Was it the toys or the cartoon that left the bigger impact?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Canbot, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Mewtwo

    Mewtwo Transform & Bamboo out

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    It was the combination of both. The Toys were/are awesome things in of themselves. Transforming puzzles and two toys in one. But the media made them more then just a toy. The media gave them character, personality. The Media gave them life! If it was just a toy line and only a toy line would it would have never been the same. Optimus would have just been this really cool Transforming Red Truck into a cool Red and Blue Robot. There would have been no personality there. It was the media and things like the tech spec bios that made them more then just a toy. It made them characters. That was the big part about Transformers. They weren't just another toy. They were characters you loved.
     
  2. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong.

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    Toys and Comics for me, the cartoon was shown in such a bastardised manner in the UK I think I only ever caught maybe 5 actual whole episodes on TV. The rest were all from VHS, the '86 Movie included.
     
  3. Dean ML

    Dean ML Well-Known Member

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    I loved it all, but probably the cartoon more than anything. I remember the first time I saw the promo for the Marvel comic in the spring of '84 when I was 5yo and it stopped me dead in my tracks. For months I wondered what the hell that was about (didn't read comics till I was 11) and was thrilled when a cartoon finally aired later that year. However, I remember being really disappointed when I finally saw the toys. They looked weird to me, very much unlike the sleek humanoid robots I'd come to love on TV. I was so nuts about the show, though, that I eventually came around. I HAD to have the toys because I loved the show, those characters, so much that I had to have some representation to act them out and make up my own adventures. I ended up digging the toys, but in the back of my head I was still disappointed they didn't look just like they did on the show and, unlike my GI Joes, could barely move.

    If I loved TFs before, when I walked out of the theater after seeing TF The Movie I was completely OBSESSED. I got Trypticon for my birthday right after and countless toys from the movie for Christmas that year.

    I loved the Headmaster toys, but without a show on the air I eventually lost interest and moved on. VERY cool toys, but they didn't mean anything to me like Rodimus and Ultra Magnus without a show to bring them to life.

    I still watch G1 nearly every morning while I exercise before my wife and kids wake up and before I get to work. Great way to start the day. Keeps the kid inside me alive and keeps me from turning into a jaded, boring old man. MPs do the same thing for me. They're exactly the toys I started dreaming of back in 1984.
     
  4. Smokescreen38

    Smokescreen38 Fight fire with smoke!

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    Fun reading these responses!

    I have to add another "both" to the list....and the Marvel comics too.
    The toys blew my mind...so intricate and special feeling. Because they were expensive, it was a big deal whenever I got one.

    The cartoon and comics added charactarization that made them even more fun.
     
  5. Dean ML

    Dean ML Well-Known Member

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    I should add the box art played a huge part in selling those toys. Really ignited the imagination and brought the toys to life. So epic. That and the cartoon gave the TFs an edge that most other toys lacked, especially GoBots. The Legacy book is a must own for any TF fan.
     
  6. bcm77

    bcm77 Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't care less about the cartoon as I barely saw it.

    My memories of Transformers as a kid are mainly from the toys and UK Marvel comics.
     
  7. Trek

    Trek Well-Known Member

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    Comics had the biggest impact, then the toys. The cartoon fell by the way side for me very quickly.
     
  8. DesertDog

    DesertDog is a Limited Edition redeco.

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    Guitars. :music 

    It was/is always the toys first. I didn't get into the comic until the "are all dead" issue, and only saw the first season, the movie and a handful of season 2-4 episodes until last November when I bought the box set. I didn't even know the movie existed until my Mom asked if I wanted to see it. I thought she was screwing with my head until I saw it on the theatre sign.

    If I hadn't been reading books like Clan of the Cave Bear and the Shannara series by the time I was nine I might have been able to overlook the cartoons slack ass storytelling. My friends didn't like watching it with me because I'd always get pissed about the massive, gaping plot holes and errors. While the comics were frequently silly, especially at the beginning, they were never as bad as the worst episodes of the cartoon. After seeing the episodes I missed as a child, I know my younger self would not have been thrilled, just mildly entertained for 1/2 hour.

    I just love the engineering and creativity of the toys. As long as they had the old Tech Spec bios, that was all the fiction I needed. And that G1 boxart. Like Dean said, the Legacy book is a must have. Everything else was icing on the cake.
     
  9. LigerPrime

    LigerPrime Well-Known Member

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    It was the comics for me that fleshed out the characters for me. I was introduced to TFs via Marvel's run. I had the fortune to access the UK comics too. 'Space Pirates', 'Target 2006(?)' and 'Time Wars'...I grew up reading them.

    While the cartoons were entertaining, I didn't find the writing as 'tight' as was as compared to the comics.

    Of course some of the toys design look good or attractive in terms of 'bad ass-ery'. For example, I found Powermaster Optimus to be really intimidating looking.
     
  10. Ultra Brevis

    Ultra Brevis State-employed peace-keeping agent, yes???

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    I echo this completely. Transformers were a different beast in the uk. It was very difficult to access the show.

    At the time the toys were fairly expensive too, so bar Christmas there was little hope of them in my house. Don't get me wrong, I had a few and my parents did their best, but my fix at the time was piece meal at best. Some faves didn't make it over here either. Swoop sticks in my mind.

    The comic on the other hand was a delicious weekly fix and heavily inspired my ongoing passion for robots in disguise. Many of my favourite characters are as a result of the exciting storylines we were treated to by marvel uk. Shockwave, Megs, blaster, grimlock, ultra magnus and deaths head got fleshed out so much in the uk comic. We were blessed in many ways.
     
  11. dmc2008

    dmc2008 Well-Known Member

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    The toys first and foremost, and then the movie. I watched the show a lot, but it came off as filler compared to the main event, which was toy cars that turned into robots! Of course, the movie was a different story. I still go back to that masterpiece with nothing but fond memories.
     
  12. hypno

    hypno Well-Known Member

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    For me it was the toys which blew away every other toyline at the time.

    I don't think I watched past season 1 of the cartoon though I did see the movie in the theater. I only bought a random TF comic here and there.

    Strangely enough it is almost the opposite for GI Joe where I loved the cartoon (still do) and comics and watched and read them all (though I still haven't seen the GI Joe cartoon movie).
     
  13. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong.

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    Guitar Hero is a videogame bro.

    :p 
     
  14. jamspeed

    jamspeed Follow me on Instagram _jamspeed_

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    Comics and cartoon basically tie, to be honest I rarely played with the toys. I was collecting toys back in 84 and not really playing with them, they would just go on the shelf. I loved the toys but they were so detailed and "special" looking I would never take them outside or roughhouse with them like I would a Joe, Star wars, Heman, Lego or any toy really. The only other toy I babied more was my Vehicle Voltron.
     
  15. Venixion

    Venixion Evil Dust Bunny-con

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    I think its a bit of both.
     
  16. DesertDog

    DesertDog is a Limited Edition redeco.

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    Which is popular because of guitars, not the other way around. And, unlike Rocksmith, doesn't actually feature real guitars, and it sucks because of it. Guitars existed long before videogames, movies, comics, or cartoons. My point(albeit, made in jest) still stands.

    Nice try though. ;) 
     
  17. EightiesKid

    EightiesKid G1 archivist

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    It's difficult to separate the toys from everything else that came out, including the cartoons, commercials, comic books, media tie ins, books, etc. Hasbro, and other toy companies, wisely used a coordinated campaign to promote their products.

    With that said, I think the cartoon had a tremendous influence on the brand's staying power. We see that in the continuing popularity of the voice actors, and also in the specialized toys we get that are created specifically to reference exact moments in certain episodes. Some examples of this include:

    - Kremzeek coming with MP Megatron
    - "Blue Guardian colored" Omega Supreme toys
    - Recolored G1 Kup into "Orion Pax"
    - Optimus with Matrix (MP 1, 10, 3P and other versions)
    - Starscream with coronation gear
    - Grimlock with crown and waiter accessories
    - Spike/Daniel with exosuit
    - Classic Hound being released with a Ravage toy

    The list goes on and on, but I am CONSTANTLY amazed at the powerful effect the cartoon has had, and the amazing number of "inside baseball" references we get when specific toys are released as an homage to certain episodes.

    So based on that, I would say that the cartoon has probably had a more powerful long term effect than the G1 toys themselves. As many G1 fans say, the toys were not as cool as their cartoon counterparts, and it's only now that we are getting toys that match up to the anime counterparts through the Masterpiece line.
     
  18. hypno

    hypno Well-Known Member

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    LEGOs
     
  19. artiepants

    artiepants Transformers '84!!!

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    Toys and comics, I grew up in the sticks and hardly ever saw the show.
     
  20. Billby82

    Billby82 Well-Known Member

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    I think the TV series and movie helped establish my love for the characters. That's probably why they are still important 30 years later.

    The toys were awesome to me and I loved them but I think the fiction created a stronger emotional attachment to the brand.