Another year in the books! 2022 is done and as we wait for Evolution and Rise of the Beasts, the TFW2005 team is looking back at all the toys from last year and picking their favorites. There were a couple which ran neck and neck but the eventual most picked BESTEST one was none other than Haslab Victory Saber. He just eeked out Legacy Motormaster and Legacy Jhiaxus. That being said, there was a wide variation in what folks picked, both as their first choice and in the runners up, showing that there was a varied range to choose from this year. Read on to check out what we thought and then head on over to the 2005 Boards to let us know what you think!
A very hard decision for me this year. While I’m a total Car Robots and G1 Japan fan, I also loved the G2 comics and its characters from the very first time I read it. Jhiaxus was one of the few villains that totally kicked both Optimus and Megatron asses. After 28 years we finally have proper representation of this ruthless Decepticon, not a redeco or retool but a new mold inspired by his original comic design and featuring amazing detail, poseability and personality. The only true Decepticon leader is finally on my collection in all his glory.
Runners up: Haslab Victory Saber (I still sing the Victory opening theme while playing with him), Legacy Velocitron Scourge (no need for explanation here), Studio Series Sludge (We all love Dinobots), Legacy G2 Laser Optimus Prime (the mold was a great surprise for me), Legacy Motormaster (Great piece of engineering), Studio Series The Fallen (another figure who has got a proper movie-accurate rendition), Legacy Tarn (another excellent Voyager on par with Jhiaxus)
It was kind of a lighter purchasing year for me, so picking a best of the best was somewhat difficult. That is, until I looked at my late-season shelf and Selects Cyclonus stood out like a beacon.
I adore the colors of the Selects version. Absolutely adore them. While the pastel purple of the regular edition is quite eye-catching, something about the retro coloring on the Selects version screams quality.
So yeah, Cyclonus it is.
This was a fantastic year for official product. If you picked Motormaster, everyone understands why. If you picked Starsaber, it’s pretty clear why. My pick, Jhiaxus. This guy checks a lot of boxes for me.
1.) Fun to transform.
2.) Fairly obscure character, mostly from Marvel times.
3.) It’s very complete. Little to no hollow bits, really great articulation, and very good attention to detail. They went 100% on a character that to most people, doesn’t really warrant it.
As this was a 2022 release in other parts of Asia, this is perhaps the most amazing mainline figure I have ever had. I would go as far as to say as his materials are more premium and sturdy than the MPG Trainbots and MP Trailbreaker (And those figures are sublime in their own right). At least 80% of the figure is painted and he has a transformation that is satisfying yet complex enough that does not make him cumbersome. Tarn is full of dynamic poses and can utilize of Blast Effects with in a myriad of ways. I know he it not a Masterpiece by name (although in my eyes he is), but I have not been so amazed by a Takara/ Hasbro release since MP Sunstreaker (although, I have been surprised plenty of times. Tarn takes the cake). I have been following the Mainline more than MP for good reason. This $33.99 figure could easily be priced at $90 and still be worth it. Awesome job, Hasbro/Takara!
Sure he might not be everyone’s favorite, but this guy is so much fun. I love that the figure can integrate the o-ring figures into both modes and gives newer fans a chance to mess with vintage Joes. I didn’t get into GI Joe until the Classified HISS Tank came out but I’ve been having fun tracking down the Classified figures and Retro O-Ring figures this year as well as collection mainline Transformers. I think this is also one of the largest G1 Megatrons in transformers history!
The Stunticons have always been my favorite combining team and getting a brand new version of them – so soon after Combiner Wars – was surprising and very exciting. Motormaster manages to do the impossible – create a torso for Menasor that doesn’t impair the figure or the vehicle mode in any way. It is an extremely satisfying transformation and comes together in ways that I never thought Hasbro would even attempt to do. Lot of very quality figures that came out this year, but none I was more excited for – and pleased by – than Legacy Motormaster.
2022 was a spectacular year for Transformers, with so many top tier toys being released. As usual, I started my list on 1/1/22 and add every single figure I bought, while keeping a list at the top of my favorites. This year, I had 16 figures on my list, and probably could’ve added more!
Narrowing it down to my favorite was incredibly difficult, but the asymmetrical weirdo Jhiaxus beat out the other contenders to be my favorite robot of the year. The colors are so bizarre and beautiful, and it’s wonderful to see this mad scientist get his own unique mold instead of just being a weird Beast Machines or Starscream remold. The transformation does some fun little trickery, and I love that he can be displayed with the shoulder sensor out or you can add that piece to the end of the gun and tuck the sensor away. I can’t wait to see what other characters will utilize this mold as a base.
Haslab Victory Saber
In the end, it couldn’t have been anyone else. Pretty much a dream figure come true for me. (Just please tighten up the QC next time…)
This year was rough for picks cause every line and every wave was full of bangers. So much fun and ingenuity in articulation and engineering, I think this year was the best we’ve had for TFs yet. But my #1 has to go to Motormaster. Since he was announced I got more and more hyped for his release, especially after getting my hands on Dragstrip. In-hand, he has some of the most brilliant engineering in a mainline figure ever and he very much looks the part. Hasbro clearly wanted another shot at this team and they nailed it. He’s easily the figure I’ve played with most this year and none of his three modes suffer in the slightest. Putting his combiner skeleton together is just as fun as transforming MM himself back and forth, and he just feels like a mini Masterpiece all-around. I also found him at Target the morning I was making a big, nerve-wracking career change, so there’s a lot of sentimental value already shot straight into him. Dead End used to be the only Stunticon I cared about, but now I love MM and the whole team cause of this figure.
Runners up: Legacy Dragstrip, Legacy Dead End, Legacy Kickback, Legacy Skullgrin, Legacy Bulkhead, Studio Series Sideways, Studio Series The Fallen, Studio Series Ironhide, Studio Series BB Ratchet, Velocitron Cosmos
I say it every year, but 2022 delivered quite a few really nice figures. Commander class continued its streak of hits, while the second HasLab knocked it out of the park. And the Legacy mainline continued to produce strong updates of characters from G1 to Beast Wars, Armada, Cybertron, and Prime. And the year finished up strong with an unexpectedly good and new take on the classic Optimus Prime transformation with Generations Holiday Optimus Prime.
That being said, was it ever going to be anyone else? Probably not, and it was an easy choice given the popular sentiment that I *needed* to pick Cosmos:
Regardless, the figure is really good. The pinned shoulders tend to be a little loose, but the transformation is engaging enough to feel like you’re doing something while not being overly complex. And he looks — great! One of the best proportioned Cosmos figures we’ve received to date.
Picking a number one was difficult this year because Hasbro delivered on the goods all year long. There were a lot of really fun figures this year. While Star Saber is the most recent and who I have been playing with regularly, I couldn’t give him the edge over Motor Master. The engineering and transformation is so much fun and so creative. Everything fits where it’s supposed to go and the integrated “skeleton” for Menasor in the trailer creates not only the best version of Menasor to date, but one of the best combiners period.
Runners up: Haslab Star Saber, Legacy Jhiaxus, Legacy Skullgrin, Legacy Tarantulas, Legacy Inferno, Studio Series Sludge, Studio Series Ironhide, Velocitron Override, Velocitron Scourge, Velocitron Cosmos
My collecting has slowed way down this past year and I’ve been pretty choosy in which figures to purchase. It was a really close race between BW inferno and Tarantulas but Tarantulas edges out my favorite BW character by the tiniest of margins. For me the deciding factor was the lack of weapon storage for Inferno. Tarantulas and Inferno both have unique transformations that go from a pretty show accurate robot mode to really strong alt mode that hide most of the bot-bits really well. They are well painted and the sculpt work on them is nicely done. Overall some really strong products from Hasbro.
Roses are red
Bluestreak is blue
I love this toy so much
I decided to buy two
I bought MP-24 Star Saber designed by Hisashi Yuki years ago and while I still like it a lot, it definitely had lost potential. To hear that Yuki was 1 of the designers working on the Haslab Victory Saber set was exciting and reassuring since he was no stranger to Star Saber. Plus it would be able to combine with a new Victory Leo figure.
While the MP Star Saber still remains superior in some aspects, there’s a number of areas where the Haslab Star Saber is superior. Overall the set is very fun to play with and the sword is able to be securely held. The blade is also able to be inserted perpendicularly to the hilt(albeit using a method that can be a little tricky to secure). Victory Leo is intuitive to combine in both modes. The entire set is pretty intuitive to transform. It can largely be done without having to refer to the instructions. It’s also very stable in both combined modes, which can be rare for Generations Transformers that size.
Molding more parts in color would’ve been appreciated(an area that the MP excelled at). Having a clamshell for the internal plastic packaging would’ve helped secure the figures further in the box(once the plastic ties are cut). The included Micromasters should’ve had tolerances adjusted for the hips as they pop off very easily. Cleaner and more durable paint apps would’ve been appreciated.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the Victory Saber set. It could’ve been better in certain areas for sure. I definitely get the feeling it would’ve been compromised a lot had it been released at mass market retail. There’s a number of members here who experienced issues with their sets and I hope Hasbro addresses all of them. It’s a fun set to handle and it would be disheartening to receive 1 with issues, especially given that this was crowdfunded.
No contest for top pick this year, particularly since MP Trailbreaker is yet to arrive!
This set is simply a whole lot of fun. There’s something about the size of the Star Saber that makes him really ‘playable’, and I find myself picking him up to pose/transform far more often than I ever did with the MP. Everything together makes for a nice looking display piece as well, so I’m a happy chappy.
Much like the NES set from 2020, LEGO Optimus takes two of my favorite hobbies and mashes them together almost flawlessly. During what has been an exceptionally trying period in my life, sitting down with the OP set brought me right back to my childhood. I took my time with the build, spending about 8 hours total, and they were honestly the best hours of 2022. I absolutely adore what they did with him, and look forward to him gracing my displays for many years to come.
My picks for 2022 are a bit more interesting this time around. I had to adjust my spending habits for several reasons, and one of those results is this is the first year since MP-8 that I haven’t bought a single official Masterpiece release (the figures I did buy ended up being 3rd party releases, but I digress). I’ve been slowly getting back into the mainline releases due to the level of fun, among other reasons. Also, that being said, I haven’t purchased a Legacy Motormaster (though I intend to), so my picks are only going to come from figures I’ve actually purchased.
I have still been blessed to obtain some really cool figures, and among my lot, choosing the best among them was difficult. My last purchase was Nitro Convoy (Legacy Override), and the robot mode is SO good (no forearm gaps!). I also LOVE Diaclone, and among a blue Datsun, a blue truck, and a blue wrecker, I’ve been thrilled. Legacy Cosmos is simply awesome, and I nearly picket it for my top pick. My pick has to go to the wonderfully colored, wonderfully Diaclone-homaged Wreck N’ Rule Collection Diaclone Universe Twin Twist. From Titans Return, I just fell in love with this mold as both Topspin and Twin Twist. It’s nearly a perfect figure for me (except the molded feet instead of ankle tilts). I love the Headmaster gimmick, and I think it’s cool this mold has it. The colors on this figure simply rock. It just checks off so many boxes for me. It edges out Cosmos by just a fraction (huge arm gaps honestly as one of the only deterrents).
Runners up: Legacy Velocitron Autobot Cosmos; Legacy Cybertron Universe Override (NITRO CONVOY!); Buzzworthy Bumblebee Autobot Silverstreak (BLUESTREAK!); Generations Selects Legacy DK-3 Breaker; Generations Selects Legacy Lift-Ticket; Legacy Velocitron Diaclone Universe Burn-out; Legacy Autobot Skids; Legacy Blitzwing; Legacy Velocitron Diaclone Universe Clampdown
This is not a fair choice. Haslab means made to order and skipping a lot of the corner cutting that toys generally get when they go to retail. It’s not fair to compare it to the rest of the toys from this year, but I can’t choose anything else. It’s an amazing package of playability and features, engineered to be very functional, fun to transform without overdoing it, and every accessory I could want. It’s a toy I waited a LONG time for and it did not disappoint.
Scourge, Not Nemesis Prime. Forever. Anything RID and I’m in, and this is pure RID. Yes, he needs stickers and that pink strip on the shoulder is less desired, but I still enjoyed getting and cracking him almost more than anything else this year. While not transforming, the Threezero Premium BB Prime is a sight to behold in person. Both now have top billing in my display space!