COUNTDOWN: 10 Generation 1 toys that deserve Retro reissue makeovers (part 1)

Did you hear they’re finally making a pink Hot Rod?

OK, I may have mentioned it already. But c’mon, it’s something to celebrate, right? After three and a half decades, Hasbro is finally dropping what some of us have dreamt about since 1986. Just look at it!

Oh yeah, and there’s a Starscream, too. Mustn’t forget him!

Joking aside, these upcoming 1986-themed ‘Retro’ reissues are looking very sharp indeed, providing fresh takes on toys we’ve already seen released many times over the decades. Naturally, the mind can’t help but ponder what other classic G1 designs might also be worthy of such a movie-styled makeover… so that’s what we’re here to look at today!

Sadly, many of these are unlikely to ever happen, as ultimately, it depends on which toy moulds Hasbro can recreate. Consider this a bit of wish-fulfilment, then, but one can dream!

#10: Optimus Prime

The G1 Optimus Prime toy is the stuff of legend. Hailing from the Diaclone line as Battle Convoy, it’s since become the most famous early Transformers design and has been re-released countless times over the years in all kinds of colour schemes and formats. However, despite being forty years old, it remains a timeless classic that still stands up today, and could be a thrilling candidate for a Retro-style re-do. After all, we’ve never really seen the mould done in super-cartoon style before, so even imagining such a thing is fun to do!

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Like Hot Rod, I suspect it would mean an absence of the overwhelming chrome seen on the original, presumably replaced by bare white or grey plastic, which would already make such an attempt feel very different to any other version. I would also expect much more vivid colours, especially the blue, to better match the saturated hues of the animation. The traditional decals would no doubt be gone, perhaps in favour of more cartoon-accurate paint applications, such as some yellow highlights on the bumper. Finally, it would need to have blue eyes and maybe even blue-tinted windows, not unlike the Takara 2002 New Year Special reissue. If such a release were to include the trailer, there would be more considerations there too, but either way, this could be a genuinely spectacular release to witness.

#9: Kup

If you’re going to have Hot Rod then surely Kup can’t be far behind in people’s minds! After all, these two characters go on a journey together during the events of the big-screen adventure, so it would be amazing to see them represented together in Retro-style. The G1 Kup figure has all the right ingredients for success here, too, especially as it doesn’t look that far away from the animation and has all the same smooth lines and curves as Hot Rod.

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One can imagine how an absence of decals would bring this design further towards the anime-accurate aesthetic of the current releases, perhaps bolstered by a darker green colour and some vivid burnt orange paint applications on areas such as the arms and crotch. You’d also need the helmet, lower legs and forearms to be green, but that should be doable and would leave this classic design looking quite striking! Oh, this mould has some precedent in the reissue stakes, having last been released in 2005 as part of Takara’s The Transformers Collection line and the repainted Collector’s Edition Orion Pax. Come on, Hasbro, raise our Kup!

#8: Blurr

If the original Hot Rod and Kup toys have seen a few re-releases over the years, it’s a real shame that Blurr has never been given the same treatment outside of his 1987 Targetmaster follow-up. After all, not everyone might agree, but this design remains a solid treasure and deserves another outing. Like Kup, it has all the groundwork needed to make it work, too, as you can see how a few paint and colour changes could immediately bring it much closer to the character as we know him from the screen.

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First, let’s go for a significantly darker blue overall, especially on areas such as the legs. Next, give Blurr a pair of white ‘boots’ as well as a stark white windshield and face. Finally, go for a baby blue on the arms and crotch and already, you’re a fair way towards making this one a workable option. In truth, one suspects there must be a reason this toy has never been re-used over the years, and so it’s likely that such a release will never come to pass, but it’s fun to imagine, all the same.

#7: Ultra Magnus

The classic Ultra Magnus toy is another Diaclone hand-me-down, having begun life as Powered Convoy in the days before Transformers. Yet, for many of us, it will always represent the stoic, steadfast city commander who never could quite deal with it now. Here’s the thing, though, the original release and all of the subsequent reissues have opted for a significantly lighter baby blue than we saw on-screen during the movie itself, so it’s not hard to immediately see how a Retro reissue could mix things up here.

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Alongside that, lose some of the decals and change some paint applications, and you’re already on track towards a more cartoon-accurate result. However, perhaps the most significant challenge would be incorporating white upper legs and blue hips without affecting the look of the vehicle mode. Interestingly, there already has been a movie-accurate reissue of this mould of sorts, with Takara’s 2001 ‘Yokokuhen’ release opting for the Diaclone-inspired colour scheme seen in the film’s original trailers. A Retro release could be a fantastic accompaniment for it.

#6: Springer

For the character with arguably the most memorable line in the 1986 movie, it’s surprising how little spring Hasbro has found in this original toy! With only the 1991 Classics release to its name after the initial outing, it’s a crying shame to imagine the many potential repaints that could have been. Still, there is always time to ponder what a Retro makeover might do for the mould, especially as it could end up being one of the most significant overhauls to any of the toys presented here. The classic toy design is covered in intricately-detailed decals, for one thing, all of which would need to be stripped off for a screen-accurate attempt. That would already give it a very different feel.

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Beyond that, there are a lot of colour placements that would need to change, most notably areas such as the chest, which would need to be a lot more green, and the shoulders, which would somehow need to incorporate more yellow. You’d also need an off-grey face and thighs and some green forearms. Some of the changes here seem easier to do than others, but the fact that this toy design doesn’t lend itself to the treatment quite as much as some of the others makes it more intriguing for me. Surely Hasbro doesn’t have better things to do tonight than try?

Be sure to join us for part 2 soon!


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About Sixo

Transformers collector from the UK, collecting vintage G1/G2, CR/RID, UT & Masterpiece/3P. Find me at or on YouTube at


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