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Transformers toys buying guide

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Introduction to Transformer Toys

The success of the Transformers toys series of robots is based on their ability to change form. They appear to be something quite different in their disguise as fighter jets, sports cars, trucks, guns or animals which change into a transformers action figure by a few twists and turns of their joints.

Transformers toys are a Hasbro company brand name that every household knows and suit children of all ages from 3 onwards. The experience of exploring a high tech sci-fi world the children’s imaginations create around their action figures and themselves gives those hours of engrossing play.

The original story involves the devastation of the robot’s home world and their arrival, in two factions, the goodies Autobots Cybertrons and baddies Decepticons Destrons, on earth seeking an artefact, stranded at an unknown location, to rebuild their planet and destroy the evil robots or dominate the universe, depending on which side they are on.

Children naturally extend the stories they already know and make up new adventures for their robots to engage in the transformers universe, including much fighting and the use of a selection of weapons. Teachers and parents have found much to recommend in this award winning line of toys that encourage imaginative and creative play, alone or as part of a group of children.

After reading our general guide to the best models, prices and deals in the U.K, please see our Jargon Buster for a clear explanation of the names, slang, generations of robots and technical terminology.

Tips to consider before buying transformer Toys

  • Fast Action Battler class robots were specially designed for the hands of younger children
  • See at least the latest Transformers movie to get a good overview of the characters and issues involved in the story behind these toys, before buying one, to better match the child with a robot.
  • Over 60 different lines of authorized Transformer toys have been sold to date, mostly manufactured in Japan and Canada.
  • Transformers games and toys made in other locations are not necessarily fakes, because Hasbro sold licenses to many countries of the world, such as Mexico and Argentina because imported toys were prevented from entering the markets.
  •  When buying Transformers Toys, try to find out the particular area that interests the child. Examples of this could be robots from the first generation G1, transformers 3  and Beast wars fans.
  • Collectors of the rarer and older Transformer series toys are always on the lookout for missing items in their collections. Buying from them will be more expensive than trying to find the same models in local toy shops and markets
  • A good source of extremely detailed Transformers toys knowledge for buyers is found at http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
  • Transformers Toys that were very popular are often re-released in limited numbers or as special items. To replace a special Transformer, buyers should check updates on the company site.
  • If buying Transformer toys as collector’s items only, removing them from the original packaging may result in a sharp decrease in value.
  • Many free online forums are devoted to all kinds of Transformer toys and knowledge.

The Transformer Range of Toys

“More than meets the eye,” the Transformer’s company motto, is a good slogan for Transformer toys, since many parents find themselves almost unwittingly impressed with these widely promoted toys, the award winning designs and the emphasis on technology underlying the story.

The easiest way to categorize Transformer robot toys is to group them in this way:

  • Generation 1
  • Generation 1 Commemorative Series
  • Generation 2
  • Beast Wars
  • Robots in Disguise
  • Transformers Armada
  •  Beast Machines.

Understanding which robot belongs to what generation is a fairly complicated affair, without an expert guide. From the links given below, there are chronologically accurate lists of the hundreds of different robots from 60 or more companies who produced them.

More detailed information can be found at these external links:

  • Transformers Toys
  • Transformers.com - Official Transformers Web Site
  • TFWiki.net, the Transformers Wiki
The Transformers robots use a variety of weapons of all types, mostly against each other, with 20 or more falling into these categories.
  • Psychological-Based Weapons,
  • Thermal-Based Weapons
  • Bio-Based Weapons
  • Energon-Based Weapons
  • Standard Energy-Based Weapons
  • Electrical-Based Weapon

Other Transformer toys products include Transformers cereal, a short lived project not unlike Coco puffs which “transformed” the milk into chocolate milk, Transformers video games, a transformers phone featuring graphics from the animated series,  transformers costume which is a great favourite at Halloween and fancy dress parties, and a recording of the transformers soundtrack featuring Linkin Park.

 Transformers Toys from the Action Movies

To date two action movies have been released featuring Transformer Toys. The most recent, Revenge of the Fallen being released in June 2009. New models of Transformer toys from that film are still making their way onto toy shop shelves and will continue to do so until February 2010.

These movie based toys have replaced the older concept of generations of Transformers, and models are more evenly spread across the age range to ensure younger children, age 3 and up can use the special transforming abilities. Models suiting smaller hands include 20 new robots of the Fast Action Battler class were released at the same time the second action film appeared. These featured simpler transformations and are more like toys than action figures.

The special MechAlive feature included on the top of the line robots from this film shows cogs and gears in movement during the process of transformation, which built on the AutoMorph technology seen in toys from the first Transformers action film. This earlier addition allows for automatic movement of some parts to be triggered by the process.

The demand for Transformer toys becomes so strong after the release of each action film that the first one, released in 2007 and named “Transformers” actually saw a lack of sufficient models in shops. The process is more staggered for new toy releases at the present day, with some emerging in conjunction with the movie, and others over a year later. Shopping for popular models or limited edition robots such as a new Optimus Prime robot should be done promptly to avoid disappointment.

Best Buys to consider

The transformer bumblebee is featured in this Transforming LED Torch which could easily be a regular model car, unless you know its secret. When the sides of the car are pressed in, a torch slides out from a secret compartment. At well under ten pounds this nifty addition to “covert operations” comes with three of with its own LR44 button cell batteries, great value for Transformer fans.

Learning about the toys your children spent their time with has never been easier than with the complete season of transformers on a transformers DVD The shared experience of delight at watching Transformers change into robots is a great way to allow children to teach their parents about the series. The DVD includes all 16 top rated episodes from 1984 in a celebration of 25 years of Transformers. The Complete First Season 25th Anniversary Edition DVD costs less than twenty pounds, offering a lot of entertainment value for the whole family.

Older children gamers find Transformers: The Game, Cybertron Edition for use with the Xbox 360 an exciting challenge. Also available are the versions for transformers ps2, transformers ps3 and Nintendo Wii The famous Role Playing Game takes players through the experience of transforming from a car, plane or gun into the Transformer of their choice. It is their decision to join with the Autobots to save Earth, or help the Decepticons destroy it. Superior graphics, especially in the fight sequences make this Microsoft product an all-time favourite of many gamers. The set includes many extra features such as a bonus disk describing the game’s development and interviews with its creators, unlockable extra levels of play and is good value at less than twenty pounds.

Jargon Explained

TransformerA robot that emerges when a car, plane, gun or animal is manipulated in a certain way.
Cybertronian:This is one who comes from the planet Cybertron, home of the Transformers.
TransformationThis happens when the robot changes into his true nature and form.
Slag Slag is a mild Cybertronian swear word
Frag Another mild Cybertronian swear word.
Subspace An invisible “space pocket” for storage of weapons.
Action Master A Cybertronian who has been reformatted.
ReformattingA process for healing a very badly damaged robot.
Audio Receptors Robot ears.
IMRIacon Medical and Research Institute: Also known as the IMR, it is a combination of research lab, university and hospital, located in the Autobot city of Iacon.
Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: The second action film.
Targetmaster A term referring to the physical and mental link between a human and a Cybertronian for mutual strength.
Internal regeneration circuitry A self-repair mechanism for minor injuries.
Nebulans A race somewhat like humans from the planet Nebulos.
Transformers optimus primeIs the leader of the Cybertronians
MicromastersAre small Cybertronians.
Headmaster The result of a human head added in the formatting process to a robot body.
Powermaster A human who has transforming powers after reformatting and teams up with a robot to increase and manage his power output.
Transformer RPGs Are role playing games were the characters of the series are assumed by players. Many are online and have associated forums, while others can be bought from toy and video shops.
Protoforms A robotic “blank” not yet in commission.

Buying Guide to Transformers toys
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