Some Transformers are not good toys. They either look dumb, or have bad transformations, can’t pose or move or are just poorly designed and fall apart. Here are the ten worst, in our opinion. Your mileage may vary.
10. Hound (Power Battlers, 2014)
Classic G1 Hound looked awesome. The ones based on his look from the 4th live action movie, Age of Extinction, look terrible. In the movie, he has a gut, a beard and a cigar. Things robots do not need. The Power Battlers one features barely any transformation, a hideous beard, strange side flaps on his torso that make him look tall and thin, and pretty awful half-tire feet. How does that work?
9. Silverbolt (Beast Machines, 2000)
The original G1 Silverbolt was great. He transformed into a Concorde jet. The Beast Wars version turned into an interesting wolf/falcon hybrid. But then the Beast Machines one looked HIDEOUS. The super bright colors aren’t flattering but could be overlooked with a good design. But the condor transformation is as ugly as possibly. His robot legs turn into bloopy, strange wings and his robot head? It just hangs between his condor legs. It would look like a dick or a turd but it has his face! You can’t turn it or move it or anything. He just has a face hanging out under his butt.
8. Ironhide/Ratchet (G1, 1984)
I love the characters but these are pretty much the only G1 original figures that no one liked. They were 100% fine in their vehicle mode of minivan and ambulance (by the way, they’re basically just repaints of the same figure). But the robot doesn’t look anything like any other Transformer. Their windshields are just sort of their torso and face. They have no heads! It’s because they were licensed figures from a toyline about human-controlled machines, not about sentient robots. Pretty much all the original figures were licensed from other lines so their scale varies wildly between one another. But the design of these guys never fit and they felt flimsy to boot because most of their body turned into a little sled.
7. Arcee (Revenge of the Fallen Deluxe Class, 2007)
A poor take on a beloved character. Her bike isn’t even a soft pink like the original cartoon character. The sidecar looks strange. The weapon often fell off the peg on her arm and she could rarely stand in robot mode.
6. Cheetor (Universe, 2008)
The reason this particular figure is listed is because it should have been better. The character had been made half a dozen times before. The original’s cheetah mode may have been bulky but the trade off was a more accurate robot. By the second version, they’d found an efficient way to transform the character without much bulky extras. But this one had arms on tiny hinges that felt very brittle. And in his robot mode, he had an enormous back full of extra bulk.
5. Rampage (Revenge of the Fallen Deluxe, 2009)
It’s an okay bulldozer. But what a strange alternate robot mode where he looks like a jackhammer. And the full robot mode has these brittle little legs made out of little parts that come off of the tractor. He looks like he’s ready to tip over at any moment. Also, the rubber tank treads hanging on his arms look particularly useless and messy. Let’s just let him stand in for the fact that all of the Constructicons based on the movies look weird. Oh, also? Yeah, he doesn’t combine to form Devastator.
4. Wideload (G1 Throttlebot, 1987)
Wideload could easily be any of the Throttlebots since they all have the same rough proportions and the exact same, super-simple transformation. It really shows how Hasbro was phoning it in. They’d had a few waves of success and just figured that was it. That was the normal toy cycle at the time, so they hadn’t invested much effort beyond those initial waves. This guy pivots his whole body up from the front of the truck which become his legs. Then his doors go sideways to give him thin arms and part of the back of the vehicle goes back so you can see a head. Three steps. Terrible. Cheap plastic, terrible barely-a-transformation, and a deplorable robot look with no poseability. The worst.
3. Starscream (Action Master, 1990)
What’s the one thing a Transformer must do? Transform. And what did the Action Master line do? They did not transform. There was a story reason that some Transformers got stuck in robot mode. That’s bad enough, but you’d at least think they could make the Action Master line poseable. But they really didn’t. The arms moved at the shoulders up and down. The legs swung forward and back. That was it. It was cheap and lazy. Hasbro sunk to a new low. Any of the Action Master line could work here but I thought Starscream didn’t quite look right because they gave him a bad paint job and no wings.
2. Optimus Prime (Armada, 2002)
Here’s a Transformer that transforms but his robot mode is just as stiff as the Action Masters. But it costs a whole lot more. It just feels half-baked. His arms can really only aim straight down or at a very slight angle, never straight forward. If you transform Optimus’ cab, they can become legs that he can be set on, but the legs are an A-frame block. You can combine him with Jetfire as legs but then he’s very shaky and easy for the torso to fall off. It has some action features like a pop up head and light up sword but they frequently don’t work without some jiggling and help. A disappointment for such a large toy. Perhaps most bizarre is how far back his head is.
1. Megatron (Titanium Series Cybertron Heroes, 2006)
A cool idea with a crappy execution. This Megatron is based on the version from the IDW comic book series that tells a story of Transformers and G.I. Joe crossing over back in World War II. Megatron is a tank, but the tank turret doesn’t turn and it doesn’t have moving treads or anything. It’s a brick. Even worse, the hinges on the shoulders and legs were very, very poor and frequently broke or fell off. Its low-quality led to it being a peg-warmer on store shelves. Abysmal quality control.