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Retroist Transformers Toys (1984) Podcast
Welcome to the 20th episode of the 15th season of the Retroist Podcast. Today’s episode, number 293, is all about the original toys of the cultural juggernaut, The Transformers. This is part one of what is going to be a podcast series about the early years of the Transformers.
The show begins with my discussion of how my friends and I started to play with our Transformers like they were a role-playing game. It became a pattern for us as we attempted to merge our various types of plays together. Sadly, it rarely worked out as well as we hoped.
Then I move onto the toys themselves. I discuss the original toy lines that the Transformers were based on, the people who made this all happen, the reception, the toys themselves, the longevity and much more.
These toys are remarkable for many reasons, but just consider their longevity. Go to any store that sells toys and they are still being sold today. Only a handful of toys from any decade can make claim to that kind of lasting power.
Listen and download the Transformer Toys Podcast
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20th episode of the new season and the 293rd episode of the Retroist Podcast. Much more than I expected for this season and still going.
This begins a multipart series on the early years of the Transformers franchise.
When my friends and I tried to combine RPG stuff and toys, it almost always ended in an argument. For some reason when we did it with GI Joe it worked out better. I think it was the stats being available that made it more challenging for us. When you knew a number, you were less like likely to compromise.
A lot of info out there about the origin of these toys in Japan. I wanted to include as much as I could, but also want to simplify it a bit. So if some detail is missing, I apologize, I cut out a lot and tried to keep it coherent.
I pronounce some names in this episode and did my best by using online pronouncing tools. I hope I do them justice. I didn’t want my inability to properly pronounce names keep me from mentioning these talented people.
I cut out a lot of corporate history. Might seem like it’s missing. I think MAYBE I should have kept it in. Not sure.
Japanese language commercial for Diaclones!
The creativity in toys coming out from Japan is just remarkable. Watch the Diaclones commercials, they are super cool.
I will tackle the Gobots someday. I respect them.
I would love to go back to my town’s local 5&10. In retrospect, I can’t believe we still had one.
I had a lot of the UK commercials for the Transformers. One had Soundwave being named the leader of the Decepticons. Even with explanation, I thought it might be confusing.
Reading a log of comics right now. I was so into GI Joe in comics that I didn’t enjoy them the first time around this much. Can’t wait to do that episode.
I focus mostly on the first toys from 1984, but it spills into 1985 and 1986.
I hope that my mentioning of Macross is not confusing. It seemed important, but I didn’t want to linger on it.
News report is from a local station from my childhood, WPIX.
I want to use my Soundwave voice more in the future.
I cut out my rant about stickers and rubsigns coming off.
Despite the negatives you can get with metal toys, I still miss them.
I inserted a little commercial for the Retroist in the show. Still kind of curious if it will bother people. I know a lot of people skip the end which is often where this info is usually inserted.
I have started posting the episodes on YouTube for those interested in consuming the show that way. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccKtAw8NvoU)
Do you listen to older episodes of the show? Just curious how far you go back when you do? Only hear from a few people on this question, so I will keep putting it here and see who spots it.
Music on the show is, as always, by Peachy.
Art used to promote this episode by Christoper Tupa. Great worlds collide!
Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.