Hasbro Equivalent: Generation 1 (1987)
Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: Headmasters was the name given by Takara to the third series of Generation 1 in Japan. Running the course of 1987, Headmasters continued the futuristic stylings started by its predecessor, Transfomrers: 2010. The series moved to a focus on gimmicks involving mini-figures that formed part of the main figure, such as the head or a weapon. The series would also introduce the largest Transformer to date (a record that stood until 2013), Fortress Maximus (whose Japanese release included two swords).
Headmasters was the first series to feature increasingly broad differences from the Hasbro lineup. Takara adapted previously untapped Diaclone and Microchange designs for Raiden and Browning, and included a number of unique new designs, such as the Master Warriors, W Cassettbots, and the Targetmasters Artfire and Stepper. Interestingly, the Destrons (Decepticons) did not receive any newly-designed toys exclusive to Japan. Despite the large addition to the Cybertron (Autobot) roster, it paled in comparison to the differences in store for the succeeding series.
Headmasters, and its associated anime (unique to Japan) were highly successful, spawning the usual gamut of merchandise and memorabilia. Far from past its peak, Transformers would continue the next year with Super-God Masterforce.