Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Wheeljack30, Jun 18, 2012.
Ok I thought it was a resemblance to The Matrix
What I mean is, Hasbro basically said "hey, we're coming out with a whole new wave of stuff and getting rid of the older waves on the shelves - get rid of them on the show too."
OP, we did have a season 5. It didn't have NEW stuff in it though.
It was the season when an animatronic Optimus Prime (Powermaster form) and the human kid Tommy talked and introduced episodes and whatnot.
Another couple of points that I don't think have been addressed yet is that this was the late 80s. Cable was not available to most of the country, let alone the internet. So most towns at the time have five or six channels and only maybe half of them play cartoons in the afternoon. So really you had a maybe three hours a day on about three channels to fill time with. If people weren't watching transformers, you'd replace it with something people want to watch. Today a low-rated show might be able to find a home on cable or the internet, but in 1987 it was totally different. There simply wasn't the airtime to waste on something that wasn't making money, especially when the "next big thing" is knocking at your door (in this case, it was TMNT).
It wasn't that Hasbro didn't want to make the show anymore (necessarily), it's that they couldn't get anyone to pay them enough money in advertising to make it worth it to the networks to keep them on. The more networks that cancelled them, the less advertising revenue they could get, so less networks would want them. A vicious cycle. Rather than continue to produce a TV show that wasn't profitable, they did what every business that's in trouble does: they slashed the marketing budget (which in this case was the show). The toys continue for a few years because they're relatively cheap to produce but eventually they are no longer profitable and Hasbro axes them.
Also at the time, a reboot wasn't something people really did. Once a show was over, it was just over. If they made another show, that show was a sequel (like with Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica). Hollywood didn't really learn the "take a popular franchise, cut off all its continuity and baggage, redesign some stuff then sell it again" thing until the late 90s (and then about 10 years later, they'd reboot both Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica!). We take these things for granted now because they're so ubiquitous but it really wasn't that long ago that it was kind of a radical idea.
I kind of doubt Transformers ever had low ratings....even in re-runs. No, the problem was from within. Either with Hasbro or Sunbow and the studios they used to do the animation. It wasn't just Transformers that Hasbro stoped making shows for, it was all of their properties. The only one to get a continuation was GI Joe, and that was with a rival group, DIC. (which we've learned from this thread, was only made because they payed Hasbro for the privilage). What the cause of this fundimental change is a mystery.... but I'm pretty darn sure it wasn't ratings.
Transformers reruns were going against TMNT, and a bit later on, Power Rangers. The G2 repackaged cartoon went against those two series, and got trounced.
You absolutely can not air reruns for a 3rd year in a row, go against brand new stuff that is extremely popular, and not take a hard hit in the ratings. TF ratings went down hard and fast, at the end.
Sunbow is probably a major contribution to the series ending, sure. All of Sunbows products slowed to a crawl or stopped. But the hit to the ratings is also something that helped to end it. Ratings hit could have been enough for Sunbow to stop turning profit and cancel the product.
I'm talking re-runs leading up only to the cancelation of the show. So that's only up until the fall of 1987 when Rebirth aired. No one is talking about G2 here, because that was a joke, and should go without saying. There has been zero evidence one way or another that tells me up until that point rateings were bad. I can only go by the interest Transformers still seemed have amongst consumers. Transformers was still big in '87 that is to be sure. Maybe not 84-85 big, but at least as good as '86.
Well I can't say for certain because I don't have access to the syndicated nielsen television ratings from 1987, I will say that I only meant the term "bad ratings" in comparison to other shows. I don't necessarily mean it was drawing a .01 (or whatever a bad rating is for that time), only that other shows were almost certainly doing better which led less channels to be interested in purchasing the package for their syndication lineup. I have no frame of reference to actually say that the ratings were bad, I meant the term "bad" to be relative. Now with plenty of cartoon channels on cable, each with 24-hour days to fill, "relatively bad" ratings can just mean a schedule/channel change. In '87 it simply meant death.
I know for certain in my market (DC/Maryland at the time) the show was constantly preempted in favor of "specials" during season 3 and I don't believe they ever aired The Rebirth.
"We impose order on the chaos of Transformers evolution. G1 exists because we allow it and it will end because we demand it." - Hasbro
I did a little digging around, the only info I found was on a Jem website that had a little blurb about Nov. 1986 nielson ratings for cartoons.
2. GI Joe
Three Hasbro properties in the top five for the very end of '86. That's not bad at all considering the number of cartoons airing in the mid 80's. Having the number 4 show at the time.... doesn't seem like that would be a good reason for canceling, does it?
There were 96 episodes of Transformers. Even after 1987 there should still have been episodes that you had not watched previously. In the late eighties there were always episodes on I hadn't watched so it didn't feel like it was cancelled to me.
The TF the movie toys (with the exception of Cyclonus) were hideous. We lost so many of our favorite characters...my favorite personalities were all killed off or M.I.A. The Dinobots went from bad ass to comic relief. Pretenders were a joke to me. I think all the the answers above hit the nail on the head.
To escape non-transforming action figures who ride in vehicles, you run to a line with non-transforming action figures who ride in vehicles!
That tends to happen with many TV shows with a large cast even if they don't have toys to sell. But especially if they have toys to sell.
Some nice discussion here.
Just wanted to add from my POV of that time, not to discount the post movie haters. I remembered, while i collected the comics til the end, i stopped buying the toys itself around 87-88. As a kid i hated the direction the toys were going - more simplistic transformation, loss of chrome n die cast, dropping of realistic alt mode. N its not like i was growing out of toys; i was into other stuff like MASK n centurion n whatnot.
In hindsight I now love the post movie design for variety n gimmicks. But as a kid i felt differently n i trust some of us who started out with the diaclone molds felt the same way.
As everyone else has said, declining toy sales lead to the franchise going on hiatus for a bit. This is also the reason why they reboot the shows so often.
Personally, I didn't care. I was about five years old when I first became a fan.
I kept buying as much as I could anyway. It only bothered me when G2 came around. I was a young teen and the toys looked worse than I was used to. I stopped being a fan until Beast Wars.
I never mentioned the G1 movie once
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