Generation Two was a Transformers toyline mainly known for the American relaunch of the Transformers toyline and media with new logos, branding and hyper stylized color shemes, the line ran from 1992-1995.
The Generation 2 line and branding was somewhat of a failure, ending prematurely with various toys scheduled for release never actually being released, and under performance of products at retail, with many old units of stock sitting around for years afterward or ending up in clearance bins.
In Europe, things were a little different, as following the 1989/1990 mainline TF toy releases Europe continued with its own ongoing unique lines year to year while Transformers were considered dead in America for several years.
Part of the relaunched line was a truly horrible re-editing of the original Transformers Sunbow/Marvel 80’s cartoon that replaced the cool intros and iconic theme tune with ADVERTIZING FOOTAGE created for the G2 toys, in fairly crappy (even for the time) three dimensional limited animation.
It was a garbage show barely watched by anybody, and forgotten as reruns of the original show came back around the world in various countries for many years, mostly wiping the craptacular G2 re-edit show run from our collective memory.
The G2 branded media line also included a short but memorable Marvel Comics Transformers Generation 2 run, that included some crossover issues with the Marvel G.I. Joe comic where Cobra are the ones who help Megatron reformat himself into the new green tank mode, after being heavily damaged in his original mode.
The comics were good fun, and the only place where we got any clue as to why Megatron was a tank now (shhhh, don’t mention toy gun laws, NOTHING to do with it……)
I remember seeing the various G2 themed toys on shelves back when I was a kid, and honestly not having any interest in the toys. To be fair, I was more likely to spend what little pocket money I had then on arcade games and comic books, rather than toys.
One of the most notorious and well known of the relaunched G2 line toys was the big green Megatron Tank that had lights and sound. It was a popular enough toy, but so many units were made and sat around for years on shelves unsold that I saw myself back then in multiple stores. The line just did not move the sort of numbers they did in the mid eighties.
The Generations Selects Tank Megatron here is a very nice toy. I like it better than the standard release Earthrise Megatron mold that was used as its basis. It’s a decent quality toy that happily checks the “homage to G2” box, while being fun to mess about with.
The Green Selects Megatron was the most obvious choice for a G2 Megatron, but was the *second* release – after a very surprising release of a formerly concepted and prototyped G2 white camo Megatron that was never actually released in the 1990s.
The white /grey Megatron used the SIEGE Megatron mold, while the green and purple version used the Earthrise mold. Both are fairly nice. I may still pick up the white camo version at some point. The white tank was made into a test shot for catalog photos, but was never available at retail.
The original Generation Two 90’s Big Green Fuck Off Tank Megatron was repurposed in several ways.
Shrunk down for the purple water squirting version, unreleased but making into proto and test shot versions in catalogs for the Green/Grey camo version, and also notably released as new character – Megastorm – for the Japanese anime Beast Wars Second, where he fueded with and constantly tried to win favor with his older brother, the purple dragon triple changing Galvatron.
Both Megastorm and Galvatron were lunatics and Beast Wars Second is a terribly fun all ages show.
I would happily have bought another redo of the Earthrise G2 Selects Megatron in the Combat Hero purple camo colors. It’s lovably daft and to die for, but sadly we didn’t get one this time around.
To the people who moan “I prefer Megatron as a Gun, actually” I retort
“A tank is a BIG FUCKING GUN on wheels mate, get over yourself”
The next toy on the Homage-o-Rama fun run is a Gen Selects G2 themed Ramjet. This one has the classic aqua/purple/black con color scheme used on various uber cool bad ass bots back in the day. And sometimes on 90’s sneakers or wind breakers.
Ramjet is exactly the same as the Siege/Earthrise Coneheads, just in new fabulous colors and worth picking up in my book.
In addition to the *two* Generation Two Megatrons released in recent years, (actually…. 3! Titans Return had a shit version of the purple deco that was rubbish) there was also another unmade concept bot from the 90s, the Conehead/Seeker repaint called Sandstorm in a wicked desert camo pattern.
I missed this first Gen Selects Sandstorm release unfortunately and every time it was online the price was outrageous. Originally I wanted this particular Selects deco, but the purple/aqua version won out for being available, not a totally shit price and it fits better with the Megatron and Bruticus I already had.
My only other modern G2 homage is Bruticus from a few years back in the Combiner Wars toyline. My one is a KO/replica, but a fairly decent one that actually poses and stands a bit better than *any* of the three official CW Bruticus toys I have owned.
Why I owned three other CW Bruti-cusses (Brutici), well FOUR including a KO of that original deco too… is a tale for another day. A boring tale that shall never be revealed.
The tale of Fruiticus however… is one of pain and frustration.
I had a few old G2 90’s toys back in the day. Those damn pack in catalogs made me want a Combiner (hell, ANY complete combiner) so bad. I could never afford to buy the things as a kid, but an old friend gave me the big lot you see below, missing parts and such, but functional.
Between you and me I actually shoplifted (and got caught) trying to get some more Combaticons for a bloody combiner. Not my best day.
“Those who act with few desires are calm, without worry or fear” – Buddhist Quote on Desire
I owned a few random Generation Two bots in the nineties, but they were loose incomplete second hand, missing parts and I never had any of the complete gestalts / combiners – so I mostly gave away this old pile around 2005.
Which works out well as the bloke who gave these to me (except Blot) when he had enough of them was a true blessing. I went from owning three Transformers ever to… well – that lot!
Generation Two was a crazy color rich demented line of day glo and alt camo patterened weird frightening colors on the shelf that were sometimes odd and ugly, occasionally beautiful with an over reliance on multiple gimmicks like color change, missiles, water squirters and more.
But in context looking back was part of a trend in the early to mid nineties of bright gaudy colors that reached out into various toy lines including G.I Joe, Ninja Turtles, Toxic Crusaders, weird sneakers, T-shirts and tragically ludicrous fashion like color change Hyper Colors T-shirts. Where it started and why I don’t know, but it was a very real trend for several years in clothing, toys and popular media.
European Generation One toys continued in the nineties, with the first super bright and colorful toys that would lead into the Generation Two style appearing in Europe and later being rebranded as part of G2 for American releases featuring minimal new sculpts with the line mostly made up of repainted G1 toys.
The American G2 line mixed many redecos of classic Generation One bots along with new sculpts just for the line, as well as the previous Euro only early 90’s releases that became G2 for america, but were technically Euro-G1 re-releases.
When Generation 2 played out, the following year we got the Beast Wars show and toyline. Beast Wars ran for four seasons (retitled Beast Machines for S4) and spawned two additional Japanese only anime shows Beast Wars Second and Beast Wars Neo, each with their own respective toyline. The Beast Wars show won awards and was much more succesful in the toy ailses and on television than the somewhat botched uninspired G2 line.
The legacy of Generation 2 is the odd nod to toys past using a modern sculpt, and of course every line has its fans with the unpopularity of G2 toys making them somewhat hard to get hold of, where once they may have been cheap prices have soared for anything released pre-2000 with “Transformers” slapped on it. Making modern homages very desirable, and more affordable.
For more on G2, check out these great blog posts over at The Dragon Fortress that I found while looking up various details for this article.
G2 Sandstorm concept and official stock photography from
G2 Dinobot Slag image
G2 Grimlock image
RECOMMENDED READING/VIEWING on G2