Introduction to Transformer Toys
The success of the Transformers toys series of robots is based on their ability to change form. They appear to be something quite different in their disguise as fighter jets, sports cars, trucks, guns or animals which change into a transformers action figure by a few twists and turns of their joints.
Transformers toys are a Hasbro company brand name that every household knows and suit children of all ages from 3 onwards. The experience of exploring a high tech sci-fi world the children’s imaginations create around their action figures and themselves gives those hours of engrossing play.
The original story involves the devastation of the robot’s home world and their arrival, in two factions, the goodies Autobots Cybertrons and baddies Decepticons Destrons, on earth seeking an artefact, stranded at an unknown location, to rebuild their planet and destroy the evil robots or dominate the universe, depending on which side they are on.
Children naturally extend the stories they already know and make up new adventures for their robots to engage in the transformers universe, including much fighting and the use of a selection of weapons. Teachers and parents have found much to recommend in this award winning line of toys that encourage imaginative and creative play, alone or as part of a group of children.
After reading our general guide to the best models, prices and deals in the U.K, please see our Jargon Buster for a clear explanation of the names, slang, generations of robots and technical terminology.
The Transformer Range of Toys
“More than meets the eye,” the Transformer’s company motto, is a good slogan for Transformer toys, since many parents find themselves almost unwittingly impressed with these widely promoted toys, the award winning designs and the emphasis on technology underlying the story.
The easiest way to categorize Transformer robot toys is to group them in this way:
- Generation 1
- Generation 1 Commemorative Series
- Generation 2
- Beast Wars
- Robots in Disguise
- Transformers Armada
- Beast Machines.
Understanding which robot belongs to what generation is a fairly complicated affair, without an expert guide. From the links given below, there are chronologically accurate lists of the hundreds of different robots from 60 or more companies who produced them.
More detailed information can be found at these external links:
The Transformers robots use a variety of weapons of all types, mostly against each other, with 20 or more falling into these categories.
- Transformers Toys
- Transformers.com - Official Transformers Web Site
- TFWiki.net, the Transformers Wiki
- Psychological-Based Weapons,
- Thermal-Based Weapons
- Bio-Based Weapons
- Energon-Based Weapons
- Standard Energy-Based Weapons
- Electrical-Based Weapon
Other Transformer toys products include Transformers cereal, a short lived project not unlike Coco puffs which “transformed” the milk into chocolate milk, Transformers video games, a transformers phone featuring graphics from the animated series, transformers costume which is a great favourite at Halloween and fancy dress parties, and a recording of the transformers soundtrack featuring Linkin Park.
Transformers Toys from the Action Movies
To date two action movies have been released featuring Transformer Toys. The most recent, Revenge of the Fallen being released in June 2009. New models of Transformer toys from that film are still making their way onto toy shop shelves and will continue to do so until February 2010.
These movie based toys have replaced the older concept of generations of Transformers, and models are more evenly spread across the age range to ensure younger children, age 3 and up can use the special transforming abilities. Models suiting smaller hands include 20 new robots of the Fast Action Battler class were released at the same time the second action film appeared. These featured simpler transformations and are more like toys than action figures.
The special MechAlive feature included on the top of the line robots from this film shows cogs and gears in movement during the process of transformation, which built on the AutoMorph technology seen in toys from the first Transformers action film. This earlier addition allows for automatic movement of some parts to be triggered by the process.
The demand for Transformer toys becomes so strong after the release of each action film that the first one, released in 2007 and named “Transformers” actually saw a lack of sufficient models in shops. The process is more staggered for new toy releases at the present day, with some emerging in conjunction with the movie, and others over a year later. Shopping for popular models or limited edition robots such as a new Optimus Prime robot should be done promptly to avoid disappointment.
Best Buys to consider
The transformer bumblebee is featured in this Transforming LED Torch which could easily be a regular model car, unless you know its secret. When the sides of the car are pressed in, a torch slides out from a secret compartment. At well under ten pounds this nifty addition to “covert operations” comes with three of with its own LR44 button cell batteries, great value for Transformer fans.
Learning about the toys your children spent their time with has never been easier than with the complete season of transformers on a transformers DVD The shared experience of delight at watching Transformers change into robots is a great way to allow children to teach their parents about the series. The DVD includes all 16 top rated episodes from 1984 in a celebration of 25 years of Transformers. The Complete First Season 25th Anniversary Edition DVD costs less than twenty pounds, offering a lot of entertainment value for the whole family.
Older children gamers find Transformers: The Game, Cybertron Edition for use with the Xbox 360 an exciting challenge. Also available are the versions for transformers ps2, transformers ps3 and Nintendo Wii The famous Role Playing Game takes players through the experience of transforming from a car, plane or gun into the Transformer of their choice. It is their decision to join with the Autobots to save Earth, or help the Decepticons destroy it. Superior graphics, especially in the fight sequences make this Microsoft product an all-time favourite of many gamers. The set includes many extra features such as a bonus disk describing the game’s development and interviews with its creators, unlockable extra levels of play and is good value at less than twenty pounds.