After striking gold with G. I. Joe, Hasbro, Marvel Comics, & Sunbow teamed up again, this time with the Transformers, morphing robots at war, bringing their feud from a distant planet to Earth.
The series marks its 30th anniversary next year, but that first year brought with it the first comics tie-in from Marvel, a bi-monthly miniseries that was so successful, the publisher went back and started a monthly series soon after. As it is, the Transformers have become a franchise unto itself. The original series, which has been dubbed "Generation 1", or "G1", in the wake of a 1992 relaunch, has since seen a small handful of follow-up series, first on Fox, then on cable on Cartoon Network & The Hub.
The success of the series led Tonka to develop their own morphing robots, leading to Hanna-Barbera's Challenge of the Go-Bots. Ironically, the Go-Bots have been retconned, via the acquisition of Tonka by Hasbro in recent years, into the Transformers' universe, but Leader 1 and his team have yet to reappear. Give them time.
Here's the intro:
Like G. I. Joe, Transformers was adapted into a feature film in between seasons 2 & 3, and, of course, there's the live-action movie franchise that will see a 4th installment in another year or two. In this writer's opinion, the original is still the best.