ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

The Transformers have come a long way since you constructed epic plastic battles on your bedroom floor when you were a kid, but the amount that the Autobots and Decepticons have veered from their original designs might just surprise you.

Below is a round up of some of the more popular Transformers and how much they have changed between their G1 toy and cartoon form and the latest movie they were featured in.

The Autobots

Optimus Prime

A G1 Optimus Prime toy
A G1 Optimus Prime toy

The most iconic and recognizable of all the Autobots, Optimus Prime has also stayed relatively true to his original design compared to his contemporaries.

Optimus Prime in a G1 Transformers cartoon
Optimus Prime in a G1 Transformers cartoon

While his flatbed truck form is a lot more clear in the cartoons, it has been concealed with some seriously badass armor in the original 2007 movie (although the original color scheme has remained).

The most recent movie incarnation of Optimus Prime hasn't changed a lot from his initial appearance on screen, although some of his armor plating seems to be more defined and his head appears more streamlined. We're anxious to see what changes will happen to Optimus as the franchise rolls out another 10 years of sequels.


A G1 Bumblebee Toy
A G1 Bumblebee Toy

The original Bumblebee was hardly a threatening-looking Autobot, with his friendly yellow bodywork and minimal armor plating, and this fan favorite has probably undergone one of the most badass transformations.

Bumblebee in a G1 Cartoon
Bumblebee in a G1 Cartoon

In order to beef himself up to Michael Bay proportions, Bumblebee has been given a black and yellow paint job (true to his name) and developed a much more dynamic structure of exposed engine parts and exhaust hoses.

Of course, the biggest change is the fact that Bumblebee's car from has upgraded from a VW Beetle to a Chevy Camero, but that's a story for another article.


A G1 Ironhide Toy
A G1 Ironhide Toy

Just like Bumblebee, Ironhide has undergone a total revamp that might be even more drastic in terms of both color scheme and general structure.

As you can see in the toy above and the G1 cartoon, a large windshield/screen used to be prominent identifying feature for Ironside, but this has been totally erased in the movies.

Ironhide in the G1 Transformers cartoon
Ironhide in the G1 Transformers cartoon

Along with the loss of the central windshield panel, Ironside has shed his distinctive scarlet coloring in favor of a more subtle iron grey. In fact, one of the only recognizable features is Ironhide's helmet crest which is just about visible in the image on the right below.


A G1 Ratchet Toy
A G1 Ratchet Toy

Ratchet has evolved along with the modern ambulance, which makes total sense considering his role as a medical autobot. Instead of the regulation white of ye olde (well, '90s) ambulances, Ratchet now sports the high-visibility yellow color of modern vehicles.

Ratchet's face has also made a major transformation in the movie franchise — his friendly chrome mask has become much more menacing, especially with the dramatic uplighting of his spotlights.

The Decepticons


Megatron's original look was mega smooth compared to his new jagged form, which features an array of dangerous-looking spikes and a much more anatomically human torso.

Despite all of the major structural changes, Megatron still retains his piercing ruby red eyes and his original muted grey color scheme — not to mention his thirst for world domination.

Of course, his scrap parts were later used to make Galvatron, but his quest to destroy the planet was as strong as ever. New teasers for Transformers: The Last Knight reveal this Big Bad's new and improved look.


One of the most popular of the Decepticons among the Transformers fandom, Starscream has also undergone a serious makeover to remove his cartoonish qualities and make him suitable for the dark tone of the movie franchise.

Instead of sporting the patriotic red, (almost) white and blue design of the G1 cartoon, Starscream sported a somber grey paint job for his movie appearances — are you spotting a pattern here with the Decepticons yet?

Starscream's wings have also become much less prominent and are no somewhat camouflaged among the mishmash of jet parts that make up his almighty skeleton.


For some reason, the Transformers movie franchise decided that purple wasn't a threatening enough color for a serious baddie like Shockwave, and he also received the signature toned-down Decepticon look.

The prominent lamp on Shockwave's front panel has been replaced with a bio-mechanical rib-like construction, but despite all these changes, the Transformer is still recognizable thanks to his signature cyclops eye and "horned" helmet.


Sadly, the boombox era couldn't be the height of fashion forever and Soundwave has been forced to get with the times in order to slot into the Transformers franchise.

I'll admit that he definitely looks about 200 percent more threatening in the movies, but we all know who is gonna win a dance off...

To learn what else is in store for the Transformers franchise check out everything we know about Transformers 5 HERE.

Which Transformer do you think has changed the most?


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