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Before the live-action Transformers film was pushed back from November 2006 to July 2007, Hasbro needed to create a filler line to bridge the gap in their product offerings. That bridge was a revisitation of the original Generation One characters, dubbed Classics. The line featured many original toy designs as well as some Mini-Cons which were originally meant for the end of the Cybertron franchise. A handful of redecoed Legends-class figures rounded out the selection.
Although no cartoon or comic book were planned for the line by Hasbro, Fun Publications picked up the ball for their Official Transformers Fan Club Magazine comic, making Classics the basis of their 2007 story-arc. They used the old Marvel Generation One comic as backstory, but disregarded the Marvel UK material and the Generation 2 comic that followed, taking things in a new direction instead. Even after the magazine comic moved on to a different focus, Fun Publications continued to utilize Classics elements in other stories, also with Transformers Animated and others.
Classics has a Japanese counterpart in Henkei! Henkei!.
- Dinobots (Terrorsaur, Knockdown & Swoop (Classics))
- Night Rescue Team (Strongarm, Divebomb & Firebot)
- Demolition Team (Wideload, Sledge & Broadside)
- Predator Attack Team (Snarl, Overbite & Dreadwing)
- Dirt Digger Team (Oil Slick, Grindor & Dirt Rocket)
- Clear Skies Team (Thunderwing, Steel Wind & Nightscream)
"Cybertron Collection" Legends Class
- Optimus Prime vs Megatron: The Ultimate Battle (versus two-pack with DVD)
- Ultra Magnus vs Skywarp: Battle for Autobot City (versus two-pack, Target exclusive)
- Constructicon Devastator (Wal-Mart exclusive giftset)
Hasbro 20th Anniversary
- Optimus Prime (DVD Edition) (20th Anniversary "DVD Edition" redeco with talking base)
Wal*Mart exclusive Masterpiece
- Masterpiece Starscream (G1-colored redeco), Wal*Mart exclusive
Toys'R'Us exclusive Commemorative Edition
- "Commemorative Edition" Soundwave with Laserbeak and Battle Ravage (Generation One reissue; uses the Soundblaster version of the mold, which had a remolded door that can hold two cassettes.), Toys"R"Us exclusive
Hasbro Toy Shop exclusive Pepsi Transformer
- Pepsi Optimus Prime (Hasbro release of Pepsi Convoy), available as a prize for winners of the Pepsi-sponsored Transform Your Summer contest and as a Hasbro Toy Shop "exclusive"
BotCon 2007 exclusives
- "Games of Deception" boxset, featuring:
- Mirage (clear version) as a "Primus package" freebie
- Springer & Huffer set
- Alpha Trion with Beta Maxx & Weirdwolf set
Foreign Market Exclusives
Foreign Market exclusive Classic repackages
Asia (Hong Kong,Singapore,Malaysia,Philippines)
What counts as Classics?
The term "Classics" is universally accepted and used by both fans and Hasbro, but it appears with surprising irregularity around the toys themselves. The first year of packaging only labeled them "Transformers," with "Classic" appearing solely as a prefix to some of the size classes (such as "Classic Deluxe" or "Classic Voyager"). Some toys, such as the Magnus/Skywarp two-pack, have no "Classic" label at all. The one unifying factor was the distinctive design of the packaging, which spread to even the Soundwave re-release. This has become the commonly-accepted delineator of the Classics line, which brings the following toys into the fold even though they don't self-identify as such:
- Prime vs. Megatron Ultimate Battle set
- Magnus vs. Skywarp Battle for Autobot City set
- 20th Anniversary Prime redeco
- Mini-Cons (the Mini-Con sets have been referred to as Classics toys on Hasbro's website, but not on the packaging)
- Toys "R" Us exclusive reissue Soundwave
- BotCon 2007 exclusives
- Optimus Prime & Ultra Magnus (Asian market exclusive two-pack, 2007)
- Jetfire & Grimlock (Asian market exclusive two-pack, 2007)
- Masterpiece Starscream Hasbro release
Complicating things further, Classics would later be subsumed by the relaunched Universe franchise (which also engulfed Robot Heroes). As new toys came out, the defining Classics packaging style vanished in favor of the Universe design. Only a small "Classic Series" label on their bios maintained the connection to the previous Classics toys and separated them from the Robot Heroes they were suddenly rubbing elbows with.