Transformers: Year 16

Monday, January 11th, 1999 12:08pm CST

Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron   Views: 364,297

Text from Hasbro's Transformers website at http://www.beastwars.com/figures/


In 1984, while consumers were worshipping at the altar of the Cabbage Patch Kid doll, another toy line made its quiet debut, only this time it was in the action figure aisle. No one could know that in time, this brand would have its own set of rabid collectors, desperate parents, toy clones, a television series, an animated movie, a death, and a rebirth. And no one could know that this rebirth would also be a revolution of sorts, as the newest technologies brought this toy and its story to amazing new life. Of course, the toy line is The Transformers - an action toy with its foundations in Japanese animation and for some, Japanese toys themselves.

It is no coincidence that The Transformers line has lived to reach its 15th year. While 15 years is no small achievement, with the infinite variability in design, the versatility of the writers who continue to breathe life into the story, and with the enthusiasm of children of all ages, it is not hard to believe this line is one of the top ranking toys in the world today. In its current embodiment as Beast Wars, detailing the saga of two warring factions of robots on a prehistoric Earth, the spirit of The Transformers is as alive today as it was during its introduction in 1984.

To witness the impact The Transformers have made on the industry and in pop culture, just take a step back and look at their history. After the first few years of the toy's life a television cartoon series was created, detailing the adventures of these robots as they brought their intergalactic war to Earth. The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, and the Decepticons, led by the diabolical Megatron, used the Earth as the battleground for their destructive conflict. This soon led to a theatrically released animated movie, introducing a whole new group of heroes and villains. After the cartoon series ended, the toy line continued to offer new and innovative transforming schemes through the late 1980s. Headmasters, Targetmasters, Powermasters, Micromasters are just a few examples of the chapters which made their way into the continuous storyline, now solely being told by a comic book series. The comic ended in due time, as well as the line's first generation of toys. After a rebirth of the line with Generation 2 in the early 1990s, the newly merged Hasbro Toy group, consisting of long-time toy manufacturers Hasbro and Kenner, created the Beast Wars®. Two new factions, Maximals and Predacons, continued the struggle for supremacy begun by their ancestors centuries earlier. A new computer-generated animated series, created by Mainframe Entertainment, successfully dominates its time slot, and now cartoon fans watch with unblinking eyes as cutting-edge technologies bring this saga to life in a whole new way.

What does the future hold for The Transformers? One can only guess, but know this: through technology and imagination The Transformers will continue to surprise and entertain with limitless configurations. As we rush into the 21st century, remember the slogan that started it all in 1984 for The Transformers...they are more than meets the eye!


This article was published in TRANS-FORUM #8 (January 1999) by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


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