Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys

Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys

Sunday, September 30th, 2018 8:09pm CDT

Categories: Site Articles, Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 39,345

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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. And Va'al swoops in from the left, takes the list, and shapes it in his image. First day.

Taking over from william-james88 for this session, I thought about turning our attention to one of the weirdest and least explainable (until Simon Furman in IDW) features of the Transformers lore: mass shifting. Tinkering with some of the figures below, I pitched the idea to the resident listicler - what are the best toys that change size drastically between modes, faithfully and painstakingly representing the mass-shifting quirk in plastic? It took us some thinking, as we kept running short at 3-4, but we may have cracked it, and we're spanning a lot of lines, too!


5. ROTF Wheelie

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


Is this a good figure? No. Does it conjure up good memories? No. But it is part of the best toy line from the live-action movie series (so far) and it does a fantastic job at starting from an admittedly hefty remote controlled car, to become almost Voyager scary nightmare of a spiky robot. The actual class? Deluxe. But don't remind him.

That said, the robot mode is also nightmarishly lanky and spindly, and carries a lot of the issues of the live-action designs in its feet, limbs, and general... everything, so I wouldn't exactly recommend tracking it down at this stage.

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


4. MP Hot Rod

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


As big as the smaller cars in the Masterpiece line - though not the smallest - the second iteration of the Captain Rodimus/Hot Rod compacts a towering robot into the speedy, flashy, flamey douche we all love to hate. Despite still being a little too big to make it into the Ultra Magnus trailer in play-mode, it's small enough to look positively tiny compared to its previous figure, and not that much bigger than the original!

But switch to robot mode, and you have something really much larger, in comparison. It does fit nicely with the likes of Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime, but may annoy some fans in its comparison to, say, the Datsun clones or the Lambor army. You do get fishing equipment included though, so your Rod can hold a rod - rodception.

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


3. RID/TAV Thunderhoof

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


We've all heard the tale: Tiny Tractor Turns into Toweringly Tall roboT. That's what you get with Robots in Disguise Thunderhoof, at least when compared to other Deluxes Warrior class figures in the same line. Not only is it a great little farming vehicle (one of the very few, if not the only one), adorably blue, and plodding along in the fields.

But as soon as you unfold every single part of the vehicle into its limb configurations -- hoo boy, do you have a tall, dark, and handsome, mean lookin robit. He towers over several of his class in the RID line, and is probably the first or second best of the entire run (Bisk/Thermidor is somewhere in there too), and he's just *so* different in size between the two modes, you might almost not even notice how hollow he has to be to pull that off.

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


2. Prime FE Bulkhead

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


Voyager class, bulky but relatively compact green SUV, complete with wrecking ball port on the back, limited release in the First Edition wave, and extortionate secondary market prices. Bulkhead is a mean, green, looming, booming machine.

From that Wreckin' ball, you get a baller Wrecker - something later canonised in the IDW comics too, as the last generation of the team before it's disbanded entirely - which may not make up for the size in height, but it is *hefty* all round, and sacrifices nothing for its look. Who says round can't be intimidating?

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


1. ROTF/Animated Lockdown



I placed both on here, as the Revenge of the Fallen figure is a stellar piece of work, and based on its cartoon counterpart - but Animated is the real star of the show, as the first entry onto the toy scene. The class? Deluxe. And the vehicle mode does a good job of keeping it at that, nice and tidy in its spiky green and black murder muscle car.

The robot mode, however, is HUGE. Like, super tall, almost Voyager scale, and without any hollow or thin or particularly lanky parts, as the aesthetic of the show and toyline allowed for proportions to work their way with stronger lower limbs and looming hunches. In Lockdown's case, it was also super fitting.

Transformers News: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys


Honourable mentions:
  • MP Soundwave/Soundblaster
  • Cybertron Primus
  • Universe Unicron


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Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1986979)
Posted by EvasionModeBumblebee on September 30th, 2018 @ 9:27pm CDT
Nice list! I’d forgotten how terrifying ROTF Wheelie looks.

If I had to pick one to add to the list it’d be SS Blackout, going from a relatively short robot mode (for a leader) to a gigantic MH-53.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1986980)
Posted by LE0KING on September 30th, 2018 @ 10:06pm CDT
I'd have to put evasion mode prime on this list. His truck mode is tiny compared to the robot. Same with rotf lockdown.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1986981)
Posted by Flashwave on September 30th, 2018 @ 10:09pm CDT
I think the Wheelie Toy gets a lot of bad flack. It’s not a bad toy its a faithful creation of a frankly hideous design Short of working electronics, you can’t make a more faithful recreation of ROTF Wheelie. You’re just asking an artist to make a faithful recreation of a pile of **** and then complaining because it looks like ****. News flash, it is.

And its totally a perfect example of Toy Mass shifting. So is Animated Lockdown, although I don’t agree with Bulkhead. He stillfeels like a Voyager (Or Ultra Class) in bth modes. Thunderhoof DOES compact down, but he doesn’t really feel like he does it the way Wheelie and Lockdown do. At risk of duplicating characters, I would probably have also put the RTS version of Lockdown on there
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1986982)
Posted by william-james88 on September 30th, 2018 @ 10:12pm CDT
Flashwave wrote:And its totally a perfect example of Toy Mass shifting. So is Animated Lockdown, although I don’t agree with Bulkhead. He stillfeels like a Voyager (Or Ultra Class) in bth modes. Thunderhoof DOES compact down, but he doesn’t really feel like he does it the way Wheelie and Lockdown do. At risk of duplicating characters, I would probably have also put the RTS version of Lockdown on there

How would you rank lockdown vs another?
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1986985)
Posted by notsoalex on September 30th, 2018 @ 10:32pm CDT
Yeah, and when both of you are in my basem-uh, I mean when both of you aren't available, I'll do the wrting.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1986990)
Posted by jasonwilty on September 30th, 2018 @ 11:25pm CDT
This list doesn’t;t work without G1 Skids.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987000)
Posted by ZeroWolf on October 1st, 2018 @ 2:15am CDT
Awesome list, one that I agree with completely. Lockdown really is one of the best in the animated line.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987002)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on October 1st, 2018 @ 3:22am CDT
I really don't get the appeal of Animated/RotF Lockdown. I absolutely hate the robot mode on both of those toys. Car is kinda cool in a silly Mad Max sorta way but nah I don't like the robot at all. Never owned the RotF toy but did have the Animated one in that large bunch of Animated toys i bought cheap and sold off individually.

"But it is part of the best toy line from the live-action movie series (so far) " Nah, I far prefer Studio Series even just by the fact I've been much more addicted to buying figures from it and it covers the movies as a whole rather than just that one.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987004)
Posted by Va'al on October 1st, 2018 @ 3:33am CDT
Flashwave wrote:And its totally a perfect example of Toy Mass shifting. So is Animated Lockdown, although I don’t agree with Bulkhead. He stillfeels like a Voyager (Or Ultra Class) in bth modes. Thunderhoof DOES compact down, but he doesn’t really feel like he does it the way Wheelie and Lockdown do. At risk of duplicating characters, I would probably have also put the RTS version of Lockdown on there


I mean, the Bulkhead I used as an example was the Prime one, rather than Animated, for that very reason! The SUV is small compared to any other Voyager figure' alt-mode, but the robot is, well, bulky.

The reason I didn't put in two Lockdowns was to give a bit more variety to the designs, trying to fit in more than one line. :D

LE0KING wrote:I'd have to put evasion mode prime on this list. His truck mode is tiny compared to the robot. Same with rotf lockdown.


That's an interesting choice, and one I hadn't really considered for the list, despite being one of the few figures I actually own and love. :-?

Image

Though looking at it with other sizes, it's not too far off from a Voyager truck, it's just all compacted into the cabin, I think.


"But it is part of the best toy line from the live-action movie series (so far) " Nah, I far prefer Studio Series even just by the fact I've been much more addicted to buying figures from it and it covers the movies as a whole rather than just that one.


Also, additional note for full clarity: this list was created before Studio Series was fully available, and does not consider the latest additions to the toy roster we've got in this past season!
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987007)
Posted by ZeroWolf on October 1st, 2018 @ 3:38am CDT
So would you change your list when considering studio series?
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987009)
Posted by Va'al on October 1st, 2018 @ 4:19am CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:So would you change your list when considering studio series?


Potentially, but there's a well known reason why I don't usually weigh in on toys. :-P
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987016)
Posted by Dr. Caelus on October 1st, 2018 @ 6:56am CDT
I'd say TFPrime Deluxe Vehicon ought to be on this list.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987017)
Posted by Emerje on October 1st, 2018 @ 7:28am CDT
My favorite, and it's such a simple transformation, too. Doubledealer!

Image
Image

Little rocket carrier turns into a massive bot mode, both height and width thanks to to the way he unfolds in all four directions.

Emerje
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987019)
Posted by ScottyP on October 1st, 2018 @ 7:35am CDT
Va'al wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:So would you change your list when considering studio series?


Potentially, but there's a well known reason why I don't usually weigh in on toys. :-P
Just because you're actually sane and don't own hundreds/thousands of Transformers? I would respect your toy opinions regardless ;)

On the list, well done! Very agreed on Wheelie, he's a fun one. RotF Jetfire is an example of a big alt mode with a much smaller bot by comparison. The blackbird is huge, but Jetfire himself is just a regular, slightly short Leader Class figure by 2009 Leader standards.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987030)
Posted by Va'al on October 1st, 2018 @ 8:51am CDT
ScottyP wrote:On the list, well done! Very agreed on Wheelie, he's a fun one. RotF Jetfire is an example of a big alt mode with a much smaller bot by comparison. The blackbird is huge, but Jetfire himself is just a regular, slightly short Leader Class figure by 2009 Leader standards.


The reverse mass shifting didn't even cross my mind, actually. That would be a fun follow up list..!
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987032)
Posted by william-james88 on October 1st, 2018 @ 9:08am CDT
Va'al wrote:
ZeroWolf wrote:So would you change your list when considering studio series?


Potentially, but there's a well known reason why I don't usually weigh in on toys. :-P

That's what I am here for. And I can say that if there was anything on studio series worth being there, it would be. But there isnt. Not yet.

And I am not alone in still thinking that ROTF is the best movie line. Studio Series is far from amazing. It retreads a lot of transformations and designs we have seen before in AOE and DOTM, two lines that were inferior to ROTF. Plus, when it comes to the Bumblebees which make up a large number of this line, both molds are deeply flawed in the aspect that one's mileage may vary.

In short, the studio series line still has ways to go before it can be considered on the same footing as ROTF and it might never get there since many toys are stuff we have seen before or simply repaints. And it doest even own up to its own ideals of being full based on what we saw onscreen, at least not anymore.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987040)
Posted by ScottyP on October 1st, 2018 @ 9:46am CDT
RotF was very good from a quality perspective. From there, considering its several overcomplicated transformations with a bloated overall lineup across pricepoints and exclusives, bad timing wrt the recession, and a legit bad movie? Given all that I have a hard time remembering it in such a positive light :lol:

You're not wrong, it's just not on immediate recall as some great thing due to all those outside factors.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987054)
Posted by Rodimus Knight on October 1st, 2018 @ 12:29pm CDT
"Rodimus/Hot Rod compacts a towering robot into the speedy, flashy, flamey douche we all love to hate"

I always wondered where all the hate for this character comes from.
In the movie as Hot Rod he's a brash young autobot, but doesn't come off as annoying like so many others of the type do. He does end up as a shield for Megatron in the final battle though.

In the comics as Rodimus he was well treated, but in the Animation, well, The writers themselves said they were mad that they were asked to kill off so many previous characters, and they did a terrible job writing Rodimus in Season 3. They couldn't even stay consistent with the age he acted. So it was bad writing there.

Still I never really understood the hate he seems to get from people
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987065)
Posted by william-james88 on October 1st, 2018 @ 1:47pm CDT
Rodimus Knight wrote:"Rodimus/Hot Rod compacts a towering robot into the speedy, flashy, flamey douche we all love to hate"

I always wondered where all the hate for this character comes from.

He is the reason Optimus is dead. Kup told him to stay out of it, should have listened.
Re: Top 5 Mass Shifting Transformers Toys (1987084)
Posted by Va'al on October 1st, 2018 @ 3:28pm CDT
Rodimus Knight wrote:"Rodimus/Hot Rod compacts a towering robot into the speedy, flashy, flamey douche we all love to hate"

I always wondered where all the hate for this character comes from.
In the movie as Hot Rod he's a brash young autobot, but doesn't come off as annoying like so many others of the type do. He does end up as a shield for Megatron in the final battle though.

In the comics as Rodimus he was well treated, but in the Animation, well, The writers themselves said they were mad that they were asked to kill off so many previous characters, and they did a terrible job writing Rodimus in Season 3. They couldn't even stay consistent with the age he acted. So it was bad writing there.

Still I never really understood the hate he seems to get from people


I was obviously being affectionate. Clearly. Of course.

(still a douche, even if loveable)

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