In today's Transformers Tuesday review, Legends of Cybertron Sunstorm, we said that the character was originally a repaint of the G1 Seeker mold. Now, diehard fans will know that the Seekers were all those Decepticons who turned into jets: Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Thrust, Dirge and Ramjet, plus any number of candy-colored cannon fodder. But why are they called the Seekers?
Nobody really knows.
The term never appeared anywhere in G1. Not the cartoons, not the comics, not the tech specs... nothing. The only related use of the term was in the 1984 JC Penny Holiday Wishbook, in the listing for Starscream on page 490:
Decepticon Silver Plane. Airplane with sensational F-15 styling scours the countryside searching for Autobots. When they're found, the Seekers set out to destroy them. Transforms to an exciting robot with hi-tech weapons and Decepticon logo.
That's it. Nothing else. And yet as long as there's been an organized Transfandom, the term has been known, used and generally understood. Was it really inspired by a one-time use in an old toy catalog? It really seems unlikely. A few other terms have been tried, but none of them have caught on the way Seekers did. Originally a name used only in the fandom, Seekers has recently made the jump to official status, showing up in a few licensed comics and books. Wherever it came from, back in the distant mists of time, it's here to stay.