The Toys That Made Us

Transformers

Season 2: Episode 2    | Next

Airs: Friday, May 25 2018 at 6:55am on Netflix TV-14 Documentary (Genre) / History (genre) Writers: Brian Volk-Weiss

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In 1983, when Hasbro was looking for a fresh, new line to sell alongside G.I. Joe, they bought the license of the Diaclone and Micro Change toys from Takara, then commissioned Marvel Comics to come up with a story-line and character names for the toys. The result: Transformers. Despite Tonka releasing the cheaper Gobots line six months earlier, Hasbro's Transformers took the toy market by storm in 1984, raking in US$150 million that year. At the peak of the toy line's popularity, The Transformers: The Movie hit theaters to further capitalize on its success, but the film polarized fans and collectors with the death of Optimus Prime and majority of the original characters. As Hasbro took full control of Transformers from Takara by the late 1980s, sales declined until the toy line was discontinued in 1991. After the failed Generation 2 reboot, Beast Wars rejuvenated the franchise in 1995. In 2007, the live-action Transformers film solidified Transformers' position as Hasbro's flagship toy line.

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