Things learned from 1984 Transformers Episodes

(also see my musings on Transformers, the Movie)

A lot of american males who were in their single-digit years during the mid 1980s were in some way enjoined to a syndicated cartoon program and line of plastic toys from Hasbro. Like most things, it went bad once they started making enough money -- or, some would argue, started bad and got worse. The whole fixation is now a bit of an embarassment, especially when I come across remnants of it this long after.

For those who weren't annoying american boys during this period, The Transformers concerned a lot of sentient robots from the planet Cybertron (that name predated the popularity of BBSes and then the Internet by a long while, so it made sense at the time). As usual, they consisted of the Good and Evil contingents, called the Autobots and Decepticons respectively. These robots all could manifest themselves interchangeably as vehicles (or other objects, but it started out as vehicles) or robots, and were as usual imbued with powers apropriate to the vagaries of form, plot and toy sales figures. The Autobots left Decepticon tyrrany to find a free world, but the Decepticons followed, both crashed on earth, turned into robot/cars, and spent an entire series extrapolating on the usual themes. It feels silly just writing about it.

Anyway, some things unearthed from the show:

Evil robots are always pictured against dark backgrounds most of the time. The decepticons used a lot of purple.

Optimus Prime
The good robots, OTOH, are usually seen against light colored backgrounds and lookign caring and concerned. This was Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, who predated the major focus groups that work on cartoons today, but could almost have been produced by one as the preeminent noble leader figure in the mind of a six year-old. The man who did his voice later did movie trailers.

Autobot base
The Autobots lived in this crashed spaceship. Oddly, no humans noticed it until the robots first started going around shooting at one another.

Leaving base
This scene occurred an average of once per episode. The purple things are laser beams from attacking Decepticons. In this scene they turned into cars, drove about fifty feet to where the Decepticons where, then turned back into robots and started shooting. We were credulous children.

continue or flee.