When the live-action Transformers film was pushed back from November 2006 to July 2007, Hasbro needed to create a filler line to bridge the newly created gap in their product offerings. That bridge was a revisitation of the original Generation 1 characters, dubbed Classics.
Although no original animation or full-length comic fiction is planned for the line, the Fun Publications Official Transformers Fan Club Magazine comic will be utilizing the Classics in their 2007 story-arc and setting them in a continuation of the old Generation 1 Marvel Comics universe (A version of this universe that includes everything up until the end of the original Marvel run, but excludes the events of the Generation 2 book that followed, taking things in a new direction instead.)
- Optimus Prime vs Megatron: The Ultimate Battle (versus 2-pack w/DVD)
- Ultra Magnus vs Skywarp: Battle for Autobot City (versus 2-pack, Target exclusive)
- Constructicon Devastator (Wal-Mart exclusive giftset)
- Optimus Prime (20th Anniversary redeco with talking base)
- Soundwave with Laserbeak and Battle Ravage (Generation 1 reissue; uses the Soundblaster version of the mold, which had a remolded door that can hold two cassettes.)
- Masterpiece Starscream (G1-colored redeco)
What counts as Classics?
The Classics toyline is a little tricky to define because some of the items which one would think belong to it -- the Magnus/Skywarp two-pack for instance, which redecoes two Classics figures -- do not actually say "Classic" anywhere on their packaging. Even the toys that are definitely "real" Classics toys only have the word on one panel of their packaging as a prefix to their size class ("Classic Deluxe" or "Classic Voyager").
For simplicity, Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki is considering all toys that come in the Classics-style packaging to be Classics toys, even if they do not self-identify as such. Those toys include:
- Prime vs. Megatron Ultimate Battle set
- Magnus vs. Skywarp Battle for Autobot City set
- 20th Anniversary Prime redeco
- Mini-Cons (the Mini-Con sets have been referred to as Classics toys on Hasbro's website, but not on the packaging)
Though response to the figures was very positive, Classics was created as a limited line to fill the shelves between Cybertron and the movie. With the Movie toyline and the Transformers Animated series scheduled to follow it, the fate of the Classics line was uncertain.
The BotCon 2007 exclusives capitalized on the popularity as the Classics universe but even that was not to be the end of things. Hasbro revealed at Botcon 2007 that a new incarnation of Transformers Universe was in the works for Fall 2008 and would operate as a blanket line for their non-Animated product including a new line glossed as Classics 2.0.
Referred to as Classics 2.0 durring the Hasbro preview panel (it is unclear whether that title will make it onto the actual "Universe" figures), Hasbro announced bringing back Classics because of high fan support and to pick up the torch of realistic Earth vehicle designs from the ending Movie line. Hasbro said they were focusing primarily on characters who had realistic Earth alt-modes, were not represented in other current lines, and had high repaint potential. Concept art of Sunstreaker and Sideswipe were shown (Same base mold with different heads and alternate chest transformations and weapons). Art of an updated Decepticon triple-changer Octane was also shown. Other characters mentioned as likely possibillities are Prowl, Jazz, Ironhide, and (non-repaint) Galvatron. Hasbro also revealed they would likely be adding the Ultra pricepoint to this line and had atleast one Decepticon in mind for it, though no info on who or any Autobots were revealed.