Generation 2 was the second of many rebirths for the Transformers brand. Although the original Transformers franchise had never stopped producing toys in Japan, the North American and European lines had completely disappeared for nearly three years when Generation 2 launched in late 1993.
The G2 franchise featured the following primary components:
Although the G2 cartoon was merely a set of repackaged G1 cartoon episodes (featuring the flashy, computer-animated Cybernet Space Cube), the G2 comic book was a direct continuation of the story from the G1 comic which had ended at issue 80.
Generation 2's toy commercials are noted for an early use of CGI animation (including depictions of some characters who had very few fictional appearances anywhere else.) A subset of the commercials is also noted for hilariously bad rap music.
The Japanese version of Generation 2 followed the animated continuity rather than the comic book continuity. The Japanese G2 storyline was told through a combination of:
- A series of story pages.
- A manga series packaged with the instruction manuals.
- A manga special, "The Earth is in Danger!", published in Comic Bom Bom.
Generation 2 ended in 1996 in all markets, with flagging sales and waning interest in Transformers on the whole. While Takara moved on to other transforming robot series, the Brave Saga which would continue until 1998 with "King Of Braves GaoGaiGar", Hasbro shuffled its boys-toy lines over to the recently-acquired Kenner offices, and gave them the task of re-inventing Transformers with something fresh and new... Beast Wars.