Time for another crazy theory of mine. You know, the ones where I speculate wildly and everyone says I read into things WAY too much. I'll start by throwing out an absurd idea, then I'll do my best to back it up. Should be good for a laugh, if nothing else. Here goes: I think Pinocchio is the grandfather of Transformers. You know how it works with time travel, right? You go back a million years and kill one tiny insect, and somehow that can destroy the whole world. Maybe that dead insect now gets eaten by a bird that otherwise would have starved and that bird's grandson kills the last of a species of rare flower that holds the cure to a devastating plague that wipes out everyone in a country wherein would reside the only person who could stop a nuclear world war... you get what I'm saying, even if you can't quite follow it. Well I say Transformers wouldn't exist anymore if you were to go back in time and kill Carlo Collodi before he could invent Pinocchio. At least, TFs wouldn't be the same. I'll trace it for you. Back in the 50's, a mere seven decades after Pinocchio was created, Osamu Tezuka created Astro Boy. At the time, the similarities to Pinnochio were obvious - a young artificial boy striving to be human. It was an obvious homage. Now, who grew up watching Astro Boy, and openly admitted to being influenced by it? None other then Go Nagai, creator of the 70's anime show called Mazinger Z (you may know it as Tranzor Z). This spawned the spin-off Grendizer Z (Goldorak to us French Canadians), and set the tone as the two longest running mecha anime shows ever. Watch them and it's apparent that they had a massive impact on all things related to Japanese mecha ever since. Macross, Machine Robo, Microman and Diaclone all came a decade later, and each drew heavily from Go Nagai's style and ideas. I don't have to tell you these lines all had an enormous impact on what we know today as The Transformers, so there you have it. The seed for TFs was planted well over a hundred years ago, in my opinion, when Pinocchio was thought up. What say you?