Overview

Introduction

Since 1984, Hasbro Transformer toys have been a huge hit with kids. Pop Quiz! What came first? – The Transformers or the cartoons/movies.

Though Hasbro did not create the original Transformers concept, they licensed the toy line from two different toy companies, renamed them Transformers, and introduced them into the United States in 1984. The Transformer toy line was an instant hit.

Since Hasbro successfully marketed the G.I. Joe line of toys by creating cartoons and comics, they decided to do the same with the Transformer line. So, the Transformer came first (source).

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Just how popular are transformers? In 2007, a box set of original transformers sold for $1,000.000. There is a huge market for vintage transformer toys.

Today, transformers are just as popular as they were in the 1980s. Children all over the world love receiving transformers as gifts.

 

Quick Summary Comparisons Chart

Photo:
Transformers: The Last Knight...
Playskool Heroes Transformers...
Playskool Heroes Transformers...
Best Wei Jiang Transformer...
Age:
4 years and up
36 months and up
36 months and up
3 years and up
Character:
Dinobot Slash
Firehouse Headquarters
Optimus Prime
Sideswipes
Accessories:
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Rating:
Best Seller
Photo:
Transformers: The Last Knight...
Age:
4 years and up
Character:
Dinobot Slash
Accessories:
Yes
Rating:
Photo:
Playskool Heroes Transformers...
Age:
36 months and up
Character:
Firehouse Headquarters
Accessories:
Yes
Rating:
Our #1 Choice
Photo:
Playskool Heroes Transformers...
Age:
36 months and up
Character:
Optimus Prime
Accessories:
Yes
Rating:
Photo:
Best Wei Jiang Transformer...
Age:
3 years and up
Character:
Sideswipes
Accessories:
No
Rating:
Photo:
Transformers The Last Knight...
TRANSFORMERS Generations...
Playskool Heroes Transformers...
Transformers Toys Generations...
Age:
8 years and up
8 years and up
3 and up
8 years and up
Character:
Autobot Drift
Megatron
Megatron
Cybertron Commander
Accessories:
Yes
No
Yes
No
Rating:
Photo:
Transformers The Last Knight...
Age:
8 years and up
Character:
Autobot Drift
Accessories:
Yes
Rating:
Photo:
TRANSFORMERS Generations...
Age:
8 years and up
Character:
Megatron
Accessories:
No
Rating:
Photo:
Playskool Heroes Transformers...
Age:
3 and up
Character:
Megatron
Accessories:
Yes
Rating:
Photo:
Transformers Toys Generations...
Age:
8 years and up
Character:
Cybertron Commander
Accessories:
No
Rating:

Top Picks and Why – Full Review

1. The Last Knight Premier Edition Deluxe Dinobot Slash

The Premier Edition Deluxe set of transformers features characters from “Transformers: The Last Knight”. The Dinobot Slash figure converts between a robot and a raptor in 13 steps.

Dinobot Slash gets his name because, as a warrior, he moves quietly and slashes his opponents with his razor-sharp claws before they know he’s there.

Dinobot Slash is a female Dinobot and transforms into a Velociraptor. Slash is one of six teammates. The other five (Dinobot Grimlock, Dinobot Slug, Dinobot Snarl, Dinobot Sludge, and Dinobot Swoop) can be combined to form Volcanicus.

While Dinobot Slash is a part of the team, she does not combine with the others. Featuring details from the movie, these transformers are near replicas of the characters your children love to watch in their epic struggle to save the Earth. These transformers stand at 5.5 inches and create hours of imaginative fun for your child.

What We Liked
  • The extensive detail of these Transformers allows you child to feel like he/she is playing a role in saving the Earth.
  • It comes with two scimitar weapons and your child can position the character in menacing battle poses.
  • Instructions are included so your child does not have to figure out the transformation on his/her own.
  • While instructions are included, transforming from robot to dinosaur poses a challenge for children – teaching patience, perseverance, and promoting eye/hand coordination and fine motor skills.
What We Didn't Like
  • While I like the fact that the transformation can be challenging, some parents feel it is too difficult for children in the lower age group that it is recommended for.

2. Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots

The Griffin Rock Firehouse Headquarters is a great playset for children over 36 months. This set offers plenty of situations for a child to use his/her imagination. The set includes a Cody Burns figure and is compatible to the Rescue Bots Rescan figures.

 

Cody Burns is the second youngest of the Burns siblings – and is one of the humans that work with the Rescue Bots to protect the people of Griffin Rock. Chief of Police, Charlie Burns is his father. His siblings include: Kade, Dani, Graham, and Woody. Chief Burns and all the siblings work together with the Rescue Bots in Griffin Rock.

This play set was inspired by the “Transformers: Rescue Bots” animated series, and children can imitate the rescues on the cartoon or create their own rescue situation. The Griffin Rock Firehouse offers hours of fun and exciting play.

What We Liked
  • Accessories include rescue motorcycle, vehicle launcher, backpack, and two projectiles.
  • While on the motorcycle, Cody Burns can be launched into action with the vehicle launcher.
  • It is equipped with a pop-up command tower that can rotate 360 degrees.
  • The command tower has a hidden projectile launcher so that your child can “put out fires” from the firehouse.
  • Another projectile launcher can be found on the helicopter pad.
  • The Griffin Rock Firehouse provides hours of unlimited adventures and promotes your child’s imagination.
What We Didn't Like
  • Some customers stated that the plastic water shooters broke off too easily.

3. Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Prime

Designed with younger children in mind, this Optimus Prime Rescue Bot easily transforms from a robot mode to Tyrannosaurus Rex mode. Stationed on Earth in Griffin Rock, Optimus Prime and his team of highly skilled Autobots work with humans to save the Earth and put out fires of all kinds.

 

This large-scale Optimus Prime is recommended for ages 36 months and older. It can be used with the Griffin Rock Firehouse Command Center for hours of fun as your children recreate scenes they have seen on the cartoon and create calamities of their own for Optimus Prime and his Rescue Bots to participate in.

What We Liked
  • Optimus Prime is a large transformer that is easy for small hands to work with.
  • The transformation from robot to dinosaur is easy enough for the youngest kids to handle.
  • Soundly-built, your children will get years of imaginative play with this transformer.
  • Optimus Prime transforms between robot mode and dinosaur mode with one easy twist of his torso.
  • When in dinosaur mode, the mouth can be operated from a panel above its head – simply push the button to open and close the dinosaur’s mouth.
What We Didn't Like
  • Since the transformation is done in only one step, in robot mode one hand is always a dinosaur head and does not resemble a hand, making it a little unrealistic.

4. Best Wei Jiang Transformer Masterpiece KO Version MP-12

Sideswipe is an Autobot warrior who transforms into a red Lamborghini Countach – a sweet ride, if I must say so myself. This little transformer toy is one of the smallest Masterpiece characters – the car mode measures only 5 ½ inches.

Sideswipe is a modern version of the one of the classic Transformer toys. In the cartoon, Sideswipe is fearless and rushes into battle with no regard for his own safety. He is equipped with a rocket pack and his arms work as piledrivers.

His motto is “I don’t break rules. I just bend them – a lot.” Sideswipe has a twin brother, Sunstreaker, who transforms into a yellow Lamborghini. Sunstreaker is even more ruthless in battle than Sideswipe.

Sideswipe is recommended for children 3 years and up. However, you should check for any small parts that may cause a choking hazard before allowing your child to play with it.

What We Liked
  • Transformation between robot and car is easy.
  • Intricate detail make this Sideswipe figure look almost identical to the animated character – making the experience even more authentic for children.
  • Sturdy joints allow children to pose this transformer in different stances.
  • Sideswipe is licensed by Lamborghini and the logo can be found on the car.
What We Didn't Like
  • This transformer contains small parts and poses a choking hazard for children under three.

5. The Last Knight Movie Deluxe Premier Edition Autobot Drift

Another transformer from the movie “Transformer: The Last Knight”, Autobot Drift, is detailed and looks amazing like his movie counterpart. Autobot Drift is 5.5 inches and transforms in ten steps.

Autobot Drift is deft in the martial arts field of battle. Drawing on the discipline of samurai training, Drift goes into battle calmly and waits patiently for the moment to strike his enemies with his razor-sharp sword. He is a fearless and highly competent Autobot (the good guys) warrior.

What We Liked
  • Realistic to his animated character, Drift can be posed in a number of menacing battle poses.
  • Drift provides hours of fun for children, focusing on improving their imaginative skill as well as fine-motor skills.
  • Accessories include four samurai swords, giving children the opportunity to create many different scenarios.
  • Bright color scheme that makes Drift look great in robot mode and sleek in sports car mode.
What We Didn't Like
  • Some parents feel Drift is too difficult to transform for younger children.

6. Generations Combiner Wars – Megatron Figure

As the nemesis of Optimus Prime, Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons, extraterrestrial robots from the planet Cybertron. In the beginning, Megatron was one of the good guys – fighting against Cybertron’s corrupt government and unfair caste system. Before he became corrupt, he trained Orion Pax, who would later become Optimus Prime.

Megatron transforms between a robot and tank in just a few steps and is geared for ages eight and up. The tank is equipped with a missile launcher for a more realistic look.

What We Liked
  • The hands swivel, offering a variety of poses.
  • The missile launcher is spring-loaded and actually shoots missiles.
  • The tank has rubber treads and rolls smoothly for a more authentic look and feel while playing.
  • If you position Megatron in front of a lamp, his eyes glow red – an exciting feature for children.
  • It transforms smoothly so that younger kids can learn to do the transformation.
What We Didn't Like
  • Though this transformer is a part of the Combiners collection, Megatron does not combine with any in the series.

7. Playskool Heroes Rescue Bots Energize Bumblebee

This transformer is made for small hands and easily converts from Bumblebee to a sports car. In robot mode, Bumblebee holds his jackhammer and in car mode, the jackhammer can be attached to the hood.

 

Bumblebee, a small black and yellow Autobot, is constantly trying to prove himself to the larger Autobots – especially Optimus Prime. Because he is always trying to prove himself, he often takes dangerous risks. Even so, he is a very reliable messenger and a competent spy. His competency as a spy results from his small size – he can hide in places the larger Autobots cannot.

What We Liked
  • Recommended for children 36 months and over, the Playskool Bumblebee transformer is easy for small hands to manipulate.
  • It takes only one step to transform – pull the wheels apart to go from car to robot, push the wheels together to go from robot to car.
  • Comes with an attachable jackhammer that attaches to Bumblebee’s hand and attaches to the car’s hood.
  • Works with gear form other Rescue Bots Energizer figures, so if you have a collection, you have many weapons to choose from.
  • As a sports car, it will fit inside the Optimus Prime Rescue Trailer.
What We Didn't Like
  • The most common observation by parents is that the legs sometimes pop back open while in car mode.

What Transformers Do

Just as the name implies, Transformers change from the original character into something else – usually a vehicle, weapon, cyborg, and even dinosaurs. The original Transformer toys were created by a Japanese company.

The company licensed the molds of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe toys and created the Henshin Cyborg – which translates as Transforming Cyborgs. The original Transforming Cyborgs were 12 inches, which was the standard size of the G.I. Joe toys.

However, the company found that these classic Transformer toys cost more to make than they could sell them for. So, the company created a line of mini-Transformer toys that were 3.75 inches.

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This set of Transformer toys would be part of the toys Hasbro licensed and introduced to the United States in the 1980s. The original Transformer toys included such characters as Megatron, CassetteMan, Soundwave, Bumblebee, and Cliffjumper.

Today’s Transformers include a line of Lego transformer toys that children love. What is more stimulating for a child than toys that ignite their creative juices? Two things that children love to do – build things and change things. Transformers covers both.

Hasbro Transformers have a variety of cartoons, movies, and comics about their adventures saving the world or trying to destroy it. There are good guys and bad guys – and I am sure your child has a favorite.

My child’s favorite is a bad guy. If their goal was to entertain and create a world of characters that children love, they hit the jackpot with the Transformers.

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Toy Safety Tips

Though a toy may be lots of fun to play with, some toys are not safe for all ages. Here are some tips to ensure your child is safe while playing.

  1. Always follow the age recommendation. If one is not shown and you are doubtful, contact the manufacturer for a recommendation before purchasing.
  2. We know children under the age of three put everything they touch into their mouths. With this in mind, be sure that there is no lead-based paint and avoid toys with small parts that pose a choking hazard.
  3. If a toy has strings, cords, or straps, only allow the child to play with it while supervised to avoid strangulation.
  4. Cheap Transformer toys that are knock-offs from unknown companies may be constructed of cheap plastic that can break easier – creating a choking hazard if small pieces are put in the child’s mouth. Cuts can also caused by jagged edges on the toys.
  5. Before allowing your child to play with a toy, inspect all the parts to ensure everything is as it should be, with no sharp edges or detachable/free small parts – especially for children under three. (source)

My Choice for Best New Transformer Toy

With the criteria and safety tips listed above, my choice for the best Transformer toy from this group is the Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Griffin Rock Firehouse Headquarters.

I especially like the fact that it is a play set with one character – and is compatible with all Rescue Bots transformers. Another winning feature is that it is designed for children 36 months and older. Your child will get many years of exciting rescue play!

Additional winning me over points, are the fact that the command tower has projectile launchers, a helicopter pad, a hidden tunnel and a vehicle launcher. Cody Burns, the character included with the set, can sit atop the motorcycle and be launched from the vehicle launcher.

Made by Playskool, the Griffin Rock Firehouse Headquarters is solidly built and ready for hours of fun and adventure – all it needs is your child’s imagination.

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