He includes … This set, dubbed "Transformers- The Complete Series: The Matrix of Leadership Collector's Set" features all 98 remastered episodes along with all new bonus features on 16 DVDs.[51]. However, what put Transformers above the others, both its domestic rivals and the other international licensees, was simply doing a great many things better than is competitors. IDW Publishing picked up the rights soon after. Transformers continued on despite smaller support and still managed to introduce a plethora of new characters. By the end of the series, Takara would go back to following Hasbro's lead for the bulk of the line, with new molds being relegated to a small handful of large pieces. Uniquely, the 1991 range in Japan consisted of only Autobot characters. Intended as a means of authentication, they were introduced in response to similar, though inferior, bootleg toys that were being released at the time. No carded examples have been found with the minicar on a Bumblebee backer card. The line ran through 1995 (! After successfully seizing control of Cyberton the robots lived in peace until the Decepticons could not resist or overcome their innate desire for military campaign and attempted a coup. Transformers: Generation 1 (also known as Generation One or G1) is a children's toy line that ran from 1984 to 1990, produced by Hasbro and Takara. Transformers G1. Cliffjumper, Bumblebee, Hubcap and Bumblejumper aka Bumper are all functionally identical to one another. Marvel Comics UK continuity (1985 to 1992), This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 08:55. The toy itself was only sold in solid silver. Having run for seven years, the line changed dramatically over its lifetime, going from pre-made items to all-new designs and greater focus on gimmicks beyond simply transforming. The set includes 16 episodes, in addition to bonus footage, including: The history of Hasbro and the origins of Transformers. The six Autobot minicars consist of Brawn, Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Gears, Huffer, and Windcharger. This is most evident in the first and second seasons of the animated series. The nostalgia-grab got larger, with new toys based on some of the most popular characters from the early years, now back as "Classic Pretenders". [32] Grapple, the architect, transforms into a crane;[33] Hoist, who serves in maintenance, transforms into a Toyota Hi-Lux 4WD tow truck model;[34] Inferno, who serves in search and rescue, transforms into a fire engine;[35] Red Alert, the security director, transforms into a fire chief's Lamborghini Countach;[32] Skids, the theoretician, transforms into a Honda City Turbo;[36] Smokescreen, the diversionary tactician, transforms into a 1979 custom Datsun 280ZX;[37] and Tracks, a warrior, transforms into a 1980 Chevrolet Corvette. Larger offerings included vehicles that transformed into battle stations or "attack modes" for the Action Masters to pilot. In 1992, the line got much more cohesive, moving back to much more "traditional" Transformers, changing from pseudo-realistic vehicles to robots, with gimmicks that were by and large not super-obtrusive. [30], All of the toys released during Series 2, both those that were new to the series, as well as the reissued versions of Series 1 toys, featured heat sensitive rub signs. The heads of the Obliterators, Pyro and Clench, were the inspiration for the redesigned Autobot and Decepticon symbols that were used on this year's packaging and later used for Transformers: Generation 2. More stories began to be set in outer space and on alien worlds, especially after The Transformers: The Movie. Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are functionally identical to one another. The line started very parallel with Hasbro's offerings, but over time the two companies pursued some pretty different visions for the brand. [47] Roadbuster, the Ground Assault Commander, transforms into a 4-WD vehicle,[48] and Whirl, who serves in aerial assault, transforms into an Apache Helicopter. Hasbro generally seemed less keen on remaking the past, focusing their efforts on new lines, but saw the value in trying to get the reissues into fans' hands... even if there had to be compromises for safety reasons. The Series 2 Decepticon jets (Thrust, Dirge, and Ramjet) all share the same robot centerline of the Series 1 jets with different attachable wing accessories (Thrust's have molded (non-functional) vertical turbofans in them, Dirge's are elongated like a hyper-performance flyer, and Ramjet's have ramjets... obviously). Cheap construction and disappointing features were its most notable problems.[50]. The toys of Generation 1 are divided into seven different series determined by the year in which they were originally released.[3]. 1. (They did the same thing with G.I. As the number of Combiner teams had been reduced, the Headmasters and Targetmasters were introduced. Part of the first wave of 2015 Generations Combiner Wars Leader Class toys, Megatron transforms from a robot heavily inspired by his Generation 1 animation model into a tank featuring working treads. At the time, Japanese toy manufacturer Takara was showcasing several transforming robot toys from lines such as Diaclone, Micro Change and Mecha. Also, in more global terms, Hasbro's Transformers was originally just one of several international outlets for Takara's Diaclone and Micro Change figures, initially coexisting with Joustra's own version of Diaclone in Central Europe, GiG's Trasformer [sic] line in Italy, and Takara themselves were releasing Diaclone in Finland. The Constructicons, six small-scale construction vehicles that could combine into the mighty super-robot Devastator, were a huge hit. Three publishers had or have the license to produce comic books based on the Transformers. And with the huge success of the live-action movie spurring things on further right in the middle of that economic boon, China has since become a major part of the franchise's current global success. Hahahahahahahhahahah haaaaaa hahahahahhahahaha hahaahahaaaaaaaahahahaaaaa. Accessories: 2-part Pretender shell, helmet, left & right wings, left & right "lasers"/tail wings, rifle ; The first new Starscream toy since the original brought the treacherous Air Commander back as a Classic Pretender.He still transforms into a grey, red and blue F-15 fighter jet, though his vehicle mode now borders on the super deformed. The past lines still had a role to play in this, though. This year even saw the first store-exclusive Transformers, as those same four bots were sold without their Pretender shells as "Legends", available only at Kmart (which wasn't the decrepit shell of a retailer it is now). Hasbro tried to rally with something that was very rare for its time: a large-scale appeal to nostalgia. Most of the toys' base color schemes came from the original lines, with a few exceptions: Ironhide, Sunstreaker, Skywarp, and Buzzsaw were new decos created whole-cloth by Hasbro. Factory announced that they had acquired license from Hasbro to re-release Transformers on DVD in Region 1. Starting in 1984, the line ran for seven years in America, eight in Europe and Japan (though Takara would break the line up into multiple sub-franchises). Joe and the massive USS Flagg playset.). Accessories: Two guns (combine to form rifle), missile 1. Transformers wasn't even the first shape-changing robot toy to US shelves, having been beat to the punch by then-competitor Tonka, who brought over Bandai's Machine Robo toys as GoBots six months prior, plus Takara's own prior attempts to market their toys in the US as Diakron and Kronoform. Several factors kept The Transformers out of mainland China for years, including government-based resistance to the line's primary "advertainment" vehicle. Toward the end of the animated series’ second season, several characters from the 1986 line were introduced, particularly the Combiner teams. Takara had been designing a different sort of combining robot team for Diaclone, where the limb-bots were wholly interchangeable. The rubsigns were also key to another bit of promotion, the mystery-allegiance Mini-Spies that came with the Mini Vehicles this year as bonuses. Marvel Comics held the license during the original run of the toy line. Though there were only a few characters introduced, they were toys that none of the US audience had ever seen. Facing stiff competition, Hasbro attempted to unify and re-brand Transformers with a new focus and a new look. Diaclone and Micro Change were quickly discarded in favor of the new hotness as kids ate up this new take on the giant robot genre, one that was a fresh change from the sheer amount of competing "piloted mecha" robot toylines/cartoons in existence. While Micromasters continued on, the rest of the series was taken up by Action Masters, non-transforming G.I. There are certainly a number of notable early variants, such as the red Tracks, as well as the occasional release of toys otherwise exclusive to Japan, such as GiG's Bruticus and Abominus giftsets or the legendary Galaxy Shuttle, but their scarcity has relegated them to "only for the completist with ample funds" category. [6] Bluestreak, the gunner, transforms into a Datsun Fairlady 280ZX;[7] Hound, the scout, transforms into a Mitsubishi J59 Jeep;[8] Ironhide, who serves as security, transforms into a 1980 Nissan Onebox Cherry Vanette;[9] Jazz, the special operations expert, transforms into a 1981 Porsche 935 Turbo;[9] Mirage, the spy, transforms into a Ligier JS11 Formula 1 Racer;[10] Prowl, the military strategist, transforms into a Datsun Fairlady 280ZX Police Cruiser;[11] Ratchet, the medic, transforms into a Nissan Onebox Ambulance Vanette;[12] Sideswipe, a warrior, transforms into a Lamborghini Countach prototype crafted from the LP500S model;[13] Sunstreaker, who is Sideswipe's twin brother, and is also a warrior, transforms into a Lamborghini Countach LP500S;[14] Trailbreaker, the defense strategist, transforms into a Toyota Hi-Lux 4WD;[15] and Wheeljack, the mechanical engineer, transforms into a Lancia Stratos Turbo #539 "Alitallia".[16]. However, this high point also marked the start of the franchise's waning. All box art as well as catalog and instructions for Bluestreak show a blue Fairlady Z with a silver hood. However, it was 1991 when the UK line went in its own unique direction. Each following series of Generation 1 introduced more subgroups to the toy line, and continued the practice established by Series 2 of aligning those with names ending in the suffix "-bot" with the Autobots, and those with names ending in the suffix "-con" with the Decepticons. A few classic characters were revamped as Pretenders. They consist of Grapple, Hoist, Inferno, Red Alert, Skids, Smokescreen, and Tracks. On top of that, there were far more toy companies scrabbling for shelf space. Almost all of the first year Autobot cars were nearly identical in appearance to their Diaclone counterparts with the exception of Bluestreak and Ironhide. For sheer size and mass, Fortress Maximus remained the largest Transformer produced for over 25 years... and something of a "bragging rights" move on Hasbro's part, showing that they could demand that kind of shelf space from retailers. This was also the year die-cast metal started being phased out of the toys' construction. A cruel and coldly logical race of alien squid-like creatures with five faces and tentacles known as Quintessons, who were the creators of the Autobots and Decepticons. Robotic beasts made a splash with the Dinobots and Insecticons. The year of 1986 saw Hasbro start using original designs for many characters as fewer Microman and Diaclone molds were recycled. The two predecessor lines also had some in-development concepts that were pushed into Transformers, and while some would not be ready until next year, Hasbro/Takara were able to get out a set of new Mini Vehicles, and new versions of the large jet mold with all-new wings and weapons. Skywarp and Thundercracker are both warriors, while Starscream is the Aerospace Commander.[27]. [1] It was a line of toy robots that could change into an alternate form (vehicles such as cars and planes, miniature guns or cassettes, animals, and even dinosaurs) by moving parts into other places, and it was the first line of toys produced for the successful Transformers toy and entertainment franchise. Despite many/most of the toys having been available just a year or two prior, the new story and cartoon propelled Transformers sales far beyond those of the lines that the toys originally came from. While not directly part of the toyline, the way Transformers was advertised has got to be mentioned when talking about its success. All in all, 1985's output was roughly double that of 1984's. (And yes, most of the previously-mentioned companies now fall under the Hasbro/TakaraTomy umbrella. Thus, the more descriptive bits will be tackled year-by-year... but there's still plenty to talk about in the big picture. [21], Soundwave is the Decepticon Communicator and transforms into a microcassette recorder modeled after a 1980s Sony Walkman. Toys Generation One. Season 2, Volume 2 was released on January 12, 2010. The other big move was the return of Optimus Prime as one of the Powermasters, robots whose Nebulan partners unlocked the vehicle-to-robot conversion as engine-shaped "keys". The animated series was produced by Sunbow Productions, Marvel Productions, and Toei Animation (occasionally by AKOM). Of the countries Transformers was exported to, Japan and the UK were the only ones to make some interesting twists to the toy line. However, the decline that begun the year prior was made worse by a sudden splash in the action figure world: the arrival of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Attached was the "Tech Specs", numeric rankings of the character's stats. These new designs were very Cybertronian/futuristic in design, as the Movie was set in the far-flung future of 2005 ooooooohhhhh. The first being that Diaclone and Microchange were pretty much depleted of viable toys, so it was time for all-new toolings to get made. Hasbro hoped that this would prove stronger from a marketing standpoint than the Autobot/Decepticon distinction from previous years, plus look new and fresh, rather than just another iteration of a now-six-year-old toyline. Hasbro bought the rights to produce the toys, but decided to release them under a single brand to avoid confusing the market with several series with similar premises. Many of this year's toys shipped initially with painted die-cast bits, but were later replaced with plastic-parts variants. Rumble and Frenzy are functionally identical to one another. The copyright and manufacturing information on the back of the packaging was also shortened to remove the no-longer-true statements "Made in Japan", "Made in Taiwan", etc., and omit references to Takara. The Autobots leave their planet on a space ship, and the Decepticons follow them in their own vessel. Hooooh boy. Home video games were getting even hotter and luring more kids away from toys altogether, especially with the release of the hugely-anticipated Super Nintendo Entertainment System. To save production costs in developing separate chassis for multiple toys, many of the G1 Transformers are simply re-painted or re-accessorized clones of one another. They have waged civil war for eons on their home planet of Cybertron, a war that had started several million years B.C., before humans even existed on Earth. ), then introducing several redecoed previously-Takara-exclusive molds, mainly from the 1989 ("Victory") line-up. They struck a deal with Bandai for molds from a variety of Japanese toylines. In March 2009, Shout! 1986 presented a major change in the franchise on several levels. Factory released the complete series in a single box set for the first time in Region 1. They consist of Beachcomber, Cosmos, Powerglide, Seaspray, and Warpath. For the toy line in general, see, Children's toy line sold from 1984 to 1991, "Can you find the black square label on your Transformer? Although the popularity of Transformers has waned in these two countries as well, they still managed to make some output in the interim between 1990 and 1993, before the launch of the next series, Transformers: Generation 2. First, they eliminated the miscellaneous subgroups of the past, rolling everything under two over-arching gimmicks: expansions of the Pretender concept, and the new 1-inch-tall Micromasters, the latter being a response to the steadily-growing popularity of then-competitor Galoob's Micro Machines micro-play vehicle line. By this time, Transformers was in serious trouble. This brand was the mark of a "true" Transformer, and they even spent the money to make a commercial just to say so. These two groups were further subdivided into thematic teams. The number of new characters increased from this year on. Two characters – each the greatest leader of his side, became the most iconic representatives of the series: Optimus Prime of the Autobots and Megatron of the Decepticons. Operating explanation for the heat sensitive rub signs, as found in the instruction booklets for toys that were new to Series 2, and in brochures that were included with the reissued Series 1 toys[28], Series 2 features reissued versions of all of the toys from Series 1 and also introduced seventy-six new toys. Other toys were also licensed from other companies, but didn't have the major-rival-baggage of Bandai's toys, so they could at least be in the show, if not in Takara's version of the toyline. (Though the king of long-run shipping is surely Kenner's original Star Wars line: the single Darth Vader figure shipped for seven years.). Japanese-original toys were altered slightly more, changing the Transformers logo to a Chinese-language version. Even toys in old subgroups gained new gimmicks: the new Mini-Cassettes were combiners, the Seacon combiner team's limb-bots each had a cannon mode the super-robot could use as a handgun, and the Targetmasters each had two Nebulans who could also combine into a super-gun. The 1985 toyline introduced the idea of special subgroup teams like the Dinobots, Constructicons and Insecticons. [citation needed]. But all this wasn't enough to meet expected demand, so Hasbro looked elsewhere for future Transformers. [49], The 1984-85 lines became the foundation of the Generation 1 series, with all of the classic characters introduced here. The Mini Vehicles were refreshed by taking the 1984 assortment and extensively retooling them into all-new characters. These toys being "bricks", mixed with the aforementioned degradation/breakage issues, have largely relegated them to being display pieces for older collectors. [24] Laserbeak, who serves in interrogation, also resembles a condor while in robot form and was sold with Frenzy, who is a warrior. If you think we're gonna list every individual new toy based on a Generation 1 character here, you're insane. Also, the series by Marvel UK used the stories from the US but as the series run weekly, additional stories had to be made to act as supplement. ), but eventually would move to easily-readable bars. There were a lot more retailers out there, both national and regional, muscling for market share, and virtually all had a sizable toy department. New characters Rodimus Prime and Galvatron replaced Optimus Prime and Megatron in their respective roles. In 1983, Hasbro representatives were sent to Tokyo Toy Show, a toy expo in Japan, in search of prospective toys that they could import to the North American market. Have the Decepticons defeated us once and for all? Thus, the more descriptive bits will be tackled year-by-year... but there's still plenty to talk about in the big picture. There has been rumors of a "blue" Bluestreak being released in the US market but no boxed examples have been identified. Rub the label-Watch the robot face appear! Before the re-creation boom, there was the re-release boom. Joe: A Real American Hero, based on the Hasbro action figure. Though even with all that, seven years was a long time for a toy franchise to run. President Reagan's recent deregulation policies allowed for the line between "advertisement" and "entertainment" on television to blur heavily, and toy companies were still exploring how to properly exploit this new "advertainment" method of pushing plastic to preteens. Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and writer Dennis O'Neil created an overall story, and editor Bob Budiansky was brought in to create names and profiles for the characters. 1991 was an odd hodge-podge of a line, starting with a short burst of exclusive Action Masters (including some that actually did transform! The history of the European-market releases of The Transformers is simultaneously complicated and kind of boring, as while various countries got different amounts of product, sometimes released by Hasbro subsidiaries or non-Hasbro partner companies (like Milton Bradley and GiG), the actual toys were largely identical to the US releases for the overwhelming majority of the line.