The Family – Top 20 "Family" Members - Part 1 of 4 - Number 20 to 16



            Some of my readers once asked, what is my favorite Transformers Action figure or character. To be honest with you, that is one difficult question to answer. With a history of almost 28 years, and spawning thousands of action figures so far, how do you narrow it down to only one? That is almost an impossible task to execute. 
            There are so many figures and characters out there that I wished I could have, but couldn’t due to a variety of reasons. Thus, I think almost all of us collectors have our own list of Holy Grails. While some of them are achievable, others remain to be seen.\
            There are other really good figures that I still don’t have, and probably once I have ‘em, they might make it onto my Top 20 list. Action figures such as Deathsaurus (Deszaras), Leokaiser, Road Caesar, Shockwave, Star Saber and Victory Leo combo, Trypticon, Scorponok and Fortress Maximus are just some of these Holy Grail level figures that still remain quite high on my hunting list.
            This Top 20 list is of course based on figures that I do have in my collection. They are literally my Holy Grail-level figures that I do have. However, please bear in mind that it doesn’t mean that those not in the list are not good figures. They definitely are. It’s just that this list is just so difficult to come up with that I do not want to commit injustice to those who don’t make it onto the list.
            So what are the criteria for this Top 20 list? 
            Well, it’s really a combination of rarity, characterization, engineering and designing finesse, and of course, how effective or convincing all of their transformation modes are.
            Other action figures that I do have such as Generations Optimus Prime, Henkei Astrotrain, Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy, Masterpiece Megatron, Masterpiece Grimlock, Generations Sergeant Kup, Generations Scourge, ROTF Bludgeon, Generations Drift, Generations Scourge, DOTM Ultimate Dragon Year Optimus Prime and Warbot Defender or Springer are just some of the many that are equally good, but just miss out on my Top 20 list. With so many big names already miss out from the list, you have to wonder, what other figures that I do have, that could be better than all of the above?
            Well, ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your seats, as we about to take this journey from number 20 through to number 1, in this 4 part-review.
            So without further ado, let’s roll out with number 20…

Number 20 – Reveal the Shield Jazz
            This may come as a surprise to many, but for me, RtS Jazz just makes it onto this list by a whisker. But as you may remember from my earlier review of him, I absolutely love him. He is literally the Jazz that we want, but never had. The G1 Jazz was good, but he had a lot of the weaknesses of an old G1 figures – namely articulation-wise.
            Newer generations of fans may remember Jazz as that funky little robot that talks like an African-American, fought valiantly, but got ripped in two by Megatron for all of his troubles in the 2007 Transformers movie; or at least the Jazz from Transformers: Animated. But for us old time fans, Scatman Crothers’s version will always be the Jazz in our hearts; RtS Jazz really gave him the justice that this character truly deserves.
            Amazing articulations for a figure of its class, excellent robot and alternate modes really justify his inclusion into this coveted list.

Number 19 – Cybertron Vector Prime
            Amongst his Top 20 counterpart, he probably has the easiest transformation of all. In fact, it’s so easy that just by having the instruction given to us is already an insult (just kidding).
            But really, he’s just too darn easy to transform.
            His gimmicks are sillier – his Cyber Planet Key literally does nothing, but activating some strange warping sounds, if you could even call it that. Even the rubber used, particularly the wings and sword are prone to bending over time.
            So, for a figure with so many complaints, why is it on this list, you may ask?
            Vector Prime is probably one of the most detailed designed Transformers on this list. The minute detailing is just so amazing! The designers somehow manage to make him look futuristic and ancient at the same time.
            He also has a little partner of his own – Safeguard – that literally makes him a Targetmaster as well.
            He even has a sword that is named Rhisling, which not only cuts robots into two, but even the fabric of space and time itself! How cool is that? If that doesn’t win you over, I don’t know what will.
            But truth be told, this is one legendary character. Along with The Fallen and possibly Alpha Trion as well, Vector Prime is probably one of the most well known First Thirteen Transformers of all, and that alone probably could earn him a spot at number 19. If I have the Galaxy Force version of this character, which has way more exciting color scheme that the version I have, Vector Prime could even make it higher on this list!

Number 18 – United Warpath
            Warpath is probably one of the newest figures on this list, and some may argue his inclusion onto this list. But truth be told, the reasons of his inclusion are somewhat similar to Jazz’s case – this is the Warpath that we never had.
            Now, since in the actual animated series, Warpath is a Minibot, some may argue that it doesn’t make sense that Warpath is made into a Deluxe, which would make him the same size as Jazz. But if you put scale into the equation, then you will probably ended question a lot of other characters on this list. 
            Warpath was released first in the Generations line, and so far has remained as one of the rarest figures in this region, in recent memory.
            Generations Warpath was in such short supply that many fans who pre-ordered him (yours truly included) via their respective suppliers have had their money refunded.
            I was lucky enough to have bumped into this United version at original price. The rarity of this figure contributes even further to its demand, to a point where the price may increase up to RM 150 or more!
            Why do fans like him so much?
            It’s mostly due to its engineering. It is literally one of the best and realistic looking tank modes in recent memory, as well as having an awesomely articulated robot mode that looked exactly like his animated counterpart.
            KAPOW!!! ZOW-WEE!!!

Number 17 – Reveal the Shield Wreck Gar
            During the events of the 1986 movie, the world was introduced to a new race called Junkion – lead by their leader, Wreck Gar. Just like Scourge and the Sweeps, Wreck Gar was unidentifiable amongst the other male Junkions – they all looked the same and they all transforms into motorcycles. Most collectors would love to buy 2 of this figure just to replicate a scene in the movie, where two Junkions, one riding on the other.
            Wreck Gar was a fan favorite, but the original G1 figure looked like a brick. Hence the Reveal the Shield took this beloved character and gave it a 21st century reboot and gave it a much needed overhaul. The robot mode looks just simply fantastic, which is a major surprise considering that the robot mode is asymmetrical.
            If that doesn’t win you over yet, then the sexy facial hair probably would.

Number 16 – Alternators Ravage
            Surprisingly, this is the only Alternators Transformers I have that makes it to this list. Some may argue that Mirage should probably have his spots in the list, and I have to admit he almost did. However, in my humble opinion, Ravage just nail it because of one reason – this is definitely THE Ravage that we supposed to have instead of the Battle Ravage figure, and that he breaks the pattern by being the only non humanoid Alternators figures in history. 
            I mean, Mirage was good, but I would think that having designed so many humanoid Alternators so far, it was easier to make rather than having a non-humanoid form. In fact, that is probably the reason why we had 2 versions of Ravage in the Alternators line in the first place.
            Alternators Ravage is truly fantastic. The articulations, though not excellent, are pretty darn good enough. The head sculpt is just perfect and it really won me over.
            The car mode looks pretty good as well, although unlike most other Alternators, the front wheels do not steer at all.
            Still, having a Jaguar that transforms into a Jaguar is magic unto itself.

So here we are, dudes and dudettes, at the end of Part 1 of 4 – the Top 20 countdown of the members of “The Family” from number 20 to 16. For some, there might have been some surprises along the way, and there might be even more as we head down to number 1.
            From Part 2 onwards, things will get a bit bigger and better, and who knows, you might even find some of your personal favorites in the list as well.
            So stay tuned…

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