Is the magic gone?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Moroni Prime, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Moroni Prime

    Moroni Prime #TFYLP Podcast

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    I've been contemplating for quite some time now my feelings on the Transformers brand as a whole. I believe it goes without saying that the nostalgia factor will always be there in whatever series we grew up with, and that we will associate with that one the most (G1 for myself). The old saying goes that "The more things change, the more they stay the same". As time goes by, I find myself questioning that saying more and more.

    Recently I have begun a clearance on the bulk majority of my collection. Having all but lost interest in more contemporary lines for various reasons, I find myself looking back on the whole and wondering what exactly it was that keeps us with the brand, all the while watching as the brand changes, evolves, and becomes something nearly unrecognizable.

    Now don't get me wrong, I am well aware that The Transformers has always been about change, it always will be. That's never been in question. What don't understand is why it must change completely and start over? Why characters become recycled and reused for not much more than keeping secure hold of a precious trademark or copyright? What are the potential adverse affects this has caused?

    I look to other brands and see how successful they have been throughout the years, with a continuing story and universe that seems endless, and yet maintains consistency. A prime example of this is the Marvel Universe. Sure there have been different "Alternate Realities" (AoA, DofP, etc..), but the main line 616 has proven to be the most popular and steady line from its inception, and remains as such to this day. Characters have a thorough and detailed backstory, a rich and full history of adventures, consistent personalities and traits that make them special and unique.

    I can't help but to look at Transformers in a very similar way. I look to "The Transformers" (G1 to you young whipper-snappers) as this brands own 616 reality. Whether it be the Marvel Comic, or the Cartoon series, the overall story serves as a foundation for all other series that has since followed. Optimus Prime has always been the noble Abraham-Lincoln-John-Wayne leader, Megatron has always been the maniacal tyrant bent on universal domination with a renewed cybertron as his throne, Starscream has always been the treacherous yes-man with his own agenda, and the list goes on.

    In this same way I look to other more recent series as "Alternate Universes" to "The Transformers". Energon, Animated, Classics, RiD, Armada, Prime, Generations, Cybertron, War Within, Hunt for the Decepticons, Hearts of Steel, Universe, All Hail Megatron, and so on.

    Constantly I see homages, repaints, reference, names reused over and over, and new versions of heritage characters released in succession until we're all blue in the face. How many different versions of Thundercracker have there been just since Armada just 10 years ago? What about Sideswipe? Jetfire? All of this just to maintain trademarks and copyrights?

    Answer me this then. What good is a secured trademark or other right over a character, if people no longer care about the character? What quality of that character has remained long enough for people to grow attached? How many times should a character be reused before he's worn out his welcome? How many times should a name be generically applied to random bots before people stop caring?

    This issue has been plaguing me as of late, and I just can't seem to get past it.

    What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you agree? Do you disagree? If so, why? Please explain, comment, advise, and debate.
     
  2. QLRformer

    QLRformer Seeker

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    I don't think the magic is gone. If anything, it's still just as strong. But I think in the mid-2000s it WAS fading, but thanks to Michael Bay's films it gained strength again and the franchise is now still popular.

    The constant use of the same characters does bother some people, but I'm not really one of them. It's more a revision of the same characters, the same basic concept (good vs evil armies of robot shapeshifters) told with a different cast/story. It's sort of like a tree, with G1 as the root/trunk and the concurrent storylines (RID, ANIMATED, Energon Trilogy, Movies) as branching off from that. There's enough originality to attract new fans, but enough homage to attract old ones; a different blend to pull off, but I think it's being done successfully so far.


    It would depend on how popular the character is. Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, and so many characters are still popular and have stayed consistent in their various incarnations. The same goes for the supporting characters (Jazz, Bulkhead, Soundwave, Jetfire), who have their respecitve fanbases and are still going strong.

    But I think Bumblebee might be wearing out. He was over-utilized by Hasbro, I think.
     
  3. butchrecon72

    butchrecon72 Well-Known Member

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    Some people just lose interest. Is the magic gone? for you probably, for other, maybe, and yet for others still? Nope. Its not gone for me. I still enjoy hunting for what i want, and now I have a new avenue I have been pursuing...customizing. Its hard and time consuming, but it makes my hobby just that much more interesting to me. Think about the long term ramifications of selling your stuff. Your still young, and probably have other things you want to do. I was there once. Now that I am 40, I find it more of a hobby to show what I like. Not investment, not future potential. Just what I like. You could end up reaching 40 and going "Damn! I wish I would have jus tput my Transformers in storage and not sold them". You never know.
     
  4. Zaur

    Zaur Banned

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    Sadly yes, the hey day of Transformers is gone and what we're left with is crappy movies and Prime.
     
  5. Moroni Prime

    Moroni Prime #TFYLP Podcast

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    Do I sense a vaguely veiled "Geewun" tone there? lol
     
  6. jackgaughan

    jackgaughan Internet Soldier

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Both have new characters, and new takes on old ones, and are currently the best things ever.
     
  7. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    The magic is still there, you just need to broaden your horizons.

    People need to realise that Transformers exists outside the "popular." You need to look, man. Justy because the movies are over and the show sucks doesn't mean the magic is gone from Transformers. It's just moved. MTMTE is the best storytelling Transformers has ever had.
     
  8. Rewind Eject

    Rewind Eject Bluestreak 's #2 Fan

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    Personally, the magic is still strong for me for the same reason it is being lost in you; I love the constant reimaginings and re-envisionings of the brand. As you said, Optimus is always the heroic leader, Megatron's the evil maniacal overlord, Starscream's his treacherous yes man and so on and so on ad infinitum. But, in this one brand alone I get to see these characters through new eyes and a new vision every couple years. The beauty of transformers to me is that the name itself transforms- Optimus has been a patriarch paragon (G1), an idealistic rookie (Animated), a driven and sometimes enraged warrior (Bay movies), and a stoic archivist turned leader (Prime). And yet, despite these vastly different portrayals, not one one of them is more or less Optimus than the others. For this brand, having a 'true universe' seems to be less going back to the roots and more like settling down to me.

    That being said, I do believe in a 'core of the character' that must be present in any version. Just like I wouldn't want to read of a nazi Spiderman, I'd hate for a cowardly volkswagen Optimus Prime or a Zen pacifist Starscream who transforms into a motorcycle.
     
  9. Yggdrasil

    Yggdrasil Banned

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    I used to think that when Animated ended and we got prime...

    Then I discovered More Than Meets The Eye.

    And the magic is still stong man.

    There is more to transformers than TV shows. Always have been.
     
  10. daitarn red

    daitarn red bionic hero

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    i love my primus figure
     
  11. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    I never felt any absence of the magic I first experienced in Beast Wars when I was a wee kiddy-wink. The giant robots have always some way or another amazed me :) 
     
  12. Aernaroth

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

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    There isn't usually everything for anyone going on in the brand, but if you look, we're lucky in that there's usually a little bit of something for everyone at most times these days. If you're not enjoying things, you either need to hold out until something you DO like comes along, or step back from things. There's no reason to stick with something you're not enjoying, and there's nothing saying you can't get more back into things later.

    Times when there isn't anything going on that you like are also a great opportunity to go back into the history of the brand and find new things you never even saw before.
     
  13. Yggdrasil

    Yggdrasil Banned

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    For example because I'm not enjoying Prime, I am currently watching RiD for the first time.
     
  14. Grimm

    Grimm Me Hungry!

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    Sounds like you are burnt-out. It happens. Take a step back and focus on another hobby.
     
  15. KaguyaHouraisan

    KaguyaHouraisan TORANS-FORMAAAA!

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    This is very true. There's always a little gimmick that intrests me in some transformers series
     
  16. eagc7

    eagc7 TF Movieverse fan

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    right now the magic is gone for me with no new movies this year and next year. the magic will return in Summer 2014 for me
     
  17. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    The Magic only feels gone when new toys take forever to get released. Mediawise. I'm okay with Prime. Not in Rescue Bots and will be getting into MTMTE if i get the first two volumes for Christmas.
     
  18. DeadLocke

    DeadLocke Well-Known Member

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    I am mostly into G1 myself, although I haven't bought any toys for about several years, or watched any Tf cartoon or movie in about a year. Most of the 'magic' comes for me from drawing them and reading fanfiction. With either, I can create my own continuing stories.

    However, I think I might understand what you are trying to say, especially with your analogy of the Marvel comics. I want to see new stories myself, and there isn't really a reason why there can't be. Especially with how today that CGI stories can easily be created for the cheap on Youtube, and not have to rely on a complicated stuff just to get things going.
     
  19. Coolhand

    Coolhand Spiff's Stunt Double

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    I tend to agree. It's probably because I'm an old man too deeply mired in his nostalgia, but for me the G1 Universe IS the Transformers, and everything else (even the everything else that I liked or admired, such as Bay-movie 1 or Beast Wars) is a best a spin-off or an Alternate Universe idea. I think it's because G1 made such a profound pop-culture impression on a whole generation of kids, who are now by and large in the Prime (ho ho) of their adulthood, and partly because G1 was the start of the brand, that it keeps defining what comes next. It's the way that every iteration of the Sherlock Holmes character has a Watson because, y'know, Watson's ALWAYS been there.

    Another reason I keep coming back to G1 is that I'm still waiting for someone to take that version of the franchise and give it the "definitive" treatment. Even after all these years, I still feel that those guys have so many more stories to tell, just like the 616 Marvel Characters. So a part of me feels that it's odd to be bringing in Beast Wars, Animated and Prime when the G1 guys still have so much unexplored potential (but I totally admit that's my stupid bias, and not intended to be a pot-shot at Animated, Prime or the rest of the other iterations of the franchise.)

    I think this sums up where I am with the franchise at the moment. Right now, none of the fiction is that interesting to me at all. I enjoyed baymovie 1, thought baymovies 2 and 3 were terrible, and had no enthusiasm for Animated, Prime or IDW (thought admittedly I haven't looked at recent IDW and am hearing good things, so perhaps it's time to give that another try) and the mainline toys do nothing for me at all. However, the Masterpiece line has come back in recent months with the kind of eerie perfection that makes me worried someone in HasTak is reading my mind and materialising my wildest Masterpiece imaginations into toy form.
    "G1 Cars? DONE!"
    "Tape-Deck Soundwave? DONE!"
    "MP Ravage?" Done!
    If the next MP announced is Jazz or Prowl, I'm going to start wearing a tin-foil hat...

    TLDR; The magic ebbs and flows. Accept the ebb, enjoy the flow. :) 
     
  20. JazzHunter83

    JazzHunter83 Mrs FatalT

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    Honestly? For me it has a little. I have shifted my interest to the comics - MTMTE is really good and I love IDW and LSoTW was totally brilliant. I like Prime, but I don't love it and it really is my nostalgia, and the memory of watching The Transformers as a kid that keeps me interested (I can still hear that deep voice saying "The Transformers will be back after these messages" in my head as though I only heard it yesterday)- I know that without my mostalgia for G1, Prime alone would not be enough to make me a fan and I would not be on this website.