Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye!

Since 1984, Transformers toys have been a part of playtime in America. Multiple generations have devoted many hours converting these complex creations from cars, trucks, and planes into robotic-shaped creatures of all kinds. No longer simply toys for young children, Transformers have a devoted following that bridges age boundaries.

Transformers toys were first released while Cold War frictions were shaping America’s political and military policies. The classic “Good versus Evil” story line so representative of the struggle between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during that era has emerged in the character of Transformers action figures and the plot lines of their stories.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The Paramount/DreamWorks film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, was filmed in part at the Udvar-Hazy Center. It features the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird as Jetfire, a wise, elderly, former Decepticon (an evil Transformer) turned Autobot (a good Transformer). This exhibit case includes historic Transformers toys, aviation- and Jetfire-related characters, and props used in the film.


Highlights:

Jetfire

Toys, Transformers, "Jetfire"
"Power Up Optimus Prime" Jetfire first appears in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in vehicle mode as the SR-71 Blackbird. He had been hidden there, dormant and semi-retired, for many years until Wheelie reveals his location to Sam Witwicky and the others. They then use the "sliver" from the Allspark to reawaken him. Once the ancient robot overcomes confusion and disorientation, he explains to the group that although he bears the Decepticon insignia, he defected to the Autobot side many years ago. The former Decepticon describes how the Cybertronian symbols imprinted in Sam's head are part of his original mission. He then uses a Space Bridge (by opening a local dimensional rift) to teleport them to Egypt and tells them the story of the Dynasty of the Primes and The Fallen (describing how The Fallen covets the hidden Matrix of Leadership in order to activate a powerful object that will harvest the Earth's sun and convert it into energon). Jetfire's knowledge gives Sam the idea that the Matrix might be able to revive Optimus Prime and with this information, Jetfire urges them to make haste in finding the Matrix. Jetfire appears again during the final battle at the Pyramids of Giza, where he slices Mixmaster in half before being gravely wounded by a surprise attack from Scorponok. Witnessing Optimus Prime's resurrection, the aged warrior brings an end to his long life by tearing out his spark core and selflessly sacrificing himself to allow Optimus to use his parts to power-up and defeat The Fallen.

More information: Toys, Transformers, "Jetfire"

Transformer: Optimus Prime

G1 Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime, G1 G1 introduces protagonist Optimus Prime as the heroic leader of the Autobots (the good guys) who is continuously battling the villain, Megatron, and his army of Decepticons (the bad guys). These opposing armies and their good versus evil struggle run throughout G1 as well as the sequels and spin-offs that make up the different Transformers universes.

More information: G1 Optimus Prime