Every day, I look at the Transformers on my toy shelf, and I think two things. First, I'm glad to be in possession of so many amazing toys. Secondly, I'm glad many of them are just sitting there, and don't actually have to be transformed.
Because transforming some of these things can be murder.
This tweet from MCV's Ben Parfitt earlier today got a few of us talking about our experiences with Transformers, both old and new, and after surprisingly little argument at the end of it I've settled on this list of what we've found to be the most difficult, time-consuming and/or delicate transformation job of all time.
Now, before you complain that something's missing, I might have left out some particular doosies by virtue of never actually laying hands upon them. If you have, let me know below.
The first of the fancy die-cast Binaltech (I imported) line I ever played with, and it instantly became one of the most notorious Transformers figures I'd ever seen. I mean, he looks stunning in both forms, but getting him there requires herculean feats of twisting, cramming and praying to God nothing snaps.
The flip you need to perform at his hips, and cramming his head under the hood, were probably the worst.
I was asked to transform this a couple of years ago by a friend's kid. Unlike the other figures on this list, this one's a more massmarket piece, and was actually targeted at children. They figured I was the go-to guy for transformers that were too tough for their son. They were wrong.
I had to sit down with this video to help him out, because that much flipping and mechanical contortion can't be deduced by the naked eye. If you think it's rough seeing a grown man struggle with this thing, imagine you're seven and on the playground.
Really, I could list half the Alternators line here, so infuriating were they, but I'll stick to just two, the second being Grimlock here. Seeing the guy in the video above struggle to transform him into a car isn't funny, it's agonising.
ROTF OPTIMUS PRIME
Even the basic figures from the Michael Bay trilogy can be tough, owing to their spindly design and tiny waists, but ROTF Optimus Prime throws "tough" out the window then stomps all over it before putting an orange axe between its eyes. He's intricate, delicate and needs a little muscle.
The fact this video goes for 17 minutes should tell you how difficult it is.
OK, this is the worst. Hands down. Just look at that video. Look at it. Look how much work is required just to get his feet out. I know grown men who are actually unable to transform this figure, and having tried my hand at it once I can totally understand their plight.
Top image: Botch