Before the dawn of the internet, toy catalogs were a huge part of our childhood. How else would we dream about what our parents will buy for us? It came in the mail and as part of the toy packaging. In fact, some would consider the catalog itself a joy to look at.
As a little one in the 80s, you fell in love with the original Transformers cartoon. Cue the music- “Transformers, robots in the sky… Transformers, more than meets the eye…” What’s so ingenious is that it started with the good robots, the Autobots, all being automobiles. The Decepticons, no matter the robot type, could all fly. As a kid, that all made sense, didn’t it? As the cartoon gained popularity, they strayed away from that simple classification. As a kid, you didn’t question the logic behind why? All you wanted was to own all the characters. We couldn’t have all the Transformers (well, most of us), but we sure can dream about it. That’s where the intrigue of the catalogs came in. Those weren’t choices, they were options.
By the way, did you know that the cartoon was created for the sole purpose of selling Transformers robot toys? Some marketing genius was in Japan and saw these robots that transformed into various vehicles. He knew they would work in the U.S. but needed to find a way to market and sell them. That’s how Transformers the cartoon series was born. We’re glad someone was greedy enough to capitalize on these robots.
Let’s take a look at the classic G1 Transformers catalogs from 1984-1987. Click the catalog image to download or view in full size.
1984 Transformers Catalog
1985 Transformers Catalog
1986 Transformers Catalog
1987 Transformers Catalog
Hasbro also released the Transformers classics toy line in 2007 that was G1 inspired. It was the first lineup to revisit the original series and we think it deserves some recognition.