Transformers are a big toy brand produced by the toy company Hasbro. The toys were originally made by Tomy, but were branded as Microman. However, Hasbro bought the rights to the company and all its toys in 1984, and has owned them since. They used the same moulds and rebranded them as Transformers.
The selling point of Transformers toys is that they have moveable parts. They change from a robot into another object, such as a car of an animal, hence the tagline ‘Robots in Disguise’. There are two collections of Transformers within the line: either the Autobots (which are the ‘good’ robots), or the Deceptecons (who are their nemeses). The Transformers popularity has spawned a number of films and TV shows. These have included a cartoon series produced by Claster Television and The Transformers: The Movie in the mid-eighties, as well as a recent remake (2007) which was live action. There was also a sequel to the remake released in 2009. There has also been a series of Transformers comic books on sale from Marvel Comics.
Transformers are primarily made as toys for boys. Each action figure comes with what is known as a tech spec (which means technical specification). This is tech spec is printed on the reverse of the toy’s box. The point is for your child to cut out and keep it, as it includes information on the toy, such as its name, what the figure can do, a description of it, and some form of quote, as well as a rating between one and ten on various attributes.
However, as more characters and lines were introduced (such as the Beast Wars line), the rankings of the characters have become more skewed, as Hasbro realised that no child would purchase a figure with lower scores. Transformer toys are also collectible items, particularly among adult fans of the show. Some people buy the characters and keep them in mint condition to keep their value.
However, if you’ve got kids this is unlikely to happen. Transformers are designed to be played with, and are incredible popular and well-like by boys (and girls) all over the world. They are a great toy to give as presents at birthdays and Christmas.
The toys are now considered to be split into different generations. Generation one transformer toys were available between 1984 and 1993, with the tagline ‘More than Meets the Eye’. Some of these toys were made with metal parts. Generation two Transformers were made between 1993 and 1995. The colours of these toys were different, although the moulds used were pretty much the same. However, this line did not sell particularly well. After this failure, the whole look of the Transformers was changed. In 1996, Beast Wars and Beast Machines were released. These robots could turn into much more realistic animals. A TV show was released at the same time, ensuring the popularity of the new toys.
Over the years there have been many reincarnations of Transformers toys, but the main concept has stayed the same. Nowadays, there is a Star Wars line and a Disney line. There’s even a Transformers cereal.