80′s Transformers Box Art

Transformers: 1984 Box Battle

Transformers: 1985 Box Battle

Transformers - Decepticon: Soundwave

Transformer - Decepticon: Ravage

Transformer - Decepticon: Buzzsaw

Transformer - Decepticon: Frenzy

Transformer - Decepticon - Insecticon: Bombshell

Transformer - Decepticon: Beastbox

Transformer - Autobot - Dinobot: Grimlock

Transformer - Autobot: Wheeljack

Transformer - Autobot: Ratchet

Transformer - Autobot: Jazz

Transformer - Autobot: Hoist

Transformer - Autobot: Prowl

Transformer - Autobot: Hound

Transformer - Autobot: Mirage

When I was growing up G.I. Joe and Transformers were a lethal one-two punch for my imagination. The toys were cool, the cartoons were awesome, but the box art was the catalyst for daydreaming. Seeing that stuff on the shelves, looking at the hand-crafted portraits of the characters really got my mind going. The fact that these were actually painted, with all the textures and imperfections that come along with that process, really drove home a certain personality that is all but lost on kids today.

You can scope the entire series of box art over at Botch the Crab.

16 Comments

  1. PJ

    I love how some of these transformed into proper copies of real life racing cars, like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligier_JS11

  2. Chris

    Excellent stuff. I am sure I have a Transformers sticker book cover somewhere with that great painted style. I think it was from the film/movie. I have the film on Blu-Ray and it really benefits from the improved colour palette.
    I love this era, you get some amazing covers to aid the imagination. Like the Capcom SideArms cover/arcade side art.

  3. paul (Author)

    I knew you’d be all over that one PJ, the race car ones were always favorites of mine. Chris, that sticker book is a perfect example of why the 80′s rocked. Miss those things.

  4. Totally forgot about the Grape Ape inspired Transformer!

  5. The leaping 80s cougar brings back memories – what was it called? Lockdown??? OK, I was a little girl so I only suffered through transformers because She-Ra was on right after. I appreciate so much of the detail now though (and I still love She-Ra, um hello cartoon that needs a hollywood film remake???)

  6. Oh yeah, I remember those. Is it the same artist who did the cover art for the comics? Does anyone know that?

    Well, cool as always Metalhead!
    See you buddy!

    Cheers
    DAN

  7. I remember all of this artworks!
    A lot of great memories…

  8. I forgot how much cooler metal looked in the 80s

  9. I cry a little inside whenever my kids get the new stuff; no die-cast metal, poor quality plastic crap. Thankfully they’re blissfully ignorant of what they missed out on.

  10. paul (Author)

    Riley the leaping cougar in question was named ‘Ravage’. Dan the artist behind these awesome paintings is Jeffrey Mangiat, he also worked on G.I. Joe, Gobots, and a bunch of other great stuff back then.

  11. am2kei

    Reminds of the cartoon,great memories.

  12. reigna

    Wow! amazing creations!.. The idea is there. I’m sure kids will love it.

  13. Of course Soundwave is first. Imagine what they could have done with a 3d program. Thanks for the post James!

  14. Labelle

    We come from a groovier time…

  15. David Schleinkofer

    The artwork for the back of the box in 1984 was done by me, David Schleinkofer. I was given the battle scene to paint while fellow artist , Jeff Mangiat was given the singles to do for the front of the boxes.

  16. @David Schleinkofer, that’s incredible work, man! You’re an inspiration to the rest of us artists.

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