Toys TOYS

Transformers

Transformers

Never has a toy concept caught the imagination of the nations young boys more than TRANSFORMERS! Robots in Disguise!

I remember first seeing one in the playground, I hadn’t heard of them at that point, and the way the other boy could change it from a truck into a robot blew my tiny mind (it still does!). How did he do it? It was like a magic trick only better because it was also a toy car and a toy robot? It was like a Rubiks cube in the way it transformed, and I was as amazed when i saw a school buddy transform it!

Soon after the toys were everywhere in the playground as well as on the television. I got an Optimus Prime for Christmas, my brother got Megatron. I was quite jealous of my brother’s Megatron – because it was a Gun as well as a robot, whereas Optimus Prime’s monster truck seemed a bit boring in comparison (what can i say, I have military tendencies).

Transformers came from Japan – like so many of the children toy concepts of the 1980’s. They were originally a Japanese toy line called Microman and Diaclone – one of which used humanoid-type figures the other used robots able to transform into everyday vehicles or weapons – or sometimes consumer goods like tape recorders!

Enter American toy giant Hasbro, which used the Microman technology, bought Diaclone toys, and partnered with Takara a large Japanese toy firm. Then two creatives, Jim Shooter and Dennis O'Neil were hired by Hasbro to create a backstory and voila! you have a legend created!

The main backstory is that the heroic Optimus Prime and the villainous Megatron, (with their henchmen) crash land on pre-historic Earth in their spaceships "The Ark" and "The Nemesis" but don’t awaken until 1985 (that's some lie-in). The “goodies” are called the “Autobots” the baddies are called the “Decepticons” and thus the war for earth begins!

There were so many spin offs from transformers, and so much back story. There was the idea of the Beast Wars that features transformers based on dinosaurs – e.g. “Dinobot” that was a velocaraptor, or Grimlock, a “Tyrannasaurus Rex”. That jump-started Transformers again for me – merging robots and dinosaurs! Genius! I was excited all over again.

They created such a large and exciting world – there were (amazingly) over 120 different transformers in all created – and even when they stopped showing it I had barely had enough of Transformers. The whole series started in 1984 and in theory stopped in 1987, but has obviously lived on. There were comics, spin off series, there was even an animated feature film with the voices of Orson Wells, Eric Idle and Sci-fi legend Leonard Nimoy.

Of course these days there are the films. Though the films have a whole new concept behind them. As large and brash and exciting as the new films are, they can never create the awe and amazement I felt at 7 years old watching a truck become a robot in the hands of a schoolmate.


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Do You Remember Transformers?

Do You Remember Transformers?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    I did have a small collection of Transformers which comprised the following: (Hot Spot, Groove, First Aid, Streetwise and the tragically named Helicopto (yes, a helicopter!) which all combined to make Defensor), the worst Transformer - Metroplex and finally, Smokescreen, my favourite.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Back in the day, I had Bumblebee, Huffer, Brawn, Cliffjumper, Jazz, Optimus Prime, Hotrod, Slag (actually the name of one of the Dinobots), Starscream and a slightly broken Megatron - his barrel had snapped off. I eventually sold off all my toys - or my parents gave them away - I don't quite remember. I found out a few years ago that a Japanese company were making the original transformer toys (G1) but had improved the quality of the materials and the transforming technique (so you didn't end up with a broken Jazz the first time you tried to change him back into a car). So I bought a branch new Megatron and a new Starscream. They are currently sitting on a shelf in my loft room watching my mother in law sleep!
  • TheHighwayman
    on
    Like most here, I started at generation 1 (the best). Never had many transformers as we couldn't afford them back then. But those I did have I now wish I had kept: Smokescreen Blades, First Aid, Groove, Streetwise and Hot Spot (which all combined to make Defensor) and Megatron. You get more info on these at http://www.transformerland.com/
  • Anonymous user
    on
    the original transformers from the 80s were great much more well made than the junk they put out now. i was lucky enough to get a jetfire/skyfire one xmas how i wish now that i hadnt opened it!! now ,a boxed one will sell on ebay for at least £60 ! i recently saw a boxed unopened soundwave going on ebay for over £2000! i recently started collecting these again & have quite a few already including some rare ones & combiners (usually a set of 5 )that each change into a robot & combine to make a larger bot.the one i really want at the moment is fortress maximus now hes the daddy of them all hes huge! but then again so is his price tag (usually a minimum of £200)! ill eventually pass these on to my sons god knows what theyll be worth in another 25 yrs time!!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Oh and by the way - I have a whole heap of vintage toys to sell. I like this site - much better than searching through ebay. When you google something you get everything but the thing you asked for
  • Anonymous user
    on
    How much did you say Dinobot was worth? I think I've got one! I have quite a few that I put in a bag to check out when I closed my secondhand business some 12 years ago - and until recently couldn't be bothered looking at them. Now I find, a lot are worth money - and that is what I need right now - so I am looking for the best way to sell them.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    The goodies were the Heroic Autobots. The baddies were the Evil Decepticons. I had a baddie who turned into a jet fighter. Great fun!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    i remember having a few main transformers but only optimus prime and a couple others basicly but yea loved the TV show still love they way they work! what genius! two toys in one lol right anyways well just as a random post! i hope u all have caught the trailer for new film its almost here! how hot is that
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I had most of the transformers and i still do. I love those dam things. HEY Justin are you selling that base. I would like to buy it from you. It would go great in my collection. email me. Starfox_2k@yahoo.com
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Yeah!!! Transformers were the best, much better than Go-Bots. Me and my brother had nearly every figure you could get. Can't wait to see the new Transformers film when it comes out.