Opinion Piece - Transformers died after ROBOTS IN DISGUISE

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Kickback, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    Hello.

    My name here is Kickback. I've been a Transformers fan since I can remember, collecting the toys back in the mid 80's at a ripe age of 5. I've lived through the days of the toys being gone, the original Marvel comic coming to an abrupt end (they told you in Issue 79 that Issue 80 was going to be the last issue, say WHAT?), the sudden revival via Generation 2 and the continuation of the original comic, to those days ending, to the strangeness of Beast Wars, to the over-hype, over-excited remark of how amazing Beast Wars really is simply because it had ties to G1 (yawn). The death threats to Bob Skir for Beast Machines, the revival of the franchise with ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, trying to find Storm Jet forever, the popularity with the kids with Armada, the excitement of Unicron, the disappointment of Energon, the anger at the Cybertron theme song from a vocal select, the anticipation of Classics, going to the BotCon 2007 showing but skipping the fanboy group to go with the charity donation group (happy meals with food bitches), the OMG SUX to OMG ORGASM reaction with Animated, and sitting through the yawnfest of the second movie, to the excitement then disappointment of the end of Universe 2.0 as we went from Prowl, Sunstreaker, and Octane to Cybertron repaints of Micromaster toys.

    And this is my opinion.

    Transformers, to me, died after ROBOTS IN DISGUISE ended. Allow me to elaborate.

    Transformers Armada revived the franchise ... with kids. Look at those toys. Hold them in your hands. They really are "playskool" in quality and design. And that's fucking brilliant if you're trying to reinvent the franchise and get some kids involved. But that was the beginning of the end, really. The Unicron toy was amazing, and some toys in Armada really do stand out, and the Mini-Con gimmick was a no-brainer, even if it's just a Powermaster carry-over (really, they're the same thing, think about it).

    Energon was a joke. The combining gimmick ended up ruining that entire line, even if it brought out my favorite Transformer in Alpha Quintesson (who isn't a Transformer at all) and brought back 5-member combiners again. But the Decepticon molds were pretty awesome, they felt like RID-extensions.

    Cybertron I skipped almost entirely. I hated the cartoon. I like Gary Chalk and David Kaye, but hearing them doing the same voices for the 8th season (BW1, 2, 3, BM1, 2, ARM, ENE, and CYB) almost in a row made me want to cut something. Some of the toys were cool (Optimus Prime). But overall, the line just lacked anything appealing.

    Classics 1.0 was awesome. That was what we, older fans, had wanted.

    Movie 1 was an incredible success, and as much as we may or may not want to admit it, has taken control of this franchise and now the success of the movies is steering this franchise in a direction that I doubt I'm going to stick around for.

    I loved Animated. It was the closest throwback to G1 as you're ever going to get. The stories were nostalgic, the toys were fun, and I loved the characters. Something I hadn't felt since the days of G1, which is skewed, mostly because I was too young to know what the hell characterization was back then.

    Movie 2, being a horrible movie in terms of story and characterization, but a great movie in terms of BLOW SHIT UP EXPLOSION POW POW POW, has taken this movie and shoved it face-down in the dirt of money. I expect more of the same from the third movie, because in terms of the all mighty dollar, Movie 2 was more successful than Movie 1, even selling more toys the second time around than the first.

    That's frightening as hell.

    ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, in terms of a toyline, was the last line that I felt really tested the limitations of the idea of something transforming in to something else. I can look at RID Prowl in robot mode and be like "How the fuck do I turn that back in to a car?" ... and if I hadn't done it like 40 thousand times, I probably couldn't do it. Omega Prime is still a bitch for me. The JRX Brothers are amazing complex little toys. Ultra Magnus, while a brick, is sweet as shit.

    I haven't had the excitement or the passion for any toyline (not even Animated) since then. I know a lot of people around my age stopped considering Transformers around that point (anyone remember Jux? He owns more RID toys than anything else, except one Alternator, nothing from Armada forward). Even Tony B our site owner hasn't done much since ROBOTS IN DISGUISE/CAR ROBOTS.

    Story-wise? RID was stupid. But toy wise, RID was the last line that I felt was pretty freakin' sweet. To make things even better, the molds were over-used and are unusable now. That's right ... no RID Prime, Magnus, or Car Brothers for you until TakaraTomy repairs/rebuilds them.

    What was my anniversary gift from Hasbro? A freakin' Cybertron repaint (again) of an obscure Beast Machines left-over toy in RID Bruticus.

    ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, I miss you.
     
  2. Matrixbeast

    Matrixbeast Here comes a thought

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    I would agree with you. But I'd say that after RID the Transformers had a terminal disease. That's because I wasn't really around for G1 (I only had re-runs through the 90's and the couple odd episodes my mom recorded. I was like 3...), so I never experienced the "death", in that everything Transformers just disappeared for a time. And since Beast Wars there hasn't been a point in time where the Transformers toys weren't on the shelves.

    I haven't really been interested in the toys since Armada started, but, unlike you, Animated did pull me back in. The fact that they were willing to forgo more complex transformations for stronger modes was great. But I do agree with you that RID did push the transformation to it's limit. But there were some parts of RID that I didn't enjoy at all. Mainly the Predacons being repaints (Except Megatron) of toys that I already owned. As well as the Decepticons being a Bruticus repaint. Same could be said of Scourge, but I never owned a Laser-Rod Prime :) P). That and the Spy-Changers (Were that what they were called? Don't really remember) were my least favorite part of the line. The Autobots were great (Except Side Burn. I dropped him once. Never saw his car mode again).

    And I think Animated is great, not even for the homages. Better storytelling, goofy characters but not completely overtaking that character (like RID), great toys, and animation that works.

    And I have nothing to say about the movie franchise.

    But anyway, RID was great, and if not for Animated, I would agree with you. But with Animated playing a part now, I can't say that Transformers died with RID...Unless you believe in necromancy.
     
  3. peeman

    peeman Well-Known Member

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    Interesting point of view

    Ive been lurking on these boards for nearly a decade now, and i agree with alot of what you said. For me personality the biggest killer for transformers was the movies. Its what i would say changed me from being a die hard fan to just sumone who keeps a casual interest and buys the odd nice toy.

    The biggest problem was the timing of the first film. Announced when it was it left something like an 18 month gap between the end of the cybertron toyline and the first movie so there was a lack of decent products out. Also like many people i didnt like the movie designs which means most of the toys released in the last 3 years have been a no go for me. In fact the only movie toy i have is a rotf leader class optimus prime which was awesome.

    I also feel that in the last 4-5 years the various companys (possibly to do with the movie situation) havent really taken the toy line anywhere. In the 2003 - 2005 era almost all the things the fans every wanted was coming true e.g the eventual reissue of the soundwave mould , other reissues such as predaking, the masterpiece prime, the binaltech series. It seems since then the quality of the toyline has stagnated and generally declined.
     
  4. Matrixbeast

    Matrixbeast Here comes a thought

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    Huh. To me, even though I don't like it, the movies are what brought the franchise back...Especially after the dismal Unicron Trilogy. And I especially thought that the Binaltech and Alternators is what was bringing them down. Just the huge numbers of shelfwarmers compared to the shortpacked/rare figures. The re-issues and Masterpiece Prime were great though.
     
  5. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    I greatly disagree, as the vast majority of RiD figures were literally repaints from multiple different generations of Transformers, and while there were a few golden gems, many aren't all that better then the toys we've gotten recently. On the Decepticon side of things especially, there was all of....one(?) original mold? The rest were repaints from G1, G2, and Beastwars. The Autobots were the only ones with new toys really, but not all were that exceptional. Your example of RiD Prowl for instance, while he is a cool toy, isn't all that amazing or complicated. None of the Car bros are all that hard to figure out. Show wise, as you admit, the show wasn't all that great. But the toyline wasn't all that and a bag of chips either.

    Storyline wise, Beastwars was a phenomenal series (to me at least) looooooooong before it's connections to G1 were established. Honestly, when they first made that reveal I felt it was kind of forced. But as a show, it holds up much better then most of the other series. Toywise it was still high quality and full of originality. As far as I'm concerned, Transformers only went downward from Beast Wars to Beast Machines to RiD, toy and series wise.

    Armada is what actually brought me back big time into TFs. The show had some very great moments and many of the toys were fun. Though yes they are a bit more "childish" then some previous series, they still had their charms and some were just a joy to fiddle with. Plus, they were original, not just simple repaints from previous eras gone by. To this day, Superpants Prime is still one of my favorites due to that auto-transforming trailer and little-to-no-partsforming. All most Armada figures needed to go from "ok/cool" to "phenomenal" was some added articulation. Give Armada wheeljack some ball joints and he would have been an incredible toy. Story wise, it started out very slow and very simplistic. But as the story progressed, and the conflict grew, more and more bots were added to both sides and the end half of the series paid off big time.

    Energon, I will agree that the Autobots had their entire side marred by that crappy combining gimmick. It was a hindrance far more then an asset. But the Decepticons that came from Energon were some of the greatest TF toys I'd seen in years. They were a shining example of what could have been, which made the Autobots even that much worse. The show, well it was just as forgettable as RiD imo.

    Cybertron was two steps forward and one step back imo. The toys and overall scheme of the line was for the most part high quality and enjoyable. While I didn't actually like or buy many of the Cybertron toys when they originally came out, the molds from that era of TFs are all very strong, fun toys. But much like the previous two series, they were all anchored down by a mandatory line wide gimmick. But unlike Energon, on some figures the gimmicks were barely noticeable or actually improved the toy. While they had simplistic transformations, the mix of "realisticish" alt modes, mecha-beasts, alien designs and rather unique concepts all in all made for a very diverse toy-line. But again, the cartoon was forgettable. At this point, to me, Armada was the best of the Japanese era of new TF cartoons.

    Of course during this time we were also being given Alternators, easily the most successful collector specific line of TFs ever made. With often times complex transformations, real life, highly detailed alt modes, and surprisingly articulated bot modes. The biggest complaint I've seen about Alts was not being able to find them. They were, and still are, some of the greatest TF toys ever made.

    From there we move to the Classics and Movie lines. Two completely different styles of figures and designs, yet both were incredibly strong and diverse. These were everything I wanted in Transformers but haven't ever been able to get. And while the movie may not have been to everyone's liking, there is no denying that it brought back the name of Transformers in a massive way. I've haven't seen the amount of notoriety over the Transformers name since the old G1 days. For as long as I can remember, Transformers was just a kids show and toys to be ignored by anyone over 12, but nowadays, and for the past few years, Transformers have been one of the easiest to recognize franchises around. When I can't take two steps in a store without seeing something Transformers related, it's impossible to say something has died.

    tl;dr:

    It's not Transformers that has died, it's something inside of you that has just gone away. It happens to everyone in time, some things just don't interest them as much anymore. But it's not the fault of whatever hobby they've had, people change and grow. Right now Transformers is as big, if not bigger, then it's ever been before. Right around the corner we have new stories, new games, new comics, new cartoons, new toys, new everything waiting to come out and flood fans and collectors with a wealth of everything TF. With a variety of styles and aesthetics, stories and histories, multiple media formats for people to pick and choose what they like the best. It may be that there's too much stuff coming out and it turns people off. The sheer popularity of Transformers now seems to push away people who were with it when it was barely know. Which to me is highlighted by your choice of RiD being the "end point" of Transformers to you. As it was one of the smaller and less popularized times of Transformers history.

    Me, I personally love how big Transformers is right now. It means I can get more of the things I love and enjoy. While I've always been a toy collector first, the myriad of new comics, cartoons, games and movies that have accompanied this revival of my favorite franchise have been an utter joy. While many people will cite a brand name as being "dead" once it becomes a main stream sensation, I've never been that kind of guy.

    Transformers hasn't died, it just grew in ways you don't like.
     
  6. Megatronwp38

    Megatronwp38 Megatron? Is that you!?!?

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    I agree with a good amout of what you said here. I still collect a lot, however RID was and still is my favorite mainline of toys. I dove into Armada and regreat almost everything that I bought.

    Energon? I boght few and far inbetween, mostly Decepticons and the Black Unicron. Cybertron was more of the same. Sparse purchases.

    Classics/Univers 2.0? I have everything from those. As you said, they were the toys I had always wanted, growing up with G1.

    Movies? I really liked the 1st movie and the toys. I have a TON of them, however I do regret a lot of them. ROTF? I was less then happy with and the toys too. I have a few of those. Mostly th screen characters.
     
  7. unclemarsellus

    unclemarsellus Imaginaut

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    I remember when Car Robots first appeared in Japan. It was the biggest news in Transformers in a long time. While I could appreciate some of the Beasties, it was a line that had run its course. It had been around forever, seemingly. Car Robots was a breath of fresh air. A return to our roots! It was exciting to see these very Japanese robot designs return to the world of Transformers.

    But it was a blip. Armada came fast and it was a total departure from the realistic Car Robots. I hated Armada at the time but I always recognized the Mini-Cons as a very cool concept and still the best contemporary gimmick Hasbro has done with the line. Yeah, it's refreshing an old idea but it was done very well. Now almost 10 years out, I appreciate Armada much more and am even seeking some select toys out that I lambasted back in the day. I feel it was the best the "Unicron Trilogy" had to offer. And, yes, it reintroduced Transformers to a new generation.

    But I'm of the thought that this is when Transformers was reborn. The Beasties had their niche but it never felt like it felt for us in the 80's. Transformers felt like a secondary property. Maybe it was due to us 80's kids growing up, being in the workforce and having more money to spend, but it seems like the last decade was all about giving us some love while cultivating the future. For every Armada, there was Masterpiece or Binaltech/Alternators, or reissues. Maybe in 5 to 10 years, they'll start accomodating the Armada generation more than us old-timers clinging to our beloved 30 year-old toys by then. While everything has had their hits and misses, I'd say Takara and Hasbro have done a great job of making Transformers as big as ever.

    I understand the notion that Transformers might have died on a personal level at a certain point. It's going to happen to all of us when we see the property becomes less relevant. The G1 generation is going to lose its influence at some point. But I love that Transformers has transcended my generation. I love the kids in the toy aisle getting excited over Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. I'm happy to help Transformers live on.
     
  8. FanimusMaximus

    FanimusMaximus Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, im glad to see that there is a thread with a little more inelegent conersation. Anyways Transformers never did and never will die for me, but respect your opinion Kickback
     
  9. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    To all the little oldschool fans who died of ennui... boo hoo. :) 

    Seriously? The line ended at RID? I'm as nostalgic as the next guy, but that just sounds ridiculous to me. One might argue that right now we're caught in a big cycle of reinventing the wheel, where everything is an homage, a G1-throwback, or trying to capture some lost bit of old-timey appeal... but that's what us "old-timers" kept asking for, and now we've got it.

    It also totally ignores the fact that we just came through a stretch of transformers that included Classics/Universe, Bayformers 1 & 2... AND Animated. As far as "nothing new" being done with the name, we just got 3 dramatically different lines virtually simultaneously. If you can't find something new and cool and exciting there, you're not even trying, and I think that speaks more of your approach than any great failing on Hasbro's part.

    I've been around. I could proclaim the Death of Transformers after Beast Wars... or just BEFORE Beast Wars. For that matter, I could proclaim this "Death" around 1987, since that's when I officially stopped caring for any new characters. But what would be the point? How was RID a benchmark for anything, really? Shell-formers and ball-joints were already well-established in Beast Wars. Realistic alt-modes with rubber wheels go back to the beginning. Half the Decepticons were Beast Wars warmed over, or repaints of earlier molds. I just don't see any objective means for drawing the line where "Death of Transformers" occurs. All I hear is someone complaining that he and some of his old buddies just aren't "feeling it" anymore.

    That's my take. :) 

    zmog
     
  10. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    Dead, healthy, whatever - as long as they keep making awesome toys I could care less.
     
  11. menasor73ct

    menasor73ct Well-Known Member

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    Well if you like animated,and classics 1.0,then transformers cannot truly be dead for you.As far as rid goes,I don't know a lot about it,but what I have seen does look good,the trilogy and movies are mediocre, I agree,but they are the bulk of the last decades toy releases,so that has to count for something,also classics 2.0 was,while not as good as 1.0,a larger line with some gems.
     
  12. CZ Hazard

    CZ Hazard Sons of Unicron PTT

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    Eh, rough with the smooth. The franchise has never been perfect, you just enjoy the bits you like and try to not let the bad get to you. Personally, I love the shit toyline for the movies as it saves me a whole bunch of money, and then love spending said "saved" money on the toys I do like. Classics and Animated then.
    To keep me busy during the dark movie months I've gotten into customising which has helped to keep my love and attention at an all time high.
    Like anything, you get out what you put in.
     
  13. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    Considering I'd rather a toy have an 'elegant' transformation with little frustration or wasted steps, as opposed to an "OMG look how much you have to do!" one, I'll be disagreeing. Over the years from RiD to now, I've felt the toy designers & engineers have (on average) honed their craft to a surprisingly fine edge. The fiction is another story, but I believe that Animated (and the movies in their own way) showed Hasbro that it helps sales when the supporting media isn't "just anything"

    I notice, much like some folk who think of "G1" as only the stuff from 1984-85, there's a certain myopia among some RiD fans, like "RiD" or "Car Robots" is only the Car Brothers, Optimus, and Magnus (and maybe Mega-Giga-Galvatron too if they're charitable :)  ). There's the Build and Train teams, though they don't quite seem like the others and were likely holdovers from a Brave toyline. All the rest are repaints/imports/unreleaseds from previous lines.

    I usually like what I like, instead of trying to label a whole line as good or bad on some grading curve, so as long as theres something I can enjoy, nothing is dead to me. I like RiD. The show was silly fun and I sure thought the toys were the shit back when (remaining favorites being Prowl and the Build Team - and Scourge). Looking back now I can't help but see the Car Bros. as BW Neo toys that happened to turn into cars. Ah well, everything is (usually) a product of its own time, and some time-frames look better than others in hindsight. Give me a few years, and maybe I'll be proclaiming TF died after Animated, as nothing since had the same level of 'soul'. I doubt I will, but it's always a possibility! :) 
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  14. Digilaut

    Digilaut My name is Drift.

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    Maybe the franchise is changing, but it's not dead to me. I got back into the 'action' with the 2007 movie, and have started collecting from that point.

    I like and dislike portions in practically every incarnation of Transformers, from G1 to BW to Movie to Animated and so on, and I like to think I'm pretty open minded (for most part :p )..I can't say the last couple of years have been disappointing to me at all.

    Lucky me. :) 
     
  15. Covenant

    Covenant Mr. Roboto in Disguise

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    *reads opening post*

    ....

    ..

    .....does me loving Transformers after it 'died' make me a necrophiliac?
     
  16. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I agree with most of what Kicky has said with the exception of Cybertron/Galaxy Force.

    I say Galaxy Force because 98% of my figures from that line was the Takara version. I watched the Japanese cartoon instead of Cybertron as well. For some reason the Japanese with English subs were far better for me to stomach than Cybertron was. I think it's the voiceovers that kill me.

    In regards to the toys, this line had nice nods to G1 while not going overboard. The line was diverse with beasts, cars, jets, and spaceships. The Force Chip gimmick was not the best but I didn't mind it at all. The worst part of the Force Chip gimmick for me was keeping track of who's chip went with who but that's because I'm meticulous like that.

    Most importantly, Galaxy Force gave us Primus.

    That figure alone made me love the line.

    As for the argument of TF dying after RID, I don't wholeheartedly agree since I think these things come and go in cycles.

    What I do know is that while Hasbro went more kid friendly, TakaraTOMY went more collector friendly with stuff like Music Label, Device Label, Alternity, etc.

    So while some of the stuff Hasbro does puts me off, the void is easily filled by some of the stuff that TakaraTOMY puts out.

    In the end it balances out.
     
  17. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    Transformers are alive and well for me as the day I first fell in love with them. We've been getting "fantasy toys" of late. The best G1 Prime I ever had, MP-04, outrageous fan kits, e.g.City Commander and the G3 Trailer are awesome. Live action Movies, a fan boy's daydream at one time not too long ago. Botcons have been really good as I'm sure other TF conventions are. I could go on, but I think and feel this is a wonderful time to be a Transformers fan. Why, I just found Gobot "Spoons" in a Walmart two-pack. :) 
     
  18. Zherbus

    Zherbus In Shogo Hasui, we trust.

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    As an opinion, all I can do is disagree with some points and sympathize with others. I don't understand everyone's opinion, nor do I really care to. I'm watching, buying, and collecting Transformers that I like, not what a poll would indicate I should buy.

    I was a tender seven years old in 1984. The cartoon did what it was supposed to - it made me want the toys. It came on after G.I. Joe, which I was a huge fan of. It took all of three episodes for me to start groveling to my parents for those bad-ass looking robots in disguise. 1987 happened and Transformers died for me then.

    My little brother got G2 Devastator, Megatron, Slag, Bumblebee, and Cliffjumper for Christmas in the early nineties. I instantly missed my Transformers as a 16 year old. Had I not been in High School with a ton of other preoccupations, Transformers would have been reborn to me then.

    I remember seeing Beast Wars appear. As a TF fan now, I can appreciate the show. As a passerby with only G1 as any real reference, I thought it looked retarded. I still don't like the toys, even if I think the show is awesome. But I recognize it was a very successful rebirth of the franchise.

    I didn't so much as look at a Transformer through RID. Looking back at it, some of them are cool. A lot of them are hideous. Short of a select few, shellformers, crazy ball joints, and old molds doesn't strike me as a pinnacle. Just kind of strikes me as keeping the franchise seat warm.

    Armada, yes, very pre-schoolesque toys. A very awful show.

    Energon has some gems in the line and the show was still on par with whats left to clean up when the toilet clogs.

    Cybertron had amazing toys! The cartoon was somewhat bearable.

    Classics, Alternators, and Masterpieces brought us toys of characters many of us grew up with. They are easily the best new releases an adult collector could ask for.

    So far, from the wreck that is Armada, the franchise was really building momentum.

    TFTM was a smashing success. Was the movie a Shakespearean masterpiece? No. Most Transformers motion media doesn't even come close. It was visually impressive and there was a good amount of great toys in the line. It brought the franchise a huge following, and did what happens to anything that's thrust more into the mainstream.

    Universe, in the beginning, was 90% awesome. I loved all of it. It brought a lot of what was left desired after Classics.

    TF: Animated pulled it back to earth. We loved the show, we love the toys, and we're still starving for more. That's an astounding change from where the movie line was steering the franchise.

    The second movie did the same thing as the first, except it was more successful. The movie was good at what Transformers media is supposed to be good at: big fucking robots beating the shit out of each other. We got the Human Alliance line and Leader Prime (and soon, Leader Starscream) out of the toyline. I dislike most of the rest of it.

    We got MP Grimlock, which undeniably awesome. We got Alternity, which is amazing. As a bonus, we have been getting incredible 3rd party items (City Commander, anyone?). Oh, and Universe is coming back? Animated still has toys slated for release? There's a badass looking game in a few months? Oh a new show too? This, in addition, to catching up on older toys I've been wanting. Sounds like my wallet will be opening for a while now.

    To some, Transformers died with G1. To some, Transformers died with the Beast era. To some, Transformers always has an end. We all like different aspects, lines, and eras. I can't imagine why RID is so celebrated by some, personally.

    Give me a solid couple months with nothing perking my interest, and maybe I'll find that my time to declare Transformers dead too.
     
  19. Matrixbeast

    Matrixbeast Here comes a thought

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    All you have to do is put your faith in necromancy. Maybe Prime is a necromancer...
     
  20. Aernaroth

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

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    Kickback, the fact you enjoyed animated shows you're not as "dead" on the idea as you think you are, you're just picky. You're certainly not the only fan to be less than enamored by the unicron trilogy and the movies, and for a lot of people animated was the first line they've gotten excited about in a good long time.

    Maybe its more a situation where you're going to hate 4/5 lines that come out, but whether or not you're willing to stick around for that one gem of a line is going to be something you have to figure out for yourself.
     

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