TFW2005 Reviews Transformers The Complete First Season DVD

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Joe Moore, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. Joe Moore

    Joe Moore Is Not Jim... Administrator

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    I know it's a bit late, and many fans have already mad e their decision on whether to purchase this set or not. Due to some circumstances beyond our control, our review was delayed. But, if only for TFW archival purposes, we want to share our review.

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    Shout Factory's release of the original Transformers series was initially met with a lot of skepticism. When Rhino had the license, they had released incomplete versions of the episodes, based on pre-broadcast masters. This was due to the fact that the broadcast masters for the episodes were in extremely poor condition. Unfortunately for long time fans, these incomplete episodes had many errors, which took away from the enjoyment of the sets for many fans. I am pleased to say that Shout Factory has corrected nearly all of these inconsistencies in the hopes of bringing a more complete experience to fans of the show.

    The Show
    The first episodes of Transformers debuted in 1984 to quickly become a blazing success in the realm of toys and cartoons. The show tells the very first tale of Autobots battling Decepticons. But, if you're reading this, you already are aware of that. So there is little need to go into the details of story or the episodes.

    Transformers does hold up rather well, considering the time in which it was made. It is not a perfect show by any means, but the combination of creative talent behind the scenes, and endearing characters on it, come together to create one of the few shows from the early 1980's that can still be enjoyed today. More modern Transformers cartoons may have improved everything from the animation to the story, but none have attained the iconic status of the original series, and the first season in particular.

    Overall: 9 out of 10

    Video Quality
    Shout Factory has taken on the massive task of restoring the episodes to their original broadcast presentations. Taking the previously mastered episodes, and splicing them with restored remasters from other sources, Shout was able to create a near seamless presentation.

    The quality is fairly similar to the last DVD release. The colors are bright, but not over saturated. Ink lines are sharp, and there is little evidence of compression artifacts or over sharpening. There is some noticeable noise, especially on lighter colors, such as Spike's shirt. There are, at times, scratches, dirt and dust that can show up, but that is to be expected in a release of this type. The reinserted scenes are noticeably lower quality than the rest of the episodes they exist with. The shots are softer, and occasionally lighter/darker than the rest of the scenes. In my opinion, this is a small price to pay to have the correct episodes available.

    The bottom line is the episodes look pretty damn good for a 25 year old cartoon. If you're watching on a standard definition set, they will look nearly perfect. If you have an HDTV, then the episodes are still easy on the eyes, but the flaws will be a bit more noticeable.

    Overall: 8 out of 10

    Audio
    Another huge complaint about the Rhino release of Transformers was the fact that they messed with the audio mix. Their uneven mix, coupled with added effects, played havoc with sound systems and really detracted from the experience. I am happy to say that shout Factory saw fit to restore the original audio mix, and create a perfectly acceptable stereo mix for this release. The audio levels sound much more natural now. It's not going to blow away people with 5.1 surround sound or better setups, but it isn't meant to. Shout set out to set the audio right, and for this reviewer, they did.

    Overall: 8 out of 10

    Extras
    The DVD release comes with a few special features listed below.

    • Triple Changer: From Toy To Comic To Screen - The Origins Of the Transformers
    • Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials
    • Runaway Public Service Announcement (PSA)
    • Printable PDF Script - Transport to Oblivion

    The Triple Changer feature is really the only notable feature here. Shout brought together some current and former people who worked on the Transformers line in various ways. Together, via a series of intercut interviews, they chronicle how Hasbro set out to create Transformers, and what they had hoped to accomplish. For the hardcore fans, there's not much new here. For fans new to the franchise, this is a pretty good start. They talk about everything from the original Diaclones, to Go-Bots beating them to the market, to how they chose which characters were Autobots and Decepticons. But for fans new and old, it is still a fun extra to watch.

    The rest of the extras aren't anything special. You get 3 poor quality commercials, a single PSA and a printable script. An episode commentary track or a more detailed documentary would have been nice. As is you get an enjoyable series of interviews, and not too much else.

    Overall: 5 out of 10

    Bottom Line
    I've seen this set for as little as $17.00 on sale. Even at the regular $20.00, this set is a fine bargain. I've always been up to supporting any company that makes a serious effort to put out something that can please the fans. The special features may be a bit lacking, but extras have never really factored into my personal buying decisions, as I feel those are mostly one-time viewings at best. Even if you own the Rhino editions, that shouldn't stop you from owning this set (or the Matrix of Leadership Box Set, a review hopefully coming soon), as Shout put some serious effort into finding and fixing a ton of errors. It's the best that the original series is likely ever going to look and sound.

    Overall: 8 out of 10
     
  2. Johnator

    Johnator 'Til All Are Gone!

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    The Matrix boxset has a lot more extras though that is to be expected. I also HIGHLY recommend the Shout! collection. They did a WONDERFUL job on this and the set is definitely worthwhile.
     
  3. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

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    Great review!

    I was tempted to get this set for archival purposes, especially since it sounds like it's technically superior to the Rhino version. But I consider the show itself a 2/10, haven't watched it since the first time I popped in the Rhino DVDs and can't justify rebuying something I'll likely never watch again.
     
  4. ManiactoaLaco

    ManiactoaLaco Well-Known Member

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    Nice review. But part of me knows this thread will lead to a flame war...


    MTL
     
  5. rattrap007

    rattrap007 Insert witty comment here TFW2005 Supporter

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    Having bought both sets I can say they are worth it. Rhino's GI Joe set was never finished so the Joe one was way worth it. I watched some of the G1 TF and it was great. I also watched all the extras. The Cast interview was awesome. Frank seems like a million laughs to act with, but a total pain in the butt to direct or run the equipment. He'd make sound effects like feed back and mic cutting out. This would freak out the techs but make the rest of the cast laugh their asses off.

    The packaging on both sets are done right. The Matrix set is very nice and very well done..

    The Joe one I found even more impressive
     
  6. Bgrngod

    Bgrngod Autocon

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    Definitely glad I went with the Matrix set. This was my first purchase ever of the G1 cartoon, having missed out on getting the Rhino sets etc. I had been trying to figure out how to get the series for a long time when this set was announced to much personal celebration.

    Now to save up and snag that G.I. Joe box set too!
     
  7. Ethereal

    Ethereal A Sad Flareon

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    Is the MoL set from Shout as well?

    I've wanted to get into the G1 cartoon, but I might need to borrow a few more of my roommate's DVDs before I jump for a box set. I think because I started with Beast Wars, I'm having a hard time taking a step backwards. I got through most of season 1 before school took over, maybe its time to finish it ^_^
     
  8. Bgrngod

    Bgrngod Autocon

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    Yes, it is from Shout! Factory as well. They are doing both the big box set release and individual seasons to cater to different fan demands.

    Brilliant really. Putting Rhino to shame with all this.
     
  9. Embryoyo

    Embryoyo Destron

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    oh they really are... :lol 
     
  10. bourdon

    bourdon Well-Known Member

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    The discs 2 of season 1 and the MATRIX set are not the same, the disc of MOL as more rhino errors fixed,Shout will make a replacement disc for the season 1 box set.
     
  11. LatinJEM777

    LatinJEM777 TFW's Premier Shredder

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    How does this set compare to the Chinese Box set (the one that came in a tin box, post cards, and key chain) in terms of episode quality?
     
  12. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've got everything G1 in computer files but will be picking all the US G1 up on dvd now that the prices are reasonable. I got this set and it's certainly decent.
     
  13. Chadimus Prime

    Chadimus Prime Active Member

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    Ebay:
    Shout G1 season 1

    I bought this and just love what this company did to the show. I have had the Rhino complete set years ago and thought is was crummy (the reason I know longer have any of it.). This company did it right and I don't mind waiting 4 the rest of it as opposed to the Matrix complete set.
     
  14. Ezilla82

    Ezilla82 Expect the Unexpected.

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    I own the first season and its great I'm waiting intil the second disc coming out this September. Now the box set is awesome, but its expensive I'm thinking of just buying the individual discs and make my own box set.
     
  15. excelhedge

    excelhedge Overseer of Weird

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    Well I miss out on the Rhino release of season 1, and Judgeing from the stuff I heard I'm kinda Glad I did. So I'm glad the set came out. I can't recomend the set enough. Can't wait for the Matrix Set!!!
     
  16. Unicron129

    Unicron129 Well-Known Member

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    Is the next one going to be season 2 part 1 or the full season for $20.00? I have the whole rhino collection but I'll bite for $60.00 for the whole shout factory set.
     
  17. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    Thanks for the review, Joe.

    Our tastes don't always match in regards to what movies and shows we like, but I have found that you demand excellence in audio\video quality so to hear your endorsement of this set is a big selling point for me.

    Shout Factory's going the extra mile will get my sale.
    If there was only some way they could have gotten you and The Spacebridge to do a commentary track that would have been pure ♥ ♥ ♥!

    I really didn't mind the video on the Rhino sets because I knew what they were up against. But, I can't imagine how they thought they were doing a good thing with the audio.

    I remember thinking the audio was "off" but then when I heard "We now return to [Generic Rocket Noise That is WAY TOO LOUD]mers" I was like::eek: 

    I wanted to get the Matrix complete box set and didn't realize that it was already available so this is article is doubly informative.

    I didn't know that set was so cool.
    Might have to get that, too.
     
  18. wheelie prime

    wheelie prime master of disguise

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    i just got the dvds on netflix an d im inpressed and im going to burn them XD
    (like copy them, not actually burn them XD)
     
  19. Hikuro

    Hikuro Matrix Bearer

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    Maybe it's just my TV, but did anyone notice a certain loss of audio quality outside of their vocal track from Ultimate Doom Part 2 until the end of the season?
    I'm not sure if it's just my TV but while the voice overs are heard perfectly along with the music score, the sound effects are about 90% lost.
     
  20. Enigma2K2

    Enigma2K2 Robot In Disguise TFW2005 Supporter

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    They got rid of the stupid added sound effects... why wouldn't you want this ?

    Don't own the Rhino ones, but I DO have that set. Menu's in Chinese, there is an English track... and blast it all, those stupid sound effects are STILL here. Includes the movie, though..
     

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