An extract on #getout
The Transformers toyline is typically divided into two main factions: the heroic Autobots and their opponents, the evil Decepticons (traditionally known in Japan as the Cybertrons and Destrons, respectively, although more recent releases often use the English terms). Transformers toys are sold at a number of price points, and various Transformers series utilize unique play features.
There have also been a number of spin-offs based on the toys including a comic book series, an animated television series, and a feature-length animated movie. The original series program was followed by a number of spin-offs with varying levels of popularity. A live-action film series directed by Michael Bay has produced five films, with more planned.
The following Transformers toy series were released in the United States:
Many Transformers come with tech specs (short for technical specifications) printed on the back of the box that they are sold in. The owner of the new Transformer is encouraged to cut out the tech specs and save it. This card has information on the Transformer, and will usually include the character's name, picture, indication of allegiance (Autobot, Decepticon or other), function, a quote, a description of the character, and numerical values of the character's various attributes. Although only the numbers can be truly deemed "technical specifications", the entire card is usually referred to as the Transformer's tech specs. Each specification is rated by a value from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest, and 10 being the highest.
Micromasters teams have teamwork ratings instead of ranks. Unlike the other ratings, teamwork seems to be split along faction lines, with Autobots typically holding higher teamwork ratings than Decepticons. A second unique spec value, Cooperation, replaced the Firepower rating used on individuals' cards. The traditional order (as above) was also abandoned for the Micromaster team specifications.
The values started becoming inconsistent and skewed in Generation 2 and Beast Wars, when Hasbro apparently thought no child will ever want a toy that is described as anything less than perfect. Thus it became rarer and rarer to see any low numbers. Most characters' numbers hardly ever dipped below 8, the Go-Bot version of Optimus Prime was the first character to have all values at 10, a trend that would repeat for most "leader" characters. When even more powerful versions of the Optimus Primal toy (such as Optimal Optimus) were introduced, Hasbro even invented a "10+" rating in an attempt to keep increasing the power levels. With the Transformers: Cybertron line a few characters even got "Unknown" and "Infinity" ratings.
The specifications portion of the tech specs which came with earlier G1 Transformers were obfuscated with interference patterns which made them difficult to read without a decoder which was included in the box for each Transformer. The decoder consisted of simple red plastic which rendered the interference patterns invisible.
Related to tech specs were Marvel's Transformer Universe comics, where the entry for each Transformer contained an expanded bio based on the one printed on the tech specs. However, numerical tech specs were not included.