Welcome to Dark eFfectX !

Enter the digital revolution. Design technology, coding & gaming. The exchange of Digital Knowledge while Anime, Manga and Technology collide in a Alchemy of Thought and Illusion.

Learn the magic of today from the science of tomorrow. Web site modifications, custom style sheets (CSS) and coding support + more.

Guests, please register or log in to view the entire forum.

Secret origins of the Transformers

Go down

Secret origins of the Transformers

Post  Bad Wolf on Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:51 am

Secret Origins of the Transformers


What most people don't realize is that the Autobots and Decepticons were Japanese from the very beginning. They didn't originate with Hasbro in 1984, but instead were adapted from toys that Japanese kids had already been playing with for YEARS. And while the basic forms of these toys would be recognizable to American kids, the backstory for these versions was radically different from the epic war story between sentient robots from the planet Cybertron that we were treated to here in the States.

In the early-mid 80s, US toy giant Hasbro was looking for a new toy line. Giant robots were always popular (such as the Shogun Warriors line of the 70s), so Hasbro execs decided that a line of robot toys would sell well to American boys. And who knows giant robots best? The Japanese, of course. So off Hasbro trundled to Japan.

There, Hasbro got lucky. Japan at the time had warehouses crammed full of unsold toys from several different transforming robot lines. Best of all, the companies that made those toys were perfectly willing to sell their remaining stock to Hasbro. Hasbro then repackaged and relabeled these Japanese toys, came up with a backstory for them, and toy history was made.

This means that Optimus Prime and Megatron had lives BEFORE they began their epic battle for Earth and Cybertron. In fact, they weren't even from the same toy series in Japan! The initial Transformers releases, known as "Generation 1" today, came from several different Japanese toy lines.

Diaclone

By far the largest number of toys adapted into Transformers came from the toy line called Diaclone, released in Japan in 1980 by Takara. While these toys didn't have any cartoons or comics associated with them, they did have a rather extensive backstory. A race of vicious aliens, called the Warudars, attacks Earth, using a variety of insectlike transforming war machines. To stop them, Earth develops their own robot war machines, which can transform into regular Earth vehicles to help disguise them, and gives them to the brave young warriors of the Diaclone Taskforce . Why giant robots fighting alien invaders NEED to be undercover is, apparently, left unexplained. Unlike the Transformers, which were sentient robots, all the Diaclone machines were just piloted mecha. Each Diaclone toy thus came with a little pilot figure (with magnetic feet), and many of the toys had cockpit areas for these figures to fit into (in case you were wondering why your Optimus toy had a chest that opened up to reveal a little seat inside).

All the Diaclone Taskforce mecha were "good guys," and the toy line had very few "bad guy" Warudar mecha. Naturally, Hasbro needed to have TWO sides in their Transformers story (conflict being a requirement for boy's toys), and so they split the Diaclone robots into two opposing groups. The cars (which became Wheeljack, Sunstreaker, Ratchet, Ironhide, Skids, Trailbreaker, Bluestreak, Hoist, Inferno, Smokescreen, Hound, Prowl, Jazz, Sideswipe, Mirage, Grapple, and Tracks) became the heroic Autobots, while the jets (which became Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp) became the Decepticons. The split wasn't even, however, and so other changes had to be made. The six construction vehicles that combined into a larger robot became the Constructicons, and joined the side of the Decepticons.

The Diaclone toys also gave the Transformers line their first Triple Changer (Blitzwing), the two Autobot Jumpstarters, and the ever-popular Dinobots (originally created to help the Diaclone Taskforce fight off an army of dinosaurs plucked from the past by the Warudars). Only three of the Warudar mecha were adapted for Transformers, becoming the original Insecticons.

Lastly, the Autobot leader, the great Optimus Prime, was taken from the Diaclone series (as well as the Optimus spinoff toy Ultra Magnus). In the original Diaclone, this mecha's name was Convoy, and the name survives today in the Japanese Transformers, where the Autobot with the personality and look of Optimus Prime is called Convoy to this day.

The Diaclone line also included about a dozen different types of Japanese railway cars that could transform into robots. Wisely, Hasbro passed on these!
Strangely, Diaclone toys were actually sold in the US before Hasbro bought the rights to use them in Transformers. The toys that later became Ironhide, Sunstreaker, and Trailbreaker were marketed in America under the Diakron name, and several others were sold as Kronoform toys.

_________________
avatar
Bad Wolf
Developer
Developer

Female
Age : 40
Number of posts : 1712
Location : The Evil Empire

Reputation : 6
Usage Points : 784
Registration date : 2006-12-24

Cprofile
Title: The Digital Alchemist
Luck:
555/555  (555/555)
Karma:
670/777  (670/777)

View user profile http://darkfx.darkbb.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Secret origins of the Transformers

Post  Bad Wolf on Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:53 am

i actually managed to track down two (2) of my original "driver figures" from said US toy line. Pics to soon follow

_________________
avatar
Bad Wolf
Developer
Developer

Female
Age : 40
Number of posts : 1712
Location : The Evil Empire

Reputation : 6
Usage Points : 784
Registration date : 2006-12-24

Cprofile
Title: The Digital Alchemist
Luck:
555/555  (555/555)
Karma:
670/777  (670/777)

View user profile http://darkfx.darkbb.com

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum