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Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys
Date: Saturday, June 27th 2015 1:09am CDT
Category: Editorials
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 18,720

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 best Shellformers

Shellformers get a bad rap among the community due to the loads of panels which end up clumsily gathered around the robot mode. However, they can also make for very interesting and effective transformations by helping conceal the robot element. They help add the "disguise" part of "robots in disguise" and it is a treat to see the lengths designers will go to make the shell work in robot mode. The last list was about how they could go terribly wrong, so this week we look at how a good toy can come from this design approach.

5.Transformers Generations Sky-Byte

This toy has flaws, sure (the Hasbro deco doesn’t help), but no one complains about its shell. This is a shellformer done right by using the shell to help disguise the robot and enhance the alt mode while not distracting from the robot in robot mode. It gets the top 5 spot by being a great improvement in terms of the shell over its original toy. What used to look like an amazon canopy in the back is now reduced to two small wings that can be rearranged any way that suits you making it customizable kibble. And if you add that sweet Takara deco, then that's just the icing on the cake (chocolate icing with bits of Reese and Toblerone crumbled across it).

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

4. Transformers Dark of the Moon Sentinel Prime

Leader Sentinel Prime makes it on this list simply because we know how horribly wrong this could have gone if poorly executed. Unlike the voyager class figure, which relies on a fake kibble chest and does nothing with the shell, the Leader version owns up to his shellformer self and wears his shell with pride and dignity. Firstly, the front of the firetruck folds away inside his chest cavity and the window front contorts to create a stylish chest. The top of the firetruck splits into several panels to circle the figure and create an intergalactic cape which does not look like just the the roof of a firetruck. It adds to the complexity of the figure, and makes this one of the most arduous transformations you will ever undertake. That complex transformation shows how much the designers and engineers wanted to integrate the shell and use it to embellish the robot mode instead of detracting from it.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

3. Transformers Beast Wars Neo Big Convoy

Probably one of the biggest example of a shellformer. Yet, you can’t help yourself but marvel at the awe that is Big Convoy. This is one of the most interesting forms Prime/Convoy has ever taken. The sculpt is filled to the brim with the most amount of minute details I have ever seen (to this day). The details are asymmetrical all over the place (chest, arms, thighs, shoulder-pad missile holes) yet it all looks uniform at the same time. And he is the first Convoy to ever have a removable matrix! This amazed fellow reviewer Ben Yee so much that he was a bit let down with Fire Convoy (another amazing toy) not having one. This is a fun toy to transform and despite all that kibble, he is super poseable. The fact that he is totally covered up enhances the transformation process by uncovering one of the most imposing robot modes from the beast era and the most detailed sculpt ever made. This is what shellformers are all about, having two incredible modes that look nothing alike and uncovering different colours and aesthetics without being lazy in design. This guy knows he is a shell former and does so with great pride. Most of the shell becomes a gigantic gun, freeing up the robot mode, and the rest is worn like the total Nordic badass he is.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

2. Transformers Beast Wars Megatron and Transformers Classics Megatron

Both of these deserve the number two spot because they are there for the same reason. The use of the shell in both of these is genius. They both have great alt mode integration in the form of arms and feet that stick out but the shell surrounds the contortioned robot in a way to give the complete illusion that everything is cohesive and all part of the very same object. In both cases, you can’t tell where the shell starts and ends until further scrutiny. In both cases, the shell goes onto the robot’s back giving the mode a more regal appearance. These are shellformers done right. They also happen to both be Megatrons. Yessss

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

1. Transformers Prime: Robots In Disguise Vehicon

This is a shellformer, think about that for a second. Isn’t that pretty amazing? The shellformer without the shell gets the easy number 1 pick. No shell was ever managed and stored this effectively and I doubt we'll be seeing anything like this again for a long time.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Shellformers Transformers Toys

Honourable mentions: I was hard pressed to not be able to include Beast Wars Cybershark as he is another great example of a shellformer done right, however it results in a restrictive alt mode and both Megatrons are similar toys but more accomplished. Also, I didn’t want to include more than one shark on this list.

Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys
Date: Saturday, June 13th 2015 10:35am CDT
Category: Editorials
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 21,935

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys


As Beast Wars fan, I grew up on shellformers. Since an animal is not metallic in nature (they soon found a way around that)it always made sense to me that part of the animal couldn't integrate completely into the robot mode. I only realized later that they got a bad rap and I understand why now: it can yield to very lazy and unattractive designs. Shelformers are a sad sight when you know it's possible for the robot to have some alt mode integration or, even worse, when the character model shows alt mode integration. In that scenario, a fake piece of kibble is made to make up for the shell kibble that they couldn't bother integrating. That's DOUBLE KIBBLE!!!! Before I pull an aneurysm, let's just get to the list...

5. Transformers Dark of the Moon Voyager Sentinel Prime

The extent of how poor a shellformer this is, is entirely due to the contrast against the leader size mold of this character that actually uses the shell in a far more interesting way. For one, this toy doesn't incorporate the shell into the figure in any way. While the leader version uses the front of the firetruck as his chest, this one resorts to leaving the front of the truck to fold on it's back and relies on a fake kibble piece to make up the chest. Also, while the leader figure uses the shell of the truck to create a stylish cape or celestial garment of sorts, the voyager just has the entire truck shell just stay unfolded in it's back making it look like a robot just skinned a truck to wear it like a tortoise shell. It also makes a horrible backpack that is placed far from the figure as if neither modes want anything to do with one another.

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys


4. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Human Alliance Sideswipe

What did I write above again? Oh, right: Using a shell can result in a very lazy looking and unattractive design. It is made worse when the excess shell kibble results in a massive backpack, which detracts from the sleek robot. Man, Sideswipe here must be studying for all his courses tonight because look at the big backpack he needs to carry all his books!

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys

3. Beast Wars Neo Break

While the Beast Wars Neo line took the idea of a shellformer to a whole other level, the results were usually very intriguing, and sometimes pretty bad ass, making its use of kibble endearing to the line as a whole. But Beast Wars Neo's Break is just too much to bear. While animals disguised as robots may get more of a pass over being a shellformer, due to necessity, this guy just pushes it too far. He looks like a giant kinder surprise egg that someone smash opened to find a robot inside. Without hyperbole, this is the equivalent of a G1 Pretender who's robot mode had pieces of the outer pretender shell glued all over it. That penguin head just sitting there among the debris right in the open is the icing on this terribly tasting cake.

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys


2. Transformers Age of Extinction: Generations First Edition Optimus Prime Amazon Exclusive

You would think that by 2014, robots entirely covered by a shell and just brought to the back would be a thing of the past. But no, they were (are) still alive and well and that year even gave us one of the biggest shellformer offenders. There are even photos all over the internet showing both the robot and truck mode of First Editions AOE Optimus side by side, WHILE USING THE SAME TOY!

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys

1. Transformers Cybertron Thunderblast (Chromia)

This is an extremely inefficient transformer whose body length shell serves as the main disguise to a robot that doesn’t pose at all. It also has barely no alt mode integration (only her feet). The joke of having a robot surprise in a shell that is usually done to poor Break above is brought to the extreme here. The shell is so big and overwhelming that she can’t stand on her own and it limits any motion she might have. If anyone cares, this mini review was quite easy as I simply used something I had written for Beast Wars Cybershark and just wrote the opposite of every positive aspect about that figure. And Thunderblast came out 10 years after that figure! I really could not think of a better toy to show how bad shellforming could be.

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys


Honourable mentions: I didn't want to fill this list entirely with Beast Wars Neo figures for several reasons. Firstly, as mentioned in the intro, the use of a shell for robots disguised as animals makes sense. If you went for total alt mode integration, Long Rack would look like a buffoon (more so). However, as you saw I couldn't resist but include the biggest shellformer offender that line had to offer. I would say Beast Wars Ironhide is probably the most intense shellformer ever but it works for the awesome combined form of Magnaboss and I didn't find it fair to fault him on that.

I would like to thank Cobotron for the image of Break.
In two weeks, the BEST Shellformers. Talk to you then!

Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes
Date: Saturday, May 30th 2015 10:49am CDT
Categories: Editorials, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88 | Credit(s): Seibertron's own Optimutt

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Views: 20,176

While there are very few lists concerning Transformers toys on the web(world), it’s a different matter for the G1 episodes, which asks for a bit more special attention. So I called upon the help of an expert, Seibertron's own Optimutt, to write this very special list devoted to the 98 episodes of the original Transformers cartoon:

The Top Ten Best Transformers episodes!

Take it away Optimutt!

Since this is an important list, I had to establish a ruling criteria. This will be the same rules for the subsequent lists I write, if this one goes well. In looking at each episode, I considered a number of important points.
- The first is Enjoyment Factor. If we can’t enjoy a cartoon, why bother watching, right?
- The second is Animation. While some of you may claim this is unfair to the notorious AKOM studio, this is an animated show after-all so I can't ignore it, but keep in mind that this is only one of the many factors.
- To this, I also add Story. Yes, this was a 1980’s cartoon. Yes, I know that campiness was a key ingredient of the stories. Indeed, this WAS a series designed to sell toys. And yes, I wholly understand that these were cartoons geared at kids. But all those factors aside, there were also some remarkably mature concepts that the cartoon introduced to the fandom. In many ways, the story-telling of G1 conceptuality set the standard for what was to come: Dinobot in Beast Wars, Cliffjumper in TF: Prime, the brutality of the movies, Furman’s run on Marvel’s and IDW’s comics, and James Roberts’ More Than Meets the Eye, among countless other examples.
- Which leads directly into Cultural Relevance. The Transformers cartoon was the one that started it all. Without the movie, would Optimus Prime be a walking phoenix cliché? I think not. So much of what the Transformers has become is owed to this cartoon series. Indeed, there are some episodes on this list that would absolutely not belong were it not for their significance to the fandom over the past thirty years.

Before the list begins, I want to make a shout-out to the fans who responded to an inquiry I posted on various fandom media. I asked YOU what you thought was the best episode. The results of that is below.

Fans’ Choice – I submitted this question to a number of different media. It turns out that of all the responses, the fandom feels that Galvatron’s descent into madness was the most fun you could have with the 22 minute time slot of the 1980’s! Congratulations Webworld!

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Galvatron with Dr. Ratchet.


I also want to thank imdb.com for the episode descriptions and a whole lot of different places for the images. They’re purty.

Finally, an honorable mention. The movie was epic. Watch it, if only for this epic scene. Yes, “epic” is used twice because the whole movie blew minds. Only truly epic things deserve such epicosity of wordage.



Alright. Enough lolley-gagging! Let’s get this show on the road!

Number Ten

Webworld – Written by Len Wein and Diane Duane. Cyclonus is concerned about Galvatron's mental and emotional state and takes him to a planet where he can get treatment.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes


Galvatron proving he accepts no outside interference.


One thing to note: Len Wein is the guy who wrote Giant Sized XMen 1, you know, the first appearance of Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Thunderbird. These are some of the most influential characters in comics, and he brought them all to life. But this is only one element of his legacy. The fact that his most significant contribution to the TF Fandom is what was chosen as the favorite episode speaks volumes of his abilities as a writer.

Mutiny is no stranger in the cartoon, but in the first two seasons, we would have seen exactly that. In Webworld, that tradition is circumvented by Cyclonus’ loyalty to his leader. This element, by itself, puts this episode in a unique position in the canon.

More important than the Decepticon situation is the psychological one. The whole episode is a social observation on how emotional connection changes not just the target but also the agent. In opening itself up to Galvatron’s psychological mainframe, the planet of Torkulon contracts the same madness that plagues the Decepticon leader. Titled “Webworld,” the episode almost predicted a potential flaw in the Internet (which would not be made public for at least several years after this episode was made), which was of exploitation. Wonderful as it is, ask any artist or creator about creator rights, and you will see how much damage Galvatron’s madness actually is.


Number Nine

The Master Builders – Written by David N. Gottlieb and Herb Engelhardt. Grapple has dreamed of building a solar tower to collect energy from the sun. But when Optimus disapproves, Grapple finds help from the Constructicons, who are secretly working for Megatron.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Grapple enjoys his toy model blueprint.


How far will an artist go to create his art? “The Master Builders” looks right in the face of this question. In Grapple, viewers can vicariously make that judgement call that all artists must wring their hands in quiet contemplation when their ideas are rejected. Do they give up? Do they eschew traditional methods and create the art on their own? Or do they make a deal with the devil and sell out? This is the Faustian myth of blues artist Robert Johnson in animated form. And just like the “Crossroads” creator, Grapple has to pay the price of his deal: betrayal and corruption of the dream.

There is also an unspeakable tragedy of war in this: it is difficult, if not impossible to maintain anything of value during wartime. Wartime consequences will come to play a little later in the list (can you guess which episode I am referencing?) but for now, let me just say how amazing an episode this is. There is no line that is out of place, nor scene that does not work into the overarching story. And for once, Megatron (and Scrapper, and Smokescreen, and Optimus… just about everyone, really) shows how competent a leader he actually is. Perhaps it is that overall competence that we see in this episode that makes it so good. Every thread is about using your skills, and other people’s skills to benefit the populous. Ultimately, despite all the betrayal and heartache that we see, it is a sparkly feelgood episode.


Number Eight

War Dawn – Written by David Wise. Some Aerialbots start to have doubts about their cause, some have started to admire Megatron, and are thinking of switching sides. They get pulled into a time warp, and end up on Cybertron, before the current war began. They'll discover more about Megatron, and the origin of one of their own.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

“Pax. Orion Pax. I’ll have a Tesarus, shaken, not stirred.



Who is Optimus Prime? What was he before he became the ultimate Autobot? Why, he was just another chump named Orion Pax, palling around with his girlfriend and buddy. IDW has used this idea as a launchpad for so much of their stories that I would not be able to give the company justice in this review. So I won’t. All I will add about this is that the Cultural Relevance of this episode is mind-bogglingly huge. I mean, Unicron-sized huge.

As far as a story is concerned, it’s ok. There are some serious flaws in the episode (“We must destroy the time machine to save our friends! But now we need to fix it get them back!” paraphrasing courtesy of the author). Despite this, the Aerialbots’ naivete is beautiful. Yes, they are chumps, but it makes sense! How many of us (both young and old) have fallen victim to that crush on that sexy, beautiful person only to realize what a chump they are? I have most certainly made that mistake once. Or twice. So cut Slingshot (Quickslinger) and company some slack. At least they learned from their mistake. Granted, it only nearly cost Orion Pax his life, but who’s counting? We got Optimus Prime out of the deal! Thanks, chumps!


Number Seven

Golden Lagoon – Written by Dennis Marks. The Decepitcons coat themselves with electrum that they find in a golden lagoon. They become impervious to laser fire and attack the Autobots.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

I am Golden Supreme!


Above, if you guessed I was referencing Golden Lagoon, give yourself a No-Prize!

The 1980s were a good twenty something years into the Cold War, a period of non-conflict between Capitalist countries (especially the USA) and Communist countries (primarily the USSR, but also China) to see whose dogma is the better one. If the Cold War were ever to run hot, it would look a lot like Golden Lagoon. What begins as a mere skirmish between a handful of Autobots and Decepticons results in a capture of Autobot prisoners. To rescue these prisoners, the Autobots mount a greater force, but again are repulsed because the Decepticons find the lagoon of Electrum and become invulnerable. So the Autobots pull out their big gun, the ultimate defender, Omega Supreme! Yeah. He gets beat. Soundly. So the Autobots manage to find the Electrum and coat themselves, resulting in their defeating the ‘Cons! Yay! We won! Or did we?

See, this episode is not about how wars are won by building bigger and better weapons, instead, it is a commentary about the horrors of war. In The Master Builders, Grapple’s Solar Power Tower is destroyed not because it’s bad, but because the nature of conflict is that has no conscience. It destroys indiscriminately. In warfare, no one is innocent, and those that begin innocent are quickly stripped of it, either by outright destruction or by death. This is an idea that we are seeing more and more of in the fandom: The Battle of Chicago (TF3), Code of Hero (Beast Wars), IDW’s Transformers series (starting back in Retaliation). Sure, using Beachcomber as a narrative shows just another hippie hugging his trees and channeling his inner Disney Princess, but upon a deeper look, this allows the viewer to appreciate the beauty of life. And to mourn death’s loss. Beachcomber’s response at the end, where he looks out at the Arcadia that was now a dismal crater of smoking destruction is one of the most poignant images in the whole of cataclysmic TF images. See and judge for yourself.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

“We won.”



Number Six

The Return of Optimus Prime – Written by Marv Wolfman and Cherie Wilkerson. A group of scientists finds the body of Optimus Prime, and some spores that bring out aggressive tendencies in whomever it contacts. The scientists have a grudge against the Autobots, and use Optimus's body to lure them into a trap. As the spores spread through the Autobots and Decepticons, Rodimus orders Sky Lynx to find a Quintesson in a desperate attempt to bring Optimus Prime back to life. The spores spread across the Galaxy, forcing the newly-revived Optimus to find a cure in the Matrix, which is inside a spore-infected Rodimus Prime. Without becoming infected, Optimus must find a way to get the matrix.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Who could it be?!?


Relevence: Historic. Prime f-bomb comes back to life!

This episode sets two very recurring precedents in the TF mythos, namely that Prime is a phoenix who dies and promptly comes right back to life again, and upgrades will happen! Not just recolored toys and simple retools of previous molds, but full-on upgrades! While Optimus doesn’t get one in this episode, Bumblebee does! Which happens again. And again. And again. This is a perfect story play; especially considering this is an animated show for a toy line, it lets HasTak keep the bodies fresh. I mean, since this episode, certain Transformers have changed bodies as if they are clothes ( Starscream Prime Optimus Primal>).

This is visually one of the best episodes in the whole series. It has elements that we last saw in The Movie, but it also does things that had not been seen before. Like a white Optimus Prime? Yup. Totally original idea, there. Everyone is one color. Haven’t seen that before, either. Not even in Golden Lagoon. I jest. Really, just about every background and every render of the characters are crisp, clean, and they absolutely pop. The story is great, too. Its prime conflict comes outside of the war, forcing both Autobots and Decepticons to find alternatives to direct combat, which leads to ingenuity of story-telling that keeps the double-parter feel fresh. As the principal scribe to this episode, Marv Wolfman shows us why he is such a pillar of creativity in the world. Oh, you don’t know who Marv Wolfman is? Well, one of his biggest accomplishments was the first ultimate DC mashup that resulted in the deaths of Supergirl and Barry Allen’s Flash. Yes, I’m talking about Crisis on Infinite Earths. In addition, he created the Teen Titans, Blade, Nova, Spider-Woman, Deathstroke the Terminator, and he helped create edit/write Beast Machines, I mean, the guy is a living legend of creative genius. And we can add to that impressive resume the fact that he brought Optimus Prime back to life in style. Well done, sir!

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

“Give me the Matrix, Rodimus!”



Number Five

More Than Meets the Eye – Written by George Arthur Bloom. As the Energon supply runs low on the planet Cybertron, the Autobots leave to find a new energy source. Their enemies, the Decepticons, follow. After a vicious battle in space, both of their ships crash land on Earth. The Decepticons try to gather every bit of energy that they can, from Earth, in order to get back to Cybertron. The Autobots, along with their new human allies, try to stop them.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Autobot group shot


This is the one that started it all and that Beast Wars copied. Overall, in these three episodes, children all around the world, and of all ages, are given a backstory that grounds the whole mythos. Not only do we get a cool story of resource acquisition and the culture shock of being in a new place a long, long, LONG time after you set out, but we also get complex characters right from the start. Each character, from Thundercracker, to Reflector, to Prowl, to Hound, to Cliffjumper, to Spike and Sparkplug, to Huffer and Gears, gets a very unique voice that is carried throughout the three episodes. And on voices: this sets the standard of incredible voice acting quality. Indeed, without Voice Director Wally Burr’s influence, one of the biggest continuously-praised strengths of the cartoon would never have come to fruition. Can you imagine Prime speaking like his Hong Kong dub of TF: Headmasters? Yeah, I just shuddered a bit, too.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Decepticon group shot


But that isn’t all! Below is only a partial list of what it establishes that Transformers media (and toys) keeps referencing: Prime’s axe. Megatron’s flail. Sideswipe’s rocket pack. Mirage’s invisibility, Skywarp’s teleportation, Ravage’s light sensitivity, Soundwave’s creepiness. Decepticons as tripod ships, Cybertron and Cybertronian forms. The need for human friends. Snarky Starscream. Windcharger’s magnetic arms. Hound’s resourcefulness. Rumble’s piledrivers. In no way can I emphasize the importance of this. Only certain weaknesses in the overall story elements and the hit and miss quality of the animation prevent this from being at the top. To be fair, some of the story elements are hindered by the toys themselves, though I will reflect upon no names.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Cybertronian forms. Sweet…



Number Four

Cosmic Rust – Written by Paul Davids. The areas of Megatron that get hit by some meteor fragments begin to rust. The Decepticons capture Perceptor to find a cure for their leader. But once cured, Megatron hatches a scheme to infect the Autobots with Cosmic Rust.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

An interstellar Transformers colony


This episode does not just look at departing Cybertron for new energy, but it shows that there are more to Transformers than meets the eye. In Cosmic Rust, we get actual Transformer settlements! On other planets! This adds a ton to the mythos, as it suggests that a: there are many more Transformers out there and b: colonies do exist. The next question, logically, is where are all these other Transformers? And while we get few actual answers in the cartoon (Wreck Gar, the Quintessons being exceptions to this point), it is an idea that Simon Furman plays with in his Generation 2 comic series.

The animation is well above par, with each character drawn well and where the growth and detail of the rust as it spreads over various Transformers feeling authentic and gruesome. As a story, it is another character piece, with great humor, the Stunticons shining the way they destroy best, and Starscream’s previous life as a scientist is referenced. Like The Master Builders above, this is an episode all about choice. Perceptor shows himself as being potentially dangerous, but instead of art, everything he does is in the name of science. Does that mean he is less noble for it? Potentially. His nobility forces him to heal Megatron, but in doing so, it puts the world in jeopardy. On the other hand, he doesn’t seem to help Megatron out of a heroic need, but more of a scientific need. “Hey, Percy, here’s a chance to demonstrate your genius. Don’t worry about the consequences!”


Number Three

Starscream’s Brigade – Written by Michael Charles Hill. After being exiled from the Decepticons, Starscream frees five Cybertronian criminals from prison and re-purposes them into his own troops, the Combaticons. With these new warriors at his command, he challenges Megatron for control of the Decepticons.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Combaticons, arise!


Although this boasts some of the worst animation on this list, the episode itself is just so fun that it matters little. This is the real template for sub-team mutiny in the Transformers mythos. And there certainly have been enough civil wars! Starscream is devious but brilliant, showing just how evil and duplicitous a leader he would actually make. Where Megatron rules by fear, Starscream leads by manipulation. While it is a powerful tool, it is exactly why he is forever relegated to second fiddle.

Probably the greatest thing to come out of this episode, however, is the idea of Decepticons that are so violent, so unruly, that they have been imprisoned. I wonder if James Roberts was watching this episode when he came up with his notorious Decepticon Justice Division.


Number Two

The Ultimate Weapon – written by Arthur Byron Cover. First Aid quits the Autobots over his pacifism. This becomes a problem when Trypticon attacks a malfunctioning Metroplex.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Malfunctioning metropolititan mashing.


The relevance of this is cognitive. Get it? Because of transforming cogs? Before this titan of an episode, people only assumed that Transformers converted form simply because. It was never an idea of internal mecha-organs. This changed that with an excellent story that any doctor would nod at in accordance with the reality of organ transplant. The battle between the monsters (pictured above) is so fun because of the unpredictability of their malfunctioning systems. Going a little deeper under the exo-skeleton, the cogs have become of the three most important parts of a Transformer (brain, spark, and cog). In fact, what is a Transformer without its cog? Action Master? Member of the MMM? James Roberts, are you like me in that this is this your favorite TF cartoon? I only ask because it seems the foundation for a whole lot of what you’re doing with your amazing MTMtE series for IDW.

Animation-wise, this is right up there with The Return of Optimus Prime and Call of the Primitives. Everything is beautiful (just look at the chunks fall off from that contact!), even the setting in Holland! The action is brilliant, where each and nearly every single character gets a spotlight moment. This episode is also as close as the animated series comes to Scramble City. When First Aid quits the team, Defensor is left short-handed in his protecting duties.


Number One

The Search for Alpha Trion – Written by Beth Bornstein. Optimus Prime travels to Cybertron to rescue Elita One, the leader of the female Autobots.

Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Elita-1: LeGENDERy. See what I did there? Yeah.


For the last year or so, whenever a group of fans are given the chance to vote on what kind of character we want Hasbro to produce, we’ve said “WIMMIN!” First, Windblade. Now, Victorion, the all-female supergroup that will kick butt not just alone, but as a COMBINER! Who wants to take bets that this would never have happened were it not for the introduction of Elita-1, Moonracer, Firestar, Chromia, and the other female Autobots from this episode? Yeah. Didn’t think so. The impact of their inclusion is historic. It changed a race of totally “male” robots into something far more complex, both physically, and culturally. While The Challenge of the Go-Bots did this better, including female characters right in their first episode, with this, Transformers established a precedent that is seen in the third season, with a regular character that never got a toy (Generations Arcee FTW!), and in every series since then. While not exactly a feminist’s cry of success, as every one of the females has a male counterpart, the very fact that they are in the series is a mighty victory, indeed. What impresses me most about Elita-1, especially, is her willingness to protect Optimus Prime, even at the cost of her own life. This is not only a woman, but it is woman as hero. And she is beautiful.


Transformers News: Top Ten Best G1 Transformers Episodes

Bittersweet ending


In addition to the female Autobots, we also get Vector Sigma, the super-computer that “gave all Transformers life” (despite its various iterations) and Alpha Trion (another one who will get a toy later this year. Takara Legends Ultra Magnus, in case you were wondering). The animation is as good as a regular episode can get, and when Elita uses her special power, things get downright seizure-inducing, which all good cartoons from the ‘80s need. I also want to take this moment to give a special nod to the recently late John Stephenson, who did an incredible and indelible job voicing Alpha Trion. Thank you, sir.


So there you have it! The Top 10 episodes of the original Transformers series. Do you agree? Let us know in the forums!
Previous Top Transformers lists can be found here!

Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet
Date: Saturday, May 16th 2015 7:23am CDT
Category: Editorials
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 21,531

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

This is a simple list, it is my opinion (and yours) of the figures that NEED to come out in the Generations line or any subsequent line based on providing modern toys of classic characters. While this list is inspired by he community's opinion, my personal basis for this top 5 was characters that either never got an update to their toy since it's original release, or never had a chance to begin with in their original toy, or never even had a toy at retail. Without further ado, lets start with...


5. Transformers Beast Machines Silverbolt

While the Best Wars Silverbolt toy is one of the best Beast Wars toys out there, and one of the few that may not require an update, the exact opposite can be said about his Beast Machines toy. While the robot mode is "ok" (and has some nice details from the animation model), the alt mode really looks like a fan mode that wasn't meant to be. It's just the robot doing a hand stand attempting a spread condor eagle. Hasbro has ventured into the Beast Machines realm for updates already so I really hope this guy gets one since I really feel he is the most in need.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

4. Elita One

While it took almost 30 years for an actual toy of G1 arcee, we are still missing an actual toy of Elita 1, Cybertron's first lady. What is sad about this character is that at least arcee had a bunch of original molds in the past, even though none of them were of her G1 self. Elita 1 however, only got the leftovers, with a series of redecos and really ugly looking toys. There is very little legacy for this character in toy form and I really hope that changes soon with the release of a decent toy for this important fembot.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet


Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

3. Transformers Sky Lynx

There is very little wrong with Sky Lynx' G1 toy. It is interesting, fun, original and quite show accurate. That doesn't change the fact that he never ever got any kind of update aside from the random shout out here and there. I, and many, believe that he is the most important G1 character left who hasn't gotten an updated toy. It's a good thing he at least got an Encore release which let fans finally get this cool G1 toy, which is something I can't say about ...

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet


2. The rest of the Dinobots

The classics line gave us Grimlock and... no one else. The next Dinobot released in the year spanning classics line was ... Grimlock...again. Dont get me wrong, Generations Grimlock is actually a great update to the character and one of the best FOC toys, with a great scale for a classics collection and a fun gimmick. But that doesn't make up that we are still missing updates to the other G1 dinos. Let me explain in a few easy pics.

G1 Dinobots
Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

Set of G1 Dinobot toys
Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

Updated G1 Dinobots
Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

Set of updated G1 Dinobot toys
Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet


1. Transformers Beast Wars Blackarachnia (Black Widow) and Transformers Beast Wars Terrorsaur (Terrorsaurer)

These two picks are near unanimous and for good reason since I personally cannot think of any other toys/characters which simply need to be updated for today. Blackarachnia is simply a non issue, she is just a redeco of Tarantulus which looks nothing like her animation model. The mold simply does not suit her sleek physique which is one of the main aspects of the character's design (and behaviour). She is the ultimate fembot and there just has to be a toy representing her original appearance.

At the same time, we have Terrorsaur. While I like his original toy (it is my very first Beast Wars toy), the scale just doesn't work. He was practically Megatron's second in command in season one of the Beast Wars show but the toy would make you think he's tiny, like Rattrap. And while I don't mind the simple transformation, it does result in having his hard stationary wings just sit there in robot mode, overshadowing any sleek physique his toy may have been trying to replicate. The Rattrap's original toy was simple too but actually in scale and quite accurate at the time, and even he got an update. In the end, I couldn't decide between these two Beast Wars characters which one was more in need of an update by both me and the community, so why not both.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Generations Figures not made yet

Honourable mentions: Take your pick from this awesome thread. But for a quick answer here and now: Titan class Omega Supreme and Leader Class Sixshot. Odd how both Skylynx and Omega Supreme didn’t get new generations molds yet, and they both happen to be the two original Tomy designed toys in the Transformers franchise. Generations Overlord gets mentioned a lot too and for good reason, but I would rather they rerelease the G1 toy first and then go and update him.

Top 5 Best Guest Celebrity voice actors in Transformers History

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Guest Celebrity voice actors in Transformers History
Date: Saturday, May 2nd 2015 7:41am CDT
Categories: Editorials, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 24,637

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was written in early January 2015.

Top 5 Celebrity voice actors in Transformers

Celebrities have lent their voice to Transformers characters in the media since the G1 era. It's always a treat regardless if it's for a few shows or just a few minutes. It's especially fun when the voice fits perfectly with the character. From Monty Python's Eric Idle to Boy Meets World's Will Friedle, we will now count down the best celebrity voice actors of all Transformers history starting with...

5. Dwayne the Rock Johnson as Cliff Jumper in Transformers Prime

Oh man, it's THE ROCK! And they totally emphasise it by using the theme of his horns referring to both the the Brahma Bull and Clifjumper's badass Prime design. Of course, a mega celeb like this could only be a guest star and this is what this role truly is even though he plays a main character of the world we are being introduced to. Using The Rock was a great way for us to fall in love with this doomed character, adding to the impact. If you don't know what I am talking about, just watch the first episode of Transformers Prime titled "Darkness Rising, Part 1".

Transformers News: Top 5 Celebrity voice actors in Transformers

4. Weird Al Yankovic as Wreck-Gar in Transformers Animated

Can there be a more perfect casting (yes, because this is number 4) than pairing up weird Al with this Transformers nutcase. Actually the Wreck-Gar character has had some great talent voice him, like Eric Idle. However, Weird Al tops that performance in part due to the improved speech pattern he gets to play with. He definitely helped Wreck Gar be as odd, hyper, passionate and as weird as he was supposed to be, while giving him a sweet and sympathetic side that helps from the shtick getting too annoying.

Transformers News: Top 5 Celebrity voice actors in Transformers

3. Orson Wells as Unicron in The Transformers Movie

This is the most solemn voice you could ever hear. It evokes power and certitude in anything it whispers and it is both the voice of the most powerful threat in Transformers history as well as the voice of the greatest filmmaker that ever lived, Orson Welles (if anyone doesn't know, at age 25 he directed "Citizen Kane" which is believed by film critics to be the best film of all time). You can't help but believe everything uttered by that voice and the fact that it speaks of tearing worlds apart can't make you see anything but doom. It was used sparingly but to amazing effect.

Transformers News: Top 5 Celebrity voice actors in Transformers

2. Tony Todd as Dreadwing in Transformers Prime

When I first heard Dreadwing speak, I took a step back. It was both deep and steely, it could bring a chill down your spine. And of course, it had to be by one of the scariest guys ever, Tony Todd, the Candy Man himself. His deep voice also worked with adding to the characters sense of honour, pride and determination since you knew that he meant every word he spoke. And the best part is that it doesn't take anything away from the character by being invassive or distracting. It just works. This is exactly what this no nonsense character would sound like and no one could have done a better job. But number one is kind of special...

Transformers News: Top 5 Celebrity voice actors in Transformers

1. Leanard Nimoy as Galvatron (not sentinel Prime) in The Transformers Movie

Was this too predictable? Firstly, the use of a different voice for Galvatron was very well done. It emphasised that this was a new version of the character with a new unhinged personality (think Doctor Who), and what we were comfortable with before had just flown out the window. Galvatron was more ruthless than Megatron ever was, and far more psychotic, to the point of even doublecrossing Unicron (WHO DOES THAT!?!?!). Leanard Nimoy conveys this transition perfectly, giving a great balance of power and insanity. This works so well in setting the tone of the film, and of the character, and it's also Leanard freaken Nimoy. Way to start the new age of G1 with a bang!

Transformers News: Top 5 Celebrity voice actors in Transformers

Honourable mentions: My number 5 was a hard choice between my pick and George Takei as Alpha Trion. I was so amused and surprised when I heard George Takei's unmistakable voice on the show, but that's kinda the problem. His voice was so obvious that I couldn't see Alpha Trion talking to Optimus, I just heard George Takei, hence why this guest voice wasn't the one chosen. Also, the previously mentioned Eric Idle.

Top 5 Transformers figures who look most like non transforming action figures

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers figures who look most like non transforming action figures
Date: Saturday, April 18th 2015 10:20am CDT
Categories: Editorials, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 25,558

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 Transformers Toys who look most like non transforming action figures

Ever since the G1 Action Masters, there has been this idea of having non transforming versions of Transformers sold as action figures. There have since been other products that feature non transforming Transformers aside from action figures like the Titan Hero figures, keychains, Happy Meal Toys and so on. However, countering this, there have been a few Transformers toys, throughout the brand's history that looked just like these non transforming action figures but that could actually transform. This is usually due to very smart designs and lack of extraneous kibble (a dead giveaway that a robot can change into another form), so for all intents and purposes, list could have also been called "Top 5 most kibble free Robot Modes", so count this list as two lists in one.

5. Transformers Universe - Classics 2.0 Onslaught

This onslaught is one of the very few Transformers that really sells the fact that these toys transform to robots (oh and are at war!). Usually, transformers have more humanoid features which helps give them some sort of personality. Thus even though they are "robots in disguise", the robot element is more of a biological definition as opposed to being the main aesthetic of the robot mode. However, Onslaught's robot mode has all the aesthetics usually given to the conceptions of robots outside the Transformers brand. He is very blocky with smooth surfaces and a face devoid of expression. He looks like the second to last boss in a game where you only face mechs the whole time (like Enslaved, Vanquish or Binary Domain) right before you confront the guy pulling the strings. These attributes distract from the fact that he can actually transform, even though a bunch of alt mode details are present, which is an amazing feat in design.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers figures who look most like non transforming action figures

4. Transformers G1 1985 Omega Supreme

What I said about Onslaught truly looking like a robot is even more realized here. This guy looks like the perfect idea of a kid's (non transforming) robot toy, like the robot from Johnson and Friends. It's simple, there is no way one could even guess what this toy transforms into even if one was told that it had another form. A futuristic space ship maybe? Nope, this giant robot actually turns into a rocket launchpad base surrounded by a train track for a tank to roll across it. I don't know about you, but I cannot in any way guess that from this awesome 80s toy robot here. It of course, helps that this was one of the few Transformers toys to not be based on any Takara transforming toy, and thus has a very different aesthetic that one wouldn't attribute to the brand. He also doesn't technically transform since all his parts are made to be dismantled and rebuilt from one mode to the next.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers figures who look most like non transforming action figures

3. Transformers Animated Lockdown

Although you see a few car parts, this tall lanky figure does not give any impression that he is more than a poseable action figure (with sculpted car parts). While this can be said about most Transformers Animated figures, I feel this one takes the cake. The stylistic chest and the other cartoon-like features, like his neck and face, along with his complete lack of any extraneous kibble really brings that idea home. He looks more like an action figure of a Sith lord from the Clone Wars show (Savage Opress type).

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers figures who look most like non transforming action figures

2. Transformers Universe - Classics 2.0 Cyclonus

Speaking of lacking any extraneous kibble, I bring you Universe Cyclonus who looks like a well articulated action figure based on his design in the Transformers Movie. The absolute lack of kibble, due in part to telescoping parts, and cybertronian nature does not hint that he can completely convert into a nice sleek cybertronian jet. Someone who doesn't know the character would not think twice that this was more than a simple and badass looking action figure.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers figures who look most like non transforming action figures

1. Transformers Prime: Cyberverse Megatron

This is not the best toy on this list, but, he is the one that looks the least like an actual transforming toy. There is absolutely no kibble anywhere and his arms and legs don't have any seams and don't appear to be anything other than arms and legs. He looks just like one of those small non transforming Happy Meal Toys but with slightly better articulation. And of course, you guessed it, he actually transforms. I won't go bragging about how great the alt mode is but it does exist. And aside from rearranging the limbs, his chest does undergo a significant Transformation. I even find this toy better than the Voyager class version just because the marginal improvement on that toy's alt mode seen from he top does not make up for all the extra back kibble it gets. But we will talk more of that particular toy later ;) Back to this cyberverse toy, while it may not have a great alt mode, you could never guess it actually transforms, hence why it is number one on my list.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers figures who look most like non transforming action figures


Honourable mentions: I wrote about the G1 Action Masters series in the intro which were infamous for being the first non transforming toys of the Transformers brand. BUT, did you know that there were some not released in the US that actually did transform? That particular line was called Action Master Elite and I am using the the four Transformers that make it's entirety as my honourable mentions. After all, who could have ever guessed that these non transforming toys actually did somewhat transform.
I would also like to mention Animated Oilslick.

Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates

Transformers News: Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates
Date: Saturday, April 4th 2015 8:40am CDT
Categories: Editorials, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 35,103

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates

This concept doesn’t need much of an introduction but I will explain the thought that went behind my choices. It was in a 2 fold order. One: how much the original G1 toy needed an update. Two: How great of an update he eventually got (“he” is not a spoiler as there were no female G1 toys stateside). The best toy ever might not be first place if his original toy was pretty good, which explains the lack of some classics updates. On the flipside, a toy in bad need of an update may not be first place if the update he got wasn't as good as we can get. So without further ado, here are the top 5 best toy updates:


5. Tranformers Generations Seargent Kup

Transformers News: Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates

The reason he is at the back end of this list is because this doesn’t feel like the final version of this character. This toy is more of a reinterpretation of the character and not the actual comic book or G1 cartoon version come to life. He even got an update to his name. For what is probably copyright reasons, he became Sergeant Kup in this release. But none the less, Kup is one of the character’s who most needed an update. For such a legendary character, as he was one of the main characters of the 86 film, the only other toy he got since G1 was a Botcon 09 toy which didn’t work at all for the character (my opinion). But 2011 finally gave us a phenomenal update. I love the head sculpt, the alt mode is great even though it is an earth based truck instead of a Cybertronian picKUP. He still looks the part of the scrappy old timer and the color is also spot on. Then chest section is pretty great as well, recalling the cybertronian elements of the G1 toy and the transformation itself is neat, especially the feet. What really seals the deal is the long musket which stores under the truck mode disguised as a very convincing exhaust pipe.

4. Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime (MP-10) (Convoy)
Transformers News: Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates

I don’t know what to write that could give this update any justice. The figure in robot mode really looks like the G1 cartoon model just jumped off the screen, unlike the G1 toy. The G1 toy was not too bad though, hence why this isn’t number 1 on this list. Actually, the G1 toy was pretty smart since it found an effective way of combining an easy transformation which resulted in a robot which had a wide chest and a thin abdominal area, which has defined Optimus Prime ever since. This update makes that change in contour completely flawless with a smart transformation that was fine tuned from the earlier Masterpiece release of Optimus. They still didn’t fix the obvious groin area exposed in truck mode, an issue that even the G1 toy didn’t have. I do want to say that the cab is the highlight of this update. I don’t find the trailer to be much of an improvement over the G1 version, and Hasbro’s dull grey didn’t help. I was told it could be fixed with Reprolabels, and while that may be perfectly true, having to spend more money for a finished version of a product will not get you the number 1 spot (especially when your original toy was one of the best of the bunch). But number 4 is no sweat for this awesome toy.

And to give a sense of the difference in size:
Transformers News: Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates

3. Transformers Masterpiece Wheeljack
Transformers News: Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates

Oh man, what an update! They even got the spelling of sponsor “Alitalia” right this time (there are reprolabels to fix the correction though). The G1 toy, like the datsuns and other G1 cars, didn’t even have legs that could separate, so an update didn’t need much to make us happy. As a matter of fact, people were happy with simply a redeco of RTS Tracks. But this figure really knocks it out of the parc by not only being accurate but also my pick for the best new mold to come out of Hasbro/Takara in 2014. Not in a while had I marveled this much at a transformer, and on a pure toy level, he is an absolutely perfect example of a robot in disguise. He feels hefty, has flawless kibble free modes which are also both accurate to their own specific source (a cartoon model and an officially licensed car model).What I really loved about Wheeljack is how robot parts just spring out of him and are nowhere noticeable in his car mode, like his wings, which were far more evident in the original toy’s undercarriage and prone to loss. I just love how his feet are formed and look like distinct robot legs rather than a piece of his car. Unlike the Datsuns, these car pieces look more like feet than repurposed car parts, which was obviously not the case with the original G1 figure.

2. Transformers Generations Springer
Transformers News: Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates

Springer was not the best G1 triple changer. None of the three modes were convincing. His helicopter mode had his robot arms and hands sticking out with the excuse of it being Cybertronian in design (uurgh), the car mode was average and the robot mode was not great with odd proportions and terrible arms. He needed an update, that’s for sure, and had a bunch (starting with Energon’s Bulkhead, then Timelines, Universe and Generations GDO). But every single time, he either only turned into a car or helicopter. True triple changers are rarer than we think in the world of transformers toys, so getting an actual update of Springer as a triple changer in the Generations line was an event all on its own. It was even more wondrous to realize that this toy was an accomplishment. Unlike the G1 toy, both alt modes are very distinctive from one another. They have different dimensions and silhouettes, only sharing the color pallet. Also unlike the G1 toy, the robot mode is tall and sleek, with great proportions and one of the most poseable transformers toys at that price range. Even his sword that turns into the propeller is updated well, with a neat new transformation, and his gun has been given a serious overhaul. This would be the best update of all if it weren’t for the following number 1 pick...


1. Transformers Generations Warpath Gallery
Transformers News: Top 5 best G1 Transformers Toy updates

As far as updates go, I can’t think of any other toy that needed it this much and got this good a result from it. It’s like owning a small masterpiece at the fraction of the cost. We went from a minibot with no legs, which looked locked in mid transformation into a deluxe class which oozes perfection. Unlike the G1 toy, the tank fully transforms into a robot with superb articulation, zero kibble and striking show accuracy for a non masterpiece toy. They did change his tank into an H tank, but I will take that if it means he gets legs in robot mode. It’s also worth noting that for an H tank, he doesn’t look like a robot crawling on all fours like Armada Megatron and Animated Shockwave (two toys that were NOT part of the best Tanks list). All around, I couldn’t think of a better update for a toy that so badly needed one. And for those who find the deluxe class too big for this toy, then just stick him in your masterpiece collection, he’ll fit right in.

Honourable mention: Generations Cosmos, Energon Galvatron, Masterpiece Grimlock, MP Soundwave, MP Lambor, Generations Scourge, Universe Cyclonus and the Classics seekers.

Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys
Date: Saturday, March 21st 2015 6:04pm CDT
Categories: Editorials, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 30,672

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys


One of the best parts of being a hardcore Transformers fan is to notice the homages and callbacks designers leave on a figure, they are always a treat. The main rules for selection in this list is that they were not updates to older toys part of the Transformers brand (let’s keep that for another Top 5 list) nor other versions of an older Transformers characters being reinterpreted for the latest new fictional universe (ie: Energon Optimus as an homage to G1 Optimus). The main thing here is that these are retail released figures featuring homages we did not see coming.


5. Transformers Generations Crosscut homaging Diacone No. 6 Honda City R

The whole figure is an homage in this case. Technically this is the first Crosscut figure ever released at retail and unlike other generations figures, it is not an update on a Transformers character from either the original G1 toys or the G1 cartoon. Instead this figure is an homage to the original pre-Transformers Diaclone version of the "Honda City R" mold (the one in silver in the image below) that was not licensed to Hasbro. Hasbro ended up using the "Honda City Turbo" model that would become Skids (the blue one on the very same picture). This robot toy also had a less human-like headsculpt than Skids and featured a mouthplate. This figure definitely gets a nod for going beyond the normal scope of an homage to reflect the origins of the Transformers brand (yes I know there was a reissue of the Honda City R introducing Crosscut to the Transformers Brand but a) it was not a retail release and b) I am looking at the bigger picture in terms of what this toy is homaging).

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

4. Transformers Cybertron Hot Shot (Excellion) homaging Transformers G1 1986 Hot Rod (Hot Rodimus)

The image below explains it all. What blows my mind is how I always assumed the main homage were the wing tips in the back to homage the Hot Rod animation model, but the true homage is actually the legs. They are directly lifted from the Hot Rod toy. I love how the Hot Shot toy shows how simple transformations akin to the G1 era could still give a great robot mode. The reason I chose Hot Shot over Excellion is because the Hot Rod homage goes just a bit too overboard on that toy while Hot Shot keeps some subtlety while retaining his own identity as a toy.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

3. Transformers Energon Omega Supreme homaging Action Master Elite Omega Spreem.

This is the part in a rock concert when the singer goes "this is for the most hadcore fans" because this homage is astounding simply for how far out it is and for how only a select group of hardcore fans would get it. Look at the two pictures below and check how similar the head is with the visor, the breathing tubes below it as well as the design of the upper chest. Now, the one at the left is the small transformer which turns into the head of Energon Omega Supreme (it is far more obvious when you see him from the back). For those who do not know, this Omega Supreme was the second Transformers toy with that name released in North America and he was a reinterpretation of the original G1 Omega Supreme for a new show. However, there was another Omega Supreme toy released in the G1 era as part of the Action Master line. This line offered small non transforming versions of famous Transformers characters and were meant to be more like action figures then transformers. However, there were some that actually could transform slightly, but they were never sold in the US, just Europe (in terms of the west). One of them was a version of Omega Supreme that for a "some reason" was called Omega Spreem. That is who the small yellow toy on the right is. So, when the designers made the new Energon Omega Supreme, they inspired themselves from the design of the small action master G1 version for the small robot that made it's head. So, like I said, it's an amazing attention to detail that shows how passionate some of these designers are, and yet most do not know this (until now hopefully). The fact that it is so minute makes it both a great homage but not something I feel comfortable placing as number one. Also, for many, the less we remember about the action master line, the better.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

2. Transformers Energon Megatron homaging Transformers G1 1986 Galvatron

Similar to the Hot Shot homage discussed earlier, Megatron exibits a bunch of characteristics from a G1 toy, this time Galvatron. This works perfectly since Galvatron is Megatron reborn and this new form of Megatron is seeping with hints at the toy he will eventually be. I am not referring tothe fiction but to the intertwined lore surrounding the characters and toys. Firstly, you have the fact that he is white, which calls back to the fact that the original Galvatron toy was made white instead of his show accurate purple. The toy is further referrenced through the barrel chest. Sculpted details keep the homage going with the designs found on the legs, the abdominal area, the crowned head and so much more. One look at the picture below and you will see this is the G1 Galvatron toy reborn.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

1. Transformers Reveal The Shield Lugnuthomaging Animated Lugnut

And here is the winner that disrupts the whole pattern and throws subtlety out the door. But it's worth it to mention such an odd and wonderful figure that is an homage as much as the others, albeit far more in your face. Unlike the entire classics line which consists of updating older toys and characters with modern engineering and an updated look, this was a figure taking cues from an extremely stylized animated model, of just a few years prior, and reimagining the look into a more realistic Flying Fortress. It is bringing this character into the Transfomrers Brand proper, as if based on a G1 character that never was (which is diferent from what they did with Lockdown who was reinterpreted as a movie character for the ROTF line). That is made more obvious by his wavemates in the Reveal the Shield line which was were all updated versions of G1 characters in a line meant to represent a continuation to the classics and universe line (of note, he was the only original voyager mold of that line). The fact that he can’t fit into anyone’s collection properly (please tell me with which characters you display him with, I am really curious) and that he is a total reversal of the usual process of toys and animated models (which take cues from older toys and models, usually G1), just comes to show how amazing an homage and figure this is. I still can’t believe it exists, and the fact that it also happens to be one of the best realized plane transformers to ever come out is just icing on the cake. So in short, this figure is not an update on an older toy, and is not a reinterpretation of an older character for a new media line. This guy is truly an homage (to animated Lugnut in this case), and an incredibly odd and amazing one at that.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Honourable mentions: Deep breath.... "Target Exclusive Predacon Rising Cyberverse Beast Hunter Optimus Prime" *exhale* which is a great homage to G1 Thunderclash.
And Cybertron Downshift is a great homage to Wheeljack, and I am surprised they didn't just call him that.

Top 5 Best Female Transformer characters (Fembots)

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Female Transformer characters (Fembots)
Date: Saturday, March 7th 2015 8:11am CST
Category: Editorials
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 22,235

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 Best Female Transformer characters (Fembots)

Ever since the introduction of female Transformers with an air of mystery in the G1 episode "The Search for Alpha Trion", fans have wondered what it means for Transforming robots to have a different sex. Or is it gender because they don't reproduce? In that case, then why different genders? and on and on. Regardless, these female robots, aka fembots, have garnered a lot of love throughout the years, maybe in part to their mystery, for how much diversity they add to the show or for how rare it is to see one in a show (and even rarer to see in toy form). I think they are kickass and add a lot to the brand which is, more often than not, purposefully male centric. Here are my picks for the top 5 fembots of all time!

5. Beast Machines Botanica

I must admit that the originality of her concept and design is a big reason for her inclusion on this list. She is to this day the only plant transformer ever depicted in fiction (let me know in the comments if that still holds true). However, it doesn't stop there. She displays a very motherly affection (to her planet in this case) which makes her very passionate about her cause and stake in the war against Megatron. Thus, the motherly qualities associated to her gender are used in the actual writing instead of her gender being used just to add diversity to the cast or designs. There is also a lot of world building owed to that character since her hatred for Megatron hints that this villain's reach extends beyond the cast of characters we followed.

Also, I love her accent and the way she says Megatron is pretty great (and kinda sexy).

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Female Transformer characters (Fembots)

4. G1 Elita One

While we see little of her, she is essentially the one in charge of continuing Optimus Prime's mission on their home planet, this is huge! And we see through the famous G1 episode "The Search for Alpha Trion" that she is aware of the great responsibility bestowed upon her and runs a pretty tight ship. While number 3 on this list is a far more popular character, Elita One will always be Cybertron's first lady to me.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Female Transformer characters (Fembots)

3. G1 Arcee

G1's number 1 fembot for sure. The design is great and she adds nice diversity to the main season 3 cast, showing how much of a different direction the writers are taking with the season. However, when watching back, she doesn't seem to have a lot to do, unlike Kup, Rodimus, Ultra Magnus and Wreck Gar (of all autobots), who keep hogging the spotlight. My main beef is pretty much that the main reason she stands out in the cartoon is due to her gender and design and I would have preferred a bit more, hence her not being #1 on this list. However, and I cannot stress this enough, her inclusion in G1 cannon and the Transformers brand itself is a testament to the brand's potential diversity and her aesthetics serve as a prototypical example to how kids of any gender would want some Transformers toys.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Female Transformer characters (Fembots)

2. Transformers Prime Arcee

I find it really awesome how the Autobot's most daring and ruthless warrior is also their smallest and slimmest member. That totally sets gender roles upside down. She is very fun earlier on, before the influx in autobots, where she acts like the Clint Eastwood of the show, not calling in for backup and doing things her way. Of course, there is a great emotional aspect to the character in the way she wants to avoid loss at all cost, which explains her hardass attitude. This is set up very well in the early episodes and it stops her from being a caricature to instead make her probably the deepest character on the show.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Female Transformer characters (Fembots)

1. Beast Wars/Beast Machines Blackarachnia

Blackarachnia is undoubtedly the best fembot in all Transformers fiction history. The reason behind this is because, to me, she has the greatest arc of all Beast Wars characters throughout the 5 seasons she appears in. Her different gender is not just a visual cue but comes up in how she acts, how she thinks. Her great sense of self preservation does not allow her to see the world simply in black and white and she must always be in control of the situation no matter her predicament. Her design is sleek and sexy and she uses it to get her way as she plays mind games on unknowing maximals and predacons who are usually a lot more powerful than her physically. She also brings to the table an emotional depth where she hides behind a stone cold attitude in order to survive in this war. However, she does have a softer side which can be revealed under the right conditions. Watching her development from her introduction in Beast Wars as a stone cold villain, up until her reveal as a passionate hero who will stop at nothing to be reunited with her lover, is something I would have never expected to see in a cartoon about alien robots fighting each other. And yet the writers make it work using her different gender to augment the storytelling and emotional aspect of the show.

Her legacy lives on as two North American based Transformers show have used a similar female spider design as part of their decepticon line up since then (TF Animated's Blackarachnia and Prime's Airachnid).

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Female Transformer characters (Fembots)

Honourable mentions: G1 Chromia, Beast Wars Airazor, Animated Black Arachnia, Animated Arcee.

Top 5 Best Tank Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Tank Transformers Toys
Date: Saturday, February 21st 2015 5:06pm CST
Category: Editorials
Posted by: william-james88

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 30,124

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

2015’s Generations Leader Megatron, is one of the most anticipated figures of the year (but not THE most anticipated, that title goes to Devastator). While he does sport his G1 deco, Hasbro has opted to have him turn into a tank because he couldn’t be distributed stateside if he were to turn into anything remotely resembling a realistic gun. This law regarding toy guns has made tanks an accessible alt mode for Hasbro to use when conveying raw power and devastation. As people are getting their hands on the latest tank Transformer, I thought it would be fun to look back on the best examples of tank Transformers over the years, starting with...

5. Transformers (2007) Leader Brawl

When it comes to giant realistic looking tanks, there is no better than Leader Brawl. This guy could easily be surrounded by a bunch of toy army men and fit right in. He even comes with lights and sound, which up the play factor. He is an amazing tank on his own, and the fact that he is also a transformer is just downright amazing, and only hinted at by the hole where his buried head can be seen. However, it’s also where he starts losing a few points. Him being a movie toy means that there are lots of alt mode parts which are not integrated into the bot mode and these panels end up folding onto one another resulting in legs which are just way too horizontally long (didn’t know that could happen). Those leg panels are also spring loaded, which make his transformation from bot back to tank more annoying than it should be. But what a tank mode it is, and it well deserves a place on this list.

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

4. Transformers Universe - Classics 2.0 Galvatron

People hate this guy and I understand why; he is small for an update on the fearsome Galvatron (I wrote about that last time), and very complex and difficult for such a small toy, and the transformation will often have pieces coming off. While I see all that, I also see a phenomenal deluxe figure which scales perfectly with the other Universe and Generations Deluxe figures (like Universe Cyclonus and Generations Scourge), and has an awesome amount of value for the price point. It’s amazing how they were able to cram so much into this small toy and quite refreshing to see such complexity brought to the deluxe class. He even has a third mode which was abandoned. But the best part is how they turned Galvatron into a tank and yet still gave him an amazing robot mode with an incredible sculpt. That headsculpt is perfect, the torso is just right and I love how the tank’s barrel is a perfect proxy for his turret cannon. This guy really looks the part of G1 Galvatron, more so than any Megatron toy looks the part of G1 Megatron until now (by now, I mean at the time this article is written). That has to count for something. And he also happens to turn into a really good looking tank that fits tightly together. I really find this toy to be its own little miracle of engineering with two gorgeous looking modes but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish we get a bigger one someday.

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

3. Beast Machines Tankor 1999

Tankor is one of the most overlooked TFs out there. He isn’t show accurate in the slightest, and that’s why no one cares about him now, but he is an incredible transforming toy! He is a beast of a machine in both modes and has an involved yet very intuitive transformation. I love his gimmicks too like his saw blades that can be revealed in tank mode as well as the most complex light piping gimmick ever done. Unlike the show model, this toy actually has two separate heads, one for robot mode and one for tank mode (which I like better, it feels less lazy as a transforming toy) and both heads share an interconnected light piping gimmick which makes it appear as though he is scanning the environment just as he would on the show. Also, his huge size also makes him work as a much worthy opponent to the other non accurate Beast Machines figures out there. In a fit of irony, his size makes him seem more suited to lead an army made up of the more show accurate Tankor that was released in a much smaller scale (also pictured below).

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

2. Transformers Generations Warpath

This top 5 list so far had great tank modes, but the toys were also flawed either in their overly difficult transformation or the lack of show accuracy. But now, with Deluxe Generations Warpath, we step into the realm of perfection. Firstly, this guy just oozes Deluxe Class perfection. The robot mode is superb with great articulation, 0 kibble, a striking show accuracy for a non masterpiece toy and an all around phenomenal update over the lacking G1 toy (he will probably be in more top 5 lists). I also love the slight automorph effect in Warpath when you push back the cannon to reveal his head. Simple but genius. The transformation into a tank is fun and intuitive AND though he does turn into an H tank, since this is about tanks after all, he does not look like a robot crawling on all fours. This is a mistake that happens quite a bit, with the like of Armada Megatron and Animated Shockwave, but it isn’t repeated here. This is an awesome looking H tank that shows no robot kibble even when lifting it upside down and fits tightly together. It even has c-clip ports to add a bunch more weapons to it.

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

1. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon

What can beat perfection? The answer is perfection ... with style. Warpath has a show model and predictability to the toy. Phenomenal, sure, but you wouldn’t need to see the toy to have a pretty good idea of what he’d look like if I described him as a “show accurate deluxe figure with an H Mode tank”. But Bludgeon here, is something else. Someone actually did describe him to me once and I could not imagine clearly what I was being told, especially the bit about “using tank pieces and threads as samurai armour”. That just sounded too cool to be true, and yet it was. And it just boggles my mind that this is a movie toy. It’s more of a classics update to a pretender toy ala Thunderwing, but actually made in the proper voyager class and incorporating both the pretender shell (the samurai alt mode) and the inner robot’s alt mode (a tank). At the same time, however, I totally get how it does work as a movie toy since the movie toys are all about having two very distinct modes whose parts don’t make up the other. It usually results in a bunch of kibble and huge backpacks but it works really well here because all the tank kibble is indeed used as the samurai armour. And his backpack is used as weapon storage for his swords through sweet automorphed scabbard section. Oh and his bigger sword was stored away in the tank’s cannon! All this mix of homages and designs gives this toy a load of style points that just adds to the this toy which has two great looking modes which are a joy to switch between thanks to the fun, impressive and satisfying transformation.

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Tank Transformers Toys

Honourable mentions: DOTM Voyager Shockwave, Generations Straxus, Crossover Hulk, and most importantly, the Armada Megatron mold. And they say Armada didn't have any good toys.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #119 - One Hour BotCon
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Posted: Sunday, June 21st, 2015