With the fine folks at Hasbro having just unveiled a whole wealth of new Transformers Legacy toys, you’d think we’d be pretty sated for a little while now, eh?
Well, forget about it! With the current main line of robots in disguise exploring the increasingly darker depths of the franchise’s history, we’re as eager as ever to see what niche nods might be just around the corner. So, with that in mind, here are some further suggestions for characters who might be fun to see given the treatment soon, with one example chosen from each of the lines that took place over a roughly ten-year span from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s (including in Japan). We’ve attempted to avoid just picking Optimus Prime and Megatron designs, however, because, well, they’re kind of obvious.
All that said let’s get to it!
#8: Beast Wars Dinobot II
A lot of Beast Wars characters were covered off in style during the War For Cybertron trilogy prior to Legacy kicking off, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still return to the well for inspiration occasionally. Just this week, we’ve seen a new Tigerhawk design drop, so who’s to say there won’t be more to come in the future? Besides, whilst the core cast has mostly been updated in terms of their original organic forms, there are still plenty of upgraded Transmetal bods to consider, leading us to one of the most fascinating prospects of all – Dinobot II! This tragic clone of the original Dinobot has only ever had the one toy to his name and could look the absolute business done up in modern Legacy form, especially if it upped the stature a smidge from his previous Deluxe-scale status. Give us a massive cyborg-style raptor man!
#7: Beast Wars II Galvatron
OK, I know I said we’d be avoiding Optimus Primes and Megatrons… but this is still fair game, right? Especially as Galvatron is a notable absence amongst the Legacy lines burgeoning Takara Beast line-up, what with opposite number
Lio Convoy Leo Prime and now Tasmania Kid already realised from Beast Wars II, and Neo’s bad lad Magmatron confirmed to be on the way soon. Besides, this guy is as fancy as he is unstoppable (and unstable), with a bright pink, blue, green, red and gold palette surely a recipe for a luscious-looking updated toy. Again, it’s incredible to consider there’s only ever been one figure of him before now, especially with all the potential the imposing dragon and drilltank modes could capitalise on.
#6: Beast Wars Neo Longrack
There’s a lot that can be said about Longrack. The second-in-command of the Neo Maximal crew is a serious stickler for the rules and frequently annoys his comrades as a result. Still, he’s a vital team member and fully deserves the recognition of a new Legacy figure, not least because – and I can’t believe we’re only just mentioning this now – he’s a giraffe. Incredible as it may seem, such a wholly awesome animal mode has only ever been granted the one toy before now (although the character did get a second stab with a more mechanical alternate form in Cybertron at least), which feels like a situation that must be rectified as soon as humanly possible. Otherwise, you’re just having a giraffe, mate.
#5: Beast Machines Jetstorm
When coming up with ideas for this list, it’s safe to say that Beast Machines was by far and away the hardest Transformers series to choose just one character from. Why? Well, perhaps that’s because thus far, Hasbro has seemingly refused to even acknowledge the Cybertron-set cartoon exists in the current Legacy line! There’s been not so much as a crumb of reference to it thus far, which feels almost purposefully odd in a roster that now includes everything from Transformers: Animated and Prime through to Rescue Bots! So look, I’m going easy with the suggestion here and serving up what is undoubtedly one of the more palatable designs as far as the general fandom is concerned (although any of the Vehicons would likely find an audience, in my book). In any case, it’d just be great to get some Beast Machines rep of any kind going before too long, no?
#4: Robots in Disguise Sky Byte
2001’s Robots in Disguise is another show where it’s hard to choose just one character that deserves to be represented in updated Legacy form. I did specify that we were trying to avoid the obvious leader candidates here, although both would be a shoo-in in this case, along with the likes of Sideburn. However, with a fairly obvious ‘pretool’ of that toy already in existence, it’s time to turn our attention elsewhere, and who better than the haiku-spouting approval-seeking breakout character of the series, especially as he also happens to turn into a flying robotic shark? True, Cybershark has had recent rep in Cyberverse, along with new toys to boot, and there was also a 2014 Generations effort to his name. Still, if we’re talking characters who deserve the spotlight, look no further than the smartest shark in town.
#3: Armada Jetfire
We all know who wears the trousers in Transformers: Armada, right? It’s Optimus, and those trousers are Jetfire. Yep, with ol’ superpants Prime already a thing in Legacy, surely his second-in-command-turned-extra-legs can’t be too far behind, right? Besides, even putting his status as a pair of space britches to one side, Jetfire himself also wears the (metaphorical) trousers when it comes to status amongst the Autobot ranks, possessing a no-nonsense toughness that demands respect. Oh, and of course, shuttle-mode Transformers are always ripe for a fun swoosh round the living room, so add it all up, and this lad deserves his time to shine.
#2: Energon Snow Cat
Whether you view Snowcat as an entirely new character or as the rather unprecedented new form of Decepticon goon Cyclonus is up to you. Still, either way, there are many reasons to imagine he could be an enjoyable presence in a potential future Legacy line-up. Firstly, he’s rocking a colour scheme like no other, with distinctive greens and the most inexplicable hue of reddish-brown I can currently think of. Second, the lad has a pair of built-in skis that can be deployed for general merriment whenever he wishes. Third, he’s a quasi-homage of an old GI Joe toy, which feels like the kind of thing that’s very on-trend in Transformers right now (and is sure to be something that Hasbro’s Bmac would appreciate). Which is all to say, this is one cat we’d be curious to see.
#1: Cybertron Vector Prime
For such a unique character who is often so fondly remembered from the odd soup of the 2005 Cybertron cartoon, it’s surprising that Vector Prime has so few toys to his name. Aside from the odd curio, the only full-size effort is the (admittedly gorgeous) original, making the ancient guardian of time and space well overdue an update. There’s a lot the powers-that-be could do with this guy, too. From the ornate finish to the clockwork theme, a new figure has all the potential to look quite spellbinding whilst also cramming in his sword, a Cyber Planet Key gimmick and hopefully even his Mini-Con partner, Safeguard. Is Vector Prime too much to ask?
So that’s our list! Which characters would you like to see done from each series?