Transformers was not the only example of taking multiple Japanese franchise and merging them together to form new franchises in the United States. The popular series Robotech was created by merging threeseparate Japanese properties (Super Dimension Fortress Macross,Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada) into one! The Macross series was part of a line of toys made in Japan by Takatoku Toys that were some of the very first ones where the robot transformed into a realistic looking vehicle.
As noted earlier, when Transformers‘ popularity blew up, Hasbro needed more product than Takara could provide, so they turned to Takatoku Toys and got their awesome transforming jet to adapt into the Transformers line of toys as the very popular figure, Jetfire. This figure goes for roughly $2,000.
9. FORTRESS MAXIMUS
There were certain toys in the mid-1980s that almost every kid wanted but almost no kid ever got. For the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line of toys, it was the U.S.S. Flagg aircraft carrier (which was over seven feet long!) and for the Transformers, it was Fortress Maximus, the nearly two foot tall Autobot who could transform into a base for the Transformers to use for their operations.
Back when it debuted back in 1987, it retailed for over $100. So thirty years ago it was $100! Oddly enough, though, proportionally, it has not gone up by as much as you might expect, as it goes for roughly the same price as most other Transformer figures at this point on the list (which is approximately $2,000).
One of the most popular Autobot figures is Grimlock, part of the wave of Dinobots who (naturally) transform into dinosaurs (Swoop, the Pterodactyl of the bunch, almost made this list. He’s a very popular figure). When you realize that Transformers toys were made up of a bunch of different products, it makes stuff like the Dinobots make a whole lot more sense.
Grimlock was part of a Takara Diaclone series called Dinosaur Robos. They were each piloted by a tiny figure, who could be removed for the Transformers release. Also, it is worth noting that the teeth on the Japanese version of Grimlock were filed down for the higher safety standards of the United States. That’s long been a problem with Transformers in the United States– lots of little parts. Grimlock goes for a little over $2,000 graded mint condition sealed in the box.
Starscream is a strange case. The toy was one of the most popular of all of the original figures from the original Transformers release in 1984, but because of that popularity, Starscreams are also in higher supply on the secondary market because they kept re-releasing the figure. By 1986, Starscream was one of the only original Transformers toy still being produced.
However, the character is so popular that he is still in high demand as a collectible. It also helps that the design of the original Starscream was such that when the toy was transformed, there were parts that were only used when it was in one mode or the other, so can you imagine how few people kept track of those excess parts? A graded mint in box Starscream probably goes for a bit under $2,000 but come on, everyone still wants one!