- Motto: "If I have the power to make a difference, I should put it to good use."
- Weapon: Twin Swords
I read Exodus. I have not played WFC. From what I gather here, neither meshes with Prime, which I have seen.
It looks to me like Habro is trying to do what DC did in the original Crisis On Infinite Earths series: jam everything together into one new, single mess of a continuity that in the end makes no sense at all.
I don't understand the need to mesh everything together. I understand they are trying to figure out the best way to market their toy line, but what's wrong with keeping things separate?
Why not have just a movie-verse with its own toys and media?
Why not have a G1-verse made of homage updates that relate enough to the original cartoons and comics which they are in the process of releasing again?
Why not have an IDW-verse with it's own toys?
Why not have a new cartoon every half decade or so that tells it's own story with it's own toy line, even if that line is unique? That new cartoon-verse is what's going to grab the next generation of fans.
The part they are messing up is unfortunately the cartoon line. Animated was far too short. The toy line was incomplete. The story had room to grow for another few seasons, and even a sequel series along with a movie or two or three to break up the story arcs. Like Dragon Ball and the way Japan continued G1, a story can grow over time, old characters can evolve and leave, new characters can step in and take over the story, and the lifespan of one continuity can last close to a decade before the big finale of finales. Then they can take a few years off, just show reruns, complete the toy line, and develop the next universe to retell the story in a new way to a new generation.
So now they are rebooting with Prime, and that's fine with me. However, I find it too soon to do this. Animated should still be the cartoon right now. But it was scrapped, so here's Prime. But why does Prime have to be in sync with Exodus and WFC? And if they felt the need for Prime now, why not keep rolling Animated and make Prime for teens and adults, since that seems to be what it is right now anyway?
As mentioned earlier, Exodus loosely tells the story of the war. But this is very loose, an overview, really, and not a very good one (the war, the build up was decent). I would rather have had Exodus as a series of novels that go into great detail about the war, and in the process explore and unravel the mysteries of Cybertron in its own separate universe, with the war finding its way off Cybertron to other worlds, including Earth. As is, Exodus is merely a loose framework from which all current story lines can work off of, whether they do so perfectly or not. That's the impression the book gave me, and from what I'm seeing, that's what Hasbro intended.
The fact is, the movie is its own world. IDW is its own world. G1 is its own world. What's wrong with that? The toys will sell with or without media. Media does help, but it does not have to be a TV show or a movie, a simple series of internet comics or a novelization would be fine. Even mini comics included with the toys that tell their own small stories and connect to form a larger one would be enough. Kids need to read more anyway, so how about a toy line to accompany a series of novels? Kids read Harry Potter, so if done right won't they read Transformers too?
If Hasbro wants to believe everything is the same, good for them. We all know it's not, and they are actually hurting their marketing by trying to convince us otherwise, as gamers, readers (comics and/or novels), and TV watchers are not all necessarily interested in the same things. Hasbro should embrace that, expand their product accordingly, and watch as their profit margins go through the roof.