Top 10 Most Expensive G1 Transformers Toys

Top 10 Most Expensive G1 Transformers Toys

It is hard to fathom just the ten most expensive G1 Transformers toys. Hasbro debuted the Transformers brand to American audiences in 1984 and has sold the brand virtually every year since. With Marvel Comics providing the backstory and an animated series for marketing support, it took off. Arguably, it is one of the top 3 action-figure toy franchises in history.

We’ve been buying and selling G1 Transformers toys for 20 years, making evaluating the most expensive G1 Transformers toys pretty easy. This list is for loose figures c9 or c90, depending on a dealer’s or person’s scale. To learn how to grade figures, read my article How to Grade Vintage Action Figures and Toys.

Mint condition c95 figures usually sell for much higher prices than the early released figures, which is why I went with the c90 grade without that premium. Additionally, I didn’t go with sealed figures as few can afford them, and it’s hard to compare apples to oranges in terms of condition. This list is only for official US releases and doesn’t consider variants like the Pepsi Optimus Prime or the Takara metal plate version.

Join us as we count down the ten most expensive G1 Transformers toys

 #10 Optimus Prime


We start with the hottest 1984 G1 Transformers toy Optimus Prime, also found in my Top 10 G1 Transformers Toys Must-Haves. Usually, expensive toys are short-packed figures, canceled waves, or the end of the toy line. However, Optimus Prime bucks that trend. I’ve had more Optimus Prime figures than any other G1 figure. He’s in the top 10 as he looks great, and he’s an iconic figure. Unfortunately, the toys of Optimus Prime are often broken and missing accessories. All those factors bring the price to around $200.

#9 Trypticon


In Japan, Takara started marketing “Scramble City” in 1985, which was the base that made a miniature city. Meanwhile, when Hasbro brought Trypticon to the United States, they did not market this toy with the Scramble City tagline.  Up to this point, he was the largest G1 Transformers figure. He had a big price back in 1986, and today, loose figures bring right around $200. In part, the reason that Trypticon calls for such a huge price, aside from its enormous size, is the electronics are frequently defective. In addition, many older figures have lost the accessories that originally came in the packaging.

#8 Vroom


The first of a few Pretenders is on this list. Pretenders are a series of G1 Transformers that are not always the most popular. Even though not the most popular, not that many were made in 1989 as the line was winding down, which is partially responsible for the price. Vroom is a mega Pretender and Cybertronic dragster.  Opening the shell reveals the core robot inside the shell. The main reason for the $200 price is Vroom is prone to breakage, making my Top 10 Breakable G1 Transformers list.

#7 Reflector


Reflector is comprised of three separate robots—Spectro, Spyglass, and Viewfinder. This figure was a mail away, so the supply is somewhat limited. A great looking figure, which held up great.  The limited supply is the only reason he runs around $215.

#6 Jetfire


Jetfire’s origin is from the Robotech series made by Takatoku Toys. It’s a great-looking toy series. A very popular figure and one of the best-looking figures, making my Top 10 G1 Transformers Toys Must-Haves and Top 10 Most Popular Vintage G1 Transformers Toys. Today, many are yellowed or broken, causing a short supply of nice-looking figures. Also, it comes with a large number of accessories, many prone to breakage. The price runs around $220 for nice examples.

#5 Thunderwing


Thunderwing is another mega Pretender from 1989. Again, few were made, and it is a fairly popular character. The good news is they are rarely broken, and the parts are usually not lost. The price runs for about around $240.

#4 Bludgeon


Bludgeon the Pretender skeletal samurai from 1989. The martial artist is another Pretender in short supply, making my Top 10 Rarest Vintage G1 Transformers Toys as well as Top 10 Most Popular Vintage G1 Transformers Toys. The combination of those two factors has led the price up to $275 today.

#3 Scorponok


Scorponok is the second-largest Transformers. It’s a pretty sturdy figure, but with a large initial price, it keeps the supply low.  With loads of accessories, it will set you back around $350.

#2 Scourge Targetmaster


The Cybertronic hovercraft scourge got a makeover (retooling), and the Scourge Targetmaster was born. Paired with Fracas, he’s a popular character. Making both my Top 10 Rarest Vintage G1 Transformers Toys as well as my Top 10 Most Popular Vintage G1 Transformers Toys. Unfortunately, Scourge often suffers from yellowing, along with his partner Fracus, which is frequently broken, which has driven up the price to $350.

#1 Fortress Maximus

Fortress Maximus is the toy few got, given his steep price. In 1987, it was upwards of $80! Standing nearly 2’ tall, there were a few of these figures that were properly packed away into storage containers. Instead, they were left sitting out for decades, leading many figures to become yellowed and filthy. If you have a yellowed figure, try restoring it by reading our article on how to restore yellowed Transformers Action Figures. That problem of yellowing, along with it being one of the top 10 most popular vintage G1 Transformers toys, gives us a price of around $650 today.

Oddly, this one has dropped in price in the last ten years from its peak. Ten years ago, I could sell a loose c90 condition Fortress Maximus for $2,000. It has dropped in price like no other G1 figure.

There you have it: the most expensive G1 Transformers characters. We welcome your feedback, so drop us a note.

Author: Chris Ingledue

Affiliation: Autobot

Function: Theoretician

Contact: email

Bio: I’m the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys, triggering fond memories and reigniting their imaginations. Every day I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year, scouring the internet – like we did the Sears Catalog of yesteryear – for the next great treasure, awaiting the arrival of the postman as if he was Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

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5 thoughts on “Top 10 Most Expensive G1 Transformers Toys

  1. I sold my childhood (complete, great condition wboxinserts) Fort Max on eBay for $890 about 10 years ago. Had sellers remorse, pieces another one together off ebay, then ended up selling that one too, it fetched $910. Now I have a reissue Fort Max, and a 2nd one in my closet – but unfortunately that 2nd one was from the first reissue batch that had quality control issues, and that Spike is missing both arms.

  2. I dont know where you get your prices from. But I had an original Fortress Maximus from the 1989 (there were 2 releases btw, the first one had the main character from the comic book instead of Spike as the head of Cerebros. The Spike version wasnt released until the 4th G1 Season was made. For years I was offered more then $2000 sight unseen (mint in box) After I lost it… I tried to replace it. WHEN I could find one mint in box. The price as of just last year. Was $4000. My prices come from Denver and Seattle.

  3. I had the original 1987-era Fort Max – which did have Spike – and Scorponok (both bought new when I was a kid, probably 1988) which were fairly mint, boxed, and complete. They were too large to play with often, so I mostly kept them in their boxes. I sold them both back in 2003 just before moving to Europe. Can’t remember exactly how much they sold for, but I think I might have gotten around US$350 for Fort Max. I also had some other complete boxed G1s that I sold at the time, such as Six Shot, Powermaster Optimus. They didn’t fetch much. I kept a bunch of my loose G1s, which my little kids play with (with great care) now.

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