Animation · Anime · Lists · Podcast Unlimited

The Top Ten Autobots


“We dig Optimus Prime and not Galvatron!”
Pop Will Eat Itself – “Can U Dig It?”

The undisputed winner of the Robot Wars of the 1980’s was The Transformers. From the U.S. market perspective, they were aligned with all of the right companies: from the comic book publisher (Marvel); to the toy manufacturer (Hasbro); to the animation production company (Sunbow). They were even paired up with the right tag-team partner, G.I.Joe, and together, this diumvirate ruled the boys toys market for the decade. The Transformers are just as relevant today, as they were in 1984. Their robotic rivals, The Go-Bots, Might Orbots, Voltron (both version), can not make that claim.

So which one of these factors put the Transformers over the top? The comic books weren’t that great. The cartoons were subject to censorship issues (i.e.: violence), even though they were robots, for chrissakes! And the toys weren’t inexpensive. The answer, I suppose, is its accessibility. As a Marvel comic, Transformers issues were available everywhere. The cartoon being on weekday afternoons certainly stifled its creativity, but it was ideal – Saturday mornings had too much competition. And as much as I loved Robotech, the show only aired in my market at 5:30am or 6:00am – way too early for me. As for the toys themselves – they were sturdy, not too difficult to play with, and most importantly, looked very cool! The Go-Bots just looked like cheap knockoffs. The Voltrons (all of them) were surprisingly diffuclt to assemble.

Last but not least are the icons. The Autobots’ and Decepticons’ logos have become… iconic. The only other 80’s toy that can also make that claim is the Thundercats. (But I believe that is because it was made to look similar to Pac-Man, and the 1980’s Atlanta Hawks logo.)

Expect to see a Top Ten Decepticons list sometime in the near future. So without further adieu, here are our lists.

The Top Ten Autobots

Keith’s List

  • 10. Metroplex
  • 9. Wheeljack
  • 8. Rodimus Prime
  • 7. Bumblebee
  • 6. Hound
  • 5. Jetfire/Skyfire
  • 4. Prowl
  • 3. Omega Supreme
  • 2. Grimlock
  • 1. Optimus Prime

Honorable Mentions: Blaster; Bulkhead; Ironhide; Jazz; Kup; Ratchet; Ripraw; Skylinx; Ultra Madness; Wheelie.

My List

  • 10. Skydive
  • 9. Tracks
  • 8. Repugnus
  • 7. Sandstorm
  • 6. Sideswipe
  • 5. Jetfire/Skyfire
  • 4. Omega Supreme
  • 3. Jazz
  • 2. Grimlock
  • 1. Optimus Prime

Honorable Mentions: Bumblebee; Doublecross; Ironhide; Ratchet; Rodimus Prime; Silverbolt; Slag.

Next Podcast Unlimited List: Top Ten Star Trek characters.


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