Since I'm going to see the new Transformers movie tonight at midnight, I'm going to let my inner nerd shine today. Growing up, this was by far my favorite cartoon and toy. I can remember the day I moved from the Chicago suburbs to Northwest Ohio, my parents got me a little green Constructicon (I believe it was Hook) to keep me from being upset (it worked.) I'm also fairly positive that all of my birthday parties from age 6-9 involved Pizza, Sunkist, and a cake with a Transformer on it. Anyway, I have enough knowledge to make a decent list here (in conjunction with Wikipedia), but feel free to correct me if I forget anyone...
10. Cliffjumper - Originally voiced by the one, the only, Casey Kasem, Cliffjumper was a badass. He was the same size as Bumblebee except he didn't have as much time for making friends with the humans. He was too busy actually fighting. His temper was an asset and a weakness, but at least he was a pretty tough Autobot. Also, changing into a VW Bug is pretty terrible, which is why Cliffjumper was better- he changes into a 1981 Porsche.
9. Shockwave - Shockwave was cooler depending on which version you look at. In the original cartoon, he was typically a powerful yet subserviant Decepticon (read as: Megatron's bitch.) But in the original Marvel comic, he was all about logic and domination. He would continually come up with stats and logic that stated one thing: he should be the leader of the Decepticons. At one point, he chopped off Optimus Prime's head- and for that alone he makes the list. He also was a pretty badass floating gun in his alternate mode. It didn't make sense but it doesn't have to- never question Bruce Dickenson!
8. Hound - I always liked Hound. He was a scout that was similar to Bumblebee, yet again, he was way better. First, he was a cool Jeep with a large cannon. Second, he could create holograms that would trick the Decepticons. Third, while he was a scout, he did have decent firepower and was never insinuated to have been completely weak. Definitely a solid member of the Autobot team.
7. Prowl - Prowl was a very tough warrior and always seemed to be some sort of leader underneathe Optimus Prime (like the Vice President, or Secretary of State.) He turned into a cop car, which was probably very helpful in times of traffic or sneaking into highly dangerous situations. It's funny that they used the cop car mode for a Decepticon (Barricade) in the first Michael Bay flick, and I thought it was one of the more badass robots in the movie.
6. Megatron - Megatron is a very awesome Transformer. He's powerful beyond belief, and completely insane. Unfortunately, his insanity is what drops him down a bit. His plans grew more and more ridiculous as the cartoon wore on, and at some point, you have to think that Starscream had just cause for trying to upsurp leadership. It was also confusing that he was ridiculously powerful, but then transformed into a little pistol that another Decepticon would have to use. At least when he was made into Galvatron (in Transformers: The Movie) he could shoot himself and was voiced by Leonard Nimoy. Now that's a one/two punch!
5. Grimlock - My other favorite childhood thing is dinosaurs, so it makes sense that Grimlock makes the list. Not the smartest tool in the shed, Grimlock was very powerful and turned into a T-Rex! He had his own version of talking about himself in the third person, "Me, Grimlock say, do you smell what me, Grimlock is cooking?" It's like Yoda-speak for morons. I wonder if we'll ever see the Dinobots come into play in the live action movies?
4. Soundwave - This guy is so cool that he won employee of the month at Peter Griffin's work! He also apparently met his wife in a Christian chat room. Soundwave's trademark voice was awesome, his cassette tape brigade featuring Laserbeak, Rumble and Ravage were sweet, and he was pretty powerful as well. Overall a great character in the realm of Transformers.
3. The Constructicons - There's no way around it, these guys are badass. 6 robots that form the massively intimidating Devastator (I hear it's 7 robots in the new movie.) Their best moment was the attack on Autobot City in the 1986 movie. It reminded me while there were many groups of Transformers that formed into one big guy, the Constructicons were the original, most powerful, and best of the bunch.
2. Optimus Prime - OP was a great character. It was ridiculously sad when he died in the 1986 movie, but of course, you couldn't keep him down for long. In fact, it seems like he is a very popular character to kill and bring back from the dead (in the comics and cartoons.) Besides all that, he stands for truth, justice, and the American way! He was even once sponsored by Pepsi! Optimus is probably the most recognizable Transformer and will continue to be. I'm very happy that they got the original cartoon voice man, Peter Cullen to voice him in the new live action movies- it gives those movies the extra touch that they need to resonate with the old school Transformer fan.
1. Starscream - originally voiced by the now passed on Chris Latta (Cobra Commander! Cobra-la-la-la!) this guy was one powerful mofo. He was always trying to take over the Decepticons from Megatron- and why did Megatron never kill him? Well, because Starscream was badass! I almost think of him as Seth Greene's character from Austin Powers. "Why don't we just shoot them in the head and take over the world?" Megatron would always say something like "You don't get it Starscream, once we do [insert lame plan here] then the Autobots will bow to us!" Of course that never happened, and Starscream's leadership position lasted all of ten minutes in the 1986 movie before he was obliterated. But it was all about the journey, and he was badass, so he gets the top spot.
So there it is. Sorry if you're not feeling like letting your inner nerd out today, or if you just legitamitly hate the Robots In Disguise. I understand if you want to blame Shia LeBeauf for the shittiness of the new movies, but if you can get over that, it should be a good popcorn flick and I'm looking forward to it.