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TFW's Top Transformers of 2011

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Old 01-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #1
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TFW's Top Transformers of 2011

It's time once again for TFW's annual tradition! Every year our staff has picked our favorite Transformers from the previous year's releases, and with over two hundred releases last year, even more if you count third party products, there was plenty to choose from. What made the cut for us this year? Read on and find out! Then use this thread to sound off with your own favorites!

TFW Super Moderator & Scary Sig Killer

Generations Scourge
Nice update to a classic character and adding in the bonus of a gun that looks like his Targetmaster weapon without looking horrendously oversized.
Also great for troop building.

Runners up
Botcon 2011 Animated Exclusives, DotM Space Case, Generations Sergeant Kup, Maketoys Battle Tanker & United Laser Optimus Prime, United Stepper

TFW Super Moderator & Beardmaster

Timelines G2 Ramjet
I'm a lover of all things retro, and this was a perfectly executed throwback in my opinion. Ramjet makes an excellent companion to the 2010 Botcon set which I just adored. I LOVE the garish G2 paint schemes, and love that they added this piece to our new G2 collections. The excellent packaging was a nice way to top off a pretty solid club exclusive, and my favorite one to date.

Runners up
Botcon Fisitron, Generations Wheeljack, Botcon Autotroopers, Generations Warpath

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United Laser Optimus Prime
This figure is what made me understand why all the children of the 80's love the heritage lines Hasbro puts out so much. Laser Prime was the definitive Optimus for me as a kid, and I could not have asked for a better representation of what Transformers meant to me growing up. An occasional figure done up in Generation 2 colors is always a nice treat, but getting a brand new mold was totally unexpected.

Honorable Mentions
Timelines G2 Ramjet, DotM Space Case, Cyberverse Hatchet, DotM Walmart Sideswipe

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Generations Wheeljack
I'd have to go with Generations Wheeljack. As the first Transformer we see in the 1984 cartoon, he served to introduce the Autobots to a generation of us old-school fans. Finally, the inventor extraordinaire gets a spectacular modern update in his iconic, Italian flag-inspired deco with his race car alt mode, filling a major hole in this G1 fan's collection!

Runners up
Reveal the Shield Windcharger, United Stepper, Timelines G2 Ramjet, Generations Warpath

TFW Moderator

Generations Sergeant Kup
This is an excellent update to the flinty old G1 warrior who talks of tall tales about petrorabbits. Kup looks like a stylized pickup that you may actually see on the road here in 2011, yet is faithful to the original with his laser "musket" which really looks like an old time musket. The weapon can be held in a variety of ways and really adds character to the figure. Adding the special head mod with or without the cygar is icing on the cake, but on its own it’s a special figure.

Runners up
Generations Wheeljack, United Wreck-Gar, United Jazz

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Reveal the Shield Lugnut
One of the best "classics" style interpretations to date, fan-favorite Lugnut got transitioned near perfectly from the Animated aesthetic to a more contemporary one. Using the Voyager size-class to its full potential, his transformation was complex, and the way his wings converted to bulky arms was genius. To top it off, he was packed full of fan-wanky references, from his spring-loaded P.O.K.E., to molded detailing of micro-missile launchers hidden in his wings. This was truly a figure made by Lugnut fans, for Lugnut fans.

The Other Bestest
Prime Starscream, Botcon Drag Strip, Generations Scourge, DotM Megatron

Omegus Prime
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Generations Warpath
Warpath represents everything I like in a Transformer. Its transformation is very clean, nothing getting complicated for the sake of being complicated. The articulation is fine for its size and its design isn't hampered by an intrusive gimmick. And in both modes it looks fantastic, with a vehicle that looks solid and a kibble-free robot mode that's very solid and substantial. This is a really hard choice because many of the same traits I equate to Prime Starscream, but Warpath wins out because in both modes, he feels like he's worth the retail price. The fact that Starscream does things just as well, though, really has me anticipating 2012's lineup.

Runners up
Prime Starscream, Reveal the Shield Lugnut, DotM Cyberfire Bumblebee, DotM Megatron

TFW News Staff

Reveal The Shield Perceptor
Growing up, I never, ever, really cared about this character. At least, not until IDW got their hands on him and turned him into a Science Sniper. Perceptor's appearance in All Hail Megatron and Last Stand of The Wreckers made me care about this character. I drove to three Targets once rumors in the area started floating around that he was out. I couldn't wait to pick him up and arm him with Generations Blurr's weapons! The addition of chrome (something usually only Takara does) was a nice surprise as well.

Runners up
Cyberverse Blackout, United Lugnut, Fansproject Insecticons, Generations Sergeant Kup

The Goddamn Protoman

Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy (Takara Version 2)
Watching Rodimus toys throughout the years evolve and take what is learned from the last to make the next better. Masterpiece Rodimus is the magnum opus of that journey.

Runners up
DotM Megatron, Prime Starscream, Cyberverse Autobot Ark, Generations Sky Shadow

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Botcon 2011 Stunticon Exclusive Set
Any time there's more Animated figures released is a good time for me. To hear that this year's exclusives were based on Animated gave me all the incentive in the world to fly across the country. The set was very well executed and displays beautifully with the rest of my Animated collection. The slight remolds and complete redecos of the figures fit perfectly with the theme of the Stunticons. The comic was one of the more entertaining ones I've read of the TF canon in a while. My only wish of the set would be that Motor Master was based on the Animated Wreck-Gar mold instead of the voyager Optimus Prime.

Runners up
Botcon 2011 Animated Souvenirs, Timelines Animated Cheetor, Generations Warpath, Generations Wheeljack

News Reporter & TFWe Writer

Generations Warpath
Generations Warpath is not only the Generations/Reveal The Shield toy that best represents the progress of the line for me, but he's also the toy that feels like the perfection point of its line. The transformation hits that sweet spot of difficult and fun, and despite nitpicky gripes about the articulation on the toy, this had to have been my favorite purchase of 2011, and I dare say that he is my Transformers toy of the year.

Runners up
Generations Scourge, DotM Megatron, Human Alliance Basic Tailpipe, Reveal The Shield Lugnut

TFW Moderator & Artist, As the Fandom Turns

Dark of the Moon Leader Ironhide
As a movie Ironhide fan, this is the toy I've waited three movies for. He's armed to the teeth in both robot and pickup mode, including a big cannon in his rock-hard abs. Leader Ironhide is so awesome that he brought a knife to this gunfight. He even has a missile launcher in his leg! I wish I had a missile launcher in my leg...

Runners up
PCC Heavytread, SDCC 2011 Sky Striker Starscream, MP-10 Convoy Version 2.0, Timelines G2 Ramjet

Shin Densetsu
TFW Super Moderator & TFWe Writer

Dark of the Moon Striker Optimus Prime
I'm certain there were many older fans like myself who wanted a leader Optimus from the Dark Of The Moon line, one that had some of the stuff he used in battle. When initially announced, Striker Optimus was somewhat of a mystery; how different would he be from previous releases?

Not too long before release, more images were released, showing a more movie accurate palette, and of course, the guns and shield. The guns and shield were inadvertently revealed early in the year via a small glimpse of the packaging at a Hobby Show. It would be months before we saw more.

In lieu of using more paint apps, TakaraTomy molded Striker Optimus in darker colors. This was the intent of the designer, to evoke how Prime looked onscreen. This was also successfully done with the Walmart exclusive Battle Blades Prime earlier this year. It's a way around not using silver paint, yet not resulting in a cheap look(often associated with parts molded in light grey).

What we ended up with, is a very fun Optimus toy that doesn't really need paint touchup. Once next to ROTF leader Optimus, the difference is clear; the former looks cheap. Striker Optimus on the other hand, looks refined. This is the first Mechtech leader Optimus figure, and the guns can be used separately, and combined. Or you can attach them to the shield for a gauntlet with guns.

The swords ought to have come with it, and are the icing on the cake. While Jetwing Optimus was rather bare, Striker Optimus has a strikingly different deco. Or rather, strikingly better deco. There is incentive to buying both as Striker comes with different weapons, and in robot mode, is not compatible with Jetwing.

It's pretty hard to top the original ROTF Leader Optimus. Striker Optimus builds upon the greatness of that mold, and makes it even better. Definitely an Optimus figure worth getting and possibly the definitive movie Optimus figure(at the moment).

Runners up
Prime Arcee, Human Alliance Basic Tailpipe, Reveal The Shield G2 Optimus Prime, Reveal The Shield Lugnut

Sol Fury
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Transformers Prime Optimus Prime
Dethroning Grimlock from his usual top spot on my most-liked from the last couple of years is the defining Optimus Prime from Transformers Prime. What makes him appeal to me so much? He's quite possibly the ideal Transformer - heroic stature, excellent, clean uncluttered look, very poseable and show accurate, with a fun and interesting transformation. He's an excellent toy in all areas with no real significant drawbacks - he's far and away one of the best Optimus Prime toys ever designed, and possibly the best Transformers made yet.

Runners up:
Prime Bulkhead, Timelines G2 Ramjet, Reveal the Shield Lugnut, Generations Warpath

TFW Moderator & Radicon

Unicron with Kranix (Amazon exclusive)
Way back during the Armada days, I remember suffering through some really horrible, Playschoolish toy designs yet anticipating the Unicron figure. While I've always thought it's an awesome figure, it still had some qualities lacking for my desire to have my nostalgia completed. The TakaraTomy 2010 Unicron helped with a new head sculpt, but I didn't quite like the color scheme of it (it seems a little too flat for my tastes).
The Amazon exclusive really takes this mold and makes it literally shine. The figure really gleams with awesome, and I really feel that my desire to relive my Transformers: the Movie nostalgia is finally complete. The Kranix rename of the "Dead End" figure is a nice nod, and the figure makes more sense that I originally thought. The whole package looks really great. Getting it out of the shipping box is quite the experience, and I felt like I was holding a gem - this is about as close as reliving my G1 days as a kid that I can get with modern toys.
Even when the figure was released, it was a collector's frenzy, much akin to the SDCC Alternators Nemesis Prime fiasco. Even while still active, this figure was commanding more than the SRP tag. This is truly a desirable figure for the enthusiast and the collector alike, and I suspect that such demand will only increase as time marches on.

Runners up
Botcon Autotroopers, Generations Warpath, DotM Walmart Sideswipe, DotM Megatron

TFW Content & Photo Staff

United Lugnut
My pick for the best toy 2011 is United Lugnut. Lugnut became a fan favorite in Animated, and like Lockdown in the previous year he made a dramatic return. His new, movieverse inspired look was fantastic. While we could see the good old Lugnut still there, this new body gave him such menace, let alone great articulations and fun gimmicks. No one does "all hail Megatron" better than United Lugnut! (United WFC Megatron looks great with him. Noble, yet evil leader with his faithful beast.)

Runners up
United Laser Optimus Prime, DotM Skyhammer, DotM Crankcase (for the dreads and the middle fingers), Prime Arcee

TFW Photo Staff

United Jazz
The character we've ALL wanted to see get the classics-verse treatment was finally released to us. We saw pictures at Botcon, and the crown response was overwhelmingly positive. It caused the whole room to erupt into applause. When it arrived, the mold made fans swoon, although the lack of paint applications and the dirty-white turned some off. Now, we await Japan's offerings, and when we see the comparison of the Generations and United, some are blown away by the differences. I certainly was. The compliment to one of the best mold's in Transformers History was a great paint job, with accents in the right places, and no out-of-place Chrome applications. The clean lines of the figure, the wonderful look and the transformation formed one of Transformer's most iconic characters into a "perfect" updated toy.

Runners up:
Reveal the Shield Perceptor, Reveal the Shield Lugnut, DotM Leader Ironhide, DotM Barricade

TFW Photo Staff

E-Hobby United Scourge
While there's much debate over who Unicron transformed into Cyclonus, my favorite of 2011 is E-Hobby United Scourge. As a big fan of the seeker, G1, and crystal figures, I love the new mold created for Scourge. It has a great sculpt and poseability with easy transformation. He displays nicely on your shelf, and if shined through the light, the clear plastic shines beautifully.

Runner ups:
E-Hobby United Cyclonus, Generations Warpath, Timelines G2 Ramjet, Generations Junkheap

TFW Moderator & News Staff

Reveal The Shield Wreck-Gar
This wise-crackin', fast talkin' Junkion got a much deserved upgrade that kept true to the original form whilst receiving a sleek modern look! Little touches like being able to ride the vehicle mode along with receiving three repaints/remolds (United Wreck-Gar, United Scrap Heap and Generations Junkheap) for massive troopbuilding-bility makes this the top toy of the year for me!

Honorable Mentions:
DotM Jetwing Optimus Prime, DotM Leader Ironhide, Timelines Side Burn
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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I miss doing this so I'm going to chime in here

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Unicron (Amazon exclusive)

When the Armada Unicron came out I jumped at it as I had wanted a Unicron well since 1986. That said It just was not right, the head the color ect, It was Unicron, but only Close Enough Unicron. When Takara did their 2010 Unicron I came so close to importing it but frankly the price tag kept me from pulling the trigger. When This showed up at Botcon 2011 in the display I flipped out. THIS was the Unicron that I wanted 25 years ago and it was less that $200! Hands Down this was my Favorite of the year.

Runners up

Alternity Bumblebee, Club Exclusive G2 Ramjet, Generations Warpath

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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Botcon stole the year for me, but there were some great figures all around.

If I had to pick one, it would be the Autotrooper triple pack.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:45 PM   #4
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Looks like Generations Warpath made quite a few 'best of' lists from the Admin's in 2011, and I completely agree. Rarely does a Transformer snag a perm spot on my toy shelf, but this guy was only taken down shortly and then put right back up because I missed him so damn much. Great G1 homage and a truly wonderful figure overall.

I have to say though, of all 'best of 2011' toys lists that I've seen thus far no one mentioned the Optimus Prime or BB movieverse model kits?! I believe I have my years right and that these were released just after the movie and in 2011, right? Anyway, I picked up the OP kit and I absolutely love this thing! Again, speaking of TFormers that will remain on my shelf for quite awhile- movie accuracy to a 'T', great articulation, etc., made this figure a real winner in my book. Granted, he doesn't 'transform' per se, and if we are including all TFormers merch than most likely the wonderful Sideshow OP movieverse statue should be included as well, but for my money (the money I spent in 2011 that is), the movieverse model kit was in my top 5 for 2011.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
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No love for Cyberverse Guzzle? Awww.

Still, gotta agree on Warpath. That was an awesome surprise at just how good of a toy he is.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #6
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the lack of DOTM figures in that list is very telling...
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:54 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reminder on Warpath, I can't believe I forgot him on my Runner Ups.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:08 PM   #8
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nice, i love this list... my fave 5 are (in no particular order)
United Tracks (if you know me at all, this is an obvious choice)
DOTM Spacecase
TF Prime Voyager Optimus Prime
PCC Undertow
& RTS Windcharger

honorable mention would be DOTM Vortex, RTS Lugnut, Cyberverse Hatchet and Generations Warpath...
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #9
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I think the generations/united line itself was amazing. Kup, warpath, wheeljack, blurr...all fantastic figures. RTS added to the awesomeness with jazz, wreck gar and tracks.

Winner for me is Warpath.

Runners up: united blurr, united jazz, united tracks, united kup and generations wheeljack.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
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