The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1

The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 2:46pm CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Toy News
Posted by: LOST Cybertronian   Views: 40,015

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Jim Shooter has posted a very interesting blog detailing the secret origin of the Transformers. The story focuses on a company called Knickerbocker Toys who wanted to bring over a line of Japanese transforming robots called Mysterions and "approached Marvel Comics seeking development of a toy property for comics, animation, and other entertainment."

Hasbro eventually acquired Knickerbocker Toys and that was the end for the Mysterions. Here are a few excepts from the blog.

Some months later, the Hasbro exec who was Marvel’s main contact, Bob Prupis, came to my office. He pulled a few toy vehicles out of his bag and proceeded to open and unfold them into ROBOTS.

They were bigger and much more complex than the Mysterions. Different Japanese technology, same general idea.


Hasbro, he said, had the rights to the technology and toys based upon it. The problem, he said was story. He said that the Japanese storyline associated with the toys wasn’t useful. Japanese kids, apparently, don’t require much justification. Cars become robots, robots become cars. Well, of course they do. What do you mean, “why?”


As stated, the treatment was all new, unrelated to the Mysterions treatment. And, the only thing of Denny’s I kept, as I recall, was the name of the Autobots’ ship, “Auntie.” I have become convinced, also, that he named Optimus Prime. It’s not unlike a name I might come up with, but it’s very much in the style of the erudite Mister O’Neill, full of scope, dignity and power.

By the way, “Transformers,” “Autobots” and “Decepticons” came from Hasbro.


You can read part 1 of the blog here. Part 2 should be posted tomorrow.

Credit(s): Jim Shooter


This article was last modified on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 6:16pm CDT

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Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1244292)
Posted by Stormwolf on June 21st, 2011 @ 3:36pm CDT
Pretty sweet, I wonder if any of the Mysterions concepts or prototypes still exist in some form.
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1244306)
Posted by Megatron Wolf on June 21st, 2011 @ 3:54pm CDT
ill wait til part 2 is up so i can read it all at once but just from reading the excerpts looks like an interesting read
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1244322)
Posted by Sunspot on June 21st, 2011 @ 4:15pm CDT
Cars become robots, robots become cars. Well, of course they do. What do you mean, “why?”

i thought that was pretty funny
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1244340)
Posted by Pot Bot on June 21st, 2011 @ 5:01pm CDT
That was briefly touched upon in the Vault.
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1244356)
Posted by CrimsonPrime on June 21st, 2011 @ 5:32pm CDT
Hasbro = Autobots

Mysterion = Decepticons

Hasbro VS Mysterion = Autobots VS Decepticons - Hasbro(Autobots) WIN !!!

Lolx. I dont really know what to say lol.
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1244357)
Posted by BeastProwl on June 21st, 2011 @ 5:33pm CDT
I remember reading about this story, not the blog here, but the actual story of how transformers were just a toy in japan, and a couple guys went over for ideas, came back an pitched these toys to hasbro, and transformers was born. I thought that might have been posted here years ago?
Why now? isnt this story just a bit old, or should I say, not exactly a "Secret"?
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1244407)
Posted by chuckdawg1999 on June 21st, 2011 @ 7:05pm CDT
I'm so excited to see Jim Shooter finally talking about this. If you love comics then this man is owed a debt. Everyone should read his blog especially what he has to say about Transformers.
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1245077)
Posted by LOST Cybertronian on June 22nd, 2011 @ 2:46pm CDT
Jim Shooter has updated his blog with the second part to The Secret Origin of the Transformers. This installment covers the Marvel and Sunbow involvement. You can read the blog here. Here are some teasers.

Sunbow’s creative efforts, as near as I could tell, consisted of removing our cover sheets from whatever we created and stapling on their cover sheets.


I pointed out that we had created G.I. JOE and TRANSFORMERS. DePatie said that we had NOTHING TO DO WITH TRANSFORMERS.

That took me by surprise. I had my Hasbro file with me. I pulled out my TRANSFORMERS treatment. I said I wrote this. HE CALLED ME A LIAR, insisted that SUNBOW had written that treatment, that Sunbow had done all the development. He got up and stormed out of the room.


Sunbow or the studio people changed the human protagonist’s name from Spike to Buster because, I was told, Spike was too aggressive and violent-sounding. What?
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1245091)
Posted by Marcdachamp on June 22nd, 2011 @ 3:14pm CDT
BeastProwl wrote:I remember reading about this story, not the blog here, but the actual story of how transformers were just a toy in japan, and a couple guys went over for ideas, came back an pitched these toys to hasbro, and transformers was born. I thought that might have been posted here years ago?
Why now? isnt this story just a bit old, or should I say, not exactly a "Secret"?


Shooter's blog always touches on old aspects of his tenure with Marvel. Seems he just got to Transformers in time for the new movie, that's all.
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1245187)
Posted by Mkall on June 22nd, 2011 @ 6:26pm CDT
Well, that's certainly interesting. If anything it gives us more questions for the guys of Sunbow if they ever come back to Botcon.
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1245373)
Posted by TFGnome on June 22nd, 2011 @ 10:47pm CDT
Mysterions, huh?
*chinscratch*

Image
Re: The Secret Origin Of The Transformers Part 1 (1249566)
Posted by GodMagnus on June 29th, 2011 @ 6:42pm CDT
BeastProwl wrote:I remember reading about this story, not the blog here, but the actual story of how transformers were just a toy in japan, and a couple guys went over for ideas, came back an pitched these toys to hasbro, and transformers was born. I thought that might have been posted here years ago?
Why now? isnt this story just a bit old, or should I say, not exactly a "Secret"?


I think we all know about the Hasbro trip to Japan, Diaclone, Microman, pitched to Hasbro execs in the USA, etc, etc, etc. What we didn't know was the development and behind the scenes stuff that took it from Japanese toy line to one of the biggest toy and cartoon lines in the US.

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