Happy birthday Transformers!

On Sept 17, 1984 the first episodes of what would become an ongoing franchise of cartoons, movies, comics, and toys aired its first episodes.  While the comics were technically already out, it was the cartoon that really kicked off the sensation that carries on to this day.

I don’t think I watched it myself back then, as I don’t recall watching much until after the second or third season had started.  I’d come home from school, plop myself in front of the TV, and watch GI Joe and Transformers back to back inw aht I thought was an awesome hour of TV(except when baseball pre-empted it).

I saw another blog today that was looking to celebrate the 30 years of Transformers by exploring a toy from his collection for each year over the next 30 days.  I like the idea but I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up wiht it with the other stuff I got going on, but ti got me thinking.  Is that something I’d be able to do too?  The G2 stuff is likely where I’d be missing “years” but I figure why not try and see if I can match that – do I have one from each year?

  • 1984 – I’ll go with Ratchet.  I actually got one at a garage sale at my grandparents when I was young, and I still have it somewhere, though he’s missing a bunch of accessories, and the rear treads on his sled were broken and glued back together since then.
  • 1985 – Powerglide!  One of my first two or three Transformers.  Since then he’s lost a tailfin/foot, and the pins on his wings kept trying to slide out, but I’ve still got that red jet with an ego twice his size packed away somewhere.
  • 1986 – Blurr this time.  I got him around the same time as Powerglide, though his head broke off and got lost when I was young, so I treated him like a headmaster.  I eventually got a replacement, but the shield clip broke.  I’ve still got that one however, packed away somewhere
  • 1987 – Nosecone and the Technobots!  I got a Nosecone but the arm broke off, so I got a second one later.  I also got an Afterburner, but he got stolen by a so-called friend.  I always liked these futuristic vehicles, and kept drooling over Strafe, so later on in College when I got back into collecting I got a replacement Afterburner and completed the team!
  • 1988 – Quake the double Targetmaster.  This guy has aged better than some of my other examples above, with no real damage in all the time I had him.  The only Targetmaster I got until much later, just like Hosehead was my only Headmaster for a long time.
  • 1989 – Pretender Bumblebee – My first toy of Bumblebee, which I thought was a big deal since he was such a big character back then, relatively.  He also looked a lot like his cartoon model for the time.  I wanted the Jazz too, but never got ahold of it
  • 1990 – Construction Patrol – I got this for Easter I think, but by this time I was drifting away from Transformers some, towards TMNT.  Part of that was because I didn’t “get” Action Masters at the time.
  • 1991 – The first year I don’t have anything for.  This was one of the Euro-only years, while the line went into hibernation int eh US and Japan
  • 1992 – Skyquake – Years later I found this through a fansite selling figures, pretty much intact.  This was before eBay really took off so I jumped at the chance for a huge decepticon with all these missilebombs he could drop, and it was Euro-only!
  • 1993 – Another year I don’t have anything.  I saw the G2 toon and saw a few in stores, but I never got any of them while they were fresh.
  • 1994 – Same as 1993 I’m afraid, but from what I see this should be the last fallow year.
  • 1995 – Space Case – Years later I fell in love with the idea of forward-swept wings, and heard about the cyberjets having awesome articulation.  I zeroed in on Space Case having too gaudy a paint job that it would work as a good base for a custom character I named Slipstream(no relation to the fem Decepticon).  After I bought it while I was waiting to get started, I grew attached to the figure as-is and the repaint never happened.
  • 1996 – Wolfang – Actually got the Japanese version, long after the initial release.  While I had a fan character called Foxfire based off this mold, I never entertained actual thoughts of repainting him.
  • 1997 – Airrazor – My first new Transformer since G1. I’d been catching Beast Wars when I could, and I happened to spot her on the pegs at a store I was at.  Didn’t even wait to get home before opening the package, since I had to wait at the post office a bit that day.
  • 1998 – Transmetal 2 Cheetor – My second BW toy ever, which I got as a gift.  Just because you’re a teen doesn’t mean you can’t still ask for toys as gifts!
  • 1999 – Tigerhawk – Another one bought for me.  I thought the design was really neat, besides the nature of the character himself
  • 2000 – Mach Alert – My first new vehicle transformer, imported fresh from Japan when everyone was going “OMG VEHICLES” at Car Robots, and when we had no idea it would be brought over.  He’s still my favorite of the Car Bros.
  • 2001  – BM Rattrap – I just had to get this one because he was supposed to be the size of a live rat, like Supreme Cheetor was housecat-sized
  • 2002 – Minicons. I realize I’m cheating a bit but I can’t name a specific one.  Minicons however were a return to Micromasters, and would let me populate my Metroplex and Brave Maximus for a real Autobot City!
  • 2003 – Unicron – Finally the big bad from 1986 had a figure of his own!  Sure it wasn’t exactly like G1, but it was close enough(and still is).
  • 2004 – Energon Rodimus – Again going back to my like for S3 G1, we finally had a Rodimus Prime again, even though they never called him that Stateside.
  • 2005 – Energon Galvatron – Just like Rodimus, except this also looked like that old Decepticon Lunatic more than any other figure to date.in design and deco, apart from a few concessions to the gunship mode
  • 2006 – Primus – Just liek Unicron,w e now had a Cybertron for him to consume, only it also transformed into a version of the Transformer’s creator!  It didn’t look much like the images from the old G1 UK comics though, sadly.
  • 2007 – Movie Optimus Prime – While not accurate to the movie, the first movie since 1986(and live action) it was a good Optimus on its own.
  • 2008 – Universe Cyclonus – The popularity of Classics let us get a lot more of these “updated” G1 figures, and Cyclonus gave us a proper representation of Galvatron’s lieutenant
  • 2009 – Animated Arcee – Even though it was the tail end of the line, it was the first ever official Arcee based on her G1 car mode, and my stand-in until the new one comes out later this year.
  • 2010 – PCC Leadfoot – The Power Core Combiner was an odd concept that borrowed from Energon Prime, but this one was neat in that it was a former G2 character who hadn’t been used in ages, with a gun that also became an engine.
  • 2011 – Generations Kup – This slot was reserved for Classics Kup.  Another of the 1986 Autobot cars, though he wasn’t a futuristic pickup anymore, he looked recognizably like himself. This was also part of the Generations revival that has continued through today, and into the foreseeable future.
  • 2012 – FoC Shockwave – Even though it’s based on the game and doesn’t turn into a gun, this was to me the most accurate Shockwave thus far, and still has a place on my desk at home.  I pretty much bypassed Prime in favor of Generations, and this was one of the FoC figured I felt worked fine with other classic-styled figures, even if it was a bit small.
  • 2013 – Generations Springer – This was one of the best figures of the year in that it not only has a good implementation of triple-changing, but at the same time looks like it leaped right out the pages of the IDW comic book. A bit large due to his size class, but very satisfying.
  • 2014 – Rhinox – I gotta give this one to the big lug, as we finally had a figure for him that looks like him in both modes, and even transforms kind of like the show.

So short a few years in G2, which had a few new molds(which I got some of as repaints were released later) but a lot of repaints, I was able to come up with something for every year, though a couple there wasn’t much that spoke to me as far as listing it went.

I had something else as well originally intended to be added to this post art-wise, but due to recent developments while I was putting the above list together, I’m going to hold off on that for now.  Until next time!

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