The following is a description of Time Cruisers from a period LEGO catalog page:
The Time Cruisers power their time machines with special hats. While the plot specified by LEGO involves activities taking place in the past, the set of hats offered in the Hypno Cruiser includes an alien helmet, indicating that travel to the future is possible. The Time Twisters use a clear cylinder filled with artifacts from the different eras power their time travel.
Time Cruisers has two different factions. The Time Cruisers and the Time Twisters.
Time CruisersThe Time Cruisers are the protagonists of the theme and were introduced with its' initial release in 1996. Dr. Cyber and his assistant Tim are the main characters in this faction, and they visit other ages to gather knowledge and the repair damage wrought by the Time Twisters (which appeared the following year). They also have two other members, a robot named Crankey the Robot, and a monkey named Ingo. Their primary objective is to remain undercover and meddle as little as possible with history.
Time TwistersThe antagonists of this theme are called the Time Twisters. The Time Twisters are the twins Tony Twister, and Professor Millennium, who are accompanied by a mysterious Ghost, and a Skeleton. Their vehicles are powered by cylinders filled with valuable articles from the past. They travel through time to steal objects of value to add to their cylinders, and interfere with the past.
Sixteen Time Cruisers sets were released over the course of two years.
|Image||Item number||Set||Number of pieces||Minifigures||Price||Release|
|1853||Hypno Cruiser||152||Tim, Dr. Cyber, Ingo||1996|
|6492||Hypno Cruiser||152||Tim, Dr. Cyber||$22.00||1996|
|6493||Flying Time Vessel||237||Dr. Cyber, Tim||$44.00||1996|
|6494||Mystic Mountain Time Lab||523||5||$64.00||1996|
|6495||Time Tunnelator||81||Tony Twister||$10.00||1997|
|6496||Whirling Time Warper||143||2||$22.00||1997|
|6497||Twisted Time Train||296||4||$38.50||1997|
|6499||Time Tunnelator||81||Professor Millennium||1997|
|GA04||Time Cruisers Board Game||5||1997|
Comics 1994-1996 & 1997-2001
Time Cruisers, started when a LEGO fan built a model of a time-traveling car. People working on LEGO Magazines for Europe liked the concept, came up with some characters, and in 1994 (two years before the theme), launched a magazine comic starring Doctor Cyber and Max Time Cruiser/Timebuster.
By 1996, the comic had been successfully running for two years, and LEGO launched sets based on the concept. Max was renamed to Tim, and the character designs were tweaked a bit - though the physical minifigures still didn't completely resemble their depictions in the comics, The magazines were also expanded into new countries, so the story was rebooted too (though honestly, it wasn't much of a story). The time machines were now the large flagship Time Cruisers set and a small "micro-zapper", rather than the original car MOC that kicked everything off. the original run  the 1997-2001 comic more information  
Runamuck on Eurobricks has created an English transcript here:
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