Unless you were alive and paying attention in the 1980s, you probably didn’t know that Transformers weren’t the first toys in America that changed into vehicles. “GoBots” were.
Transformers came from Rhode Island’s Hasbro, in 1984. GoBots came from Tonka, makers of fine metal toy trucks, in 1983. That may be why Hasbro did everything right, from the start- they saw what Tonka had already done wrong. And oh boy… Tonka did just about everything wrong.
For the past ten years, one Rhode Island company has made me so deliriously happy, I’ve considered corporate personhood, so I could ask for its hand in marriage.
They even threw in a rubsign. Hasbro is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
2006 was the year this little toy company had a subline of their Transformers toys called “Classics”; new figures of favorite characters from the 1984 cartoon. And a funny thing happened- these robots from an old show sold very, very well. Characters like “Bumblebee”, “Megatron” and “Optimus Prime” were familiar to a enviously broad range of people. They had staying power equal to Superman or Batman. The world was on the cusp of finding this out. Continue reading →