Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Saturday, April 7th, 2018 11:11PM 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 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was better than Hasbro's

Last time, we checked the times when the Hasbro was better than the Takara version. Now, we will do the flip side, where we check the times Takara outdid Hasbro. Many fans often expect that to be the case, but with us now being in a new age of brand unification where the same toy gets released in both markets, it is a good time to look back at the times when it was really worth getting the Takara version over Hasbro's. I am well aware there are a lot of examples that can apply out there so I welcome people to let me know which toys they feel the Takara version is really worth seeking out. Also, they had to all be good toys rather than simply mediocre toys with a good paint job.


5. Transformers Legends Gelshark (Sky-Byte) vs Generations Sky-Byte

This is an extremely underrated toy which came and went with few caring. And that is a shame. Not only was this the representative of the Robots in Disguise 2001 / Car Robots line in the thrilling 30, he was also one hell of an update. He was still a shell former like his previous Beast Wars mold roots but unlike his original toy, the shell was very compact and made for elegant wings in robot mode which did not take any attention away from the robot mode. Also, and I can never stress this enough, Takara outdid themselves on the engineering of the chest. The original toy was a shark who transformed into a robot who had a shark-like face on his chest that was a different colour on each side (giving a hint to his states of mind). Of course, the real shark head was still somewhere on the toy (part of his massive shell) so the chest was more of a reference that he was a shark and not supposed to be the shark head. This update however had the shark head actually be the chest as well. No fake parts this time, reducing the shell considerably and making the robot far more sleek. There was even a nice panel flip on the shark's nose to give the chest new robot mode detail and to further look like the original cartoon model. As you recall, the whole theme of that chest is that it had a different colour on each side, showing how he was this unstable killer. So now that Hasbro has this opportunity of having the actual shark head be the chest how do they colour it? Just all light blue. Not even one of the shades that should be there. You might think that it is for it to work better as a shark head in shark mode, but no, that shade of blue isn't found anywhere else. Takara however jumped on the opportunity of this update to give him the split colour deco on his shark head so that when it transforms into robot mode, it gets the signature look. These same colours are also made to match the shark's body which make for a better looking shark mode. Takara has often outdone Hasbro in the deco area, just look at the entire Beast Wars Returns (Beast Machines in Japan) line. However, with Gelshark the improved deco goes a long way, longer than any other improved deco, turning a toy many dismissed into, what I consider, a must have. I am a huge fan of when the deco honours the wit of the engineering and this guy does that in spades.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's


4. Transformers Binaltech Override vs Alternators Windcharger

Right off the bat, I think the name is better in the Takara release. Windcharger was a minibot while Override was a sleek sports car. If the Binaltech line was about giving new classic version of G1 characters, Overdrive would suit it much better since they are all the same size and any hope of semblance of scale with Windcharger would be lost (if that even matters). More than that, just look at the head. The toy issued by both companies has a visor and that is totally Overdrive's deal more so than Windcharger (and you DO NOT want to see what a Windcharger head on this guy would look like).

I mean between this

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

and this

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Which one would this guy be representing?

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

The name isn't even the biggest deal with the release, far from it. Hasbro's was made of molded plastic while Takara had a nice die cast body which was painted red. This was the case for all Binaltech (Takara) versions of the of Alternators line. You really felt you had your money's worth with these guys (when you forgot how you disliked transforming them). But that is not all, oh no, that is not all. What makes this release far ore noteworthy than the rest of the line though is the weapon. You see, licensing agreements are handled by each company separately in their home country. Honda Japan was totally cool with Overdrive having a nice long barreled gun but Honda America didnt like their brand associated to violent toys and Hasbro had to literally circumcise neuter the gun and turn it into a non violent scanner. Yay.


3. Transformers Henkei Megatron vs Classics Megatron

Another big difference between Takara/Japan and Hasbro/USA are the laws they have to deal with. Japan is not as severe when it comes to toy guns (G1 Megatron came from them afterall) but the states is a different matter. For Megatron to be a gun again, they had to give him a Super Soaker deco. Takara, on the other hand, gave him an appropriate deco for a character who finally had a semblance of his original alt mode back. He had two appropriate decos actually, one being silver (United) and the other having more orange highlights (Henkei) which I think works even better.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's


2. Transformers Unite Warriors Devastator vs Generations Combiner Wars Devastator


In most cases, the reason to get the Takara version over the Hasbro one (or vice versa) is if you prefer the differences in deco. With Devastator's case, the deco was a side note. Sure, there were a few differences here and there (with the Unite Warriors version being a bit more accurate to the cartoon) but the real deal here is that your Constructicons had improved articulation in their individual robot modes. They all had functional elbows for one and some had better knees, and they all had individual weapons. There are pegs and specific sculpting details found on the alt modes which are for the sole purpose of holding/storing the robot's weapon in that mode and what is saddening about the Hasbro version is that those details and holes are still there but you don't get the weapons. Along with the extra joints, this just adds to what Takara has confirmed that Hasbro's Devastator is a result of taking a Takara design and build and removing parts from it. There isn't just that, the combined robot has a new head which had an optional visor and ratchets on his shoulders. It's not so much that the Takara version is better than Hasbro but instead that it is THE toy Hasbro had signed on for initially. This is the Devastator we should all have had, while the deco would have been the main difference. Instead you get the actual Titan Devastator toy from Takara and a shadow of it from Hasbro.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's


1. Transformers Galaxy Force Cybertron Starscream vs Cybertron Starscream(s)

Yup, while a Starscream toy was the best time Hasbro had the upper hand over Takara, this character pops up again when we flip the conversation around. This case is practically a travesty all around and while at its core it's about the deco there is more to it. Looking at the mold alone, which is an excellent toy, Takara had him in perfect show accurate deco while the release of this Voyager Starscream toy by Hasbro was in a near random red colour. It was to the point where a fellow board member was talking about him to me and referring to him as Thrust since he truly believed that it was a redeco of Starscream into Thrust. Sadly, no it's not, that red thing is Starscream. Also, if you wanted him in the states, you could only get him in a two pack with Vector Prime who you probably already had, goody! So we established why the Takara release is the better one, but the reason behind the "failed attempt" for Hasbro to give fans this toy was because Hasbro was pushing another Starscream toy: Supreme Starscream, a toy which is all kinds of suck. It's just a giant Starscream which isn't even its own mold (even the craptacular Supreme Cheetor has that over him). It's just an upscaled version of the voyager, slightly retooled for the gimmicks. So all the fine details you would see on the voyager end up looking like broad strokes on the supreme class version. And while Starscream did become that big in the series, it wasn't for very long and much after this toy was released. There is a great air of disgust over this toy and a big part of it is the sacrifice of Hasbro never releasing a cartoon accurate version of the best Starscream figure of the Unicron Triogy, Cybertron Voyager Starscream, which is exactly what Takara provided.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's


Honourable mentions: There is a bunch of G1 stuff that was far superior when released in Japan by Takara than by Hasbro. However, I did not find it as fair since they were technically rereleases of the earlier toys from the Microchange and Diaclone lines and not specifically reworkings of a Hasbro version. Soundwave is a great example of a toy who's Japan release is awesome since it had firing missiles (something that was taken away from may Hasbro releases) as well as Headphones and a mic. However, this was all holdovers from the original release of the toy in the Microchange line which Hasbro changed for the Transformers. So it's more of a case of the Original pre Transformers version being better and not necessarily the Takara version of the Transformers toy. A very fine line, I admit, but I felt it would work better as an other list than to muddy this one.

Speaking of G1, Powermaster Prime was far superior in Japan, but since he wasn't the same character and release, I didn't really find it fair. The recent Legends line output from Takara has several deluxes coming with an extra Target Master while the Hasbro versions don't so they do offer you more, but at the same time you are paying an extra 10$ for that Target Master even before you add the import fees (plus you don't get the Hasbro weapons). So I don't know if paying more to get more counts as a fair comparison, they aren't even the same price points. However, this all deserves mentioning, and that's why you find them here.
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Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951574)
Posted by Bounti76 on April 8th, 2018 @ 1:42am CDT
I'm totally with you on Takara Devastator.I bit the bullet and got him and am SO glad I did. Just a better all around toy than the neutered Hasbro version.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951575)
Posted by MaverickPrime on April 8th, 2018 @ 1:59am CDT
I know the honorable mentions clarifies why Legends toys weren't included, but seriously, Legends Blurr crushes the Habro release so heavily that it's not even funny.
Also, Transmetal Megatron, sure, the deco difference might be just a darker shade, BUT his immunity to GPS is a HUGE plus.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951598)
Posted by Nathaniel Prime on April 8th, 2018 @ 5:27am CDT
Great list Will! I agree with all your choices, especially Devastator, but call me crazy because I find Hasbro's Classics Megatron's Deco to be much more appealing IMO. I think I would have added in Takara's ROTF Buster Optimus Prime vs Hasbro's Leader version. Awesome figure, but Takara's deco and gas tank gun was definitely superior. A few suggestions for your next list could be Top 5 G1 Headmaster figures, Top 5 Headmaster figures post G1, and Top 5 best deluxe figures(since you did legends and scout class before). Keep up the good work! ;)^
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951627)
Posted by ZeroWolf on April 8th, 2018 @ 8:24am CDT
Good list will though I never subscribed to Hasbro vs Takara (cartoon decos never meant anything to me) I was just grateful that both were producing tfs :-)
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951629)
Posted by westjames/notirish. on April 8th, 2018 @ 9:22am CDT
In number 4, your point about Override looking bad with the Windcharger head, but Decepticharge's head was going to be used as Windcharger, and that doesn't look that bad does it? :-? Still, Override is better than Windcharger anyway.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951630)
Posted by Windsweeper on April 8th, 2018 @ 9:23am CDT
I completely agree with you about the Constructicons and Megatron.

I would also add Legends Blurr, Hardhead, Brainstorm, Skullcruncher, Weirdwolf and Mindwipe.

Wheelie and Bumblebee too.

Oh and I almost forgot CW Computron.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951637)
Posted by Emerje on April 8th, 2018 @ 10:33am CDT
william-james88 wrote:It's just a giant Starscream which isn't even its own mold (even the craptacular Supreme Cheetor has that over him). It's just an upscaled version of the voyager, slightly retooled for the gimmicks.

It isn't. Just looking at the comparisons you can see there are quite a few parts that are different like his entire cockpit, the light-up shoulders (not just the lights, but the shape), the different fold out weapons, and the inside would be different, too, just to fit the electronics. They look the same because they're based on the same source design, but this is a case where it would be cheaper for Hasbro to make a new figure than to so heavily alter the Voyager. There are no shared parts between the two, upscaled or otherwise.

I can understand why someone would confuse the the TRU Starscream for Thrust, especially when we would get a Dirge from the mold years later.



For me the United version of Classics Megatron is best. I prefer the less busy paint details and lack of chrome. Also the original Hasbro version was a Nerf gun, not a Super Soaker. ;)



Emerje
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951642)
Posted by gothsaurus on April 8th, 2018 @ 10:54am CDT
Good list and some real surprises too! I agree with Windsweeper just above that some of the legends line seemed like shoe ins... like Blurr. What a difference there. Also same with Computron. I think that one looks leaps and bounds better... tho I do admit I have the other and like Scrounge as a bonus quite a bit.

It’s been really nice having the option to choose toy or animation deco for the last years. I will truly miss the option...and miss having a box set Unite Warriors Abominus in animation colors to resemble “Call of the Primitives”

Oh. Idea for another list.... ‘modern’ figures you should stop transforming right now. (Due to gps or other fragility)
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951649)
Posted by ZeroWolf on April 8th, 2018 @ 11:20am CDT
Hasbro transmetal megs and Hasbro silverbolt (the one who's part of magnaboss) should be on that list as both broke on me from the plastic just giving up
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951654)
Posted by Relic0037 on April 8th, 2018 @ 12:12pm CDT
MaverickPrime wrote:I know the honorable mentions clarifies why Legends toys weren't included, but seriously, Legends Blurr crushes the Habro release so heavily that it's not even funny.


I think Blurr should still qualify. He doesn't come with an extra Targetmaster weapon (you had to buy another figure to get that). Unlike Kup who saw a better robot mode in his Takara release, which had some trade offs in the altmode, Blurr's overseas release was hands down the superior figure. The only reason I see for its omission from this list is that at some point something has to be left off before it becomes a top 10 or 20.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951656)
Posted by Black Hat on April 8th, 2018 @ 12:52pm CDT
I'd be tempted to stick Computron on there (aside from the hands and feet, which weren't exactly great on Hasbro Computron anyway, he's better in most every way) and of course Transmetal Megatron, whose Hasbro version comes apart at the waist if you breathe on him funny whilst his Japanese release doesn't.

That said, I 100% agree with this list. Especially Starscream- even though I seriously want that one 3P Starscream I kinda want the Voyager class original too. He just looks so cool! If he had bicep swivels I'd call him perfect for his pricepoint.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951663)
Posted by william-james88 on April 8th, 2018 @ 1:11pm CDT
Relic0037 wrote:
MaverickPrime wrote:I know the honorable mentions clarifies why Legends toys weren't included, but seriously, Legends Blurr crushes the Habro release so heavily that it's not even funny.


I think Blurr should still qualify. He doesn't come with an extra Targetmaster weapon (you had to buy another figure to get that). Unlike Kup who saw a better robot mode in his Takara release, which had some trade offs in the altmode, Blurr's overseas release was hands down the superior figure. The only reason I see for its omission from this list is that at some point something has to be left off before it becomes a top 10 or 20.


Yeah, exactly, but I felt he should still have a presence somewhere so I had him be the cover image :)

While the Takra deco is superior, I still feel people can enjoy the toy with the Hasbro version. He wont feel off looking in a collection since his deco is based on the toy and has some cool touches like the tampos to represent his G1 stickers. The Takara version is obviously superior (and is one of the the only 4 Legends counterparts to Titans Return I bought) but so are many others so I thought that he wasn't as important to include as others.

As for Computron, make no mistake guys, I am totally on your side and did buy the Takara version over the Hasbro one. But while I felt the Takara one was essential to me, simply because it has a different dedicated head sculpt, I wouldn't chastise anyone for settling for the Hasbro version. Unlike Devastator, its not like Hasbro hose to omit things, instead they went for a completely different take and gave fans bonuses that made it worthwhile, like the feet and Scrounge. So in the end while I feel one is better, I think both have something worthwhile to offer. I mean several fans did buy both, so that doesn't strike me as one being so much better than the other (considering everything you get with the toy).

Emerje wrote:
william-james88 wrote:It's just a giant Starscream which isn't even its own mold (even the craptacular Supreme Cheetor has that over him). It's just an upscaled version of the voyager, slightly retooled for the gimmicks.

It isn't. Just looking at the comparisons you can see there are quite a few parts that are different like his entire cockpit, the light-up shoulders (not just the lights, but the shape), the different fold out weapons, and the inside would be different, too, just to fit the electronics. They look the same because they're based on the same source design, but this is a case where it would be cheaper for Hasbro to make a new figure than to so heavily alter the Voyager. There are no shared parts between the two, upscaled or otherwise.


But then what about the dead cyberkey port in the back? Anyways, I got my info from Thew 8-)

Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951683)
Posted by YoungPrime on April 8th, 2018 @ 2:55pm CDT
Emerje wrote:

For me the United version of Classics Megatron is best. I prefer the less busy paint details and lack of chrome. Also the original Hasbro version was a Nerf gun, not a Super Soaker. ;)



Emerje


Yeah, United Classics Megatron is still my go to Megatron for display (only because FOC Megatron is a deluxe).
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951690)
Posted by trence5 on April 8th, 2018 @ 3:37pm CDT
MaverickPrime wrote:I know the honorable mentions clarifies why Legends toys weren't included, but seriously, Legends Blurr crushes the Habro release so heavily that it's not even funny....
Do I even need mention combiner wars Technobots/Computron versus Takara's unite warriors version? With Takara and the adult collectors, I'm starting to why Hasbro wanted brand unification.
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951707)
Posted by Ultra Markus on April 8th, 2018 @ 4:35pm CDT
which is why i bought the unite warriors devestator i think he should be #1
you add the perfect combiner parts and you have yourself a masterpiece ;)^
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951727)
Posted by kurthy on April 8th, 2018 @ 5:56pm CDT
I'm surprised the Henkei chromed seekers aren't mentioned. Just beautiful pieces. I'm not sure they would make my top 5, but I still need to think about it for awhile.

I'm really disappointed in the decision to leave out most of legends. I think you can consider the base figure for most of them without the perks like the triple changers. The deco on those blows the doors off Hasbro even if you don't consider the extra piece thrown in. Same thing with the headmasters. I get it for the targetmasters since they don't include the same pieces.

Did the unite warriors teams get left off for including different members even those all those members were eventually available from Hasbro?
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951764)
Posted by Emerje on April 8th, 2018 @ 8:44pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:But then what about the dead cyberkey port in the back? Anyways, I got my info from Thew 8-)

Easy, it's key storage, there's a second slot underneath the port to accommodate the second key.



He had the slot on the cartoon so he had to have it on the figure, even if it doesn't trigger anything.

Emerje
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951799)
Posted by cruizerdave on April 8th, 2018 @ 11:21pm CDT
The changes to Devestator made for the Japanese release made it worth owning! With the no elbows on Scrapper and no guns for anyone, it was clear Hasbro was cheating fans to save a few pennies on production!
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951816)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on April 9th, 2018 @ 2:38am CDT
I bloody hate that Classics Megatron mold these days, no matter the colour scheme. Was fine when it came out but those silly wings and even sillier NERF Maverick gun mode just don't suit the character. I've still got Classics Prime as my go-to G1 Prime but I got rid of that Megatron ages ago and use the Titans version (with a head from a scaled down KO of CW Leader Megatron) as my G1 Megatron as he looks more imposing, more classic overall design and turns into actual vehicles rather than a non-working knock off of a foam dart shooting gun.

Really dislike that cybertron Starscream design too with it's super-kibbly arms and oddly large cockpit codpiece.

Only thing I really liked about the japanese version of G1 PM prime was the blue retractable hands on the trailer. That small addition made a nice difference. You can keep that awful Godbomber junk.

That paintscheme on Takara's Sky-Byte is very nice. I only owned the Hasbro toy for a week before deciding I didn't really care for it but yeah those are nice colours by Takara.

As many have said, including myself, Takara's Blurr makes Hasbro's look like a totally inferior figure in every way. :)
Re: Top 5 Transformers Toys whose Takara version was Better than Hasbro's (1951994)
Posted by william-james88 on April 9th, 2018 @ 11:09pm CDT
Emerje wrote: Also the original Hasbro version was a Nerf gun, not a Super Soaker. ;)

I didnt say it was, only that its deco reminded me of a super soaker.

Like these:





kurthy wrote:I'm surprised the Henkei chromed seekers aren't mentioned. Just beautiful pieces. I'm not sure they would make my top 5, but I still need to think about it for awhile.

I'm really disappointed in the decision to leave out most of legends. I think you can consider the base figure for most of them without the perks like the triple changers. The deco on those blows the doors off Hasbro even if you don't consider the extra piece thrown in. Same thing with the headmasters. I get it for the targetmasters since they don't include the same pieces.

Did the unite warriors teams get left off for including different members even those all those members were eventually available from Hasbro?


I like those seekers, and got a few. And I do think they are better than the Hasbro counterparts. But then Hasbro made Jetfire and gave him the chrome and everyone said that was dumb and that Takara was better because it didnt have chrome. So I left all that alone.

As said in the article, the only Legends I purposefully left out were the recent ones with targetmasters since it goes beyond just the toy being different, but it being released differently. That goes for most of the Unite Warrior line in comparison to Combiner Wars. Both had very different release strategies. And you could opt to get all the G1 characters from Hasbro. So in the end, it wasnt really clear cut as to what was superior and with only 5 entries, I chose stuff that was obvious. Not saying there arent other obvious choices, there are, but I dont find Unite Warriors obviously better than Combiner Wars. Its just different.

As for the rest of the legends line, I did consider them, but I didnt really find it all that big a deal for the most part.

I mean, here are multiple examples, none of these make me ashamed of owning the Hasbro versions:


Transformers Legends Rattrap Gallery


Transformers Legends Brainstorm Gallery


Transformers Legends Galvatron Gallery


Transformers Legends Jetfire Gallery


Transformers Legends Hardhead Gallery


Transformers Legends Roadbuster Gallery


Transformers Legends Whirl Gallery


Transformers Legends Arcee Gallery
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