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15 Transformers Facts To Save The Universe!

BZZZHHHHT! WEEEEP! FAZOOOOM! Read on and learn a few facts about these world-famous robots in disguise!

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Beano Team
Last Updated:  January 16th 2024

Are they robots? Cars? What about aliens? Transformers started off as a range of kids toys hand has morphed (with lots of cool sound effects) into one of the biggest franchises on the planet! You may just know them from the action-packed movies, but there's a lot more to these fold-up action heroes than that! Read on and we'll make you into an Autobot expert!

Rather some movie facts that didn't clank about quite as much? Check out these Moana facts, this bumper pack of Star Wars facts, or even these Black Panther facts! Wahoo! Facts a-plenty! Ok - let's get back to the Autobots!

1. They've been around a long time

The original Trasformers came out in 1984 - as toys! We'll talk about them in a moment, but it's worth noting right at the start how old Transformers are! Not many toys are 40 years old and still just as popular! And even fewer of those old-school toys have been made into huge block-busting movies! But more on that later!

2. They're American/Japanese

Japan and Godzilla

The original idea for superhero robots that turn into cars and animals comes from Japan - home to lots of cool robot and monster stories! The idea comes from the same tradition as movies like Godzilla! The original Transformer toys though come from a partnership between Japanese toy company Takara Tomy and the American toy company Hasbro. It proved a hit from the start!

3. They make a LOT of money

Transformers is one of the most successful franchises of all time! Since the first live-action Transformers movie dropped in 2007, Transformers have cashed in a mind-blowing $3.7 billion globally (that's a whole lot of zeros!). Transformers: Dark of the Moon from 2011 made the most with over $1.1 billion in sales worldwide. Then comes Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the original aren't too far behind either! They don't just save the day - they make a lot of money too!

4. Some of the original toys were hard to Transform!

There have been a lot of Transformer toys over the years, and some have been easier to play with than others! For ages, fans have been arguing about which Transformers toy is the trickiest to transform. While there's no clear winner that everyone agrees on, a lot of folks bring up the 2012 Transformers Masterpiece MP-05 Megatron by Takara as a real head-scratcher. There are a lot of tiny pieces!

5. There's not just movies

Transformers is a really long-running franchise, and it started as toy company! Most people think of the big Hollywood movies, but they started as a range of toys, and then a comic, then books, then a TV show, and then an animated movie - and through the big Hollywood movies, now they're a line of toys again!

6. Optimus Eeyore!

Legendary voice actor Peter Cullen plays the voice of Optimus Prime (and fellow Autobot Ironhide) and is a familiar voice in Hollywood. He's worked on lots of different projects, not just Transformers - and is also the voice of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh!

7. The original cars were more international

The cars that the robots turn into were always meant to be from a range of different car makers around the world - and obviously included some Japanese models! When Hollywood made the first big movie though they got a lot of funding from US car makers in return for featuring their cars. So the 2007 movie only has American cars in it! Now the movies have gone global though, other car makers have bid to have their own models in it!

8. The 2007 movie has lots of real soldiers in

A man dressed in a USA world war 2 uniform

For the 2007 Hollywood movies, Michael Bay pulled in some big favours! He got the real US Army in on the movie - and the scenes with US soldiers all feature real soldiers! They're even real American fighter jets and pilots! In return, the movie is basically an advert for the army. So if you suddenly feel a weird urge to join the army (or become a giant Transformer) after the movie, you know why!

9. Optimus Prime has died 25 times!

A lot has happened in the comic storylines, TV shows and movies - including Optimus Prime dying a whole bunch of times! He's been blown up, zapped by laser beams, all sorts! Luckily he always gets put back together again though! Phew!

10. Gold Plastic Syndrome

The original kids toys were obviously made of plastic - and they were famous for the gold paint flaking off them after a while. Rather than just ignore it like many toy companies would, Hasbro worked it into the Transformers storyline! The flaking gold paint was meant to be a disease that affects Transformers called "Gold Plastic Syndrome" - and the Decepticons even used it as a weapons in some storylines!

11. There are lots of Transformers movies

Transformers quiz
Bumblebee | Allspark Pictures | Di Bonaventura Pictures | Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy, | Travis Knight

2007 was the first Hollywood Tramsformers movie - but there were others before it! The original one was an animated movie from 1986 just called Transformers: The Movie! Hollywood has since madea bunch of sequels - Dark Side of the Moon, Age of Extinction, Revenge of the Fallen and... they're still going! There's also been spin-offs like Bumblebee's very own movie!

12. Steven Spielberg got Michael Bay into it

@Netflix Behind The Streams | Youtube

Legendary director Steven Spielberg was an executive on the 2007 Transformers movie - and he advised Michael Bay to take the job of director! At first Bay wasn't keen, but apparently Spielberg managed to convince him. Good thing he did!

13. Michael Bay's dog is in it!

As well as directing the 2007 movie, Michael Bay also does a cameo in the movie! And no only that - so does his dog! Bay clearly is a dog person, and also cast a celebrity dog "Britain's Loneliest Dog" in the fifth Transformers movie. The dog has epilepsy, and was rehomed by Bay as well! Awww!

14. The movies have won awards

Now Transformers may not have won loads of Oscars, or even been nominated, but the movies have won awards in technical categories like special effects and sound mixing. You know those amazing sound effects and bassy rumbles? They're award winning!

15. The GoBots actually came first!

Challenge of the GoBots | Hanna Barbera | Tonka

Tonka brought out their first batch of GoBot toys in 1983, a year before Hasbro's Transformers. Even though Transformers became more popular later on, GoBots made a big splash at first. Some fans even say that GoBots set the stage for the success of Transformers! They buttered up the market with their simpler toys, who then went wild for the Transformers. Could be! But it's very hard to say 40 years later!