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.