Shout Factory's highly anticipated set of The Transformers - The Complete First Season will be released at various retail stores tomorrow on June 16th, 2009. I received a copy of it a few weeks ago and was very pleased with this set, even though we all know it's just a teaser product until the complete series is released on DVD next month. This is the first time that Season 1 has been available in the States since Rhino released it back in 2002. For those of you who are fans of the original series, I'd highly recommend that you look into the products coming from Shout Factory. I think you'll be pleased with their efforts.
The packaging for this set is nicer than it appears in various images online. The Transformers title, Optimus Prime and Megatron are embossed on the front of the packaging which are printed on a foil slip cover box. The case for discs one and two feature artwork of Megatron, Optimus Prime and Starscream on the front and Jazz on the back. The case for the third disc features artwork of Optimus Prime and Megatron battling with their energy weapons on the front and artwork of Soundwave on the back.
This set also includes some additional items in the package such as a black-and-white Autobot symbol magnet, a flyer for the Transformers Collector's Club, a flyer for Shout Factory's GI Joe season 1.1 DVD set which has an ad for IDW's Transformers graphic novels on the back. It also includes a sharp looking booklet that list details for each episode.
The animated menus feature various characters from this season such as Jazz, Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Ravage, 3 Seekers, Laserbeak, and Starscream. The music from the closing credits play while watching the menus. The Autobot character animations are separated from the Decepticons by the Autobot/Decepticon scene change animation.
If you choose to play a specific episode, you do not have the ability to select a specific chapter for that episode. However, each episode is divided into 6 to 8 chapters which will allow you to skip easily through an episode. The opening sequence and ending credits are each their own chapter which is nice for those of you who do not like watching those parts over and over again.
If you choose to play all episodes, you are presented with the option to play multi-part episodes seamlessly. This function allows you to watch the multi-part episodes without seeing the opening and closing sequences between each episode. This feature is great for watching the 3 part "More Than Meets The Eye" pilot as well as the 3 part "Ultimate Doom" episodes.
The bumpers are in place before and after "commercial breaks", which I enjoy seeing. It appears that the bumpers are at the end of each chapter (excluding the opening and closing sequences of each episode).
Unlike the Australian Madman release from a couple of years ago, these episodes all have the correct season one opening sequence whereas the Madman release in 2007 had the incorrect season 2 sequence.
The colors are beautiful in this version from Shout Factory. The colors just look "right"! So much so that I busted out the Australian Madman version which has really plain colors though the scene I compared in the Rhino version looks about the same so I wouldn't say it's a drastic improvement over that version. Perhaps the colors are more saturated? The episode booklet includes a special note which explains what Shout Factory did to "restore" these episodes.
Shout Factory wrote:
Transformers DVDs released prior to our 25th Anniversary Edition were missing animation seen in the original broadcast. We did extensive research, found the discrepancies between the original broadcast masters and the restored masters used for the last DVD release, reinserted the correct animation, and color corrected it as best we could to match the shots before and after. But because a one-inch master tape simply can't hold up to the quality of the restored masters, you may notice occasional shots - or even scenes - in some episodes that seem slightly softer than others. Just take comfort in knowing that laser blasts have been reinserted, backgrounds have been corrected and Starscream is Starscream once again.
The entire 16 episodes from Season One are included in this box set. The episodes appear on the disks in production order. The contents of this 3 disc set are as follows:
1. More Than Meets the Eye (Part 1)
2. More Than Meets the Eye (Part 2)
3. More Than Meets the Eye (Part 3)
4. Transport to Oblivion
5. Roll for It
6. Divide and Conquer
7. Fire in the Sky
8. S.O.S. Dinobots
9. Fire on the Mountain
10. War of the Dinobots
11. The Ultimate Doom: Brainwash (Part 1)
12. The Ultimate Doom: Search (Part 2)
13. The Ultimate Doom: Revival (Part 3)
14. Countdown to Extinction
15. A Plague of Insecticons
16. Heavy Metal War
1. Triple Changer: From Toy To Comic To Screen - The Origins Of The Transformers: An in-depth and insightful look at the many lives of The Transformers, from action figures to comic books, animated series and blockbuster feature films. Includes brand-new interviews with those most responsible for the success of The Transformers.
2. A Printable Script of "Transport to Oblivion"
3. Rare PSA (featuring Bumblebee) NOTE: This was included with the other four PSAs on a previous set from Rhino
4. Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials
My favorite part of this set is the new documentary on the 3rd disc, "Triple Changer". There were a few tidbits of new information that I learned from watching this documentary ... which really says a lot coming from a fan such as myself who knows The Transformers inside and out and who has been watching Transformers cartoons since the first pilot episode aired about 25 years ago. The documentary, to say the least, wasn't boring. I've seen some really shoddy documentaries and interviews done on previous Transformers box sets in the past and I have to say that this one from Shout Factory was really well done. It was nice seeing some of the folks we've all grown to love from Hasbro as well as some old time favorites like Bacal (from Sunbow) and Budiansky (from Marvel).
Okay, so since Garson has officially launched information about the recent Hasbro deal, I have been authorized to come in and discuss all things Transformers and G.I. Joe (another thread) with only a couple of exceptions. Until the official press release about the complete series sets come out, I cannot go into detail about the dates or what will be different from the season sets. All I can say about that is that they will be out this year and there WILL be bonus material on the complete series sets that will NOT be included in the individual sets. And if you know me, you know I've tried to make it worth it.
There is something you should know, regarding this thread. It is the ONLY thread I'll read on the topic of Transformers and, most certainly, the only thread to which I'll respond. You guys really like to create new threads for every single question and, frankly, I don't have the time within my REALLY BUSY schedule to go through and answer multiple threads. So read this one. Post any questions you have into this one. And you should get my responses within a reasonably timely fashion.
I am currently working on 40-ish DVDs worth of material for Shout! Factory. Sixteen of those discs are Transformers, the original animated series from Sunbow. This is an absolute dream come true for me. I'm 31 years old and grew up watching the series, as well as collecting the toys and comics. So I know my stuff. Long before I was producing DVDs, I was buying them. And, yes, I bought the original releases from Rhino. I know what was good about them and I know what was bad about them, not because I did extensive research (which I still did), but because I was also a fan praising what deserved praise and criticizing what deserved criticism. That being said...
The S1 Packaging
I've seen some divided opinions regarding the cover art for Season One online. A lot of people really seem to like it. Some don't. But in many cases of the more dissenting opinions, people complain that it doesn't look "special" enough. I agree that what you see online doesn't adequately reflect the special treatment Shout! Factory is giving the series. However, I will argue that you haven't seen the art in person. What can't be displayed in a .JPG online is the type of treatment the slipcase is getting. The title treatment and characters will be fully embossed and the background will be BEAUTIFULLY printed on a shiny foil board that really makes those background colors POP. Unfortunately, you can't see the effect in a photo, but I will say that there will be no doubt (or, at least, there shouldn't be) that the set is "special" when it hits store shelves.
Hasbro provided us with the same masters Rhino used for their releases. HOWEVER... There have been changes made. I, personally, went to New York, where the original broadcast one-inch masters are housed, and found each of the problem areas, in regards to animation. Before the question is asked, I'll answer it now. The one-inch masters have not physically held up well over the years. In some cases, they're nearly unwatchable. Therefore, instead of simply transferring and using masters of the one-inches, we found every instance of faulty animation demonstrated on a YouTube video or mentioned in a rundown we could find online (and even found some of our own) and corrected them, replacing the faulty digibeta master material with the best-quality one-inch source material. Finally, we color corrected everything to match--as best we could--the shots before and after. Surprisingly, unless you know specifically what you're looking for, you won't even notice many of the instances of slightly softer picture. It looks REALLY good.
We chucked the Rhino audio. You will no longer hear additional sound effects or music, not previously heard in the broadcasts. We went back to the original source mono and created a nice stereo track to even out the audio. It sounds really nice.
The Bonus Features
There are very few bonus materials from the original releases that are specifically related to G1 and what interviews are there tend to be long, relatively drawn out and have no cutaways. In short, they're kinda boring. I've spent the last month or so traveling to Rhode Island, New York and back interviewing as many people as possible that had something to do with this incarnation of the series. In some cases, I talk to original Hasbro toy designers. In others, I'm talking to original comic writers and editors. And in even others, I'm talking to the gang behind the series, itself. And, yes, that includes the voice talent.
I will also have commercials from the appropriate seasons. In other words, you won't see a commercial for the Sharkticons on the season one release. Something you should know about the commercials is this: the quality of what you're accustomed to seeing on YouTube and other DVDs is pretty much what you're going to get here. And it's for one simple reason. No one ever anticipated the future lives of commercials, when they were first being broadcast. So Hasbro never kept high-quality masters. They kept VHS screeners of their commercials, strictly for reference later. So when you say, "why couldn't they get the original copies from Hasbro?", we actually did. Still, there are some pretty cool commercials here and I'm looking forward to having them included.
There's a bunch of other stuff that will be included. I don't really want to get too detailed and bogged down here and now. But I do want you to know that this property is being handled with care by folks that loved the franchise far prior to its acquisition at Shout! Factory. Now, with all of that said, let the comments, concerns and questions begin.
TVShowsOnDVD.com has posted several videos for the upcoming Shout! G1 DVD set. These include trailers, Product Demos, and more. See the Videos Here, and check out Real Dev's thread for further discussion!
With some recent video updates to its website, Japanese toy company Takara Tomy has created a Transformers channel for fans of the Robots in Disguise. The series of videos uploaded feature a Japanese G1 episode (Super Fight Robot Life "The Road to Earth, Pt. 1"), some toy commercials for the Revenge of the Fallen line, a movie trailer for ROTF and a special video featuring Mr. Shigeru Hazime, the Japanese voice of Soundwave and narrator for the series.
Unfortunately its all in Japanese, but for Transformers fanatics its something nice to check out. You can view them by clicking here.
allspark- Michael Bell, the voice actor for the Generation One cartoon's Prowl and Swoop is requesting the help of the fans.
"To all my Transformer buds,
I recently directed a demo for a series of motion graphic "Transformers" comics which could be downloaded via iPhone, iTouch, and other outlets. Many talented professional actors provided the voices for the characters in the demo including myself. The plan was to present it to IDW Comics who had shown more then a passing interest in this budding new concept. With a go ahead on producing the series, I would be employing the talents of as many of the original voices from the early series as possible. I had already cleared this with my fellow "Transformers" actors, and everyone was waiting in the wings for the response from the powers at IDW comics.
After months of mulling over it, they ultimately passed on the idea, and surprise surprise, decided to produce their own graphic motion novel without the voices or even the superbly heightened animation. So, essentially what you now have the ability to download is a plain old comic book.
Nothing new there.
SOooooo, I am taking my request to the troops. To all the die hard fans who I have met over the years at Botcon conventions, or who have written to me asking about my experiences working on one of the most inventive animated series in TV history- I need your help! I am requesting that you do something for me and my fellow actors, so we can in-turn do something really cool for you.
Please contact IDW and let them know that their concept of a series of comic books based on "Transformers" WITHOUT the talents of voice actors, especially many of the original voices, just doesn't cut it.
Please ask them to contract Creative Producers Chris Folino and William Katt, and make a deal for them to produce their concept of a downloadable graphic motion comic series of "Transformers" with - Hide quoted text - professional actors, progressive animation, and lotsa sound effects.
On behalf of all those actors, animators, and studio techs that will get an opportunity to carry on a great tradition,
Michael Bell replies back to critics, and supporters at the Allspark.
"Hey T purists,
Thanks for all the responses to the demo. To those of you that liked, loved, and used it for personal gratification, cool beans!
Those of you that thought it was limited in content or approach, remember, it was a demo..designed to show the possibilities and not for public consumption. Time constraints demanded an immediate presentable product. No time to start sifting through the best stories etc.
If IDW recants and gives us a go ahead with some scratch to do a good job, I assure you, you will be blown awayby the end result.
In expensive but classy thrills for a .99 cent download. Much MORE THEN MEETS THE EYE!
Again, thanks for the attention and cogent responses.
For those of you who took the time to write IDW, you are da bomb.
Mr. Bell, we invite you to come to our forums and discuss this project with our community as well! There are a lot of your fans here, and there seems to be a lot of support for your project here too!-- Seibertron.com
While never officially named in the cartoon, the Transformers Animated Starscream clones all had their unique properties, whether it be Ego, Cowardice, Deception or Sycophantic.
However one Clone never was given an outright character trait of Starscream... the female clone.
And now the female Starscream clone has been given a name.
Jim Sorenson has updated his blog Disciples of Boltax with the news that the name he created for the female Starscream clone for use in the soon-to-be-released transformers Animated Allspark Almanac, has been officially announced at Botcon as "Slipstream".
Jim also reveals how the name came to be:
"It all started when Bill and I were brainstorming with Derrick Wyatt about the almanac. I mentioned that we needed a name for her, since everyone else had names (I know that there hasn't been an official toy with the name Ramjet on it, but that'll be in the book too)."
To check out the full blog update, relating to Slipstream, please click here.
In todays Botcon Transformers Animated discussion panel, the news that the cartoon series would be coming to an end after season 3 concluded was confirmed.
The panel discussed the creation and joys of working on the series and featured cartoon shorts and special bios for the characters of the series. Some spoilers of the seasons ending were revealed but you'll have to watch the final episodes to find those out Seibertronians.
Keep your optics locked right here at Seibertron.com for all the latest news from Botcon 2009.
Following yesterday's news on the release of Season 2 Volume 1 of the original Transformers cartoon, Shout Factory has revealed the information related to the 25th Anniversary Matrix of Leadership Collectors Set.
The set will contain all 98 episodes of the original Transformers Generation One cartoon, spread across sixteen discs. The following bonus features will be included in the set:
- Exclusive Retrospective Featurettes Including Brand-New, In-Depth Interviews With Those Most Responsible For The Success Of The Transformers franchise. - Concept Art. - Exclusive Voice Cast Reunion featuring (in alphabetical order): Jack Angel (Ramjet), Michael Bell (Prowl), Gregg, Berger (Grimlock), Aurthur Burghardt (Devastator), Corey Burton (Spike Witwicky), Richard Gautier (Rodimus Prime), Neil Ross (Slag), Frank Welker (Megatron). - Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials - Printable Scripts - Rare PSAs - From the Files of Teletraan-2 - Fan Art Gallery - Animated Fan Film - A Collectible 60-Page Book, Autobots and Decepticon Magnets and much more
The set will be available at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, but for those who cannot wait, Shout Factory has set up a web page ((TransformersCollectorsSet.com) where you can pre-order yours for $140.00. Those taking this option can expect to receive it on or near Monday July 13th.
To read the full press release, including clear pictures of the DVD case and its contents, check out the press release at TVShowsOnDVD.com here.
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