Alynda Wheat
June 10, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Transformers may well be the only show that began as a line of toys, came to life on TV as an animated miniseries, then begat not only a blockbuster movie franchise but at least a dozen TV series. That’s because kids couldn’t resist the tricky process of morphing race cars into robots. The series’ first season was just as complex as the toys, asking viewers to follow the war between the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and aided by the human Witwicky clan, and the evil Decepticons, who followed the Autobots to Earth. (Later seasons dropped the continuity element for stand-alone episodes.) Purists will appreciate the EXTRAS, including a printable script and an origins doc. But for those who didn’t grow up knowing the ”more than meets the eye” theme, now’s a great time to develop an appreciation. A?

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