Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

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Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby william-james88 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:08 am

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are our opinions 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 Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

The Generations line brought the idea of line wide gimmicks to the spotlight like never before as of late. So I thought of looking back at the brand to see what the best examples of a line wide gimmick were.

5. Cyberkey gimmick in Cybertron

There was something truly majestic about the look of those Cybertron keys. And for the most part, they were very well implemented. The fact that a top 10 list of the best Cybertron toys left out some personaly favourites of mine is proof enough that this might be the best toyline to share a line wide gimmick. In terms of non intrusive gimmicks, this is way up there, but the reason why this doesn't score as number 1 is because the gimmick itself doesn't make the toy all that better. Granted, it's because these toys are already incredible as they are but there is no extra elevation brought about by some swords popping out.

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Transformers Cybertron Dark Crumplezone (Arm Bullet) Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Dark Crumplezone (Arm Bullet) Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Cybertron Defense Scattorshot (Backgild) Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Cybertron Defense Scattorshot (Backgild) Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Downshift Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Downshift Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Scourge (Flame Convoy) Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Scourge (Flame Convoy) Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Scourge (Flame Convoy) Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Starscream Gallery

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Transformers Cybertron Sideways (Noise Maze) Gallery


4. COMBAT System in Siege

While turning 5 mm ports into a weapon gimmick were a thing since the Energon days, Siege took it to a whole new level while having the customizable weapons be parts of characters released at retail. And thanks to the detail in these toys, the 5mm ports seemed much less out of place than when takara attempted this in their arms micron line. Plus what you can do with these weaponizers is really on another level than what Energon let you do with their weapons. You can make a trailer for Optimus out of Cogs!

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Transformers War for Cybertron: SIEGE Cog Gallery

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Transformers War for Cybertron: SIEGE Cog Gallery

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Transformers War for Cybertron: SIEGE Cog Gallery


3. Minicons in Armada

So, while some of the most poorly designed toys of all time come from this line, I am not going to let some rotten apples spoil the juicy barrel that was minicons. This was the true beginning of line wide gimmicks and ecosystems. G1 had loads of gimmicks at every corner after the first few years but it was always just a few toys and nothing uniform. Armada made Minicons a thing for everyone. Even Megatron's sneak knife attack relies on a Minicon at this side. There was a nice symbiosis between larger transformers and smaller ones. Also, regarding Minicons themselves, while they were small they were very diverse. Both in style, transformations and what they could do. Some had their own gimmicks, like rotating saws, some could combine and some could become targetmasters or headmasters. All while also serving as the same key to unlock special features on larger toys.

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Transformers Armada Megatron Gallery

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2. Combiners in Combiner Wars

An obvious pick, but no less great. Combiner Wars brought combiners back in a big way. Having all deluxes and voyagers be combiner compatible meant you could do all sorts of mix and matches, more than was even possible in their G1 hay day. Plus, the engineering definitely evolved in 30 years, adding nice articulation to combiners. The fact that their heads were no longer combining ports meant you could have greater diversity in the look of the bots. My personal favourites were the more outlandish and random outputs like Grand Galvatron from Takara. Combining was already one of the most fun concepts from the brand (asdie from transforming of course) so it was great to see the designers have fun with it too.

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Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Ultra Prime Gallery

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Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Computron Gallery

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Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Superion Gallery

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Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Galvatronus Gallery


1. Titan Masters in Titans Return

I personally have 0 issues with making everyone a headmaster if that doesn't hurt the overall toy and aesthetic. And for the most part, that was the case. Making everyone a headmaster meant you had extra playability since now every bot gave you an extra small bot to use for your base, or in the vehicle's cockpit. Plus, it gave you the option of switching heads, which could be fun and a blessing to customisers. It also helped give us some cool engineering since new possibilities were opened up by not needing to cover or hide the robot head. And we did get some marvelous molds, like Trigerhappy, Blurr and Kup just to name a few.

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Transformers Titans Return Apeface (Spasma) Gallery

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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Tigerhawk7109 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:51 am

Motto: "Why be the dragon-slayer when you can be the swordsmith?"
Weapon: Arc-Welders
Great list, Will! While I personally would've put the Siege COMBAT system at #3, everything else was great!
(By the way, I have a few list ideas:)
Top 5 Soundwave toys
Top 5 G1 characters that desperately need a toy in Earthrise
Top 10 Megatron toys

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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby mentre83 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:07 am

Motto: "Lamentor ergo sum"
Weapon: Fusion Cannon
Nice list.

Titan Masters were great, although those sold separately from a "true" body (like Brawn, Nightbeat or Skytread from that line) were a really missed opportunity: imagine selling new characters whose body had a striking resemblance to a well-known one, and then during the following wave release a Titan Master of the latter - one could get it and recreate a classic, beloved Transformer, OR keep the new character, whose name could also be reused in later lines.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby blackeyedprime » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:23 am

Motto: "Me Grimlock, you slag."
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
NIce list and I'm glad to see titan masters at No.1 (bases,cockpits etc etc) but i thinkNostalgia puts the minicons to first place for me especially with the few figures that really integrated them (Cyclonus, Demolisher).

The Cyber keys were a really lazy version of a minicon so I'd probably scrap that from the list and include the dual head/faces of beastwars just because it was weird and meant you could get two looks from a figure..need a spy, change facess. Have 6 goodies two baddies, change some faces.

Bottom of my list of five would be the Siege combat system, some figures do look like they've had a drill taken to them whilst they were sleeping (red alert) or are in weird places making bits weird shapes or out of proportion (Primes smoke stacks).
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby -Kanrabat- » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:55 am

Motto: "Love it? GET IT!
It's that simple."
Weapon: Mace
Great list, but I would have swapped Combiners at #1 and Titan Masters at #2. Because combiners have a much more important impact overall and that gimmick did bled out importantly in other lines. Plus, it was then that so many transformers finally had their G1 updates. Titan Masters finally updated G1 characters too, but there was way more playability with combiners. Especially with mix-n-matching, allowing you to create your own combiner.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby kurthy » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:27 am

Motto: "Illumination through acceleration!"
Weapon: Metal Tearing Serrated Circular Blade
I have issues with cyber keys just because it doesn't make the toy better. They could have the same gimmick with a button and then you don't have a key sticking out in weird places.

5. Mech tech weapons - my favorite thing about the whole movie series besides rotf toys.
4. Titan masters - I drop this one a lot because they never engineered a single toy to take advantage of a removable head. They all could have been covered up by the cockpit or rotated into the chest for the same result.
3. Minicons - micromasters activating features and interacting with larger figures, gimme gimme, gimme!
2. Siege combat system - I wouldn't rate this as high without weaponizers and targetmasters but those push it so much higher. I can't wait for the rest of WFC!
1. Combiner wars - give me all the combiners!

Honorable mention to micromasters because I don't think they count as they were released at the same time as action masters, but they really felt like two completely separate lines that were released at the same time.
Also, beast wars for the first line wide gimmick even though most of those first season toys only have one good mode at best.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:34 am

Motto: "There are no impossibilities in the multiverse, just small minds unable to comprehend the possibilities"
Weapon: Star Saber Sword
Pretty good list, I enjoy all of these gimmicks myself.

I think combiners would beat out Titan Masters for me, but both are still very good. Mechtech weapons would come in at 3 for me, I love those weapons and the swapability of them. Fireburst Prime's axe is a favorite of mine in that line. After that would be the Spark Armor gimmick and the Cyber Keys, I enjoy both of those as well. The Spark Armor was a great little subline in Cyberverse, and was really fun.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Rysquad » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:15 pm

Totally happy with Titans Masters being number one. A little nostalgic because it's the first big-kid line my young son got into. The fact that from Titan Master class through Titan class, the Titan Master gimmick was playable throughout makes it better than Combiner Wars. The fact that the gimmick spread to other lines - Movie/Studio Series line also using the gimmick with Cogman, Nitro, Thundercracker, and KSI Boss and the WFC Siege line also using the gimmick with Apeface/Spasm and Jetfire - solidifies Titans Return number one for me.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby william-james88 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:08 pm

kurthy wrote:I have issues with cyber keys just because it doesn't make the toy better.


That's why it ended up being in last place (among the best of course). I did like that it wasn't intrusive though and I do find unlocking a mechanism to be fun. It means it wont spring out at the slightest touch.

Rysquad wrote:Totally happy with Titans Masters being number one. A little nostalgic because it's the first big-kid line my young son got into. The fact that from Titan Master class through Titan class, the Titan Master gimmick was playable throughout makes it better than Combiner Wars. The fact that the gimmick spread to other lines - Movie/Studio Series line also using the gimmick with Cogman, Nitro, Thundercracker, and KSI Boss and the WFC Siege line also using the gimmick with Apeface/Spasm and Jetfire - solidifies Titans Return number one for me.


Thanks man! Those are my thoughts exactly, it's really cool how it truly is line wide.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby STngAR » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:25 pm

Weapon: No Weapon
As I started reading the article I had Titans Return as the number 1 in my head and as i read on I thought yup I agree. The only thing about the cyber key gimmick I dont like is the storage part. Alot of the keys need to be fully inserted to stay in and depending on how you display it the gimmick gets in the way and you dont want deployed. So I try the half insert to keep the key with the toy and if you bump it with something else there it falls out. Sounds kinda of like a trivial problem but it bugs me :lol:

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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby SGMLordMirage » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:22 pm

Motto: "In my book: Treat as hostile here and now, apologize later!"
Weapon: Air-To-Ground Missiles
I can definitely see the issue in regards to cyber key and how you want to display it.

Overall, from the Unicron Trilogy, the Armada and Cybertron lines did bring some cool stuff with the mini-cons and cyber keys. The Energon line was good but having the Cybertron line with keys, sort of solidified the Unicron Trilogy.

While I do not disagree with the other gimmicks, they are good in their own right/line, however, I tend to like the older lines but overall good line up.

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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Wireless_Phantom » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:10 pm

Motto: ""There is no fate, no destiny, only your will.""
Weapon: Dark Saber Sword
Personal nostalgia means I probably would have had Energon on my list. The idea for that gimmick was great, it just wasn't executed well. I'd love to see Hasbro and Takara try it again with modern tech.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby TulioDude » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:40 pm

Motto: "Never doubt the awesomess."
Weapon: Energo-Sword
Nice list!
I dont know if this is an unpopular opinion,but I prefer the Unicron Trilogy and Aligned way of calling the name of the smallers Transformers.G1 was had Targetmasters,Headmasters,Powermasters,Micromaster while the latter series just called them Minicons.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:31 pm

Good list, but I would bump Titan Masters down to the 5th spot and move everything up 1 spot. IMO, Combiner Wars was more fun because there were more possibilities.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Ultra Markus » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:18 am

Motto: "“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” - Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight"
Weapon: Laser Rifle
my favorites are the combiner and the master(head,target,power,brain) gimmicks
im not fan of having a key to unlock a feature on a fig
the minicons were kind of like powermasters and micromasters all in one
they have some with combined modes too
but the best gimmick over all out of all lines is the ability to transform ;)
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Deathsanras » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:09 am

  • Consistent, line-wide scale in Alternators.
  • Transformation in G1.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Master Farr 1 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:50 am

Honorable mentions:
Construct bots
Powerlinx
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Delta Supreme » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:33 am

STngAR wrote:As I started reading the article I had Titans Return as the number 1 in my head and as i read on I thought yup I agree. The only thing about the cyber key gimmick I dont like is the storage part. Alot of the keys need to be fully inserted to stay in and depending on how you display it the gimmick gets in the way and you dont want deployed. So I try the half insert to keep the key with the toy and if you bump it with something else there it falls out. Sounds kinda of like a trivial problem but it bugs me :lol:

:MAXIMAL:


My memories are that most of the gimmicks were "key unlocks", only a few (OP's firetruck cannon opening, Tank-Unicron's jaws of planet munching) were "key forces springs apart until removed".

In fact, IIRC, all of the Cybertron images illustrating the "key" powers are of the "key unlocks the power then can be removed to make a show-accurate version of the character. Not a single character in-show keeps their key "on" them, it gets "consumed" the key...
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Bucky » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:43 am

Weapon: Hip-Mounted Launchers
Awesome. I’ve been waiting a very long time to see a top gimmick list.

Siege’s line wide gimmick definitely shot ahead of almost every previous gimmick for me personally. It would probably be my number 2. As much fun as the combining ports in Combiner Wars are, I get way, way more enjoyment out of the combiner gimmick from Power Core Combiners. I know it’s mostly the same, just scaled down and simplified, but I think that’s also why I enjoy it more. Smaller and simpler combiners really up the play factor for me.

I’ll give my number 1 to a small, and I feel overlooked gimmick, that exists in a couple lines. The classic C-Clip. I’m sure it seems like a bizarre choice, but I really love swapping around C-Clip weapons. I wish they’d bring it back.

So my top three look like:
PCC
Siege’s COMBAT system
C-Clips
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby M. Spector » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:11 pm

Motto: "Fear the old blood"
Weapon: Indepentently Targetable Particle Beam Cannons
This was a good idea for a list. The cyberkey gimmick is near and dear to my heart because that was the era my childhood is based around, that and some late energon/armada stuff. When siege was announced and they showed off the micromasters my first thought was "Theyre bringing back minicons!" And got all excited :lol: Of the three the keys was defiantly the most smoothly integrated for a kid tho (Armada Primes ..punching action minicon function anyone?..).
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby Tuned Agent » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:30 pm

Weapon: Sniper Rifle
Another great list! It's hard to disagree with any of those entries. I would like to echo a few other people and nominate mechtech from DotM for an honorable mention. Not all of them were the greatest and the deluxe's were held back by not being able to lock in place, but many of them were a lot of fun. Especially Ratchet's, because weapons doesn't get much cooler than a machine gun with a flip-out buzzsaw that spins when you flip it out.

Once again, another great list william-james88. I'm new to the boards, but I've always enjoyed your (and guest writers') lists. They often introduce me to toys or fiction that I previously knew little about. Thank you, and keep up the good work!
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:45 pm

Motto: ""I am a warrior. Let the battle be joined.""
Weapon: Electron Gun
It's a good list, but I would've switched Five and Three. the Cyber Planet keys were better-implemented than the Minicons, and honestly just look less silly.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby cruizerdave » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:36 am

Titans Return was pretty great. The only one hurt by it's gimmick was Galvatron. He would have been an awesome toy, except for the pop up mask gimmick. Had they used one like what was on Blaster, and possibly allowed for a side arm mount for his weapon, he would have been perfect.

Instead he was another "almost there" figure.

Pretty much everything else in the line was great.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby cruizerdave » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:02 am

kurthy wrote:Honorable mention to micromasters because I don't think they count as they were released at the same time as action masters, but they really felt like two completely separate lines that were released at the same time.

Hooray for Micromasters! Very awesome playability.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Line Wide Gimmicks

Postby blackeyedprime » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:48 am

Motto: "Me Grimlock, you slag."
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
I always liked the light piping in G2 but can't consider it line wide with a lot of G2 being reissues. Just glad the water color change feature on figures with stickers and metal screws wasn't wide spread :)
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Posted: Monday, February 24th, 2020

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