The lights are on
As of 2009, The Transformers are 25 years old -- older if you look to their Japanese roots. In this span of time, the series of toys has invaded every medium imaginable and developed a rabid fan following with size and lasting power that all but the most popular franchises would blush at. But one area they've yet to conquer is the world of video games.
High Moon Studios’ Matt Tieger, game director for Transformers: War for Cybertron, has pitched the upcoming title as "the game I've been waiting 25 years to play," a sentiment he hopes will be echoed by many long-time franchise followers who have yet to receive a satisfying virtual incarnation of the robots in disguise. Just what is it that Transformers fans are looking for in a game that they would wait this long for it? I decided to take a look back at the long history of the Transformers across various forms of entertainment to figure it out and to see just how much can happen in 25 years.
If you want to read about a specific form of Transformers, you can skip ahead. The article covers the various mediums in the following order: Cartoons and Movies on page 2, Toys on page 3, Comics on page 4, and Games on page 5.
Despite becoming a sensation among American children of the '80s, the Transformers craze actually began in Japan with a toy company named Takara. In 1974, Takara launched a line of toys in Japan called Microman, a series of small but impressively detailed action figures that included robots and vehicles with interchangeable parts (such as Robotman, pictured to the left). A spin-off toy line named Diaclone was launched in 1980 and introduced vehicles that transform.
The Microman toys first made their way to the U.S. in 1976 under the name Micronauts, but as the Mega Corporation neared bankruptcy, the Micronauts toy line was cancelled in 1980. A few years later in 1984, Hasbro was wise enough to buy up rights for the Diaclone and Microman toy lines, which they rebranded as Transformers, focusing on the concept of big, detailed robots that could transform into cars, jets, and more.
Hasbro's smart ideas didn't stop there. The company also decided to introduce the toys to the public with a cartoon series simply titled The Transformers. This is where many kids got their first taste of Transformers.
I must have had ever Transformers toy in the book when I was little. I would have taken plastic robots over plastic Barbie dolls any day.
i never really got into Transformer toys, but i loved Transformers:Armada and the PS2 game about it
My cousin's stepdad was close to killing me for saying the Transformers 2 movie was a complete disaster. I should watch what I say to diehard fans of something from now on.
Another part of my childhood :)
I think I might be the only person on this site that actually thought the movies were cool.......
i would have read this but my interest in Transformers is limited to just the movies. oh yeah and the tv show Cybertron but that's it.
I had tons of Transformer Action figures when I was a kid, actually, I still do! Also, I think I may be th only one here who really likes the movies a whole freakin lot.
i hope this game will be good i do enjoy transformers
and Who was the sixth robot in the video and what the (insert word) did he transform into, a space ship or some thing it was a bit weird.
ah yes. Micronauts. I loved those! I had Space Glider and Time Traveler and boy did I play with them for hours on end. They were THE hot Christmas toy for '76 (Series I) and maybe even '77 (Series II). By Spring of '78, Star Wars Action Figures came out and Force Choked the entire Micronauts toy line and eventually the company. Running around with Micronauts after 1978 was like having a Go-Bot during the Transformer era.
A wry irony is that Mega was given the opportunity to purchase the license for the Star Wars toys.
hahah plastic robots.............. i myself, can wait for transformers.
Nice condensed chronology.
I had to pause and try to remove this image from my head: "However, it introduced the absurd concept that Transformers required little girls to kiss them (?!?!) in order to power up."
I remember thoroughly enjoying Beast Wars after coming home from school when I was a kid. I don't recall having many of the toys, though; I was more interested in Gundam models.
The title of High-Moon's game implies that they're going back to story's origins, which is really the best way to approach a game that both older and newer generations of fans can appreciate. If they're successful with this title they will be able to expand on and really bring the Transformers experience to a level on par with the more popular cartoon series.
I think releasing brawlers and smash'em ups based on movie tie-ins, or simply as stand-alone games is really a step backwards.
@Shadow: Very smart observation about the title. ;)
Yeah, I never really cared much about the toys. Loved the movies though
I have always been a big transformers fan have never played the game and even as an adult i still find my self not just watching the movies but the cartoons too. well I'm a give this new game a far shoot ill let u know when i think when it comes out
Great research, Phil, enjoyed re-living this.
Grimlock was awesome.
If only Micheal Bay knew plot line.. alas some things may not be meant to be. But I'll be dammed if another crappy transformer game comes out!!!
Hey, I call'em like I see'em.
You know... I still have my original megatron... series 1 transformer, the black optimus prime, and the original jetfire (though I still swear that was some kind of Robotech cross over attempt happening)... somewhere in my apt.
Thats a whole lota content, thanks.
to bad hollywood ruined one of the only 2 good things about being a kid in the early 80's . ..... along with g.i.joe. hope thye do not ruin the A-team next year.