Transformers (toy Line)
The Transformers (トランスフォーマー, Toransufomā?) is a line of toys produced by the American toy company Hasbro. The Transformers toyline was created from toy molds mostly produced by Japanese company Takara (now known as Takara Tomy) in the toylines Diaclone and Microman. Other toy molds from other companies such as Bandai were used as well. In 1984, Hasbro bought the distribution rights to the molds and rebranded them as the Transformers for distribution in North America. Hasbro would go on to buy the entire toy line from Takara, shortly after giving them sole ownership of the Transformers toy-line, branding rights, and copyrights, while in exchange, Takara was given the rights to produce the toys and the rights to distribute them in the Japanese market. The premise behind the Transformers toyline is that an individual toy's parts can be shifted about to change it from a vehicle, a device, or an animal, to a robot action figure and back again. The taglines "More Than Meets The Eye" and "Robots In Disguise" reflect this ability.
The Transformers toyline is typically divided into two main factions: the heroic Autobots and their opponents, the evil Decepticons (traditionally known in Japan as the Cybertrons and Destrons, respectively, although more recent releases often use the English terms). Transformers toys are sold at a number of price points, and various Transformers series utilize unique play features.
There have also been a number of spin-offs based on the toys including a Marvel comic book series, an animated television series program presented by Claster Television, Inc., a television production company that Hasbro organized for this and similar purposes, that began transmissions in 1984 (Transformers series) and a feature-length movie, The Transformers: The Movie. The original series program was followed by a number of spin-offs with varying levels of popularity. A live-action film series, directed by Michael Bay under the sponsorship of Steven Spielberg has had three films with more planned.
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