Before they were the force behind the Titanium Series, Galoob already had Transformers connections. Some indirect, such as Micro Machines being the trend that helped inspire Micromasters, and some quite direct, such as their spokesman being one of the most memorable voices from Transformers: The Movie and the third season of the original cartoon. Having only been founded in 1958 Galoob is one of the younger companies on the list, with the peak of their success happening alongside the first generation of Transformers. Keep reading to learn more!
What Were They Before Hasbro?
The Lewis Galoob company, founded in 1958 by Lewis Galoob and his wife Barbara, was initially a small distributor of both toys and stationery. In their early days, their most successful product was "Jolly Chimp," a version of the well-known mechanical-monkey-with-cymbals toy. Lewis retired in 1970 due to illness, and was succeeded by his son David, who had a mind to turn the company into a major toy manufacturing power. First scoring substantial successes with a series of RC Cars in the `70s, then as the first US holder of the Smurfs license, the company's true big break came with the The A-Team license in the early `80s and the sale of Mr.T dolls.
While their initial public offering of stock went well based on the strength of those sales, Galoob suffered a number of financial ups and downs in the `80s and early `90s - owed in part to the trend-chasing nature of their business and part to the state of the US economy in the early 1990s. David Galoob left the company in 1991, and the company gradually returned to profitability over the ensuing years under cautious leadership, ending as the third-largest toy maker in the United States when Hasbro purchased them in 1998.
What Toys Are They Known For?
Galoob's best-selling product line of all time is likely also the one they're best known for by Transformers fans, all because of one man:
Micro Machines, the source of the micro-playset trend that would be visited in Transformers in such lines as Micromasters, Microverse, and Titans Return, started in 1987. The ad campaign was fronted by Mr. John Moschitta, the voice of G1 and Animated Blurr, giving an old-fashioned straightforward commercial pitch at truly impressive speeds. The line took off in a big way, expanding to include miniature Star Wars and Star Trek ships among others licenses. After a brief rest in the mid-2000s, the line is back on shelves now offering Star Wars mini-vehicles once again.
What Transformers Products Have They Made?
The Titanium Series line began in 2006, co-branded as both Hasbro and Galoob and released as part of Micro Machines. It featured non-transforming 3" miniature figures of Transformers characters - the Robot Masters - and the 6" Cybertron Heroes line. Celebrated at the time for their release of figures based on Don Figueroa's Transformers: The War Within artwork for Dreamworks, the 6" Titaniums figures were somewhat less celebrated for their hit-miss ratio in terms of quality. The team behind them was a Galoob team with little input from the main Hasbro Transformers team - and no Takara engineers to back them up. On top of which, it was their first work involving Transforming robots. The line was short-lived, running a couple years, and the most recent appearance of any of its molds was Titanium Series Rodimus Prime in a 2016 Platinum Edition set.
Soundwave in particular looks like he's wearing a diaper, and one that desperately needs changed. Likewise, Ultra Magnus is one of those toys rare enough to be something of a "Holy Grail" for collectors - but should they open said grail they will find out fast enough that they have chosen poorly.