Was G1 really all that great?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Kirby0189, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. PANTSMAN1973

    PANTSMAN1973 Well-Known Member

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    Not a fan of the G1 cartoon. I am thankful for it all the same. It is one of the reasons that we all keep coming back to these forums to talk about all things Transformers.
     
  2. Flashformers

    Flashformers Will draw for Grand Galvatron

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    G1/is good because its nostalgic. It's silly, it's weird, but we all look back and remember it fondly.
     
  3. Sylent

    Sylent Making Cybertron great again

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    G1 was great for its time. When we look at it now, it's sloppily animated, has corny storylines and horribly inconsistent with voices, but at the time, it was one of, if not the best cartoon on tv. I loved it as a kid and recorded every episode on my VCR that was the size of a small microwave.

    G1 put the Go Bots and most other cartoons during that era to shame.
     
  4. superscream

    superscream Well-Known Member

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    every body is fond of the past - it's based on nostalgia, not on objectively measured superiority compared with the present. For example, people think vintage cars are cool, but ever drive one? Annoying as heck. Creaking dashboards, horrible suspension, numb steering, low power. Sometimes the nostalgia factor is worth more.
     
  5. Incepticon

    Incepticon |-+-|

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    Yes. Yes it was.
     
  6. NeverDoubt

    NeverDoubt Well-Known Member

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    So which of the present glorified toy commercials has that objectively measured superiority?

    And it's not only based in nostalgia. There's lot of 80s cartoons that I'd never revisit because they don't hold up. G1 holds up, for many reasons already stated here.
     
  7. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Exactly. They're away too afraid of a radical change. I'm amazed by the little things like Bumblebee being dead in IDW.
     
  8. supernova222

    supernova222 junkion

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    my first exposure tot he franchise was armada too, technical is was BW but that was just because iw as young and it was a cool cartoon. even now, after aramada being what got me into TF, i still value g1 above all else.
     
  9. KWFlange

    KWFlange You're So Jelly

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    A. Beast Wars is G1
    B. They're still making G1 toys and comics.
    C. Peter Cullen and Frank Welker are current day Optimus and Megatron due to fans of G1
    D. G1 is still the most prevalent topic on this board despite so many new fans coming from other eras.

    Every continuity has done its part to prolong the brand, but to downplay the impact of the continuity that started it all to begin with just because you don't like it is a futile endeavor.
     
  10. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I agree. I don't think the success of series like Armada had anything to do with how much they "deviated from G1". Quite the opposite.

    I think the more salient detail is how, even after multiple series and decades, G1 is still the point of departure for just about ANY new TF series. The basic characters and premise is almost always derived from a foundation of G1 reference points.

    I think Beast Wars is the outlier here... and I don't really agree that Beast Wars is "G1". Technically it falls into the same continuity, but by almost every other measure, it constitutes a different stream of the fandom... largely different audience, different style, different premise, different toys... hell, even a different company making the toys (Kenner). I think Beast Wars, despite its callbacks to G1, is one of the few examples of a TF series that carried itself on being "different" from G1.

    Though that sort of disintegrated by the time you got to Beast Machines.

    And of course, none of these series had the same overall market and cultural impact that G1 did when it first hit the market. I think that pretty much established the paradigm.

    This is not to diss other series... but the debt is still there.

    zmog
     
  11. Galvatross

    Galvatross Put down the kool-aid Veteran

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    I think the success of later series is due to a mixture of both deviation from and similarity to G1. Let's face it, Beast Wars was hugely successful, and it was the series that deviated the most from anything that came before it. However, it still has a Megatron who actually ends up being much more successful than the original. It still has a leading protagonist with the name of Optimus, albeit with his "surname" (if that's what you want to call it) being Primal instead of Prime. Starscream and Ravage and the Ark show up, so it has connections to G1, but it's different, too, and I think its differences make it great even if I like many aspects of the original.

    I've said this before, but I think the most important aspect of all Transformers fiction is not how similar it is to G1 or the Autobot-Decepticon war; what's most important in Transformers fiction is that it shows that the Transformers are transforming robots that think and feel like we do. The first thing said in More Than Meets the Eye Part 1 (the original G1 episode) is, "Many millions of years ago, on the planet Cybertron, life existed. But not life as we know it today. Intelligent robots that could think and feel inhabited the cities." As long as it shows that, how much it deviates is not important to me.

    Having said that, I do enjoy G1, or at least many parts of it. I actually think G1 is at its best when it embraces the ridiculousness without being too bad. Also, it is more openly a toy commercial than any more recent series, so as a result of the plethora of characters it has a lot of robots I love, but it also has the most characters that I don't care for because of the sheer volume of characters whose toys needed selling.

    At the same time, I think Transformers fiction is at its best when it doesn't try too hard to be G1. All Transformers fiction should try to be its own thing.
     
  12. NotRamjet97

    NotRamjet97 Well-Known Member

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    Was it great? I dunno. I wasn't alive in the 80s and don't know much avoid the culture.

    Is it great? If we're talking about the cartoon, then no, it's actually not very good.

    The plot was always the same, Megatron was a pretty standard 80s villain (and not a very good one), the characters were...there, I think? They were all so one dimensional it's hard to tell. Character growth was... There was no character growth. And the few that did have growth either dissapeared, showed up so little it didn't even matter, or went back to their old ways.

    Not to mention how dang many of them there were.

    TL;DR: Was it good? I don't know. Is it good? Absolutely not.
     
  13. iacon45

    iacon45 Missing: One Custom Title

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    I grew up during G1 and at the time when I was 7-8 G1 was pretty epic. Looking back on it though, a lot of the series does not hold up very well but not as bad as some other shows I grew up with. G1 will always hold an important place in my memory mainly with a sense of nostalgia because it was what I grew up with.

    With that being said, I agree that not every TF series since and from here on out should be totally "G1-compliant". Like someone said earlier, G2 brought back TFs after the little hiatus after Action-Masters but it was Beast Wars that completely brought Transformers roaring back. If everything TF since 1996 stayed G1 and only G1, then most likely Transformers would have gotten pretty stale and just went back into obscurity instead of where they are now with multiple series since and 4 movies.

    However, what is awesome, is that despite a lot of the newer series not being completely G1, there is still enough G1 influence to keep most of us older fans who grew up during G1 happy I think. We still have robots turning into vehicles, a comic series that heavily takes from G1, still have Optimus Prime and Megatron, both still being voiced Cullen and Welker, and we even just got a video game complete with a G1 vibe and a lot of original VAs.

    In the end, I don't mind everything not being 100% G1-accurate. But there is still enough G1 influence left for those of us still wearing the nostalgia goggles but yet still fresh enough to keep TFs going for a while yet. Besides, just think a lot of the fans just now getting into Transformers as young kids might complain as adult collectors that future new TF series might not be Transformer movie enough for them. :) 
     
  14. FanimusMaximus

    FanimusMaximus Kuphead

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    It pulled off stupid jokes that you couldn't pull in Transformers today.

    I say that's a plus.
     
  15. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I think the first part there is important also... the appeal of Transformers is not just that they are robots who "think and feel, like we do", but rather the tension that exists between the familiar human characteristics (thinking and feeling) and their machine aspect ("not life as we know it").

    Insert arbitrary comment here about G1 being "not just about the cartoon". :wink: 

    That's sort of the best part. :D 

    I know what you mean to a degree... going back and watching the old cartoons, it's hard to find anything that really sells them, beyond a very distinctive voice cast and an overall solid sound design for the series. The music, the sound effects, the voices... Transformers sounded great back then.

    Besides that, it's a rather generic cartoon show... in fact, one of the first of a generation of kiddie cartoons that really emphasized the commercial aspects and pushed that to the forefront. It's a dubious honour.

    Still, I think the G1 cartoon was bolstered by a great toy line and a solid built-in fiction. I wouldn't have cared nearly as much about the cartoon without the Tech Spec bios, the toys, and the comics. It was part of an overall effect.

    And as someone who was there at the time, even though it wasn't the best animated cartoon on TV at the moment, it was definitely one of the coolest. Whatever ephemeral qualities it had that put it ahead of the competition, it had that special "something".

    zmog
     
  16. KWFlange

    KWFlange You're So Jelly

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    I'm willing to concede that. Same timeline/continuity, different era.
    I would have loved Beast Wars even if it had zero connection to G1 anyway.

    I also forgot to mention that Animated (whose fanboys are the majority of G1 haters) is basically just a G1 love-story. I could never understand how so many fans of that series could hate on G1 when almost every episode of Animated had (or was wholly) an homage to G1. Heck, that was part of what made Animated endearing to me.

    In the end, we can use all of the "Here was G1's impact" all we want, but greatness is in the eye of the beholder. You don't have to like G1, and that is fine. It is my favorite because it resonated with me since childhood. Maybe it doesn't to you.

    In the end, I'm fine with people doubting G1's entertainment value. I only take issue when they crap on its impact on the brand. At one time it WAS the brand. No one at Hasbro EVER said "Hey that 1984 cartoon was a HUGE success...lets NOT do anything like that again, because we hate money."
     
  17. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Right. I think its appeal was less dependent on G1 than most TF series.

    Ditto... it's just dumb. I'm surprised to hear that the Animated fandom is supposedly full of misguided anti-geewunners. Oh well, there's always a certain portion of any fandom that's made up of people who are clueless.

    I think that we can actually construct a more objective case for "greatness" though... something that is independent of whether you personally liked it or not. In the case of G1, it's not hard... its resonance is felt more strongly today than ever before.

    Saying that it was a kind of cultural paradigm shift does not need to be a qualitative statement. There are lots of things I don't enjoy personally, but I can at least acknowledge their historic and cultural value. Even if you hated it, it is still measurably great...

    Mind you, there are some people who are rigid and obnoxious in their enshrinement of G1... to the degree that nothing else is treated as remotely legitimate in its own right. There is always some degree of change, evolution, compromise... and those people are the minority really. People who rail against G1 are no better, really. It's all inflated controversy for no good reason.

    Exactly! :lol 

    zmog
     
  18. Transmetal

    Transmetal Well-Known Member

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    I've been around since the start, just turned 35. I can say, as a kid, I thought it was the shit! I can remember the first time I rewatched the G1 toon via the box set DVD releases. I was like WTF??? I don't remember the show being that corny, having the ridiculous animation errors, etc. Hell, the bots had Earth bot modes but had Cybertronian alts modes, crazy, right? The show, really ain't that great when compared to more modern cartoons. Gargoyles, Batman TAS, completely destroy it in every single way. With that said, I appreciate it for what it is. I've been rewatching it again with my kids. Some of the stuff is ridiculously funny, we have a blast watching it, not cuz its a great cartoon but that's it campy and fun.

    BTW, my hate for Animated isn't because of the story. Just as many, many people dislike the movie bots for their appearance (which I tend to like) I'm not an Animated fan cuz of how the bots look. It's like watching a Ben 10 cartoon, just not a fan of most of the designs. I do like a couple though.
     
  19. Galvatross

    Galvatross Put down the kool-aid Veteran

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    Oh, I completely agree that the alien robot aspect of Transformers is important, too. They are life as we don't know it you could say. In fact I wish more pieces of Transformers fiction would focus on their biological and mechanical aspects in addition to their sentience, which we all can agree is important.
     
  20. MechanovaKing

    MechanovaKing Well-Known Member

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    Nah. I love g1. Yeah alot of it doesn't make sense. But it's a good enough plot to just keep going and enjoying it. Armada and me saying 'wait...what?' alot.

    There's alot of 'was g1 good' or 'g1 was crap' post on this sight. But the answer is yes. Transformers been around long enough that there alot alot of non-G1 fans. But i'm fairly sure the majority is still 80s fans. (Even if there weren't alive in the 80s)