The Beast Era is a break from the usual presentation, featuring Transformers with animal altmodes instead of vehicles, and Maximals and Predacons replacing Autobots and Decepticons. It is in continuity with the Generation 1 family, but the toys and fiction are distinct enough to be considered on their own. Despite being quite different from the original series (and most subsequent Transformers series), the Beast Era is what saved the brand from falling into the abyss to which most other 80's toyline properties fell victim. Beast Wars revitalized the whole franchise.
The final Dinobot toy that was revealed at the Toy Fair was a Velociraptor-based transformer named Slash. He might not seem that special at first, but any fans of Transformers: Beast Wars will recognize him as THE Dinobot. In the mid 90s, Beast Wars was a popular alternative to transformers where all the transformers took animal form rather than vehicle. Dinobot was a Maximal (Autobot) who was rebranded as a Predicon (Decepticon), but eventually returned to his Maximal roots.
Controversial even by the standards of other Transformers (!), is remembered by some as a series which tried to tackle heavy philosophical concepts with mixed results, discussing such issues like what it meant to live in an increasingly technological society and the dichotomy between the desires of the individual and the needs of society and the paradox of a living technological world. Story editor describes the series as a "religious epic novel for television." The series' detractors complained about the show's alleged "hippie" agenda, claiming it would ; a few went so far as to send Skir death threats, causing him to cancel a convention appearance in 2000. Even more sympathetic fans have commented that the show lacks the campy, lighthearted humor of . The show also featured seemingly endless scenes of the good guys running away, and that the requirements of the overall plot structure leave it treading water story-wise at times. Many characters had radically different personalities and goals than in Beast Wars ('s being the strongest example). The show was and remains the darkest and most thought-provoking Transformers animation to date, and the final animated entry into the Generation One story canon, bringing the events in that universe to a rather conclusive ending.
The Transformers franchise received yet another boost with the 2007 release (and 2009 sequel) of Michael Bay’s smash hit live-action , “Transformers,” starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. Naturally, toys were made to go with the film were sold alongside the Transformers Animated line, which was based on the yet another new animated TV series.