When the Bayverse designs are discussed, one common statement from people who don't approve of them (or some of them) is "the designs need to be more faithful to the originals" (by which they mean the G1 designs). Whilst I agree with this in principle, what happens when some G1 designs are more equal than others? It's not true that all the G1 looks are good - some of them are actually pretty bad. Now, most of the '84 Autobots are pretty much all brilliant designs - there's almost no improving on them. They all look different (because they all have unique vehicle modes) you can tell what each of them turns into from the kibble and each character's design conveys their personality. These designs are iconic - and for good reason. And that's what you see with most of the Bayverse Autobots - Optimus and Jazz look almost exactly like their G1 counterparts and, whilst Bayverse Ironhide and Ratchet don't really resemble the originals, their designs still convey the characters fairly well. If you saw a picture of Bayverse Ironhide not knowing who he was, you'd probably be able to identify him as Ironhide. Bayverse Bumblebee is an incredibly odd case where the new look has actually started to replace the old one, in much the same way as Carol Danvers is starting to become the definitive Captain Marvel. Most post-2007 Bumblebees take a lot of design elements from Bayverse Bee; TF: Prime/RID 15 Bumblebee, Cyberverse Bumblebee, the IDW G1 Bumblebee and, of course, Movieverse 2.0 Bee. Now, that isn't necessarily a bad thing, since G1 Bee was a little too "cute" for the new, more badass interpretation of the character. The '84 Decepticons, however... pretty much suck when it comes to design, with the exception of the Seekers and Soundwave. The '85 Cons are better - however, let's be realistic here, we probably won't be seeing them in the films any time soon. Now, this is a controversial opinion, but the Bayverse designs for Megatron, Ravage and Laserbeak were actually better than the G1 designs; Bayverse Megatron's design makes him look more intimidating and scary, whilst Ravage and Laserbeak's Xeno-panther/vulture designs convey the essence of their characters, whilst being scary and unique and alien at the same time. Just because the G1 designs came first doesn't mean they're better. Now, Bayverse Starscream and Soundwave are modernisations of the original design gone wrong - the essence of the characters has been lost. Yes, there are good elements in the designs, but pretty much the basic look of Starscream and Soundwave has been lost. Having said that though, Starscream gets props for actually acting like his G1 counterpart - and being just about as threatening as him too (i.e. not at all). DOTM Shockwave is more like what should have happened with Starscream and Soundwave - take the basic outline of the G1 character and tweak it - either to make it look scarier, account for scale issues or, in Soundwave, to put kibble on for a new alt-mode. A good comparison for DOTM Shockwave is MonsterVerse Mothra. There's a vague similarity to Showa Mothra, but there's multiple aspects changed - smaller head, greater wingspan, changed wing patterns, praying mantis-like forelimbs, more hornet-like abdomen, as well as the stinger and the ability to spit webs in the Imago form... it's vaguely similar to the Toho Mothra, but it's markedly different in many aspects, mostly to make it look like a real insect. And that's what you see when you look at DOTM Shockwave - put him next to G1 Shockwave, you can see they're different incarnations of the same character. There's more commonalities between DOTM Shockwave and G1 Shockwave than there are differences. Now, I love it when films take outdated or ridiculous designs and make them into something actually compelling - for example, KOTM, which took the ridiculous Toho designs and ran them through the prism of real animal anatomy, or the MCU, which took the ridiculous comic costumes and made them somehow practical/functional. However, this can only go so far - it needs a passable original design to modernise. Now, I wholeheartedly believe a mixture of old and new is the best way to go forward. However, the application of old and new needs to vary with the character - we shouldn't be afraid to start from scratch if we need to. TL;DR: For characters whose original design is pretty good (e.g. the '84 Autobots, the Seekers, Soundwave, Shockwave), go more for old, whilst for characters whose original look was shit (e.g. Megatron, Ravage, Laserbeak), go more for new.