Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys

Saturday, December 30th, 2017 2:07PM CST

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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 Samurai Transformers Toys

I realized that I lost track of time at some point (having a new baby will do that to you) and on week was skipped in December. So to remedy that, you are getting this new list just one week after the previous one about the best Ravage toys (where most people surprisingly agreed that the Masterpiece version was not the best). But enough of older lists, on with the new. 2018 will be giving us a new take on the the most popular Pretender figure of all time, Bludgeon, and in light of this I chose to look back on the best Samurai themed toys (since a list of just Bludgeon would not leave us with much).

With the Transformer toys originating from Japan, it only makes sense that the toy designs would emulate certain archetypes from the motherland even when designed by western designers (which is the case for every one of these top 5 toys). The Samurai armor is legendary and many designers have had fun throughout the year to integrate it into a Transformer's design regardless of how much sense that would make for alien robots. It is a fun and recognizable theme and here are the top 5 toys that make it work best.

5. Transformers Age of Extinction: Generations Drift

While the initial Drift character design was more subtle when it first appeared in the comics, the Michael Bay version takes it to a whole other level. The robot mode doesnt take cues from the samurai look, it is the samurai look, probably the most out of all this list. You have the leather armour complete with Haidate and Sode (thigh armour and shoulder pads). I love how efficient and smart the design is. The Sode are done by folding the car doors outward which replaces alt mode detail with brand new detail for the robot mode. The robot's chest is still the front of the car, thus retaining the Bugatti logo at the front, but peeled to reveal a samurai armour chest. He also has weapons storage for his 4 swords. The goal of the Takara designers when thinking of the engineering was to make him have as much robot specific detail as possible without it being overly complicated to transform and I think it's a mission they accomplished and even better than the retool that came out for Transformers: The Last Knight.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys


4. Transformers Generations Drift

While movie Drift is fun, I still find the initial Drift release to be a better toy. The Samurai theme is present but more subdued with more of a look at what a samurai warrior would look like on Cybertron, made up of more car details. I especially like the big shoulders and the sword sheets that along with the car doors acting as the Haidate (armoured skirt). He also has the best sword found on this entire list.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys


3. Transformers Animated Samurai Prowl

This guy is a whole storm of Japanese themes. He is a motorcycle that turns into a ninja Transformer. The articulation even permits you to give him some amazing sneaking poses since you have have him stand on his toes. The best part though is that a later release of the toy came with a side car for the motorcycle and this side car could unfold into samurai armour. It just works so well as a toy. Everything fits perfectly turning a ninja into a samurai (at the cost of articulation). While the base toy is awesome and was already number 1 on a previous list, it is his samurai mode that is the focus here and the fact that it removes more than 60% of his initial phenomenal articulation is definitely a point against him.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys


2. Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2015) Drift

This to me is the best of both worlds in terms of a Drift Transformer. While the AOE seemed to be wearing a human's samurai costume, the IDW Drift was more taking cues from the general look. This guy though fuses the themes to give you a very distinctive samurai look while also using most of his car parts. He is by far the most fun to transform of the three Drifts and the flipping car panel to reveal the robot chest is brilliant and efficient. I also love how well his giant shoulders are the same pieces found at the front of the car and don't seem out of place in either mode. He also has a fun headsculpt I prefer to the AOE mask, complete with a phenomenal mustache (which Hasbro forgot to paint, but that's why we have Takara, or sharpies). His alt mode is also sublime and super sleek, by far the best Drift alt mode so far.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys

1. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon

I realize this list has a lot of Drift, as opposed to Bludgeon who is (or was?) the main Samurai themed bot in the brand. But that is because with Drift being less of a classic character, his look and personality was readily altered depending on the medium with Bludgeon usually staying more true to his original looks. Plus it doesnt help that his most recent toys (Prime, RID) have all been redecos/retools of previous toys. But the Revenge of the Fallen toy was Bludgeon through and through. This was a no-brainer for the number 1 spot, what a perfect toy. The idea was to homage a robot who turned into a tank which hid inside the shell of a non transforming toy which looked like an undead samurai. So what they did was have the alt mode be the tank and have the robot mode be the samurai, repurposing some alt mode detail. They knock that part out of the park by having the tank threads become the samurai armour on his legs and arms along with other piece of the tank, making this samurai armour near impenetrable. The tank cannon is where the longer sword is stored and the tank's turret can open up to reveal a sheath containing a shorter sword. These are all design masterstrokes, and it is hard to believe that this was released as part of the movie line. The homage being perfectly executed and using the alt mode to the robot mode's advantage earns this figure the rightful spot at the top.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys


Honourable mentions:

It would be hard not to mention the very first full on samurai ransformers toy, Transformers G1 1989 Bludgeon Gallery. Now you can look at the pictures above and see just how well the challenge was executed.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys

Banzaitron was also a robot who had an Asian theme about him and though the Asian look was further emphazised when he was redeco'd from ROTF Bludgeon, it was fun to see that carry through in the Alternity line. That line actually gave a samurai look to Megatron as well and I think it worked well for both of them:

Transformers Alternity Banzai-Tron (Crystalo Black) and Megatron

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformer Toys
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Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928888)
Posted by Quantum Surge on December 30th, 2017 @ 2:19pm CST
Honestly, I agree with the list! I would put AOE Drift higher if he was taller, but he is still a very fun toy! Better than the TLK version!

I so need ROTF Bludgeon, and while I own the G2 Megs repaint, I don't think it's good enough. Maybe as BWII Megastorm, but what bothers me is that the plastic feels thin. Does anyone that have both figures know the differences in terms of plastic quality between Bludgeon and GDO Megs?
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928889)
Posted by BumbleDouche on December 30th, 2017 @ 2:26pm CST
Topic ideas for these lists is getting increasingly obscure lol
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928892)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on December 30th, 2017 @ 2:46pm CST
Should have waited a few months with that list, as PotP will feature a Bludgeon Decoy Suit with Quintus Prime in Wave 3. ;)

And no love for RiD 2015 Blastwave/Bludegon?



Or does him being a retool exclude him?
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928895)
Posted by WreckerJack on December 30th, 2017 @ 3:11pm CST
I have always wanted a Generations Drift. He'd be perfect to represent MTMTE/LL Drift. UGH. Why hasbro doesn't include popular characters from the comics in their lines I don't understand. We need a comic line!
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928897)
Posted by RK_Striker_JK_5 on December 30th, 2017 @ 3:19pm CST
I would've replaced AOE Drift with G1 Bludegon. I hate AOE Drift. That face... :SICK: Other than that, I think I agree.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928898)
Posted by Randomhero on December 30th, 2017 @ 3:23pm CST
WreckerJack wrote:I have always wanted a Generations Drift. He'd be perfect to represent MTMTE/LL Drift. UGH. Why hasbro doesn't include popular characters from the comics in their lines I don't understand. We need a comic line!


We...did. 2013-14 generations were about 90% characters featured in the comics. Skids, Brainstorm, tailgate, gears Orion pax, Trailbreaker, bumblebee, stealth bomber Megatron etc, even the jhiaxus retool head was entirely based on the IDW version.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928900)
Posted by WreckerJack on December 30th, 2017 @ 3:29pm CST
Randomhero wrote:
WreckerJack wrote:I have always wanted a Generations Drift. He'd be perfect to represent MTMTE/LL Drift. UGH. Why hasbro doesn't include popular characters from the comics in their lines I don't understand. We need a comic line!


We...did. 2013-14 generations were about 90% characters featured in the comics. Skids, Brainstorm, tailgate, gears Orion pax, Trailbreaker, bumblebee, stealth bomber Megatron etc, even the jhiaxus retool head was entirely based on the IDW version.


Ahh I probably forgot about that since I wasn't collecting at that point.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928904)
Posted by Burn on December 30th, 2017 @ 3:40pm CST
If you can look past his floppyness (at times), Samurai Prowl is a brilliant figure and one of the stand outs of the Animated line (and I'm very much NOT a Animated fan)
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928913)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on December 30th, 2017 @ 4:11pm CST
I completely agree with this list. ROTF Bludgeon is one of my favorite toy ever. So good that it gave me the desire to hunt down the G1 original... and I did.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928949)
Posted by Rated X on December 30th, 2017 @ 6:04pm CST
If Drift makes the list 3 times, thats a sign maybe theres not enough Samurai characters to create a list. Just saying...
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928950)
Posted by Burn on December 30th, 2017 @ 6:13pm CST
Rated X wrote:If Drift makes the list 3 times, thats a sign maybe theres not enough Samurai characters to create a list. Just saying...

There aren't that many Samurai themed Transformers characters. Drift and Bludgeon are basically the two main ones.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928955)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on December 30th, 2017 @ 6:20pm CST
Burn wrote:
Rated X wrote:If Drift makes the list 3 times, thats a sign maybe theres not enough Samurai characters to create a list. Just saying...

There aren't that many Samurai themed Transformers characters. Drift and Bludgeon are basically the two main ones.


Beside, the toy and character designs varies so much for Drift, they may as well all be different characters. Seriously, take the IDW, Movie, and RiD versions and put them next to each others. If you don't know their names, they will be different characters. No colors matches, no overall shape match, not even the faces.

As for Bludgeon, all of his different iterations are the exact same. Same overall shape, same colors, same features. Even the noob who know nothing can tell he's the same guy.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928961)
Posted by Emerje on December 30th, 2017 @ 6:53pm CST
-Kanrabat- wrote:
Burn wrote:
Rated X wrote:If Drift makes the list 3 times, thats a sign maybe theres not enough Samurai characters to create a list. Just saying...

There aren't that many Samurai themed Transformers characters. Drift and Bludgeon are basically the two main ones.


Beside, the toy and character designs varies so much for Drift, they may as well all be different characters. Seriously, take the IDW, Movie, and RiD versions and put them next to each others. If you don't know their names, they will be different characters. No colors matches, no overall shape match, not even the faces.

As for Bludgeon, all of his different iterations are the exact same. Same overall shape, same colors, same features. Even the noob who know nothing can tell he's the same guy.

But neither the Bludgeons nor the Drifts are the same characters. Sure, they share names and themes, but for each you've got a G1 character, a movie character, and an RID character. Three characters named Drift are on the list, but not the same Drift. Look at the Top 10 Best Optimus Prime (Convoy) Toys list, it represents seven different characters, not the same character 10 times.

Anyway, I can't really disagree with the list, even though my favorite is still Action Master Banzaitron.

Emerje
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928977)
Posted by OptimalOptimus2 on December 30th, 2017 @ 9:09pm CST
Except for Bludgeon, I never liked the samurai designs on Transformers.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928980)
Posted by Bradimus on December 30th, 2017 @ 9:43pm CST
Great list! Interesting how 3 different styles of Drift all make the list for pulling off 3 different ways of looking like a samurai. Of the three I only have Generations Drift and I love that toy as well as his mold mate, Blurr.

Completely agree with number one. I love that Bludgeon. The design is brilliant turning the tank into the undead samurai. ;)^
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928993)
Posted by Rated X on December 30th, 2017 @ 11:15pm CST
Emerje wrote:
-Kanrabat- wrote:
Burn wrote:
Rated X wrote:If Drift makes the list 3 times, thats a sign maybe theres not enough Samurai characters to create a list. Just saying...

There aren't that many Samurai themed Transformers characters. Drift and Bludgeon are basically the two main ones.


Beside, the toy and character designs varies so much for Drift, they may as well all be different characters. Seriously, take the IDW, Movie, and RiD versions and put them next to each others. If you don't know their names, they will be different characters. No colors matches, no overall shape match, not even the faces.

As for Bludgeon, all of his different iterations are the exact same. Same overall shape, same colors, same features. Even the noob who know nothing can tell he's the same guy.

But neither the Bludgeons nor the Drifts are the same characters. Sure, they share names and themes, but for each you've got a G1 character, a movie character, and an RID character. Three characters named Drift are on the list, but not the same Drift. Look at the Top 10 Best Optimus Prime (Convoy) Toys list, it represents seven different characters, not the same character 10 times.

Anyway, I can't really disagree with the list, even though my favorite is still Action Master Banzaitron.

Emerje


I get that its 3 different continuities, but its not like the overall theme changed a whole lot. (Like say, G1, energon and ROTF Devastator) Drift is always a samurai, just like Optimus is always a truck with chest windows and the same basic helmet. All im saying is there is basically 4 characters you can use. (No Banzi-tron on the main list wtf) I would have gone with ninjas instead. You might be able to pull off 5 different characters without pulling the continuity thing. Or if you went with martial arts practitioners there would be much more to choose from.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1928997)
Posted by LE0KING on December 31st, 2017 @ 12:17am CST
Quantum Surge wrote:Honestly, I agree with the list! I would put AOE Drift higher if he was taller, but he is still a very fun toy! Better than the TLK version!

I so need ROTF Bludgeon, and while I own the G2 Megs repaint, I don't think it's good enough. Maybe as BWII Megastorm, but what bothers me is that the plastic feels thin. Does anyone that have both figures know the differences in terms of plastic quality between Bludgeon and GDO Megs?

I have bludgeon, banzaitron, and megatron from that mold, and they are all three very different in terms of plastic quality. Bludgeon is great, really nice and sturdy. Banzaitron is ok, not as robust as Bludgeon but still good quality. But Megatron is trash, the gray plastic they used is week and thin. I ripped his arm off the very first time I tried to transform it.

Personally I recommend DNA designs Susanoo, it will probably cost the same as an after market Bludgeon and is a masterpiece version of the ROTF figure. It does everything perfectly, probably my favorite transforming figure ever. It scales good with chug figures too.

-Kanrabat- wrote:

Beside, the toy and character designs varies so much for Drift, they may as well all be different characters. Seriously, take the IDW, Movie, and RiD versions and put them next to each others. If you don't know their names, they will be different characters. No colors matches, no overall shape match, not even the faces.


Ironically I have the five drifts (Including TLK red drift and Takara's origins drift) as five different characters with five different asian inspired names. Ronin and Oni for the movie drifts, they're split spark brothers, Kenpo for the RID, Kendo for Origins, and classics drift the leader of the Asian infiltration team, who sometimes get help from Windblade and her two sisters, Wingsaber (the rid windblade with the mask) and, yet to be named, headmaster windblade.


In case you hadn't noticed, I hate having two toys of the same character. It feels excessive. :-D
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1929001)
Posted by hurricane567 on December 31st, 2017 @ 12:37am CST
Last Knight Drift > AoE Drift. Also there's a repaint of RiD Drift that makes him look like Generations Drift.
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1929002)
Posted by LE0KING on December 31st, 2017 @ 12:42am CST
hurricane567 wrote:Last Knight Drift > AoE Drift. Also there's a repaint of RiD Drift that makes him look like Generations Drift.

How so? I think the blue drift is nicer in most aspects.

Also the origins drift blows that one out of the water.
<!-- ia0 -->Drift-Origin-6.jpg<!-- ia0 -->
Re: Top 5 Best Samurai Themed Transformers Toys (1929017)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on December 31st, 2017 @ 8:15am CST
That side view of IDW Drift shows some of why I hate that figure. Can barely even see a robot from that angle at all. The designs of the Animated and RID figures there do nothing for me all.


I love lil AoE Drift. He's a cool robot and a nice car too.
I loooove RotF Bludgeon though I've tweaked my figure a fair amount to be more the way I like it, the stock figure is still superb. Both the robot mode and the tank itself. It just shows a lot of care and effort put into it (unlike the RID Bludgeon that seems like one of those extremely simplified cheap poundshop KO's in comparison and seems to be trying to get by with a vague similarity to the RotF figure)

this be my Bludgeon currently. Still need to tidy a few bits.
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