Transformers are one of the most popular lines of action figures ever made; they remain popular today. They first arrived in shops in 1984 and this was the same year as an animated TV series of the same name appeared. There are some people who have been collecting Transformer action figures since that time, and more kids are becoming fans of the collection all the time. The Transformer movie in 2007 did a lot to revamp interest; not that this was really needed.
The original Transformer action figure was created by a Japanese toy company called Takara; the toys were later produced by Hasbro in the US. It was actually the Hasbro who called them Transformers; before this they had been known as Microman or Dalaclone. Unlike some other action figures that were spin-offs from cartoons or comic books; the Transformers action figures came before the animated series and movies. In fact the animated series and comic books that came out in 1984 were used to promote the toys. Hasbro should be complimented on knowing where the real money was.
The Transformers has produced a huge number of different toy lines that are still being added to today. The Generation One toys were released in 1984 and were more or less the same as the previous Microman and Dalaclone Japanese toys; in fact they even came from the same moulds. These Generation One figures developed over the next few years until the Generation Two toys were introduced nine years later; there were plenty of accessories added along the way as well. The new generation two was quite similar to the original but came with different weapons and had a different color scheme. In 1996 Hasbro released the Beast machines and in 2001 the Robots in Disguise entered the fray. New lines have continued since then with the Universe collection being made up of everything that has gone before.
There are many reasons given for the popularity of the Transformers’ action figure series, but there is no doubting that there was some fantastic marketing involved. It would also be fair to point out that these figures really capture the imagination of children around the world. The war between the Autobots and the Decepticons is tantalizing enough to create endless interesting storylines, and this adds to the enjoyment of the action figures. The idea of aliens who can transform themselves into everyday machinery is a clever one. There is probably little doubt that the Transformers will remain popular for years to come.
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Finding the exact start of the story of Transformers is difficult because there have been many variations; in fact the same characters can appear very different from one story to the next. Optimus Prime is connected with many Transformer stories but he can have different personalities and back histories in each of these stories.
The Transformers are robotic life forms that can disguise themselves as everyday machinery. All Transformers come from a planet called Cybertron but they are divided into two sides; the autobots like Optimus Prime and the bad guys like Megatron. These two sides have been at war for millions of years.
Probably the most popular storyline begins when Optimus Prime and Megatron crash land on Earth. These two are enemies with Optimus Prime being the good guy. At the time there is no human life on Earth. The two fractions have crashed in separate space craft and each has brought their best soldiers with them; Optimus Prime’s spacecraft is called the Ark and Megatron’s spacecraft is the Nemesis. After the crash both sides go into hibernation and don’t wake up again until 1984. When they do wake up they go to war.
As the storylines of Transformers have developed there has been much back history and side stories. One of the most important is that of Unicorn and Primus. Unicorn is a gigantic transformer who can be as large as a planet; in fact part of his pleasure is going around destroying planets. The arch enemy of Unicorn is Primus who is actually the creator of all Transformers. Another powerful force in the Transformers universe is The Matrix that gives them their life-force.
The Good Guys
In the Transformers series there are many good guys; in fact there are hundreds of them. The Transformers world is now very vast and different countries have added their own characters. Here are some of the most important ones.
Primus is the god of all transformers and it originally created them.
Optimus Prime was originally a smaller robot called Orion Pak who was badly damaged by some of Megatron goons. He is later rebuilt as a Transformer and dedicates his life to fighting the bad guys.
Wheeljack is great with his hands and loves inventing things. Some of his inventions don’t work out as planned, but he often gets it right.
Prowl can take the shape of a police car. He is good at working out the best attack strategy and is Optimus Prime’s main advisor in the beginning of the series. Prowl is later killed in the Transformers’ movie.
Bumblebee is a very small robot that is best suited to operations that can benefit from his small size.
Sidesweep can tend to be on the reckless side and he likes to fight dirty. He is an important part of the team and frequently helps them gain the upper hand in battle.
Mirage would rather not fight if he doesn’t have to. He is able to transform into a racing car.
Brawn can turn into a Land-rover and some people claim that he is the toughest Transformer there is.
The Bad Guys
Unicorn is the opposite of Primus and is responsible for all the evil in the Transformer’s universe.
Megatron is the main villain in Transformers. At one time he was kept prisoner inside a sun but he somehow managed to escape. He is very powerful because he was able to absorb some of the evil energy that was created by Unicorn. Megatron is extremely powerful but he is no real match for the Transformers who always end up coming out on top; he has managed to do a lot of damage though. Megatron is the unofficial leader of the decepticons.
Ransack is small but he can sometimes use this to his advantage. He is one of the more intelligent decepticons and this only adds to his lethal nature. Ransack is very quick on his feet and as able to go places that other Transformers can’t fit.
Thundercracker is the decepticon that has had most experience fighting on Earth. He speaks with a Southern United States drawl and he can sometimes be too smart for his own good.
Thunderblast is a female decepticon that is only really interested in taking care of herself. Her reason for being on the same side as Magatron is that she believes he is more powerful.