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Transformers were poised to make coleslaw out of the Cabbage Patch Kids for Christmas 1984
In Christmas of 1984, the toy world was shifting. Video games were hitting a rough spot and action figure toys were already years old. Even the heavy hitter of the year before, the Cabbage Patch Kid, was not looking to repeat what it did the year before. No, according to just about everyone, the hot toys for Christmas of 1984 were going to be robots. Which robots in particular? The Transformers, of course.
In this report from the CBC from that year, they discuss not just the Transformers, but other great robot toys, including site favorite Tomy VERBOT. As well as non-robot toys like Rainbow Brite and He-Man.
The toy footage is pretty amazing. They even include a short loop of the original Transformers in front of this techie background at 3:15. However, that is just a small piece of this nearly eight-minute video. They also discuss people against war toys. Some great interviews with precocious kids, including one who wants a pair of glasses that will not get foggy for Christmas.
Watching this now, I chuckle, but I think this type of news show sent waves of fear through my Mother. What was going to be THE hot toy? Was I even aware of it? Could she get her hands on it? These were all the things that stuff like this report would raise. She usually ignored things like the section about War Toys, but that sort of talk was dangerous. It almost got my DnD books taken away because of the negative press around that game.
I think I was still very much into GI Joe in 1984 as were my friends. It would be at least a few months before a Transformer would appear in my circle of playmates. So I am glad my Mom was not on top of this trend. Although I got to admit, I really would have loved a Verbot.