Today is apparently the 25th Anniversary of the Transformers franchise. Best anyone can figure, May 8, 1984 was the day the first issue of the Transformers comic book from Marvel hit stands, and apparently the first day the toy hit stands.
“mechanical beings, able to transform their bodies into vehicles, machinery, and weapons.”
My first actual Transformer was Hoist. Now, what confuses me about my memory is that Hoist was a 1985 Transformer. I remember when I got Hoist for my birthday, and part of me wants to remember it as my 7th birthday. But it had to be my 8th, because I am pretty sure that I had some idea what Transformers were.
“A last line of defense against the chaos-bringer, Unicron.”
There were a lot of robots that year: Transformers, Gobots, and some Saturday morning series that I don’t even remember the name of.
“They are at war, heroic Autobots pitted against evil Decepticons,”
But there was something different about Transformers. During the 84-85 year, when I was in second grade, it aired on Saturday mornings at like 7 AM. My brothers used to watch it with me, and that’s why they bought the toy.
“both on their homeworld, the metal planned called Cybertron,”
It’s amazing how childhood memories work. . . .
I remember my cousins having Transformers toys, and they always seemed to break easily. Back then, they were a combination of die-cast metal and plastic, which some collectors today insist was superior. It was cool, yes, but they broke like nothing. That’s one reason I was never really interested in the franchise as far as toys until years later.
“and here on our earth.”
My first glimps of the Marvel comic was on the same birthday. The Marvel series was originally supposed to be a 4-issue limited series. It ran one issue every two months for 8 months, and it was so successful it was extended (when the series ended with issue 80 nearly ten years later, the cover said “#80 in a Four Issue Limited Series!”).
“they are the galaxy’s last hope.”
I would start reading the comic book regularly two years later. When I was in fourth grade, I disocvered that the library had comic books available for check out, and I would read comic books from the library.
“They are . . . More than Meets the Eye!”
Of course, the 1986 Movie was groundbreaking in many ways. It traumatized millions of children by kiling off their childhood hero. It introduced a more mystical element to the series that writer Simon Furman would later build on in the comic books, developing the mythology that the Transformers were created by God–known to them as Primus–to battle Unicron, a demon who had incarnated himself in a planet to try and gain divine power by consumption of the universe itself (OK, I’m Christianizing it a bit: Furmans “actual” mythology is Dualistic).
“They are . . . Robots in Disguise!”
A recent book claims that, after Star Wars, it is the most successful science fiction franchise in history.
“Beyond good . . . Beyond evil . . . Beyond your Wildest Imagination”
“Strong enough to break the bravest heart
So we have to pull together–no we can’t stay worlds apart.
To stand divided we will surely fall,
Until our darkest hour, when the Light will save us all!”
“It’s Judgement Day and now we’ve made our stand,
And for now the powers of darkness have been driven from our land.
The battle’s over, but the war has just begun,
That’s the way it will remain, till the day when All are One!”