The full article is here, few highlights below.
One name I’m proud of is Megatron. Back in 1983, the threat of nuclear war felt very real – and destructive force was talked about in megatons. At first, Hasbro rejected it for sounding too scary. Gently I said to them: “Well, he’s the main bad guy. He’s supposed to be scary.” Luckily, they changed their minds.
A Hasbro executive told me that any toy that lasts two Christmases is considered a success – that was their barometer. Transformers lasted six or seven years before they started dying out. It seemed like a good run. I don’t think anybody had a clue that they would come back as a multibillion-dollar movie franchise. I certainly didn’t.
Some writers pitched really inappropriate stuff for a kids’ show, such as the Transformers meeting space prostitutes. Oddly enough, no one ever provided us with any of the toys – we worked from photocopies of designs. I actually went out and bought a few but I never got Optimus Prime. He was too popular. You could never find one.
I really wanted to emphasise the human characters in the show, to give the audience something to identify with. But in retrospect, I think the kids just really liked the robots. We were working so fast, the plots were full of holes. But I know from fan letters that kids would simply fill in any gaps with their own stories.