10a. Unite Warriors vs Combiner Wars (Aerialbots & Stunticons)
In 2015, Hasbro unveiled the Combiner Wars toy line, a branch in which the different toys could interact with each other and combine into bigger forms. Hasbro took the first generation (G1) Transformers combiner teams and updated them into a more modern, play-friendly design. The most famous of these were the Aerialbots (comprised of airplanes, pictured above) and Stunticons (comprised of sports cars and a truck).
Oddly, Hasbro chose to change a traditional character from each of the teams into an entirely new and unfamiliar character. Takara Tomy, on the other hand, unveiled its toy line, called Unite Warriors, with the traditional characters using existing molds, and with better paint and details. In the above picture, the Takara Tomy version (right) has white hands and feet, while the Hasbro version has black.
Here you can even see a comparison between the Takara Tomy and Hasbro versions of the Stunticons, the combiner team of sports cars and a truck. The reviewer looks at each figure separately and compares them side-by-side. Check it out!
10b. Unite Warriors vs Combiner Wars (Protectobots & Combaticons)
In the previous entry, Takara Tomy took an existing toy mold and repainted it to be another character. In the case of the Protectobots (pictured) and Combaticons teams, however, they introduced a new mold that's exclusive to the gift set. As of this writing, to get these molds, you have to buy the gift set from Japan, as they 'e not available individually like the Hasbro versions.
In the picture above, the right figure is the Japanese version.
Unfortunately, Transformers has never had a large female cast of robots, despite many fans asking for them. In 2014, Hasbro released three: Arcee, Chromia, and the fan-created Windblade. While the fans were happy that there were finally some female casts, Takara Tomy not only repainted them as pictured above on the left, but also created three more characters pictured on the right.
8. Legends Ultra Magnus vs Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus
Hasbro’s Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus can be understood through the IDW Transformers comics. From there you'll understand that another character, Minimus Ambus, actually wore the Ultra Magnus armor. Takara Tomy’s Ultra Magnus, however, made a strange decision in choosing a completely different character to include, Alpha Trion. As far as English comics and Transformers history goes, these two characters were never connected.
Beyond the choice of different character, Takara Tomy chose a darker shade of blue as the base color, with more red accents (the Takara Tomy version can be seen on the right above). To avoid a monotonous look, there are also a lot of extra paint applications and details, such as two matching faction symbols on the shoulders. The accessory colors have also been changed to white plastic, which looks better when they're combined to form a hammer.
7. Legends Jetfire vs Generations Jetfire
The Hasbro version, pictured on the right, is accessorized with heaps of chrome. Indeed, many fans didn't like the chrome and were worried about chipping. Takara Tomy, on the left, kept a glossy red paint on Jetfire's weapons and added more paint throughout the body to break up the white, especially in the legs and upper chest.
Both toys come with the two faces pictured, so apart from the paint details, the toys are identical.
Takara Tomy gave this behemoth two massive guns, one of which can store on his shoulder. The other can be held in his hand (not pictured). Additionally, Takara Tomy also gave him a chrome face, while the Hasbro retail version kept a basic white face. As you can see, many of the decisions Takara Tomy made involved more paint details to break up the single color that Hasbro tends to favor.
There's one important detail to mention for American buyers: due to U.S. gun safety laws, all toy guns must have an orange tip. This titanic Autobot is so big (2 feet, or 60 centimeters!) that his gun accessories can be held by a person. As a result, Hasbro's gun has an orange tip that you can see above, while the Japanese version has black instead. Both have spring-loaded mechanisms.