Back in the fall of 1984 premiered a cartoon entitled The Transformers. This series brought to life huge robots that could convert to various forms of disguise. There were the heroic Autobots versus the evil Decepticons. Their war waged from their homeworld of Cybertron to earth. The first 3 episodes were a pilot mini-series run as a litmus test to see if there was any mass interest in the show. Titled "More Than Meets The Eye", it was very well received leading to 13 new episodes for the remainder of that year.
Season 2 began in late September of 1985 and saw a jump in episodes to a staggering 49!
By this time the show had gained such fandom that a theatrical movie was released in July of 1986. This movie event set the tone for many changes for the upcoming 3rd season. Many of the old characters from the first 2 seasons were killed, like the Autobot commander Optimus Prime and the scheming Decepticon Starscream. Other characters such as the Decepticon leader Megatron and the young Autobot Hot Rod were altered to take on new challenges. In addition, there were numerous new characters introduced.... sort of a changing of the guard.
The 3rd season was a drastic change from the previous two in that it was set mostly in space with stories centering around the Transformers homeworld of Cybertron. Adding even more intrigue, this season also saw the introduction of the transformers creators, the Quintessons! There were 30 episodes that began in the fall of 1986 which culminated with the return of probably the most popular character, Optimus Prime!
With season 3 ending on such a high note the future looked as if there was no end in sight. Alas, the 4th season started in November of 1987 and turned out to be the last in the United States, with only 3 episodes entitled The Rebirth. This storyline wrapped up many loose ends within the series and was the end of a very successful albeit short-lived cartoon series.
All in all, there were 98 episodes and one movie released in the U.S. In Japan, the Transformers continued with a few spin-off series that concentrated on many of the new characters introduced during The Rebirth.