Hello. I've been thinking about this topic over the last few weeks and haven't come up with a good way to type it out until now. There have been a few threads explaining why people think Animated will be awesome, and plenty of counter-points against it and why it will be a mediocre line at best, and even a few posts that try to detail why it will fail, cause Hasbro to go bankrupt, and ruin the Transformers line forever. However, please allow me to explain to you, both loyal readers and casual visitors, why I feel Transformers Animated will not only be a huge success, but continue to catapult the Transformers franchise into the top of the Boys line toys and peak the popularity out around levels of Transformers Armada, Robots in Disguise, and quite possibly, G1 and 2007 Movie lines. Transformers the Movie In case you've been living in a hole the last three years, a live-action movie was recently released to the masses showing off the hobby we've followed for 20 years or so now. And not only was it shown to the masses, but it can be argued as being one hell of a success, having brought in around $600,000,000 dollars worldwide since it's initial release July 2nd, 2007. Everyone knows Transformers now. You couldn't escape it this summer. If you didn't watch TV, then it was in magazines. If you didn't watch TV or read magazines, it was all over the Internet (AOL Instant Messenger, ESPN's homepage, an entire theme for MySpace for a week, etc.). If you didn't watch TV, read magazines, or browse the Internet, you probably didn't see the movie because you don't live in our current civilized society. Walk the toy-aisles. You will notice the movie section, with the exception of non-transforming toys (irony), the Transformers sections are bare. Wal-Mart has even restocked with OLD product just to get something to cover the shelves. Yes, the toys for the movie were under-stocked, but you can blame the overall failure of the Spider-Man 3 toys for that. Considering that Spider-Man 3 and Transformers shared many of the 4-ways that litter the toy aisles, many stores had to wait to put out Transformers toys until Spider-Man 3 toys moved. But the toys themselves have been a huge success, not even minor-restocks last more than a couple of days. Can you find a deluxe Bumblebee in your WalMart on your regular shopping hours (10am to 5pm)? I'm guessing no. The movie's overall popularity has launched Transformers back to the mainstream. Kids are aware of it. And right when they're about to lose interest, the DVD will come out for Christmas, and the craze will start all over again. And what comes out right after Christmas? Transformers Animated. Cartoon Network Transformers has been airing on Cartoon Network for a number of years now. However, this is the first time Transformers won't be shown at the butt-crack of dawn because this is an in-house project of Cartoon Network coupled with the team from Hasbro. This is a Cartoon Network production. And what does Cartoon Network love more than making money? Making money off their own produced shows, which is what Transformers falls into. Transformers Animated is being given your Saturday morning cartoon slot. An incredible timeslot for the first time since ROBOTS IN DISGUISE aired on Fox Kids Saturday mornings at 10am, and weekdays at 4pm. And the success of ROBOTS IN DISGUISE paved the way for the success of Transformers Armada, which aired evenings on Cartoon Network's TOONAMI, along with the new and fan-loved MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. Coupled with the fact that the show is being given a GREAT timeslot, the show is being animated in Japan but everything else is American produced. Not Canadian, not Australian ... the story is written in Los Angelas by Cartoon Network with assistance from Hasbro in Pawtuckett, Rhode Island. The voice actors all work and live in the Los Angelas area, minus David Kaye, who recently got himself unionized so he could take American produced work in the states, hence his role as Optimus Prime in this cartoon. Susan Blu is involved with the series (see: Beast Wars), and will even be voicing the return cameo of her character, Arcee. Which brings me to the next point... Nods to G1 Transformers and ALL NEW Transformers Perhaps you noticed that the voice actor for Animated Starscream is almost dead-on to Chris Latta, minus the high-pitched whine (though that may be there, we've only heard him speak one set of lines in grainy SDCC video of a video). Perhaps you noticed that Grimlock, Slag, and Swoop are in the series. Perhaps you've seen that Megatron looks like the movie at first, then looks like his G1 self (but a tank) when he reformats. Perhaps you've seen that clip where Arcee is with Ratchet. Or perhaps you remember David Kaye stating that Blurr makes a cameo, with John Moschitta (G1 Blurr) as his voice actor. Bumblebee is a mix of his G1 character (a fan favorite), as well as his movie appearance (also a fan favorite). Ratchet is a mix of his G1 character (a fan favorite, sometimes sexual) as well as his movie appearance (not as much a fan favorite but still has fans). Optimus Prime is a mirror of his G1 self in robot mode, AND COMES WITH A BIG FREAKIN' AXE. I don't know how many of you saw More Than Meets The Eye part 2, where Prime pulls out an axe to fight Megatron on top of Sherman Dam.... But then you also have new characters. You have Bulkhead, who is obviously a throw-back to G1 Hound (green, white stars). You have Prowl, who is a FREAKIN NINJA (ninjas are sweet, we know this, and they end up being popular characters ... Storm Shadow Snakeeyes what?), and then you have even more new characters coming down the pipeline (there's whispers and rumors of Ultra Magnus, first mentioned at BotCon? And he's not a Prime repaint? WHAT?!) If there's one thing collectors seem to love, it's nods to their previous favorite characters. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Megatron, Starscream, Bulkhead, Ratchet, Prowl ... they all have 'em. And while you'll argue with me and say you don't like how Bulkhead looks, or Ratchet is a fatty, or Optimus Prime is anarexic and Megatron looks like a shoe with a gun ... you'll buy it. You'll freakin' buy it. The toys look like the cartoon. And the cartoon airs at the best time possible. That means you'll be fighting with kids to buy your Transformers action figures. Maybe as much as you're fighting them now, since everyone is snagging up new figures as fast as possible with the movie line BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW IF YOU'LL EVER SEE IT AGAIN. And finally... There's no excessive quantities of lead paint in Transformers Okay, so that's a stretch, but still. I'll see you guys in the toy aisle in 2008, and we can talk about this morning's episode of Animated, and how everyone hopes that season 2 of the show brings in more favorites, or that they make toys of these characters making appearances. The deal-clincher? The Angry Archer SOLD!