It’s said that there’s nothing quite like your first love, and fans of Transformers know it well and best. When the first Transformers movie premiered back in 1986, it captured the hearts of the children who spent their Saturday mornings watching the battle of the heroic Autobots versus the evil Decepticons, showing the child in us that a simple American toy line that was heavily inspired by a variety of Japanese toys was so much More Than Meets The Eye.
Fast forward to 2007 and the first of many live-action Transformers movies hit the big screens, and while the live-action franchise generated billions at the box-office and turned an 80s toy line into a household name, there was no denying that despite spending millions in special effects to show how ordinary every items and vehicles can transform in gigantic alien robots, none could recapture the magic of the original1986 classic – that iconic theme song, the introduction of more Transformers, including the biggest, meanest planet-eating robot, as well as a soundtrack that many still hold dear.
While the animated television series was in fact an amalgamation of different Japanese toys that started it all, The Transformers: The Movie elevated the series by becoming one of the first children-centered properties to bring in notable actors to voice the new characters, including Judd Nelson as Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime, Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron, and famed director Orson Welles as Unicron, alongside series veteran Peter Cullen, who will forever be the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime.
Set in the late ‘80s when rock ballads and heavy metal ruled the airwaves, the movie hailed iconic acts from Stan Bush and “Weird Al” Yankovic that hammered down on the young audience’s love for the giant robots, establishing that the series had the touch to connect with its core audience.
But for all The Transformers: The Movie set out to be, providing the heart and soul that no other kid’s cartoon could, there was one thing that it did not anticipate and now 35 years later, Hasbro is finally putting right to a great.
In an attempt to refresh a toy line, the decision was made then for the movie to introduce new characters to the series, which is fine, but the movie ended up killing a bunch of OG Autobots and Decepticons.
When Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus laid down their lives to defend against the Decepticons, fans were crushed and it left a hole in our hearts and a trauma no modern cinematic film or experience could ever recreate but they underestimated our love for their characters. So while toys of new characters were released, from Hot Rod to Ultra Magnus, and Galvatron to Cyclonus, the kids never got updated figurines of the classic roster of characters, until now.
It was only recently that Hasbro decided to produce a toy line that was a throwback to the original animated classics, with the Studio Series 86 line that gave us a modern Galvatron with Blurr, Hot Rod and Jazz, and those must have been a success as Hasbro is releasing a whole other bunch of figurines that pay tribute to the movie. Now, we’re not saying that the toys are meant as a recreation of the characters from the animated movie, but they are close. In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the film, Hasbro has embarked on an incredible journey to release a handful of new figurines that were directly inspired or featured for the first time in the original movie – finally giving us the love, collection and toys we truly deserve.
Let us journey back in time and take a look at all these figurines that were first featured in the first – and best – Transformers movie ever made.
“For a time… I considered sparing your wretched little planet Cybertron, but now… you shall witness… ITS DISMEMBERMENT!!!”
The Lord of Chaos, the Planet Eater, and the Chaos Bringers, Unicron, is the most ultimate Transformers supervillain, that due to its sheer size, Hasbro would inevitably find trouble to duplicate into a transformable toy. Now, there have been rumours and even photos of prototypes that one was planned for back then, but it was never released. Still, this challenge was eventually accepted by Hasbro in 2019 as a crowdfunding campaign.
When put in comparison to Megatron in the movie, Unicron made him fun-sized. The Lord of Chaos is arguably one of the most terrifying villains in the Transformers universe and was first introduced in the original movie. The toy is essentially Hasbro’s most ambitious toy ever made, due to its size, and of course, difficulty in articulating the mechanics needed to transform this 27-inch robot into a 30-inch planet.
The quality of the figurine is also a sight to behold, with almost 50 points of articulation in robot mode, and15 points of articulation just on its hands itself. It also includes several miniature figurines of Galvatron, Rodimus Prime (or Hot Rod) and the Ark.
Well of course its size can’t be made to scale because Unicron is a planet, however, this venture by Hasbro was considered a dream come true for many collectors as it was the first and probably the only time we will ever get such a massive recreation of Unicron in his full original form, as seen from the movie.
Unfortunately, The Transformers: War for Cybertron Unicron is completely sold out on most retail spots, so you might have to hit your local distributors or check the second-hand market for a shot at the toy.
The original spaceship that made everything happen – the ship that brought the Autobots back to Earth – The Ark, is also apparently an iconic Autobot that Hasbro has made for the first time in its full transformable form (which we never knew about). But who cares? We get it, and Teletraan-1.
Hasbro’s most recent massive masterpiece after Unicron screams nothing but nostalgia, as the timeless spaceship served as the Earth base and protected Optimus Prime and the Autobots for many years. It also made a special appearance in Beast Wars: Transformers after its crash-landing.
The Ark features a removable module that doubles as the bridge of the ship, can convert into the Autobot computer, Teletraan-1 in 20 steps, which can then be further transformed into the Autobot Mainframe in another 21 steps. The spaceship itself transforms into his 19-inch robot mode in 26 steps and is the ultimate collectable figure for the OG fans.
Rodimus Prime, aka Hot Rod, was the protagonist and headstrong Autobot in the original movie that some would argue caused the death of Optimus Prime. He was essentially the chosen one by the Matrix to light the Autobot’s darkest hour and prevented the destruction of Cybertron from the devastation of Unicron.
Rodimus Prime measures 7.5-inch tall and can turn into racecar mode in 34 steps, and into his truck mode in another 8, which can transport other Deluxe Class Transformer figurines. This is the first time Rodimus Prime gets a Commander Class treatment, so Hasbro has now given fans a chance to finally pick up the figurine that does the character justice.
“I’ll rip open Ultra Magnus, and every other Autobot, until the Matrix has been destroyed!”
And Galvatron did, as he surrounded Ultra Magnus with the Heralds of Unicron on the planet of Junk, tore him apart and took the Matrix of Leadership for himself. Once Megatron, Galvatron was born from the depths of Unicron’s powers in the film and is the epitome of a mad and power-driven villain blind to his lust for power.
Galvatron transforms into his Galactic cannon mode in 33 steps and comes with several accessories, including the Matrix of Leadership and the Particle Beam cannon that turned Starscream into dust. Despite being Unicron’s pet, Galvatron’s ambitions would eventually lead him to betray the Lord of Chaos himself and fail, and suffer yet another utter defeat at the hands of Rodimus Prime.
“Bah-wheep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong!”
This is the only way to greet Wreck-Gar, the leader of the Junkions or you might end up, well… junk.
Made for the first time as an authentic recreation of the original characters, the Studio Series toy line by Hasbro finally bring fans back to celebrate and reminiscence iconic moments inspired by the movie – and in Wreck-Gar’s case, it was when the Autobots first met the Junkions on The Planet of Junk.
Wreck-Gar transforms from his robot mode into motorcycle mode in 22 steps and would be the perfect add-on for you to reenact the iconic Junkion Dance Party scene with the rest of your G1 collections.
SLAG & DANIEL
Another Studio Series recreation, Hasbro adds Daniel Witwicky and the Dinobot Slag into the fray of their screen-inspired figurines.
Known for his violence and mean spirit, Slag is one of the iconic Dinobots that intensively questioned and hated Optimus Primes, and as he puts it himself, “me Slag no like anything”.
Slag transforms from robot mode to triceratops mode in 32 steps and includes a non-converting Daniel Witwicky figure that can sit on top of him in triceratops mode.
However, none of his hostility toward the Autobots was explored in the original film, in fact, we would recall how polite Slag was when he said “excuse me” toward the crushed Sharkticon, as he busted into the Quintesson Courtroom with the rest of the Dinobots to save Hot Rod and Kup. With the movie-inspired Dinobot Slag, Hasbro has done us another favour to let us replicate the iconic scene known as the Mockery of Justice, where Hot Rod and Kup was about to be thrown into a pool of Sharkticons.
To build on the Mockery of Justice scene, Hasbro has let loose the army of Sharkticons themselves known as Gnaw to accompany Slag. Gnaw was part of the bunch of Sharkticons that rounded up Hot Rod and Kup, and eventually joined the Autobots thanks to the fearsomeness of Grimlock, against the Quintesson Judges.
Gnaw can transform from his robot mode to Sharkticon mode in 17 steps and includes two weapon accessories alongside translucent eyes and articulated jaw and arms. Having a few Sharkticons in your collection will truly bring that epic moment from the movie to life.
Who said deadly Autobots don’t come in pink?
An expert in hand-to-hand combat, Arcee, is a merciless yet compassionate warrior that puts her Autobot friends before her and will do all it takes to protect them, and her humanoid compatriots.
Arcee can transform from robot mode into sportscar mode in 15 steps and comes with a blaster accessory. As a close friend of Hot Rod and considered Rodimus Prime’s primary warrior, Arcee is the perfect companion to put beside the Kingdom Commander Rodimus Prime figure.
We’d be lying if we said the movie didn’t get us when Jazz failed his escape from the Moonbase One during Unicron’s ruthless attack because it felt like another gut-wrenching moment besides the loss of Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus.
The only Autobot with style, Jazz can transform from his robot mode into his racecar mode in 20 steps and includes a blaster accessory. The backdrop that comes along with the figure will recreate the Moonbase One destruction scene when he and Cliffjumper were swallowed up by Unicron, although they were saved by Daniel Witwicky in the end.
Undeniably the fastest Autobot in the entire Transformers franchise, Blurr is a reliable messenger of the Autobots that had quite a few notable moments in the original movie. Thanks to his quirkiness, the Autobot left quite an impression compared to the other Autobots during moments when he was talking to Ultra Magnus and getting Grimlock aboard the Ark.
Hasbro’s Blurr can transform from robot mode into his hovercar mode in 18 steps and includes a blaster gun accessory. With Jazz, Arcee and Rodimus Prime in hand, the addition of Blurr will make for the ultimate 1986 movie Autobot collection.
Last but not least, the ultimate figurine to complete your Transformers: The Movie villains collectables, introducing the Herald of Unicron, Scourge.
Converted from Thundercracker into Scourge by Unicron, he was tasked as his Herald to aid Galvatron in the movie to destroy Ultra Magus and the Matrix of Leadership.
Scourge can transform from robot mode to his Cybertronian hovercraft in 19 steps and features a blaster and a blast effect accessory, that we would recall, killed Ultra Magnus. With Unicron, Galvatron and Scourge on hand, replicate the Heralds of Unicron scene 1:1 and display these three figurines together to memorialize the epic moment.
Zheng Yi is perpetually looking for the Time Stone to juggle his love for toys, anime, comics, gaming and photography. He probably needs the Space Stone next for his collection…
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