Comics Creators

The Toy Thread


Transformers toys are cool.

What are the ‘best’ say five. If we were rating them out of 100?



If one wanted peerless Transformers toys and money was no object, I’d suggest looking at the Masterpiece line. They use modern toy techniques to make super-detailed and accurate versions of the original characters.


No, Dave was correct. I’m just hungry.

(also thanks).


Oddly, because they’re primarily a Japanese thing, Masterpiece Transformers are actually made out of pocky, and therefore delicious.


I googled them and im confused. What is takara, original, hasbro, special, movies …

No but seriously… I need guidance.

I like the transformers from the movie. You know, the only movie, the Stan Bush one…


These are the main ones to look out for I think.

Who hasn’t always wanted a robot that turns into a cash register?


I hate you.


Some of the knockoffs are awesome though, frankly.

Who can forget Lightning McQueen’s classic catchphrase? “Let’s Fight!”


Okay - so I’m looking at Optimus, Rodimus, Starscream and Megatron - am I right in thinking there is no masterpiece Galvatron?


OK, so Transformers as a brand is a collaboration between two toy companies - TakaraTomy in Japan and Hasbro in the US. Most of the original Tranfsormers were originally Japanese toys released by Takara (as they were then) in two toylines - Microchange and Diaclone. When Hasbro were shopping around for toys to import to the US, they licensed both these lines from Takara, as well as a few other toys from other manafacturers (most notably Takatoku’s Dorvack, Beetras and Macross lines).

In order to sell the line in the west, Hasbro hired Marvel to come up with a backplot, characters for the toys, and the comic and cartoon, predicating the smash hit Transformers would become. A year later, Takara would cancel Microchange and Diaclone in favour of launching Transformers in Japan, translating the cartoon and making their own comics based on the line. The proposed 1985/86 Diaclone toys were shifted straight over to Transformers for both Japanese and Western releases

Since then, Takara/TakaraTomy and Hasbro have been pretty close in terms of working together on toylines, though the creative drive has shifted back and forth over the years. Between 1987 and 1992 Japan did their own thing, spawning 3 50 (or so) episode TV series, direct to video animation, comics, and a whole mess of toys that never came out over here, and many of the ones that did had different paint schemes and characters.


Not yet, there is an Ultra Magnus Masterpiece as well, which you missed off your list.


Yes I saw that - I was also looking at the Shockwave and the Soundwave.

I could only afford one, but I’d be leaning toward the Rodimus or the Megatron.

Am I wrong in saying that none of the Optimus toys look particularly great?


I have the original Masterpiece Prime from 2003 and I think he’s fantastic. The 2011 version is smaller, but does come with a trailer and Roller and a ton of other features. If I could have afforded him at the time I’d proabably be stuck buying all the Masterpieces because I’m a completist whore.


Hmm… I was looking at this one


Shit, only just saw you also asked about Megatron. I’d wait until the new Masterpiece Megatron that’s due out next year. The 2007 one’s very fiddly.


That’s a reissue of the one I have, but with a trailer. @Mark_Hall has him, so he can comment on the trailer, but I really like that version of the robot.


This is why i need guidance.


In brief, there’s two tiers to the masterpiece line. Between 2003 and 2011, it was a slow trickle of releases - there’s two years between the orginal Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus releases, and that Magnus is just a white repaint of Prime. Literally half of those releases are repaints or reissues of other Masterpiece toys.

After the Rodimus Prime figure, Takara decided to scale the figures down and start from scratch, but also expand the line to cover many more characters (though they kept the numbering intact). In the last 5 years, there’s been 27 new Masterpiece figures all scaled against the 2011 version of Optimus Prime. These are mostly new versions of 84/85 Autobots, but there are some decepticons and other characters, notably Star Saber from the Japanese Victory line, and now Optimus Primal and Cheetor from Beast Wars.


I don’t have broad knowledge of the franchise. Just a little nostalgia for the characters - but it can be a little daunting figuring through all the different editions/which ones are well made.