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The World Of Transformers.

By icefox in Culture
Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:42:17 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

I have found many of my friends who read kuro5hin and slashdot are re-discovering transformers. Nothing can prove this more then how much people are paying for them on ebay. Most of these people are guys in their 20-30's. Sound like you? For all those that enjoyed them when they were little I have written up an exhaustive editorial on everything that is currently going on in the transformer scene along with a few thoughts on them for you to enjoy.

After the recent interest* in transformers on slashdot and by many of my peers I thought an update would be in order.  There have been many things going on in the transformers universe so without further ado here we go.  For those in North Carolina this weekend there is the yearly BotCon convention.  Robobase put some pre-photos up here.  If you are in the area you can stop on down and check it out.  For all our joy a number of first year transformers have been re-released and more are coming in the next months**.  Check out here for some more info.  You might be happy to know that it is rumored that Grimlock, Devestator, Jazz, and others are in the lineup to be re-released.  Unofficially there have been a number of g1 merge groups recently reproduced.  And the surprising part is that they are of good quality, the same color _and_ only running for $20-$30 for the entire sets on ebay or other sites.

For those without a region lock on your dvd player the region 2 DVD of Transformers the movie will be out shortly in widescreen and many features that the region 1 disc did not have.  After the fantastic results of TTM, Rhino will also be releasing the _entire_ first season of Transformers on DVD early 2002.  One [nice] reason being that this past November the TTM DVD reach top 15 status blowing away all expectations for the "kids" movie.  There are currently two Transformer dvd episodes out right now for you to devour.

This fall on FoxKids you can watch the new series of Transformers called "Transformers Robots in Disguise"  There is even the possibility of the original voice actor (Peter Cullen) for Optimus Prime will reprise his role for RiD.  And the new toys in review after review after review show that they are fantastic.  "This [Super Fire Convoy] is the best "BIG" Transformer ever made." "Super Fire Convoy even puts the rest of the Autobots that Takara's put out so far to shame, he's just that friggin' incredible."  Unlike the original transformers there is a little more to transforming the toys then 3 steps.  The end result is toys that look very good and like the characters they are trying to represent, but with the full mobility and poseability that the beast war transformers have shown us.  The new toys have begun to show up in your local eb, walmart and other toys stores.  If you were a fan of the original showand toy line [cars], but didn't really like all the beast toys I am pretty sure that this new series will catch your eye.

This past year it has been interesting as I have re acquainted myself with the Transformers.  Collecting all the toys that I played with as a child, waiting for the re-releases and the new series.  As for those insane prices here is my explanation.  The prime of the g1 transformers series 1985ish and now all those 8 years olds are in their mid 20's and have spare cash to spend on extras.  Grabbing your favorite guy on ebay can't hurt can it?  And that is where it starts. :)  Although I am very happy about the new series that is coming out for the simple fact that they are back to cars I am sure that my wallet has felt a little more empty then normal.  What will be interesting to watch this fall is just what happens to these Transformers.  Will they become this years power rangers?  Will having robots that Transform be as cool (if not cooler because of the better designs) then they were in 1985?  I already have a box sitting here for my nephew who can't keep his hands off of mine when he sees them.  I know at least he will love them.  Maybe I will pick up an extra prime just in case, selling it in December on ebay.

*Oh and a little update on that 10K transformer auction.  No-one bought it and it was recently re-listed at 7K.  Same thing happened and after chatting with the owner he will most likely break up the collection by year some lucky people will actually be able to afford the parts they want.

**I recently got some of the re-release figures in the mail and my fiancé watched with a horrified face as I promptly cut the tape and took out the toy to play with it.  I learned the lesson in toy story 2.  Did you? :-D  Of course I am glad that I am still a kid at heart and can enjoy these.


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Related Links
o Slashdot
o Kuro5hin
o recent interest*
o BotCon
o here.
o more are coming
o here
o other sites
o region 2 DVD
o many features
o Rhino
o releasing
o FoxKids
o review
o review [2]
o review [3]
o Also by icefox

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The World Of Transformers. | 18 comments (11 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
some background would be nice.... (3.00 / 5) (#7)
by danny on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 04:33:24 AM EST

Did I miss something? Aren't transformers electrical devices?

[900 book reviews and other stuff]

What are transformers (4.00 / 2) (#11)
by icefox on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:46:49 PM EST

Transformers are also a toy line that was started in the 1980's Originally in the last 70's there was a serveral toy lines of toys that could transform. The biggest one was called diaclone. None of them was doing very well and hasbro went and bought them all. Seperated them into good and bad guys. Gave the good and bad similar color scemes and started up comics and a tv show. But as the show was starting the toys were already in the stores waiting for the kids. This tactic lead to the rapid adoption of the toy. Besides that fact that they were something that had never been seen by most kids (see car a, now see robot a :) the daily cartoon gave you more to the charactor then just a toy. The chartoons frequently had multi part episodes that were more then just a 30 minute add for the toy. (alough it is hard to admit that is what they practly were) Over time combiner groups were added. Theese were 5 or so robots that when put together would for a even bigger robot. The popularity of transformers continued to rise until ~1987 were they started to deviate from the cars and planes motif to silly and more stupid toys. In recent times the beast war series may have been a cool cartoon, but the toys were still not cars and planes, but animals. For that reason a lot of people were not that interested. But this new sereis brings them back to their roots. Firetrucks, car and truck. :)

[ Parent ]
What is a "reproduction"? (3.66 / 3) (#8)
by ToastyKen on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 04:39:26 AM EST

What exactly is a "reproduction", as seen on [url="http://www.digital-toys.com/transformers.html"]this site[/url]? For instance, do the parts of that Devastator actually transform and stuff? Are these basically illegal clone products? I mean, if it actually works and stuff, I'd be realy tempted to grab that...

The "Reproductions" (none / 0) (#10)
by icefox on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:22:18 PM EST

A beter word would be knock off. They are unofficial copies of transformers that hasbro did not allow. They transform just like the original. In the case of devestator the tiny guns to each guy and some of the stickers are a little off, but otherwise it is just like the original. There have been dups in the past, but most all of them did not have the same colors as the official transformers which makes these very very cool. I recently found a repro of Radian. He was a combo that was made up of trains and only sold in Japan. And if you want the original it is very exensive (think several hundred dollers.) So I picked it right up sense I am more of an american collector.

[ Parent ]
Fun Stuff (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by Wah on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 07:41:02 AM EST

I'm sitting here looking at my T2 Megatron and grinning. I had a competition here to see who could transform it the fastest. With instructions the best was about 15 minutes (first try), without, it jumped up to 30 minutes to "I give up". :)

Right now he's holding the remote control and bag of chips from Talking Homer, which seems to lessen the fear he strikes in my TMNT's around back.
Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life | SSP

T H A N (none / 0) (#12)
by bishopolis on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 05:08:05 PM EST

THAN, dammit, THAN. It's different from THEN.

Okay, I'm done now. Just had to explain *why* I was hitting next without reading.

- bish

Not just transformers (4.50 / 2) (#13)
by xdroop on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 07:49:34 PM EST

Most of us oldies will probably go through some sort of 'second childhood' where we spend far too much money on buying up toys from (or which remind us of) our first childhood.

My own particular failing is HotWheels cars. While shopping for christmas presents for my wife's cousins, I saw a particular car which caught my attention, and said to myself "it's only a buck, why not?" Now I've ballooned my collection to seventy cars or so (it's still a small one, but restricted mostly to 2000/2001 series), spent money on track pieces, and pestered my parents and friends for any old cars which are lying around.

In a way, I've been fortunate. HotWheels cars are only about a buck (fortunately, I am not chasing the older ones -- I've seen prices on eBay in excess of US$300 for a single loose car) but I completely understand the attraction to these toys.
xhost +

Or get them for our children (none / 0) (#17)
by Orion Blastar on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 01:59:16 PM EST

so they can see the type of toys we enjoyed as children.

I got my son some Hotwheels cars. He is having fun with them. The Hotwheels clone cars are a buck, the actual Hotwheels cars are like over a buck in stores near me. Like $1.25USD or $1.50USD or sometimes $2.00USD when not on sale or a special car. Wallgreens had some Hotwheel clones 3 for a dollar one time. The toy cars break real easily too, the wheels come off or the pin for the axel gets bent.
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
[ Parent ]

stickers (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by starbreeze on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:10:23 AM EST

I would just like to state that I am a kid at heart and on the lower bottom right hand corner of the back window of my car is a transformer sticker. and on the lower left corner is a thundercats sticker.

"There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor

Transformers were great (none / 0) (#16)
by coffee17 on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:08:45 PM EST

and I own the movie on DVD, and have done some proselitizing (my roommate who was over a decade older than me couldn't understand why I owned it, but she agreed it was a decent enough movie and was surprised by the voice casting). However, I'm not going to be buying any of the old toys. I kept quite a few of them up until I was in Seattle, with part of my minor mental break, I burned Optimus Prime in a funeral pyre as one of the last things before I left seattle with only what I could carry (I don't imagine the land lords liked what was left). I could never replace my original Prime.

If some of the new toys are really that cool, and a decent price I might buy some to keep around. But ... I dunno, there seems something ... wrong with buying another's toys. Not quite like buying someone else's underwear, but close. And I'm not just plain weird, I've got a NES console and final fantasy and zelda from ebay, but I just don't think another's toys would sit well in my mind. Eh, maybe I am weird, oh well.


Hey remember the 1980's? (none / 0) (#18)
by Orion Blastar on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 02:05:56 PM EST

People in there 20's and 30's are remembering the shows and toys they played with as kids.

Time to start making movies and new toys based on the 1980's cartoons.

Bring back The Transformers (the original Autobots and Deceptacons, not the "Beast Wars" stuff), G.I. Joe, Thundercats, GeForce/Battle of the Planets, Speed Racer, and many more. Maybe to the Silver Screen or at least a made for TV Movie?

So far we have already seen a return of Johnny Quest, Josie and the Pussycats, Scooby Doo (Cartoon Network Scooby Doo movies), Inspector Gadget (remember that movie?), and others?
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***

The World Of Transformers. | 18 comments (11 topical, 7 editorial, 0 hidden)
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