Transformers is an action and adventure animated series that brings to life Hasbro’s toy line of the same name. The original franchise began in 1984 and aired till 1987.
The animated series saw a drastic change of characters after the second season of the original franchise. So, Transformers: The Movie served as a bridge between the second season and the third season. The movie created the needed platform to introduce the new characters who took starring roles in the third season. However, fan protests affected the outcome, with the producers eventually finding a way to reintroduce characters like Optimus Prime.
The Transformers series reveals the enmity between two warring races called The Autobots and The Evil Decepticons. The conflict passed down to the succeeding generation of the two parties in the Beast Wars series. The ‘Good’ Vs. ‘Evil’ theme in the show made many characters attract the audience’s attention, either by their heroic deeds, intelligence, or courage.
Presenting the top ten characters from the Generation 1 Transformers.
10. Rodimus Prime
Hot Rod was the original name of Rodimus Prime, who became the leader of the Autobots in G1’s third season. He first appeared in the Transformer Movie before he replaced Optimus Prime. As Rodimus Prime led the Autobots, foes like the Quintessons and Galvatron regularly tested his mettle and intelligence. Also, Rodimus Prime often appeared to be a calm and patient leader. Still, he also showed his firmness when he destroyed Paradron, a planet considered home by pacifistic Autobots.
Despite his courage, the Ultimate Weapon of Galvatron threatened Rodimus. Rodimus also failed to protect the Matrix, which he gave to the Quintesson’s clone of Optimus Prime. The loss of the Matrix began a series of rash decisions for the leader. However, he soon finds his place and recovers the Matrix before eventually handing it over to a revived Optimus Prime. Thus, Rodimus Prime became Hot Rod once more.
Still, his leadership, as well as his courage, was outstanding in the absence of Optimus Prime.
Of every list of fan-favorite Transformers, there is always a character who attracts the attention of the audience. While he may not be proficient with sophisticated weapons, he has unmatched intelligence and scientific knowledge. This scientist is extremely obsessed with the search for knowledge and the thirst for scientific research.
Perceptor featured in the second season of Transformers animated series, acting as a trusted ally of Optimus Prime, who regards him as one of his most valued officers. He specializes in molecular chemistry and electrical engineering. However, you could barely distinguish his areas of interest in the animated series. He was involved in anything that concerns scientific inquiries, and his contributions made him a character to reckon with.
Of all the attributes of Perceptor, his method of communication is highly amusing to the audience. He communicates in complex scientific terms irrespective of who his listener is and the relevance of his complex scientific terms to his listener.
8. Devastator/The Constructicons
When it comes to combiner teams, none hold a torch to the legacy of the Constructicons. When the six members, Scrapper, Hook, Bonecrusher, Long Haul, Mixmaster, and Scavenger, merge, they form the Decepticons’ most fearsome warrior, Devastator. Not only was Devastator the first combiner to show up in the original cartoon, but he also featured in both the animated Movie and Paramount’s live-action films.
Devastator first appeared in the first season finale episode of Generation 1, Heavy Metal War. Since then, he kept his position as a powerful obstacle for the Autobots to overcome. Even as new combiner teams entered the picture, Devastator stayed the most prevalent and dangerous of them.
Beyond the destructive abilities of Devastator, the Constructicons served a vital role in the Decepticon forces by both repairing their allies and constructing the equipment for their schemes. With each member supplying varying skillsets to help realize the Decepticons’ plans to fruition.
If there was a character on this list with a full star rating in courage, it would be the strong and courageous Ironhide. Unarguably the oldest and toughest Autobot, Ironhide was one of Optimus Prime’s trusted allies. The strong and experienced character was part of the first group of Autobots who crash-landed from their spaceship.
Ironhide never cared about being involved in the long unproductive conversations but prefers being giving his responsibility to act. He was a character who regularly protected other members of the group when they must execute a particular task.
One interesting uniqueness of Ironhide was his possession of a unique gun that emits anything liquid, such as water, liquid nitrogen, acid, and any other liquid substance.
Ironhide was heavily involved in the Season 2 of the original series. Particularly in several rescue attempts of characters kidnapped by Megatron and the Decepticons.
When it comes to crazy inventions, there are no others that the Autobots turn to other than Wheeljack. As the mad scientist of the crew, Wheeljack never ran out of new and innovative ideas, though the Decepticons turned some of his machines against the Autobots. For instance, Wheeljack produced an instant immobilizer to paralyze the Decepticons only for the Decepticons to wind up in Decepticon hands. Still, most of his inventions supply an important solution to the dilemma that the Autobots face.
Wheeljack, along with Ratchet, played a crucial role in the construction of the Dinobots. Both designed and build the Autobot brutes. However, Wheeljack later supplied the final memory upgrades necessary to grant the Dinobots enough understanding to help the Autobots. Thus, the Dinobots became an asset to the Autobots.
Unfortunately, Wheeljack’s prominence as the Autobot scientist fell to the wayside as Perceptor entered the picture. Still, while Perceptor may be a genius with standard scientific ideas and concepts, he could never match Wheeljack’s inventiveness.
The one character intelligent enough to detect the deception and manipulation of Starscream was Soundwave. Of the three closest officers of Megatron (Soundwave, Starscream, and Shockwave), Soundwave was the only character with unwavering loyalty to the Decepticon’s boss. While he may not have the strength of the two other confidants of Megatron, Soundwave performed his role excellently without prioritizing his interests.
Soundwave is the Communication Officer of the Decepticons and stays close enough to Megatron to inform him of impending dangers and sabotage efforts from within.
As a Decepticon, Soundwave also engages in blackmail and deception to ensure his seat as one of the closest allies of Megatron. This he guards jealously and intelligently.
What would a list of top Transformers be without the infamous Starscream, who has a TV trope named after him? Starscream believes that he is just as qualified as Megatron for the leadership of the Decepticons. However, he still does not admit that power is out of reach.
Starscream throws everything at it in the pursuit of gaining a political advantage. His mastery in deception and manipulation was always at full display. Although his tactics and plans do not always yield the desired result, Starscream relentlessly made himself the character you do not want as a rival.
Starscream also possesses null-rays which were his uniqueness. His null-rays are powerful enough to bring down large buildings, and he also is a fast flyer. Starscream sabotaged several efforts of Megatron, particularly planting an explosive device on him, which undermined his fight against the Autobots.
Shockwave completes Megatron’s near-perfect army. Megatron may be the only rival to his strength, who some assume to be weaker than the one-eyed soldier. Shockwave supplies a scientific dimension to the war. His devotion to logic and condemnation of emotion as an obstruction to sound judgment and their course differentiates him from other characters. Other members of Decepticon naturally adore him for his brutal nature towards their traditional foes, the Autobots.
Shockwave was very loyal to Megatron despite his strength. Undoubtedly, there were moments of questionable loyalty from Shockwave. However, he led the Decepticons on Cybertron after Megatron left and disappeared for eons.
Shockwave also inflicts severe punishments on members of the Autobots when captured, torturing them to extract any form of information to predict their next move. The one-eyed Shockwave also has a laser gun that emits energy beams capable of destroying any member of the Autobots.
Not only was strength the admiring attribute of Shockwave, intelligence and logic also made him a fan favorite from Generation 1.
Megatron is a cunning, ruthless, and brutal soldier obsessed with the Autobots’ destruction. The end goal of wiping out the Autobots and killing Optimus Prime often guided Megatron’s alliances and ideas. Megatron suffered severely from internal divisions within his rank, negatively affecting his outcome in the war with the Autobots. However, Megatron was a powerful and admirable character in the animated series.
Even though his brute strength and power were obvious, Megatron also had a unique knack for coming up with various schemes to gain more energy for his troops. Like when an energy creature spawned and damaged his equipment, Megatron quickly came up with the idea to set Kremzeek on his foes. Megatron’s plans ranged from draining the sun of its energy to brining Cybertron into Earth’s orbit.
1. Optimus Prime
The ultimate leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime, was a character heavily admired by the audience of the Transformer franchise. He is the strongest Autobot and a powerful leader who took up the responsibility of protecting the planet and the earth from the evil forces of Decepticons. The major weakness of Optimus Prime has been his lack of ruthlessness but a trademark of his leadership. Optimus Prime expected the actions of the Decepticons and nullified some crucial attacks which could have destroyed the planet.
The Transformers media franchise consists of characters with outstanding attributes. While some proved their bravery during their frequent battles, others showed their intelligence in creating weapons and expecting the next move. The characters on this list show such remarkable roles in the franchise and made the animated series a memorable T.V show.
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About the author
Author: Chris Ingledue
Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!