What happened to Originality in Transformers?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by JDK, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. JDK

    JDK Seen Your Member

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    This may not be a popular opinion, but I think the G1 formula has been played out as far as it's going to go. It seems like every series after Beast Wars has relied on regurgitated characters with names and looks that fans are familiar with, which frankly strikes me as lazy fanservice. Remember when the writers went out on a limb and did Beast Wars? Even though Optimus and Megatron had G1 leader namesakes, they were new, original characters, and it worked out beautifully. How many original characters have we seen since then?

    Consider Knockout. He's a one-liner machine, no real development or character arc, yet he's already a fan-favorite. We're thirsty for something new. What if they took that kind of thinking further? Anyone else have thoughts on this? I know there are plenty of geewunners who really just want to see G1 over and over, but I can't be the only one looking for some fresh writing, fresh ideas, and totally original toys that aren't trapped in slavery to previous continuities.
     
  2. Roufuss

    Roufuss Shots

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    I'd love to see a new series that doesn't have Optimus Prime or Megatron, for starters. I personally think both characters at this point just need a rest, especially Optimus.
     
  3. Rexidus

    Rexidus Autobot TFW2005 Supporter

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    Read the IDW comics. They are original AND fantastic.
     
  4. Galvatron Rage

    Galvatron Rage Question Authority

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    True dat! ^^^ Ryoku is absolutely correct. Check out the comics!

    I just got caught up on MTMTE last night, and it's as good as all the praise I've been reading. The DJD is awesome and wayyyyy more brutal than I would have expected to see in a TF comic. RID is pretty darn good too.


    But, outside of the comics...

    I hear ya, JDK. I've had the same thought. I quite often wish they'd just do something different! I mean, I still enjoy Transformers whatever the incarnation (Prime, FOC, etc.), but I would like to see them significantly "expand the mythos" beyond the whole Optimus/Megatron/War-thing. They've beaten that into the ground and, like you said, just keep re-hashing it over and over again.
     
  5. rxlthunder

    rxlthunder Banned

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    Not to hate on the movies here, but from BW to Cybertron, there were a crapton of original characters.
     
  6. Jetbolt

    Jetbolt Maximal Air Commander

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    Being honest, this is how I see Transformers following Beast Machines.

    It's like a car full of writers, that has got stuck in the mud. They can't go forward as the tires just digs deeper in the mud. So they tell stores, RID, Armada, Energon, Cybertron, Movies, Animated, and Prime. All of which have common themes, but a different take in the way it was told.

    Really, the Transformer line has been stuck since Beast Machines ended. If Hasbro wants to keep the Autobots and Decepticons, fine. But there is other ways to handle them.

    Its a war, there are other soldiers and other commanders, that never once even lay optics on the top leaders. Use that idea, and show off and tell the story of the Autobot and Decepticon war from that point of view. Maybe kids would fall in love with those characters, just like another generation had done without the iconic characters back in Beast Wars.
     
  7. Dremare

    Dremare Had an Epiphany

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    What about Robots in Disguise? I thought that had some original characters in it, plus some original ideas, like how the Predacons were the main enemies instead of the Decepticons. Plus, if it weren't for RiD, we wouldn't have fan-favorites like Shark Byte and Scourge. Granted, both are repaints, but the two themselves are original.
     
  8. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Hammer of the Gunplas

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    Hasbro is not required to give us Transformers fans anywhere near as much fanservice as they usually do. After 25+ years, the franchise has always been, still is, and always will be about selling toys to kids, with fanservice being secondary. Part of this is that Hasbro needs recognizable character archetypes and no other Transformers are as well-known as Optimus Prime and Megatron. Season 3 showed that the franchise can not survive without those signature characters, since they had to bring Optimus back to life at the end.

    Sky Byte is a repaint?
     
  9. Aernaroth

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

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    It was deemed... unprofitable.


    No but seriously recurring or reincarnated characters make good business sense because it allows you to capitalize on brand identity you've established in earlier incarnations of the franchise, and in a character-strong brand like transformers, you've seen how rabid some fans can get when their favorite character gets a nod in a new series. Compare this to the (while more interesting) practice of making the cast of each series predominantly new characters, and you're taking a gamble on those characters (and starting from scratch in a brand equity sense) every time. It also helps you defend your trademarks and copywrites and saves you money on reserving new ones.
     
  10. Stardust262

    Stardust262 Moe is the Only Way

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    Up until the Movies there were plenty of original characters.

    Hot Shot
    Red Alert (though a name reuse)
    Scattorshot (though a name reuse)
    Override
    Sideways
    Demolishor
    Cyclonus (though a name reuse)
    Tidal Wave
    Mudflap
    Ransack
    Crumplezone
    Crosswise
    Evac
    Scourge (though a name reuse)
    Snarl (though a name reuse)
    Thunderblast

    And they were all fantastic characters. Unfortunately ever since the Movies, almost everything has been G1, causing a lot of these characters to be left out. I'd much rather see these guys than pretty much anyone from G1
     
  11. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

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    What happened to originality in Transformers?

    It made its way into the ongoing IDW titles "More Than Meets The Eye" and "Robots In Disguise" where it's quite comfortable, thanks very much!!
     
  12. JDK

    JDK Seen Your Member

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    You know, in forming my opinion, I did neglect to factor in RID and the trilogy, because I never got into those series. The inspiration for this thread was the fact that I'm currently doing a little time-travel, and I just finished BW and am starting Beast Machines, and I'm just kind of amazed at how well all the originality worked out in BW, especially compared to Prime, which I can't get myself to really enjoy no matter how many times I watch it.

    I'll have to check out RID.

    That makes a lot of sense. I wonder how Beast Wars did, profit-wise? Is the fact of the Transformers brand and concept (transforming robots) not enough to move plastic?

    Do the comics get many toys to support them? My personal Transformers fan experience puts toys first, and my addiction is just augmented by the addition of a good story to bring the toy to life. I also can't really afford a comic habit on top of the plastic, but I could probably look into scans or whatever. The issues I've thumbed through at the bookstore were entertaining enough. Thanks!
     
  13. Easterling Capt

    Easterling Capt I am Vern Schillinger

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    Then there is the whole thing of " We need to use the name so we dont loose the rights to it and it get snagged up by someone else"

    So if they produce a new show with no Optimus Prime and they would loose the copyright to that name...that shitstorm would never see the end.

    So this is also one of the reasons why they are reusing some of the core names.

    Granted they could do something else with it..I for once would want a Prime that is not a truck, make him a jet for once.
     
  14. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    You had me right up until the geewunner part. Why is it always the Beast Wars fanatics that sling the shit indiscriminately without recourse? And to answer your question...

    One day the fans that think this toyline/franchise exists solely for us will wise up...
     
  15. WoundSave

    WoundSave Well-Known Member

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    if you walk up to the average person on the street and say "transformers" i bet the first thing they think of is Optimus Prime.



    Everything aenaroth said is true- marketing is easier with identifiable characters. And the cartoon has a lot more money invested in it than the IDW comics- so the Prime and Rescue bots play it safe (cause corporate interests, target audience etc) and try to draw people into the franchise, especially kids that they hope will be adult collectors some day - the movies certainly helped as well (but are still 'dumbed down action flicks first and foremost), and the comics are there for more mature TF fans

    if you're not reading the comics, you're doing it wrong.


    You have to relize the power the almight dollar, using ALL brand new characters following the success of DOTM would have been a stupid move- Bumblebee, OP, and Megs and flagship characters, they are like the gateway drug to the rest of the Transformers addiction.


    Dont forget WFC/FOC, sure there arent any NEW haracters but we are getting to see some relatively unused characters fleshed out
     
  16. daitarn red

    daitarn red bionic hero

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    i want see optimus prime and megatron in new series
     
  17. hthrun

    hthrun Show accuracy's overrated

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    Originality in Transformers doesn't always receive high praise from much of the fandom, for example the movie designs...
     
  18. WoundSave

    WoundSave Well-Known Member

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    very credible bird told me at TFCon that there are toys in the works based off characters in teh IDW comics. im not revealing my source cause i dont want to put him on the spot or anything like that but mark my words there are at least some comic-inspired toy in the works (sadly no Rung at this time)
     
  19. TylerMirage

    TylerMirage I vawnt my berdt.

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    They're damned if they do and damned if they don't. Here's a post that sums it up nicely:

    Whether it's the movies or any other series, they're always lambasted for "not being G1 enough", whether it's story points or characters. And they're always criticized for "not being original enough". It's all about striking that balance that will hopefully satisfy the majority of fans; creating new characters, reusing names, reusing designs or full-on G1 carbon copy characters.

    But to use that logic, Bayformers has several "new" characters as well.

    Barricade (name reuse)
    Blackout (name reuse)
    Jolt (name reuse)
    Scalpel
    Reedman
    Hatchet
    Crowbar
    Crankcase
    Brains
    Igor

    And several other characters who - despite reusing a name - are for all intended purposes, new characters. Sideways (virtually nothing like other Sideways-es), Skids (virtually nothing like other Skids-es), Mudflap (nothing like Cybertron Mudflap).
     
  20. Stardust262

    Stardust262 Moe is the Only Way

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    Most of those characters serve no role other than cannon fodder though. Barricade beat up Bumblebee, did nothing, then got killed. Blackout blew up a base, then got killed, Jolt was a background character who's only role could've been given to another character or removed entirely. The Dreads caused damage then got killed. Reedman and Scalpel were tools. And Igor served no purpose

    Brains, Skids, and Mudflap were the only ones that were actual characters

    But I get your point
     

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