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Robots In Disguise

The Transformers franchise is built around a wonderfully simple yet imaginative premise: giant robots that can transform themselves into apparently everyday mechanical objects such as trucks and aircraft. This gives them great appeal as action toys for kids and also provides much opportunity for visual media such as animated cartoons and comics.

The Transformers originate from the planet Cybertron. As is traditional they split into two factions, one good the other evil. The good transformers are the Autobots led by the heroic Optimus Prime, the evil ones are the Decepticons led by Megatron. Both use energon as an energy source.

The Transformers have proved hugely popular and over the years you've been able to buy a wide variety of stuff including toys, video games, action figures, etc.


The history of the Transformers is complex. As with any good mythology it has split into various competing timelines which agree on the basic facts but differ on many details.


The Transformers story begins in the 1970s with the Microman and Diaclone toys. Transformers as we know them today began in 1984 with the new line of toys as well as a Marvel comic book. Soon afterwards the original TV series began. The comic book and TV series disagreed fundamentally on many aspects of the Transformers' back story.

1986 saw the release of the original animated movie.

The chaotic period between 1984 and 1992 is generally described as Generation 1 or simply G1.


Generation 2 (G2) was ushered in by a a Marvel comic book Transformers: Generation 2. This ran for 12 issues and pitted the Transformers against the deadly Swarm.

Some characters were redesigned for g2, others given new looks and abilities. This was reflected in new toy designs being released. There was also a g2 animated TV series, though this was ittle more than a cut and paste of the original with new linking sequences.

Beast Wars

There's some debate about whether the Beast Wars saga should count as a seperate "generation" (g3) or be classified as an extension of g2 or even g1. Although it has some marketing elements in common with g2, the back story refers to g1. Hence it's usually treated as a period in its own right.

The Beast Wars series lasted from 1996 - 2000 and were so named because events forced the Transformers to assume organic forms - beasts. As well as Beast Wars there was a two season follow-up Beast Machines.


Since 2002 a number of extensions to the story line have taken place. These include the Dreamwave stories and the War Within series as well as Transformers: Micromasters. However the most important event since 2002 is probably...

2007 Movie

2007 sees the release of a new, live-action Transformers film featuring the tagline Their War. Our World. The movie is due for release in the US on July 4 and features Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime with Frank Welker as the voice of Megatron.

As well as seeing the film you will also be able to buy prequels in the form of a comic book and a novel.

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