Due to a combination of pre-orders from 2020, birthday and anniversary gifts, and just plain selfish splurging, I ended up obtaining an absolute tonne of Transformers in 2021. Like, way more than I realised. Like, the equivalent of a Transformer a week. Which is a sobering stat, and it’s probably a good thing that I don’t smoke or drink or indulge in other crazy expensive vices. But these silly little action figures do make me very happy, so with that in mind, lets looks over my top five of 2021 – the figs who are absolutely top tier and bring the biggest smile to my face.
Rodimus Prime (Kingdom)
The Commander class figure of 2021, and an absolutely spectacular rendition of the character. Big, heavy, imposing, and insanely articulated, Rodimus isn’t too complicated to transform but he’s not too simple either. His trailer is largely useless as trailers usually are, but Hasbro has tried to give it relevance as a storage bay for blast effects, and the huge trailer cannon can now detach and afix to the main figure’s back. He can point his fingers, and he comes with a Matrix. He’s an absolute behemoth, and if push comes to shove, quite probably my fave figure of 2021. Possibly.
This Leader class figure of Galvatron is utterly brilliant, while also being a wee bit flawed – but he’s good enough to overlook the flaws. The hands are a bit small, and the shoulders are misassembled (but not to the detriment of the figure or it’s transformation thankfully). But his colours pop, his headsculpt is glorious, he’s huge and threatening, and really good to pose. He oozes evil personality, and grouped with Cyclonus and Scourge (from Kingdom and Studio Series 86 respectively), they form a wicked looking trio. One of my total favourites of this year for certain – and he’s SO tough to photograph! It’s remarkable how much better this guy is in-hand.
Wreck-Gar (Studio Series 86)
Another contender rivalling Rodimus for my favourite fig of 2021. This guy is massive for a Voyager class figure, and looks like he’s stepped out of the cartoon. His headsculpt is gorgeous, and his transformation is simple but so much fun. And he’s so, so poseable. He has an ab crunch for god’s sake, absolutely tip top articulation! His colour scheme is fantastic, and when in motorbike form he can carry Deluxe figures and make them look extremely bad ass. One of the all time best Transformer figures, no question.
Origins Bumblebee (Buzzworthy Bumblebee)
This little dude slammed in from left-field – I in no way expected to be as bowled over by him as I was. I pre-ordered him because he had the Cybertronian vehicle mode from the very first episode of the cartoon, and I thought he would fit in with the Siege figures I own. But in hand this guy is amazing, very solid, very poseable, full of character, and with a fun transformation and a unique vehicle mode. His headsculpt is fantastic, his articulation is brilliant, and he’s huge fun to pose.
Hot Rod (Studio Series 86)
Yeah, I know, Rodimus is already on this list, but Hot Rod is just… staggering. For years we’ve had Hot Rod figures that have gotten better and better in terms of screen accuracy (which is always impressive given the ridiculous lack of vehicle bits on his character model). But these figures always seemed to have some sort of huge back-pack that threw off his general vibe, or were crazily out of proportion like the 2nd version of the Masterpiece figure. And then this figure shows up, and it’s a revelation. He looks like he’s walked off the screen, the accuracy is staggering. The transformation is complex, but not overly so, and there’s no backpack. His articulation is spectacular, and he just exudes personality. He’s stacked with a load of accessories, and a sleek as hell vehicle mode that’s just out and out iconic. The yellow plastic is a bit frustrating, and his shoulders joints are fragile, but those are nitpicks in a figure that is an engineering highpoint for the brand.
So those are my top five in no particular order. Below is the full list of the figures I ended up with in 2021 (well, unless I get any for Christmas), and genuinely the only one I think lets the side down in any true capacity is Tracks (Kingdom). And even then, he’s still a pretty good figure in spite of his shitty leg design – it’s just after two years of belter after belter, he feels more of a let-down as a result.
Still, it’s good to take the foot off the gas on Transformers now for a while. I’ve got some pre-orders in for 2022 (Skids, Kickback, Slammer and Blaster), and no doubt I’ll nab a few more, but I have to be more sensible in 2022 cos this is totally unsustainable in terms of space and money, even if I have sold off some previous Transformers to make way for these guys!
- G2 Megatron
- Prowl and Ironhide
- Shattered Glass Ratchet
- Hot Rod
- Red Alert
- Emirate Xaaron
- Soundbarrier (again)
- Slitherfang (again)
- Rodimus Prime
- G2 Ramjet
- Wreck Gar
I clearly have a problem.
And below are some group shots of various figures from 2015 or thereabouts, through to 2021. Feast your eyes, and have a Merry Christmas!