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 splinter timeline from this universe that includes everything up until the end of the original Marvel run, but excludes the events of both the concurrent Marvel UK material and 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)
- Toys "R" Us exclusive reissue Soundwave
- Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus (2008)
- Jetfire and Grimlock (2008)
Though response to the figures was very positive, the Classics franchise 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.
Henkei! Henkei! Transformers
Henkei! Henkei! Transformers is the name of the Japanese version of the Classics toyline. Like the Beast Wars Returns toyline before it, this line will feature several redecos of existing figure to make them look more show-accurate than their American counterparts. For example, Megatron will be silver and black instead on neon green and gray, Starscream and Grimlock will be chromed and colored closer to their show models, Convoy/Prime and Bumble/Bumblebee will have less white paint, and Astrotrain will have a show-accurate deco of dark gray and purple instead of white and violet.
- C-01 Convoy (Voyager Optimus Prime)
- C-02 Bumble (Deluxe Bumblebee)
- C-03 Grimlock (Deluxe Grimlock)
- C-04 Rijie (Deluxe Mirage)
- C-05 Hot Rodimus (Deluxe Rodimus/"Hot Rod")
- D-01 Megatron (Voyager Megatron)
- D-02 Starscream (Deluxe Starscream)
- D-03 Astrotrain (Deluxe Astrotrain)
Originally referred to as Classics 2.0 during the Hasbro preview panel, Hasbro announced bringing back Classics as part of a new Universe line, 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 was shown (same base mold with different heads and alternate chest transformations and weapons). Art of an updated Decepticon triple-changer Octane was also shown.
Earlier in 2008 January Hasbro revealed the new character molds: