Transformers: Generation Two was Hasbro’s attempt to revive the Transformers brand for the new decade, replete with bright colors, electronic lights and sounds, and firing projectiles.
Starting in 1993, the series opened with old designs updated with new paint and weapons. Since these toys hadn’t been released in the US in almost a decade, they were not likely recognized by the target audience at the time. Unfortunately, the features of these designs such as rubber tires, die-cast metal, and vacuum-metalized “chrome”, made them expensive to produce, so Hasbro quickly shifted to simpler, newer designs. Many of these were sourced from toys released in Europe in the interim years of 1993-1993. As with the peak years of Generation 1, toys were grouped into “subgroups” with a uniting theme or gimmick. Many new characters were invented and introduced, but most of these would quickly fade into obscurity until years later.
The line finished out in 1995 with lackluster sales despite innovative designs and improved production techniques. This may have been in large part due to lack of storyline support, since the corresponding television show consisted of G1 reruns with new CGI intros, outros, and commercial bumpers, and the comic was a twelve-issue special that was literally cancelled before it got of the ground (an antagonist in the comics, Jhiaxus, was reportedly so named to sound like “Gee, axe us!”). This may have been because the toys still largely fit into an older paradigm, not competitive with the leading action figures of the period. Either way, it would force Hasbro to use more drastic measures to reinvigorate the franchise the following year with Beast Wars.