Rumble and Frenzy are functionally identical to one another. The early years, 1984-1985, focused on toys originally manufactured in different colors for other brands, such as Takara’s Diaclone and Microchange, Bandai’s Macross and Takatoku’s Dorvack and Beetras. Rounding out the seventy-six new toys of the series, are the first two accessories of the toy line to be individually sold. There were a lot more retailers out there, both national and regional, muscling for market share, and virtually all had a sizable toy department. 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". These bots were developed for animation first then had toys developed based around those designs, a very rare move at the time (and still uncommon today, mostly only the live-action film series works this way). The line ran through 1995 (! They consist of Grapple, Hoist, Inferno, Red Alert, Skids, Smokescreen, and Tracks. This is most evident in the first and second seasons of the animated series. In 1990, the Micromaster concept was embraced wholeheartedly as majority of the toys that year and the next were of that nature. Pipes and Huffer are functionally identical to one another. Grapple and Inferno are functionally identical to one another. The subgrouping idea was changed as characters were now limited to Pretender and Micromaster groups. 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? And then there were all the major sorta-likes, such as Kenner's M.A.S.K. But all this wasn't enough to meet expected demand, so Hasbro looked elsewhere for future Transformers. The 1992 range in Japan was the final year of Generation 1, and featured several more Micromaster combiners, recolored versions of Defensor and Bruticus, and the smaller Turbomasters and Predators which were concurrently released in Europe. Sure you could get a GoBot or a Mini Vehicle just about any time, but the larger Transformers were something big and special for birthdays or saved-up allowances. Another subtle but important change was that the two factions began to share subgroups, with the Autobots gaining their own Mini-Cassettes and Triple Changers, plus both sides had "Scramble City" style combiners. And the market responded... timidly at first, as the markets do, but over time, more and more of the classic series was brought back in one form or another. Attached was the "Tech Specs", numeric rankings of the character's stats. Takara had been designing a different sort of combining robot team for Diaclone, where the limb-bots were wholly interchangeable. , 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. They would also create a variety of all-new toys unique to their version of Transformers (although some of them also saw release in Europe), most of them highly sought-after by collectors. Not only did the toys ship longer, but the look of Transformers' packaging did not change significantly for five years, only changing the logo and overall design in 1989 as part of a revitalization attempt. Kids flocked to this strange new line and its weird new cartoon, leaving Transformers... sorry, there's no helping this... shell-shocked. As such, only thirty-five of these new toys are standard Autobots and only eighteen of them are standard Decepticons. When the toy line was released, it was supported by the Marvel Comics series, an animated television series, and a gamut of other merchandising tie-ins. The first year of Transformers changed very little from the original Japanese Diaclone and Microman releases. As the series moved farther along beyond the first two series and new characters were introduced, this replication became fewer and farther between. Kids would buy packs of four Micromasters together, or would get a single Micromaster with a transforming vehicle or playset, with the larger vehicles themselves transforming into base-mode playsets that could interconnect with included ramps (again a response to Micro Machines' heavy use of playsets). 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. Hahahahahahahhahahah haaaaaa hahahahahhahahaha hahaahahaaaaaaaahahahaaaaa. The Complete First Season: 25th Anniversary edition was released on June 16, 2009. 1. Larger offerings included vehicles that transformed into battle stations or "attack modes" for the Action Masters to pilot. Hoo. New Headmaster and Targetmaster characters were introduced, but the new driving forces for the line were the Pretenders and Powermasters (which featured the return of Optimus Prime). , Other characters were taken from different toy lines of other companies (see Re-licenses). 1986 presented a major change in the franchise on several levels. The TV series followed the movie and was now set in the future while the comics’ storyline continued to be set in the present time. 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). Even grocery stores and drug stores devoted a significant amount of space to toys year-round, and not just the cheap stuff! This information was (mostly) obscured and (sort of) unreadable without a red plastic "Tech Spec decoder" inside the boxed toys early on (though the red lens of a pair of 3D glasses would work too, and who didn't have at least one of those lying around in the 80s? 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. Instead, enjoy this series of links to the numerous toylines that call back to the originals.  Beachcomber, the geologist, transforms into a dune buggy; Cosmos, who serves in reconnaissance and communications, transforms into a flying saucer; Powerglide, a warrior, transforms into an A-10 Thunderbolt II airplane; Seaspray, who serves in naval defense, transforms into a hovercraft; and Warpath, a warrior, transforms into a tank. Re-issues began sporadically at first in 2000, mainly major characters (particularly Optimus Prime, Megatron, Rodimus and Starscream) in recreations of the original packaging, with a few special editions. 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. Originated in the ‘80s, with roots in the ‘70s, and major cultural refreshes in every succeeding decade, Transformers have become relevant to … New characters Rodimus Prime and Galvatron replaced Optimus Prime and Megatron in their respective roles. The packaging too was a step beyond what other lines were doing. These two groups were further subdivided into thematic teams. For example: Finally, Thundercracker, Starscream, and Skywarp are functionally identical to one another. In 1986 a feature film was released, generating $5,706,456 in the United States.. 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. Their planet of Cybertron had become decimated and both factions have been reduced to scavenging for needed supplies, primarily energy. That Transformers made as big a splash as it did and lasted so long before the revivals and reboots is remarkable. The Heroic Autobots were the cars and trucks, and the Evil Decepticons were... everything else. No carded examples have been found with the minicar on a Bumblebee backer card. As such, there are four comics continuities based on the Generation 1 characters: This article is about the first Transformers series. ), then introducing several redecoed previously-Takara-exclusive molds, mainly from the 1989 ("Victory") line-up. Both figures were identical to their original release with the exception of a more reinforced fist design for Optimus Prime. (The Points were, of course, actually worthless, since you also sent in a check for roughly what the toys would normally cost anyway.) They struck a deal with Bandai for molds from a variety of Japanese toylines. The original Bumblebee and Starscream toys shipped for three, and some of the Mini-Cassettes for four. Optimus Prime and Megatron were both offered as a Movie Mail Away. , Series 2 features two Autobot Deluxe Vehicles; Roadbuster and Whirl. However, the line didn't exactly excite kids, as most of the inner robots' vehicle modes could be generously described as "vague at best" due to the necessity of fitting inside their shells. Transformers G1. Things wouldn't really get significantly different until the 1990s. These plans would come to life in Transformers as the "Scramble City" style combiners (though that branding was only used in Takara's line; Hasbro called them the "Special Teams" in Europe, and... nothing special in the US). The Little Sticker in the Corner: The Truth about Early-1990's Chinese G1 Transformers Toys, https://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/index.php?title=The_Transformers_(toyline)&oldid=1464231, The term "Generation 1" is a piece of ascended. The toy itself was only sold in solid silver. 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. Most of these tactics were also applied to Hasbro's other huge success story in the 1980s, It's quite likely that the Chinese line is also the source of the, whole big thing with Jetfire/Skyfire in the cartoon. Despite running for nigh six years, the Chinese Generation 1 line released only about 100 toys all told. Most lines gave their toys only a cursory sentence or two about the toy's imaginary powers (if that, GoBots didn't), but the Transformers bios truly "humanized" the alien robots, giving each one a distinct personality complete with motto, on top of a much more full description of the imaginary powers that character possessed. Both sides are from a race called Transformers – robots that can change into vehicles, mechanical devices and even animal forms. Transformers would not be back on Japanese toy shelves until 1995, when the short-lived G-2 toyline would hit. Those who grew up with the line as kids were hitting adulthood just as the Chinese middle class was booming, which meant disposable income. ), ending with several previously-Japanese-exclusive Victory toys. Dreamwave Productions revived Transformers comics in 2002 but went bankrupt in 2005, forcing a cessation. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was the first of these toyline-based cartoons, and it rocketed that toyline to success. The toy line received a new logo design for its sixth year. IDW Publishing picked up the rights soon after. Three publishers had or have the license to produce comic books based on the Transformers. Megatron (Leader Class, 2015) 1.1. Japanese ID number: 11, C-56 Bumblebee's original toy, released in 1984 and in Japan in 1985, originally hails from the Micro Change series, transforming into a "penny-racer"-proportioned Volkswagen Beetle. 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 big noise this year was the Pretenders, Transformers that wear outer shells in the guise of armored warriors, monsters, and more, effectively giving you two warriors in one purchase. Ninja Turtles was still dominating the toy aisle and TV ratings, and was even putting out a live-action movie that year. 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. Japanese-original toys were altered slightly more, changing the Transformers logo to a Chinese-language version. 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. These groups shipped in mixed-allegiance assortments, which would become more and more common going forward. Fortress Maximus and Scorponok became leaders of the Autobot and Decepticon forces respectively. Most of the bigger lines only managed about three years, and that third was typically a final flailing-for-its-life year as kids had moved on.
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