I remember one thing from Megazone 23 (the Anime OAV that failed at being 'Robotech the movie') and there was one line that really hits a note:
"The late 1980s was the highest point in Human culture. There was no strife, no hostilities, and everyone lived well."
Despite the obvious false notes; nobody's lived in peace, no cultural highlight that didn't piss someone off, etc.
meantime, The Transformers represent that outer band of collective fans. Not everyone who watches "sci-fi" are Star Wars fans or Trekkies, nor do some of us subscribe to the Melo-political drama of Battlestar Galaxitive.
Like some of the film's cast have said, its because of Transformers that we've had such advancements in machinery and technology, machines are our greatest achievements, we honor them with this film.
80s Nostalgia, its a bandwagon affair but TFs isn't reinventing the wheel, its just writing a new chapter. Its an 80's franchise but this is its 2000s contribution.