The Transformers have been reborn again and again since the toys first hit America in 1984, including appearances in several animated series. But if you grew up with the original toys, and were left confused and disappointed when Optimus Prime was turned into a gorilla, the toys from the latest series, Transformers Cyberverse, will definitely appeal to your nostalgic side.
Premiering later this year in an 18-episode run, Transformers Cyberverse follows Bumblebee as he tries to fix his damaged memory chips and remember what his mission, and purpose, on Earth is. Each 11-minute episode will focus more on character development and Transformers mythology and will feature bot designs very reminiscent of the original G1 line.
That’s being carried through to its accompanying toyline as well. In robot mode, the Transformers Cyberverse figures will bring back warm memories of the characters from the original animated series, even if the vehicle modes now feature radically different designs. Meanwhile, a new action feature called Action Attacker adds a bit of life to each toy.
The vehicle or “alt” versions of the $30 Ultimate Class Optimus Prime and Megatron figures seem to deviate most from the G1 toys. But the robot modes, which can be reached in 11 or eight steps, respectively, will be more familiar to kids of the ‘80s. The posing potential of each figure—important for nostalgic collectors—looks great, but each toy also figures those animated attack modes, including the Fusion Mega Shot Action Attack for Megatron, and the Matrix Mega Shot Action Attack, which finally puts that Matrix of Leadership in Optimus’ chest to better use than just a plot point.
Outranking the Scout class is the Warrior Class Cyberverse toys featuring modernized versions of fan-favorite baddies Starscream and Shockwave. They’ll both be available in the Fall for $15, with Starscream requiring seven steps to transform, and Shockwave needing nine. With both figures the final transformation step triggers a unique attack move; the Wing Slice Action Attack for Starscream, and the Wave Cannon Action Attack for Shockwave—although the unblinking stare of Shockwave’s Cyclops eye is intimidating enough for me.
Given he’s the star of the new animated series, it’s not surprising to see a couple of toy versions of Bumblebee being released. The Ultra Class version of Bee adds an extra transformation step over the Scout Class, but with a vastly improved vehicle mode, and an alternate Hive Swarm Action Attack move that’s triggered when the transformation is complete. Ultra Class Grimlock provides a little more of a challenge, with 14 steps needed to turn him into a T-rex, and a Rocket Roar Action Attack move. Both figures will sell for $20 when they arrive here on Earth in the fall.
To differentiate the amount of detail, transformability, and sizes of the toys in the new line, the Transformers Cyberverse figures are now broken down into classes, starting with the Scout Class Bumblebee. At $8 this kid-friendly version of Bee requires just six steps to go from robot to vehicle mode but still includes a Sting Shot Action Attack move with a blade that automatically pops out when triggered.