Via our long time friend and former Hasbro Transformers team leader, Aaron Archer, we have learned that Takara-Tomy’s Hideaki Yoke has embarked on a well-earned retirement.
I recently referred to Bob Budiansky as one of the fathers of Transformers, and Hideaki Yoke is someone whom I hold in a similar high level of respect. As a toy designer for Takara in the 1980s, he worked on several of the company’s lines, including Diaclone and Microman. Here he designed several toys, including most important of all, the original Diaclone Convoy, better known as Optimus Prime. He is the man who we have to thank for giving us that most iconic of designs, which has defined Optimus Prime and become the face of Transformers for more than three decades.
This alone would be worth of celebration, but Yoke-san was also Takara’s main liaison with Hasbro during the early years of the Transformers brand, helping to build the partnership between the companies and according to Aaron Archer, had a hand in every toy and every piece of media for the Transformers brand since the very beginning.
He is one of the unsung heroes who has contributed much to the development and the successes of the Transformers brand from its early beginnings in the 1980s through to its current status as a worldwide multimedia brand.
All of us here at TFW2005 wish Yoke-sama many long, happy, and restful years of retirement, and we offer all of our thanks for his hard work in shaping Transformers into the phenomenon that it is today.