Saturday, Jan. 15th, will be a year since I lost my nephew Matthew, who was a big Transformers fan. He was born with a heart defect and died the day of his 15th birthday. And I'm the one that introduced Matt and his brothers to Transformers, and got them each their first one. Between Matt and his other three brothers, they collected more than 200 Transformers over the course of about 10 years. And it was an attack of conscience that caused me to get the first ones for them. The first time they saw my bedroom (before I was married), they marveled at my collection, and Matt commented that it was like "a really cool museum." I was really picky about my collection then, even the loose ones. And I felt bad later that I hadn't allowed them to touch any of the toys because I was a freaking anal collector at the time. (Thankfully, I've mellowed since.) But Transformers are no fun for a kid if they're just sitting mint-sealed in a box or on a shelf. So I gave them each one from my personal collection, along with a store-bought one too -- even my niece, to whom I gave BW Airazor because she thought it "looked pretty" for a toy, and she liked it because it was a "girl-bot." One time they came to visit me we watched a G1 DVD marathon together and laughed at the silly animation mistakes, FrenzyRumble getting bird poop all over him, dancing Decepticons, and Powerglide pushing a girl on the ground (to which they all responded how bad it was that he had "pushed a girl). It was good times. Matt's family even displayed his favorite TF Alternators at his funeral service. Out of all the TFs he had, Alternators were his favorite toys. And even a year later, it warms my heart and makes it ache too just noting that he kept his absolute favorite one, Tracks, still in the package...because his Uncle Craig did too.