Looks like one of my questions from the "Ask the Twincast" thread got answered in this one. That was a very well thought out and insightful discussion about the Aligned continuity and the various opinions about it. I can understand the whole aesthetic confusion between the two different era in its timeline having very different looking styles, but consider this point of view.
Imagine a new fan who wants to get started on Transformers, and the first thing he is given to watch is the three-episode pilot of the G1 cartoon, "More Than Meets the Eye". After he watches it, he likes it enough to want to see more. But, the very next thing he is handed is the complete series DVD set of the Beast Machines cartoon. He watches it. Immediate confusion ensues.
That's pretty much how Hasbro's handling of the Aligned continuity went like. They gave us a game set really really early in the story, then a cartoon set thousands of years afterward with a completely different look and feel. I feel that this rocky start for the Aligned continuity is what helped to put off so many folks at the beginning, and has stuck with several of them since.
As far as people referring back to events from the books and such when watching the Prime (or Rescue Bots) cartoon, well, it's the same thing when one refers back to WFC when talking about FOC. Even Matt Tieger said that one doesn't have to have played WFC to enjoy FOC. While it helps, it's not required. Same goes with the books. Though they are also a part of the bigger story, they aren't necessary reads to enjoy the games and/or cartoons. That isn't to say that the cartoons don't acknowledge them, though. The season 1 finale of Prime pretty much took its entire backstory history from the first novel Exodus, and even took a design from WFC to use in one of its flashbacks. But one still wouldn't have to have read Exodus or played WFC in order to have enjoyed the finale since the finale pretty much told us all we needed to know for it without us having to experience the rest of what the book and game cover
As for why some of us keep referring back to the books and/or games, well, we're Transformers nerds. We like continuity information and like to indulge in talks about it.
Using the above MTMTE/Beast Machines example, that's kind of how it's like between those who are and aren't bothered by the Aligned continuity. The G1 cartoon and the Beast Machines cartoon are two wildly different entities with divisive looks and feels, yet they still share a connection that stretches eons apart. The difference here being that we have the Beast Wars cartoon in between to make them flow better. Whereas the Aligned fiction has a giant gap in the middle that has yet to be filled. It would have been much smarter to have something like the Beast Wars cartoon in the middle to help bridge the gap further. Alas, what we got felt more forced than what was intended.
When one thinks about, what Hasbro did before any of this ever came out was actually pretty smart. Creating a full timeline outline of the entire Aligned storyline, compiled all into one binder. The Binder of Revelation. The problem we got came from High Moon wanting their games to be a love letter to G1 and Hasbro Studios making their cartoon in the feel of the movies. Both are/were adaptations of events drafted in the Binder, but the differing styles between the two, plus the games adapting the pre-Earth final war days of the timeline and the cartoon adapting some of the present day events on Earth, kept things from looking like they belonged together, which is like how one would feel if they saw Beast Machines right after only the first three episodes of G1.
A big issue that remains to this day is the divisive mindsets Hasbro seems to have on this continuity, On one hand, they don't seem to care whatsoever about aesthetic appearances, thus why we've had four (now five, counting the Beast Hunters episode) different designs for Optimus Prime in this continuity, with his FOC body being the most jarring since the game's events take place mere moments after WFC despite Optimus suddenly being in a new body for no in-story reason.
On the other hand, in spite of this seeming lack of concern about aesthetics, there's the other end of the spectrum that feels like Hasbro does
care, with demonstrations of trying to fill in the blanks between the era of the games/books and the era of the cartoons. The aforementioned Prime season 1 finale deriving its story from Exodus, being one example. The second novel Exiles put Wheeljack with the Wreckers, Bulkhead with Optimus aboard the Ark, Vehicons on the Nemesis, among other things. The second season of Prime recalled both novels with Alpha Trion as the master archivist and Optimus's old mentor, as well as with some of the relics being the Star Saber and the Apex Armor. FOC used the Prime designs for Cliffjumper's head, one of Optimus's guns, and even the Nemesis itself. It also made Trypticon into the Nemesis, like in the novels. And then there's "Rage of the Dinobots", which is an undeniable sequel to FOC and a prequel to Ultra Magnus's debut in the cartoon. And we got the upcoming Beast Hunters comics which will continue the adventures of the FOC Dinobots on Cybertron with further ties to the Prime cartoon.
Admittedly, it is still far from perfect, with many many flaws and holes to be filled, but it is what it is. I'm not asking anyone here to like it. Just trying to help others get a better understanding for it,
Jon, that was real cool hearing you open your Fort Max for the first time live on the podcast. I hope you're enjoying that big behemoth to the fullest extent.
I noticed you ordered yours from the air shipment of BBTS. I ordered from the ocean shipment coming later and, after hearing about all the QC issues people have reported, it got me worried to the point of almost considering cancelling my preorder.
I know you reported yours having no real noticeable problems when you opened it, but to be on the safe side, could you take another look at yours to see if it's 100% in the clear?
Here's the list of QC issues that one of board members compiled from several cases:
he current list of known issues (both minor and major) with the Fortress Maximus reissue includes:
0. Red guns on left hand are improperly installed so that they face backwards (fixable: unscrew the hand assembly, flip the gun and reassemble).
1. Cerebros has very tight leg joints (fixable: loosen the screw and/or shave off some plastic).
2. Cog has 2 left arms.
3. The holes to plug in Gasket's guns are susceptible to stress marks.
4. Fort Max's left fist is missing the plug insert to hold his weapons.
5. Bottom of Spike's feet has mold-flash, making him unstable (fixable: shave off the excess flash).
6. Fort Max has a defective left hip ratchet.
7. Leg cannons are loose and prone to popping out easily or making worrisome "snapping" sounds when raised.
8. Spike is missing his arms.
9. Missing one or more weapons.
10. Smudged or chipped blue paint on the central die-cast panel.
11. Loose knee joints on Spike and/or a very difficult (tight) insertion into Cerebros' body.
12. The Cerebros faceplate on Spike is loose/askew (fixable: use a flathead screwdriver, rather than a Phillips head, to loosen/tighten the hard-to-access restraining screw).
13. Eye tampographs on Fort Max's face appear "bubbly" and/or Cerebros' chest tech spec sticker is askew.
14. Right-side chest door has slightly warped hinge tabs, though it functions correctly.
15. Cerebros in tower mode is a very difficult (tight) insertion into Fort Max's chest, requiring him to be first stood up and then bent down to fit in place.
16. The Fort Max face on Cerebros's back has a dent on its forehead from being jostled around inside the box.
17. Fort Max's big gun is loose when pegged in and pops out easily if jostled.
18. The red launchers attached to Fort Max's white ramps are susceptible to stress marks.
19. Cerebros's fists are tight and do not flip open easily. (fixable: loosen the screw and/or shave off some plastic).
20. Cog is susceptible to stress marks where his gun-arms attach in vehicle mode.
also too someone said they got there cerbrous figure but it had two right legs.