Transformers is one of the seminal properties from the 1980’s that’s still extremely popular to this day. It’s not really because the show or toys were all they great – they were okay! It’s more to do with a powerful dose of nostalgia coupled with capitalism that first got the property in front of our childish eyes, then got us hooked enough to never want to let it go.
Case in point, Transformers toys. While the old Transformers cartoon shows and Transformers: The Movie (1986) are beloved today, it’s the toys that get the big ticket prices. It should come as no surprise that the original toys are worth the most, some fetching prices for that of a used car. These so called “generation one” or “Gen 1” or “G1” toys are highly sought after by collectors, and bidding wars happen on a regular basis.
And as you’d expect, there are some rare Transformers toys, so rare you’ll occasionally have to look further than eBay to find them. Yahoo Japan’s auction house, conventions, or even going straight to Japan is sometimes required for finding some of the rarer examples, and even then, collectors might not have much luck. So join us, as we take a look at some of the rarest Transformers toys in the world, and see just how much they’re worth.
25 G1 Micromasters Dai Atlas: $714
Micromasters are exactly what their name implies. They’re regular robots, but smaller. Dai Atlas, who transforms into some kind of land-based vehicle carrier, but also sometimes a water-based aircraft carrier? The Transformers stories are weird, especially in the comics where the Micromasters first debuted.
What makes Dai Atlas special is that he’s also a “Powered Master,” which means he can combine with other Transformers to create bigger, more powerful robots. Because of this, the ironically named Micromaster is quite large, and his original G1 toy came with several smaller Transformers. Plus this is was an original, in box Japanese version, which increases the price all the way up to $714 on eBay.
24 G1 Micro Change Ravage (Blue): $750
The Micro Change line by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara isn’t technically Transformers, but it was the precursor to it. So much so that the old molds for the Micro Change line was even used to create the Transformers toys. They were also exclusive to Japan.
Ravage is a robot that transforms from a Jaguar robot into a cassette tape, for some reason. Since the same molds were used for both lines, Ravage can fit inside a G1 Soundwave, which turned into a cassette player. Because of all these factors, and because the original production line was blue and was later changed to black, one of these can run as much as $750.
23 Headmaster Junior Minerva: $875
Here’s a weird one. Minerva is the name of a girl who pilots a Transtector, a non-sentient robot that’s controlled by a human. But she’s also a Headmaster Junior, which is extremely different from the Headmasters we talked about earlier. A Headmaster Junior is a human from Earth drafted to fight alongside either the Autobots or Decepticons.
For whatever reason, the Japanese toy based on Minerva is extremely rare. Finding a complete one in box must be worth thousands, but the best we could find was a loose, slightly discolored version on eBay which sold for a whopping $875.
22 G1 Overlord (Japanese): $975
You may be noticing a pattern emerging here. Most of these toys are Japanese, come in their boxes, are quite large, and feature an obscure robot with a convoluted backstory. Overlord is no different. He’s a G1 Masterforce Decepticon. What’s Masterforce? They’re robots who used to be human, but were violently transformed into Transformers who can manifest Chōkon Power. Sorry, you’ll have to look that last one up for yourself.
A G1 Overlord recently sold online for $975. It came “110%” complete in box, whatever that means, and is of course an original Japanese version.
21 G1 Squawktalk And Beastbox: $998
Squaktalk is exactly the kind of name you’d expect a Transformer to have, probably a Decepticon. And would you looky there, that’s exactly the case. He and his pal Beastbox are unique amongst G1 Transformers toys in that they can transform into three different things.
The first is their “animal” form, a gorilla and a pterodactyl, respectively. The second is into cassette tapes, which technically come as separate pieces in this toy, and the third as their regular robot form. This is also our first American toy of the list, making it a rare exception. These can go for as much as $998 online.
20 G1 Black Zarak (Japanese): $1,147
One lucky collector reported on his blog back in 2013 that he managed to purchase a Gen 1 Black Zarak, mint and in the original box. This is a rare Transformer, again only really appearing in Japanese media, debuting in the Super God Masterforce cartoon.
This is also where we first hear the term “GPS.” In this case, GPS refers to Gold Plastic Syndrome, in which the plastic of these toys can become brittle over time and shatter, even if they stay in their boxes and remain untouched. A figure not enduring the strain of GPS will also fetch more, hence the $1,147 price tag.
19 Soldier Story Unicron Table Lamp: $1,176
Here’s a really odd one: a lamp. Yes, a lamp. Soldier Story, a boutique toy company specializing in ultra-high quality (and expensive) toys made a licensed lamp based on Unicron, the main villain in Transformers: The Movie. The lamp came out in 2017, 31 years after the film, but was still able to get $1,176 on eBay.
The reason? Only a few hundred were made (this was actually a pre-order for several buyers) and it’s huge. I’m talking you need a crane to carry it around. It’s 2.1 feet tall (54 cm) and has 73 LED lights stuck inside. Besides, look at the level of detail.
18 G1 Beastforce Liokaiser: $1,200
Liokaiser is the combined robotic form of the Beastforce, who are the soldiers at the command of Deathsaurus, who is the Emperor of Destruction for the Decepticons. Simple, right?
Once again we’re dealing with a first generation Japanese exclusive cartoon character. What makes this particular toy so valuable at $1,200 is that this is a collection of all six Beastforce members. They can all transform on their own, but of course can come together to form the awesome Liokaiser. Its value comes from its rarity, particularly for a complete collection like this.
17 Beast Wars Optimus Primal Prototype: $1,250
Beast Wars: Transformers was an American-Canadian cartoon show running from 1996 to 1999. Instead of trucks, tanks, and other modern vehicles, the robots instead transformed into animals, even dinosaurs. Their leader was (and we’re not making this up) called Optimus Primal.
Beast Wars got its own toy line (duh,) but some of its prototypes escaped into the wild. Good old Optimus Primal is one such prototype, featuring a plain white paint-job inside the finished version of the packaging. The prototype sold on eBay for $1,250, and is claimed by the seller to be one of only four known to exist.
16 Trainbots Raiden Collection: $1,330
The Trainbots, yet another spinoff of the Transformers, are again exactly as the name implies. Unoriginal or practical, I don’t know. This is also once again a Japanese series, having really only really left Japan in The Headmasters series and the Transformers PS2 game from 2004.
Obviously, this makes Trainbots rare, as does this particular toy which is another collection. In this case its Raiden, a giant robot composed of six other Transformers merging together. A G1 Japanese Raiden collection in not great buy okay shape sold for $1,330. Imagine how much a pristine example would go for.
15 Meister – Mazda RX-8 Mayuko Iwasa Edition: $1,455
Here’s a strange one—a Transformers toy that’s exceedingly rare (this is the only one in existence) that’s actually not worth all that much. This is Meister, or Jazz as he’s known in the West. What makes this one special is that it was designed and autographed by Japanese idol Mayuko Iwasa when she was just 17 years old.
Likely due to the design and color scheme, it only sold for 220,000円, or about $1,455 back in 2004. In today’s money, that’s about $1,987.26, but calculating inflation between different currency is tricky, so that could be off. Either way, a pretty low price point all things considered.
14 Transformers Armada Optimus Prime And Overload Prototypes: $1,675
Now this is what I’m talking about! These are prototype versions of Optimus Prime and Overload from the Transformers Armada cartoon series from 2002. This is the Transformers I grew up with; I even had that same Optimus toy.
These are prototype versions Hasbro made as a test before putting them into production. As such, they’re made with flimsier plastic than the finished product would use, so it’s not meant to be played with. There’s also no packaging, a missing missile piece, and one of the smaller included figure’s leg snapped. Still, that didn’t stop someone from dropping $1,675 for them.
13 Kaltor Calculator Robot Watch: $1,900
Time for something a little different. The Kaltor Calculator Watch was created in Japan, but it did get a Western release later. Thing is, it wasn’t sold as a Transformers licensed product in Japan, even though it was in the West. Instead, the watch came in plain, generic packaging and it transforms into a robot for seemingly no reason.
That, coupled with the fact that it’s already rare to begin with (who wants a watch calculator that transforms into a robot?) has made this pretty valuable to certain collectors. $1,900 worth of value, specifically.
12 Red G1 Bumblebee Mini-Figure: $2,025
Before the Micromasters and the complicated robot lore, Japanese toy maker Takara simply made the regular Transformers characters smaller. Case in point, a miniature Bumblebee, everyone’s favorite… red… car?
This figure has two things going for it, one somewhat unique to this one sold on eBay for $2,025. The first is that the car version isn’t a real car, just a random lump shaped vaguely like a car. The second, and what makes this one so valuable is the red paint-job. This red paint was meant to give variety to the Transformers toy line at the time, but it wasn’t made in this color for long, only for a couple of runs.
11 G1 Soundwave, Near Mint And In Box: $2,549
The G1 Transformers will always be the most valuable, and we’re about to start seeing that with the next few entries. That starts with this 1984 G1 Soundwave, which, if you remember from the Micro Change Ravage toy, inexplicably transforms into a cassette player. Very useful for fighting evil and saving the world.
What makes this particular example worth $2,549 to a collector is that it’s in mint condition. 100% and in the original box with no flaws, everything. It’s even been judged by a professional toy grader, given an 80 out of 100 rating, and comes sealed in an expensive UV protective plastic case.
10 G1 Lucky Draw “Crayola Convoy”: $2,599
The Lucky Draw series has possibly the rarest toys of any Transformers line. Given away in magazine promotions, special DVD sets, and conventions, only a handful of each model was ever made. Case in point, Convoy, or “Crayola Convoy” as fans have dubbed it.
Created by a child in part of a design contest for kids, this wildly colored figure only had 10 produced. That’s right, only 10 of these exist in the entire world. On is currently on sale on eBay for $5,999, and has 32 watchers. But the only one that’s sold online so far is on TFSource for $2,599.
9 G1 Guard City Gift Set: $2,800
Another Japanese exclusive, Guard City hails from the series Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers, and is the first of a new type of set we’ll be seeing a lot of going forward. This is a so-called “Gift Set.” It’s a collection of multiple Transformers toys in one package. How is it different from other sets we’ve seen so far? There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason.
This one is for Guard City, a very rare Autobot figure composed of a fire truck and other rescue vehicles. What makes him special is that he’s a “Free-Combiner,” meaning each individual robot can come together however they want, rather than in a fixed order like other combinations.
8 G1 Battle Gaia Gift Set: $2,800
Guard City’s sister toy, Battle Gaia also comes from the Japanese exclusive cartoon Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers, and also got a Japanese exclusive G1 Gift Set toy. Like Guard City, it’s extraordinarily rare, so much so that you can’t even find listing online.
According to TransformerLand, a Transformers fan site that lists toys and tracks their prices, a Battle Gaia Gift Set sold for $2,800 in August 2016. The box had some light creases and folds, but otherwise it was in good condition.
7 G1 Optimus Prime Near Mint & In Box: $3,400
The granddaddy of Transformers, Optimus Prime himself is naturally going to fetch a pretty penny. A G1 Optimus Prime in mint condition with the box, professionally graded, and in a special protective case can go for as much as $3,400.
Being an original G1, and the face of the franchise, Optimus isn’t exactly rare, TransformerLand lists quite a lot of these being sold over the years. However, a sealed one in this good a condition has only surfaced four times (five, since they don’t include this one), going back to 2004.
6 G1 Beast Wars Lucky Draw Galva-Lio Convoy: $3,500
Another Lucky Draw figure, Galva-Lio Convoy was exclusive to Japan. Galva-Lio Convoy was a character in Beast Wars II, a manga series in Japan with exactly the kind of convoluted backstory you’d expect.
Only 50 of these were released, which is actually a high number for most Lucky Draw figures. Transformers Lucky Draw, a website dedicated to these figures, mentions only seeing four of these for sale online over the course of several years. We’ve included Galva-Lio Convoy because he’s one of the few we can find to actual pricing on. One sold on eBay for around $3,500 (though a best offer was accepted).
5 G1 Goodbye Megatron Gift Set: $7,440
Not the name of a cheesy ballad from the 1980’s, Goodbye Megatron is instead another gift set. Released in the late 80’s, Goodbye Megatron is like other gift sets in that it’s a collection of multiple robots, in this case Megatron and his always loyal friend, Starscream.
This particular model comes with the “blue leg,” as this seller lists it, pointing to its authenticity. Called the “Grail of all Grails” by the buyer of that Black Zarak from earlier, this model on eBay sold for a whopping $7,440, complete and in box.
4 G1 Piranacon Gift Set: $8,199
Ah, our first weird Transformers offshoot in quite a few entries. This G1 Piranacon is a collection of Seacon robots, that’s robots from the sea don’t you know. The Seacons were introduced in the Marvel comics series in 1988, and Piranacon is the amalgamation of six utterly bizarre Transformers.
The Japanese gift set version, like most gift sets, is extraordinarily rare and expensive. Judging from the pictures, this one was being sold by the same person who sold that Goodbye Megatron gift set too. They got more for this one, $8,119 for another complete, in box set.
3 G1 Defensor Gift Set (Italian): $13,797
You know the drill by now, this is an expensive first generation Transformers gift set from Japan—no, wait a minute. That’s not Japanese writing. No, it’s actually Italian. Yes, this is an incredibly rare Italian version of an already rare Japanese Transformers gift set.
Like the others, it’s complete and in the original box. It’s a figure of Defensor, another one of these six Transformers sets that goes together into one robot. But what makes this one so rare (and valuable) is that it’s a rare Italian release. Someone was willing to pay $13,797 for this, so if you’ve got one, I’d put it in a vault if I were you.
2 Optimus Prime (Chrome G4TV Prize): Priceless
Here we go, these last two are the granddaddy of Transformers toys. Nobody will ever get their hands on these except whoever currently owns them.
The first is a Chrome Optimus Prime, handcrafted by Hasbro for the price of a contest run by G4TV (remember them?) in 2007 for promotion of the terrible Transformers Michael Bay movie. This is real chrome, not polished plastic, and this is a one-of-a-kind piece. That pretty much makes this thing priceless. If ever goes up for sale, it’s going to fetch as much as whatever someone’s willing to pay for it.
1 Optimus Prime (Botcon Door Prize): Priceless
The rarest and most unique Transformers time ever, this Optimus Prime features an unfamiliar face. Awarded to the winner of a door prize at Transformers convention Botcon in 2007, Hasbro toy engineers replaced the normal face of Optimus with that of the winner.
Not only that, but this toy was based on the Lucky Draw version of the Transformers 2007 movie Optimus Prime, making an already rare toy even rarer. That face might make it a harder sell than the Chrome Optimus Prime, but this one has it beat for its sheer uniqueness.