Archive for November, 2009

Diaclone Catalog Scans

November 28th, 2009 7 comments

I’m home for Thanksgiving, and so this weekend I have access to some of my old TFs and TF-related items from back in the 80s. One of the oldest items that I still have in my possession is a Diaclone catalog. This catalog came with the Dinobot Slag, or to be more accurate, the Dialcone toy that would eventually become Slag. I was already living in the United States at the time, and my aunt bought me the toy during one of her trips to Asia. I loved the toy of course, but I had no idea that he would eventually become part of the Transformers cast. And so I was pleasantly surprised the first time I saw him in War of the Dinobots and thinking, “Yeah! He’ll be a Tranformer and I already have him!”

All true TransFans know that the Dialcone toys made up the majority of the TF cast in the first two seasons. I’ve had some other Diaclones from those days, but this is the only catalog that survived. As you can see from the scans, this catalog is pretty wrinkled. As a kid, I used to look at this thing day and night, wishing I had every single one of these. Now that I’m a grown man I’m still kinda wishing for the same thing πŸ™‚

Behold the awesomeness of a 80s Japanese catalog and witness these images for yourself below. oh, this catalog reads from left to right (like an American book).

This is the cover. Other than the title, everything’s in English. The Constructicons were to “rescue” and “keep peace” in the Diaclone line? That’s a trip.


I guess the opening pages goes into some back story. I can only read the Kanji, but that alone makes little sense.


Here we have Optimus and all the Autobot cars. In the Diaclone line, I have the red Tracks and red Sunstreaker shown here. Tracks is still in decent shape, but I have no idea what happened to Sunstreaker.


Jumpstarters are featured on the left page. The toys kinda sucked after you get past the gimmick. Also, they did not at all appear in the G1 cartoons, but it’s nice to see them get some love in the War Within series. On the opposite page we see a graphic introducing the combiner toys.


The Constructicons have a very different color scheme in the Diaclone line. Devastator’s head looks different too. The 6 trains combiner team never made it to the TF universe. That’s a shame, but trains are not half as interesting has construction vehicles, so I guess Takara/Hasbro made the right choice.


Pics of the Constructicon toys, and a graphic introducing the Dinobots. Go Dinosaur Robo!


All 5 Dinobots are featured here. Colors in robot mode looks slightly different. Notice Slag’s chest is blue, which is what I had. In the TF version he is red. I’m hoping that the Encore series would re-release all of these. I get them all. Come and think of it, I like to see Encore versions of the Constructicons also.


These “Double Changers” became Omnibots. They were special mail-in only TFs in the Hasbro line that required you to pay money and collect those special Hasbro points on the box. I don’t know anyone that had these, probably because getting them was such a pain in the ass. Plus they were never featured in the cartoons. I don’t think War Within mentioned them either.


This is the back cover. Here we see some Seekers and the Insecticons in their Diaclone colors. Don’t recognize the rest.

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics

My Complete Optimus Prime Collection

November 23rd, 2009 2 comments

I’ve always wanted to do a group shot of all my Optimus Primes. I didn’t really have anything to do today, other than watch football, so in between halftimes and timeouts I dug out all my Primes from their various hiding spots and assembled them together for a group photo. During the process, even I became amazed at how many Optimus figures I have, and I don’t even have them all. This just goes to show what a popular character the Autobot Leader really is.


From left to right:
Bottom row: Alternator, 2007 Movie (First Strike Voyager class)
Middle row: Cybertron (Deluxe class), Titanium (War Within 1st version), Hybrid (THS-02), G1 (25th Anniversary Reissue), Classic (Voyager class), TFA (Voyager class)
Top row: ROTF (Leader class), Masterpiece (MP-04), 2007 Movie (Leader class)


Below are some of my un-opened figures of Optimus:

Clockwise from top left:
Classic Optimus Prime and Megatron Ultimate Battle 2-Pack (Deluxe class), Robot Masters (RM-01), Alternity (red), Alternity (silver), G1 (2002 TRU Reissue), Encore (01), G1 (25th Anniversary Reissue)


Here is a pic of the Movie Primes in their alt modes:

From left to right:
2007 Movie (First Strike Voyager class), ROTF (Leader class), 2007 Movie (Leader class)

Dune Runner snuck in there, watching from afar, wishing he could hang with the Primes πŸ™‚

And in the words of Optimus Prime, Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics

Macross Yamato 1/60 VF-11B

November 20th, 2009 7 comments

Today I’m doing something special. I have a treat for all you Macross fans out there. I’m posting pics and doing a review of the latest incarnation of the VF-11B from Yamato, this time in all its 1/60 scale glory. Yeah I know, not a Transformer, but I figure it is still a transforming robot so close enough. Plus he’s just too cool for me to not show it off.

I bought this last week from an ebay seller. I wasn’t home when they delivered it, so yesterday I had to go pick this up in person at the post office. This was about $190 shipped, which is slightly less than what most dealers ask for. This was formerly in the $220 to $230 range. The recent price drop from some dealers could be due to the 11C coming out soon, or possibly from the lack of love from fans because this model is often seen as the “fodder” in both Macross Plus and Macross 7. Whatever the case, the VF-11 has always been one of my personal favorites among the Macross fighters, perhaps because that early sequence in Macross Plus where Isamu Dyson kicked some serious rouge Zentradi ass was so memorable. But enough talking, on to the pics and the review.

I’ll start off with some pics of the box. Nothing too special here. This is the usual type of box that all Yamatos come in, with the flip up lid.

Jet Mode

The unit comes packaged in this mode. This is perhaps the most solid of the 3 molds.

I really like how this fighter looks. I think this mold has captured the shape of the 11 from the show perfectly, especially when compared to the 1/72 scale.

At first glance it actually looks like the 1/60 has less detail than the 1/72, but upon closer inspection, you will notice that’s not really the case. The detail on the 1/60 is more subtle when compared to the 1/72, but it is there. The lines the the 1/60 are not colored a dark line like the 1/72, and I think it looks better that way. In fact, the more I look at these, I more I feel as if the 1/60 is the real fighter and the 1/72 is the toy. The shape of the 1/60 is by far more show accurate, in my opinion. The shield in this mode stays on nicely on the 1/60, unlike the 1/72 where it’s constantly falling off. The gun pod is supported on the bottom by placing the gun handle between the arms, much like how the VF-1 Yamatos do it. To do this you have to position the gun and the arms just right, and it can be a little tricky to do. The fast packs also stay on tight, but not to the point where removing them would be difficult. The landing gears have rubber tires which is a really nice touch, though it is kinda hard to get them out. The cockpit can be opened and a pilot figure (probably Isamu) is included to be placed in there. Wings are retractable. Overall, all the pieces in jet mode stick together well and feels as if this is really one cohesive unit.

The above is a pic of the 11B next to ROTF Optimus to give you some idea of his size. It’s definitely smaller than the other 1/60 Macross Plus fighters, like the YF-19 and YF-21, but slightly larger than the 1/60 VF-1. If these scales are accurate, then we can infer that the 11 is one of the smaller fighters in the Macross Universe.

Gerwalk Mode

The Gerwalk is really one of the strengths of this unit. As the pic shows, this mold captured the look of the Gerwalk really well. In fact, this might be the best representation of the Gerwalk I have seen in any of the Macross fighters, whether its Yamato, Bandai, Toynami, or someone else.

Often times, the toy representation of the Gerwalk has legs that don’t quite translate to how the unit looks in the show. There are no such issues here. In the pics above you can see that the legs can be articulated nicely to match the Gerwalk’s birdlike appearance. The only time the Gerwalk has looked this good are on non-transforming models of the Gerwalk. I should point out that you kinda have to position the legs just right to get it in this stance, otherwise he either falls forward, or the jet body is positioned too flat. But its not too hard to do and there’s enough articulation in the legs, knee, and feet to position it however you wish. The arms also have enough articulation to for some good poses.

The transformation from jet to Gerwalk is fairly standard for the post part, but I do want to point out two things. First, the arm mechanism on this unit is much better than the 1/72. The way is swings out is much more robust, and there are grooves in the mechanics that let you know when you’ve gotten it positioned all the way. Second, the way that the rear wing module stays flat with the main jet body is much improved. The rear wing modules would never fall flat, because there is an insertion piece extending from these modules into the main body that locks it into place. This is done as part of the transformation. You can tell they really put a lot of thought into this when they designed this piece.

Battloid Mode

The Battloid is probably the weakest of the 3 modes in my opinion, but it is still a significant improvement over the previous attempts of the VF-11. The first thing I want to point out is how the cockpit shield comes down during transformation to the Battloid.

This shield is hidden behind the cockpit in the main body in the other modes. When it transforms to Battloid, the main cockpit goes under, and the shield slides forward. How cool is that?! I have never seen this on any other Valkyrie! Most of the time you just put this extra shield on, but this mechanism takes it to a whole new level.

The rest of the transformation is pretty standard. Nothing too revolutionary. Here are more pics of the Battloid.

As I’ve said already, this version looks much better and is not so skinny. The arms are still a little skinny in my opinion, but good enough. Compared to some other Valkyries, the articulation in the arms and legs are more limited, but I think there is enough here that you can still get some decent poses if that’s your thing. Getting the unit to stand up straight in this mode is a bit challenging. You kinda have to balance it just right. But I’ve had this for less than 24 hours so maybe I’ll find some trick to it later. The head does swivel 360 degrees, but does not go up and down. I kinda wish it did.

    I have some other thoughts that I’ll just throw out in bullet points:

  • Getting the gun into either hand can be tricky. There is a tab on the inside palm of the hand that sticks into a slot on the gun handle, then you just position the thumb and fingers over the handle, but I can’t seem to get it to work that well. Maybe its because the thumb and fingers (and also my own fingers) are getting in the way.
  • The fast pack can be attached or detached in all 3 modes. The leg parts are attached purely thru magnets like many of the other Yamatos. Very cool
  • The knife on the gunpod swings out just like the 1/72. However this knife does look bigger and more menacing. I wish they did some kind of spring pop-out mechanism so it would be show accurate, but this is good enough.
  • I don’t know what is the original MSRP for this, but it was at least $200+. The 11 is smaller than other 1/60s (except for the VF-1) and there are no diecast parts at all (the whole thing feels quite light), so at $200+ I don’t think this is good value. I think it should have been around $150.

Overall, I’m very happy with the 1/60 VF-11B. This is the best transforming version of this fighter that has ever been made. If you are anything of a Macross fan, you owe it to yourself to get this. As I’ve said already, I think the price tag is a little high. I’m not gonna say this is worth every penny that I paid, but I will say that I don’t regret paying what I paid. My final verdict is that this is very highly recommended, and if you are a Macross fan and you got cash to spare, go for it!

That’s all for now. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

Hunt Success… MP Skywarp Found!

November 19th, 2009 1 comment

In an earlier post, I mentioned I am on the hunt for Masterpiece Skywarp. Today around noon I finally found him at the Walmart near my work. There are like 34 sightings on Seibertron by now. I don’t know why Northern California is so slow to get these, but I’m just glad I didn’t miss out on a US Masterpiece Edition. There were close to 2 dozen units of these in the store. The best part… only $55! Everyone else reported $60 so I’m getting a $5 break. Any savings is better than none.

Overall, he is packaged very similar to how MP Starscream was packaged. Check out the pics.

Looks great from the front.

I love the side artwork.

Conversion Level is only 3?! WTF?! All MPs should automatically be 4.

I’m very happy with this find. Another great TF to my collection.

TransFans, get him before he teleports off the shelf. Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics

ROTF Scout Class Dune Runner

November 16th, 2009 2 comments

I’m normally not a fan of Scout Class figures. I think they’re too small and not worth the value. However the other day I came across this Youtube video by Peaugh. And just so everyone knows, Peaugh is probably THE reviewer for Transformers when it comes to Youtube TF reviews. His status in the TF community is now legendary and I always watch his videos if I’m deciding if I should get a TF figure.

The above video is mostly about Beachcomber. And I’m always excited about G1 characters in any TF toy line. As the video suggests, Beachcomber will appear in ROTF as a repaint of Scout Class Dune Runner. I will be buying Beachcomber as soon as he hits the shelves, but I have no idea how Peaugh gets the figures so early. I don’t think I can wait for Beachcomber, so the next best thing is to buy Dune Runner and check it out for myself, which is exactly what I did.

I’ve had some time to mess this mold now, and I will say that Dune Runner is very cool. He reminds me of Deluxe Landmine from the first movie, but in many ways he is more sturdy. I’ll start with the bot mode since that’s how he’s packaged. I like the overall colors, and he’s nicely proportionate. I think the two guns on this shoulders are very cool, especially for a Scout Class figure. These guns can be adjusted and angled in a number of ways. He’s got a decent level of articulation, he can stand up nicely on his feet, and he holds his poses well. I like his head sculpt too. Most movie figures have this “bug” look that I don’t like, especially in the head design, but I don’t sense that from Dune Runner. If anything, he looks more G1 than ROTF, and in my book that’s a very good thing.

In alt mode, Dune Runner is very nice as well. He is very solid as a dune buggy. The guns in this mode can be angled vertically to make it look like he’s aiming for some Decepticons coming from above. The vehicle mode rolls very nicely on a flat surface. He’s got a fair level of detail in this mode. I’m not sure what is the meaning behind the 0318 painted on the doors. The transformation from bot to buggy is nothing we haven’t seen before and the overall transformation is fairly simple, but keep in mind this is a Scout Class figure, so I’m not exactly looking for originality here.

I do have two minor gripes with this figure. First, from bot to alt mode, it can be hard to get the arms just right to make it fold in. It took me quite a while to figure out the arms are supposed to go exactly. If you don’t get it just right, and side of the buggy won’t line up well and you will see lots of seems on the doors and the roof. The other gripe I have is the price. Sure, at $7.49 he’s very affordable, but considering Deluxe figures only run for $10 and they are twice the size, I expect Scout class figures to be around $5. I guess this is more a complain with Scout Class figures in general and not Dune Runner, but still. If I was very budget conscious, I would not be picking up Scout Class figures. Certainly I would not buy Dune Runner if I already had Landmine (which I do).

But overall, Dune Runner is a very solid mold and I’m glad I picked him up. He is very highly regarded in all the Youtube TF reviews that I have come across, including both SEANxLONG and Optibotimus, in addition to Peaugh. This is the perfect mold to repaint into Beachcomber, because of the dune buggy alt mode, the small size, and the G1-like head sculpt. Dune Runner gets high marks from me and I encourage every TF fan to pick him up. And of course you know I will go out and buy Beachcomber when he appears on day 1.

Here’s to Scout Class figures… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews

On the Hunt for Masterpiece Skywarp

November 13th, 2009 1 comment

Now that I have successfully found Insections and Perceptor, my next target to be hunted is the US version of Masterpiece Skywarp.

Walmart Exclusives

This is a Walmart Exclusive, as the pic clearly shows. I made a trip earlier today around noon and I did not see him πŸ™ However I did see the other 2-Pack that is shown in the pic here, which may indicate that my Walmart will have it soon (I already have Sideways and I already have the Blowpipe mold as Dropkick, so I will pass on the 2-Pack). I got one Walmart near my work and one near my home, and I’ll be checking both frequently until he is hunted. As of this writing there are 31 sightings on Seibertron. I shop at Walmart frequently anyway (I know, bad habit) which makes this a convenient hunt, but I have made trips to Walmart just to hunt for TFs (another bad habit :() so who knows how many trips I’ll make before I find him. MP Skywarp retails for $60.

Oh, and I did check the Walmart website. Skywarp is not on there. And I’m not willing to pay markup from Ebay or other online sellers, so I’ll be making the trips to Walmart. I really don’t mind. There is something fun about finding TFs in person that the online experience simply doesn’t substitute. It’s hard to explain in words.

The US version is different from the Japanese Masterpiece version. This post explains it pretty well in detail. Basically the US version will have the same face as MP Starscream, whereas the Japanese version has a different “high-handed” expression for Skywarp. I would prefer the Japanese one, but it’s around $100. I don’t think paying an extra $40 for the face is worth it.


“Why are my eyes yellow?”

“Ahh… this bed is very comfy.”

“Strike when the enemy isn’t looking… oh wait, you are looking.”

That’s all for now. Until next time… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt

Top 10 Transformers That Talk Funny

November 11th, 2009 2 comments

There are a whole lotta Transformers in the TF universe. To give them more personality and character, the creators of the show gave many of them interesting speech patterns. Some of them are very charming, while others are just plain annoying.

But you gotta figure that for a race with unlimited technological advances at their disposal, such as transformation, mass-shift, intergalactic travel, and space folding just to name a few, fixing speech patterns for the vocally unorthodox should be a simple matter. My guess is Transformers don’t value speech all that highly, or maybe some of them are simply too proud of their individuality.

Below I present my top 10 Transformers that could use a lesson in speech etiquette. I would love to hear any of these guys make a wedding toast.

10. Wheelie

Wheelie talks in a funny way.
Wheelie will annoy you every day.
Wheelie likes humping Megan Fox’s leg.
Wheelie rhymes ’cause Wheelie’s gay.
9. Wreck-Gar

Wreck-Gar and the Junkions learned how to talk by watching Earth’s TV. I guess it’s true that TV does turn brain to mush. Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong?
8. Blurr

Blur talks so fast and so much to hear what he is saying is abolutely positively definitely impossible and you try and try and try but he keeps talking and he talks non-stop and you try some more and you don’t give up until you get him but it’s just impossible impossible impossible.
7. Waspinator

Poor Waspinator. The only TF to come from Beast Wars on this list, Waspinator talks in a high-pitch voice, always refers to himself in the third person, and has silly aliases for everyone. He has a tendency to get himself blown up every episode, only to come back in the next episode (if not in the same episode) to get his big stripey butt kicked some more.
6. Seaspray

Someone fix Seaspray’s vocal generators stat. This guy sounds like he is constantly under water and his speech is filled with bubble or gurgling sounds. Sometimes I wonder how other Autobots understand him. However a mermaid did fall in love with him so I guess chicks dig it.
5. Warpath

Warpath is one over-caffeinated Autobot. He ends every sentence with a “wham”, “bam”, “zoom”, or “yeehaw”. Dude, chill.
4. Insecticons

The Insecticons must be around if you hear speech echoes. It sounds pretty cool at first, but after while they just start to bug (pun intended).
3. Omega Supreme

Words few. Talk unnecessary. Resolve unyielding. Firepower overwhelming. Personality boring.
2. Soundwave

The king of monotone speaking usually has little to say, but when he does, Deceptioncs usually listen. I like the way Soundwave talks, I can’t explain why. But it is ironic that the Decepticon communications officer, with an audio device as his alt mode no less, cannot speak in less robotic ways.
1. Grimlock

Me Grimlock no bozo. Me grimlock love Kup’s war stories. Me Grimlock no like you. Me Grimlock love saying me Grimlock. Me Grimlock number one on this stupid list. Me Grimlock King.

Me Grimlock say… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Top Ten

My Complete Transformers Collection

November 9th, 2009 Comments off

Today I had some spare time so I decided to compile a list of every Transformer that I own. The list only includes TFs I purchased since 2004, the year that I got back into TF collecting. Compiling this list took a little bit of time, but I’m glad I did. Having a list like this puts in perspective just how many TFs I own πŸ™‚

Hopefully this list will provide some street cred to my TF hardness. Or just demonstrate how crazy about TFs I really am. πŸ™‚

Click here to see the list, or simply click on My TF List on top.

To all the Autobots and Decepticons on this list… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Uncategorized

Hunt Success… Insecticons and Perceptor Found!

November 5th, 2009 1 comment

In a earlier post I mentioned that I must find the 25th Anniversary versions of Insecticons and Perceptor. Yesterday I finally found them at my local TRU. I quickly bought one of each. I know… at $34.99 each they seem a tad expensive, but in the same previous post I went into why I don’t agree. There was still one Perceptor left on the shelve when I left TRU, but no more Insecticons.

Check out the pics below.

I love the artwork and the silver TRU Exclusive sticker on the front. “Decepticon Agents”?! That’s a new one.

“It’s a world where things are not what they seem. It’s a world of heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons who are known as… the Transformers!” They repeated the G1 box descriptions word for word. Awesome!

Both of them with the lid open side by side.

Look at all the details on the Insecticons! They sure don’t make them like this anymore.

Robot, microscope, and… tank! Perceptor kicks ass… or not. He’s a lover not a fighter.

I just noticed that all 3 Insecticons have wheels on the feet in insect mode. Somehow I didn’t think this was weird back in the 80s…

I’m not sure if I will be opening these. In the box they just look too cool and these may be primed to go up in value. We’ll see.

That’s it for now my fellow TransFans. Remember… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: On The Hunt, Pics, Toy Reviews

Top 10 Transfomers with No Mouths

November 3rd, 2009 Comments off

The other day I happened upon an image of movie Optimus Prime, and seeing him with lips just don’t do it for me. That G1 mouthpiece is just too iconic, and seeing movie Prime yap his trap is just silly.

This got me to thinking, what do Transformers need mouths for anyway? Like all machines, they have infinite ways to communicate that humans can only dream of. If they feel the need to “talk”, or if audio transmission is only to communicate with humans, they can easily do it through other standard audio channels. They don’t need to eat. Ingest Energon maybe, but I’m sure they have other means to do so. A mouth for a Transformer simply serves no purpose, but it seems like most TFs have them.

But some clearly do not. So I got to thinking, what are my top favorite TFs that have no mouths? This includes TFs that either use a mouthpiece or is missing a mouth altogether. Below I humbly present my top 10 favorite Transformers that let their actions do their talking for them, instead of their pie holes.

10. Sixshot
Sixshot is unique in the TF universe for being the first TF with 6 modes (I think the only other one is Quickswitch). Truly a one-robot army, he came way too late in the US G1 cartoons to fully make an impact. In the Japanese continuation, however, he has a much bigger role. Sixshot lets all his transformations do the talking for him. It should be noted that his wolf mode does have a mouth, but that’s probably just there to bite all his enemies to shreds. I think my cousin had this toy when we were kids. I believe he was re-issued this decade in Japan, I should hunt one down. Better yet, I like to see a Classic update of this character. To accommodate 6 modes, he’s gotta be Voyager class or bigger. With the toy technology they have today, he would be so awesome. Oh man I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

9. Getaway
I have always loved the Powermasters. The idea that a Nebulan partner transforms into the engine, which then unlocks the Transforming mechanism of the TF, is… well… pretty stupid actually. If I was a TF, and I needed a partner to unlock what I could’ve done any time I pleased, I might as well shoot myself. However, the toys themselves were cool. Getaway made this list mainly because I had his toy as a kid (and I still do, complete, intact, and in good shape with tight joints), and I’m always partial to TFs that I own. But more importantly, the G1 Powermaster figures all had pretty good molds, with cool designs and robust construction. Getaway in my opinion was the best of the Autobot car Powermasters. His alt mode is supposedly a Mazda RX-7, and the robot mode looks nicely balanced. His profile is also unique for being the masterful escape artist, something not shared by any other TF to my knowledge. In the Movie line of toys, he appeared as Breakaway (repaint of Cybertron Excellion), a Walmart exclusive. Getaway did not appear at all in the US G1 cartoons. However, he appeared many times in the US Marvel Comics continuity, and has a significant role in Vol 3 of the War Within series (which is unfortunately unfinished).

8. Bombshell
I have always too loved the Insecticons. Transforming into insects is just too freakin’ cool. I also went into why Bombshell is special for me in a previous post. Bombshell is the only Insecticon without a mouth. Though all Insecticons feed like crazy so I guess they put the mouths in their bug modes to good use. Bombshell has the special ability to mind control his targets with cerebral shells. All 3 Insecticons (and maybe even the deluxe guys from G1) would be good to re-do in the Classic line. There shouldn’t be any licensing issues whatsoever, and with insects the toy designers should be able to get very creative.

7. Scrapper
The Constructicons are one of my favorite sub-groups of all time in the TF universe. They were the first Combiner group introduced, and Devastator gave the Autobots all they can handle. Not only powerful, the Constructicons are also master builders and engineers. It’s hard to say who is the most famous Constructicon, but Scrapper definitely deserves consideration. As the Constructicon leader, he’s always supervising the Decepticon’s latest construction project, whether it be a new weapon, space cruiser, command outpost, or whatever. He seems to take an evil delight in all his creative pursuits, and I love the way he orders the team to unite when the Autobots are about to kick their butt.

6. Wheeljack
The resident “mad scientist” of the Autobots, Wheeljack is always working on something when he’s not too busy helping Ratchet repairing their wounded comrades. Wheeljack is famous for being the first TF we see on screen in the G1 cartoons and for creating the Dinobots. He does not have a mouth at all. When he speaks, the two pieces to the sides of his head lights up, indicating he has communicated. This is actually how I anticipate TFs to talk. Rumor has it that Wheeljack is getting an update in the next wave of Classic figures, something I highly anticipate.

5. Bruticus
Of all the Combiner teams, the Combaticons are my favorite. I remember back in grade school, my classmates and I would argue over which is the best Combiner team. Many voted for the Stunticons, some liked the Aerialbots. They were both good choices, but my vote goes to the Combaticons. Let me explain why. For the Stunticons and Aerialbots, the figures that form the limbs are not at all diverse. All the Aerialbot jets transform the same way, and so does the Stunticon cars (though to a lesser degree). Once you bought one, it’s like you bought them all. The Construction toys were old and outdated by the time the newer Combiners rolled around. And the Protectobots, well, they were a bunch of wussies in the cartoon so I don’t think anyone liked them. Not counting the later seasons, this only leaves the Combaticons. They were powerful in the cartoon, many times beating the other combiner teams. And as for the toy, each limb component were truly unique from each other, in both transformation and alt mode. And they all transform into combat vehicles! I don’t think it’s any surprise that Hasbro re-released this figure set 6 times after G1! That in itself should prove this is the most popular combiner set. My first Combaticon was Blastoff, and I slowly collected the rest as time went. Finding Vortex back then was a real challenge, I think he’s the rarest one out of the five. I still have my G1 set, all complete, the pride and joy of my G1 collection (though Onslaught is getting quite loose). I think all the Decepticon combined forms has the same personality (strong and dumb), but Bruticus comes from my favorite team so I had to put him on here. And when I was compiling this list, it dawned on me that all the Combaticons except for Swindle have mouthpieces, but for the sake of variety I just let Bruticus represent all of them.

4. Shockwave
If I was re-born as a Transformer, this is how I want to look like, because no one would know what I was thinking or feeling. Nevermind not having a mouth, Shockwave is completely devoid of all facial features, except for his iconic cyclops eye. When he talks, the eye starts flashing in sync with his words. So is he talking through his eye? Does the round object on his face function as both eye and mouth? We may never know, but that quality of being extremely efficient matches well with Shockwave’s personality. In the G1 cartoons he is simply the guy waiting on Cybertron (for 4 million years!), but in the comics he is given a much bigger role, often taking command of the Decepticons and conducting unorthodox experiments, such as Triple Changing and Combining technology.

3. Grimlock
“Me Grimlock not kisser, me Grimlock no need mouth!” The bad-ass that is Grimlock represents some of the very best that the Autobots have to offer. Grimlock is one of the Autobot’s most powerful warriors regardless of which TF continuity you follow, but in the US Marvel Comics continuity (and extended in the comic prequel War Within), we see that he is also a very capable leader, even taking on role as Autobot Leader form time to time when Optimus is missing or deactivated. In the cartoons, and especially in the G1 movie, he is often portrayed as the comedy relief despite being very powerful. However, no one forgets that he was the first TF character to have a T-Rex as an alt mode, and that in itself is just too damn cool. Grimlock seems to enjoy his Dino mode a lot more so than his robot mode (in the cartoon anyway), perhaps because as a T-Rex, he’s got a much bigger mouth to chomp his enemies into itty bitty pieces.

2. Soundwave
Ask any true TF fan to name his top 5 favorite Decepticons, and Soundwave is bound to be on that list. The Decepticon communications officer earned his place in TF legend not by being the most powerful warrior, but through his exploits in stealth and cunning, his monotone way of speaking, his non-personality, and last but not least, his numerous henchmen that he can eject as cassettes from his tape deck. As far as G1 toys go, Soundwave is perhaps the most accurate to the G1 cartoon. Let’s face it, the cartoons made most characters look much better than their toy representations (I’m looking at you, Ratchet and Ironhide). Soundwave is the lone exception. If you looked at him in the cartoons and imagine in your mind how his toy would look, well, that’ how it looks. His G1 mold still holds up well today. In fact it’s so good that I don’t think a Masterpiece version can really improve on it, other than making him bigger and perhaps a little more detail.

1. Optimus Prime
Like I would put anyone other than Optimus Prime in the top spot. Optimus Prime is perhaps the most iconic Transfomer of all time. His dedication to the freedom and welfare of all living beings is unrivaled. Optimus has got it all, being both a powerful warrior and capable commander. He (along with Megatron) has appeared in every Transformer continuity and spin-off. The earlier renditions of Optimus all has him appear with the mouthpiece, but later versions of the character tend to give him the lips with the mouthpiece serving as some kind of lower face shield when he’s in battle (such as Beast Wars, the Michael Bay movies, and the Animated Series). I don’t know what is the reason for this evolution, but the G1 purist in me will probably never get used to seeing Prime with moving lips. And I think not seeing the lips gives a character more authority in appearance. This is the design I prefer for Prime. There are many Optimus figures where you can pose him with the mouth shield on or off. Guess how I pose mine?

Honorable Mentions: Warpath, Powerglide, Hoist, Seaspray, Cosmos

Until next time… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Top Ten