So if I haven’t made it clear before that I am a fan of the original G1 Transformers… Let me just state again that I am. I think it should be rather obvious after the multiple posts that I have made, but it is truly one of the center pieces to my childhood. I have done a lot of posts about Transformers bu shockingly enough I have not done one that simply lists the best of the best. After all there were hundreds of these assholes running around, spanning the entire first generation! It is perfect for a top ten list and now is the time to give it up. So this is the Top 10 Best Generation 1 Transformers!
As always I have to say that this list is my own personal opinion. If you have a different opinion I would love to hear it. I always love a good debate. I based this list on the popularity of the character in the series, their impact on future generations, their impact in the series itself, and their contribution to the franchise as a whole. With that being said, let’s get started with some honorable mentions.
10. Hot Rod
Starting off the list at number ten is one of the small little robots who had to feel some very big shoes. The young and rambunctious Hot Rod, who was introduced in Transformers: The Movie represents a charismatic and green leader to the Autobots after the death of Optimus Prime. Even though the death of Optimus was to sell their new toyline, I do have to give the show props for attempting some actual character development and showing Rodimus Prime trying to learn the ropes as he goes along. Hot Rod will always represent one of the lesser Autobots to the big man… But besides Prime, he isn’t the worst second choice.
Arguably one of the strongest Transformers out of the original series, Shockwave became popular for his cold and calculating mind, his loyalty to cybertron, and the fact that he was constantly a thorn in the Autobots side whenever they made their trip back home. Shockwave always felt terrifying due to the fact that he seemed like a sociopathic scientist with no regard for life just function. Every time he was seen on-screen you knew something was going down and that he was the one who would get things done out of the Decepticon ranks besides Megatron himself. He was a Decepticon you didn’t want to mess with.
Voiced by famous actor Scatman Crothers, Jazz was a smooth talking and hip Autobot who loved nothing more than a good time and some sweet tunes. Jazz has always felt like one of the favorites of the Autobots for his friendly and cool demeanor. He was seen through most of the first and second seasons and was one of the original transformers to survivor the slaughterhouse that was Transformers: The Movie. Tragically the character would fall out of the rotation when Crothers passed away. But his memory has lived on in several adaptations over the years with the various shows and movies.
The grizzled veteran and one of the toughest fighters on the Autobots roster. With his laid back Texas drawl and kind hearted demeanor, Ironhide quickly became one of the fan favorites on the Autobot side and one of the more charismatic leaders of their ranks. Usually taking control of the situation when Optimus was incapacitated or unavailable to lead.
He is gruff, he is tough, and he is an Autobot through and through, right up until his tragic death in the Transformers Movie. Life can be a bitch like that sometimes.
The leader of the Dinobots that transforms into a T-Rex, Grimlock has always been one of the most powerful transformers in the show, however not the most intelligent of the bunch. Grimlock was always one of the hardest to control of the Autobots, not necessarily following Prime’s order’s with blind obedience, but always fought for the side of good when it came down to it. He is one of the few Transformers that actually made appearances in the third season, primarily remaining in Dinosaur mode and being played up more as a domestic house cat then a legitimate threat, but he is still one of the best Transformers of the show.
While putting the leader of the Decepticons at 5 on this list may seem low, I still feel confident in my placement. Megatron obviously makes the list for being the leader of one of the two factions and one of the most menacing threats in the entire series. He just misses out due to the charisma or lack there of some of the more popular transformers, some of which are his underlings.
In either case Megatron is the face of evil in the series, a constant threat and presence in the world; he and Optimus Prime seem to be locked in the eternal struggle for good and evil. Always devious and always scheming, Megatron was always present and always dangerous.
The little Autobot that could, Bumblebee represents one of the smallest Transformers out of the series, but also one of the most beloved. Taking the form of a yellow beetle, the little Autobot became friends with Earth Native Spike Witwicky and was often seen as a companion to the humans who assisted the Autobots. Often seen as a non factor in battle, Bumblebee was typically one of the worst to go charging head first into battle and defend the people that he cared about. He is also one of the few Transformers to survive Transformers the Movie, which is one hell of an accomplishment.
Strangely one of the most popular of the Transformers, when you ask a non fan of the series to name any of the characters, the first that comes to mind is Optimus Prime and the second… The tape deck with the electronic monotone voice. Soundwave is the cold and calculating member of the Decepticons and has a mini army of tapes that will do anything that he tells them to do. Fiercely loyal to Megatron and one of the original Decepticons in his ranks, Soundwave remains a staple of the series and a fan favorite.
Of course Starscream would make it on this list. The always agitated number two in the Decepticon ranks, Starscream arguably has one of the most charismatic characters and strongest plot points. Often seeing himself as superior to Megatron, he is often looking for ways to subvert the leader and become the leader himself. Somewhat of a coward, but one of the most powerful Transformers in the series, Starscream is a big ball of awesome. His exploits in the series have always been a favorite with fans and is only overshadowed by one Transformers, which we find at number one.
Was there ever any doubt? Come on! Of course it is going to be the big guy. The leader of the Autobots and the champion of the entire series. Optimus Prime stands for everything that is good and decent in the game. Always ready to fight the good fight Optimus Prime was the one you could always count on to save the day.
It is made even better when you remember his humble beginnings from one of the original G1 episodes where he initially idolized Megatron, but after learning of his true nature was the one who was able to pick up his gun and lead the charge against him in the eternal struggle for peace on Cybertron. Without a doubt, Optimus Prime is the number one G1 Transformer.
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more from me at Tanner Reviews.