Top 10 Transformers of 2017 - Plastic Spark Photography
2017 brought us a ton of official Transformers and Third Party items to add to our ever growing collections. It was a good year for the brand and for Transformers collectors as we filled in the missing holes in our collections, and maybe even added a few bots that we never expected to fall in love with!
Before we get into the list proper I’ve got a few honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the list but still deserve a little bit of spotlight time. For any toys that I've reviewed or shot larger galleries for, you can click on the banner images to check them out further.
Such a fun little Titan Master. 3 great modes and an awesome head sculpt to boot! I bought myself a little herd of these guys to hang with Titans Return Quake. Still need Ramhorn though!
The army builder of the year for Transformers fans. These little guys were almost harder to find than an intact G2 Electro! Fun simple transformations with effective articulation and they work with bots of any scale especially in large numbers.
An absolute surprise for me this year. Volk turned out to be an incredibly fun and versatile figure with a clever transformation and a ton of character. I spent so much time just playing around with this bot and taking a bunch of fun photos. If so many other amazing figures hadn’t have been released this year he likely would have found a spot on the top 10 proper.
More awesome little bots from Iron Factory. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing these guys on the 2018 list once the rest of their teammates arrive. They are fun on their own but I feel like the combined set is going to be where the real fun begins.
Tyrantron is an incredibly handsome and photogenic figure that deserves a spotlight position in any More than Meets the Eye oriented collection. He’s not made the proper list for 2 reasons. 1: He arrived a week before the end of the year so I’ve barely had any time with him. 2: Those vehicle modes and cannon accessories could have used some more development time. They are not great and really do a disservice to an otherwise incredible looking figure.
Ok! Now that we have those guys out of the way let’s get into the top 10 transforming toys of 2017!
Top 10 Official and Third Party Transformers of 2017
Bringing up the rear of the list we have Titans Return Misfire. Admittedly, it was hard to pick between Misfire and Triggerhappy but between the two Misfire has had a lot more of my interest when it comes to play time. A simple and effective transformation, great sculpting and acceptable paint work for the price point make this a lovely addition to my classics/IDW collection.
Iron Factory succeeded in producing one of the absolute best Shockwave figures ever. This thing is a mini masterpiece! The range of articulation is crazy and he even includes replacement hands on a clear sprue. There’s really nothing more I could ask for in a legends scale Shockwave figure.
The Masterpiece Jazz wars were an interesting site to behold. As collectors we were spoiled with choices and I felt that the Maketoys offering suited my personal tastes the most. The rear of the vehicle mode is a little bit messy and his alternative face sculpts could use some work. His functional grappling hook is a wonderful addition that really adds a ton of play value to the figure and the figure looks absolutely perfect on a Masterpiece shelf among his fellow carbots both official and third party. I’ve even been debating the Reprolabels set for him and I usually can’t stand stickers!
Fans Hobby Gunfighter might be the closest I’ve ever seen a third party come to matching the style and feel of official Masterpiece Transformers. The transformation is intuitive and enjoyable, he has a great selection of accessories, and the build quality is phenomenal. I can’t wait to add on his battle base trailer in the new year!
There may be some discourse about this one as as he doesn’t technically “Transform” but he is a licensed Transformers figure produced by Toys Alliance so... he counts in my books. Standing at 18” tall and with integrated LED features this is an absolute showstopper of a toy that is as functional as it is fun to look at! The only thing I could think that would sweeten the package would be some integrated sound effects but honestly this is just an awesome gigantic figure even without all the added bells and whistles.
I have an obsession with lion based transformers and mecha. I won’t deny it. Is Leonidas on this list because of my own personal bias? Absolutely he is! This is my list after all. Lio Convoy is one of my favorite Transformers characters and Perfect Effect’s Leonidas is one of my absolute favorite modern designs for him. The improvements made on the Origins Ver. of the figure just push it way over the top for me and make him a true centerpiece to my collection. QC on these figures seems to be quite inconsistent across the board but with the exception of slightly loose hip joints my copy is nearly flawless. I’ll count myself lucky and enjoy my awesome lion bot. Now I need to track down a Gorira to go with him… sheesh.
Maketoys has re-defined what a transforming figure can be with their Cross Dimension line and in particular with the Striker mould. The articulation on this figure outclasses every transforming figure (official and third party) that I have ever handled in all my time collecting. In fact, the articulation on this figure rivals and exceeds almost every figure I own even outside of transforming robot figures. This limited edition black repaint came with a DIY additional weapon pack on sprues that allows you to kit him out to the absolute extreme making him a walking apocalypse for any Autobot unlucky enough to stumble across him.
Mastermind Creations absolutely knocked it out of the park with this rendition of Tarn from the IDW comic books. This is an example of MMC at their absolute best with a nearly 100% accurate recreation of the character from the pages of the comic book and every bit of articulation you could ever ask for. If I could have my way, an upgrade kit with clawed hands, a damaged mask, and an LED head would really put this figure over the top and make it one of the best third party items ever released. I had a really hard time not slotting this guy into the #1 slot.
Turben was a surprise hit for me. I had initially talked myself out of purchasing this figure but thanks to an appearance by Ages Three and Up at one of my local shows I had the opportunity to check out a sample in hand before making any decisions. From the minute Turben graced by grubby little hands I was unable to put him down and spent a solid 2 days transforming him back and forth and taking a mountain of pictures. The articulation and design of the figure are very clever and everything functions exquisitely. Transformation is fun and enjoyable with no real need for instructions. There are some who would hold his aesthetics against him but honestly despite his design not really matching any one specific form for Whirl it shares common design elements that makes him look at home with your other IDW inspired figures from MMC and Hasbro alike. His personality shines through so much that once you have him in your Lost Light display you'll stop worrying about whether he's accurate. This guy beat out Kultur just due to the sheer fun that I had with him. In fact he also almost made #1 on my list but there’s really only one figure that belongs at the head of the table and that's....
After years of waiting, and plenty of loud fan speculation that a new Masterpiece Megatron would never happen. Takara finally made our dreams come true with a brand new Megatron figure in scale with the current Masterpiece line up. He even transforms into his original gun mode complete with all the add one parts that weren’t included with the original MP-05 release! Takara went above and beyond with the engineering, transformation, articulation, and paint on this release to create an incredible package for any G1 Transformers fan. The included accessories are all very well executed, topical, and fun to use with the figure and I particularly enjoy the inclusion of battle damaged parts for his face and chest to emulate those amazing scenes from the 1986 animated movie. This is a must have figure for any Masterpiece collector and for my own tastes well exceeds any third party offerings available.
Thank you for checking out my favorite bots from 2017! Hopefully the next year is full of lots more awesome 'Bots and 'Cons for us to collect! What was your favorite bot that you picked up this year? Let me know down in the comments!