I need to get some things off my chest.

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Maniaxe, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Maniaxe

    Maniaxe Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but there's some things I feel the need to get off my chest. Please forgive me if some of this doesn't make any sense.

    Does anyone else feel like Transformers is both stuck in one place, and in extremes? It's like we're denied a good entertaining balance. It seems likeTF is now trapped in Generation 1, but it's different extremes of G1.

    I can accept that the cartoon and movies will always be primarily a vehicle to sell toys to kids (I loved ANimated, but even i can admit that it was a toy commercial), now the answer to this would be the comic series, with it's higher focus on military movements, and more serious subject matter. But it's like the comic itself goes to far (especially recently). I said I would give the ongoing series a chance, but it already shows signs of going down this route.

    Yeah, there people who've been in a war for the last million years or so, yeah they're running out of their energy source, and their lives are in danger. So it should be an ultra serious storyline right? Yeah, but as soon as I start thinking this that other little voice in my head pipes up.

    "You know this is a series about transforming robots from space, right?"

    I just wish the writers would find a nice balance between the two. Animated was, in my mind, a good balance between the two. But Hasbro doesn't seem interested in that kind of thing anymore. (Sure Takara would have a say in this, but I think right now the TF ball is in Hasbro's court.)

    Plus. it seems sometimes like TF is trapped in G1. it's become a ghetto the series can't get out of. It seems like every new series since the Unicron Trilogy is an homage to it. I like seeing these characters too, but can we see some of thos transformers from series that haven't come to the US yet? I'd love to see TF comics here in the US that feature Star Saber or Dai Atlas, and there respective casts as players.

    Well, that's the most of what I wanted to get off my chest. I'm not even sure most of this made sense, but it's how I feel about TF, and some of the problems I think the series has nowadays.
     
  2. MagnusPrimal

    MagnusPrimal Well-Known Member

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    Well, Star Saber and Dai Atlas are G1 as well.

    It would also make more sense to feature those characters in comics if some company would ever release those cartoons on DVD in the US, so those of us who have never seen them could be introduced to the characters.
     
  3. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

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    good points, i do think things seem to be more rooted in g1 than before. but i think transformers comes in phases.. we had the beast era of the mid 90s, then whatever the unicron trilogy was, and now back to a g1-esque feel. i don't think it's a bad thing (i actually like it), but i think it's important to recognize things are constantly changing. the movie-verse isn't a direct g1 translation. the allspark didn't exist in g1, the matrix had a different function, and megatron's allegiance was to a power greater than his own in movie-verse. likewise, i think the comics alter some fundamental aspects of g1.

    so my point is, while we seem to be going back to a more focused g1-verse, it's being told in different ways in new aesthetics, and that's what keeps it interesting (at least for me). who knows, in 10 years maybe hasbro will revisit the beast era, or come up with something totally new... like robots that turn into rocks...
     
  4. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I think its hard to say what direction Hasbro is or isn't going in, seeing as we only know about the franchise moving in the direction of a show (that you liked) that got three seasons, a new show we know nothing official for, a drastically different movie franchise, and a new video game, which may or may not be related to anything else to do with the franchise. And those are simultaneous directions.

    I think over the years, considering its a franchise generally focused on selling children's toys, that there's been a nice range of seriousness/irreverence to how it's been approached.

    I also think the only reason to think the franchise is trapped in G1 is because that's what a majority of fans seem to want (at least around here). True, it would be nice to see a movement away from the familiar characters and story points, but they're also one of the major reasons the franchise has seen such longevity. Homages are inevitable, and I know what you mean about constantly seeing re-imaginings of the same character, as opposed to new ones, but at the very least those re-imaginings often take the characters in new directions. You said it yourself that HasTak is capable of doing things right, even as recently as this year, so hopefully we'll see more of the same quality in the future.
     
  5. firehawc_69

    firehawc_69 cloppers = ignore list

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    *ahem*

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  6. MekaGojira3k

    MekaGojira3k Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of fan-oriented merch is definitely rooted in G1. For example look at Universe, Masterpiece, the IDW comics, and most of the G1 references in animated. However, I don't think that the franchise is stuck there. Animated tried a new and dynamic art style and worked fairly well, but the movies are a bigger issue. G1 lasted for many, many years (toyline-wise anyhow) and as such a lot of people were exposed to that sort of design/style sensibility.

    Now we have a major film franchise with a toyline to match. I think that the sharp-edged alien look of the movie is evidence enough that we aren't stuck in G1-mode. These films are just another of the many phases of Transformer-dom. Hell, we may see fanwankery being catered to fans of Bay's movies in 15-20 years.

    The point is that while yes Hasbro has more branches of the franchise focusing on G1 I feel like there is, for better or for worse, some distinctive branches of the franchise trying to make their place in the rich history of Transformers-dom.

    Hopefully some of that made sense.
     
  7. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    Dammit...I had most of those. Scratch that, all of those and the Gnarlies.

    I dunno know what the hell was wrong with me, then.

    - Coeloptera
     
  8. Sizzle

    Sizzle Sparkabot

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    I kind of agree with the OP, at least on most points. What I liked about G1 originally was that it wasn't afraid to move the story along. Even within American G1, there was a constant change in cast (mostly owing to new toys being produced) and then in the extended Japanese G1, there were new things all the time. I liked seeing Galvatron replace Megatron, even if he was the same guy. I liked when BlackZarak was the Decepticon leader. And Beast Wars? Always kept the story changing. (You know, "changing," like transforming robots are wont to do.)

    The problem is not that we're stuck in G1. It's that we're stuck in 1984. We keep re-telling the "coming to Earth" story over and over again, and THAT is getting to be a bit tedious.
     
  9. Maniaxe

    Maniaxe Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I should say, Season 1-3, instead?
     
  10. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    THIS

    For a franchise that is all about change and evolution, the apparent *need* to re-boot and re-explain the origin/concept story every 12 months is a real crutch.

    I think the reason why G1 eventually got OUT of Oregon and into the broader Universe, and why Beast Wars covered SO much story-ground is that both lines were allowed to continue on a multi-year life-cycle.

    I give the TF team props for letting the "Unicron Trilogy" play out and evolve over 3 years with only limited reboooting (Despite not actually LIKING most of that fiction, and despite Galaxy Force not being originally concieved as part of the ongoing story, I still give them points for trying!).

    But this On-Movie Off-Movie Year alternating cycle is devestating (from a story-telling stand point). And even IF the movies (which have the benefit of not getting rebooted with each sequel) actually had any meaningful story-telling (insert rant here), one tale every other year isn't a great pace at which to evolve your brand either.

    Please Hasbro, please, let's give another US-written (Your story telling is where the magic is we've seen it over and over again!), ongoing multi-year continuous brand and media pairing!

    D/L
     
  11. Digilaut

    Digilaut My name is Drift.

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    Yeah, I agree that Transformers should have some amount of fun, but more and more it seems we're either getting hardcore serious business or just brainless testicle jokes.

    It's logical once a franchise like this has a strong group of fans these want their hobby to be taken serious, and thus would like to see more serious stories - also, they're growing up, are now older than they used to be, so are also looking for more mature content because of their age.

    The great thing about Transformers is that it can be used for both serious as well as fun/lighthearted stories.

    Transformers coming to Earth is the basic concept of the franchise, so I don't see this going away anytime soon - and I hope it doesn't go away. Transformers in space with unrecognizable alt modes..what's the fun in that? What's the use of the disguise?

    And remember..this is a franchise made to sell toys. They need to reboot it every couple of years. Even though we fans stick around, most toys are still bought by parents for their kids..kids who grow out of the franchise when they become older, while younger kids enter the franchise as new fans at the same time. They just need to keep it fresh to sell toys.
     
  12. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Let me start by saying I pretty much agree with everything you're saying.

    ANY good TF storyline should start with how they got here, and should revolve around the robot characters dealing with Human culture (or at least the "alien" environment of Earth). If you get more than 25% of the story being about "off Earth" stories, it devolves into just another Mecha-space-saga.

    I also agree that the line DOES need to refresh itself every year or so, but I don't agree that it needs a complete reboot every year.

    G1 was the prototype for (kinda sortta)Annual Refreshes

    Diaclone/Microchange style Toys
    Movie-Era "In Space" Toys
    *Masters Toys
    Pretenders
    Micromasters
    ActionMasters

    It was a sloppy mess, and the Comic did a better job of keeping up with toy-updates, but it did set a prototype for how you can bring out an entirely new set of product each year, and redirect your storylines to match. I've noticed that for lots of (slightly younger) fans Power Master Prime *IS* Optimus Prime in their heart of hearts, just as an example of how you could come in at any one of the evolution-points as a "new kid".

    Beast Wars is, IMO, the perfect example of yearly total-brand-refresh while maintaining an ongoing story arc.

    Regular Beasts
    TransMetals & Fuzors
    TransMetal 2's
    TechnOrganic vs Vehicons

    At each step in the evolution there was a total refresh of product, a major turning point in the story, a new redesigned version of (mostly) every member of the core cast, and new set of plot-hooks to follow.

    In many ways each season (Well 1-2, 3, 4, and BMechs anyway) was really like a whole new show, and had very few barriers to new kids coming in, and yet maintained enough continuity to the previous years' material to provide a really satisfying expereince to the loyal ongoing customers both in the toy aisle and on the screen.

    Heck even the Japanese BWII and BW Neo programs show how you could do connected-but-independent interstitial or side-stories that expand the brand in wildly new directions without needing to reboot it (I for one am a fan of both shows, but I know fan reaction is varied. But the Expand-without-Rebooting principle applies whether you liked the shows or not)

    And once a line has ENTIRELY run it's course, you CAN reboot without wiping the slate clean. Car Robots gave us that model. Regardless of the US-dub and takara's sloppy ret-cons, Car Robots core concept was "Predacons vs Autobots" (Or, technically, "Destrongers {The first time they made a naming distinction between Decepticons and Predacons in japan, I might add} vs. Seibertrons). Even though the show/brand was a total-reboot (And again, not one of my favorites, but the principle stands), it still felt like a move forward through the vast pages of Transformer lore, rather than a "Let's start over again" reboot, because it maintained connections to the previous series (And the whole line was self-consciously designed by Takara to be a retrospective of the past lines, which helped as well).

    So yeah, forward movement without reinventing the wheel, that's my request :) 

    D/L
     
  13. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

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    haha thanks for the pics. i was hoping someone would pick up on my joke.
     
  14. Digilaut

    Digilaut My name is Drift.

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    I love how with Rock Lords, one can have two socially disapproved hobbies for the price of one! A transformable robots collection AND a stones collection! :lol 
     
  15. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    I generally agree with your points, Maniaxe, but this one I take exception with:

    ...in your opinion. I don't think Animated was any more of a toy commercial than Avatar is.

    TFA was a well-crafted, quality production that transcended what would normally be produced as a kid-friendly show. For many TF fans, it was the kind of TF series they'd been wanting for 25 years. Granted, it could be a little silly and cartoonish at times, but it was generally entertaining and fun to watch.

    And it really didn't seem anything like the 24-minute toy commercials that were G1 and the Unicron Trilogy. (And don't even get me started on TFTM.)

    While I would personally love to see TFs go beyond the origin story and expand the universe and TF lore to offer something deeper, more substantial and *adult*, I don't expect to see it outside of the comics or perhaps a direct-to-video production like GI Joe: Resolute (or the upcoming War For Cybertron video game).

    But that kind of concept wouldn't sell as an animated series -- the largely adult fanbase simply isn't large enough to support it, and while it would be a good fit for something like Adult Swim programming, I don't think they would support the production costs involved in such a project. I think shows like TFA, Beast Wars and Beast Machines are the closest we'll ever see to delivering that.

    Batman: The Animated Series is a classic example of this -- a fantastic show with a broad appeal but largely an adult following. And the show's advertisers weren't reaching their intended demographics.
     
  16. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    Long rant is long. Tldr; Transformers has always been about change and in the past few years it's changed more then it ever has before.

    That concept, that right there, is what Hasbro has been trying very hard to change for the past 3 years or so. They've been trying to take Transformers from being a "franchise made to sell toys" to a "franchise that also includes toys". Things like the Movie-verse, TF Animated, the multiple new comic series, they weren't made to sell toys they were made to sell the story. Unlike the previous 20+ years of Transformer history, where the story was changed to match up with the toys that were being introduced, they create the story and the universe in which these bots live first and follow up with the toys. Before when we had toys of all but the most minor of characters, and gimmicks from the toys always showed up in the newest media, now we have series where we never get toys of major characters (Animated Constructicons where?) and gimmicks that are exclusive to the toys and toys only.

    I personally don't feel this franchise is stuck anywhere. If anything Transformers grow and change and re-invent themselves far more then any other franchise out there, and does so successfully more often then not. I mean, at this point the only thing many TF series have in common is a few names and a similar origin story, but the actual bulk and body of each individual story varies wildly from mythos to mythos. Just looking at the three most recent incarnations of the Transformers storyline. One featured a world where the Decepticons conquered earth and the Autobots had to fight to take it back. Another featured a universe where the Autobots worked closely with the US military in hunting down rogue Decepticons while the world at large was ignorant of their existence. And another featured a young team of Autobots publicly mixing in to the population at large to the point they were considered heros while the Decepticons slowly rose up to challenge and try to conquer.

    At this point, the only thing these three series have in common were some names and a basic origin story. When compared to other comic book superheros, who very rarely re-invent themselves at all, and more often then not just repeat their same old story in an updated world to better reflect the current times. Take Superman and Spiderman and compare them and their histories to Optimus Prime's and you'll see how the former two stay almost exactly the same over 70 and 40 year stretches respectively, while Prime has constantly and consistently changed in his meager 25 year existence.

    People praise G1 and BW for being able to run with their stories, restarting without retelling the tale of their first arrival. Well Animated was able to do the same thing with it's short lived three seasons. Each one had a different main conflict and feel to them. And Animated was able to do that without having to hock the newest gimmicky toy to hit the shelves that season, unlike G1 and BW. Even the IDW comic mini-series did that, continuing their tales without a constant restart, and fleshing out their worlds and conflicts, all based on nothing but the strength of the Transformers lore and not being urged on by corresponding toy sales.

    While there has been many different homages to G1 over the past few years, they've mainly been regulated to toylines without actual media in the form of Classics and Universe, or simple name re-uses. But the actual fiction, which for the most part have always kept the same roots as G1 (even BW and the UT) have taken dramatic and wildly differing paths away from the original series. With a brand new game coming out (set entirely on Cybertron), the current new on-going comic, the rumored new series slated to air on Hasbro's new TV network and a third film promised in the not too distant future, these new and differing paths away from the G1 storyline will continue to expand and grow and overall make this franchise bigger then it ever was before.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  17. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    It seems like we are just always stuck with Earth and Cybertron as well. The Transformers have space ships and space bridges but it always seems to be Earth or Cybertron. Even when the Cybertron cartoon series went to other planets it just seemed to be variations of Earth or Cybertron since all they found was more transforming robots.

    It's really too bad that they can't do something with their space bridges along the lines of something like Stargate SG1. Take the Autobots to other planets where they run into both good aliens and bad aliens. Perhaps even have a species so horrible that the Autobots and Decepticons will put aside their war for a moment to fight those creatures. Just something as a springboard to a wider universe than just us and the Transformers and the occasional Quents as the only life out there.
     
  18. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

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    The thing is .... if the have to bring it to other planets ;

    - they'll have to introduce new alien characters too ; which means new toys
    for those aliens WITHIN the TF toyline.

    - earth altmodes will NOT make sense in that setting

    - humanoid proportioned robot modes might make no sense either in that context. ( and we all know how some of you react to chicken legs eh..)

    Anyway, there's always 'something' wrong. Then they say it's too far away from G1 and now they want something totally different.

    Moving targets.... its never good enough ugh...
     
  19. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    Well even as far back as G1, most of the other planets they've visited seemed to be filled with nothing but robotic life forms, many of whom could transform. Heck, in Cybertron/GF, their planet hopping just took them from one transforming robot inhabited world to another.

    With Animated, they actually did visit some other parts of the universe, as well as in the IDW comics, but all of these trips were short lived. From all the different corners of the Transformers mythos though, Cybertronians have always been pegged as one of the most advanced, and dangerous, races in the universe.

    When push comes to shove, as far as Transformers are concerned, only two planets really do matter. Cybertron and Earth. Everything else is nothing but a side-story at the most. Since one of the most basic premises of the TF mythos is their war our world.
     
  20. destrongerlupus

    destrongerlupus #MoreSawBoss

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    Couldn't agree more, and I regret forgettig to include Animated in my post about on-going storylines. Animated was SO good it doesn't *feel* like it went for three seasons (They were also short seasons!). But yes, this is another EXCELENT example about changing the stakes and the status-quo on a regular basis without reinventing the wheel.

    I haven't read the IDW comics, but again, you're right, from what I do know of them, yes, they've built and expanded in tangential directions without needing to reboot much (if at all).


    Again, right there with ya! Realistically, if there IS a variety of life in the Universe, it's probably very variable, but to have a good story work for it's intended audience (Humans on Earth), you can't go muddying the waters much more than two planets and two species.

    We've all agreed to willingly suspend our disbelief about Giant Sentient Alien Robots, but if you ask us to swallow much more (Like...oh say 5-faced-spinny-guys, or interdimensional-energy-being-floating-head-guys), and you're bound to lose half the audience.

    Personally I DO enjoy story lines which involve encounters with Non-Autobot, Non-Decepticon Robot-races, as this makes sense to some degree, it's easy to conceptualize, The Junkions, for instance, as an off-shoot of the Transformers, and not blink an eye. But again, 75% of the storylines needs to stick close to home. Humans, Transformers, Disguises.

    D/L
     

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