Transformers itself is a universe made of several parallel multiverses. If you are a self-proclaimed Transformers fan and collector, this is one of the most ultimate stuff that you need to learn to be an expert collector. Transformers toyline is divided into 2 main regions – United States and Japan.
On most occurrences, both regions share the same toyline with similar characters. At times, Japanese releases will use names of their own for a similar toy shared by their American counterpart. On certain rarities as well, Japan tend to release characters and toy line that is exclusive only to their market, notably Transformers Victory, Transformers Zone, Transformers Battlestars and Transformers Operation Combination. All those fall into Generation 1 but exclusive only to Japan.
For the Beast Era, Japanese had their own beast wars line such as Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo. These toylines are not shared by their American counterpart but later on certain designs have been absorbed in the American Transformers Universe line.
After year 2000, Japan and American had some form of ‘understanding’ as starting from Robot in Disguise – RID (Car Robots in Japan) onwards they share the same toyline and toy designs with some differences in naming. However this applies only to cartoon-based toylines such as RID, Unicron Trilogies and Animated. The American side however had their own non-cartoon toylines which is exclusively available for US and worldwide market such as Titanium, Universe and Crossovers. Japan to trying to emulate Universe by having their own version of that branding it Robot Masters.
Here are the list of notable toylines available in the US and Japan.
American Toylines (Cartoon-Based)
- Generation One
- Beast Wars
- Beast Machines
- Robots in Disguise
American Toylines (Movie-Based)
- The Movie
- Revenge Of The Fallen
- Hunt For The Decepticon
- Dark Of The Moon
American Toylines (Non-Cartoon-Based)
- Generation Two
- Machine Wars
- Universe Classics
- Reveal The Shield
- Crossovers (Star Wars & Marvel)