Perhaps one of the most curious aspects of the Transformers line of toys is that rather than being spin-off merchandising items from a hit TV show or movie, in the case of Transformers, the toys came FIRST, with a number of spin-offs based on the toys following later! Marvel published a series of comic books, there was an animated television series as well a feature-length movie – The Transformers: The Movie (and even a live-action remake in 2007). Its 2009 sequel – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – smashed box office records on its release.
The Transformers robot action figures toyline was originally created and produced by the Japanese company Takara under the brandnames Diaclones and Microman. When Hasbro bought the US distribution rights to the Diaclone and Microman in 1984, they were rebranded as Transformers for the US market.