Transformers: Generation 2
- "Laser Rods" redirects here. For the real-world rods used with lasers, see Active laser medium
|Transformers: Generation 2|
|Production company(s)||Takara-Tomy / Hasbro|
The Transformers: Generation 2 (also known as Generation Two or G2) was a Transformers television series which ran from 1992-1994, as well as a corresponding toy line and comic book series. The prior Transformer television series, comic books and toys were retroactively termed as 'Generation 1', and are officially referred to as such even though the term was never used during their original runs. Generation 2 ends as the first Beast Wars: Transformers toys were made.
There never was a separate Transformers: Generation 2 television series. What was actually seen was a rebroadcast of the original Generation 1 Transformers series, with a new computer-generated main title sequence, computer-generated scene transitions, and other small changes. Many of the episodes were abridged. For example, the first episode has the entire sequence of acquiring data from Earth vehicles in order to repair the Autobots and Decepticons omitted, instead cutting from the "Explore. Explore." scene to the "Repair. Repair." scene.
The original stories were presented as though they were recordings of historical events by the Cybernetic Space Cube (sometimes referred to as the Cybercube). The cube had the various scenes on its faces, which it span between for transitions, replacing the classic spinning Autobot/Decepticon logo. 
Some of the Generation 2 versions of the episodes have been released in the United Kingdom as region 2 DVDs. Simply entitled "Transformers: Generation 2" the DVD featured the episodes - More Than Meets The Eye Parts 1-3; SOS Dinobots; and Heavy Metal War. The DVD was available alongside DVD compilations of miscellaneous original G1 episodes. They were later replaced by Generation 1 DVD volumes, and later complete season boxed sets.
Generation 2 Transformers toys were notable because of the changed Autobot and Decepticon symbols, changes made to the toys for child safety purposes, and the common use of bright vivid colors. The first and second years of toys in Generation 2 were filled with many remolds of classic original Transformers (now referred to as 'Generation 1' or 'G1') toys. A larger percentage of toys featured electronic lights and sounds, and the re-release of the G1 Optimus Prime featured an additional electronic soundpack.
A large percentage of the characters featured in the show did not feature in the toyline, and vice versa. The G1 toys re-released for G2 which did feature in the show sometimes had their colour-schemes radically altered and no longer matched their animated counterparts.
The second year of Generation 2 featured many new characters and molds, but with the popularity of the classic names among the fans, many of the original Generation 2 toys started being recolored and given classic names from the original series.
The final year of Generation 2 saw many of the toys in its line packaged on cards that did not carry the "Generation 2" subtitle under the Transformers name. The two most prominent lines under this banner were the Cyberjets (3 small jet fighter/robots in 6 color schemes with ball-and-socket joints when transformed to robot mode) and the Go-Bots. The Go-Bots were 1:64 scale cars (compatible with some Hot Wheels and Matchbox tracks) that transformed into equally small robots carrying guns. Although there were 6 different car models used to create them, each car transformed similarly with only details setting them apart. There were about 15 different Go-Bots produced, with several seeing color variants due to a partial tooling change (to accommodate newer Go-Bots being modeled after classic G1 characters). Despite the 3 Cyberjet molds being sold as 3 Autobot and 3 Decepticon characters respectively, 2 of the Autobots (Jetfire and Strafe) were decaled with G2 Decepticon emblems on their tailfins.
Many molds and recolors intended for release in Generation 2 never made it past prototypes. Some were utilized in later lines like Machine Wars (as the basic sized flip changers) and Robots in Disguise (as Spy Changers).
Marvel Comics produced a gritty, 12 issue Transformers: Generation 2 comic book series. Produced early in the toy line, it features a few new Generation 2 characters, as well as many characters from the original series. The story concerned a form of Transformers, who called themselves Cybertronians, having evolved past Autobot or Decepticon. There was also an overarching enemy, The Swarm, which was slowly approaching the Earth, threatening all Transformers in its path. In his search to discover the nature of the enemy, Optimus Prime went into the matrix, discovering that the Swarm was actually a byproduct of an early form of Transformer reproduction. In the UK, a five-issue Transformers: Generation 2 comic was published by Fleetway. While the first two issues featured exclusive UK material, the last three issues featured reprinted stories from the US comic.
As a part of the Generation 2 line, several characters were given new forms, such as Megatron becoming a tank due to the efforts of Cobra in G.I. Joe (Marvel) #139. New characters appeared briefly towards the end of the series, such as the Rotor-Force and Color-Changers.
In Japan, both TV Magazine story pages and mini-comics packaged with toys told a different G2 story. Set in the animated series' timeline (specifically after the end of Battlestars: Return of Convoy and therefore Operation Combination ), the story tells of a true time of peace between Autobots and Decepticons, known as the Cybertron Alliance, until human soldiers accidentally kill one of Megatron's most loyal followers, causing for him to upgrade to his "Combat Hero" form and causing the war to start yet again. The story also featured a fairly bleak storyline and an art style somewhat similar to the Marvel comics, but was different by focusing more on the "new mold" characters (i.e.: The Laser Rods, Laser Cycles, and Cyberjets) and introducing things such as a Reconfiguration Matrix, which allowed Prime to change from his Hero form to his Laser form after nearly being fatally wounded in battle against Megatron. The story ends with Laser Optimus Prime defeating Megatron, who then leads the Decepticons into space after his defeat, while Prime himself is aided off of the battlefield, wounded, but victorious.
Dreamwave comics, who produced several Transformers titles, had several Generation 2 characters make cameos in their stories including the Turbomasters and Axelerators. (Although technically the Turbomasters were released in Europe at the end of Generation 1, they were re-released in Generation 2.) IDW, the current Transformers license holder, has also had several Generation 2 characters appear in their comics, including Skram, Deluge and Leadfoot.
- The African American entrepreneur: then and now, Page 321, by W. Sherman Rogers
- "The History of Transformers on TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
- GameAxis Unwired, July 2007, Page 99
- Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc. p. 69. ISBN 1-4053-0461-8.
- Alignment - Simon Furman's prose conclusion to the Generation 2 comic book and overall, the Marvel Comics continuity
- Includes scans of the second UK exclusive Transformers Generation 2 Fleetway UK comic
- Includes scans of the first UK exclusive Transformers Generation 2 Fleetway UK comic