These are my top seventeen Transformers figures of 2017! These are my favorite figures that were added to my collection this past year, even if they were released in prior years. Without further ado, let’s get to the list!
Machine Robo Shuttle Robo
I used to work for the NASA Shuttle program so I’m a sucker for any space shuttle related toy. So it’s no surprise that Shuttle Robo is in my collection. On top of being a space shuttle, it’s just a really good toy with a nice transformation and is quite posable.
IF War Giant Attackers Bazookahound and Armorboar (Swindle and Brawl)
These guys are only honorable mention because I know they’ll be on the list next year with the rest of their team as they form War Giant, aka Bruticus. They are exactly what you’d expect from Iron Factory – gobs of personality and insane articulation all packed into legends scale figures.
Iron Factory Bridge Watcher (Shockwave)
Just like the War Giant bots, Bridge Watcher, aka Shockwave, just misses the cut because I’m likely to lump him in with War Giant since I hear that he’ll be able to be held while in gun mode. He does have tabs on his handle after all.
Power of the Primes Slash
Power of the Primes is just getting started but the early returns are promising. I’ve got Slash here to represent that start just because it’s nice to see not only the entire Dinobot team getting a mainline release, but they have a new team member! (Even if she doesn’t participate in the whole combiner thing.)
The Last Knight Voyager Optimus Prime
After only releasing a couple of Leader sized Optimus Prime figure with the new Western Star truck mode in the Age of Extinction line (which I passed on since they don’t fit my collection), I was happy to see this voyager class figure in The Last Knight line. He’s actually a pretty nice figure too with decent articulation and a fairly clean transformation, especially compared to his Age of Extinction counterparts.
Titans Return Octone and Murk (Octane)
Titans Return gave us a bunch of great figures, even if I wasn’t crazy about all of them having to be Headmasters. My favorite of the voyager class figures is, hands down, Octane. First of all, he’s my first Octane figure and, as can be difficult for triple-changers, he looks pretty darn good in all three modes with few sacrifices.
Now on to the bots that made the cut!
17. BadCube Grump (Gears)
BadCube released a couple of Masterpiece style minibots with Grump, aka Gears, and Slick, aka Swerve. Grump is clearly the better of the two looking spot on to his G1 representation in the cartoon. They even included the ability to remove his personality component from his chest (and a corresponding happy face) to mimic the story from the G1 episode, Changing Gears.
16. BadCube Brawny (Brawn)
Another minibot from BadCube, Brawny, aka Brawn, was released in 2014, but I missed out until the reissue this year and I’m glad I picked him up. He is everything Brawn should be – short, stout, solid, and surly. I got his wave mate Backland, aka Outback too, but Brawny is leaps and bounds a better figure.
15. Ocular Max Artifex (Hoist)
Fans of Hoist were treat to a trio of Masterpiece scale figures from Third Party companies this year with BadCube, Ocular Max and X-Transbots all releasing a version. Naturally, I got all three.
Lorry, from BadCube, is probably my least favorite with a fiddly transformation and colors that are a bit off, but he does have a unique ability to allow you to adjust his height in robot mode to be as tall as their Trailbreaker, Speedbump, like the toys were, or a bit shorter as they were portrayed in the cartoon.
Paean, from X-Transbots, definitely has the best likeness to the original G1 toy and comes with loads of accessories like the alien mask for him and Masterpiece Tracks as seen in the G1 episode, Hoist Goes to Hollywood. Unfortunately his transformation can be quite frustrating too.
Artifex, from Ocular Max, is my favorite of the bunch because he not only looks great (even if it’s not as faithful to the original figure as the other two) but also because he’s more fun since his transformation isn’t quite so complicated.
14. The Last Knight Nitro Zeus
Even though The Last Knight was, by far, my least favorite of the movies (and, yes, I generally have enjoyed the movies), the toyline gave us some great figures, especially in the voyager class. Nitro Zeus exuded more personality in his two seconds of screen time than some other bots have shown across multiple films and was an instant favorite. Fortunately, his toy didn’t disappoint. He’s got a really slick looking jet alt mode and he transforms into what Shockwave would look like if he were a jet. Pure awesomeness!
13. Titans Return Trypticon
We voted for him and we got him! Trypticon is the imposing mechanized tyrannosaurs rex that he is supposed to be. While he doesn’t stand as tall, he’s easily as massive, if not more so, than the other Titan figures that we’ve gotten in Metroplex and Fortress Maximus. I love the gimmick that he can eat the titan master figures! But the most impressive thing for me is his companion figure, Full-Tilt, who is way more than just a chest minion; he’s a full-fledged deluxe sized figure that would not be out of place if put in deluxe class packaging and sold individually.
12. Iron Factory Wings and Fangs of Tyrant (Seekers)
Iron Factory was on fire this year! In addition to great versions of Drift and Deadlock, Optimus Prime and Elita-1, Sixshot, Shockwave, Brawl, and Swindle, we got a practically complete set of Seekers! I loved how there were not one, but two different build-a-figures across the whole set! The original trine would allow you to build a Ghost version of Starscream and if you added the Coneheads set, you could build Sunstorm! On top of all that, they released a convention-exclusive version of Acid Storm. The best part of all is that it all based on a solid, fun, well-articulated, and great looking mold. But we’re not done yet, 2018 is going to bring us their version of Slipstream – Shrike’s Feather.
11. MP-11 Starscream
Speaking of the Seekers, I snagged a re-issue of the MP-11 Coronation Starscream. The Mp-11 mold is definitely showing it’s age compared to some of the newer Masterpiece figures but it’s hardly “bad comedy.” He made it this high on the list because I love how he looks with that cape and shiny gold crown on his head! Unfortunately, he missed out on top ten ranking because he was foiled again by…
10. The Last Knight Voyager Megatron
He’s about as mean-looking as they come with an imposing silhouette, snarling face, and one of the most lethal swords I‘ve ever seen. On top of all that you’d be pretty hard-pressed to tell that his alt mode is a jet just by looking at him. That’s because he boasts one of the most unique and fun transformation sequences in The Last Knight line and, quite possibly, any main line ever. Whether you like the movies or not, Megatron is a worthy pick.
9. Machine Robo Eagle Robo (Leader-1)
Sure, he’s not technically a Transformer and, heck, he’s not even technically a Third Party figure since Machine Robo is the original manufacturer of the toys that would become the Go-Bots (who are now owned by Hasbro). It’s a bit complicated. Regardless, this toy is fantastic! He looks the part, is very posable, has the cleanest looking jet alt mode ever. When you find a jet transformer that doesn’t bear any resemblance to a jet that’s carrying a robot underneath (*cough* Combiner Wars Aerialbot *cough*) you know you’ve found a special figure.
8. Mastermind Creations Calidus (Rodimus)
Ever since MMC started releasing figures based on the IDW comics I was hoping that they’d release a version of Hot Rod/Rodimus from More Than Meets The Eye (MTMTE)/Lost Light. It’s like he jumped right off the page of the comics and into toy form. They got everything from the exaggerated shoulder, the extra wide spoiler, and the extra spiky head. They even gave an extra head with a smirk so you can show off his trademark arrogance. If you’re a Hot Rod fan like I am, this figure is a must-have!
7. MakeToys Downbeat (Jazz)
Jazz has been a favorite of mine since back in the early days of 1984. His laid-back, fun-loving personality really appealed to me but lately I had noticed a Jazz-shaped hole on my Masterpiece shelf. Fortunately, MakeToys released Downbeat to fill that gap. He’s a beautiful figure in both robot and alt mode and I love how you can choose to display him with the door wings out like the toy or, as I have always dreamed, tucked away like in the cartoon. Other than having a chest that stays tabbed in and a back bumper that’s not so ugly, it’s hard to find any way that I’d improve this figure.
6. Mastermind Creations Tyrantron (Megatron)
After so many years of not having a good Megatron figure that fit the aesthetic of a comic-inspired shelf, MMC delivered Tyrantron. Personally, I’m a fan of Autobot Megatron and that story line but even if you’re not, this figure won’t disappoint with the option to swap his head and multiple other parts to be displayed as his miner self as shown in the fantastic Megatron: Origins comic. My favorite features of this figure are the molded in chest curls which are typically only achieved with the use of stickers and the magnetic Tarn mask that can be placed on his chest to homage the time he did so in MTMTE #55.
5. MPM-3 Bumblebee
All the movie Bumblebee toys released over the years have had to make some sacrifices in looks or functionality to make the transformation work. Naturally, it would be the masterpiece figure that finally nails it. I love how the legs compress to avoid the back of the car being a huge calf and even the backpack, while still present, folds up together far better than on any other figure to date. On top of all that, the die cast parts in the legs help add to the premium feel and, most importantly, the stability of the figure. This is definitely an example of using die cast parts the right way.
4. MP-35 Grapple
I didn’t get to make a list last year, but Masterpiece Inferno would have definitely been near the top. The way that the ladder folds up into the cab instead of just hanging off the back was one of the most amazing transformations I’ve ever seen. Amazingly, Grapple pulled off the same feat even being pretty heavily remolded. Of course, as is to be expected from an official Masterpiece figure, he looks like he stepped straight of of G1. My favorite accessory of his is the miniature prototype of his Solar Power Tower that homages the G1 episode The Master Builders which saw Grapple and Hoist working with the Constructicons to realize Grapples dream, only to ultimately become, literally, part of that dream before it was destroyed.
3. Mastermind Creations Kultur (Tarn)
Words can’t describe how perfect this figure is. Everything from the double fusion cannon to the treads on the shoulders to the hidden compartments in the alt mode to the Decepticon insignia face mask is fantastic. From the moment that I saw the prototype images, I knew I wanted this figure and he totally lives up to the hype. To top it all off, he is highly posable and sports a fun and intuitive transformation.
2. MPM-4 Optimus Prime
There have been some great Optimus Prime movie figures over the years. The Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF) Leader class toy comes to mind. As great as that figure is, it can’t compare to the greatness that is MPM-4. Everything about him shows that this is a premium figure – super sharp paint details, plentiful ratchets, great articulation, and smart die cast. He’s a bit pricey so I can see how he might not appeal to anyone that’s not a fan of the movies, but there’s no denying that he lives up to the Masterpiece title.
1. MP-36 Megatron
A few third party companies have released a version of a masterpiece Megatron recently. I even picked up MakeToys Despotron before I heard that MP-36 was coming out. ( I swear he was announced while Despotron was in the mail to me!) Even so, I did not hesitate to get on the pre-order list because there’s just no comparison to the official Masterpiece line from Takara. Sure, MP-36 Megatron has some issues like not cleaning up well on his back or shoulders, but there’s so much more about him that is outstanding. The proportions are right, his face sculpts are perfect, he comes with a multitude of neat accessories including a battle damaged chest and face to homage the final battle with Optimus Prime in the 1986 movie. But probably my favorite Easter Egg is found when you remove his face to swap it out. Behind his face is molded the circuitry seen in the 1986 movie as he is being reformatted into Galvatron by Unicron.