Hey all, long time no write! Whilst the site has been mostly inactive this last year, one article I’ve looked to follow up on is the Top 20 of Siege. Perhaps because of its more universal subject matter (read: borderline clickbait), that article ended up being one of the most read on the site, having continued to get readers long after Transformers TCG had ended and this site had gone on hiatus. That honestly caught me a little off guard – it was mostly a throw-away filler article, something for an off-week where I didn’t have a TCG article ready to go.
Since then we’ve had Earthrise, which started more or less around January/February of last year and ran through the COVID-19 pandemic, with the mainline coming to a close somewhat early at the end of 2020 and its associated exclusives now all released with the Botropolis Rescue Mission pack just this March.
So what was good? The line might not have had the staying power of the original Siege line, nor what we’re seeing in the much more slick Kingdom line, but there’s definitely been some toys that are going to be sticking around collections for a fair while. As such, here are my picks for the Top 10 of Earthrise. As always these are based on my personal tastes, you are definitely going to disagree with a few. Generally it’s based on what I think looks good on my shelves, and what brings me joy, with a heavy focus on the bot mode. Transformation and alt mode are important, of course, but I definitely don’t think they are as important to me and this list as they will be to some readers. I also tried to not get too hung up on quality issues; if a toy was known to have technical issues but I loved and enjoyed it regardless, then I considered it a win – quality, engineering and production issues are a huge and quite political discussion that I’m not qualified to conduct.
Eligibility + Ranking Considerations
To be eligible for this list, a toy needed to be:
- Sold in an Earthrise package (exclusive or not)
- A repaint or mild re-mould of a toy originally in an Earthrise package.
This led to a very large initial list to choose from! To limit this down further, I only included one entry from each Micromaster set, and only one instance of each mould for the ranking. That narrowed things down to only 26 entrants; it was easy to make a Top 10 from this list, with a couple of honourable mentions on the side.
There are three big exclusions from this list that I wish I could have included in this ranking. The first, and biggest, is of course Scorponok.
Alas, I missed the boat on buying this guy and his availability has been next to nil this last year. Needless to say, I immediately jumped on pre-orders for Black Zarak as a result, though I hope for a Scorponok re-release as it is one of the talked about releases from the Earthrise line.
The second is Earthrise Optimus Prime.
For the most part I’ve avoided buying characters that were part of Siege, and got released in Earthrise as an ‘Earth mode’. There’s almost always been some sort of repaint that have come out in the line that I’ve bought instead – for example G2 Megatron, or the coneheads from Starscream. A few others have simply slipped through somehow; I somehow ended up with nearly all of the Datsun releases despite being very adamantly against them.
That being said, I never bought a single instance of the Earthrise Optimus Prime mould. I already had the Siege version, and I don’t think the Earthrise version added enough for me to warrant buying him. That left the ‘Alternate Universe’ edition and the Shattered Glass version, neither of which appealed to me. So despite it probably being a great mould – because the Siege one is excellent, and by all accounts this one is better – I just never got one due to the fact I already had Siege.
Finally, there’s Soundwave
I know this retool has had a lot of buzz; for myself I don’t think the different alt mode – essentially changing his alt mode from one type of block to another type of block – nor the redeco was enough for me to make the purchase. He’s different, but not different enough in my opinion. Plus, whilst he definitely should have been in Earthrise, technically speaking he doesn’t meet the criteria to make the list.
Anyways, enough pre-amble, let’s raise some Earth!