Although the Transformers movies are a 21st century phenomenon, Hasbro introduced Transformer toys nearly thirty years ago! And Hasbro has been able to sustain the popularity of this toy line for decades — which means that they are now appealing to a new generation of fans. Of course, the toys have been redesigned to keep up with the times — and the advances in technology.

As Gregory Schmidt reports for the New York Times: “To Hasbro, no one is too young or too old to play with a Transformers robot, watch a Transformers television show, or play a Transformers video game. The toy maker started the Transformers franchise with a Japanese partner in 1984. The concept — robots disguised as everyday objects — was originally aimed at 5-year-old boys. But as those boys have grown up and had children and even grandchildren, Hasbro has expanded the brand into other media and added new toy lines to appeal to everyone from toddlers to adults. When buying toys and games for their children, parents often look to favorites from their own childhood. Their nostalgia for beloved toys from their past helps create a bonding experience with their little ones.  Toy makers have long tried to build enduring brands that can be passed down to the next generation. Those intellectual properties are cheaper to develop because the toy companies do not have to pay a licensing fee to an outside partner. They also bring in added revenue through licensing fees paid by other companies, like makers of apparel and school accessories.  In Transformers, Hasbro has one of the most valuable brands among toy makers. In 2011, the year the third Transformers movie was released, Hasbro recorded $960 million in sales from products related to Transformers and Beyblade, a spinning top game, according to the company’s latest annual earnings report.”

Click the image to read more from Schmidt.

Photo by Marcus Yam for the New York Times


7 Replies to “Classic Toys Go Multi-Generational”

  1. I’m a pretty big fan of the Transformers movies. I believe the movies were great for Hasbro because it brought a lot more popularity to the toys. It expanded their target market. Before the movies, Transformers were a toy mainly for younger children. The movies helped to get people of older ages more interested.

  2. The fact that Hasbro was able to keep up with the generations is genius. It is hard to find a product that will appeal to all generations and even more move down generations and be successful at it. Not only that but to also the fact that they appeal to everyone, even girls. When I was a little girl I would have never looked at a Transformer, and now I might not either, but I am a huge fan of all the movies. So, taking one product and making it so dynamic that it can target everyone no matter age and sex is something to admire.

  3. Companies such as Hasbro use nostalgia to their advantage in marketing and business. Toys that consumers enjoyed as a child can be tweaked and updated to become compatible with present times, thus making a toy from a certain era transcend all generations.

  4. I agree with the analyst who was quoted for the article, Felicia Hendrix: Hasbro should try to create a more evergreen Transformers brand. Obviously the toy sales are going to be better when the next Tranformers film is in theaters. Once the emotional connection is established between generations that bond over the same toy, consumers are more likely to see the movie together and/or buy the toy version of the film’s newest character.

  5. The transformers movies have appealed to a huge market…they not only attracted action addicts, but they romanticized the movie appealing to an even bigger market. Between adults teens and children, Hasbro has been ale to update their transformers brand and reaped the benefits over the years. Great example of consistency and modern tweaking to maintain nostalgia for the brand.

  6. I think transformer toys market is a niche market. Because the main products of transformer toys are related to Transformers and Beyblade. The main reason parents want to buy transformer toys for their children is because they like the toys. Transformer toys have a strong connection with movies and cartoon.

  7. Toy makers of Transformers made a successful business by building enduring and positive brand image that can be passed down to the next generation. Toys maker also update the toys version with the new release of the movies.

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