The Best Transformers Toys Available Today: Ultimate Guide

The Best Transformers Toys Available Today: Ultimate Guide

Ever since their launch in the 1980s, Transformer toys have enjoyed enduring popularity because of their ability to switch between their robot form and vehicle modes. That alone makes them great collectibles, but the fact there have been so many variations on the theme (along with the release of Dinobots and similar toys over the years) means you'll usually find a Transformer or two in a toy collection.

Takara Tomy creates the Japanese versions of the toys, with Hasbro later taking on the manufacturing mantle in the U.S. when the associated TV series exploded in popularity. But for you, the most important thing is finding an awesome figure from the series to add to your collection.

That's where this article comes in. Read on to discover 10 of the best Transformers toys on the market today.

Top Transformers Toys Available Today

The best Transformers action figures tend to combine exceptional detail with smooth transformations, making them as fun to play with as they are to display. The 10 listed here cover various generations of the toys so you can find one that fits the version that you love best.

Transformers Premium Finish War for Cybertron WFC-04 Voyager Starscream

At seven inches tall, this Starscream figure stands out as one of the better large Transformer toys on the market. But size isn't all that it has going for it. The intricate details built into the toy, coupled with the stellar finish, make this far more than a quickly cobbled-together lump of plastic. In fact, it's a practically perfect replica of its on-screen counterpart.

Even the weathering on this figure is accurate, as you'll see with a glance at the cheat plate. Granted, it's not one of the easy Transformer toys – it needs 30 steps to convert from its robot mode to its vehicle one – but as an accurate representation of Starscream from Transformers: War for Cybertron, there are few better.

Price: $48.00

Transformers: Generations Power of the Primes Leader Evolution Optimus Prime

Suitable for ages eight and up, this is one of the most realistic Transformers toys around in terms of its resemblance to its on-screen counterpart. The Optimus Prime design is pulled directly from the G1 series, only with a handful of "quality of life" improvements that make it easier to transform than it would otherwise be.

The accessories that come with this iconic figure really make it stand out. Collectors get a cool card to go along with the figure, as well as the Matrix of Leadership accessory – the perfect addition to one of the most classic characters Transformers has to offer.

Price: $90.11

Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots

The simplified designs of Playskool's line of Transformer toys make them some of the best Transformer figures for younger fans who don't have the patience to spend ages figuring out how to convert the toy from robot to vehicle form and back again.

This depiction of Heatwave from the Rescuebots series isn't the most accurate around in terms of detail. But as small Transformer toys go, its easy conversion and the fact that it matches the color scheme of the detailed version you'll see on screens still make it instantly recognizable. Not one for high-end collectors but a great choice for youngsters aged three and up who are just getting into the show.

Price: $14.00

Transformers Studio Series Optimus Prime

The Studio Series was created to depict the Transformers as they appear in the live-action silver screen adaptations of the series. And this version of Optimus Prime is the best of the bunch as it showcases what the iconic Transformer looked like during the standout forest fight scene in the first of those films.

It features a fairly complex transformation that requires 35 steps, but you won't mind that given the incredible detail built into the figure. Plus, it's poseable – perfect for those recreations of iconic battles that you may want to re-enact on your bookshelf. The inclusion of a tree-filled forest backdrop is just the icing on the cake.

Price: $89.99

Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MPM-03 Bumblebee

Takara Tomy's innovations with the original line of Transformers toys comes to the fore in its Transformers Masterpiece range, with this version of Bumblebee being a standout. It's not the biggest figure around - topping out at about four inches tall – but its intricate detailing makes it a near-perfect replica of Bumblebee as he appears in the live-action films.

There is a slight issue with the cannon – it doesn't always fit perfectly on Bumblebee's arm – but it's still an excellent and collection-worthy depiction of a popular Transformer.

Price: Not Provided

Transformers EarthSpark Warrior Skywarp Action Figure

Made for fans aged six and up, this version of Skywarp is pulled from the EarthSpark series. It's not among the most high-end Transformers in terms of the intricacy of its design, but that won't matter a jot once you see how easily it transforms. Plus, the figure has a jetpack, which is ideal for youngsters who want to zoom around with mini robots.

And youngsters are the target market for this Transformer, as it features none of the complexity seen in more realistic Transformers toys. That lack of complexity (coupled with a low price) marks it out as a great starting point for new collectors or kids who simply want a good action figure to bash around.

Price: $14.99

Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-36 Megatron

Another from Takara Tomy's Masterpiece range, this version of Megatron transforms into a large gun – complete with a laser sight – to make it one of the best Transformers figures around. It's detailed, too, and comes with a pair of accessories for its robot form – the energy mace and a powerful shoulder-mounted laser cannon.

The face is a particular highlight as it captures Megatron's evil grin perfectly. Plus, the many points of articulation make this a poseable model. Perhaps you could combine it with the Transformers Studio Series Optimus Prime to create a crossover event the likes of which the world has never seen.

Price: Not Provided

Transformers: Age of Extinction Galvatron Action Figure

Standing at 6.5 inches tall and built to perfect scale, this version of Galvatron may be the best Transformer toy for perfectly capturing the details seen in its movie counterpart. But it's the truck mode that's the real standout feature – it matches that seen in the Hong Kong pursuit scene of the movie.

Adding to that is the backdrop that comes with the figure, which mirrors that Hong Kong scene to allow for fun recreations. Plus, you get a cannon and a rocket launcher accessory with the toy, making it just as "dangerous" in its robot mode as it is impactful in its vehicle mode.

Price: $44.74

Transformers Studio Series Bumblebee

The second Bumblebee to make the list, this one also stands out because of its movie-accurate details – a hallmark of the Studio Series. But unlike the Takara Tomy Bumblebee listed above, this one also comes with the battle mask that obscures the Transformer's face whenever it's ready to head into battle.

Speaking of battles, you also get a backdrop from the famous "Cybertron Falls" scene of the movie, making it a great choice for recreations. A special shoutout goes to the cool blaster and the fairly simple conversion – you only need 20 steps to switch to vehicle mode.

Price: $28.00

Transformers Generations War for Cybertron: Siege Megatron

Combine detail-oriented design with a ton of accessories, and you'll understand why the Siege Line of the War for Cybertron action figures was so popular. Megatron is the pick of the bunch as it features a bulky fusion cannon and sword to turn it into one of the most versatile (though villainous) of the Decepticons.

It also only takes 17 steps to transform this Megatron into its tank mode – ideal for younger players who get befuddled by more complex models. Speaking of that tank, its cannon rotates a full 360 degrees, which is a level of articulation rarely seen in even the best Transformer action figures.

Price: $94.61

Honorable Mentions

There you have it – 10 amazing action figures that run the gamut from complex collector's pieces to smaller figures that are great for small children. But there are so many more besides, including over 200 awesome character designs you can find in the ToyShnip store. Here's a handful of honorable mentions if you want to build your collection further:

  • SDCC 2023 Transformers VHS Minimates Box Set – This fun little action figure series miniaturizes some of the most iconic Transformers characters, making the set of four perfect for younger collectors.
  • Transformers Studio Series 86 Leader Dinobot Sludge – There's a distinct lack of Dinobots in the list of 10, which is why we had to slot this Studio Series Sludge into the honorable mentions. Stunning detail and an excellent transformation combine to make this a must-have.
  • Transformers - Optimus Prime Bishoujo Statue – How about Optimus Prime with a twist? This Bishoujo version of the famous Transformer turns him into a stylized rendering of a human - a great curio for your collection.
  • Transformers Nemesis Prime Nendoroid 1814 Action Figure – A cute little figure that's closer to a Pop statue than what you might expect from a traditional Transformer.
  • Transformers Ultimates Ghost of Starscream 7-Inch Action Figure – The transparency effects are the highlight of this figure – they make Starscream look like an actual ghost to offer something different for your collection.

Factors to Consider When Buying Transformers Toys

So, you're ready to start adding some Transformers to your action figure collection. But before you do, keep these considerations in mind to make sure you make an appropriate purchase.

Age Suitability

If you're an adult collector, age suitability isn't really a factor – you can buy the best transformer toy you can find without worrying about complicated transformations or lots of small parts.

But that combination of parts and complexity may make some models unsuitable for youngsters. As a general rule, the more realistic a figure is to whichever version of a Transformer that it's depicting, the less likely it is to be suitable for young children. Most figures come with an age rating, so check that before buying just in case there are small accessories or parts that could be choking hazards for little kids.

Authenticity and Brand

Takara Tomy and Hasbro.

Those are the brands to look for when determining the authenticity of your Transformers toy. Takara Tomy handles the Japanese side of production, with Hasbro on duty for American-made toys. Any other branding (or the lack of branding at all) suggests a knock-off toy that isn't worth adding to your collection.

Assuming you're buying an out-of-box figure and can't see the original branding, look to the details – knock-offs tend to have fewer accurate details. Poor articulation and seriously low pricing are other indicators that something isn't quite right.

Transformation Complexity

You've likely noticed the mentions of transformation steps for several of the figures in this article, and they're something you'll need to take into account when choosing your toy. Larger models tend to take more steps to convert – often 30 or more – making them unsuitable for youngsters but ideal for adults who relish realistic details.

Thankfully, there are plenty of smaller figures that require far fewer steps to transform. You lose some detail – often in design as well as transformation – in return for getting a toy that's easier to enjoy.

Material and Durability

You'll usually find that Transformers collectibles, especially those with articulation and those made for quick transformations, are made using tough plastics that lend flexibility and durability. However, this isn't the case for all Transformers. For instance, many of the Generation I action figures included die-cast metal parts. Sadly, these parts often broke off, not due to the die-casting process but rather because the plastic used to connect them to the toys was often too weak to support regular transformation.

Today, any Transformers figures that feature die-cast metals are usually designed to be display pieces rather than toys with which you actually play. You'll usually find the material on premium models, though these models are actually less functional than their plastic counterparts.

Care and Maintenance of Transformers Toys

Once you have your Transformers figure, you'll naturally want to know how to take care of it.

On a general cleaning level, wiping the toy with a clean, damp cloth, followed by a dry cloth, is usually enough to get rid of any scuffs or marks. You may want to use a mild soap for tougher stains, though this usually isn't required as the plastic tends to hold stains on the surface rather than absorb them. The same cleaning techniques apply to die-cast models.

When displaying your action figures, try to keep them in an area that's free of moisture and not exposed to direct sunlight – both can cause color fading and wear even when the toys aren't being used. Consider buying a dehumidifier for your storage room.

Finally, always pay attention to the transformation instructions that come with your toy. Most include them because a 30-plus step transformation sequence is not something to take lightly. One wrong move or forceful push in an unintended direction could lead to broken parts. Take a soft approach to transformation – good action figures won't require you to "force" a part into place at any point.

Where to Buy Authentic Transformers Toys

Nobody wants to end up with a knock-off Transformer toy. Naturally, that means avoiding sites like Wish and Alibaba, both of which are known for creating cheap and inauthentic versions of popular toys. Major retailers like Walmart and Amazon are often good sources for new Transformer action figures, though you have to be wary with the latter – make sure any listing mentions that the toy was made by either Hasbro or Takara Tomy so you have some recourse if you end up with an unofficial model.

Speaking of Hasbro and Takara Tomy, both of these companies' websites are ideal for sourcing toys and checking a model you're considering against the official version. Don't buy Transformers action figures that don't include one of these two manufacturing brands – they're the only companies licensed to make the toys.

Then, there's the resellers market. Vigilance is key here as resold toys may not include their original packaging, and some sellers may try to pass fakes off as genuine articles. Look for common signs of fakeness, such as inconsistent packaging (again, check online to see what the original should look like) and pricing that isn't in line with what you've seen from other sources. It also helps to buy from resellers during more official events, such as Comic Con, Roster Con, and CyberCon – resellers are less likely to get away with stocking fakes when there's an army of Transformers fans keeping an eye on them.

Dive Into the Dynamic World of Transformers!

Given that the series has been around since 1980, it's not surprising to discover that there are literally hundreds of variations for many Transformers toys. From the Generation I line to Transformers Cyberverse toys and beyond, there are so many makes and models that it's easy to get confused when searching for the perfect piece.

So, buy from a store that makes it easy (and offers great prices to boot) in ToyShnip. With a growing collection of over 200 Transformers action figures from many of the most popular series, the store has everything that a budding collector needs. Check out the range today and start building your collection of Autobots, Decepticons, and everything in between.

FAQs

What are the most expensive Transformer toys?

The Pepsi Optimus Prime in mint condition is likely the most expensive of the Transformer figures. Two were sold in 2021, one reaching a price of $9,500 while the other hit $16,684.50. Another model, sold in 2022, went for $8,500, with all three sales outpacing any other Transformer toys.

Why are Transformers toys so popular?

The popularity of Transformer toys was helped in no small part by a marketing blitz that accompanied the 1984 release of the first animated series. In fact, that series is often seen as the first instance of a TV show existing to sell merchandise rather than the merchandise coming as a result of a TV show's success. Couple that with the popularity of the later live-action films, along with the fact that the toys are simply cool (who doesn't love a toy that can turn into another toy) and you have a recipe for enduring popularity.

What is the oldest Transformer toy?

The oldest range of Transformer toys actually predates the release of the animated series by about four years. It was the Diaclone toy line, unveiled in 1980 by Takara Toys. Though these toys didn't yet have the Transformers name, they featured many of the popular designs that would become more well-known later on. Interestingly, this line's version of Optimus Prime has black accents rather than the blue colors associated with the character today.

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