Transformers Generation 2 in Review

Transformers Generation 2 in Review

Thursday, June 17th, 2010 2:40pm CDT

Categories: Toy News, Event News, Site Articles
Posted by: Savage   Views: 135,388

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With BotCon 2010 breathing new life into Transformers Generation 2, I wanted to take a moment to revisit the original G2 and lay out some background information for many people coming to BotCon this year who may not have been around during the G2 days.

Generation 2 was launched in America in 1993. I remember it well. Having been born in 1983, and gotten into Transformers shortly after the '86 animated movie came out, I had been sad to see them go. Also, I had gotten into Transformers too late to have G1 figures of Optimus Prime, the Seekers, the Autobot cars, etc.

G2 contained many G1 molds in new colors, such as

Optimus Prime (now with a black trailer)
Jazz (who sports, for the most part, his G1 colors)
Sideswipe (now black instead of red)
Inferno (with a new watergun)
Autobot Minicars (Bumblebee, Seaspray, Hubcap, and Beachcomber) with chrome paint
Grimlock (blue, and later turquoise)
Slag (green, and later red)
Snarl (red, and later green)

Image
Aerialbots (new color schemes, some more offensive than others. Air Raid and Skydive look good, but Slingshot is gold, and don't get me started on the blue and orange Silverbolt)
Image
Starscream
Ramjet (in black, purple, and a touch of teal)
Constructicons (in yellow, and later orange)
Combaticons (featuring camo paint jobs in a variety of colors)

Image


Additionally, G2 offered up many new characters and designs. With the inability to rerelease Megatron as a gun, a new figure had to be made. The green tank Megatron was an impressive figure, despite being a brick.

Image

Other G2 originals included Rapido, Skram, Windbreaker, and Turbofire. These four Autobot cars had simple but fun transformations and chromed weaponry that became the engine block in alt mode. It is interesting to note that while Rapido was mostly red with teal as a secondary color, the inverse is true of Turbofire. Also, the same is true of Skram and Windbreaker's blue and orange schemes. This habit of complimentary color schemes was common in G2 figures.

Opposing Rapido and his friends were four small Decepticon jets named Afterburner, Terradive, Windrazor, and Eage Eye.

G2 also gave us...

Color Changers (Autobots Drench and Gobots, Decepticons Deluge and Jetstorm) - Portions of the toy would change color under warm water. Each figure was armed with a small watergun.

Rotor Force - Transformers whose spring-loaded weapon fired a spinning rotor. These included Leadfoot, Manta Ray, Powerdive, and Ransack.
Image

Laser Rods - Transformers with light-up swords and engines! And BALL JOINTS. Electro, Jolt, Sizzle, and Volt may have been funky colors, but they were hot rod cars anyway.

Laser Rod Optimus Prime. Your collection is incomplete without him.

Image

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A few smaller figures (Go Bots, Cyberjets, Laser Cycles).

Combat Hero Optimus Prime & Combat Hero Megatron with big air-powered missile launchers.

Dreadwing and Smokescreen, an impressive stealth jet and smaller plane, sporting a huge gatling gun that fired six missiles, three more missiles on each wing (with a button on top to deploy them), and two spring-loaded rifles.


European exclusive Obliterators Spark and Colossus, using molds that had been available in Europe as G1 figures named Pyro and Clench after the end of North American G1.


Generation 2 also had a comic series in the US as well as the UK. The 12-issue Marvel (US) series was written by Simon Furman and showcased several very talented artists. Derek Yaniger did great work on the covers, and many will recall Geoff Senior's work, as well as that of other artists, on the interior pages.

Image

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Generation 2 featured cgi animation in its toy commercials, during a time when cgi was still very uncommon. The likes of Reboot and Beast Wars were still several years away. The only TV series G2 offered was merely G1 episodes being re-aired with a new cgi title sequence, and a cgi-animated "Cybercube" replacing the flipping faction symbols for scene transitions.

Well folks, I hope this has been eye-opening for you. It's been fun for me to revisit. See you at BotCon!


This article was last modified on Thursday, June 17th, 2010 7:04pm CDT

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Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087409)
Posted by joevill on June 17th, 2010 @ 3:42pm CDT
Excellent article Savage!
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087412)
Posted by Amelie on June 17th, 2010 @ 3:47pm CDT
You could've summed up G2 in two sentences - It is awesome. Buy the figures. ;)

On another side note, I'm really fond of the G2 colour scemes and personally I look forward to owning a G2 Ramjet and G2 Starscream in the future.
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087413)
Posted by Rated X on June 17th, 2010 @ 3:48pm CDT
Why couldnt Megatron be a gun ??? I know now they have to have those dumb orange caps but since when were toy guns never allowed to be sold ???
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087416)
Posted by Amelie on June 17th, 2010 @ 3:52pm CDT
Rated X wrote:Why couldnt Megatron be a gun ??? I know now they have to have those dumb orange caps but since when were toy guns never allowed to be sold ???


Have you ever owned a G1 Megatron? I wouldn't let my kids (if I had any) play with one on the grounds it could shatter like glass at any minute. I've had three in my time and the one from me being a kid lost both arms within a week, and I was really careful with my TFs. It's not good for Hasbro's reputation for starters.

Then there's the whole "cop might shoot a kid" arguement....
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087420)
Posted by Jelze Bunnycat on June 17th, 2010 @ 3:58pm CDT
Rated X wrote:Why couldnt Megatron be a gun ??? I know now they have to have those dumb orange caps but since when were toy guns never allowed to be sold ???


Since the 90's, to avoid kids from playing with a real gun, thinking it's a toy. Imagine the possible results >.>
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087429)
Posted by Savage on June 17th, 2010 @ 4:18pm CDT
Amelie wrote:You could've summed up G2 in two sentences - It is awesome. Buy the figures. ;)

On another side note, I'm really fond of the G2 colour scemes and personally I look forward to owning a G2 Ramjet and G2 Starscream in the future.


G2 Ramjet is a really awesome looking Seeker. Mine is currently missing one fin, but it's buried in a box somewhere. I was really hoping FunPub would give us a G2 Ramjet in the Classics Seeker mold for BotCon this year, but sadly that hasn't panned out. Guess I'll just have to console myself with Rapido.

I could ramble for days about the awesomeness of G2 and all the wonderful new things it did for the franchise (poseability, ball joints, weaponry gimmicks like waterguns and rotors and light-up swords).

That said, I do have three G2 figures I will be selling/trading at BotCon this year. Electro, Jolt, and Space Case. All mint on sealed card. Anyone whose interested and going to be in attendance, look for my note on the room-to-room trading bulletin board.
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087430)
Posted by Chaoslock on June 17th, 2010 @ 4:18pm CDT
Savage wrote:G2 contained many G1 molds in new colors, such as
.
.
.
Grimlock (blue /turquoise)
Slag (green /red)
Snarl (red /green)


FIXXED G2 Dinobots were also available in "normal", grey colour, with G2 autobot symbols on their legs
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087433)
Posted by Zeds on June 17th, 2010 @ 4:23pm CDT
Laser Rod was the only nice thing to come out of G2 in its reuse as RID Scourge.
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087437)
Posted by Rated X on June 17th, 2010 @ 4:25pm CDT
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
Rated X wrote:Why couldnt Megatron be a gun ??? I know now they have to have those dumb orange caps but since when were toy guns never allowed to be sold ???


Since the 90's, to avoid kids from playing with a real gun, thinking it's a toy. Imagine the possible results >.>



I still own my G1 Megatron. With the scope, stock and silencer. I get everybodys point about kids (I dont have any) But parents with unsecured firearms need to put the blame on themselves for potential accidents rather than blaming a toy company for making kids lust to be triggerhappy. If I had a little boy, I would buy him the one thing my parents never let me have...a BB gun lol. You think I want my son to start playing with dolls ??? I remember bsck when I was like 10 years old, I had a toy M-16 and I scared a hovering news helicopter over my block and made it leave just by pointing it at them !!! LOL I miss being a kid !!!
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087446)
Posted by RK_Striker_JK_5 on June 17th, 2010 @ 4:36pm CDT
Good review, there. And yes, G2 Prime's one of the best versions of Prime out there.
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087451)
Posted by Neurie on June 17th, 2010 @ 4:46pm CDT
You also forget the dinobots came in multiple colours.

That and in Europe combat hero prime and megatron were released as 2 new characters with slightly different decos as Sureshot and Archforce
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087454)
Posted by Jelze Bunnycat on June 17th, 2010 @ 4:50pm CDT
Neurie wrote:You also forget the dinobots came in multiple colours.

That and in Europe combat hero prime and megatron were released as 2 new characters with slightly different decos as Sureshot and Archforce


He already covered the first. And he doesn't do Europe for the sake of simplicity. For all purposes, Prime and Sureshot, and Megatron and Archforce are the same figures, their stickers just have no names on the European releases.
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087513)
Posted by Solrac333 on June 17th, 2010 @ 7:20pm CDT
"The only TV series G2 offered was merely G1 episodes being re-aired with a new cgi title sequence, and a cgi-animated "Cybercube" replacing the flipping faction symbols for scene transitions. "

And I remember hating all of that. :SICK:
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087550)
Posted by Duke of Luns on June 17th, 2010 @ 9:19pm CDT
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
Rated X wrote:Why couldnt Megatron be a gun ??? I know now they have to have those dumb orange caps but since when were toy guns never allowed to be sold ???


Since the 90's, to avoid kids from playing with a real gun, thinking it's maya toy. Imagine the possible results >.>


You think Megatron is bad? I stumbled upon this recently:



They did sell it in realistic colors(another reviews shows one), but even in those colors that thing has "lawsuit" written all over it were they even to try to sell it today.

My how times have changed eh?
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087571)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on June 17th, 2010 @ 10:22pm CDT
With practice, you can actually shoot PEZ out of a regular dispenser with the right curve to its head. So I've heard.

Oh, and G2 technically launched at the tail end of 1992; I very distinctly remember getting Slag and Sideswipe for Christmas that year. Op, yellow Constructicons, the 3 cars, 3 Dinobots, and 2 Jets were all in Toys'R'Us that December, and I saw the 4 chromed Mini-vehicles in stores first thing in '93. Those ex-Euro-exclusives hit shelves that summer, alongside those awesome Jurassic Park toys. Repainted Combaticons and Aerialbots got released around Thanksgiving (though Silverbolt and Onslaught may not have made it till the new year), just like big-ol tank Megs in time for that Christmas, by the end of which I had every figure from the line, minus Starscream and the ones I had in G1 form.

The G2 comic debuted in October 1993, but for those of you who've yet to pursue it (which you SHOULD), there was also a crossover in G.I.Joe #138-142 that explains how Megs gets his tankin' new bod. Otherwise, it picks up right where G1 #80 left off.

1994 was all new molds with the Rotors and Rods, and Dreadwing being the big toy that Christmas. As cool as Megs's new rail gun was, it should be noted that the 2 launchers that attach to Dreadwing's smaller jet are some of the only toys that actually warranted that "Do not point at eyes or face" warning. Sharpen 'em, and you could probably kill rats with a little practice. He's gotten re-released a lot over the years.

In '95 all the new TFs were getting smaller, but the Cyberjets seemed really cool at the time, with their pressure missile system being so impressive/cheap that you can find knock-offs of them all to this day, though usually all in white and so brittle that the launchers break if you use 'em, so stick with the real thing. Go-Bots on the other hand...well, we had to wait 6 years for their group to retroactively get a decent name. The 6 new Autobots themselves, however, were cool characters with new names to match...until their first re-release gave us the worst thing to come out of G2. No, the cartoon was actually nice and tolerable for those of us who didn't have cable and therefore hadn't seen the old series in 7 years, and missed a dozen or two back then. I mean that calling the sub-group "Go-Bots" foreshadowed the advent of random, careless, character-name-recycling, including pickup-truck Soundwave and stock-car Frenzy, and Op and megs as puny sports cars that didn't really even get new color schemes. Yeah, I know it's for copyright reasons, but I was so mad about it at the time that I passed up Laser Optimus Prime, deeming him yet another unnecessary version. My loss. Oh, and the 2 Laser cycles and 2 construction Auto-Rollers came out that last summer too, the latter getting redecoed and released with the 2 military Auto-Rollers 3 years later in Japan for Beast Wars II. Those guys all ruled, and carried on the G1 tradition of TFs who turned into dump trucks having the coolest names, by actually giving us a Decepticon called "Dirtbag". That tradition sadly fell by the wayside by the time of Energon.

Sorry for a post that long, but G2 was an emotional time for me. It seemed like Transformers as a whole could breathe its last breath at any time, and it wasn't until the end of Season 2 of Beast Wars that I finally realized that would never be the case.

And then (sigh) Beast Machines came along and inserted the term "mercy-killing" into my daily vocabulary...okay, sorry, wrong thread. Hell, I've even forgiven the Power Rangers for kicking the crap out of the G2 toyline's sales, so my only regret is that even with this Botcon set, we STILL have never gotten a toy of a single character from the Cybertronian faction introduced in the comics. Ironic, as they actually made the term "second generation Decepticon" make sense within the context of a story. Yes, KB exclusive Jhiaxus and calling one of Sideways's heads "Rook" were very nice gestures, but they don't really count.

On a lighter, more mysterious note, at some point in '94 or '95, I swear I saw those Ultra Magnus, Galvatron, and Superion watches in a Meijers once, but passed on them, and they were gone the next week. Did those get a U.S. G2 release? Meijers has occasionally imported J-exclusive Bakugan and Dragonball GT figures since then, so those watches could still technically be exclusive to Japan. Anyone know for sure?
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087602)
Posted by Pyrostrata on June 18th, 2010 @ 12:20am CDT
Duke of Luns wrote:You think Megatron is bad? I stumbled upon this recently:



They did sell it in realistic colors(another reviews shows one), but even in those colors that thing has "lawsuit" written all over it were they even to try to sell it today.

My how times have changed eh?


That is so many incredible levels of win I could hardly stand it! :lol:

Pez Pistols are awesome!
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087651)
Posted by kirbenvost on June 18th, 2010 @ 3:37am CDT
^ Call me crazy, but I grew up in an era where toy guns were the norm too (I think most of us did). Heck, I even had a dollar-store disc-shooting pistol I PAINTED back into proper gun colors, and never once got in trouble for it. And then there were Supersoakers...well, those are still around, but they look even less like guns these days.

JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
kirbenvost wrote:Interesting, this is the first time I've seen the Rotor Force guys. Pretty cool. Even though I was a kid when G2 was in full swing, I never saw most of them. They just weren't popular in stores, and I guess I'd moved on to Ninja Turtles by that time.


Let's not forget the Power Rangers!


Indeed. I was never really a fan of them myself, but many people were.
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087747)
Posted by Pyrostrata on June 18th, 2010 @ 9:21am CDT
I was at the end of my first collection when G2 came out....and pissed me off. I just was sickened back then by the garrish colors and ridiculous character names. I stopped collecting around that time. Fast forward to the present, and with older and wiser eyes.....I still find the colors obnoxious, but yet nostalgically acceptable. So, needless to say, I know nothing whatsoever about G2.

Thanks, Sav, for the crash-course! :D
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087870)
Posted by Hairball178 on June 18th, 2010 @ 2:57pm CDT
The G2 promo commercial was the best thing that happened to me during my high school years. From my PoV the greatest thing that ever happened to my childhood somehow made a comeback, and since I was getting more disposable income (yard mowing) I could buy the TF toys that I never got a chance to own...

...except for the fact that no store sold G2 toys within a 60-mile radius of me. The only opportunities I had were when my family would happen to want to go to the closest Target store to me, and if I didn't cave in to the "Aren't you getting a little old for these?", I'd make off with some TF loot. I hadn't even heard of the internet yet, so the only way I could know who was being made into toys was by seeing the occasional toy commercial & flyers in the Sunday paper...for stores I would not be able to go to.

The first figures I got were Sideswipe (my first TF would also be my first G2 TF), Inferno (never owned him, had a G1 Jazz, so I saw this as an opportunity to snag a new one for my collection), and Slag (my first, and only Dinobot I have ever owned; Pretender Grimlock doesn't count). Later I bought all six of the yellow Constructicons, my grandma got me Drench for Christmas, and my dad found G2 Megatron when was working as a garbageman. My opportunities were so few and far between to buy them that I could never keep up with what was coming out before it disappeared from store shelves. I had the same problem with getting the G2 comic, as I was able to get #2-6, 9, and 12. It was a struggle to find anything.

I know the Cybercube gimmick was regarded as lame, but to me I was going crazy because THE FREAKING ORIGINAL CARTOON WAS ON AGAIN, BUT I DON'T HAVE A CHANNEL THAT CARRIES IT!!! My grandparents did (barely), but that was if my family would cooperate with me & get to their house early enough for Sunday dinner.

Overall I'm grateful for what I could get my mitts on for G2. I hear the hate people had for the cartoon and all that, but I cherished what I could get out of what I thiought may be the last hurrah for the Transformers.
Re: Transformers Generation 2 in Review (1087947)
Posted by Higear on June 18th, 2010 @ 6:47pm CDT
If Ive counted correctly I have 62 sealed of 79 so I have 17 to go. I could praise this line so much id have a wall of text in minutes if I did but Ill suffice to say one thing. This line is 9 kinds of awesome. It seems for me the 2 most incredibly hard to find Transformers is 2 orange Constructicons sealed. Scrapper and Hook. Im just overjoyed FP saw fit to do homage to one of my favorite lines next to Classics 2006.

HG

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