In 1990, the bells of low sales tolled for The Transformers for the final time. The series finished its US release still divided between two strangely irreconcilable themes, the Micromasters carried in from 1989 and the Action Masters, taking over the slot of larger toys from the Pretenders. By the year's end, there were no further plans Transformers in the United States.
The Micromasters of 1990 were an expansion of those from the previous year, introducing six-robot teams with interchangeable vehicle combinations. The playsets also adopted the combiner feature in different ways. The bulk of the line was made up of Action Masters, non-transforming action figures based in part on 3 ¾” G.I. Joe design. The Action Masters included many popular characters, and each figure included either a simple transformable partner, or a larger vehicle.
Japan's 1990 series was Zone, which focused entirely on Micromasters, or Micro Transformers as they were known in Takara markets. Zone included most of Hasbro's Micromasters from 1989 and '90 as well as a number of larger figures that transformed into bases or weapons for the Micro Transformers. Zone included only a couple toys not directly associated with the Micro Transformers. Action Masters were conspicuous in their absence.
Europe's 1990 releases again mimicked the US releases. However, Hasbro's European division introduced Classics, a line of reissues of 1984 and 1985 characters in swanky-looking gold packaging. This was intended as a countermeasure to the truckloads of unlicensed Mexican Plasticos IGA Transformers that were exported to Europe starting in 1989. Hasbro reasoned that by offering legitimate, licensed releases of old characters, they would stamp out the market for the cheap, lower-quality Central American imports.
Despite continuing demand on some level in Europe and Japan, Transformers ended in 1990 with the final shipment being, fittingly, Optimus Prime with Armored Convoy.