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The Headmasters was the first Japanese-exclusive Transformers franchise, released in 1987. Following on from Transformers 2010 in 1986, The Headmasters began the period of distinction between American and Japanese products that would continue throughout the rest of Generation One.
The franchise consists of the following components:
- A toyline, consisting of most of the toys released in Hasbro markets in 1987, with several additional new figures.
- An anime series, which ignored the final episodes of the American Generation One animated series and began its own story.
- A manga series.
- A series of story pages.
The gulf between American and Japanese fiction continued to widen the following year, when the franchise was rebranded as Super-God Masterforce.