Why Transformers Are Still Going Strong Over 30 Years Later

Believe it or not, it’s been over 30 years since Transformers first appeared on the market. Hasbro first brought us the cool “truck turning into robot” toys in 1984 and since then, kids and adults alike have been transfixed by not only the toys, but the many movies, cartoons, comic books and everything that makes up the Transformers universe.

This summer, the fifth Transformers movie, “Transformers: The Last Knight” hit the theaters. The movie, which starred Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins and was directed by Michael Bay, has brought in just over $605 million at the box office so far. For a franchise that has been around for three decades, this impressive number shows us the enduring popularity of the Transformers franchise. As for why the Transformers continue to chug along for so many years, check out the following four reasons:

The Back Stories Rock

The franchise’s movies have a way of taking history as we know it and putting a really cool Transformers-twist on it that makes us wish it had really happened that way. In the “Transformers: Age of Extinction” movie, the back story shows how the dinosaurs were not rendered extinct by an asteroid, but instead a Transformer invasion. In the Last Knight, a Cybertronian Knight was brought in by good old King Arthur himself to help fight his battles many centuries ago, and in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” moviegoers learned that the 1969 moon mission was merely a cover for Autobots to check out the Ark. Yes, these stories are far-fetched, but you’ve got to admit that they are far more entertaining that what is in our history books.

People Dig Explosions

In a world where we can’t always count on many things — except the famed “death and taxes” line — we can definitely rely on the Transformers movies to bring us plenty of satisfyingly loud explosions. Director Michael Bay is not shy about filling his Transformer movies with lots of action and battle scenes where stuff is blowing up right and left. Audiences know that after the requisite amount of story line and buildup, there will be a number of boisterous battles where the robots start fighting each other in a loud and raucous way.

The Cartoons Carry Over to the Movies

When fans of a franchise are used to a certain story line from a comic or cartoon, it can be confusing when a movie takes on a whole new angle. While the Transformers in the movies are pretty different from what we saw on television, they did manage to keep some of the basic elements of the cartoon series’ storyline. For example, the sound that the Transformers make when they are transforming is pretty much the same on the small and big screen and the relationship between Starscream and Megatron has also remained very similar. Long-time fans also appreciate it when they see a character they already know and love in a new Transformers movie; for example, the sequels have brought in popular characters like Devastator, the Wreckers and the Dinobots.

The Human Element

Yes, the Transformers franchise involves plenty of robots. But since the story lines are pretty strongly rooted on Earth, there are also lots of human characters that we have gotten to know and love over the years. In fact, the first movie focuses on a teenager and his car — with Sam being as likable as any of the robots. Bringing in interesting and endearing human characters in the Transformer movies helps us to relate to the storylines and root for the people who need defending. This, in turn, has helped to explain the ongoing popularity of the Transformers storyline.