Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Saturday, September 17th, 2016 9:25am CDT

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Posted by: william-james88   Views: 72,396

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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 Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

We now live in a world of heavy mold reuse where at the very planning of an entire line, designers look at how they can make the most of a design and reuse elements to the point where we now even Hasbro has switched from using the word "retool" to "pretool". It sometimes brings about a negative connotation since toys may not feel as unique, even though the output of new molds remains constant. So in light of this, I would like to look back at some amazing retools we have gotten in the past showing how amazing toys have been the product of retools.


5. Transformers Adventure TAV30 Battle Grimlock

This is a perfect example of a well realized extensive retool that I would be more than happy to drop money on (and even import, in this case). Let's get one thing straight first, that initial Fall of Cybertron Grimlock mold was not great. This retool ameliorates it by reapropriating it as the definitive Grimlock for one's Robots in Disguise collection. While the paint scheme is definitely different, the mold itself is mostly completely new, changing the initial mold while keeping all the tabbing and transformation intact. Just look at the tail in this shot below:

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

There are of course totally new parts like the Dinosaur head, which really make him different looking in dino mode, but that is impressive is how they retooled the original mold to have spikes all throughout to merge the completely new parts with those that were retooled, making him seem like a totally different toy. Not only a different toy, but a toy that was made for this line, and that is the biggest credit I could give to this toy. It doesn't look out of place, and is instead more than welcome in the line up even though the base toy has nothing to do with this line or aesthetic.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys


4. Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Ultra Magnus and the Cyberverse version

This one is best explained through pictures. These toys will always amaze me for the simple reason that there were two main Ultra Magnus designs in the Prime toyline at two different scales (Voyager and Commander). In each scale, one mold was an original mold (YAY!) and one was an Optimus retool (Boo!). And yet, in both cases, the Optimus retool surpassed the original mold, both in complexity, G1 homage, toon accuracy and poseability. It was this toy that made me rethink my entire philosophy on retools and where they have a place. Below you will find Ultra Magnus next to the original mold in both alt mode and robot mode as well as the retool next to the original mold just to show you how significant it was.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys


3. Classics Conehead Seekers

These are by far the best rendition of the coneheads in terms of show accuracy, both in looks and when it comes to replicating how they transformed on the show, and it's handled in such a smart way as a retool of the classics seeker mold. The original mold was very good but it had that extra nosecone kibble in the back of the head which looked off. The conehead retool reworks that entire nosecone area to make the nosecone actually be the top of the robot's head ala G1 but with way better proportions. This is a feat even the MP couldn't pull off, relying on the illusion of a nosecone head leaving the actual nosecone in the back. What is awesome about this retool is that by reworking that nosecone area, there is no more extraneous kibble. It ends up being a perfect robot mode and a perfect rendition of the G1 chracters with no fake parts.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Henkei Dirge Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Classics Ramjet Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Henkei Thrust Gallery


2. Killer Punch


The original mold was pretty cool in an odd kind of way with the very kibble heavy bot mode and third mode which consisted of a dead Triceratops. Killer punch takes it up an extra step. A triceratops head for a hand is pretty cool, but you know what's cooler? Being able to fire it into a bot's face! Yeah, Takara retooled the mold so that the triceratops head could actually be spring launched from the robot's arm. They also took the opportunity of this remold to change the Dinosaur's head to give us a Styracosaurus instead, making the mold even more original, along with giving us a better hand weapon in the form of a big curved blade hidden as his tail.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys


1. Transformers Generations Sandstorm


Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

I feel this is the last great hurrah for what we knew as retools, meaning a mold based on another one with modifications, and the start of something new with toys toys based on another coming out quickly showing a certain amount of planning. I say this because after this toy, the idea of a retool, as we know it changed. Hasbro brought in pretools like the Combiner Wars line which was all designed at the same time, regardless of when toys got released, and that was followed by trend of reusing parts or egineering amongst different toys. In this case though, I feel confident calling this a retool, and a beautiful one at that, since it is clear what the basis for Springer was as opposed to Sandstorm. Springer's look comes right from Nick Roche's last stand of the Wreckers and both his alt modes are modernized versions of what they were in G1. Sandstorm though feels more in line with the Neo G1 look of the Universe line with his alt modes being more homages to the ones he had in the past, springboarding off the Springer design and making the most of it. What is fascinating is that amongst the differently shaped parts are totally new parts that change the transformation. As with TAV Battle Grimlock above, it is such a miraculous moment when you transform a toy that is said to be a retool and you discover something new. The reason this guy gets the top spot is because not only is the retooling extensive, but it brings in fixes to the mold. It tabs in together better and I am really impressed at how he can still stand with all that back kibble, which adds to his striking and dynamic look. It's just amazing to have a retool that feels like having a new toy that kicks ass all on his own.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys

Honourable Mentions: I am using this spot for something that we wouldnt think of right away but that really needs to be mentioned: Masterpiece Starscream. The reason he wasn't obvious to me is because usually a retool means a different version of the character or more likely a different character all together. In Starscream's case, the retool doesnt change anything about his identity or personality, it just makes the toy more G1 accurate and overall better (at least in theory). At first it might seem like the big difference is how the long pieces of jet kibble are integrated into his legs rather than be left hanging there, or that he now has heels that pop out of flaps, but there is more. In truth there are more changed parts than unchanged parts in this figure and the retool becomes one of the more extensive retools in Transformers history. But since the situation is different from the rest of the characters on this list, I preffered mentionning him here (I wouldn't have known where to place him, how about you?). Just look at the undercarriage a bit to see that almost every facet is different. And in robot mode, it is literally from head to toe.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Masterpiece Starscream Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Masterpiece Starscream (MP-11) Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys
Transformers Masterpiece Starscream (MP-11) Gallery


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Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825664)
Posted by Kurona on September 17th, 2016 @ 9:44am CDT
While I'm not sure it deserves a spot on the list, I've said it before and I've said it again; Hot Spot to Onslaught is really amazing. While the robot modes are probably the weakest part of the retool - only in that there's not much different, that robot mode is still beautiful on both of them - the identity of the vehicle mode is completely changed and in torso mode you wouldn't be able to tell the two were the same mold if it weren't for the thighs. The ladder transformation was genius enough, but a retool to this extent in addition to that just shows off how clever the designers can be.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825668)
Posted by steals_your_goats on September 17th, 2016 @ 10:01am CDT
Sandstorm is probably my favorite figure so it's nice to see him sitting pretty at the top. Such a good figure.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825673)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on September 17th, 2016 @ 10:14am CDT
The back kibble on Sandstorm killed it for me and I've sold him a lil while ago. He's a good figure and I like how they gave him different looking modes and parts but there's just too much bulk on the back which ruins the tidiness I love so much about the Springer figure and I couldn't find a way of positioning those huge wheels anywhere on the back that I felt happy with and so I got sick of him and sold him. I still respect the effort they put into making it distinctive from the original mold but yeah it wasn't for me.

I didn't much care for the FoC Grimlock until I got the Iron Factory parts that fill in the missing dino chest and provide him with his distinctive robot mode 'wings' and now it's become pretty much my definitive G1 Grimmy for the meantime (the dino head still sucks but eh I tend to have him in robot mode most of the time, the opposite of that horrible cartoon season 3 characterization) I have the more G1-coloured version from the AoE two pack and it does the trick fine.

Looking forward to Takara's retooled version of Powermaster Prime itself an extensive retool of Ultra Magnus.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825675)
Posted by Evil Eye on September 17th, 2016 @ 10:15am CDT
Nice list! Killer Punch/Guiledart is a mold I really want one day, along with most of the dinosaur Predacons.

I'd like to throw the Beast Wars II "Cyborg" remolds (Hellscream, Max B, Thrustor and Dirgegun) into consideration; Max B and Thrustor made otherwise mediocre molds awesome, Dirgegun and Hellscream made awesome molds even more awesome, and all four are absolutely metal. Dirgegun is probably my favourite and I wish he weren't so expensive on the aftermarket. Another one I'd like to mention is MP Road Rage, for somehow taking Tracks and making the mold into a convincing fembot. I know the mold has its flaws but it's impressive from a retooling standpoint for sure.

In terms of less extensive retools I think Slipstream and Nightbird are both exceptionally good for how little was actually altered on the molds, and Sideswipe/Sunstreaker from the Universe line, who aside from the head are the same mold but look completely different with a simple transformation twist.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825682)
Posted by Gauntlet101010 on September 17th, 2016 @ 10:35am CDT
With MP Starscream it's worth mentioning that the first version is actually the retool while the second version has a lot of the original prototype in it.

http://fantofan.jp/news/mag/figureking/fk100-3.jpg
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825683)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on September 17th, 2016 @ 10:36am CDT
#2 is a way too odd UFO to be on the list. I would have put Titant Return Power Master Optimus Prime, Hasbro version. It's one of the craziest and most extensive retool ever from Combiner Wars Ultra Magbus. So different, even the transformation change!

Image

Image

Maybe because the article was written months in advance and you didn't think about editing it?
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825685)
Posted by SureShot18 on September 17th, 2016 @ 10:42am CDT
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825690)
Posted by Terrsolpix on September 17th, 2016 @ 11:09am CDT
Alpha Bravo to Blades is by far the best, most extensive retool I've ever seen. Jokes aside I think UW Blastoff to UW Strafe is one of the best retools, hands down. Never experienced UW Bruticus because he wears Blastoff's ripped off wings as armor his torso just looks off for some reason and I don't have $160 to spend on a marginal better figure
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825693)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on September 17th, 2016 @ 11:20am CDT
I for one really liked the FoC Grimlock mold, just saying :-D

Overall, good list, but I'd say some of the retools in Titans Return are worthy of mention, or at least will be. PM Prime was a great one, and Blurr/Brainstorm is also a good looking one.

Another one I will bring up is Rook to Swindle and Rook to Nosecone. Those are amazing retools on a great figure
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825695)
Posted by steals_your_goats on September 17th, 2016 @ 11:35am CDT
I love the rook mold but I have no idea why people swoon over the nosecone version. All they did was take off the top and replace wheels with treads which isn't impressive since the wheels just clipped on to begin with. It's a good figure don't get me wrong but I don't think it warrants all the praise it gets.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825697)
Posted by Kurona on September 17th, 2016 @ 11:40am CDT
steals_your_goats wrote:I love the rook mold but I have no idea why people swoon over the nosecone version. All they did was take off the top and replace wheels with treads which isn't impressive since the wheels just clipped on to begin with. It's a good figure don't get me wrong but I don't think it warrants all the praise it gets.

Drill.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825699)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on September 17th, 2016 @ 11:43am CDT
steals_your_goats wrote:I love the rook mold but I have no idea why people swoon over the nosecone version. All they did was take off the top and replace wheels with treads which isn't impressive since the wheels just clipped on to begin with. It's a good figure don't get me wrong but I don't think it warrants all the praise it gets.

But that's one reason it's such a good retool: it's so simple. They literally changed only about 4 parts on it or something but it looks completely different, and that is cool and a reason why I love it.

And drill
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825700)
Posted by steals_your_goats on September 17th, 2016 @ 11:44am CDT
Kurona wrote:
steals_your_goats wrote:I love the rook mold but I have no idea why people swoon over the nosecone version. All they did was take off the top and replace wheels with treads which isn't impressive since the wheels just clipped on to begin with. It's a good figure don't get me wrong but I don't think it warrants all the praise it gets.

Drill.

Yeah it's cool and all but it doesn't instantly make it a more than minimal effort retool. I honestly think that if Hasbro released this version from the start there wouldn't be nearly as much praise for it.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825729)
Posted by Davie L Arts on September 17th, 2016 @ 12:40pm CDT
I think universe 2.0 sunstreaker and sideswipe deserve a mention. Even though it wasn't a very extensive retool (only swapping the hands and a new head. It's very clever how they made it so they could be the same mold but still have sunny retain his canopy chest. It even gives him a slimmer look that sideswipe, which I like.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825749)
Posted by Andrius on September 17th, 2016 @ 1:02pm CDT
I can't believe this was used as a teaser image yet not included high on the list:

Image
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Sharkticon Megatron Gallery

It's such a beautiful retool.
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825753)
Posted by Andrius on September 17th, 2016 @ 1:09pm CDT
I'm also particularly fond of the Dark Energon line. I'm not sure if they can be counted as true retools, since the modes are generally the same, but I'm willing to give a pass based on all the translucent bits. (Well, technically Optimus gets a new face sculpt, so that's about as minor a retool as you'll find.)


Image
Transformers Prime: Robots In Disguise Dark Energon Bumblebee Gallery

Image
Transformers Prime: Robots In Disguise Dark Energon Optimus Prime Gallery

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Transformers Prime: Robots In Disguise Dark Energon Knock Out Gallery
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825757)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on September 17th, 2016 @ 1:14pm CDT
Oh, thank you for reminding me of the Beast Hunters line! Wheeljack and Ratchet are awesome retools that I love to death
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825763)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on September 17th, 2016 @ 1:22pm CDT
Andrius wrote:I'm also particularly fond of the Dark Energon line. I'm not sure if they can be counted as true retools, since the modes are generally the same, but I'm willing to give a pass based on all the translucent bits. (Well, technically Optimus gets a new face sculpt, so that's about as minor a retool as you'll find.)


Those are NOT retools, but repaints. Even if the "paint" is clear plastics.

Still, they DID some sick retools here from the RID Prime deluxes to the RID Beast Hunters.

Image

Image
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825769)
Posted by william-james88 on September 17th, 2016 @ 1:44pm CDT
-Kanrabat- wrote:Maybe because the article was written months in advance and you didn't think about editing it?

Or maybe because I dont think it's a great toy. I dont feel it improves on the original mold at all and instead feels like a cheap way to remake Powermaster Prime, similarly to how I feel about Fort Max.

D-Maximus_Primal wrote:I for one really liked the FoC Grimlock mold, just saying :-D

Overall, good list, but I'd say some of the retools in Titans Return are worthy of mention, or at least will be. PM Prime was a great one, and Blurr/Brainstorm is also a good looking one.

Another one I will bring up is Rook to Swindle and Rook to Nosecone. Those are amazing retools on a great figure

But dont those examples get us into the Pre-tool vs Re-tool debate? Is it fair to judge one against the other when it was planned all along for the molds to be shared? I dont have an opinion on this, I am just asking what you guys think. Is it worth differentiating the two?
Also, I didnt know you owned PM Prime, D-Max, you like him that much?

Also, the classics Sideswipe/Sunstreaker didnt strike me as a retool, at least not in the same way that the others on the list do. I see it instead as a really smart singular design and it will definitely be featured on lists in the future
Re: Top 5 Best Retools Amongst Transformers Toys (1825771)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on September 17th, 2016 @ 1:52pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
D-Maximus_Primal wrote:I for one really liked the FoC Grimlock mold, just saying :-D

Overall, good list, but I'd say some of the retools in Titans Return are worthy of mention, or at least will be. PM Prime was a great one, and Blurr/Brainstorm is also a good looking one.

Another one I will bring up is Rook to Swindle and Rook to Nosecone. Those are amazing retools on a great figure

But dont those examples get us into the Pre-tool vs Re-tool debate? Is it fair to judge one against the other when it was planned all along for the molds to be shared? I dont have an opinion on this, I am just asking what you guys think. Is it worth differentiating the two?
Also, I didnt know you owned PM Prime, D-Max, you like him that much?

I mean, as far as I'm concerned, they share a mold and they have different dedicated parts, so they are retools of one another. Chicken and the egg sort of deal for me.

I don't own Prime yet, but I've heard lots of praise for it and I really like the Magnus mold. Plus, it is a very extensive retool and it looks good in both modes, so I was judging it based on that (and I will get it eventually).

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