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.
You may be surprised to see just how much money some of these vintage Transformers have sold for. While some are considered more valuable due to their rarity (Powermaster Overlord, for instance, was never sold in the States), others tend to sell for insane amounts simply because they’re so darn popular.
Check out this list of some of the rarest and most expensive Transformers toys ever made and see if you have any of these bots hiding around your attic.
Original Release Date: N/A
Why It's Worth So Much: In the early '90s, Hasbro tried to reinvent the Transformers line by reissuing a number of the original toys, only these new versions sported 'radical' new ' paint schemes. The cornucopia of new colors included a blue Grimlock, camo Combaticons, and even a green Megatron. The line ultimately fell flat and was pulled from life support a few years later, but not before Hasbro could drum up a number of awesome prototypes. Among the most popular are the Generation 2 Stunticons, which until a few years ago only existed in lore. One eBay user was able to snag an unreleased set and reportedly sold it for more than $25K.
Original Release Date: 1984
Why It's Worth So Much: Before Takara and Hasbro teamed up to release the Transformers in the mid-80s, most of the original Season One toyline had existed for years in Japan under an entirely different moniker. These mini transforming robots were originally designed to have humanoid counterparts and consisted of everyday household items like watches, cassette players, and...handguns? Hey, it was a different time. This hard-to-find release actually pre-dates the Generation 1 Blaster by a few years and is a pseudo mix of his original red design and later blue Headmasters redeco. What's especially cool about this figure is the fact that it features a working radio (which Hasbro removed for the American release).
Original Release Date: 1989
Why It's Worth So Much: The Dinoforce was a Decepticon combiner team that was first featured in the Transformers Victory cartoon series in the late '80s. In the West, these figures were repackaged and released as the Monstercons. Now, when it comes to collecting, getting the most bang for your buck means buying a piece that comes with every single accessory. This Dinoking gift set comes with six individual figures, six dinosaur shells, and oodles and oodles of accessories (including combiner arms, feet, and a tiny torso that's become super hard to find). The fact that it comes complete is already impressive, and given the phenomenal state the box is in makes this eBay listing a real gem indeed.
Original Release Date: 1987
Why It's Worth So Much: Every kid growing up in the '80s wanted this guy. As the tallest Transformer ever made (at that time, at least), Fortress Maximus was an epic hunk of plastic and parts that most parents wouldn't dare bring into their home. At roughly two feet tall, he towered over Autobots and Decepticons alike. Aside from the fact that he didn't sell very well, Fortress Maximus included a handful of tiny accessories (including a separate smaller Transformer that turned into his head). Managing to keep your toy from breaking is one thing; managing to keep track of all the moving parts is a whole different matter. This studious eBay user was able to sell his complete figure for nearly $2000. Considering it retailed at roughly $70 back in the '80s, that's one hell of a profit.