Twin Twist thumbnail 1
Twin Twist thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Twin Twist

Transformer
1985-1987 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron. They are divided into two factions: heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons. Autobots and Decepticons have been locked in an apocalyptic civil war for millennia. The line was launched in the United States in 1984 with an accompanying animated television series, it followed in Europe later that same year. Many of the Hasbro-distributed toys were actually rebranded versions of the existing Japanese ‘Microman’ and ‘Diaclone’ toylines made by Takara. The combination of vehicle and robot, and the often complicated series of movements required to change between the two modes, meant Transformers were extremely popular children’s toys during the mid-1980s.

Twin Twist is an Autobot warrior, one of two Transformers known as ‘Jumpstarters’ (the other being Twin Twist’s ‘brother’, Topspin). These toys transformed from vehicle to robot via a very simple, very quick process, powered by their pull-back motors. When the toy was pulled back and released, after being propelled a short distance a latch on the body would release the spring-loaded legs, their weight and momentum causing the figure stop and stand up. The timing of the transformation could be adjusted with the lever on the back of the figure’s head.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Transformer
  • Weapon
  • Missile
Titles
  • Twin Twist (manufacturer's title)
  • Autobot (generic title)
Materials and techniques
injection-moulded plastic; metal
Brief description
Transformer (Autobot), 'Twin Twist'; robot/drill tank; Takara/Hasbro; Taiwan; 1985-87
Physical description
Transforming toy, changing from a robot to a double drill caterpiller vehicle via a mechanical motion. It is made from injection-moulded plastic, it has a blue torso, light grey arms and head. The face is painted silver. The vehicle's 'drill bits' are made from silver plastic, and the robot holds a silver plastic gun. The toy is decorated with coloured paper decals. On the underside are inset wheels which propel the toy.
Dimensions
  • Height: 10cm (robot mode)
  • Width: 6.7cm (robot mode)
  • Length: 8cm (drill mode)
Height: 4in
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
'© HASBRO / 1980, 1984 / © TAKARA / 1980, 1984 / TAIWAN'
Credit line
Given by Jermaine Dacas
Object history
Bought by the donor between 1985 and 1987. Mr Dacas was born 17/10/73 and saved his pocket money to buy the toys.
Historical context
Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron, all of them are capable of assuming an alternate form, usually a vehicle, through a series of folding movements. They are typically divided into two factions: Autobots and Decepticons. The Autobots are heroic, peace-loving and curious about humanity, they are led by Optimus Prime, who typically transforms into an articulated truck. The Decepticons are evil, authoritarian and contemptuous of other life-forms, they are led by the maniacal Megatron, who originally transformed into a realistic-looking handgun.

Initially, the franchise was essentially an American rebrand of two toylines already produced by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy: ‘Diaclone’ and ‘Microman’. Hasbro had purchased the distribution rights to these lines in the early-1980s. Transformers was launched in the United States and Europe in 1984-85. The enormously popular toys inspired many spin-offs, including several animated television series’, a feature-length animated film (1986), multiple comic books series (including by Marvel, who had co-operated with Hasbro to produce GI Joe comics) and, inevitably, subsequent lines of toys. A series of big budget, live-action films have been produced by Warner Brothers since 2007.
Production
Made by: HASBRO; TAKARA CO
Japan
Subject depicted
Summary
Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron. They are divided into two factions: heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons. Autobots and Decepticons have been locked in an apocalyptic civil war for millennia. The line was launched in the United States in 1984 with an accompanying animated television series, it followed in Europe later that same year. Many of the Hasbro-distributed toys were actually rebranded versions of the existing Japanese ‘Microman’ and ‘Diaclone’ toylines made by Takara. The combination of vehicle and robot, and the often complicated series of movements required to change between the two modes, meant Transformers were extremely popular children’s toys during the mid-1980s.

Twin Twist is an Autobot warrior, one of two Transformers known as ‘Jumpstarters’ (the other being Twin Twist’s ‘brother’, Topspin). These toys transformed from vehicle to robot via a very simple, very quick process, powered by their pull-back motors. When the toy was pulled back and released, after being propelled a short distance a latch on the body would release the spring-loaded legs, their weight and momentum causing the figure stop and stand up. The timing of the transformation could be adjusted with the lever on the back of the figure’s head.
Bibliographic reference
Toy Trader; November 1985; April 1986; August 1986
Collection
Accession number
B.96-1994

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Record createdApril 17, 2000
Record URL
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