When #Hasbro, Inc. launched the Transformers franchise in 1984 by rebranding a line of transforming mecha from the Takara’s Diaclone & Microman toylines. They did not fully realize how big the Transformer brand would become, and that it would successfully expanded into animation, movies, games and become a live action film juggernaut. I can actually see #Elon #Musk some day making a real functioning transformer to promote #Tesla – shout out to Elon to do this it would be awesome.
However, Hasbro’s, vision in 1984 had a “twist”, the original concept had humans remotely controlling the cars. But instead of remote humans, Hasbro wanted to bring the Transformer to life. Hasbro saw the need for the robots to have emotions and #emotional #intelligence. To accomplish this Hasbro hired Bob Budiansky to make the robots sentient and give them unique personalities.
Budiansky created the characters and personalities for the first generation of Transformers and he used pop culture as an inspiration for many of the characters. Transformers such as “Ratchet” and “Shockwave” drew from characters in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and #StarTreks “Mr Spock”. Budiansky integrated these personalities into each Transformers “Teck Spec”. The “Teck Specs” were “Transformer” rating cards on the back of every Transformers box. The “Teck Spec” came with a red see through decoder. Hasbro had a merchandising hit.
For those of us raised on TRS 80’s and Vic 20’s the combination of technology & personality with what had traditional been an inanimate toy...blew our mind. The Transformer toys; supported by a well scripted cartoon series, flew off the shelves. Hasbro had brought personality and emotional conflict to toy cars and trucks, toys that were traditionally inanimate objects, and kids and adults everywhere…loved it.
Hasbro lovingly pulling the transformers personalities together with an addictive “Marvelesque” (not sure if that’s a word) storylines. For parents on a budget the revolutionary ideas of getting their little ones two toys in one, was a great way to stretch the dollar. The 1984 Transformers were revolutionary, popular and they truly were: “More Then Meets The Eye”.
Did you know that in 1984 there were 28 Transformer figures in the original transformer line? Of which 11 were Autoboots and 10 were Decepticons. Additional generation one transformers were released after 1984.
Key Autobots from Generation #1:
- Optimus Prime,
- and Windcharger
Key Decepticons from Generation #1:
- and Thundercracker.
*Generation 1 Transformers To Watch For:
Optimus Prime: (up to $1800 in original sealed box)
Megatron: (up to $2000 in original sealed box)
Soundwave: (up to $2300 in original sealed box)
Startscream: (up to $750 in original Sealed Box)
Bumblebee: (up to $170 in original sealed box)
Ultra Magnus: (up to $500 in original sealed box)
Swoop: (up to $800 in original sealed box)
Shockwave: (up to $1200 in original sealed box)
Jetfire: (up to $600 in original sealed box)
Many of the original Transformers shared the same chassis with different paint jobs:
- Ironhide and Ratchet share the same design.
- Cliffjumper, Bumblebee, Hubcap and Bumblejumper all have the same body.
- Prowl, Bluestreak, and Smokescreen all share the same design with different colours.
- Trailbreaker and Hoist share the same design.
- Grapple and Inferno share the same design.
- Rumble and Frenzy share the same design.
- Laserbeak and Buzzsaw share the same design.
- Sideswipe and Red Alert share the same design.
- Optimus Prime's and Ultra Magnus' cab share the same design.
- Pipes and Huffer also share the same design.
With the Transformer franchise relaunching again this Christmas with the release of the new Transformers Bumblebee Movie. And with the franchises newfound popularity, we find a new Bumblebee hungry generation of toy buyers that are ready to engage. We only see the first generation Transformer toys increase in value. We will likely see a run up in price on the first generation “Bumblebee” as we expect Bumblebee is about to become quite popular with a new generation toy buyers. It may be time to dig those old Transformers out of the attic. And do some #thrift Store hunting for some of the first-generation toys. Keep in mind that like most collectibles condition is everything, at least as far as getting top dollar is concerned. And don’t underestimate the value of an original mint condition box, it effectively acts as a cost multiplier for these older collectible toys.
*Prices based on aggregate sales prices on Ebay and www.MaritimeVintage.com
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