Lost Transformers Gallery Found at Last! (20 Photos)
Japan: Where Transformers Come From!
Long before Michael Bay’s helicopters and ‘splosions, long before the ten-kinds-of-annoying Shiyai LaBeowoofwicky, long before Marky Mark felt Optimus Prime’s good vibrations, and even long before Orson Welles voiced Unicron (the big guy with horns down below), there were but two humble Japanese toy lines. According to us - and we know - the now world-famous Transformers…
“...originated from Takara Tomy's Microman (1974) and Diaclone (1980) lines. In 1984, Takara Tomy hooked up with the American Hasbro, spawned forth the Transformers, and in very short order the "Robots in Disguise" populated comics, cartoons, and toy stores, and thereby crawled into the psyche of mostly young boys & not so many girls around the world. In truth, just about every post-1975 robot toy sold outside of Japan owes something of a debt to Takara Tomy.”
So there’s that.
Dusty Corners of a Backup Hard Drive: Where this Gallery Comes From!
Well, it’s a bit embarrassing, but it goes like this: in 2014, there was a Transformers Expo in Yokohama...
"Coming up at Pacifo Yokohama, an immersive Transformers experience designed to make you feel as if you're in that universe! The event will cover 10,000 square meters, and displays will include giant statues of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee!”
While that was more than a bit of overselling, the expo was still pretty cool. The life-size, more "realistic" models were kinda meh, but the pre-Transformers Diaclone and Microman toys, along with generational collections covering yearly character iterations, themes, and variants, in addition to some super-obscure Japan-only figures - that's where the magic was.
Anyway, due to some scandalously incompetent data management practices on our part (one time we even misplaced 100 awesome photos of girls and cars from Tokyo Auto Salon...stoopid), the photos and the story from that time and place were lost and gone forever...so it was believed...WRONGLY, it turns out! We found them just the other day and they can now be enjoyed below - just slightly under 2 years late! They're not awesome shots, some were even taken with an iPhone 5s, but if you dig on Transformers, scrolling down will be well worth your time.
As you browse the collections below, compare how many Transformer names you remember vs. names of prominent politicians in your current government administration. We were definitely not surprised to learn that Transformers are way more important than politics.
INLINE GALLERY: Transformers Expo 2014 at Pacifico Yokohama