Transformers: Generation 2
The Transformers: Generation 2 (also known as Generation Two or G2) was a Transformers toy line which ran from 1992–1995, in conjunction with a corresponding comic book series and edited reruns of the G1 cartoon beginning in 1993. The prior Transformer television series, comic books and toys became known as 'Generation 1' or G1 retroactively, and are now officially referred to as such by toymaker Hasbro, even though the term was never used during the days of G1. Generation 2 was discontinued as the first Beast Wars: Transformers toys began hitting the shelves.
|The Transformers: Generation 2|
|Production company(s)||Hasbro / Takara-Tomy|
|Distributor||Claster Television/Hasbro Studios|
Generation 2 Transformers toys were, for the first few months, reissued versions of G1 toys from the 1980s. Some of them were given new spring-powered missile launchers or electronic accessories with flashing lights and sounds, and many of them sported new, vivid color schemes. The trade dress for the toy line included a new logo with alternate Autobot and Decepticon symbols.
Because the G1 toys released during G2 represented only a small fraction of the existing G1 toy line, many of the characters featured in the show did not have G2 counterparts in stores. The fact that many of the color schemes were radically altered meant that these characters no longer matched their animated counterparts. The first new molds were introduced in 1993, first with Megatron in a new tank mode, and later with entirely new characters, including European toys that had never been offered in America.
Another type of toy was the video game market: Argonaut Games had made a deal to make a video game based upon the TV series of the same name. The game was to use the Super FX chip, an enhancement chip for the SNES that allowed 3D games to be much more possible. The game was cancelled in development, and was thought to be transferred over to another Super FX game, Vortex (video game), which had a robot morphing into various vehicles. After an interview with Retro Gamer, it was said Vortex and Generation 2 were completely separate.
In 1995, the final year of Generation 2 saw many of the toys in its line packaged on cards that did not carry the "Generation 2" subtitle under the Transformers name. The two most prominent lines under this banner were the Cyberjets and the Go-Bots (using a trademark acquired by Hasbro from Tonka). The Go-Bots were 1:64 scale cars (compatible with some Hot Wheels and Matchbox tracks) with working axles that transformed into equally small robots. There were initially six different Go-Bot styles produced, all of which were eventually given new colors and were assigned the names of G1 characters. The Cyberjets were small jet planes with missile launchers, and among the first Transformers to incorporate snap-together ball-and-socket articulated joints for the robot mode. There were three designs available in a total of six styles, three Autobots and three Decepticons. Two of the Autobot Cyberjets (Jetfire and Strafe) were decorated with G2 Decepticon symbols on their tail fins.
A number of toys were planned for G2 for which prototypes were created, but were never sold as part of the G2 toy line. Some of these toys were revisited in later lines like Machine Wars and Robots in Disguise, in which the toys were offered under the Flipchangers and Spychangers assortments.
Marvel Comics produced a gritty, twelve-issue Transformers: Generation 2 comic book series. Produced early in the toy line, it features a few new Generation 2 characters, as well as many characters from the original series. The story concerned a form of Transformers, who called themselves Cybertronians, having evolved past Autobot or Decepticon. There was also an overarching enemy, The Swarm, which was slowly approaching the Earth, threatening all Transformers in its path. In his search to discover the nature of the enemy, Optimus Prime went into the matrix, discovering that the Swarm was actually a by product of an early form of Transformer reproduction. In the UK, a five-issue Transformers: Generation 2 comic was published by Fleetway. While the first two issues featured exclusive UK material, the last three issues featured reprinted stories from the US comic.
As a part of the Generation 2 line, several characters were given new forms, such as Megatron becoming a tank, due to the efforts of Cobra in Marvel's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #139. New characters appeared briefly towards the end of the series, including the Rotor Force, Laser Rods, and the Combat Hero edition of Optimus Prime.
In Japan, both TV Magazine story pages and mini-comics packaged with toys told a different G2 story. Set in the animated series' timeline (specifically after the end of Battlestars: Return of Convoy and therefore Operation Combination), the story tells of a true time of peace between Autobots and Decepticons, known as the Cybertron Alliance, until human soldiers accidentally kill one of Megatron's most loyal followers, causing for him to upgrade to his "Combat Hero" form and causing the war to start yet again. The story also featured a fairly bleak storyline and an art style somewhat similar to the Marvel comics, but was different by focusing more on the "new mold" characters (i.e.: The Laser Rods, Laser Cycles, and Cyberjets) and introducing things such as a Reconfiguration Matrix, which allowed Prime to change from his Hero form to his Laser form after nearly being fatally wounded in battle against Megatron. The story ends with Laser Optimus Prime defeating Megatron, who then leads the Decepticons into space after his defeat, while Prime himself is aided off of the battlefield, wounded, but victorious.
Dreamwave comics, who produced several Transformers titles, had several Generation 2 characters make cameos in their stories including the Turbomasters and Axelerators. (Although technically the Turbomasters were released in Europe at the end of Generation 1, they were re-released in Generation 2.) IDW, the current Transformers license holder, has also had several Generation 2 characters appear in their comics, including Skram, Deluge and Leadfoot.
Animated television seriesEdit
The only new footage produced in association with G2 was a series of primitive CGI sequences used for the Hasbro toy commercials (making it one of the earliest computer animated series, predating ReBoot) and an advertisement for the Marvel Comics title. A Transformers: Generation 2 television series did air, but it was a rebroadcast of the original Generation 1 Transformers series, using the Marvel Comics commercial as the main title sequence and incorporating CGI footage from the toy commercials for use as the commercial bumpers. New computer-animated scene transitions were superimposed upon the existing cel animation, with footage occasionally slowed down at the end of each act to mask the original fadeout.
Some of the episodes were slightly abridged. For example, the first episode has the entire sequence of acquiring data from Earth vehicles in order to repair the Autobots and Decepticons omitted, instead cutting from the "Explore. Explore." scene to the "Repair. Repair." scene.
The original stories were presented as though they were recordings of historical events by the Cybernet Space Cube. The contention was that the cube would display scenes from the series on its six sides, spinning around to a new face of the cube during scene transitions. This replaced the classic spinning Autobot and Decepticon logos originally used as scene bumpers.
Some of the Generation 2 versions of the episodes have been released in the United Kingdom as region 2 DVDs. Simply entitled "Transformers: Generation 2" the DVD featured the episodes "More Than Meets The Eye" parts 1–3, "S.O.S. Dinobots," and "Heavy Metal War." The DVD was available alongside DVD compilations of miscellaneous original G1 episodes. These early DVD releases were eventually supplanted by Generation 1 DVD volumes, and later complete season boxed sets.
|No.||Title||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"More Than Meets the Eye (Part 1)"||George Arthur Bloom||August 20, 1993||TG2-1|
|2||"More Than Meets the Eye (Part 2)"||George Arthur Bloom||August 27, 1993||TG2-2|
|3||"More Than Meets the Eye (Part 3)"||George Arthur Bloom||September 3, 1993||TG2-3|
|4||"Transport to Oblivion"||Dick Robbins & Bryce Malek||September 28, 1993||TBA|
|5||"Roll for It"||George Arthur Bloom||September 30, 1993||TBA|
|6||"S.O.S. Dinobots"||Donald F. Glut||June 11, 1993||TG2-4|
|7||"Fire on the Mountain"||Douglas Booth||November 28, 1993||TG2-27|
|8||"War of the Dinobots"||Donald F. Glut||September 12, 1993||TBA|
|9||"The Ultimate Doom: Brainwash (Part 1)"||Story by : Douglas Booth|
Teleplay by : Larry Strauss
|November 7, 1993||TG2-46|
|10||"The Ultimate Doom: Search (Part 2)"||Story by : Douglas Booth|
Teleplay by : Earl Kress
|November 8, 1993||TG2-47|
|11||"The Ultimate Doom: Revival (Part 3)"||Story by : Douglas Booth|
Teleplay by : Leo D. Paur
|November 9, 1993||TG2-48|
|12||"Countdown to Extinction"||Reed Robbins & Peter Salas||November 29, 1993||TG2-28|
|13||"Heavy Metal War"||Donald F. Glut||June 18, 1993||TG2-5|
|14||"Autobot Spike"||Donald F. Glut||November 1, 1993||TG2-29|
|15||"Dinobot Island (Part 1)"||Donald F. Glut||July 9, 1993||TG2-8|
|16||"Dinobot Island (Part 2)"||Donald F. Glut||July 16, 1993||TG2-9|
|17||"Enter the Nightbird"||Sylvia Wilson & Richard Milton||October 12, 1993||TG2-34|
|18||"Changing Gears"||Larry Parr||October 4, 1993||TG2-30|
|19||"A Prime Problem"||Dick Robbins & Bryce Malek||October 14, 1993||TG2-35|
|20||"Atlantis, Arise!"||Douglas Booth||September 13, 1993||TBA|
|21||"Attack of the Autobots"||David Wise||October 7, 1993||TG2-31|
|22||"Microbots"||David Wise||October 20, 1993||TG2-37|
|23||"The Master Builder"||David N. Gottlieb & Herb Engelhart||July 23, 1993||TG2-10|
|24||"The Insecticon Syndrome"||Douglas Booth||October 17, 1993||TG2-36|
|25||"Day of the Machines"||David Wise||October 10, 1993||TG2-39|
|26||"Megatron's Master Plan (Part 1)"||Donald F. Glut||November 15, 1993||TG2-51|
|27||"Megatron's Master Plan (Part 2)"||Donald F. Glut||November 16, 1993||TG2-52|
|28||"Auto Berserk"||Antoni Zalewski||September 14, 1993||TBA|
|29||"City of Steel"||Douglas Booth||November 22, 1993||TG2-32|
|30||"Desertion of the Dinobots (Part 1)"||Earl Kress||November 3, 1993||TG2-49|
|31||"Desertion of the Dinobots (Part 2)"||Earl Kress||November 4, 1993||TG2-50|
|32||"Blaster Blues"||Larry Strauss||October 21, 1993||TG2-38|
|33||"A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court"||Douglas Booth||July 30, 1993||TG2-11|
|34||"The Core"||Dennis Mark||July 2, 1993||TG2-7|
|35||"The Autobot Run"||Donald F. Glut||June 25, 1993||TBA|
|36||"The Golden Lagoon"||Dennis Marks||August 6, 1993||TG2-12|
|37||"The Search for Alpha Trion"||Beth Bornstein||October 28, 1993||TG2-40|
|38||"Prime Target"||Flinte Dille & Buzz Dixon||August 13, 1993||TG2-13|
|39||"The Girl Who Loved Powerglide"||David Wise||November 2, 1993||TG2-41|
|40||"Triple Takeover"||Larry Strauss||September 16, 1993||TBA|
|41||"Sea Change"||Douglas Booth||October 27, 1993||TG2-39|
|42||"Masquerade"||Donald F. Glut||September 21, 1993||TBA|
|43||"Trans-Europe Express"||David Wise||November 21, 1993||TG2-43|
|44||"Cosmic Rust"||Paul Davids||November 14, 1993||TG2-44|
|45||"Kremzeek!"||David Wise||September 15, 1993||TBA|
|46||"Starscream's Brigade"||Michael Charles Hill||September 19, 1993||TBA|
|47||"The Revenge of Bruticus"||Larry Parr||September 20, 1993||TBA|
|48||"Aerial Assault"||Douglas Booth||November 11, 1993||TG2-42|
|49||"B.O.T."||Earl Kress||November 10, 1993||TG2-45|
|50||"Fight or Flee"||Tony Cincirpini & Larry Leahy||September 26, 1993||TBA|
|51||"Ghost in the Machine"||Michael Charles Hill & Joey Kurihara Piedra||September 22, 1993||TBA|
|52||"The Ultimate Weapon"||Arthur Byron Cover||September 23, 1993||TBA|
- Alignment – Simon Furman's prose conclusion to the Generation 2 comic book and overall, the Marvel Comics continuity
- Includes scans of the second UK exclusive Transformers Generation 2 Fleetway UK comic
- Includes scans of the first UK exclusive Transformers Generation 2 Fleetway UK comic