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This article is about real world events. For the 'Timelines' convention-exclusive toy and comic series, see Timelines.

This is a timeline of Transformers-related events that occured in the "real" world, including release dates and other major occurences.

1920s

1923

  • Henry and Helal Hassenfeld form the Hassenfeld Brothers company, selling textile remnants. The textile remnant industry is ruined forever.

1940s

  • The Hassenfeld brothers produce their first toys; pretend doctor and nurse sets.

1960s

1964

  • Hassenfeld Brothers introduces G.I. Joe, the first "action figure."

1970s

1970

  • Takara acquires the license to introduce G.I. Joe to Japan. Eventually, Takara takes advantage of the 12" Joe figures' interchangeable parts to create a spinoff toyline called Henshin Cyborg (Transforming Cyborg).

1974

  • Takara launches the Microman toyline, which represents a scaled-down version of the Henshin Cyborg gimmick, and which will later be exported to the West as Micronauts.

1975

  • Robotman, an interchangeable robot/vehicle toy, is added to the Microman line. This toy will later become known in the West as the Micronaut Biotron.[1]
  • Brave Raideen, the first true transforming robot toy, is released in Japan by Popy as part of the "Chogokin" diecast robot figure series.[2]

1980s

1980

1982

  • March - The first two toys from Takara's Diaclone Car Robo line, No.1 Countach LP-500S Super Tuning (red version) and No.2 Onebox Cherry Vanette (black version), are released to stores in Japan. These toys' molds would later be used in Transformers as Sunstreaker and Ironhide, respectively.
  • April - The first four toys from the Popy company's Machine Robo line are released to stores in Japan. They will go on to be better known in the West as Cy-Kill, Tank, Fitor, and Cop-Tur of the evil Renegades in the Tonka GoBots line, the closest competitor to Transformers.
  • October 3 - The Super Dimension Fortress Macross debuts on Japanese television, featuring the transforming Valkyrie fighter jet. This vehicle will go on to be less known in the West as the Transformer Jetfire.

1983

  • January - The first three toys from Takara's New Microman: MicroChange line, MC-01 Micross (available as blue and red variations), MC-02 Jaguar (available as blue and black variations) and MC-03 Condor (available as blue and black variations), are released to stores. These would later make up the first wave of Mini Cassettes.
  • Unknown date - A Hasbro delegation discovers Takara's Diaclone and Microman toys at the Tokyo Toy Show.
  • Late 1983 - Takara releases three of their Diaclone toys (red Sunstreaker, black Ironhide and blue Trailbreaker) in the USA under the name "Diakron". Due to the new licensing agreement with Hasbro, the Diakron line is discontinued following these three toys.

1984

The Transformers launches in the US, in toy, comic and cartoon formats.

  • February - Hasbro Bradley unveils their new Transformers toyline at Toy Fair.
  • March - Marvel Age #17 announces the April debut of the Transformers comic book.
  • Spring - The first animated commercial advertising the Marvel comics airs on US TV.
  • May 8? - Issue one of the Marvel comic is released.
  • May 22 - The first Usenet post about Transformers is posted by Ted Nolan to net.comics. In a prediction of things to come, it is mostly complaints.
  • Spring - Transformers toys start filtering into stores across the United States.
  • September 17 - More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1 premieres on U.S. television Saturday morning.
  • Unknown date - the UK is the only European country to get Transformers toys this year. Toys are being distributed by Hasbro. Megatron is not available until 1985.
  • September 20 - The Marvel UK comic begins publication.
  • December - Transformers mania is in full swing, as the figures fly off store shelves, becoming the year's best seller for Hasbro.
  • December - The Transformers cartoon begins airing in Mexico.
  • Unknown date - Takara conduct test market sales of the Hasbro toys in Japan, under the working name "Henshin Sentai Transformers" ("Transformation Squadron Transformers").

1985

  • July 6th - Seasons 1 and 2 of the US cartoon begin airing in Japan as Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformer.
  • The Transformers toyline starts getting released to most European markets, with Hasbro using Milton Bradley's facilities for the continental European market, due to an initial lack of resources on their own. The MB toys would be available in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain and include lots of oddities unique to Europe, such as a red version of Tracks. Concurrently, GiG launches Trasformer in Italy (Diaclone toys with no Transformers license), while El Greco launches their short-lived version of the line in Greece.
  • October 6 - The first Usenet post about the Transformers cartoon is posted to net.comics by Bill Flanagan.
  • IGA begins producing Transformers toys for the Mexican and Central American market.
  • Estrela begins producing Transformers toys in Brazil, creating a distinctive local version of the G1 toyline that was eventually brought to Argentina by the second-hand licensee Antex.
  • The Transformers cartoon begins airing in Peru...despite the fact that the toyline it was created to promote is unavailable in the Peruvian market.

1986

  • The Transformers cartoon begins airing in the Netherlands.
  • August 8 - The Transformers: The Movie is released in theatres in the United States. International releases follow, except for Japan and Germany.
  • The Transformers toyline is introduced to Peru in response to the cartoon's popularity in that country (rather than the other way around) with a combination of HasTak toys imported by HUDE and BASA, and cheaper redecoed Mini Vehicles made by Lynsa.
  • December 26 - The Transformers: The Movie is released in Australia.

1987

  • February- The Transformers: The Movie is released in Brazil.
  • The American version of the G1 cartoon ends its run, to be replaced in Japan by the Headmasters cartoon.

1988

  • The Masterforce franchise is launched, ushering in a period of significant deviation between the Western and Japanese Transformers franchises.

1989

  • Unofficially imported IGA Transformers become a common sight on European store shelves.
  • The Transformers cartoon begins airing in Germany.
  • August - Hasbro begins manufacturing and selling Transformers toys in mainland China. [3]
  • August 9 - The Transformers: The Movie finally is released in Japan, where it is not actually called "Matrix Forever".

1990s

1990

  • The last year of Generation One toys are released in North America, while the franchise continues in Japan and Europe.
  • July — Transformers Zone is released in Japan.

1991

  • (Cover date of July) - The Marvel Comic ends in the United States with issue 80.

1992

1993

  • Generation 2 attempts to revive the Transformers franchise in North America.
  • The last year of Generation One toys are released in Europe.
  • On September 11th, the Usenet newsgroup alt.toys.transformers is established. Fans now have a dedicated online public forum on which to discuss whatever is ruining Transformers.

1994

1995

  • Generation 2 begins in Japan, the first Transformers series there in years.
  • Generation 2 craps out in every market, including Japan.
  • The Chinese G1 toyline comes to a close with the reissuing of several Victory toys for the Chinese market.
  • The South Korean toy company Sonokong enters into a licensing agreement with Hasbro International, paving the way for the introduction of officially licensed Transformers toys in a country where Transformers knockoffs were once popular enough to inspire their own animated movies.
  • August 5-6 - BotCon 1995 is held in Dayton, Ohio.

1996

  • Beast Wars is launched. The fandom declares it will forever destroy Transformers and nobody will ever like it ever, certainly not ten years into the future.
  • Beast Wars revives the franchise.
  • Beast Wars is the best Transformers anything ever.
  • July 12-14 - BotCon 1996 is held in Rosemont, Illinois.

1997

  • Hasbro releases the twelve Machine Wars toys, to little acclaim.
  • July 18-20 - BotCon 1997 is held in Rochester, New York, by the newly-formed 3H Enterprises.
  • The target audience of the original cartoon reaches college age.

1998

  • June 19-20 - BotCon 1998 is held in Anaheim, California.

1999

2000s

2000

2001

2002

  • Hasbro Transformers lead designer Aaron Archer begins to post on the Transfandom.com boards as ORSON, at first primarily to refute various false claims about Transformers: Armada. Skeptical fans remark that if he is a Hasbro designer, then they are various members of the British Monarchy.
  • April 3 - Dreamwave Productions begins publishing Transformers comics with Transformers Generation One #1. There is much rejoicing.
  • Aaron Archer does his best to kill Transformers through incredible sales; Armada kicks off the Unicron Trilogy, the toys appear on store shelves in mid-July, the cartoon premieres in August.
  • July 6 - Armada toys begin arriving in small toy stores and Kay-Bee. [4]
  • July 26-28 - BotCon 2002 is held in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

2003

2004

2005

  • January 4 - Dreamwave Productions goes bankrupt. Many artists complain about being unpaid for their work and/or being stuck with FedEx fees. Pat "serfdom" Lee gives them the finger and drives off in his Porsche.
  • April 18 - Don Murphy reports that he wants to please the fans, Dreamworks want to change everything, and Hasbro don't care either way as long as the movie gets done in time.
  • Michael Bay announced as the director for Transformers. It will still totally be G1, honest.
  • May 19 - IDW Publishing acquires the Transformers comic book license.
  • September 22-25 - BotCon 2005 is held in Frisco Texas, for the first time by Fun Publications. It's the official convention again.
  • October 19 - Infiltration #0, IDW's first Transformers comic, is released in comic book stores.

2006

2007

  • June- The first promotional images for Transformers Animated are released. Take a guess as to the reaction. G'wan.
  • June 27-July 1- BotCon 2007 is held at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, Hasbro's hometown. It was expected to be the best Transformers convention ever. It was also expected to be the worst Transformers convention ever.
  • July 2- US theatres start showing the live-action Transformers motion picture at 8:00 PM. By midnight, it's made $8.8 million USD.
  • July 3- The Transformers release date. It makes $27.85 million, more money on a Tuesday than any film in history.
  • July 4- Americans celebrate their Independence Day by giving $29 million to that Hollywood movie about an alien robot summoning his friends to Earth where they disguise themselves as General Motors vehicles and team up with the United States Military to smash the evil robots. Unsuprisingly, this is more money than a movie's ever earned on the Fourth of July. Apparently, what's good for General Motors really is good for the country.
  • July 25- As of this writing, the Transformers movie has grossed $270 million in the United States, with worldwide gross earnings of nearly one half billion dollars US.
  • July 28- A Transformers Animated preview is shown to the public. The fandom rejoiced (and complained).
  • December 26- Transformers Animated ruins Transformers forever slightly ahead of schedule when the premiere episodes are shown as a "movie" on the Cartoon Network. [5]

2008

  • January 5- Transformers Animated begins airing regularly Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.
  • April 24-27- BotCon 2008 is held at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • June- Transformers Animated toys are scheduled to be released.

2009

References



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