Transformers TCG Starter set Review

Well it has been quite awhile since I got fired up about a collectible card game. The Fantasy Flight Games release; Destiny did get me excited for sure but once I realized that I was unable to keep pace with the local community as far as my collection and the sure rate at which FFG started seeding the market with expansions, well I just got overwhelmed and bowed out. I have since started stepping back into that game and along with The Transformers TCG they will occupy my Card Game urges for quite some time.

So why the appeal for Transformers?

Being an 80's kid that goes without saying buy specifically at this point I am now bound to the franchise with my 3 year old son. Granted he is too young to play this game but around the house you just cant escape hearing about Transformers and the shear excitement he has about transforming robots.

For me I think the game came at the right time in my hobby journey. I have been looking for games that I can connect with my younger children but also a game that feeds me a heaping bowl full of nostalgia. This game definatley does the latter.

What do you get in the Starter Box

The starter box will set you back approx $20 CDN and really just gives you a foundation of cards to start your collection. It is a " Autobot Centric" set that includes 4 Transformers ( all Autobots) and a sealed 40 card pack of battle cards.

I was a little upset that Hasbro didn't take the opportunity to create a starter set that had both Autobots and Decepticons and split the four characters between the two factions. This just seems lazy to me but hey who am I to tell a multi million dollar company how to market their product.

Speaking of lazy; the included rule book amounts to simply a single playing card sized "Basic Rules" summary with a clear line on the bottom that directs players to the official website for a download of the games FULL instructions. I was looking forward to a snazzy instruction booklet filled with nice artwork just like the cards. Nope. A pure cost cutting endeavor.

At least I have a basic set of card stock damage tokens included in the set.

Production Quality

The cards themselves are stunning and come in two variety's. The character cards are over sized 3.5 x 5 3/4 inch "foil" cards. The artwork is stunning and even if you never play the game you are getting some beautiful renditions of your childhood icons in the transformers universe. The Battle Cards are standard fair with a more toned down comic book style art but still relevant to the actions and effects that the card describes. No stock imagery with no relevance here.

The included token sheet is nothing special just purely numbers stamped on punch able card stock. They didn't even apply nifty graphics like a blast of color to represent damage. Hasbro needs to spend some time over at the Fantasy Flight Games design department to see how a real game should be supported with tokens.

The final point here is the lack of a proper instruction book and the pure silliness of directing a new player to visit a website to get the full rule book in digital format.


This review is simply to give players a understanding of what they are getting in the starter set and is not intended to cover game play and mechanics. I will save that for a further review. In Canada the Starters lagged behind the booster packs and I held out to get a starter. While not a complete waste of money, it does provide a better value than simply buying the same dollar amount in raw Booster packs.

The included characters are a great start to a collection and having a balanced Battle deck of 40 cards to start you out is a great value. It may take you more boosters to get a solid deck foundation if you didn't have a starter set.

While not what I expected it still fulfilled the basic requirements of getting into this new game. Now excuse me while I go to the official website, download and then go to staples to print the full rule book out...