I'm pretty happy that I'm really losing interest in Transformers.

Sure. I'll no doubt pick them up here and there. I may even attend the con again since it is a good excuse for me to do a quick vacation.

I rarely frequent the fan sites anymore. There's not much point in commenting on any of the message boards since, like all geek things, the same shit is talked about over and over and over again.

And since I've always been into TFs for the toys, with the release of the new club figure (image) above, I can truthfully say I don't see much point in renewing my membership.

I really disliked the Energon combiners (and their generally poor combined modes) and having repaints of the damn things doesn't really interest me. Taking 5 years to get a complete combiner is also now worth it.

The new Master Collector arrived and there is absolutely no point in me getting that since it goes right into the trash.

The TF newsletter inside is pointless since it has now been 5 months since the con and that's all they pretty much can write about still. Any other "news" is so outdated that it is plainly apparent that the internet as an info vehicle trumps any kind of printed newsletter a thousand-fold.

And while I'd love to kitbash/custom stuff, devoting pages of the newsletter to repainting a Cybertron basic to make an "exclusive" reeks of "we really have no content here guys".

Why did I write about this?

I'm becoming a hater.

I don't want to be.



Aww, don't he look like all those SUV flags?

Seriously, tho, I agree completely that there isn't much to recommend in TFs right now. And that there is just fugly. Did OFTCC have any idea what they wanted the Gestalt to look like? Or are they just recoloring Energon figures in a hasty fashion?

They never revealed anything.

When they announced 5 it was a given it would be a combiner of some kind but then once they released that last transparent Energon jet, it was obvious they'd all have to be Energon combiner repaints so they could "connect".

Hopefully they'll go with the Bruticus Maximus "chest" part (I have no care in the world what their original component names are).

The one for Superion sucked and I hate the Constructicon one.

Ironically, I started replying to posts on this site just because I was so tired of the same old stuff on the boards (If I read another Hasbro v. Takara post my head was going to explode), and have actually enjoyed some of these conversations. Nice ot meet some mature, thoughtful fans whose identification with TFs predates Armada. Don't become a hater now!

This is an odd time for Transformers, because we are in the biggest lull of the past decade, but at the same time on the verge of something potentially very exciting.

It is a lull because for the first time in a long time, no new molds are being produced in Japan. You can count on two hands the number of original molds which have debuted on the net in the past twelve months. The long lag between GF and Cybertron has made even the newest Hasbro releases seem pretty stale (when did we first see CD Hotshot? 15 months ago?). Contrast this with the past 10 years, really since the begiining of Beast Wars, when we've been getting to see 25-45 original molds a year (not to mention repaints)at a pretty steady pace. It seemed like every week or two we'd see something new.

Prototypes of the next line were apparently previewed at SDCC last year, but it's been 8 months since then and we haven't gotten a shred of information since. That's pretty good secret-keeping on Hasbro's part, but it has also made it dullsville on the net from a TF perspective. There is just ZERO buzz right now.

It's sort of like the gap between G2 and Beast Wars where there was just nothing. Of course the toys will be on the shelves continuously this time (in the form of repaints of molds Japan got two years earlier), but this period may really mark the close of the second era of Transformers (BW-BM-RID-A-E-C). Primus is a fitting bookend. The "break" is even more pronounced in Japan, where he isn't even really being marketed as part of an ongoing toyline.

At the same time, we are on the brink of some potentially cool stuff. There is the "Neo-G1" line (which the online community has totally hyped to the point where, in my opinion, Hasbro cannot possibly deliver). There is also the Movie, which will likely set the stage for the third Transformers "era" by establishing the main characters and conventions that the toys (and potential sequels) will follow for the next decade.

Just to make sure we aren't falling behind:


Now that that's behind us. . . it may be time for another break. I'd like to see a series as well thought out as Beast Wars, but I could deal just as easily with a lull before the movie, which I'm dreading. (It's one thing to say Primacron built Unicron, it's quite another to hand the reins over entirely to Michael Bay. I can only hold down so much vomit.) In my case, at least, there's at least a hundred TFs from their past history I want, so a lull would give me a chance to catch up. But Nala did about what? 2-300 in the space of a year? I can understand being burnt out. Especially when crap like SUPERUSATANK up above is the best that OFTCC is offering fans for their hard earned buck. (Five years? For an energon gestalt? Hasbro does sukc. But I'd like to thank Nala once again for helping me out by finding me the last leg to shitty Devestator.)

But I've still got the bug and got it bad. Case in point: After losing $100 for a Metals Ravage that got stolen, I ponied up the same amount for one that did come in. To quote the teenager from the Simpsons: "If I had a girlfriend, she'd kill me!"

Ack! I still have some shit to send you Frowny. And your xmas present is there too! Email which address you want it sent to and I'll get it out.

Alex: Are you excited at all about the film? Personally, I don't care at all about a Transformers film but I am interested in seeing what toys come out of it.

I am ambivalent about the film, but I do think it will mark a turning point for the franchise.

I pretty much lost hope for much of a movie when I read Spielberg's comment that "it is a story about a boy and his car". This suggests to me that the focus will be on human characters (no doubt so we can "identify" with them) and their encounters with the world of the Transformers. This is a big mistake, in my opinion. The Transformers themselves are the draw, they need to make their characters accessible, rather than relying on some human cipher. The focus on a human as "link" to these characters reeks of 1980s badness (think Courtney Cox in the Masters of the Universe movie). Not good. The story arc needs to be Optimus Prime's (or some other Autobot's), not Spike's. But I doubt they have the guts to do it that way.

That said, there are some things we should look forward to. I'm sure they will have some talented folks working on character designs, so that will be fun. I suspect that the Transformers will look significantly less "human" in Robot mode than we are used to, particularly the Decepticons. They will likely be pretty stylized. Should make for some neat toys.

They also need to come up with some clever solutions to make the whole idea "work" as a movie. Why would alien robots have alternate modes? Why would they disguise themselves? The Autobots may be operating under some "prime directive" type rule, but what about the Decepticons? What would a star-faring race want with Earth anyway? Are we really to believe Cybertron operates on fossil fuels?

They'll have to put some thought into this, so that will be interesting. I'll be disappointed if they just dig out every hoary cliche. I'll be doubly disappointeed if I can predict the plot today:

A Cybertronian artifact (the "McGuffin"), arrives or is already hidden on Earth. It holds key to war/power/rule of the universe. Megatron wants it because he's bad. Spike/human lead finds it, possesses it, or knows where it is. Takes it home. Decepticons attack and get the McGuffin. Spike escapes/is rescued by Autobots. Autobots need Spike's help to stop the Decepticons. He helps them. Big Battle. Autobots win. The end.

This is like Sci-Fi cliche theatre, but I'm worried it's the route they'll take.

That "McGuffin" storyline of course sounds practically like the last 3 Transformer cartoon storylines.

With that said, I don't know why but I have ended up liking Bud from Cybertron as far as humans go.

I suppose it is because he's actually younger than the typical teen that has been used over and over again.

His brother and his "super skill to fix Cybertronians" though is more cliched than Sparkplug Witwicky knowing how to work on Autobot chassis.

Alex said:

-This suggests to me that the focus will be on human characters (no doubt so we can "identify" with them) and their encounters with the world of the Transformers. This is a big mistake, in my opinion. The Transformers themselves are the draw, they need to make their characters accessible, rather than relying on some human cipher.-

Hole in one. Funnily enough, when I borrowed my friend Rob's season 2 DVDs I ended up watching the extras, and Buzz Dixon (one of the writers) said basically the same thing. He was working on a cartoon where a kid turned into a car, and when he proposed the car should become a robot, he was told "Kids won't identify with robots." This is exactly the reason Robin was added to Batman's cast. Now, Robin has been vastly improved over the years, but I've read a good portion of early Batman and he was just unnecessary, or at least as necessary as Ace the Bat-Hound. Blech.

Once again, the people responsible for kids' entertainment have no fucking clue what kids would or wouldn't like.

Sorry, I haven't watched the modern cartoon series.

I guess in a nutshell I just think if they want this thing to succeed, they can't shy away from Transformers and focus on humans. They need to embrace the idea of Transformers as featured characters rather than plot devices, and trust that the audience will too.

Frowny- you hit it- the audience isn't there to see Batman through Robin's eyes. They are there to see Batman kick ass and chew bubble gum.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nala published on February 24, 2006 8:56 AM.

Cybertron Crosswise was the previous entry in this blog.

Welcome to the house of fun. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.03