This is the top 5, and some of these are just plain weird.
#5 – Steering wheel bot
In the 2007 Transformers movie, there’s a point where Sam drops the Allspark and several nearby machines come to life. The only one we get a really good look at is the Mountain Dew machine, who actually looks cooler than some of the main Transformers in the movie, and turned out to be popular enough that he got a name (Dispensor) and a couple of toys, though neither actually transforms into a vending machine. There’s also an Xbox 360 (still in the box, so we really don’t see much) and this one:
No part of the car other than the steering wheel is moving, so it seems that there’s just this mechanical creature that turns to the steering wheel of an otherwise non-living car, which would be pretty bad for both the robot and the driver even if it didn’t look like it was about to attack her.
#4 – Reflector
In the cartoon, Reflector was one character with three bodies. (And yet never prominent enough to put such an interesting concept to good use.) As a toy, they had more distinct appearances and individual names. No one of these robots transforms into anything on his own, and for Transformers, that’s really unusual. The three of them together can transform, though. So what mode is it that’s so special it takes three Transformers to make it?
Are you kidding me?! It takes three of them to transform at all and then all they make is a camera? Reflector is really kind of pathetic.
#3 – McChangeables
McDonalds Happy Meal toys are pretty much always licensed from some movie, cartoon, or regular toy now, but in the 80’s, there were a lot that were based on McDonalds itself in some way. So aside from one limited test market, Happy Meal Transformers wouldn’t come until much later. McDonalds’ first real attempt to cash in on the popularity of Transformers was the McChangeables:
Robots that turn into McDonalds food. I take it back; one-third of a camera isn’t the worst thing a robot can be stuck turning into.
I mean, they turn into food. For their alternate mode to actually be functional, they have to be eaten. Maybe it’s a disguise mode, but it would still be better to be something that no one would unknowingly try to eat, wouldn’t it?
And there’s another, newer example of transforming toys that turn into food too: Osushi Sentai Sharida.
#2 – Moji Bake-ru
Okay, that was only number 3. What could possible top “only part of a device” and “food” as impractical transformations? How about not being an object at all, but instead, a symbol.
I’m not sure if these are robots in any sense of the word, but I can’t leave them out. These toys change from animals to kanji; you know, Japanese writing. These are like those preschool toys that make objects out of their words, except cooler because they actually transform into words.
If regular animals don’t do it, how about monsters from Monster Hunter?
#1 – Reedman
Now, let’s look at one of the weirdest Transformers ever, from Revenge of the Fallen, a movie where it seemed like the whole concept was “design weird robots first, figure out an excuse to have them appear later”.
This is Reedman, which doesn’t sound like a Transformer name, but that’s what happens when the movie writers don’t care about the robots as characters and the designers come up with things that no one’s interested in making as a toy.
And what does Reedman transform into?
Seriously. Ravage, who’s some kind of robot big cat, coughs up these little balls, then they all combine into a weird thing that doesn’t really do anything that Ravage couldn’t have just done himself.