TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 1 - 1984
A world where things are not as they seem... TRANSFORMERS brand history begins this year, as Hasbro releases the very first robot-to-vehicle figures. The first wave of toys introduces the heroic AUTOBOT vehicles, which make their debut as small, easy-to-convert "minicars." Next come the DECEPTICON figures, which have a slightly more difficult conversion. Subsequent figures are larger and more complex, but TRANSFORMERS fans are ready for the challenge!
The TRANSFORMERS' first animated TV series hits the airwaves! Now kids can get their fix of TRANSFORMERS excitement every weekend. The show quickly becomes one of the most popular kids' shows of the year and eventually expands to a five-day-a-week schedule. Kids everywhere re-cap the action of each episode with their friends at school the next day!
Kids can read about their favorite action heroes too, when Marvel Comics publishes the very first TRANSFORMERS comic book. Originally intended as a four-issue "mini series," the comic books are so popular that Marvel immediately makes plans for more; the series eventually grows to 80 issues.
Other figures released this year: the DECEPTICON jets, including the wildly popular STARSCREAM jet; OPTIMUS PRIME, the semi-truck leader of the AUTOBOTS; the MEGATRON robot, leader of the DECEPTICONS; and the DECEPTICON SOUNDWAVE, a robot that converts into a cassette recorder.
TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 1 - 1985
By now TRANSFORMERS are one of the hottest toys on the market. For those who haven't jumped on board the bandwagon yet, Hasbro re-releases all the figures from the previous year. Fans look forward to the introduction of several new characters, including the CONSTRUCTICONS construction vehicles, a team of six DECEPTICONS that turn into individual robots and combine to form DEVASTATOR, a larger robot. This is the first of many "merge group" TRANSFORMERS (figures that combine to form a larger one).
The first mail-order TRANSFORMERS are offered. Fans clip "robot points" from product packaging and fill out a form to order the Omnibots, reinforcement warriors from Cybertron; the S.T.A.R.S. Command Center playset; and the AUTOBOT Warrior emblem watch. Other mail-away offers include the DECEPTICON triple threat, Reflector figure, as well as classic TRANSFORMERS reissue toys.
Another TRANSFORMERS trend begins with the introduction of the TRIPLE CHANGERS - DECEPTICON figures with three modes of change. Over the years, as the figures become more complex, many TRANSFORMERS feature up to six different modes!
The Insecticons, robots that turn into (you guessed it!) insects, make their debut, as well as the AUTOBOT JUMPSTARTERS figures. The JUMPSTARTERS feature pull-back motion - pull them back on the floor and let go, and they move forward and change into robots.
Other figures released this year include the DINOBOTS, dinosaurs that change into robots; some of the most popular characters in this group are GRIMLOCK, SLUDGE and SWOOP dinos. Also hitting store shelves: SHOCKWAVE, the first electronic Transformer with lights and sound.
TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 1 - 1986
Hasbro treats kids and collectors to more than 50 new figures. And if that weren't enough, TRANSFORMERS: The Movie hits the big screen and is a huge hit with fans across the country. The movie prompts the release of several new figures, including the RODIMUS PRIME and ULTRA MAGNUS robots.
Several merge groups are released this year, including sets in which one figure becomes the body of a larger robot, with the other figures becoming the arms and legs. The very first AUTOBOT merge group is the AERIALBOTS, figures that can combine to form SUPERION, a larger robot. Also released were the STUNTICONS, COMBATICONS, PREDACONS and PROTECTOBOTS merge groups.
New electronic figures include TRYPTICON, the battle station; SKY LYNX, the space shuttle; and the robot GALVATRON, who, in the movie, takes over command of the DECEPTICON army.
TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 1 - 1987
Another banner year for TRANSFORMERS, marked by the introduction of two new lines - TARGETMASTERS and HEADMASTERS. TARGETMASTERS are humanoid creatures who turn into the robot's weapon; HEADMASTERS are vehicle pilots who become the head of the robot. Even better, by joining the head and body of the robot you get a display panel on the robot's chest with its vital stats - speed, strength and intelligence.
The biggest TRANSFORMERS figure ever made is, in fact, a HEADMASTER. FORTRESS MAXIMUS, an awesome two-foot-tall figure can turn into a battle station and an entire city!
Also released this year: MONSTERBOTS, monsters which emit sparks when you push a button; and Sixshot, the first TRANSFORMERS figure with six modes of change!
The final season of the U.S. "Generation 1" animated series, The Rebirth, airs in the fall as a three-part story detailing the adventures of the HEADMASTERS and TARGETMASTERS. The epic ends with the banishment of the DECEPTICONS and a new golden age of Cybertron.
TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 1 - 1988
This year welcomes even more fresh ideas from the TRANSFORMERS line. A twist on the TARGETMASTERS/HEADMASTERS theme arrives with POWERMASTERS - robots whose humanoid cohorts become their engine in vehicle mode. Another big hit is the PRETENDERS - figures with organic outer "shells" that hide the robot inside. The shells can be human (AUTOBOTS) or monsters (DECEPTICONS). With the arrival of PRETENDER BEASTS, all the robots are contained within the shell of large animals.
TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 1 - 1989
When you've got a toy this big, sometimes you've got to - think small. That's what Hasbro does this year with the introduction of the MICROMASTERS line of miniature TRANSFORMERS. First out of the gate are MICROMASTERS PATROLS, followed by MICROMASTERS TRANSPORTS and MICROMASTERS STATIONS, playsets designed specifically for this line. In keeping with the extremely collectible MICROMASTERS characters, each playset can be linked via a system of ramps to create and customize an incredible MICROMASTERS city!
Also released this year are PRETENDERS Classics, featuring the triumphant return of GRIMLOCK, JAZZ, BUMBLEBEE and STARSCREAM figures. Overall, however, fewer figures are released than in previous years.
TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 1 - 1990
A whole new line called ACTION MASTERS makes its appearance - these are articulated action figures based on TRANSFORMERS characters both old and new. OPTIMUS PRIME has brought back an experimental form of energy called Nucleon to super-fuel his troops with incredible powers. The DECEPTICONS steal this resource and the battle rages anew. But this energy source comes with a price - it makes the TRANSFORMERS robots unable to change! That power is given instead to their weapons and assistant drones.
More MICROMASTER figures are released, including MICROMASTERS COMBINERS, an interconnecting series of micro-vehicles.
But all good things must come to an end, and so it is with the first generation of TRANSFORMERS figures; 1990 is their last year of production.
Transmitted from Cybertron, from Rachet on behalf of Optimus Prime