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15 Vintage Transformers That Are Worth A Ton Now

Updated November 19, 2020 2.2k views15 items

The original Transformers series may have aired more than 35 years ago, but the toys themselves actually go back much further. In fact, the earliest Transformers (named Diaclone) were Japanese robots that were later repainted and rebranded into the Autobots and Decepticons. And while the original G1 show only aired for a few years in the U.S., over in Japan there were numerous series - and toys - that lasted well into the ‘90s. While the Transformers toyline is still alive and kicking, various vintage Transformers are worth an insane amount today.

You may be surprised to see just how much money some of these old Transformers have sold for. While some are considered more valuable due to their rarity (Pepsi Optimus Prime, for example, was a limited promotional releases), others tend to sell for insane amounts simply because they’re so darn popular. Perhaps even more impressive, various prototypes of never-released figures sometimes pop up on eBay, and they often sell for more than the average mortgage down payment. In fact, one eBay user was able to sell an unreleased version of Generation 2 Menasor for more than $25K a few years ago. Talk about dedication to collecting.

Check out this list of some of the rarest and most expensive Transformers toys ever made and see if you have any of these lucrative and rare Transformers collecting dust somewhere in the dark corners of your home.

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  • 1

    Pepsi Optimus Prime (Sold For $9,500)

    Pepsi Optimus Prime (Sold For $9,500)
    Photo: goldst*r / eBay

    Original Release Date: 1985

    Why It's Worth So Much: Easily the most popular Transformer of all time, Optimus Prime has seen a number of different toy versions throughout the years. This 1985 limited promotional variant is the the exact same version as the original except for the Pepsi decals and logo on the box and.

    As a mail-away exclusive, it's hard to find these days. Add to that the fact that this particular listing was MIB (mint in box) and professionally graded and it's no surprise this toy sold for a pretty penny. This listing received an impressive 42 different bids. Does that man Transformers fans like Pepsi more than Coke?

    • 2

      Generation 1 Megatron (Sold For $5,100)

      Original Release Date: 1984

      Why It's Worth So Much: While selling a toy that transforms into an incredibly realistic handgun was perfectly kosher in the 1980s, there's no way a toy like this would fly today. In fact, subsequent versions of Megatron featured the Decepticon leader turning into tanks and planes—shying away from his original Walther P38 alt mode.

      This particular listing is about as perfect as one could hope for: It's 100% complete, unopened, and the box is basically immaculate. It even has the original price tag on it, which has him listed for...wait for it...$19.97.

      • 3

        Generation 1 Shockwave (Sold For $4,999)

        Original Release Date: 1985

        Why It's Worth So Much: As one of the first toys to be released in the original line, Shockwave was easily one of the most popular. While Hasbro and Takara teamed up to bring the Transformers line to the West, the duo acquired a handful of other companys' toy designs, which they included under the TF moniker. Shockwave was one of the few non-Takara Transformers. In fact, he was licensed from a Korean toy brand.

        This listing was complete, unopened, and AFA-graded, making it an incredibly collectible centerpiece.

        • 4

          Generation 1 Starscream (Sold For $4,000)

          Generation 1 Starscream (Sold For $4,000)
          Photo: iamratchet / eBay

          Original Release Date: 1985

          Why It's Worth So Much: Love him or hate him, there's no denying the fact that ole' Starscream is still one of the most popular Transformers. While his toy was original released with the first wave of figures, he's received numerous updates over the years. This particular listing features the original release, meaning it's slightly rarer than subsequent mass releases.

          In addition to being AFA-graded, this version of Screamer features the pre-rub decals, which is definitely harder to find these days.