Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 1:02PM 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 Worst cases of Undercarriage among Transformers Toys

This list is all about the most poorly disguised robots. We are talking here about the Transfomrer toys which wish to remain inconspicuous (so of course, no random cybertronian spaceship) but have just a bit to much robot showing which removes any illusion. That protruding robot kibble usually sprouts from under the robot and while I would never knock against kibble that can only be seen when a car is flipped over, I am really not fond of when I see so much undercarriage from the sides. Here are 5 examples of the worst cases of that:


5. Transformers G1 1989 Vroom

While the articulation of today wasn't present, the G1 era will always be a place for great design in my book. They are probably the best era (aside from Masterpiece and Alternators/Alternity) for the most realistic vehicles with well disguised robots. However, that specific era I am referring to encompasses the first few years of this rather expansive era we now call "Generation 1". The alt mode wasn't always prioritized and by the end it was a line made up of gimmick after gimmick. Case in point Vroom. He sure looks like a fun goofy toy but the alt mode doesn't try hiding the fact that there is a whole man under there with his hands hanging out the side and a big belly as the undercarriage. The motorcycle becomes simply a mode of transport (like Transmetal 2 vehicle modes) rather than an actual disguise. Why this guy takes the cake though is because his underside is all organic and doesn't mesh with the mechanical motorcycle which makes the undercarriage really distracting.

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys
Transformers G1 1989 Vroom Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys


4. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Voyager Ironhide and Transformers Dark of the Moon Leader Ironhide

Ironhide kept the same voyager mold for a long time (as did Ratchet) and while it was always the same, different versions worked depending on how they handled the underside. Movie Ironhide having a real life recognizable GMC truck alt mode would make any extraneous kibble look really off. It just so happens that the voyager mold has his arms hanging there in the undercarriage. Certain versions hid them well by placing weapons on either side but the ROTF version just let it all hang loose for all to see and for the disguise to fail. The leader figure, while quite good in my opinion, went for a very streamlined and efficient transformation, meaning that most of the bot is already there under the vehicle. As you can tell from the pictures, it isn't hid very well either.

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys
Transformers Dark of the Moon Ironhide Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys
Transformers Dark of the Moon Ironhide Gallery


3. Transformers Age of Extinction: Generations Strafe

It really pains me that this toy did not take any cues from any Pteranodon transformer that preceded him when it comes to handling his robot arms. For crying out loud, the G1 toy hid them better and all that was done there was have them compact within his chest (which G1 Divebomb also did to an even better result). A transformation I fnd quite brilliant was the Animated Swoop where his robot arms were in plain sight in Dino mode but merged with the wings to become the arms of the Pteranodon. AOE Strafe did none of that. The robot arms are just right there spread far and wide, under the wings (which feature their own dinosaur claws). It's not just the arms you see, but practicaly the entire robot. The chest doesnt transform at all from dino mode and the head just nods a little for you not to see the eyes. It looks like he's got four hands and three heads.In the end, the dino mode look more like a robot playing peek-a-boo than a legitimate attempt at a dino mode (I do find the robot mode quite nice though).

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys


2. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Jetfire Gallery

If it wasn't for number one, who is a very special case, this guy would take the cake for most extraneous undercarriage. There is absolutely no one kidding themselves that this is just a jet and not some mechanical alien hidden under it. It's a very weak and cheap way to make a toy and what's worse is that while the design is lazy and the transformation is overly simplistic, they made it one of the most annoying transformations on the planet (unlike say, AOE Leader Optimus who is also simplistic but not annoying in any way). I don't know why they wasted so much time putting all the necessary panels needed to make the top of the jet look ultra lifelike. It just makes the panel forming more frustrating when you know the end design wont benefit from any attention to detail since all we are paying attention to is all that kibble underneath.

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys


1. Silverbolt, (almost) all of them.

Oh man, this is the ultimate poorly disguised robot, with a heavy undercarriage loaded with all the robot kibble possible. What I find quite funny is how the fact that this was the case in the G1 era seems to give it a free pass for designers to continue imitating it. Quite frankly, I think it is a rather easy way out when supporting design. Silvebolt is one of the most iconic jet transformers (he is at least surely the representative for the concord jet in this brand) and yet perpetually suffers from his whole body being under the jet. I think he deserves better, and should at least be disguised better.

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys
Transformers G1 1986 Silverbolt Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys
Transformers Universe - Classics 2.0 Silverbolt Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys
Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Silverbolt Gallery

And I know it's a different character, but it just fits so well here as the most poorly disguised robot, here s another Silverbolt with very exposed kibble in his "undercarrage":

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys
Transformers Beast Machines Silverbolt Gallery


Honourable Mentions:

There is one toy I want to mention here that should be on the list as well but I don't feel is fair. You see all toys above have an undercarriage as a consequence of converting between two modes that dont share the same pieces but of course are connected to eachother. There is one toy out there with an egregious undercarriage isn't stuck to his undercarriage though, Gunrunner.

It's a robot that only turns into a "jet" because you plug a jet body on top of it. So you end up with a jet with a robot plugged under it. An odd toy indeed.


Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys
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Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886591)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on June 3rd, 2017 @ 1:35pm CDT
RotF Jetfire also had to work as an upgrade to RotF Prime though which may be a reason for the robotic undercarriage. I still really love that toy though.

Visible robot parts under cars bother me much less than jets though since you barely ever see under a ground vehicle anyway. There's loads we could put alongside the Ironhide figures up there. A much smaller list would be cars which totally hide all robot parts from underneath viewing.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886599)
Posted by RiddlerJ on June 3rd, 2017 @ 1:58pm CDT
What about the first movie Voyager Starscream? That thing was nothing but undercarrage.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886601)
Posted by Overcracker on June 3rd, 2017 @ 2:00pm CDT
Good list, but I am really surprised this guy did not make the list:

Undercarriage, they name is 2007 Movie Starscream.



I do like the mold quite a bit, but even the premium Deep Space paint scheme does not make up for that under carriage.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886615)
Posted by kriksix on June 3rd, 2017 @ 2:59pm CDT
My best friend/next door neighbour when I was a kid came over with him Mum and I showed her the Transformer I bought with the birthday money they gave me. It was Cyclonus. I showed it to her in jet mode and I remember being *really* annoyed when she said "oh look you can see his face". Funny, when you're a child, your imagination and suspension of disbelief can make things disappear...

Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886618)
Posted by Kurona on June 3rd, 2017 @ 3:14pm CDT
I think what annoys me most about Strafe's case is from a design level - the fact he has two heads and necks means you could have used that for arms or legs; but instead they're just splayed out onto his shoulder. The transformation would have been so much smoother and so much better if it wasn't for that.

Silverbolt is certainly quite the case. I do get it for the G1 figure because it also had to accomodate for combining; and I get it for the CW figure partly because it still had to do that and partly because Warden's design team is super-duper-ultra-mega-G1 toy. But why the Universe figure? A lot of Universe toys are new takes on characters rather than being the G1 toy with articulation - Powerglide, Inferno, Onslaught, Galvatron, Cheetor...... surely if you were going to give anyone a new design, it would have been the character with the most egregious totally-not-a-robot vehicle mode ever? Especially when the vehicle mode is completely new, and it's an Ultra class figure so one would expect more than a robot under a jet. There was nothing holding them back; this case had no excuse.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886624)
Posted by Optimum Supreme on June 3rd, 2017 @ 3:43pm CDT
Chug Silverbolt came to mind immediately when I saw the thread title. Most Jet formers have some undercarriage issues, but that one... It's like you could split the robot and jet apart, Skylynx style, and have them both mostly intact toys. Even g1 and CW figures of the same character aren't that bad. I still like the toy, some cool sounds (any plans for a 5/10 best battery powered gimmcks on TF toys?) and the jet mode (a semi made up stealth bomber) is cooler than the decommissioned after the g1 days concorde, but he's almost as bad in this respect as you make Gunrunner sound.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886628)
Posted by kurthy on June 3rd, 2017 @ 4:03pm CDT
I'm willing to put silverbolt in the category of "the concorde was a bad idea." Trying to make a transformer out of that was just going to be bad. A lot of times with military jets, you can claim the robot kibble as missile packages. The concorde? No.

I would ask about Optimal Optimus, but they didn't even attempt alt modes for him.

I'm really not surprised to see the list dominated by movie toys.

Honorable mention for MP bumblebee who has his arms clearly hanginger off the bumper? I wouldn't normally find that a problem, but it's supposed to be a frigging masterpiece!

I'd bump the pretender for either Classics Dinobot or Waspinator. Both clearly have the arms visible along with other parts.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886633)
Posted by Nemesis Destron on June 3rd, 2017 @ 4:09pm CDT
Optimum Supreme wrote:Chug Silverbolt came to mind immediately when I saw the thread title. Most Jet formers have some undercarriage issues, but that one... It's like you could split the robot and jet apart, Skylynx style, and have them both mostly intact toys. Even g1 and CW figures of the same character aren't that bad. I still like the toy, some cool sounds (any plans for a 5/10 best battery powered gimmcks on TF toys?) and the jet mode (a semi made up stealth bomber) is cooler than the decommissioned after the g1 days concorde, but he's almost as bad in this respect as you make Gunrunner sound.




;)^ Yeah exactly what he said! :-P :VEHI:
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886635)
Posted by ScottyP on June 3rd, 2017 @ 4:13pm CDT
MP-28. He can't roll.

Sorry, wait, he can just barely roll on a nice glass surface when transformed perfectly. The reprolabels set was worth it just for the textured tire stickers to give it some more height!

I don't think this is what your list is about, and I'm sorry ;)
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886649)
Posted by Noideaforaname on June 3rd, 2017 @ 4:34pm CDT

Sky Lynx's annoys me because it's supposed to be a crawler-transporter:

But because fiction doesn't really play up the split bodies thing, and treats him mostly as the Autobots' bus, it just becomes this giant block of nothing permanently tacked onto the bottom of a space shuttle. They have the opportunity to 'hide' the undercarriage without actually hiding it, but don't for silly reasons.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886662)
Posted by Randomhero on June 3rd, 2017 @ 5:15pm CDT
Noideaforaname wrote:
Sky Lynx's annoys me because it's supposed to be a crawler-transporter:

But because fiction doesn't really play up the split bodies thing, and treats him mostly as the Autobots' bus, it just becomes this giant block of nothing permanently tacked onto the bottom of a space shuttle. They have the opportunity to 'hide' the undercarriage without actually hiding it, but don't for silly reasons.



see that doesnt bother me because he's always been shown to travel with that under carriage. only time he doesnt if when he splits into dinosaur and lynx. hes always flown around with that.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886664)
Posted by Randomhero on June 3rd, 2017 @ 5:18pm CDT
if i could make a suggestion Will, maybe for a future top 5 we could get best or worst Add-ons. mostly thinking of it because i got God Bomber today and hes AWESOME!!! anyway we have gotten an lot of offical add ons over the past 33 years.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886689)
Posted by thesiege_2005 on June 3rd, 2017 @ 8:23pm CDT
I always thought G1 Blitzwing was pretty bad in this regard. He was my first real Transformer (got him same birthday as I got Bombshell) in 1985 so I have a soft spot for him but the jet mode was always questionable if it could even fly. At least Silverbolt's character model minimized the undercarriage and turned it into additional air intakes or rocket boosters or something. Blitzwing's jet mode always looked like a tank turned upside down with some wings and a nosecone.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886704)
Posted by Ultra Markus on June 3rd, 2017 @ 9:52pm CDT
i agree with silverbolt and rotf jetfire but most jet formers are have some sort of ugly undercarriage
like cyclonus for example, the seekers robot chest being visible :-?
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886712)
Posted by Lucky Logician on June 3rd, 2017 @ 10:40pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:Honourable Mentions:

There is one toy I want to mention here that should be on the list as well but I don't feel is fair. You see all toys above have an undercarriage as a consequence of converting between two modes that dont share the same pieces but of course are connected to eachother. There is one toy out there with an egregious undercarriage isn't stuck to his undercarriage though, Gunrunner.

It's a robot that only turns into a "jet" because you plug a jet body on top of it. So you end up with a jet with a robot plugged under it. An odd toy indeed.


I had Gunrunner growing up. I always just played that he was some sort of infiltration expert. So in my mind, his alt form was a bomb. The pretender jet would fly overhead and drop the actual robot into the enemy base.

Many years later, I would read about the K-Class; robots that literally transform into bombs. As far as I'm concerned, Gunrunner is now officially a K-Class autobot. Because it's either that or Gunrunner must have some sort of alt mode similar to Rung.

Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886753)
Posted by Kotori_Sonoda on June 4th, 2017 @ 6:05am CDT
As a kid, back when ROTF was in it's heyday, I saved up my allowance to buy one TF toy. I picked the Deluxe Ratchet, because I wanted a character who appeared in the movie, over all the others and yeah, I kinda regret it.
Undercarriage is bad, you can see the arms and legs, and I can't even get him to have all wheels flat on the ground.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886754)
Posted by ZeldaTheSwordsman on June 4th, 2017 @ 6:06am CDT
G1 Silverbolt suffers from visible robot mode in undercarriage because of having to be a combiner torso of a specific size. His arms had to be boxy to hold the combination ports and there just wasn't anywhere to tuck them as a result. His chest and legs are at least trying to pass themselves off as engines and intakes.

Combiner Wars Silverbolt suffers from the above plus the inclusion of a faux-parts version of his combiner chestplate in robot mode (thanks to people rolling with his G1 package artist's goof, instead of correcting for it), and from the CW line insiting on integrated combiner chestplates

Poor ROTF Jetifre.. He suffers not only because of the complexity of Bayformers, not only because of having to combine with Optimus despite the movie combination being more akin to God Ginrai (albeit with one character dead), but also because the suits at HasTak mandated the inclusion of electronics.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886777)
Posted by Agamemnon on June 4th, 2017 @ 8:32am CDT
Another nice list! I would maybe have gone with one entry that contains a whole lot of Movie series transformers. While some of the toys from those lines are clever in transformation scheme and hiding the kibble, the very nature of how the movies handled transformation means that we basically get a bunch of shell-formers with the very real danger of a bunch of robot kibble hanging off. We literally cannot have toys with millions of moving parts as they show in the movies...
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886893)
Posted by ZeldaTheSwordsman on June 4th, 2017 @ 4:32pm CDT
Or worse, that COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY GODDAMN CHEAT like Age of Extinction Galvatron and the KSI drones.. Drift and post-miracle-self-repair Optimus are almost as bad.
Re: Top 5 Worst Cases of Undercarriage Among Transformers Toys (1886912)
Posted by LordTwann on June 4th, 2017 @ 6:33pm CDT
Let's be honest. The undercarriage is a big problem for nearly every recent jet based figure. There a few good ones sure. But the designs recently have been pretty poor for most jet based figures.

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