Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations

Saturday, August 12th, 2017 8:14AM CDT

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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 Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations

While many fans loved the complexity of the Revenge of the Fallen line, parents were not as enthused and eventually, the Age of Extinction Toyline came with a publicized push by Hasbro to simplify the transformation process of Transformers toys. They claimed it was both to bring it back to the brand’s basics and to be more appealing to kids and this idea of toys being simpler has stuck in he current collector landscape. While I love my complex transformations as much as the next fan, I actually thought this was all smoke and no fire. Not simply because complex and articulated Transformers didn’t disappear, and not just because we’ve had one step Transformers since G1’s Twintwist and Topspin, but because I believe easier Transformers can sometimes yield great designs that are just as hard to pull off as more complex transformations. An easy transformation doesn’t necessarily mean that the engineering is lacking and sometimes overcomplicating a transformer can yield terrible results (which is what the majority thinks of Universe Galvatron). All I want to show with this list is that there can be great style and a lot of fun resulting from easy transformations and I wanted to give the best examples of that. My only rule here is that it had to be less than 5 main steps (not including posing) to see the robot mode. This isn't necessarily about simplified toys or one steps, that could be another list of its own. Here, I was looking for awesome toys that you could transform extremely fast that even a young fan with a small attention span would appreciate and marvel at.

5. Transformers Animated Activators Seekers

These are one step transformers, for the most part, and are a lot of fun. The seeker mold has the best robot mode of this class, which makes up for the sub par jet mode, and it is loaded with articulation for that size. It really reminds me of the spring loaded Best Wars Basics which had just as much articulation as the deluxes. With all the lovely ball joints, this seeker mold even puts more recent attempts at Legends sized seekers to shame in terms of the amount of articulation and poseability.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations


4. Transformers G1 1984 Optimus Prime (Convoy)

When Hasbro said they were taking the property back to basics, I thought of what that meant and looked at my G1s. I could totally see what they meant. Transformer toys of the past were far easier than what they became in the ROTF line (hyperbole, right? But that’s the point) but I think they still look great in their own way. I grew up with the beautifully articulated Beast Wars figures and yet I can still see the great style of G1 and appreciate them as the fun toys they are. Blocky maybe, but it really sells the robot esthetic and even better, the robot in disguise aesthetic with the great alt mode integration of the early licensed diaclone toys. Optimus Prime (Battle Convoy) is the best example of this, and he transforms in just 4 steps (which includes part forming).

1.Bring down the legs and feet
2.Pull out the arms and shoulders
3.Flip the head
4. Plug in some fists (if you still have them)
And voila!

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations

It’s simple but really smart, especially the arms taking part of the front of the truck with them, giving Optimus a slimmer figure in the abdominal area that lines up with where the legs begin. And while he looks like a blocky robot, the alt mode is impeccable with no notion of robot kibble (it helps that his hands are just accessories). Also, let me reiterate, less than 5 steps!


3. Transformers Beast Wars Terrorsaur

To be frank, I could have picked any of the basic beast wars figures since they are all as good and as smart, so feel free to substitute this entry with your favourite of the basic spring loaded beast wars one step figures. Terrorsaur is a tad more special than the others to me since he was my first Transformer and, along with Rattrap, this was the only class to have a toy of the show character. And while I did complain about the size as a kid, I didn’t complain about the transformation (and no one complained about the show accuracy in the beast wars line, it wasn’t part of the fandom’s lexicon yet and I was just glad my Terrorsaur didn’t have a mutant head). The transformation was actually pretty smart and I believe it even beats the more recent Pretodactyle mold we got, Age of Extinction’s Strafe. Unlike Strafe, Terrorsaur’s head isn’t visible in Beast Mode even if you flip him to see the undercarriage, and the robot hands are hidden as well, transforming into the beast mode feet. I still find that hand transformation ingenious to this day. It’s so simple how the beast mode feet are panels that just flip onto the forearms and disappear in robot mode. You can count that as a step if you are so inclined, since it’s a great step, but he is principally a one step transformer since the entire robot mode comes to view once you unhook the beast mode head and let the spring do the work.
And voila:

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations
Transformers Beast Wars Iguanus (Crazybolt) Gallery


2. Transformers Beast Wars Cybershark

He was my favourite to transform as a kid because I marveled at how fast it was to go from these two totally distinct beast and robot modes. Unlike Terrorsaur above, there wasn’t a spring involved, this was a deluxe, and neither his arms nor legs appeared in robot mode. His fully articulated limbs only appear in robot mode and you get there in just 3 steps once you remove his tail (which you also must do with the three step Robots in Disguise Grimlock).
1.Open the shark’s underbelly/shell
2.Flip the newly revealed legs to the front end of the toy
3.Flip the shark head down
And voila:
Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations

A beautiful robot mode with some decent alt mode integration (the shark’s head!) with one of the best headsculpts and decos of the beast era. He is also full of weapons and hidden projectiles (the sharks’s head!). This is by no means a design that lacks engineering, or inventiveness, especially considering that the beast mode is a realistic shark that has no arms or legs. And yet it’s super simple and fun to transform. I didn’t feel cheated then and I sure don’t feel it now. For a simple comparison, the Transmetal II version was made far more complicated to transform and the result doesn’t hold a candle to the initial cybershark who is far more sleek, giving him the look of the swift, sharp and skilled killer he is (or was in my imagination).


1. Transformers Cybertron Hot Shot (Excellion)

This figure is astounding compared to today's toys in terms of heft, deco and sculpting. It's a deluxe class figure with an excellent amount of articulation, but do you know how many steps it takes to transform it? Only four. Five if you have to turn his head for it to face the right direction.
1. Pull the rear of the car back.
2. Flip the rear vents up to form the robot feet.
3. Swing the sides of the car out while pulling them down, splitting the front of the car.
4. Rotate the cockpit, and accompanying top of the car, 180.
(5. Turn the robot head around if it's not facing the right way)
And voila!

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations

This can be performed in 10 seconds, with no hyperbole. And that's it. The transformation is so simplistic and elementary, yet results in an impressively articulated figure with some fun non-inhibiting gimmick features. The simplicity in the toy is a result of the robot mode using the very same parts from the alt mode but in a way that the kibble is no longer visible, giving way to a robot mode with detail that was never found before.
Just look at how little of the alt mode shows up in the robot mode:

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations
Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations

And yet, the robot mode uses parts from the car mode, making him still sleek with a nice amount of bulk and heft. This toy simply amazes me. I love the alt mode being a Cybertronian Lambourghini. Design is two fold; it is the look of the figure as well as its engineering. And this guy works that way. The simple engineering means you can have a swift conversion from 2 modes that look nothing like one another. Think about it guys, this is what Hasbro is trying to hard to achieve right now with simplistic transformation. But this is it done right. It is truly a figure for all ages (it's my 11 year old cousin's favourite toy, she usually finds transformers too complicated).
And the style of the figure is something to behold. Speaking of head sculpts, this is probably one of my all time favourites, there is so much detail and sculpting. You have four colours playing off one another on this head design with different kinds of plastic as well, giving it a unique look while also hearkening back to a very old school robot look. And speaking of hearkening back, his gimmick is that he becomes an homage to Hotrod.

Sure, he isn't perfect. He has a big buttflap, the doors don't retract across his arms and the legs are quite bulky but to me this is just part of the design and intention to make him quick to convert while using as much as the kibble as possible in the robot mode (ie the legs ad doors).
This was the last line before the movie happened, and the very last states side line which used Takara for design and not just engineering. It was like a last hurrah for the classic transformer design, yet flipped on its head (or upside down, as is the case with this toy). It's just great.

And once again, check out that headsculpt!

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations
Transformers News: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903890)
Posted by Kotori_Sonoda on August 12th, 2017 @ 8:20am CDT
Whoah, that Hot Shot toy only has five steps and turns into something that looks great? Awesome!
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903892)
Posted by Delicon on August 12th, 2017 @ 8:32am CDT
Most G1 toys had simple but fun transformations. I miss that era. I was a big fan of Titanium Scourge because he had that same kind of feel.
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903898)
Posted by Viollustre on August 12th, 2017 @ 10:17am CDT
THe Unicron Trilogy yielded many figures with simpler transformations. Cybertron probably had the most solid figures out of the 3 due to less intrusive gimmicks. Enter Vector Prime, a prime example (sorry) of a figure with stunning detailing, awesome accessories, built-in sounds and a transformation consisting of:

1) Fold legs and feet out
2) Fold cockpit kibble down to form cape/backpack
3) Untab arms from the side of the body.
4) Lift shoulder armour up
5) Twist head 180

I understand he appeared in last week's list, and in the top 10 best headsculpts, but I think he deserves a mention here too because he's just that awesome at so many different things! (Ooh I'd totally would place him in a best swords and most well-hidden head list to)
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903911)
Posted by Relic0037 on August 12th, 2017 @ 11:08am CDT
I think G1 Optimus is one of the best, as well as one of the most iconic, TOYS of all time.
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903919)
Posted by ExciKaiser on August 12th, 2017 @ 12:10pm CDT
What is fantastic with HotShot/Excellion, is the fact his upgrade keeps the same transformation and simplicity, while not being a retool at all.

I think he could have been put in honorable mentions, at least.



Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903927)
Posted by shajaki on August 12th, 2017 @ 12:39pm CDT
Terrorsaur woulda been my #1. Others who'd have made the list: the Flip Change Jets.







Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903936)
Posted by william-james88 on August 12th, 2017 @ 1:22pm CDT
Viollustre wrote:
I understand he appeared in last week's list, and in the top 10 best headsculpts, but I think he deserves a mention here too because he's just that awesome at so many different things! (Ooh I'd totally would place him in a best swords and most well-hidden head list to)

This is such a wide spanning topic that I felt so much could be an honourable mention. So I instead just stuck with 5 very different bots that summed up my point and everything in the comments would become a continuation to the list :)

And yeah Vector Prime is one of the best TF toys of all time and appears in so many lists. here are two more where you can find him:

https://www.seibertron.com/transformers ... des/35054/

https://www.seibertron.com/transformers ... tg1/38936/

I didnt include him here because while he is simple, I didnt know if he woud seem like more than 5 steps to people (especially with the cape part), so to avoid debate over that I went for really straight forward examples. He might appear in more, like sculpting, deco, homages outside the brand, epic looking, sword weilding, and of course top 10 cybertron toys.

But yeah, if I had to write a list of the top 10 TF toys of all time (which I dont think I will ever write), he would be on there for sure.

shajaki wrote:Terrorsaur woulda been my #1.


Hell yeah. It was one of my first instincts but I didnt know how much of nostalgia was blinding me. And nice call on those jets!

Relic0037 wrote:I think G1 Optimus is one of the best, as well as one of the most iconic, TOYS of all time.


Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903937)
Posted by Kurona on August 12th, 2017 @ 1:23pm CDT
Cybertron was my childhood, so I've really gotta get a hold of a Hot Shot now. Especially when you're talking about Hot Rod homages -- need that Excellion redeco =P~
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903946)
Posted by Flashwave on August 12th, 2017 @ 2:15pm CDT
Kurona wrote:Cybertron was my childhood, so I've really gotta get a hold of a Hot Shot now. Especially when you're talking about Hot Rod homages -- need that Excellion redeco =P~
i might be able to help youvin one or both of those actually.

He's got way too many steps to be on this list, but Cyb Crosswise is one those figures I never not have around. He's got a cool gimmk, with the roof and shoulder launchers, a neat shield, his transformatiin is satisfying in that it has enough things that have to move to engage you, but none of them are difficult, and you get a big stocky robot out of such a sleek car.
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903950)
Posted by Megatron Wolf on August 12th, 2017 @ 2:31pm CDT
First figures that came to mind are beast wars insecticon & G1 Soundwave. I love how the chest is done on insecticon, it took the put animal head on chest concept and did it differently but extremely effectively. And then soundwave goes from a realistic looking tape player to a hulking articulated robot in a few steps, still one of the best transformers ever made.

On a side note you should say the real reason why hasbro went back to easy conversions, money. Its cheaper to make 5 step transformations compared to 20 step. They spend less money making them but charge us more and bingo golden toilets for all.
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903953)
Posted by ExciKaiser on August 12th, 2017 @ 2:48pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:

While many fans loved the complexity of the Revenge of the Fallen line



Really ? I wonder if it doesn't deserve a poll.

I love complexity, they can release a 150 steps transformers when they want.

But ROTF bots were not complex, they were Lazy-designed frutstrating shell formers.

Most of them are even 5 steps changers. Unfortunatly, they where this kind of 5 steps :


- Align 5 plates together and try to fiddle the 8 tabs in same time because one after one doesn't works, in order to get 80% of the car shell.
- While trying to untab nothing from the previous step, fold all arms and legs randomly inside the obtained shell.
- Force the plastic tolerance in order to tab the part of the arms or the legs whic acts a wheels and bumpers.
- Fiddle the wheels during 10 minutes in order to try to aling them together.
- play with your car which doesn't roll well.


There's good complexity, and bad complexity. Most of ROTF where bad.

One model of good complexity is for example is War for Cybertron Prime. Ton of steps, but everything locks in place nicely, everything has its designed place to tab etc..
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903955)
Posted by Optimum Supreme on August 12th, 2017 @ 2:49pm CDT
"Also, let me reiterate, less than 5 steps!"

Only if you cheat and count left arm and right arm as a single step and ditto regarding the legs AND you don't do anything with the trailer.

He might not be a modern 30 something steps, but he's more somewhere in the 10s than 5.
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903966)
Posted by william-james88 on August 12th, 2017 @ 3:37pm CDT
Optimum Supreme wrote:"Also, let me reiterate, less than 5 steps!"

Only if you cheat and count left arm and right arm as a single step and ditto regarding the legs AND you don't do anything with the trailer.

He might not be a modern 30 something steps, but he's more somewhere in the 10s than 5.

No cheating involved. Hasbro always considers mirror actions (like putting both arms up) as 1 step and not 2, and I am doing the same.



As you can see, he is officially documented as having 3 steps, but I gave him an extra one to be fair.
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903970)
Posted by kurthy on August 12th, 2017 @ 4:02pm CDT
How many steps is sky lynx if you go from shuttle to dragon?
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903972)
Posted by william-james88 on August 12th, 2017 @ 4:27pm CDT
kurthy wrote:How many steps is sky lynx if you go from shuttle to dragon?

G1 or CW?

Its not as easy to judge with G1 since you have 2 components. As for CW, Ben from BWTF jots it down as 10 steps: http://www.bwtf.com/toyreviews/generati ... rs/skylynx

But a few of those are just attaching and detaching weapons.
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903973)
Posted by kurthy on August 12th, 2017 @ 4:30pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
kurthy wrote:How many steps is sky lynx if you go from shuttle to dragon?

G1 or CW?

Its not as easy to judge with G1 since you have 2 components. As for CW, Ben from BWTF jots it down as 10 steps: http://www.bwtf.com/toyreviews/generati ... rs/skylynx

But a few of those are just attaching and detaching weapons.

G1 definitely, you don't have to detach anything to pull out the tail and head. Just depends how many steps you consider the legs.
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903985)
Posted by GrandGalvatronG1 on August 12th, 2017 @ 5:45pm CDT
No Alpha Bravo?
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903989)
Posted by EunuchRon on August 12th, 2017 @ 6:15pm CDT
Laserbeak and Buzzsaw! Those are my fave simples. Head, feet, wings, guns, and done!
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903994)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on August 12th, 2017 @ 6:43pm CDT
I'm surprised nobody is cracking jokes about G1 Broadside, from aircraft carrier to robot:

1) Stand Robot
2) Make a sandwich

Anybody know what happened to that?
Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys with Easy Transformations (1903996)
Posted by D-Maximus_Prime on August 12th, 2017 @ 6:55pm CDT
I'm holding 2 of them right now, but we should not discount some of the new RiD simple guys too. warrior Blurr for example is literally

split legs
fold backpack from chest to back
move arms into position

And that is a pretty solid figure! The team combiners are pretty neat too, and they are pretty close to the G1 combiners in terms of complexity and articulation, yet are so much fun! Both G1 and RiD combiners should be contenders considering the swapability, the speed at which you can combine and mix and match them, and the overall fun of smashing several guys/gals together into a bigger bot!

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