As one of the most popular entertainment franchises in recent years, Transformers reach children through comics, anime, films, and video games. You may have had enough of Autobots and Decepticons, but your kids have not.
Transformers are fun. They combine popular themes for kids, like robots, extraterrestrial life forms, space travel, and combat. It makes the bad guys look really cool. But not all toys with the Transformers brand on them are equally good or interesting.
If your kid is really into Transformers, you may as well indulge him. But don’t get him any robot figures that are nothing more than a lifeless copy of what’s on television. Too many toys can be bad for your kid’s development.
Transformers Toys for Robot-loving Kids
Some Transformers toys are not only more engaging, but also healthier than others, as they stimulate thinking and improve hand-eye coordination. Based on my experiences with my kids and what I’ve learned from my friends’ kids, I want to bring you the best Transformers toys around. So take your pick.
Table of Contents
- Transformers Toys for Robot-loving Kids
- 1. Transformers Rescue Bots Energize Bumblebee
- 2. Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime and Aerobolt
- 3. Generations Combiner Wars – MEGATRON Figure
- 4. 25th Anniversary Limited Edition – Unicron with Kranix
- 5. Playskool Heroes Rescue Bots Optimus Prime Figure
- 6. The Last Knight Movie Deluxe Premier Edition Autobot Drift
- 7. Platinum Edition Predaking Figure
- 8. Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpieces MP-12
- 9. Premier Edition Deluxe Dinobot Slash Figure
- 10. Rescue Bots Griffin Rock Firehouse Headquarters
- What You Need to Know When Shopping for the Best Transformers Toys
- Benefits of Transformers Toys
1. Transformers Rescue Bots Energize Bumblebee
Most Transformers figurines look like they could kick up some trouble. But the Energize Bumblebee from the Playskook Heroes series isn’t like that. The rather cute design and vibrant coloring make it instantly fun.
It pulls this off while allowing for a quick conversion into sports car mode by simply pulling the wheels. The jackhammer is a nice addition that makes this toy stay true to the series. It can be easily attached to the car to enhance it.
The Energize Bumblebee rescue bot can use gear interchangeably with other bots in the series. So, if your kid has some rescue bots at home already, this toy could be a good choice.
However, bear in mind that this figure is admittedly for smaller children. It’s not as complex as other Transformers toys, nor does it feature as many accessories. The cute design may leave bigger boys indifferent.
What’s Great About It: Rescue bots are not as “angry” or as fierce as some of the other Transformers. So, with this figure, kids could focus more on the transformation and the car than on the combat. It’s one of the more playful transformer toys around.
2. Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime and Aerobolt
The Power Surge Optimus Prime in this figure scales down beautifully to 11 inches. It also includes a Mini-Con Weaponizers Aerobolt figure. Your kid can use this as an eagle or shield, and attach it to Optimus Prime to lend the Autobot leader the extra power he needs to defeat the Decepticons.
When your kid does this, he activates Optimus Prime’s pop-up cannons and wings. The toy then emits battle sounds and realistic battle cries. This toy proves more engaging than most Transformer figures. For the extra features, you’ll only need a new 1.5V AA battery from time to time.
One is already included in the set, so you don’t have to worry about buying it separately, until it runs out that is, and that may happen before long. Another thing your kid may enjoy about this toy is that it works with the Robots in Disguise app. Kids can scan the figures and unlock content in the app, which adds a new dimension to the game.
What’s Great About It: Battery-powered design is beautifully integrated with the Aerobolt, adding to the appeal and engagement of this toy. If you’re shopping for a more special edition of Optimus Prime, this may well be it.
3. Generations Combiner Wars – MEGATRON Figure
There are many Megatron versions out there inspired by the films, animations, and cartoons. This one’s an old-time favorite for fans of the franchise and a special gift for a Decepticon fan. It’s beautifully detailed and has an original look about it that easily catches the eye.
With its simple, but engaging design, this Megatron figure stays true to the spirit of the series. The 15-step robot-to-tank transformation calls for a good coordination of the hands, and makes it a more sophisticated toy than most other figures. But, the end result is more than fulfilling: a convincing gray tank with a missile launcher that actually works.
While it’s quite big for a Transformers figure, it’s not the biggest around. Its appeal comes not so much from its size as from its craftsmanship. Everything fits together well and the tank looks really compelling. Sturdy design makes it a durable toy, one that your kid may one day even pass on to his kids.
What’s Great About It: The authentic design of this toy can help introduce your kid to the earlier iterations of the Transformers franchise. I also like the sturdy design and that his eyes glow in the dark if held close to a source of light.
4. 25th Anniversary Limited Edition – Unicron with Kranix
First introduced in the 1986 Transformers animated film, Unicron went on to become, in many iterations of the franchise, the ultimate villain. Unicron is not only a villain, but a god of chaos, a destroyer of worlds, and a devouter of realities. However, you won’t easily find many Unicron figures out there, much less one that compares with this limited release.
The first thing that strikes you about Unicron with Kranix is its size. I won’t give too much away, but let me just say that this is one of the biggest transformer toys I’ve seen so far. True to its role in the Transformers lore, it can transform into a destructive planet.
Now, this may not sound nearly as exciting as a red sports car or trailer trunk with wheels that actually work. But the detail of the planet is beautiful, and the smooth way in which Unicron fits inside it makes the transformation a treat.
But, perhaps the most engaging feature of this limited edition toy is the robot mode. Drawing power from four A76 Alkaline batteries, Unicron becomes a super toy indeed. Think glowing eyes, ankle-bound rocket launchers, and a sneaky cannon hidden in its chest which actually fires missiles when a Mini-Con figure is attached.
What’s Great About It: The oversized design (compared to most other Transformers toys) makes this Unicron really stand out. That and the thrilling rocket-launching robot mode make this a great choice. Also, the fact that this is a limited edition is in itself something that increases its appeal – not many people own one, so your kid will be all the more glad for it.
5. Playskool Heroes Rescue Bots Optimus Prime Figure
This Optimus Prime figure doesn’t only look good in robot mode, but also converts into a T-Rex. It does this quickly and easily, with all the different parts fitting in nicely. Optimus Prime toys don’t often get a dino mode, which makes this toy all the more special.
All your kid has to do to convert the popular superhero into a dino is twist its legs. The upper side then becomes a fierce blue-tailed dino. Once the battle is fought and the day has been saved, a quick twist the other way turns him back into the leader of the Autobots.
This figure isn’t the biggest around, but its design makes it a good fit for small hands. Faithful to the original character, the design comes in vibrant colors that catch the eye right away.
However, bear in mind that this toy contains some small parts. It’s not suitable for children under the age of three years old.
What’s Great About It: Your kid will like the simple twist-to-convert design. Switching from robot to dino and back again takes just a moment and is really fun. Your child can even do it in the thick of battle.
6. The Last Knight Movie Deluxe Premier Edition Autobot Drift
If your child loved the last sequel in the Transformers movie franchise, this action figure could be an inspired gift. It features all the details from the film and can put on some impressive battle poses.
This toy features a ten-step conversion. On the one hand, that’s good because it calls for a bit of focus in figuring out how all parts fit together, which is ideal for brain development. On the other, it’s a lot slower than what other Transformers figures offer.
The drift car into which this figurine transforms looks neat and runs smoothly. Last but not least, the set features four interchangeable swords which make this red and black toy even more engaging.
The Autobot Drift figurine isn’t as big as you may think judging from the package. Still, it scales down nicely and is easy to handle.
What’s Great About It: The drift car transformation of this popular Autobot adds to the appeal of this toy. It can make any child who likes toy cars doubly happy.
7. Platinum Edition Predaking Figure
The Predaking is one of the coolest Decepticons, or at least that’s what I think. This premium Predaking figure is made up from five Predacons, each of which can be used as a standalone toy. That means your child doesn’t get just one toy, but five – and the joy of putting them all together to form the Predaking.
All the key Preadacons are in the set, including Rampage, Razorclaw, and Divebomb, making this a favorite set for Decepticon fans. The best part is that the Predacons themselves can each be converted from robots to beasts and back again. This makes the set one of the most complex and engaging Transformers toys around.
The x-ray laser Predaking wields in the original Transformers series is faithfully scaled down for this toy. The same can be said about all of the Predaking’s key details. Indeed, this toy has an authentic air about it which can gladden kids who know the older animated series as well.
What’s Great About It: While most Transformers figures turn into a car or craft, this one transforms in five different robo-beasts. And that’s not counting the Predaking himself. In other words, it’s an engaging toy that could turn an Autobot fan into a Decepticon devotee.
8. Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpieces MP-12
When it comes to more exclusive Transformers toys, the Masterpieces series stands out. Among them, you’ll find Sideswipe in this Japanese-made classic transformer figurine which doubles into a beautiful Lamborghini. The powerful gun that Sideswipe wields in battle can be attached to the rooftop of the car, turning it into one fierce convertible.
The distinctive design of this version of Sideswipe makes it a long-standing favorite of many fans of the series. Not every child can get their hands on it, which makes this toy all the more precious.
The build quality is another good reason to get it. That, together with its inspired design, could make this a powerful gift for any child. One thing to bear in mind though is that this toy is suitable for children aged six or older.
What’s Great About It: The Sideswipe Masterpieces figurine is not only beautiful, but also rarer than most. Its authentic look makes it one of the most engaging toys of its kind.
9. Premier Edition Deluxe Dinobot Slash Figure
Unlike most other Decepticons inspired by the Transformers: The Last Knight film, Dinobot Slash doesn’t transform into a car. Instead, it transforms into a ferocious raptor. It’s not the biggest toy around, but careful detailing and an engaging 13-step conversion makes it really fun.
The robot mode looks pretty compelling, too. It comes with two scimitar accessories and looks like its about to kick up some serious trouble. But it’s the raptor mode that’s going to excite your kid the most.
While this toy doesn’t have as many features or accessories as figures from other generations, it’s well made and looks solid. Fans of the Dinobot will easily recognize his battle stance and authentic details. For kids that love the menace and the trouble that the Decepticons unleash upon the world, this could be a charming gift.
What’s Great About It: Fierce-looking raptor mode makes this Decepticon stand out from other Decepticons inspired by the firm series. Plus, it’s hard for a kid not to love converting this toy into a raptor.
10. Rescue Bots Griffin Rock Firehouse Headquarters
Not your average Transformers toy, this miniature rendition of the Griffin Rock Firehouse Headquarters takes kids to one of the best-loved locations in the animated series. It features a rotating tower and a helipad with projectile launchers, as well as a pull-out bridge and a secret door, among other treats. Another highlight is the Cody Burns figure, who gets his own motorcycle, as well as some backpack gear.
One of the things I like the most about this toy is that it’s engaging on different levels. It may not feature a robot that your kid can transform into a car or a flying craft, but it has plenty of other goodies.
He can raise the pop-up tower, fire projectile launchers, or launch Cody on his motorcycle. Best of all, it’s been scaled to match in size to the other toys from the Rescue Boys series.
Bright colors and playful design add to the appeal of this version of Griffin Rock. Indeed, true to the animated series that inspired it, this toy is upbeat and fun. It’s a lot brighter than some of the other Transformers versions we’ve seen in recent years.
If you want to make Transformers even more fun for your kid, you can do it with this toy. However, because of the small parts and accessories it contains, this set isn’t suitable for small children. The kid who gets this should be at least three years old.
What’s Great About It: The Griffin Rock Firehouse features plenty of elements that can be lifted or pulled, making it an all-round engaging toy. It can easily catch your kid’s attention and hold it.
What You Need to Know When Shopping for the Best Transformers Toys
If you’re like most parents, you may not be half as familiar with the Transformers universe as your kid is. Knowing a few essential things about this popular universe will help you choose the right Transformers toy for your kid. Not only that, but it will also make it easier for you to get him talking about something that he likes.
- Autobots and Decepticons – Autobots are the good guys while the Decepticons are the bad guys. Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots. The Decepticons are ruled by the tyrant Megatron. Both factions are robotic lifeforms and come from Cybertron, a planet over which they fight. Just be warned that, while plenty of kids like the Autobots, some are crazy about Decepticons. Give them an Autobot and they’ll think it’s treason.
- Versions and Generations – Hasbro constantly releases new versions of Transformers characters as they appear in the blockbuster films of the franchise. As a result, characters may undergo stylistic transformations from one year to the other. They may also depart a lot from the original look they had in the comics. So far there have been five Transformers movies, each of which has influenced Hasbro’s designs.
- Transformations – One of the key selling points of the Transformers toys is that kids get essentially two toys – a robot and the thing into which it can transform. But, while some toys transform in just a few steps, others feature a more sophisticated conversion. As a result, converting some Transformers may feel like assembling or even building a new toy, and kids need to be old enough to figure it out.
- Size – The authentic Transformers may have been planet-sized (some of them at least), but most franchise toys are small. Many of them have tiny detachable parts like weapons or missiles, which creates a choking hazard. So, make sure you follow the age guide on the toy packaging.
- Collector Editions – It’s not just kids that are interested in Transformers toys, but also long-standing fans of the franchise. You must remember that while the films are new, the comics and the anime shows have been around for decades. In other words, if a figurine strikes you as particularly expensive, it’s probably a collector’s edition version and you should be able to find a cheaper alternative.
Benefits of Transformers Toys
If you’ve followed the Transformers series, whether it’s movies or animations, you’ll know that it’s not just about robots and stylized violence. Behind the action-packed plot and fancy graphics lies many deeper life lessons presented in a format that kids can easily understand. Lessons include “Be careful who you trust”, “Think of the greater good”, or “With power comes the responsibility to protect those weaker than you”.
Here are some of the other benefits of choosing Transformers’ toys over other toys:
- Conversion Mode – Almost all the Transformers figures on our list can be converted into a vehicle, a raptor, or something else. That makes most Transformers engaging, 2-in-1 toys that kids can use in different modes of play. What’s more, the conversion process for some toys can be likened to assembling a new toy, and that makes it very engaging.
- Hand-eye Coordination – Transformation toys can help improve your kids’ hand-to-eye skills, which in turn can improve social skills. Some of these toys also stimulate kids to think, since they need to fit in different parts to transform the robots into their secondary modes. They also require a bit of creativity, since kids can combine mini-cons and other accessories between different toys in the same series.
- Teamwork – Through Transformer toys, kids can be drawn to a series that highlights the importance of teamwork. On their own, the Autobots cannot beat the Decepticons. They have to stand united and combine their skills and abilities. And they need humans too, at least to some extent.
Transformers toys can be engaging gifts for boys aged three or older. But when choosing one, you need to know more than your kid’s allegiance to Autobots or Decepticons. Some figures are more complex than others and feature more accessories, while special editions come with special features.
When it comes to Transformers, there’s probably no right or wrong gift. Every toy can be converted into some other toy, so it’s bound to arouse your child’s curiosity and keep them engaged. But choosing a figure that reflects your kids preferences is a process that makes you actually interact with your kid more.
You’ll have to ask him questions and listen as he explains to you the Transformers lore. That in itself will be the gift you give yourself – the gift of spending more time with your kid.