Along the lines of GI Joe Resolute...

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Superion33, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

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    I don't know if any of you guys have seen it, but check it out if you haven't. Its on Youtube.

    Its basically a very mature take on GI Joe. The animation is top notch. The Joe team actually uses military/counter-terrorist terminology. All the kiddy stuff is taken out of it. There is a little blood and gore - but nothing obscene. It got me thinking tho -

    Why can't Transformers do something along the same line? Cartoons are just not for kids anymore. The Simpsons, Family Guy, and decades of anime have proven that mature cartoons work very well. Why not a mature Transformers themed series?

    Hasbro could still have a kiddy version of TF, but have a more mature version also. Beast Wars was probably the most mature version of TFs we've had and that did extremely well considering it revived a dying brand.

    What are your guys' take?
     
  2. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    It's pretty unlikely we'll see anything like Resolute for Transformers, and the reason why is pretty simple: at this point in time, as has been the case for a few years now, kids don't really give a shit about G.I. Joe. After the basic failure of it's attempt to emulate Armada's success with an Anime-style reboot, it undid every change that Sigma Six wrought upon the franchise and immediately reverted to a 25th anniversary line that is, for all intents and purpose, almost entirely targeted at adult collectors. "Resolute" is playing to the only audience G.I.Joe HAS - the adult one - because they don't need to WORRY about how it's percieved by children.

    Transformers, on the other hand, is still a HUGE thing with kids, and targeted at them above all else. They'd NEVER get away with making an adult-targeted cartoon for a property that is supposed to be for children, because kids will want to WATCH it, and that'll cause ALL kindsa backlash from parents. Hasbro never takes that kind of risk - it's because children matter above else that things like convention toys and stuff that will never logically be AVAILABLE to children still have to pass safety tests and all of that. Kids come first.

    Even then, frankly, I don't really think I'd want to watch such a thing. While Resolute is lovely to look at and enjoyable enough, it's also terribly fanficcy, like some twentysomething reinvented G.I. Joe with OOOH VIOLENCE because it's ADULT and GRITTY. Joe, at least, is about human, military men and women fighting terrorists. Transformers is about shape-changing alien robots from space. It doesn't pull it off as well (just as, conversely, the G1 cartoon carried off silly sci-fi plots a HELL of a lot better than the Joe cartoon ever did).
     
  3. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    I disagree with the above.

    But allow me to ask: isn't the live action movies the Transformers version of Resolute?
     
  4. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    This question has been asked again and again since way before Resolute was even an idea. The closest we ever got was Beast Machines, and I think it gave Hasbro crabs, so it's very unlikely they're ever go back to mass marketed darker themes for Transformers. Fandom has the comics...

    I'd kill for even a DTDvd releas of WWI or something along those lines, but 99.9% sure it'll never happen.
     
  5. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    I don't pretend to have the answer to what's the best thing for the franchise fiction, but I certainly would have enjoyed TFA a bit more if it had been a step or two closer to Return of the Joker in style/theme.

    Although Beast Machines is personally my favorite series, I do understand why it didn't work for a lot of folks... but I'll admit, I'd like future shows to lean toward a more serious/dark/something-is-actually-at-stake feel. Just a bit, though - not as much as Resolute, or even Beast Machines.
     
  6. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    You've made some good points but also you seem to be neglecting certain facts. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but in the last few years, there have been a LOT of superhero cartoons that have gone straight to video, that feature more mature storylines and content. Not outright sex and gore, but certainly targeted at a teen+ audience. Honestly, the demographic for cartoons has changed... I don't think "parental backlash" is going to be a serious concern.

    On that same note, there's also Bayformers (and the sequel). Neither of these are child friendly movies, and so far, it's done quite well (despite being utter garbage) garnering a broader audience for Transformers.

    Again, you're neglecting one thing that made GIJOE rather different from Transformers. Transformers was always a toy marketing property first, and geared at kids... and honestly, the writing for TF media over the years has always been of a pretty low grade (even the UK stuff).

    GIJOE on the other hand, lest we forget, was one of Marvel's best-selling titles for years, partially conceived and written by a Vietnam veteran, and featuring plenitudes of realistic military jargon, relatively complex plots, a black sense of humour, and lots of violence and death as a logical result of armed conflict between a special forces unit and a subversive organization. It was a lot more than just a comic to prop up a Saturday morning cartoon for the kiddies.

    Granted, we're not talking NC-17 material here. There was still a healthy dose of James Bond-style cartoon espionage and mild sci-fi undercurrents, but at it's base, GIJOE was a pulpy, violent little series about super-soldiers fighting a domestic terror group while trading macho quips that would make Frank Miller jealous.

    So I think it's hardly adequate to characterize GIJOE Resolute as a "ZOMG! MATURE VIOLENCE!" fanfic aimed at sexing up a children's property. For one thing, it's written by Warren Ellis, an avowed non-fan of GIJOE. Secondly, at first Resolute may seem novel, but when you stop to think, it's really just continuing the legacy of Hama's original comic series. If anything, it's actually just getting back to what GIJOE was to begin with, 25 years ago!

    Sadly yes. But the main distinction there is that for old-time fans, at least in Resolute the players are still recognizable as the characters they once were. The nice thing is that it functionally continues directly from the old GIJOE comics and cartoon, without feeling the need to reinvent the wheel like Bay did.

    I'd love to see a Transformers piece done with the same affinity for the oldschool G1 material, while giving it a more serious edge. I guess for people like me, there's IDW.

    zmog
     
  7. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    That's true, but I think the key difference there is that those movies (we are referring to things like Superman Doomsday, New Frontier, Wonder Woman, etc, yes?) aren't intended to sell toys. They're just... movies. Transformers are toys first, and every mainstream-audience-targeted thing that the brand does is supposed to sell those toys. To try and sell toys for children by producing a cartoon full of a content unsuitable for them is misguided.

    But then, as you say, there IS Bayformers, which certainly does have some content that you wouldn't want your kids asking you questions about. But then, I *recall* people making a bit of a fuss about that. The sheer popcorn factor of the movie just seemed to win out, there, reaching a huge audience beyond just chlldren. The moviemakers weren't nearly as beholden to the requirements of the toyline as a smaller animation project would be, and they produced something that everyone could watch. An animated movie just wouldn't pull in those numbers, so it would need to "play it safe," if you get my meaning.

    Very valid points about the Joe comic, there - I confess, I've only just begun reading it through IDW's Classic reprints, while I am a lot more familiar with the cartoon. Even then, though, Resolute is a LOT more.... gratuitous, maybe, is the word? ...with the violence than anything I've read in the comics yet. It gives so MUCH of itself over to doing violent things, *expressely* to let you know "This is not the old cartoon!" - the entirety of the original trailer for Resolute was "No lasers, no parachutes, everybody can diieeee watch Snakes Eyes kill these guys look he stabbed them." It is *revelling* in its ability to do violent things in a way that, at worst, comes off as sorta juvenile. Like, Cobra Commander COULD have just shot Major Bludd, but no, he *ripped his freaking heart in half*.

    (If anything, actually, that's the sort of thing you COULD get away with in Transformers, what with them not being flesh and blood!)
     
  8. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

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    Thats exactly what I was saying Transformers doesn't have to be. I think TFW2005 in general is a good portion of toy collectors. Which is understandable since what you say is true. But Transformers doesn't have to be all about toys. Think of all the shows/movies out there that didn't have toys that did well - Kids Next Door, Dexter's Lab, a TON of anime, etc. There is such a thing as selling the DVDs themselves. I know there are lots of made for DVD franchises - Barbie for one comes to mind.

    Why can't Hasbro just test out the idea? Hasbro ITSELF said that it is moving away from just toys and becoming an ENTERTAINMENT company - if you remember the media statement they put out a few months back. They sell Transformers the franchise, not just Transformers the toys.

    I think a large portion of this website would buy such DVDs. I'd say over half the people that post on here are 25 or older. Why not target something more mature to more mature people, instead of giving them Kicker?
     
  9. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I agree with you! It'd be nice if everything WASN'T about selling the toys, and if I implied in any way that I would NOT buy a direct-to-DVD Transformers movie, then let me correct that - dude, I would eat that UP, just as I am sure that damn near every poster on here would. I would just rather it wasn't faux-edgy and gratuitously "adult" (read: violent for the sake of it), the way Resolute has skewed. And I just don't think we'll see an "adult" take on Transformers, because the public perception of the brand at large is as being for children. You put a Transformers cartoon movie out on DVD, and a) kids will flock to it because they like Transformers, and b) parents will buy it for their children, because they will see it, and think "Transformers! That's a cartoon for kids!"

    Hasbro may want to try and get away from that (and frankly, whether they SHOULD or not is debatable - I know that I personally don't want Transformers to get twisted into something that children can't enjoy) but they'll have a LONG way to go before people stop thinking of Transformers as a children's cartoon and toyline before anything else. Suddenly dropping an adult-targeted cartoon movie into the brand out of thin air is not the best way to go about it. It's a very difficult transition to make, and G.I. Joe has, really, only accomplished it because it's success as a children's toyline has faded over the years.
     
  10. Blitz.

    Blitz. Well-Known Member

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    honestly looking at transformers over the years they have gotten away with alot

    Violence: last episode of TFA we had Megatron being beaten with his own severed arm

    Language: If you played a drinking game and took a shot every time they replaced s**t or f**k with words like slaggin you would get alcohol poisoning after your run of the mill G1 episode (and if Iron Hide is in it you would be as good as dead by the end)

    IMO I'd just like to see the same art style as Resolute with the TFA/BW writers and you would have your self an enjoyable show for the young and old.

    Also any one else just want to see Dr Smoov just re edit all of G1? man I'd love that
     
  11. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    I'd love it if they could pull something off like GI Joe Resolute.

    Transformers has been multiple universes forever so it would be just one more universe that didn't have to worry about tripping over either Animated or the live action movies.

    I know they say us collectors and geezers only make up a small part of the picture for Hasbro, but come on there have to be at the very least as many Transformers collectors and Joe collectors so it seems to fit to also give us something that's both fan tribute heavy and adult. Just seems like it would be so cool to have something that was well sort of for us since Animated has to be about kids and the movies have to be about John Q Public. With web-episodes it's not even like they have to sell it to a net work and places like Adult Swim love the extra traffic things like GI Joe Resolute brings in.

    I say Hasbro should go for. Yes it would not be every Transformers fan's cup of tea, but that the cool thing about Transformers in that you can pick the series you like and skip the ones that don't work for you. Might even help the sells of Universe to the fringe fans if the line ever comes back.
     
  12. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

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    I didn't think Resolute was violent just for the purpose of being violent. Thats really what happens when you start shooting guns and playing with swords - people are going to have holes shot in their head and limbs getting severed. If anything, the fact that TFs are robots makes it easier to get away with a LOT! Dismembered arms, heads, legs, etc are much easier to take since its just a robot getting decapitated. Try decapitating Zartan in a Joe movie like how Frenzy did or Duke getting his body torn in two like Jazz did, and you'd have that earn the highest Maturity rating possible. Yet, because it was robots, the movie was still deemed appropriate for kids to see.

    Um, its not like you'd put the DVD in the children's aisle of a video store. It could also carry a "M" maturity rating telling parents that its not appropriate for kids to see. There is no reason why Hasbro couldn't target their franchise towards a more mature audience. Besides, mature does not = violence, sex, and gore. Mature simply = no kicker. The STORYLINE would be mature instead of kiddy. I don't understand why you think mature equals darker either. It could still be mature without being dark. Batman the Animated Series is a GREAT example of a very mature storyline without it really being dark, gory, or full of sex and nudity.

    To me, Transformers is at one extreme end of the spectrum right now - appealing to very young children so their parents will buy them the toys. But that is at the extreme of the spectrum and makes sense since its aimed at such young children. But you could do something more mature WITHOUT being at the complete opposite end of the spectrum - sex, drugs, violence, sin, etc.

    Hasbro is losing a lot of money by not focusing on older fans of the series. The fans are there and they will buy the movies/shows but Hasbro is losing them to the GI Joes and the Star Wars franchises since they offer more mature choices.
     
  13. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Source?

    Hasbro has had year and years of evidence to prove the exact opposite of this statement.

    People like franchises for the franchise... not because it is OMG MATURE. I like GI Joe and Starwars but I don't buy anything relating to those franchises because I am just a casual fan of those franchises. A Lot of us collectors collect TFs and follow the franchise because we like the Property, not because we go for the most mature or hardcore thing out there.

    If Hasbro is going to invest time and effort into a property, why limit themselves to a mature audience when they could make direct to DVD movies every 3 months and back it up with a toyline and hit 100% of the audience. (because they know we all will like it)

    Until the Franchise grows to such a large size where the entertainment aspect outgrows the toys lines capacity, we won't see a focus on 'entertainment only' parts of the franchise. It is that simple.
     
  14. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    All I get from Resolute is an overriding sense of "Hey, look what we can do now!" There's no sex or drugs or anything like that, and the violence isn't even graphic, it's just... everything else is coming second to the show's ability to do violent things. It was the focal point of the trailer, and an episode hasn't gone by (I've only watched the first 6, no spoilers!) that something violent - either physically, or described in dialogue - hasn't happened to make you go "Yoiks!" It's revelling it it too much for my tastes.

    Now, Batman TAS on the other hand, if *that* is what you say when you mean maturity, that's another story. THAT, I am with you on. Because, let's be honest here - I'm not talking about you, or anyone specifically when I say this, but when a LOT of people say they want something to be "mature", what they mean is that they want to see Transformers tearing humans to bits. Buckets o' blood. And I think *most* of us can agree, we don't really want that in our Transformers cartoons. We've HAD Bat-level writing in shows like BW and BM, and I'm all for going back to that style of writing.

    (At the same time, however, I don't like Animated being dismissed as being for "very young children", when it's... just not, frankly. TONS of older fans are watching and enjoying Animated on its own merits. Sure, it's got comedy and funny characters that kids can enjoy, but it's got its dark moments and its strongly-constructed mythology that older viewers can enjoy. )

    Regarding the DVD and its placement in stories and certificate though... see, this is again where we hit the problem of public perception. Underpaid shelf-stacker in store sees a Transformers cartoon DVD. He doesn't look at the cert, because he thinks "Hey, Transformers! That's a cartoon for kids!" Out it goes in the cartoon aisle. Parent doesn't read the cert, because it's in the children's aisle, and the parent thinks "that's a cartoon for kids". Just putting it on a different shelf isn't going to change the huge public perception of the brand.

    (But frankly, if we're just talking about BTAS levels of maturity, you can throw that in the kids' aisle no problem.)
     
  15. Chris McFeely

    Chris McFeely Well-Known Member

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    GodDAMN your ability to distill my four-paragraph ramblings into one sentence, sir! :) 
     
  16. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    This is entirely inaccurate and incorrect. G.I. Joe, as we currently know it, the thing that was so big in the 80s, was a toy first and foremost. Just like Transformers. The cartoon, much like transformers, was made to sell those toys and the comics, much like transformers, were made to target slightly older fans. G.I. Joe and Transformers are completely interchangable in that regard. The only major difference is that Transformers has a much larger international fan-base. By it's very nature alone, G.I. Joe is hard to market overseas so it stayed a generally american franchise.

    And as for Resolute, it is an experiment. Much like the live action TF movie, Hasbro is trying to take their "toys" and turn them into real, deep, stand alone franchises that don't need action figures to support them. But instead they want to use their intellectual property and expand it to as many outlets and audiences as possible. Much like the live action TF movie that helped push the G.I. Joe movie into production, Resolute is a direct to dvd style mini-series told in a style that could easily cross over to Transformers.

    If Resolute does well, we could easily see a similar style series featuring Transformers. Because Hasbro *wants* to be more then a toy company. The live action movie proved Transformers can be more serious and reach wider audiences then just kids and collectors, and if Resolute does well, it will show that a "mature" animated tell is worth investing in as well. The entire DtV market is there for Hasbro to jump in head first, and with the success of Marvel and DC DtV movies, there's no reason Hasbro can't join the fray with Transformers, G.I. Joe and whatever other franchise they have on the back burners.
     
  17. Superion33

    Superion33 Banned

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    Source? (for the things in red)

    That is the the type of arguing meant for a losing argument. You're now able to read the minds of every TF toy collector and why they collect TFs? Can we leave childish attempts at argument such as "Source?" to children?

    As far as "entertainment only", you better start telling Hasbro to stop their plans on doing just that. They released a statement a little less than a year ago stating that they are not just going to be toy company anymore. I guess they must think that they passed nkelsch's subjective threshold for when a franchise can move from toys into entertainment.
     
  18. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Botcon. Go to it. They show all of these things in detailed charts and explain the sales figures and market research. This is done every year. And they tell us how they are adapting the franchise to match it.

    Most of the times these presentations are like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/despotes/2446985654/

    But here are some examples of the slides and things they discuss with those panels:
    http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-images/events/Botcon-2007/Hasbro-Tour/PICT5039.JPG.html
    http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-images/events/Botcon-2007/Hasbro-Tour/PICT5037.JPG.html

    In the past 5 years, they always tell us the % they feel are in that 18+ catergory and we hover around 10% of the toal purchases. (remember, not people, purchases. A single collector has a much higher buying power than kids, so while we make up 10% of purchases we are not 10% of customers)
    Botcon. Go to it. Hasbro has done extensive research where they have determine the hows and whys adult collectors participate in the franchise. Hasbro makes decisions off of real information. THey are not simply throwing darts at the wall
    They would like to grow into that, but right now the franchise is still primarily a TOY LINE. That is a goal they wish to pursue but they are not there yet. Right now they continue to partner the entertainment excursions with a child's toyline and we still have toylines without entertainment attachments which means the toyline capacity is still larger than the entertainment aspect.

    When the franchise grows to a point where Hasbro isn't going to make any more money by adding additional toylines because the market is saturated with transforming robots, then they will be free to make entertainment only products. the GIJOE market is saturated as war soldier toys are not a huge market domestically or internationally. It is a much smaller market with a higher percentage of collectors. Because of that they are doing this new line.

    Transformers simply isn't there yet and it is by no means a sure thing for them to invest in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  19. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    Good points if Hasbro really does want to expand beyond just the toys into some sort of media empire then they have to expand beyond just a kid friendly only image.

    A live action Transformers movie that seemed targeted really hard at the teen crowd, Star Wars the Clone Wars to say Star Wars is more than cute Ewoks and Gungans, GI Joe Resolute for the adult crowd.

    Don't get me wrong I love a lot of kid friendly things, but if every thing was kid friendly then Hasbro is going to have a hard time branching out into the wider media. People will just see kid friendly as a way to sell toys and not as entertainment aimed at them. Where the more mature stuff says we are more than just toys while at the same time still allowing them to sell toys.
     
  20. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    But that's the thing with the live action TF movie, it was made as a movie first and foremost, as such, it was Hasbro's way of saying "We can make more then toys!" Hasbro has openly said they want to be more then a toy company, and branching out into live action films, DtV releases, Comics and television shows and such are their ways of doing just that. Hasbro wants to be an IP company (like Marvel or DC) who also makes toys, not just a toy company. And while many collectors will buy a Transformers DVD whether it was kiddy or not, a lot of casual fans would buy a more "mature" DtV release of a Transformers story as well, which doesn't need an expensive to produce toyline to back it up. That's not saying they wouldn't make toys to go along with a DtV thing(there are Resolute toys), hell Universe would be an excellent excuse to do just that. But it is saying that, like the IDW comics, a more "mature" DtV release of Transformers isn't exactly a bad, or even far out, idea.

    Hasbro knows their audience, better then any of us do. And while collectors may be a "small part" of their annual revenue, they still have us in mind when they release a product. With all the subtle-to-outright-nods and homages, fan in-jokes and details, things only we would recognize litering their movie, tv series, comics and even the toys, Hasbro has no problems catering to older fans, at least to some extent. And it's not too far of a stretch to see them go for a DtV Transformers story of somekind, which by it's very nature will have a lot more freedom to do what it wishes then an actual TV series.

    And Hasbro has nothing to do with the Clone Wars cartoon, that's all Lucas. Hasbro just makes Star Wars figures and has no claim to the actual Star Wars IP past toys.
     

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