HASBRO actually bought the designs from two different lines of Takara toys, which is why some turn into toy-scale cars and others into full-scale household objects (even if one is a surprisingly realistic looking gun).Antiriad2097 wrote:I couldn't name more than three. They looked cool, but I was too old for them, I'd grown past playing with cars so never got into the lore to know the names and stuff. That it got silly with stuff like a transforming walkman just lost me further - what kid wants a pretend walkman as a toy? Cars, trucks and jets, fair enough, but the walkman was daft.
The vehicular Transformers were from the 'Diaclone' range of toys. The walkman and gun designs were from some later 'Microman' designs. If you ever had any 'Micronauts' toys (semi-transparent and chromed plastic action figures from the late 70s, with pull-back-and-go and battery-powered robot vehicles) it was this toy range that produced the designs of Megatron, Soundwave and the like.
Before the transforming toys, Japanese toys and TV tie-ins featured loads of different giant robots, some of which could be re-arranged to make spaceships (Danguard Ace) whilst others had pull-apart vehicle designs (pre-cursors of Power Rangers and combination Transformers like Devastator). These got grouped together and imported under the 'Shogun Warriors' brand in the 70s, together with a Marvel tie-in comic.
One difference is that all the Japanese ones had pilots of one form or another (either human or micro-sized humanoids). None of them were autonomous sentient robots like the Transformers.
To be honest, the real Transformers always annoyed me with very delicate parts (Jazz's roof and windscreen) or having to pull off fists and guns and hide them in your pocket in vehicle modes. The smaller clones that came out under the 'Gobots' brand were both cheaper and much more robust.