Easily one of the most popular franchises from recent decades, Transformers has managed to remain relevant over several decades incredibly enough. After all, there were popular cartoon series that focused on the Decepticons and Autobots during the ‘80s and ‘90s and since the late 2000s, there have been several Transformers live-action movies.
When it comes to people who grew up during the heyday of the original Transformers show or Beast Wars, there is no doubt that they view the franchise in a certain light. However, there are some things about the series that may alter the way they view it. With that in mind, it is time to take a look at this list of 15 facts about Transformers that will ruin your childhood.
15 The Gobots Came First
Often seen as the lame step-sibling of the Transformers, during the ‘80s many youngsters were disappointed when they asked for the robots in disguise and got a Gobot instead. However, in reality, the Gobots were released in toy stores first in America. Funnily enough, in the years since then, Hasbro bought out Tonka which means that the Gobots now exist in the Transformers franchise but they live in an alternate universe.
14 The Autobots Thought Too Small
Throughout Transformers history, it has been abundantly clear that the Decepticons are the bad robots and the Autobots are the ones that humanity can count on. While it is great for the people on Earth, during the time the Autobots spent protecting this one planet their foes the Decepticons went out and conquered loads of other ones across the universe.
13 Shockwave’s Alternate Origin
As a result of Hasbro’s single-minded pursuit of profits, they never had any problem introducing new Transformers of every sort. As a result, they came up with things like the Dinobots and Constructicons. However, Shockwave always stood out as none of the other toys looked all that much like him. There is a reason for that, he actually was designed for another toyline but Hasbro bought his license and made him a Decepticon.
12 Very Sloppy Writing
Perhaps because of the fact that they were making shows that were marketed to kids, for whatever reason the people behind the Transformers shows often skipped over major storyline points. For instance, when it comes to Beast Wars, an episode was planned to explain why Dinobot’s clone suddenly changed his personality completely but they never bothered to produce it.
11 Megatron Once Became a Monstrosity
Even though some Transformers fans may not know it, many comic books have been published about your favorite Autobots and Decepticons. Often the home of spectacular storytelling, one of those issues featured a gut turning moment in which Megatron merged with Ratchet after the Autobot’s spark had gone dark. The resulting Transformer was hard to look at.
10 Michael Bay’s Allegedly Deplorable Attitude On the Set of the Transformers Movies
As the man who helmed five live-action Transformers movies, it would be understandable if fans of his films felt some sincere affection for director Michael Bay. Unfortunately, during a press tour, Megan Fox said that Bay is “a nightmare to work for” and she went even further by saying that he “wants to be like Hitler on his sets”.
9 Several Transformers Toys Were Rip-Offs
Far from the first toy company that decided to manufacture robotic action figures for the masses, Hasbro had such a huge success with Transformers largely due to marketing. If you question that, look no further than the fact that several of the early Autobot cars were manufactured using toy molds that another company named Takara had previously employed.
8 The Portrayal of Women
During Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, there are a handful of older female characters who are treated with dignity and respect. However, they are the exception as virtually every female who appears in those films is there for fantasy fodder. Sure, Megan Fox’s character Mikaela Banes has a personality but she largely is in the movie to reflect on Sam and to have her body showed off on camera.
7 Tragedy On the Set
As anyone who has seen Michael Bay’s Transformers movies can no doubt tell you, they are absolutely chocked full of action. Even though the movies feature a lot of digital effects, several stunt-people are also heavily involved. Sadly, one of them named Gabriella Cedillo suffered brain damage and partial paralysis when a cable struck the car she was driving on the set of Dark of the Moon.
6 The Cash Grab
Even though the Transformers series deserves a lot of respect for entertaining the masses over the years and telling some nuanced stories, at its core, the franchise is all about toys. For example, when Transformers: The Movie came out several major characters were taken out so they could be replaced in order to sell a new assortment of toys.
5 Michael Bay’s Childish Response
As we touched on earlier in this list, during a press tour Megan Fox had some harsh words for Transformers director Michael Bay. Even though Bay was an adult at the time, he chose to publish a response letter supposedly written by Transformers crew members on his website. Hugely insulting to Fox, the letter referred to her as “Ms. Sourpants”, “[adult] star”, “unfriendly [girl]”, and “dumb-as-a-rock”, on top of insulting her in other ways.
4 Things Got Way Too Adult in Japan
In this day and age, movies like the Transformers films only go through minor alterations from their North American versions when they are released overseas. However, in 2006 a radio series called Transformers: Kiss Players was released in Japan and it altered the franchise in unusual ways. Actually focused on the love lives of the Transformers, the series got surprisingly risqué.
3 Beast Wars’ Animation Is Really Bad
During its heyday, there is no doubt that Beast Wars, or Beasties depending upon where you watched it, totally rejuvenated the long-dormant Transformers franchise. However, when you look at the quality of its animation through modern eyes, and frankly even at the time to a certain degree, the show looks incredibly bad, especially at the beginning.
2 History of Racism
Over the last several years, many of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies have been dogged by complaints of racism, including The Last Knight and Revenge of the Fallen. However, if you think that is a new phenomenon then you must not be aware of the highly stereotypical depictions of non-Americans in the original Transformers cartoon.
1 One of the Movies Features A Troubbling Scene
During Transformers: Age of Extinction, the audience finds out that a male character in his early 20s sleeping with a 17-year-old girl is legal due to a “Romeo and Juliet” law. This fact is explained when he pulls a laminated piece of paper with the law printed on it. The fact that someone wrote a scene in which a character carries around a paper proving he can sleep with an underage person is gross.
Sources: thedailybeast.com, denofgeek.com, mentalfloss.com, thegamer.com