On the virtues of bad fiction...

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Locke, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. Locke

    Locke Team Vanguard

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    When I collected Transformers as a kid, and when I started collecting again at the tail end of Beast Wars, I bought the characters I loved from the fiction. In other words, when I looked at the Optimus Prime or Silverbolt toy, I was looking at a physical represenation of Optimus Prime from the screen.

    This began to change with RiD, the first fiction that I really wasn't a fan of. I still bought the toys because I'd been so starved of good, vehicular 'bots that I had to have them, but they didn't have any meaningful characterization, so I was forced to create a story for them myself (which dovetailed into the G1 story).

    When the Unicron Trilogy/Universe appeared, it introduced the idea of a Transformers multiverse (also convenient for Beast Machines), and a wealth of characters with fiction so bad that I could ignore all of it (with the possible exception of Galaxy Force). Because of this, I was able to create an ever more elaborate world for the UT characters (with the eventual intention of capturing it as a fic), and I found that I enjoyed the toys more when they were my own characters instead of someone else's.

    Unfortunately, as the toys begin to swing back to great representations of my favorites as a kid, I recognize them as great toys, but I can't seem to get too exctited about them because they are inexorably tied to the stories I remember from my childhood. I'm sure when I see them in stores, I'll be thrilled to have them, but I'll be looking forward to a change in direction as well.

    Am I alone in this sentiment? Probably, but I'm interested in hearing some other perspectives.
     
  2. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    If you're saying you'd like a new series, with a new, original cast of characters and plot (after Classics and the movie, of course) then, yeah, that would be nice.
     
  3. Locke

    Locke Team Vanguard

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    It was long-winded, but the point I was trying to make is that there are times that my enjoyment of a toyline may be increased by having less fiction associated with it. To use a non-Transformer example, I think I'd enjoy a more generic line of pirate action figures with a good premise over the Pirates of the Caribean figures because it would be more of a blank slate to work with. Transformers Universe is close to this idea, but it still used characters that had been established in other series.

    I understand that good fiction is important, otherwise we might be collecing gobots, and for the future of the line I'm not advocating bad fiction, but I do think I that I personally enjoy the line more when the characters are less defined.
     
  4. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Yeah, I make up stories for the non-show guys all the time. It lets me do something "new" with them.
     
  5. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    I hold Transformers fiction differently than my collection. In my collection, everyone is "G1" in some way or another. Most recolors are new characters (even if they are not by the BIO). No one in my collection dies,and those not in it yet, or never, are "fighting in another universe". It's a simple fantasy, but it serves my purposes. :D 
     
  6. Grimlock_13

    Grimlock_13 Reformed Geewunner

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    Yeah I do the same thing...everything is from one universe, all the separate stuff be damned. I rename all the characters that have reused names, which is pretty fun. I haven't really been able to get into the shows so characterization means nothing to me, I just like TFs for the cool toys.
     
  7. Ramberk Magnus

    Ramberk Magnus Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't do the whole "all toylines are in one universe and cohesive storyline" thing because all the toylines can be so different. G1 simply has a different design aesthetic then Beast Wars. And even modern toylines are very different from each other. RiD is nothing like Armada. And Cybertron, Energon and Armada are all similar but different. Because the toy designs are so different, it would just seem to 'weird' to combine them all together.

    I could imagine new toys as "new bodies" of older characters. But I don't get myself caught up in fan fictions or my own imaginary fictions. And I gave up on the cartoons since armada finished. I enjoy the comics but still feel burned and apathetic since Dreamwave collapsed.

    I do disagree that the toys should NOT have a storyline. One of the reasons I think G1 has been so powerful is because the characters were memorable. Same with Beast Wars. I bet Scourge and Skybyte are the most popular RID characters because those characters were very memorable.

    So my point is that good characterization and a storyline are very important "extras" that should not be forgotten in the toyline. I love Hasbro, but I think they often forget how important this is. The Alternators line is barely starting to get character quotes on their packaging, but still no bio cards and biographies or storyline. I bet there would be more Alternator completists if these small details were added. And its not like they are costly to produce either. Shame on you Hasbro.

    We look at our toys differently when we know they have a 'personality' and 'history'. Grimlock and Wheeljack are both Mustangs in the Alternators universe, but they are very different toys in my eyes, only because I know Grimlock is a brutal savage and Wheeljack is an absent minded inventor.
     
  8. Locke

    Locke Team Vanguard

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    In my collection, I think of my toys in two separate universes. The first is essentially G1 though Beast Wars and these I view as characters strongly tied to established fiction. My other universe is made up of Unicron Trilogy toys and the characterization and story are largely 'made up.' And even here, I still use core elements of the Transformers mythos, like Cybertron, Quintessons, Unicron as the basis for my story, so a rich backstory is important. And if I implied otherwise, I'm still in favor of great fiction along with great toys.

    I guess the reason I started this topic is that I found it interesting that after thinking that the RiD and Armada shows were going to ruin my enjoyment of Transformers, I'm actually enjoying the toy lines more now simply because it gave me the impetus to create my own characters.
     
  9. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    i really like cyb because they brought back profile and tech specs on the packaging. i dont care for the homages as long as the characters are well written.

    that is all.
     

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