Transformer: Generation 1 (1984) - Transformer: G1
In 1983, Hasbro representatives were sent to Tokyo Toy Show, a toy expo in Japan, in search of prospective toys that they could import to the North American market. At the time, Japanese toy manufacturer Takara was showcasing several transforming robot toys from lines such as Diaclone, Micro Change and Mecha. Hasbro bought the rights to produce the toys, but decided to release them under a single brand to avoid confusing the market with several series with similar premises.
Prior to the Hasbro deal, Takara briefly sold Diaclone toys in specialty toy shops in the U.S. under the "Diakron" moniker, while in some parts of Europe, Diaclone enjoyed a small following with a comic book series for that market.
Hasbro had a business relationship with Marvel Comics, which had successfully produced the Hasbro tie-in comic book G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, based on the Hasbro action figure. Marvel was approached once again to provide a backstory for the new toy line. Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and writer Dennis O'Neil created an overall story, and editor Bob Budiansky was brought in to create names and profiles for the characters.
When the toy line was released, it was supported by the Marvel Comics series, an animated television series, and a gamut of other merchandising tie-ins. In 1986 a feature film was released, generating $5,706,456 in the United States.