The best Transformers toy
"Autobots, roll out!" If the voice of Optimus Prime resonates with someone you know, they're a big fan of Transformers. That's why getting them the right Transformers toy is so important.
Transformers are the ultimate two-in-one toys. They change from bots into cars and trucks and even come with dual-purpose accessories. Transformers are considered all-ages toys, as they're manufactured for kids as young as three or come in premium collectible sets for adults who are young at heart.
Not sure whether to buy Autobots or Decepticons? Take a look at our buying guide for Transformers toys. We're including our favorite one, Hasbro's Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Megatron, which transforms into a well-detailed functioning tank.
Considerations when choosing Transformers toys
Transformers toys are clear about the ages for which they're intended for safety reasons. Those designed for younger kids have larger accessories and are easier to articulate. Transformer toys made for older kids and adults tend to have sets of small accessories and feature more complex transformation.
Transformers toys can be as small as three-inch figurines or over 12 inches as full-size, fully functioning models. The most common size is around six inches tall. Younger Transformers fans have age-appropriate toys that are a bit smaller but much bulkier, making them easier to operate.
Part of the appeal of Transformers toys is their ability to change forms. The number of steps required for transformation varies considerably between models. Generally speaking, Transformers toys are age-appropriate -- the younger the child, the fewer steps involved.
Single toy vs. multipack sets
Transformers toys are usually sold individually, so you receive a single character and its accessories. There are also multipack sets available that bundle characters together. Some Transformer sets can be assembled together to create a single large version of a character.
Special or limited edition Transformers toys
Hasbro has a few popular Transformers that are staple fixtures in their line, as well as special and limited edition releases. These typically come out when they launch new lines spawned from subplots or new characters seen in Transformers cartoons or movies. Some of these are highly collectible, meaning some fans purchase more than one package.
Certain Transformers toys are packaged with collectible trading cards. Some Transformers have the same card in every box, while other packages have cards that are issued at random. The latter Transformers toys are often more collectible, as it's harder to find rare cards.
Transformers toys are packaged with character-specific accessories. They can include rocket launchers, sidekicks, or shields, any of which serves a purpose in both forms of the bot. Accessories are attached by snapping them into place, which keeps them secure during play.
Transformers toys geared toward younger kids cost $15 and below. More complex sets and multipacks cost between $20 and $50. Larger Transformers and limited or special edition toys range from $50 to $100.
Q. Why is it so hard to find certain characters like Megatron, Optimus Prime, or Bumblebee?
A. These characters are popular and recognizable, which is why kids and parents gravitate toward their toys. If those characters are the ones you collect, too, it's wise to follow Hasbro and collectibles influencers on social media to track when new toys are being released.
Q. I think my Transformers toy has a manufacturer defect or incorrect packaging. What should I do?
A. Don't open the box yet -- you may have an ultra-rare toy that collectors want. Do your research to find out whether it's known to the collectibles community and whether you're better off saving it and buying a different one for play.
Transformers toys we recommend
Best of the best: Hasbro's Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Megatron
Our take: Top pick for a classic Megatron with stellar attention to original detail.
What we like: Impressive construction with rubber wheels and transforming capability. Looks just like the cartoon.
What we dislike: Rolling can be a bit challenging in tank mode.
Best bang for your buck: Hasbro's Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Energize Heatwave
Our take: Parts appropriately sized for kids ages three through seven in a fun Heatwave model.
What we like: Tiny hands can transform toy. Enjoyable water cannons that can be reattached to firetruck.
What we dislike: Easy to scratch paint, so be mindful of coming into contact with other surfaces.
Our take: Turn from robot to police car in this premier edition Barricade model.
What we like: Movable parts have excellent range of motion. Top-quality detail and paintwork.
What we dislike: Certain pieces are harder to lock into place than expected.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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