Friday, March 11, 2011

Insignia of the Transformers - Autobot & Decepticon

Insignia of the Autobot
who do not steal energy & cared about people

If you grew up in the 1980s then your introduction the word insignia may have come from a toy - the Transformers. Transformers were the it boy toy in the early 80s. They were basically vehicles that transformed into robots. So enchanting as these toys were that in the 2000s they would have a revival in Hollywood.

Like Yin and Yang there was division of powers between the 'good' robots and 'bad' robots. The good robots are the Autobots who are usually some kind of automobile, while the 'bad' robots are the Decepticons who are flying machines, except for the leader who is a gun and his lieutenant which is a magnetic recording device and master of other animal like robotic slaves.

Insignia of the Decepticons
who were Deceptive, stole energy & saw humans as worthless

The original toys came with a heat sensitive sticker. At room temperature or below the sticker would be black but once pressed, and then heated the insignia of the transformer would glow. This added another element to an already complex toy. Often times younger kids would be mystified when older kids would transform a complex robot, when it was beyond their capability. However there were many adults and too cool older children you couldn't master the transformation of some complex robots.

The Transfomers were part model toy car-airplane, part puzzle, part robot-doll, and their space in American-Japanese kid culture was cemented with well television show oriented for kids but spiced with adult topics.

This was a ground breaking toy at the right time and the right place. The joy of the toy planted a seed that bloomed nearly 20 years later. Who knows what will come in 20 more years - a live action Pokemon-CGI/5-D Movie like Avatar?

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