What makes us Transformers fans unique?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by TFTheoretician, May 24, 2016.

  1. TFTheoretician

    TFTheoretician Well-Known Member

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    Hi y´all!

    If this has been done before I apologize in advance, but here goes...

    One derogative comment we often see on these boards is "this fandom..."

    ...which made me start thinking, yeah, what is this fandom like, when compared to other fandoms? When it comes to me, the Transformers fandom is pretty much the only one I´ve ever entered, so I honestly have no clue how we differ from say GI Joe fans, Bronies, or say, Harry Potter fans? But I know a lot of you in this forum have more experience than me and might be able to share some insights?

    If I was to speculate, I would say that due to the longevity and sheer size of the TF Universe, both in terms of number of sub-franchises and diversity of product types (toys, books, cartoons, video games, merch) there are also many ways of being a TF fan; for example, I enjoy various outputs but I have a friend who is only crazy about the comics. Further, there are several generations of TF fans by now; G1ers, Beast Wars fans, Unicron Trilogy fans and so forth, some hate Bayverse with a passion, some love it, some just got on the train with IDW G1 comics... so I imagine there is a whole lot of diversity here?

    But then what? If you have experience of other fandoms, or hobby communities in general, would you say some things about being a TF fan is special, and in that case what? Please share your stories!
     
  2. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    What makes the fandom unique is being a fan of the most successful franchise to be spawned from a comicbook/cartoon/toy marketing deal.

    GIJoe is a divided fandom (and Transformers is very nearly there, too) where you have the doll fans and the comicbook/cartoon/toy marketing fans.

    Besides GIJoe, there really isn't another fandom that can claim that triumvirate marketing strategy as successfully as Transformers fans can.

    There are other fandoms that has mileage in one or two of those marketing strategies...but the other closest might be Turtles. But Turtles has disappeared from toy shelves for years at a time...something Transformers can say it hasn't. Aside from the blip that was 1991, Transformers have always been found at a retailer near you.
     
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  3. convoy84

    convoy84 Fashion Police Recruit

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    Well, I liken the TF fandom to a war vet in a room full of hot-shot Army cadets; while the "cadet" (new) fandoms, like Supernatural, Undertale, MLP, Steven Universe, etc. have only been here for a short while, the TF fandom has been on since Reagan's presidency, yet the cadets still underestimate us because our fandom leans heavily on toys, which they believe to be juvenile, even though they look the other way when the Bronies show out.

    Maybe it's because their fandom focuses most of its attention on the cartoon, whereas we tend to equally focus on both the cartoon and the toyline, and we've also got the comics to juggle as well!
     
  4. NotRamjet97

    NotRamjet97 Hollo!

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    Honestly...nothing, really.
     
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  5. TacticalBacon

    TacticalBacon Work that sucker to death

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    We all respect each others' opinions.
     
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  6. JoshFinn

    JoshFinn Getting real sick of your shit starscream

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    Haha good one
     
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  7. Aernaroth

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

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    Pretty much this. We do pretty much the same things, have pretty much the same issues, and pretty much the same highlights as most other fandoms, just seem through the lens of Transformers.
     
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  8. Beastwarsfan95

    Beastwarsfan95 Aspie :)

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    I think you are confused, he said the TRANSFORMERS fandom. We can't go ten minutes without dissin' each other's opinions.
     
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  9. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    "What makes us Transformers fans unique?"

    It's our power chip rectifiers.
     
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  10. Arvegtor

    Arvegtor Aerialbot

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    In the Pokemon fandom every person is your friend, even people you don't know at all. In the Transformers fandom you have to fight for your life.
     
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  11. CybertronianFan

    CybertronianFan Well-Known Member

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    No different from any other fandom. Visit the sites Pokemon, DC, Marvel, Thundercats, Voltron, etc, etc, etc, and you'll see the same dedicated, white knighting, level-headed, sycophantic, lurker, and other theme of fans attending those boards as much as we do here.
     
  12. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

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    I think it's the sheer number of incarnations, I'm not sure there's any fandom that has as many totally separate different incarnations as we do that's both substantial and different over 30+ years.

    Furthermore, we also don't have a single source of fiction either, which may also be unique to our fandom. We have Hasbro/US and Takara/Japan both pumping out their own fictions; sure sometimes there's a great deal of overlap, but we also have many incarnations that are limited to just one or the other. That's on top of a separate (and for some reason thriving) film franchise. We have parallel stories as well; IDW's mainline is their own story that's currently ongoing, we have Rescue Bots and RID on TV that are both their own separate series both from each other and IDW, and an upcoming addition to the film series which again, is wholly separate from the other 4 ongoing stories currently happening.

    So we've got two cultures producing content, shows, comics, films, and more all based around a line of figures that have a 30+ year history at this point. That leads to a tremendous amount of content both physically in the toys and in the multi-media format. This also leads to a very high number of jumping on points as well and a fairly immense age gap in our fandom.

    Since we have so much content, we also have an exposure issue. Not everyone has seen everything, not even close for most fans. I've seen a lot more then most (I've seen them all*), but even for seeing all the cartoons to some degree, there's a lot of comics I haven't read, both Japan comics that were packaged with figures or special issues in comic-bon-bons, several novels (The early stuff and Retribution), the UK exclusive comic run, and the current regeneration. I gave up on not-RID's ongoing, so I'm not reading that either. With so much content, without a real dedicated effort, every fan is going to have gaps in their knowledge base as well as their own personal preferences. So, somewhat ironically, because we're toy based, we have a crap ton of different fiction out there, with instances of one toy having three vastly different fictions using that model/character in them.

    Also, since our fiction features robots, not people, there's also a huge degree of personal dissonance and preferences that causes a lot of debate. Their anatomy, gender, and faith are all extremely different across the incarnations and even between the same characters in the same incarnation/generation but different media. No one wonders how reproduction happens in most mediums because most medium features characters who are fleshy humanoids so there isn't much question. For the Transformers Fandom, not only don't we know, but any answer isn't even close to being universal.

    Finally, we've got the "repetition". For whatever reason we have far more retellings then we do innovations; take the number of characters called "Optimus Prime" who are clearly not the same entity throughout our "multiverse" of fiction, but encounter roughly the same story and there is no other fictional character who has so many different incarnations (or if there are, I'm not familiar with them). Even Doctor Who, with 14 Doctors can't even come close and that was a progressive story, not one spread over several different media forms.

    Imagine how bad the Star Trek franchise would be if every incarnation of that series featured an all new cast, but also used Captain Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in every incarnation of the series in some way, shape, or form. (TNG, Kirk is moving on, Spock is an android, McCoy is a woman! DS9: Kirk is a grieving widow, Spock is a shapeshifter, McCoy is genetically altered! VOY: Kirk is in a new frontier, Spock is an alien found in the pilot to help them, McCoy is a hologram! ENT: Kirk wants to go out to the stars, Spock is an unwanted observer, McCoy is a friendly alien!) That's only 4 shows over 50+ years. We've had six in the last 10 and that's only TV shows, we've had 30 toylines and several comic series as well.


    *BWII was really not for me. I had a very hard time with it, between the very poor subs that I was watching at the time and that the plots just weren't engaging to me, so I skipped around a bit then couldn't find the end, so I just moved on and considered the movie a good ending point, so I haven't seen a rather large chunk of it. BWNeo I actually enjoyed, but couldn't find all the episodes. Go! I enjoyed to a degree, but still missed a few episodes.
     
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  13. l0te

    l0te Well-Known Member

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    Been in a lot of fandoms, and I'd say the big one is that the TF fandom has been going on for so long that you can have a handful of hardcore fans in a room, but each of them is in it for a different continuity or medium, so even if two people are mega collectors and super fans, they might have virtually nothing in common.

    In terms of stuff people are mentioning like attitude, squabbles, people not liking change, strawmanning, etc.? Nothing. Every fandom does this.
     
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  14. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    We have far and away the best debates among any fandom. "Who is Cyclonus" being the best of them.
     
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  15. emax10

    emax10 Active Member

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    I guess I am not seeing much that makes Transformers fans unique from, say, Trekkers or Dr Who or longtime Marvel fans or Thundercats or Japanese anime in general. There are differences due to how the series as split into more subsets, perhaps, but that seems more like window dressing. Not that this is such a bad thing in general; something does not have to be unique to be worthwhile.
     
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  16. EarthGBilly

    EarthGBilly Sucker for a GERWALK Mode

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    Splintering factions.

    Fandoms with a single core interest, for example, like the TV show Grimm, have a relatively less divided fanbase. There is a single TV show (and there was a comic book, but it was from Dynamite and didn't last long), so if you are a fan of "Grimm," it is the TV show. And, while there can be debate about plotlines and characters, at the end of the day, it is a single property that all participants love.

    Once new/different avenues of the core interest are introduced (spin-off TV shows, reimagined TV shows, Films, etc.), that is where division enters.

    Once there are choices, "favorites" are birthed. And, sadly, with favorites come the natural tendency of downgrading another aspect of the property because it is not the "favorite." Which leads to anger and trolling.

    Transformers fandom has a huge amount of diversity, which is what makes it unique. G1, Beast Wars, RID, Animated, Prime, Rescue Bots, the live action movies, the Marvel comics, the IDW comics, to say nothing of the various toylines with each of their designations... that's a lot of wildly differing parts under the single header of "Transformers," more than most other fandoms have to deal with. And, for each one, there are folks that "know" their favorite is the best, and want to shout it constantly.
     
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  17. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    There are so many fucking characters and so many different universes that really, Transformers is a collective of fandoms. The tfa fandom is almost completely separate from tfp. Two people could have watched both, liked one and hated the other, and have no correlating interests with the other other than the fact that they both like something with the title of "Transformers". Again, so many fucking characters and universes in Transformers. I think possibly the most out of anything.
     
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  18. Ironhide1234

    Ironhide1234 Rust Bucket

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    So many different variations of Transformers means that there are so many different aspects that people are glued to.

    In a parallel universe where cage fighting is used to demonstrate your place on the internet and King Cobras are considered friendly.
     
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  19. Dolza_Khyron

    Dolza_Khyron Well-Known Member

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    what makes transformers unique, is that in 1986, a certain movie gave 1000s of kids a shared life experience, by having all the characters that we have grown to love, brutally murdered before our eyes.

    and that shared experience is why we are all here. even for those who came afterwards. it was that movie, that insured that transformers would always be around.
     
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  20. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Still like every other fandom.

    I'd guess it's that we're not really on the radar compared to other fandoms.
     
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