Pretty much as it says on the tin, this is pure speculation of course, musing on what Hasbro has learned, for better or worse, over the years, and how, if it had been some other incarnation of the mythos that had premiered in 1984, and what we know as G1 were just about to start now, how that would have altered it. Not just "What mistakes would have been avoided" - that's a significant part, but there are two sides to every coin, since taking risks on something new yields more misses than a winning formula TM, but also higher hits than playing it safe. So... to start the ball rolling: Far fewer characters, far more "new bodies". The lesson of the '86 Movie, that those personalities and stories that Bob Budiansky and others wrote for colour on the back of the box and for characters in cartoon and comic weren't disposable fluff, but were absolutely central to brand loyalty, has I suspect been learned - possibly too much (Hello Bayverse Bumblebee, all 60 trillion of you). Had G1 not already established Ultra Magnus as a character, I think its certain that, told nowadays, that toy would have been "Ultra Optimus Prime with transforming battle armour", or similar. By the same token, Bumblebee's rebirth as Goldbug would likely have been alongside Brawn>Rollbar, Chase>Cliffjumper, and so on. I could easily see this going further. Idw's intentionally bizarre Transformers vs. GI Joe homage miniseries speculated on the Protectobots being the likes of Prowl, Ratchet, Inferno, rather than new dedicated characters, and Combiner Wars I think suggests that latter day G1 would have taken that route. Indeed, the amount of Optimusishness about Hotspot's robot mode head and chest almost makes me wonder if it was considered back in the 80s. By the same token, I'm pretty certain that Micromaster Overload would have been another Optimus in the micro-scale toyline. By way of further example, for instance, imagine a world transf... ahem, that is, imagine a world where "The Rebirth" wasn't mostly about introducing a ton of characters we'd never met before, only to say goodbye to them all after episode three, but where, in amongst some new characters, we'd also be seeing old heroes return in new Cybertronic bodies. So, for the Targetmasters, alongside Kup and Sparkplug, Blurr and Marissa Fairborne, and Hot Rod and Daniel (rather more sensible a pairing than Headmaster Arcee), we'd also be seeing Ironhide and Carly (friends from back in The Immobiliser) [Crosshairs with Pinpointer toy], Sunstreaker and Chip (occasionally paired) [Sureshot with Spoilsport toy], and Sideswipe with, well, no idea. Sparkplug, maybe. Could be Dr Fujiyama the Famous Scientist, for that matter, or you could paint him blue and make it Tracks and Raoul. [Pointblank with Peacemaker toy]. Essentially the point being that I think nowadays, we'd probably see the popular cartoon characters "fed" back into the toyline as new toys and inspirations a whole lot quicker. What else? Well, the odds are that the executive decision to cross out Ratchet's feminine pronouns in the profile and make him the grouchy old bloke bot we've known and loved from G1 to Animated wouldn't have happened, and Ratchet (Nurse Ratched joke intact) would instead have been more the snarky, party loving grease monkey girl Budiansky originally described. Something of a robotic Kaylee Frye, perhaps? Someone might have proofread Sunstreaker and Sideswipe's profiles and got them right way round, which would have been a plus. We would almost certainly never have had gun-mode Megatron. Whether that's good or bad is down to individual taste, or course, but as a practical corollary, it's possible that "size changing" might have remained just an implicit, toy scale related thing, rather than getting featured as an explicit in-store power of the Transformers, had one of the faction leaders not had two modes clearly at different scales to each other. Given the difficulties in making Soundwave and the cassettes translate to any kind of modern storage medium/player analogy play pattern in a realistic way (Why do Titans Return Ravage and friends "Tablet PC" alt modes slot into a portable radio Soundwave, again? I mean other than the obvious "because it made sense when they were cassettes and a micro cassette recorder" reason?) it's likely that wouldn't have happened either, and "mass shifting" etc likely never ever been a thing. "Why is Motormaster a much smaller lorry than Optimus Prime?" "He's not smaller, he's further away." So, any other examples or thoughts to this theme?