Starting with 1986, the first Transformers toys - the Mini-Cassettes, the Triple Changers, the newly introduced Special Teams Mini-Vehicles and the Large Vehicles - were available in mixed assortments that contained both Autobot and Decepticon characters. The 1986 toys are still listed as Autobots and Decepticons for simplicity's sake.
The first true transforming robot toy appeared in 1975. This five-inch-tall diecast metal toy, produced by Bandai’s Popy, was based on the TV anime series “Brave Raideen,” whose hero was a giant robot. Though sentient, Raideen allowed himself to be piloted by a human, and he could change into a bird-like jet called Godbird. American kids got to play with their first transformer, dubbed a “two-in-one warrior,” in 1978, when Mattel sold Raideen as a part of its Shogun Warriors line.
The first Transformers toys were created from two different transforming robot toylines from , the and () series. Hasbro acquired the rights to sell them in the United States but, instead of selling them under their original names, they were rebranded as "The Transformers". The first two years consisted primarily of reusing the Diaclone/Micro Change molds. Some of the models from the Diaclone line still have the pilot's seat in their design. The earliest toys had some parts made of , which were eventually phased out.
My very first Transformers toy, although I don't treasure him very much. My parents bought it for me when I'm a little kid and I'm pretty sad that they don't buy an Optimus Prime for me instead!