In the final episode of our mini-series Class of '84, we look at two iconic franchises that launched in 1984: Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They came from opposite ends of the business spectrum. Transformers was a top-down marketing synergy between American and Japanese toy companies along with Marvel Comics to compete against He-Man -- another TV toy behemoth. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle would eventually rival them in cultural dominance, but it began with two indie comic book creators making a black and white comic as a lark. But Turtles and Transformers both ended up wrestling with similar questions around what happens when you put the cart before the horse in creating content to sell products. Documentary filmmaker Isaac Elliot-Fisher and Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago talk about the incredible rags to riches story of the Turtles creators, and how success changed them. And I talk with Bob Budiansky, who created many of the original Transformers characters for Hasbro and Marvel Comics.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit