Few toy lines have thrived as long as the Transformers have, but those of us who grew up in the '80s probably barely recognise the Autobots and Decepticons you'll now find in toy stores. Over the decades the toy line has evolved immensely, but 32 years later, it's taking inspiration from the characters and toys that first appeared way back in 1984.
There have also been countless animated series featuring the Transformers since the '80s, including the current series, Cartoon Network's Robots in Disguise. It features a few longtime characters like Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, but an upcoming story arc will also re-introduce several characters familiar to those who remember the original Generation 1 toys.
Characters like Starscream, Soundwave, Cyclonus and Blurr, to name a few, will all be making appearances in Transformers: Robots in Disguise, featuring designs and colour schemes inspired by the original Transformers toy line, but with a few modern updates. That also means there are new Transformers toys en route too, and we got a sneak peek at what will be hitting toy stores sometime next autumn.
If you're a Transformers collector, or consider yourself an expert when it comes to changing these toys from their vehicle to robot forms and back, then the Warriors Class line is what you'll be hunting for on toy store shelves. They're some of the largest figures in the Transformers: Robots in Disguise line, requiring up to 14 transformation steps depending on the complexity of the character.
Each figure also comes with blasters and other weapon accessories, plus a shield emblem that can be scanned into an accompanying Transformers mobile app to unlock new collectable content and features.
Looking for a Transformers: Robots in Disguise toy you can easily stash in a pocket for a distraction during a boring conference call at work? The Legion Class line are smaller-scale versions of the Warriors Class figures, with simpler transformations, no weapon accessories, but the same scannable shield emblems allowing them to unlock characters within the Transformers mobile app.
Looking to get the next generation addicted to Transformers toys too, but worried your kids might be frustrated with there being too many steps needed to actually transform them? This Soundwave 3-Step Changer goes from robot mode to an armoured car in -- you guessed it -- three simple steps. Swing Soundwave's arms up and over and then flip his legs behind his head and you're done.
Have you been away from Transformers toys for so long that even a three-step transformation process still sounds too complicated? Even toddlers can transform this Blurr 1-Step Changer that's cleverly engineered to go from robot form to car with a single motion. It's not quite as posable as the Warriors and Legion class figures are, but these figures are squarely aimed at kids -- not collectors.
If you can remember the Transformers toys of the '80s, you're probably wondering what happened to Soundwave's tiny transforming cassettes now that the Decepticon spy turns into a vehicle, instead of a Walkman. Laserbeak is still around, but he's now taken the form of an Activator accessory, upgrading Soundwave's arsenal and deploying battle cannons when the two are combined.