterparts but they were just cheaply made and lacked a lot of imagination. They were also far too organic for my liking.

    G2 - Generation 2 started as a vehicle to reintroduce a new generation to Transformers with horrible repaints. However, as the line progressed it brought new molds and for the first time some real articulation to the robots in disguise. It was the beginning of something good.

    The Movie - I did enjoy the live action movie for what it was but one thing that I never did get used to was the terrible robot designs. Even worse is they did not translate well into toys. There were however a few gems including the premium Optimus Prime. It was a fun toy and looked very cool. However, it looked nothing like the Prime we saw on the big screen.

    Titanium's - I was torn on whether this should weigh in before or after the movie toys as I was not fond of the designs of these die-cast metal blocks. However not only did the series improve towards its end but I did enjoy the non-transforming three inch metal figurines.

    Energon - Again, supported by a horrible cartoon and a bad gimmick that hindered the potential of the Autobots, Energon greatly improved by the end of the line providing some great robots.

    Classics/Universe - This series should be higher on the list as this series of G1 homage's started out with some quality figures but when it turned into Universe, the quality went way down and other than a few figures, most of them stunk of quality issues. The Japanese Henkei series seems to be a vast improvement but seeing as I don't have any of them I really couldn't confirm that. the line is still going and has plenty of time to grow hopefully with added quality.

    Cybertron - The third part in the terrible cartoon series starting with Armada brought some surprisingly great toys. I look back at that series with much joy as the quality and play value was for the most part tops. Yes, there were a few misses but in general it was nice to see many new characters and fun toys.

    Generation 1 - I'm certain to get the most crap for this not being number one as it is the series that started it all but to be honest, only the first couple series contained cool toys and those were from a mish mash of different Japanese toy lines. Once Hasbro took over with the designs it all went down hill. There are far more bad toys than good ones.

    Animated - This series has been rather surprising for me because I generally prefer more realistic robots but the toys have been nothing short of spectacular. They not only stay true to their cartoon counterparts but they gave some new life to the Transformers universe that was getting a little stale.

    R.I.D./Car Robots - No, I never watched the show but the toys were wonderful. After years of Beast Transformers Takara came back with well done complex vehicle transformers. It's only great failure is the line was so short lived. I would have loved to see a handful of new molds.

    Beast Wars - Love it or hate it, Beast Wars changed Transformers in a big way. To be honest, Beast Wars is responsible for my love of Transformers. Sure their were some missteps in the line but from the Japanese exclusives and American toys their was a wide spectrum of original and fun toys.

    Binaltech/Alternators - I make no apologies for my love for this line and G1 purists can take a hike cause this line was nothing but pure love. Finally a series of sophisticated robots that turned into real cars. The Binaltech series was the superior of the two as they featured advanced paint applications and die-cast metal. The series unfortunately ended a little prematurely but there is not one mold I dislike in the entire line.

    Well that about does it for my list. By the way, I didn't forget about the Masterpieces but seeing there are only three molds i didn't list them but the name says it all. Feel free to put them along side wth Binaltechs.
     
  2. 245am

    245am opener

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    I think overall this is a pretty fair rundown and I like how you bound your list by focusing only on the toys and not the cartoon/comics/etc. Some thoughts:
    -I agree with your first and last
    -Also agree about being happily surprised by the Animated figures, but I wouldn't say they have been "nothing short of spectacular." Their have been some consistent design problems that, since there are still a relatively few number of molds, really stand out (like Lockdown's hands, Prowl's hip sockets Bee's paint & stingers, etc... Still amazing articulation though.
    -You may be underestimating the new Universe line... I'm not 100% on the history of the classics line, but the 1.0 and 2.0 have been my second favorite line yet.
    -I also wouldn't put Beast Wars that high up out of personal preference... to me, even if they were brickish, it will always be G1 toys > BW toys
     
  3. llfalcon

    llfalcon Well-Known Member

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    I owned and played with G1 Transformers as a kid and I guess I grew out of them. I watched the G1 cartoon again on TV a little later down the road with that 3D cube gimmick for transitioning through scenes/commercials. Tried watching Beast Wars, but didn't like the direction it had turned. Never saw RID and the Armada/Energon/Cybertron series was too cheesy and had absurd alt modes for everyone. My interest renewed when I picked up 3 Alternators on clearance at Walmart. I then picked up 2 Classics at a comic convention and continued to collect that line. Got a couple movie ones and a select few Animated. So what I had owned:

    Movie - the Movie characters seemed to complicated and never translated well enough to a toy. I still don't understand why 77 and 2008 Bumblebee have different transformations.

    Altenators - Like I said, I own 3, but not a huge fan of them. I'm not sure exactly what it is.

    Animated - Some are really cool, and some just don't have the articulation of others. For some reason, a few of them don't lock into place right. Namely Starscream and Blitzwing for me. But I still think they are great toys

    Henkei - I only own Thundercracker. He looks awesome, but he has too many loose parts and his guns are too loose for his arms. (I have Powerglide on the way)

    G1 - The line that started it all. I loved them as a kid, unfortunately they are all too stif looking in robot mode for the most part. And quite a few don't look enough like their cartoon conterparts.

    Universe - I only collect the Classics 2.0. The others I don't touch. They are a great update to the G1 toys, and the only QA issues I've noticed thusfar are pieces falling off of Galvatron and Sideswipe (no problems with Sunstreaker)

    Classics - I absolutely love this line. It's the line that made me collect again. I guess my only issue is Grimlocks transformation (dino head becomes robot feet, this is where Animated Grimlock was a huge improvement) and Mirage, although a nice toy, I wish he was a bit bulkier and had a shoulder cannon)
     
  4. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    While I won't dispute your list order (though mine would be quite different obviously), I do think your definition of "imagination" may be somewhat different than mine. To give an example, while I don't view Armada as any 'true great' of Transformer toys, I feel there was a lot of imagination there, mostly in the area of gimmicks and visual design. Beast Machines was incredibly imaginative in my opinion, and took the brand farther from 'traditional' TF visual design than any line before or since, with the possible exception of Animated, with lots of variation in body types, 'organic' nature, and the Vehicons with their inhuman robot forms and semi-anthropomorphized vehicular forms. By contrast, I consider Alternators to be perhaps the least imaginative line, though in fairness the fact that it's a line of licensed cars has the most to do with this. Still, the line is almost entirely homages/remakes of pre-existing characters, shoehorned into variations of three or four basic transformation schemes. The toys got more interesting near the end of the run, with ones like Mirage, Rumble, and Ravage though.

    I doubt I'd ever do a full ranking of all the TF lines against each other, as each line has it's own distribution of winners and losers, and would require either a massive effort in reviewing and averaging, or heavy personal bias based on a few strong positive and negative experiences. :) 
     
  5. ThaConqueror

    ThaConqueror Rock! Robot Rock!

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    From best to worst:

    Classics/Universe
    Movie
    Animated
    Cybertron
    BW
    Energon

    Don't have enough of the rest of the lines to make a solid judgement.
     
  6. MegaHavok

    MegaHavok Well-Known Member

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    All right i'll bite

    Worst:
    Titaniums- Great character selection but over simplified molds held together by crappy joints. Oh and Die cast sucks

    G1-G1 only rates low because Hasbro has done such a great job on building on this foundation. Every aspect of the toy design has improved since then.

    G2-The new molds designed for g2 were either on par or better then g1. I mean laser rods, laser Prime, Dreadwind...just awesome

    Car Robots-Car robots had awesome designs/toys for the main characters plus I was able to get a brave max but the majority of the line is remolds and repaints so i dont give it a lot of props

    Energon-Should be on top of armada but the poor execution of powerlinking nocks it down a peg

    Armada-This line gets way more crap then it deserves. The lines only failure is it seemed to forget about the lessons learned form beast wars and articulation

    Beast Machines-great vehicles, interesting animals, you either like the techno organic look or you dont

    Beast wars-The foundation "modern" transformers are built on

    Cybertron-Hasbro finally got it right with there third mordern vehicle line with a great balance of realistic, futuristic, and beast modes.

    Alternators-best head sculpts in a tf line. However great they were the line was very repetitive and i dont mean the repaints I'm talking about how half the autobots have the same overall shape as Smokescreen

    Movie - Ultra realstic vehicles, uber detailed bot modes, automorph, and the return of Bumblebee to transformers

    Universe-Take every great from cybertron and the movie line and blend it

    Animated - Changing the look of transformers could have been a death warrant but this was done with such style it is overwhelming
     
  7. aprim

    aprim Well-Known Member

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    best to worst

    G1- Pay respect give me an orginal block fig over any of this new stuff.
    CLASSIC- Great Updated, shitty QA
    ANIMATED- Fun, but boring quick
    BINALTECH- Pain in the ass to transform..cars only that sucks..
    Beast Wars..Dragon Megs is the shit.
    the rest dont really count to me. I dont consider them part of my collection.
     
  8. Counterpunch?

    Counterpunch? Interior Renovator

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    OP put zero thought into the assessment of Armada...
     
  9. gonzo23

    gonzo23 Well-Known Member

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    How can you say that the movie line didnt translate into good toys?! The movie line had some of the best transformations and actual vehicles! the bot modes were incredible!
     
  10. rherk

    rherk KNERDOUT

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    Just a matter of opinion from what I saw on the screen and what I held in my hands. Yes, there were a few well executed transformations but the movie designs were clearly not desighned for toys.
     
  11. aprim

    aprim Well-Known Member

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    The movie figs were great if you thought the moive robots were good.

    I never even wanted one.
     
  12. optimusprimadana

    optimusprimadana Well-Known Member

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    Beast Wars holds the top spot on my list.
     
  13. MushroomPrime

    MushroomPrime ******

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    God forbid that Hasbro actually makes toys for KIDS. sheesh.

    All of the toys were exceptionally show accurate. With the possible exception of Minicons.
     
  14. rherk

    rherk KNERDOUT

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    Making toys for kids is fine. Perhaps, I should have said making ugly toys that insulted kids intellegence with the extreme simplicity of the transformations or lack there of.
     
  15. Spartan Prime

    Spartan Prime is an apathetic douchebag

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    Yeah. Because we all know that was their explicit intent... :rolleyes: 
     
  16. rherk

    rherk KNERDOUT

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    I think the line speaks for itself and appears to be very clearly targeted to a slightly younger demographic. It's just not my bag. I'm glad you liked the series. Nuff said
     
  17. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    classics/universe
    cybertron
    animated
    Alt/BT
    movie
    g1/G2
    energon
    beats wars
    rid
    energon
    armada
    armada
    Beast machines
     
  18. Counterpunch?

    Counterpunch? Interior Renovator

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    Cha said the kitty, but Nuff wasn't said with this:

    So...I like the toys from Armada and apparently this would speak poorly of me.

    Except for...lo and behold I've actually put some thought into the matter.

    View topic - Why I like Transformers Part 2: Armada...

    Read up on actual discussion on the matter instead of a narrow-minded parroted point of view.

    (sorry for the self/othersite promotion, but there is legitimately good discourse there)
     
  19. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    I like SOME Armada toys, but not many. I imagine its relative success speaks for itself. The way I see it, it was a reaction (maybe overreaction) to the proliferation of frustratingly complex (at least to younger kids and parents) transformations and ball joints mixed with kibble that make the toys seem less than sturdy. Armada reversed the trend of BW thru RiD with the obvious intent of being more gimmicky, simple, and "kid-friendly", unfortunately losing a chunk of the articulation TF fans had begun to take for granted. The direction was reversed and moderated somewhat with the following Energon and Cybertron lines. I feel Armada was a valuable point in TF design history, as it helped bring some balance to the way the toys are designed, and helped limit runaway complexity and hang-off kibble, as well as put a little more creativity into the transformations over time.
     
  20. Paladin

    Paladin Have Zord, Will Travel

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    I'll judge only the lines I saw from start to finish, in order from worst to best-


    BEAST MACHINES: Ugly designs, unstable and overdosing on translucent plastic. Plus a lackluster series and horrible spin-off sub-lines.

    ARMADA: Lots of potentially good stuff ruined by poor execution, maybe 2 or 3 good molds in the whole line. Still worth it, though- finally gave us a Unicron. Gotta give it props for that.

    TITANIUM: Reminded us that there's a REASON nobody uses diecast anymore. Big bonus points for actually using War Within molds though.

    ENERGON: Combining as a central line gimmick sounds incredibly cool, but it ended up incredibly bad.

    ROBOTS IN DISGUISE: Half the characters were repaints from previous lines! The actual NEW Stuff was good, lacking in durability.

    CYBERTRON: I liked a lot of stuff from this one, probably the best of the "Trilogy" but overall has the same problem- poor central gimmick boggs down figures.

    ALTERNATORS: Great designs and movement but lacking in variety. After a while it just got boring.

    BEAST WARS: Mastered the art of giving figures proper posing features. Loses points for overall "weak" feel of some molds.

    MOVIE: Best qualities of several previous lines but adds another mistake- "auto-morphing" takes away a lot of the fun of Transformers toys.

    ANIMATED: Amazingly well-designed characters which take franchise in a whole new direction.

    CLASSICS/UNIVERSE: Absolutely incredible, practically everything fans have ever wanted.
     

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