Tuesday, December 31st 2019 1:19pm CST
Categories: Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88
Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
2019 was a very good year for Transformers fans. While it wasn't as insane as last year (where we had 4 main lines on shelves at the same time!) it delivered as much for collectors as any other years. More even with the advent of the Generations Selects line which feel like the old collector's Club but more affordable and more accessible. I mean, think about it, what other year did we get seven seekers? So yeah, for both G1 and movie fans, it was a very fun year. And Beast Wars fans got 2 Masterpiece figures, so drinks all around! Below are what we here at Seibertron each thought were some of the best toys to come out, grouped up within categories.
A Year in Review - Transformers 2019
To go along with your Year in Review, you can enjoy a nice little sidedish of the Twincast Podcast Episode #237, itself is a 3 and a half hour year in review, which you can download HERE!
As for the folks who are joining you here today, check them out in their Avatar glory below:
Best Cyberverse Figure
William-James88: This has to go to Ultimate Grimlock
. He was the shining beacon of awesome in a toyline that I felt was something I wouldn't even recommend to parents for their kids. This toy though made it feel like the Cybertron era was back. With an imposing physique and a fun yet not too tough transformation that just feels right and chunky to play with. I even wrote an article
about how this is the toy I recommend to any parent who wants to get their kids into Transformers without wanting to break the bank or worry of fragile pieces. I do recomend him to everyone though, just to relive toys of a bygone era that were for all ages and just fun.
, by a mile. The simple transformation is familiar if you had Titans Return Gnaw, and though this is a gimmick oriented line, his spinning torso gimmick is unobtrusive and easy to pull off, plus, it makes sense. He's a solid figure for the price point, and could easily be displayed with the aforementioned Gnaw(s) as their leader.
ScottyP: Lil Ratchet
. He even has a sled! The Spark Armor "Battle Class"
has been excellent, outclassing everything else in Cyberverse by a decent margin, with Ratchet being the best of this size class to date. A simple but still fun transformation, sculpting with a lot of personality and smart articulation points made this an easy choice. I'm looking forward to the Deluxe Class which will hopefully carry over some of the potential in these designs that's been held back by the stingy choice to just put out the bare minimum for Cyberverse toys over its first two years.
D-Maximal_Primal: Spark Armor Sky Byte
- This little figure is just wonderful. For one thing, he is a totally competent little legends sized figure that has a really good robot mode and a cool shark mode. The only real weakness to the whole thing is he doesn't have a head swivel. But that is a minor point. The armor drone is a sweet little drill tank that looks pretty neat, and the spark armor combination with the Sky Byte figure is really cool. I love having a drill hand and claw hand on the same Shark figure. He is really fun.
Nathaniel Prime: The line from Season 2 has been pretty fun and good for the most part, but if I had to pick the best, it would probably be a tie between Ultimate Grimlock
and Spark Armor Shockwave
. Ultimate Grimlock just has some sort of charm to him, and his gimmick, transformation, and looks all scream "fun for everyone!". As for my other tie, isn't it logical? In all seriousness, he's a fun little figure, and the armor gimmick once against knocks out of the park what it means to have a fun gimmick.
ZeroWolf: I'm torn between two, Spark Armour Sky-Byte and Ultimate Grimlock
. I'm going to give it to everyone's favourite Dinobot for the pure reason that it does best what I like to see in a toy. It's fun to play with, to pose and stomp around in T-Rex mode. Sorry Skye-Byte, as fun as you were, you'll have to appreciate being runner up this time.
Stargrave: I had to pass on Cyberverse as a whole in favor of collecting the main Siege line but like all fans I've kept pretty good track. I'd have to say the clear winner has got to be Cheetor
. A welcomed call back to the Beast Era who not only has a super slick bot and beast mode but comes with a battleship for battle armor. That made me stop and check it out every time I saw in in the stores.
Best Studio Series Figure
William-James88: While last year's Studio Series toys for the Bumblebee movie were some of the worst, this year there were some of the line's best. Like that voyager Optimus Prime and Car Mode Dropkick
which I liked even more. What I love most about it is how it shows that after years of doing cars that turn into robots, Hasbro and Takara still have some new tricks to show us. I especially like how the arms are formed so that the wheels are placed to be accurate to the film. I finally have a good looking Dropkick to add to my collection and it's a pretty awesome car mode to have as well.
Bounti76: For me, it's a tie between Bumblebee Voyager Class Optimus Prime and.... Deluxe Class Hightower
?? Let me explain. First this particular Optimus Prime figure hits ALL the marks for me. Faithful movie design (though I know it's not 100% accurate), and it looks like G1 Optimus stepped into the movieverse. He's got a fun transformation, looks great in altmode. Combine my kid in the 80s nostalgia with my enjoyment of the live action movies, and it's a no-brainer. So how does he tie with Hightower
? Well, given that the live action movies brought me back into the hobby after 20 years, I have a fondness for most movie designs. Though he never transformed on screen, Hightower is a great movie design, and a freaking WEIRD one at that. He's appropriately creepy looking and then some, like a mutant construction vehicle came to life and wanted to kill you. We rarely see any bot mode that isn't humanoid, so his incredibly unique design combined with the movieverse aesthetic puts him right up there, in my opinion.
ScottyP: The full set of Constructicons didn't quite make it out in the whole of this year but they got close, with each figure being a standout so far. I'm giving this to Hightower
for being one of those really bizarre Movie-verse Decepticon designs that you'd think would translate into a terrible
toy who then ends up being really charming in not only just the goofy design, but also in how surprisingly well it ended up translating into a real consumer product made of plastic. Honorable mention goes to the rest of the Constructicons and car Dropkick. Outside of a couple notable warts, Studio Series has been delightful and I wish more Transformers continuities would receive (and sell enough to deserve) a similar ongoing, consistent and high-quality toy line.
. It was a tough choice between Rampage and car Dropkick, but ultimately, Rampage for me wins out. For one thing, he has presence, being pretty dense and heavy for a voyager figure. He feels really good in your hands. The paint work is also very well done, making him look really good and imposing. He also forms 3 solid modes (robot, bulldozer, leg). He may not have elbows, but he is still a very solid figure that looks and acts the part. I also love how poseable his jackhammer lower body is. He is so unique in body style and he can move it too. He's just really cool.
Wolfman Jake: SS-38 Optimus Prime Bumblebee Movie
. The Studio Series has been knocking it out of the park, with a few foul balls here and there. The best of this year, though, has to go to the Bumblebee Movie version of Optimus Prime. THIS is the live-action movie version of Optimus Prime we should have gotten back in 2007. He's the perfect blend of intricate mechanical detailing with an almost pristine, realistic vehicle mode, all with so many more of the classic G1 Optimus Prime visual cues to make for a character that strikes all the right cords with both longtime fans and newcomers to the franchise. The vehicle mode, though unlicensed, certainly looks the part. The robot mode is detailed, beefy, and unmistakably Optimus Prime. The transformation is interesting, with a few neat surprises. There may be a bit of a design issue, particularly with parts of the leg assemblies, but it doesn't detract from the overall fun of this figure. He look great paired up with SS-18 Bumblebee
Nathaniel Prime: Studio Series is a line I entered with moderate expectations, and came out overjoyed with such cool and awesome figures! There was something for everybody, and while none were perfect, most of them were great enough to enjoy. As for my favorite, it was simply too hard to pick just one favorite. Between Car Mode Dropkick, the Constructicons, and so many others, it would too much for me to write (and too much for you to read!). In the end, I settled with SS38 Bumblebee movie Optimus Prime
. A figure that hits all the marks for what it means to be an Optimus Prime, while having a flawless robot mode, altmode, and a transformation that makes me drool.
ZeroWolf: I've been debating this a lot, and it comes down to either Rampage or (this will shock everyone) Bumblebee Movie Optimus Prime. Rampage
is bounds of fun though, so in this case, he takes it, though for me, none of the constructicons have disappointed.
. I didn't get a ton of Studio figures this year but man, Rampage won me over. And the only reason I think he beats out Hightower is that he came first. It's an amazing feat of pulling off that strange monstrous robot mode out of that vehicle mode, and he still turns into a foot for Devastator. No he doesn't have elbows, poor guy doesn't even have two feet to stand on, but despite these set backs, the paint, sculpting, the grotesque face, and articulated claws and treads all added up to make me go, so, I guess I'm getting a movie Devastator in the collection now.
Best War for Cybertron Siege Figure
William-James88: I have been doing this end of year list for a few years now and you may notice the trend that I am ecstatic when Ratchet and Ironhide are not given the short straw. MP Ironhide was a godsend not just because it was a decent representation of Ironhide in the G1 show but because we finally got a decent Ironhide toy, period. And this year we got that again with the Siege mold. Now we finally have a good Ironhide and Ratchet toy for our non MP collections. I pick Ratchet
specifically for this list because I was really impressed by how dedicated Hasbro was to make him sculpted as differently from Ironhide as possible while retaining the same overall look and transformation. A lot of care went into the distinction between two characters that are very unique from one another from a character perspective. plus I like the asymmetrical arm details and the extra accessories (which didn't make him more expensive than a regular deluxe, yay).
Bounti76: If I'm being forced to pick, I can't help but pick Voyager Optimus Prime
. Fun, unique transformation (though I do worry about the sturdiness of some moving parts). He is a fantastic CHUG style figure in robot mode, which is how I display him most of the time anyway.
, because it happened at all. Now bring on a larger, more articulated version!
D-Maximal_Primal: Galaxy Upgrade Optimus Prime
. This figure is a load of fun. The base figure is pretty dang good, minus the visible hands in truck mode. And then you get to the larger figure, and it is spectacular. The truck mode is pretty imposing, and then the robot mode is pure joy. The battle damage paint looks pretty good on him, and adds to his strong imposing robot mode look. The head is also spectacular, and rounds out a pretty dang good package as far as Siege figures go.
Wolfman Jake: WFC-S43 Mirage
. One of the winners of the Siege Fan Poll last year was also one of the best Deluxe class figures to come out in the line! Mirage looks great in robot mode and is tons of fun to transform, customize, and display. The vehicle mode certainly looks the part of the G1 toy and cartoon model for the most part, but a few things like the large engine block made out of the robot arms shoved under the spoiler and the faux back end that is blatantly the robot mode chest, keep that alternate mode from being perfect. Still, this is easily the best representation we've had for G1 Mirage in a modern toyline since the 2006 Classics mold. While it was great at the time and featured no faux parts, the proportions were a little wonky and he was missing some trademark accessories, like his shoulder cannon. The Combiner Wars version of Mirage was fun as combiner fodder, but didn't quite sit right as a true Mirage update, what with being a repaint of Dragstrip. The Siege version of Mirage fixes all of that and gives us a transformation scheme just as good, if not better, than the Classics version. The way the rear wheels tuck up into the back torso of the robot mode is just pure magic! The translucent blue plastic parts also help Mirage really pop on a display shelf. He's just so satisfying, and I didn't even blink at the idea of double dipping on him to get the all clear blue version as well from the "Fan Vote Battle 3-Pack." (It helps that it also contained the exclusive Powerdasher Aragon figure as well as the also superb Impactor figure with new paint details and his IDW inspired helmet.)
Nathaniel Prime: Like Studio Series, there was simply too much for me to love, and it's hard to talk about just one. To settle the internal war over a favorite, I'll just go with Titan Omega Supreme
. The only Titan class figure that has no flaws to me, it has such a presence in anyone's collection. It helps that he comes with my favorite Micromaster too!
ZeroWolf: A clear winner here, as despite the fact that I'm not a G1 guy, this toyline has delivered quality and fun figures, and that's nothing to sniff at. There was a figure that stands tall against all overs, and that is Jetfire
. The designers went all out on him and it shows, lots of play value, and looks great in the crowd.
Stargrave: I haven't been disappointed by a single figure from the Siege line. I honestly love each of them for reasons from aesthetics to construction to fan service to nostalgia. I've thought about this for days and it keeps not making sense, but, I've gotta give it to Voyager Megatron
. Many people have had problems with Megatron and I get all of them. He's got some flaws, but he's also undeniably Megatron. Outside of turning into a gun this is the most G1 accurate version of Megatron we've gotten in ages. Now that can be G1 nostalgic for the toys and then there's G1 nostalgic for the cartoon. This hits both notes for me. He's broad, he's beefy, the colors are all there and in the correct places. The countenance is perfect, the fusion cannon is PERFECT. Totally subjective here, but to me, I haven't been so pleased with a version of Megatron since Classics. These bots are all darlings to me though, thank you and hats off to the Siege line.
Cobotron: I want to put Optimus here. He is fantastic in every regard. But, when I look at Siege as a whole and think about which figures struck the strongest chord, I keep coming back to Sideswipe
. Wave 1 Deluxes were the first Siege toys I received, and Sideswipe was the first I opened. Coming out of the Prime Wars Trilogy, my mind was blown by the precedent he set. The bar had risen. The elegant simplicity and intuitiveness of his transformation, the attention to his classic character design, and the tightness and solidity of his build quality were a fantastic introduction to the line to come. Almost the entire line continued to live up to the standard he had set in my mind. I actually prefer Red Alert's deco and details, always have, but I give it to Swipe since he was the first.
Best Masterpiece Figure
William: My favourite Transformers character and figure is Beast Wars Megatron
. This is in no way objective, it's just what I grew up with and what made me fall in love with Transformers. So to have him be given such grand Masterpiece treatment was exhilarating. My copy had no problems and he is just sublime. I really like how he is an homage to the original toy,s transformation with many more tricks up his sleeve, like how that whole back section just folds away and how they give him a left arm. Plus that paint work is stellar.
ScottyP: Beast Wars Megatron
but have to note that with one exception this was a phenomenal year for Masterpiece and this was a difficult choice to make. Megatron accomplishes something that I wouldn't have thought possible by delivering an outrageously detailed and complex incarnation of the Predacon leader that doesn't compromise in either mode. Parts of the accordion-ish folding when compacting the dinosaur mode's scales aren't what you would ever call intuitive, but the fact that it can do what it does at all is such a feat it's tough for me to hold that against it. Assuming the pelvis on yours didn't explode into purple glitter, nothing else from 2019 delivers the presence and personality that this toy brings to the table.
D-Maximal_Primal: MPM-8 Megatron
. This is the movie 1 Megatron that we have all deserved and needed, and they delivered in an epic way. This figure is huge and heavy. The robot mode itself is as tall as a Prime Wars combiner! And it is super detailed and super well painted. He is really strong and stable, and the light piping and super attention to details just finishes off a fantastic robot. The jet mode is also really big and cool, and casts a heck of a shadow. The transformation is also pretty dang good, and I would argue it is the best of the Movie Masterpiece figures.
Wolfman Jake: MP-46 Blackwidow/Blackarachnia
. This was not a banner year for the Masterpiece line. We're only (just barely) getting 5 figure in total by the very end of the year (if Hound isn't delayed again). Beast Wars Megatron and MP-44 Convoy/Optimus Prime version 3.0 are just too expensive for me to invest in right now. MP-45 Bumblebee version 2.0 is very flawed with unsightly kibble. Hound isn't even out yet, so I can't rightly pick that, no matter how amazing it looks to me right now. That leaves us with...Blackarachnia. That's not to say that she isn't a great Masterpiece figure in her own right. She's got a killer robot mode that evokes perfectly the character model of the Beast Wars femme fatal. She's got lots of fun accessories to reference the original cartoon, like the goggles, and the original toy, like the alternate missile launcher with a "spider silk" cord, and even includes a stand with a thematically appropriate energon web with which to pose her. The spider mode has been divisive, thanks to some mistransformed examples at trade shows and in official photography, but it's not at all terrible. It's just not perfect, but then again, none of the Beast Wars Masterpiece figures have perfectly "organic" alt modes. Each one has a bit of robot detail or kibble that isn't hidden. Blackarachnia is not an exception in that regard. Still, she's also not the best Masterpiece figure I've ever had, but she's not anywhere near the worst either.
Cobotron: Even though technically released in 2018, I didn't receive MP-36+ (toy version) Megatron until January of '19. Can we count it? I have to say, I waited out the 1st release of this toy in hopes of a plus version, and it was for me, the most major Masterpiece event of the year. What an amazing figure! I finally got to experience all the grandeur of this figure no matter the version, but in the deco, details, and head sculpt I had wanted from the start. He is with out exception the crowning jewel of my MP Decepticons.
Nathaniel Prime: This year truly was a feast on our optics with the Masterpiece line (unless you were a yellow Beetle
). For me, the best Masterpiece figures that were released this year are a tie between MP44 Optimus Prime and MP43 Beast Wars Megatron
. Both figures scream the essence of the MP line; to be the best versions of the characters they represent, and I feel those figures do that job quite nicely.
Stargrave: No reveals just releases? Sorry Lio Convoy, next year my multi-maned friend. As an old Beast Wars fan I'm between Megatron and Blackarachnia
on this. But, if I ask myself who I truly love more it's Black Arachnia all the way. One of thee best characters from that show and has kept coming back in the games and the cartoons year after year because she's got too many awesome qualities you just can't deny her. The quality of the Megatron toy may be better, but if I had to pick one, it'd be Black Arachnia. Ah we can all moan about that spider mode all day but come on how many of you display your MP's in alt mode, really?
Best Exclusive Figure
(anything goes as long as it was an exclusive in some way)
William-James88: The Refraktor 3 pack
is just good fun. While Reflector looking the same is show accurate, I am not much of an army builder. Most of my toys aren't on display anyway so getting three of the same toy is not too appealing and this is the kind of toy where if you only get 1 then you are denied the alt mode he was designed to turn into. So, lucky for me, we had this three pack to honour the toy deco with more accessories. So not only do I now have 3 different looking toys (which I can customize with accessories) but they turn into an even better looking camera. And I could grab this exclusive at my local TRU as easy as any other figure, which was icing on the cake.
Bounti76: Siege Greenlight and Dazzlestrike
. From a background character with no lines, Greenlight getting a toy is nothing short of astounding, considering this was the kind of thing only Botcon used to do. Her headsculpt is plucked directly from the 1985 cartoon episode she appeared in, and her paint applications, deco, and colors do a lot in distinguishing her from her mold mates. Add a Battlemaster with the best action effect piece in Siege, and Greenlight easily wins.
ScottyP: Gurafi and Noizu/Decibel
for giving me continuing hope that the era of "not reissuing toys so that a handful of collectors that bought import G1 stuff 20 years ago can still feel special" is over. Also because more cassettes are always welcome, they're pretty fun toys, the presentation with vintage style packaging plus new Tech Specs is fun (ignoring the nonsense Frenzy
attached for some reason) and it provided another entry to my collection of Lost Light
characters that I thought would never be attainable.
. Oh man was this one an interesting one. For one thing, just the reveal and release was super cool, and then they actually went ahead and made a full transforming and fully functional Ecto-1 Transformer, and the made it really well. He is tall, he has an awesome alt mode, the transformation is really good, and the paint work is really good. He is such a spectacular figure, and it is a blast to have a Transformers with a proton pack. He looks good no matter what you do with him, and he was such a joy to get.
Wolfman Jake: Refraktor Reconnaissance Team 3-Pack
. Let's start with the mass-retail version of Siege Refraktor (née Reflector). We've been waiting a LONG time for a good update of the G1 cartoon character. There have been a few attempts along the way, like the "Targetmaster" version that came with Thrilling 30 Skrapnel, or the BotCon exclusive retool/repaints of Combiner Wars Shockwave, but neither came close to capturing the cartoon character model of Reflector so well, and in just the right scale. Siege Reflector has an amazing head sculpt, just the perfect amount of techno greeble detailing, and is painted to perfection. Although the singular "space cruiser" alt mode is nothing interesting, the combination of three Reflector toys makes for a great, classic camera alt mode. The special edition 3-Pack builds on that by including even more accessories to give the camera mode an even more convincing look, complete with flash cube, grip and shutter button, and a viewfinder. The figures themselves have been meticulously repainted to represent their original toy versions, rather than the cartoon versions, and are made even more distinct by their new accessories listed above. It's just too bad the heads weren't resculpted to match the original toys as well. The fun doesn't stop there with this set either. We also get an adorable little Kremzeek figure to cause mischief and mayhem among the Transformers. Finally, the whole set is packaged in a nifty box, styled after real 1980's camera releases. It even comes with a VERY tongue-in-cheek instruction manual meant to mimic those of the era with tips and tricks to get great photographs...in the service of the Decepticon war machine. You'll learn how to spy on your enemies, blackmail your colleagues, and make the perfect propaganda poster. A LOT of love went into making this exclusive box set, and it shows. Every bit of it is appreciated. Just like Mirage above, this was an easy choice to double dip on Reflector. I've got a trio of the cartoon versions on the shelf and the toy versions in camera mode displayed elsewhere. The extra accessories are still compatible with the mass-retail version of Reflector too, so you can beef up the cartoon camera mode if you want as well. Bravo, Hasbro!
Nathaniel Prime: While the main line has been awesome enough this year, the exclusives were the cherry on top to me. There were so many nice exclusives to choose from, and they were all really nice, from the Ghostbusters Crossover, to the Siege exclusives. My favorite one this year might just go to Ectotron
, who just barely beats the Refraktor 3 Pack.
ZeroWolf: Tempted to say Siege Ratchet but I'm going to go with the Refraktor 3 pack
. I liked Siege Refraktor well enough, great army builder and a fun way to build the camera mode. This set though was amazing, even down to the packing. These are the kind of exclusives we need more of.
. When I was a kid (many thousands of years ago) I actually had Cromar. And he was an outlier then, and an exclusive, just like he is now. So when I saw that strange clown face on Sixgun's body I figured we'd be getting the rest, and then there were the Rainmakers, and the Refraktor 3 pack, and more. But with Cromar's reveal my hair was blown back and I realized just how deep down the rabbit hole the Hasbro team was willing to take us. Take the rules, grab your expectations too, and throw 'em in that trash can right there. Buckle up and get your nerd on, this is going to be one heck of a ride.
Cobotron: Out of all the awesome exclusives that were offered this past year, the one I was most excited for was the Refraktor 3-pack
. If you've ever read (or cared about) anything I've ever said, you'll know that this kind of thing is precisely my jam. A fantastic modern update to an old classic. It oozes with all the toy detail of their original release. Not to mention that it is a fantastic call back to the Takara of old. No surprise that this Microchanger has found a happy home with my Microman collection.
Toy of the Year
William-James88: Siege Optimus Prime
was my toy of the year early on and it stayed that way the whole way through. I keep picking him up, transforming him, posing him. He is a really solid toy with a nice spin on the Optimus transformation. Being familiar and new at the same time. I really like the back detail too and that Hasbro went the extra mile not to have hollow looking legs. His is now the main Optimus of my classics scaled collection.
. She wasn't supposed to exist, and collecting her components took two years and three toy lines, but having the Female Autobots all together (and able to combine, to boot)n in toy form is amazing. The limbs all coming from the same mold does a lot to eliminate the somewhat awkward proportions of Elita One's torso mode but she looks great in her combined form.
ScottyP: MP-44 Optimus Prime version 3
. One day, I'll be banned from choosing two different MP figures then putting one here and another in the "Best Masterpiece" category, but that hasn't happened so here we are. See, this category doesn't say "best" explicitly, so my interpretation becomes "Transformers toy of the year is the one that most represents the year 2019 that is also still a good toy." In several ways, MP-44 is indicative of almost
every piece of the brand as we know it this year:
- Repeated and continued reliance on 1984 and 1985 as the basis for stories and products instead of creating something truly new.
- Multiple iterations of the same 'A' and 'B' tier characters in every form with new design refinements on each pass.
- Masterpiece toys that utilize increased part count and an insane amount of paint to create figures that, sometimes to a fault, are oddly adherent to specific frames of the Sunbow cartoon while totally missing the mark when compared to others - and I don't mean in-betweens.
- Pricing that is sometimes prohibitively expensive to the point of being exclusionary.
- Lose-able effect parts.
- Optimus Prime being awesome and driving you to spend lots of money on his toys anyway even if you're a little tired of him.
Anyway, more about this actual toy follows. I was extremely lukewarm on it when it was announced and still think the shoulders are too small unless the goal actually was "Headmasters" Convoy, but nearly everything else about my initial bah-humbugging was very wrong. The transformation feels really complicated and impossible to memorize at first, but by the third instance of exploding this toy from truck to robot and back I found myself barely needing the instructions and even then, it was mostly for recalling the precise order of when to transform a sub-assembly before integrating it with others. While the legs are still a little needlessly complicated in spots, the magic of moving pieces near the wheel well up into the torso while still retaining all of the expected articulation can't be denied. There are certainly more little quirks and annoyances I could mention, but the overall experience of this toy coupled with what is indubitably the nicest trailer ever given to a G1 Optimus Prime makes this the capstone that most collectors will remember when looking back on the brand's 35th Anniversary.
Let's just not talk about the similar attempt in MP-45 Bumblebee, who is the butt fumble to MP-44 Optimus' miracle game ending "Statue of Liberty" play that ends in a touchdown.
D-Maximal_Primal: Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege Smashdown
- Who would have thought that a $6 Battlemaster could be the best figure of the year. Well, I can tell you confidently that Smashdown is the best of the best. For one thing, the very idea of Smashdown - a Minotaur that turns into a War Hammer - is a truly inspired and unique idea, and I have loved it from the reveal. For another, the paint work covers what it needs to, both modes are really good with a fun little transformation. and Smashdown just goes with anyone and everyone. I personally bought 5, and I have enjoyed placing Smashdown with everyone and anyone with 5mm hands. Everyone needs a Smashdown.
Wolfman Jake: WFC-S28 Jetfire
. This figure is an absolute dream come true! We've had a few other modern updates to Jetfire in the past 13 years, one of them being a Voyager sized figure from Classics in 2006, based more on the original toy than the animation model, another being the Leader sized figure from Thrilling 30 about five years ago, which gave us a toy accurate alt mode and a very stylized cartoon-homaging robot mode. (I'm not going to count the Legends figures or the "Cyber Series" figures here.) Siege, though, has given us a nearly perfect cartoon Jetfire (or is it Skyfire?) at long last! He's BIG, a brand new size class, in fact: "Commander Class!" He's fun to transform, with quite a few nifty little tricks. He comes with a ton of accessories, so you can armor him up a la the original toy if you really want to. But, most of all, he looks like he stepped right out of the TV screen and into our figure collections! This figure is gorgeous, hefty, and has a real presence among the rest of the War for Cybertron Trilogy cast. Hasbro and Takara even built in an insignia changing gimmick, so you can have him as a Decepticon scientist/explorer from before the war, or as a new ally to the Autobot forces on Earth, just like in his debut episode in the G1 cartoon, "Fire in the Sky!" If all of that wasn't enough, Jetfire can interact with other Siege figures, acting as an areal transport of sorts for Deluxe class figures. He even has a secret compartment in the cockpit to fit a Titan Master or Prime Master figure! Jetfire has everything you could want in a Transformers figure, in terms of on screen fidelity, solid engineering, quality control, and playability.
Nathaniel Prime: Honestly, while the majority of people would only list one toy that defined this year, I have three, all of which were critical and are equally important to what 2019 meant to a Transformers fan. Those 3 toys are Studio Series Bumblebee Movie Optimus Prime, WFC Siege Omega Supreme, and Masterpiece Beast Wars Megatron
. These toys are the utmost best 2019 had to offer, and there is nothing to be disappointed with any of them.
ZeroWolf: There can be only one winner here, and that is War for Cybertron Siege Titan Class Omega Supreme
. An fantastic update, oozing with play value and features, sturdy and all around fun.
. Of all the reveals and toys that came as shocks this year, nothing beats Rung. I honestly cheered out loud. I probably teared up like Kirk giving the Spock Eulogy when I saw that reveal, and it's all resonance from the amazing character he was in the comics. Some could say there've been better characters, stronger, better armed, but I can't think of a whole ton that have touched my heart like Rung did towards the end of Lost Light.
Cobotron: WfC - Siege Leader Class Ultra Magnus
. This choice has nothing to do with fact or science. It's not based on engineering wonders or innovation in Transformers design. It's all based on feelings. Squishy gooshy nostalgia covered feels from the heart. Second only to Bluestreak, Ultra Magnus is my favorite Autobot. While Combiner Wars Magnus was also an awesome toy and a neat alternate take on the character. I was over joyed to get a traditional City Commander with all the modern articulation and design. The inner figure is great on his own, and only gets better armored up. He is the one figure I have played with the most all year long.
Best comic book issue
Bounti76: Given the glacial pace of the first several issues of the ongoing, I haven't read many comics this year, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the Galaxies series.
ScottyP: Transformers: Galaxies #2 was everything I want in establishing fiction for a new continuity, while the one-shot Transformers '84 #0 actually felt like a heartfelt apology for Regeneration One that showed veteran Transformers writer Simon Furman still has it after all. Unable to pick between the two, I choose both. If you don't like it, petition the other admins to make more rules for these sorts of things
Hats off to Tyler Blesinski, Simon Furman, Livio Ramondelli, Guido Guidi, Jean-Paul Bove, Tom B. Long, Tom Waltz and David Mariotte for these two excellent entries into the Transformers comic book library.
D-Maximal_Primal: Transformers Galaxies #2 - Galaxies has proven to be a very enjoyable series, and my favorite so far was issue 2. For one thing, we got our introduction to the Insecticons, and for the first time ever, this comic made me care for the Insecticons. They are creepy as heck, and their story was both frightening and cool. And then you have the progression of the Constructicon story, and both of them intertwine for form a very good and enjoyable story. I hope Galaxies continues to shine, and I hope the ongoing can take notes from Galaxies as well.
Shout out to the Ghostbusters/Transformers crossover too, that was a fantastic crossover series!
Nathaniel Prime: From what I've read in 2019, I'm not really impressed with alot of what I read. I'm hoping IDW picks up the pace and returns to their former glory with their comic book series. That being said, I would say the Transformers Ghostbusters Crossover comic, particularly the first issue, is what I would say was my favorite comic book issue of the year.
ZeroWolf: While not an issue persay, the Transformers X Ghostbusters crossover was the best TF fiction we've had all year. It treat both franchises with respect and was a joy to read. Ectotron is a great new addition to tf lore.
Stargrave: Hmmm. I'm going to just say Galaxies as a general offshoot. As an idea really. It was just what fans wanted, maybe needed to keep their Transformers comic book fires burning when the mainstream title had them dimming down. For all that Galaxies has brought and intends to bring, my hat's off.
Best Cyberverse Episode
ScottyP: S2 E15, "Wiped Out". Hot Rod, Bumblebee and Cheetor accidentally get involved in a turf war between three rival gangs of surfer bro Sharkticons, each led by a Sharkticon that looks like a Street Shark. I made none of that up. It's totally amazing. Watch this show!
D-Maximal_Primal: Parley - This episode was fun, giving us a look at peace talks between the Bots and Cons, and gave us some fun character moments. It reminded me some of Maccadams from Season 1, with how enjoyable it was and how fun it was to see Bots and Cons actually enjoying each other somewhat. It also ended kinda dark, in contrast to the tone of the rest of the episode, setting up the stuff to come in a pretty memorable way.
Stargrave: Although the series as a whole is not my personal cup of tea, there's Transformers cartoons on the air! And kids like it! That's good news any way you cut it. Cartoons, comics, toys for old, and toys for young; those are all branches of our hobby and when one does well, they all do well. I love that there's an aspect of the brand to appeal to younger fans.
What are you most excited for next year?
William-James88: The Cyberverse deluxe figures. It's really the most novel line of next year when you think about it since the other lines (Generations War for Cybertron and Studio Series) are simply continuing the good work we saw this year. But Cyberverse is getting an overhaul with toys closer to what collectors expect. And since the show designs are based on those G1 evergreen designs, this means we will finally get good toys of those designs. Really looking forward to Megatron most since it's a great take on the G1 design turned tank-former. Plus I feel we are getting really good value with the additional BAF. I usually hate BAF since it has become less of an extra and more of an actual part of the value (meaning a bigger BAF piece will mean a smaller individually packaged figure and vice versa) but here we are getting toys that all have as much to offer in complexity and accessories as the Generations line and yet also come with a bonus piece which you can turn into an extra figure if you get the whole set.
Bounti76: Piranacon. He's expensive to complete, and I don't care for the Japanese names of the figures, but we're getting the last G1 Scramble City style combiner, and he looks great.
ScottyP: I'd like to say Earthrise's modular base play-pattern concept but can't be sure if it will live up to its potential until we see more products. Instead, would like to mention how excited I am for the first official English release of the 1980s Transformers manga. Even if it ends up being terrible it's always fun to see older parts of the brand's fiction recollected and made more accessible to a wider audience.
D-Maximal_Primal: The completion of Studio Series Devastator. This is a figure that I have been eagerly looking forward to, and with 4 of the 8 components in my hands and 2 more to arrive soon, I could not be more excited. I am ready to see this hulking behemoth rise up and fully form up. Bring him on!
Wolfman Jake: One word: Earthrise. I was a bit incredulous when the War for Cybertron Trilogy Siege line was first introduced back in 2018. Figures appeared to get smaller. Some had questionable greebling sculpted in. They had "battle damage" paint apps. But once I got the first wave of Siege in hand, I knew I was in deep. This was the new standard for Transformers toys, and I was excited about getting updates to many of the Classics, Universe, and early Generations toys in my collection. These things look like mini-Masterpieces. Earthrise looks poised to take this new standard and run with it. There isn't a single figure from the first wave of Earthrise that I don't want, and I'm anticipating more reveals in the coming weeks. The sky is the limit right now for Transformers collectors, and I couldn't be happier!
Nathaniel Prime: 2020 will be the turn of the decade, and I'm excited for it to come! As for what's coming, there's just so much to love! To keep it short, I'm super excited for Piranacon, The War for Cybertron Earthrise line, and Studio Series Devastator. And as of this morning, I'm super excited for the Transformers Terminator crossover!
ZeroWolf: Honestly, Earthrise. Siege proved it wasn't just a G1 pretty boy, with new additions and great little surprises (like Smashdown) so I'm hoping Earthrise does the same. Iron Works is a great preview of this and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest. Of course Fortress Maximus also gets his rival next year, which should be a sight to see!
Stargrave: Earthrise most of all but honestly, I can't remember a time where I saw more fan dreams come true. Thrilling 30 was pretty close, but with Powerdashers and Rainmakers and Rung and primo Cyberverse figures hitting the shelves, I'm looking forward to another year of surprises and dreams coming true. Here's to another year of collecting and feeling joy from this awesome hobby.
Cobotron: Earthrise, of course! Most notably, Hoist. Just glad to finally get a neat representation of this figure. Beer belly,weird long legs, and all. And I'm sure we can all anticipate a Trailbreaker from the mold too. Also really looking forward to Cliffjumper and the fact that he finally got his very own mold. And I am excited to see how the A.I.R. Lock system plays out.