Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

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Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Va'al » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:16 am

Motto: "Till All Are Pun!"
This piece is happening due to a conversation I've had with my partner, on at least three separate occasions, and following several attempts at 'fitting in' with a number of Transformers fan groups you might encounter across the internet. It's also, in some ways, an organic step in a longer conversation being had in the fandom since collecting was a thing, as shown by forum threads like those by Rodimus Prime, Burn, and myself among many others, or articles such as Maz's piece on burnout. Those, however, tend to revolve predominantly around toys.

Before we get into the meatier part of the piece, a quick background check: I grew up with Beast Wars (Biocombat, as it was known in Italy) though only really season one. I lost sight of most Transformers anything - bar some Italian-dubbed Car Robots episodes, and including Battimus Primal and Megalligator, under a bed during a holiday - until the 2007 live action Paramount movie. I slowly got back into the franchise from there, exploring Animated, picking up old toys I had in boxes and storage, but it was 2009 that fully sucked me in again, and due to other interests of mine, I eventually gravitated towards the comics.

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Here's the 'confessional' part: I have yet to fully watch all of G1, and probably never will. I have seen the 1986 Transformers movie a handful of times, but have no real attachment to it. I am, to all intents and purposes and despite there being no such thing, a Fake Geek. And I am a Fake Geek for most of the fandoms I'm a part of, Transformers as much as Star Wars, comic books as much as sci-fi literature, contemporary poetry as much as roleplaying. I've dabbled in all of them; I have immersed myself, truly, in none.

Yet I stumbled into a number of online communities that were more than welcoming at the time, and have changed shape, some radically, some less so, since then. Seibertron.com is one of them, of course, for which I later became news staff, and have been for the best part of the past five years (holy ****). Twitter, Facebook groups, convention crews, are examples of others.

I have since become News Administrator, have met and keep in touch with professionals in the toy and comics industries, work behind the scenes at a number of Transformers-based events, and spend a lot more of the time I don't really have on something I find myself not always fully invested in.

I've dabbled in all of them; I have immersed myself, truly, in none.


If you've been active online in talks surrounding general science fiction material in the past year (from comic book movies to Star Wars to Transformers, too, though not as much) you might have encountered people discussing the difference between curative and creative fandom, denoting two different ways to enjoy and - dare I say it? - consume media which is part of a franchise. Curative fandom is the part more easily associated with 'wiki' style attention, curating an interest for information, references, knowledge seen as a collection of facts and trivia, assimilating the media offered by creators (official or not) of the franchise. Creative fandom is, on the other hand, the more hands-on interaction with a franchise: expressing your interest not necessarily through knowledge but generating new content, often unofficial, such as custom work, fan art, fan fiction, fan events, videos, shorts, even sh**posting, why not. Neither is the better way, of course, and neither is wrong, though both receive scorn from the other side despite a lot of fans finding themselves somewhere in between the two.

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Myself, I'm squarely in neither. I don't consider myself creative in this sense, as I have never invested time in generating anything new except the handful of photocomics or paintjobs, and do not have any intention to develop drawing or writing or customising skills. I'm happy, really, with admiring other people's work. I'm also, for the reasons pointed out at the start, not a curator-type: I simply do not have the knowledge, or the interest, to be so. I thought I initially did, for the early IDW material, but have long since lost interest for that type of investment. I'm also, as many know, not really a toy collector any longer, at least not in the usually perceived sense of the word in toy fandoms.

If anything, then, I side more with an emotive stand, as Temple Phoenix suggested during the same discussion on Twitter. I cannot bring myself to call myself a 'critic', though that is technically what I do, through reviews and readings of media that I work with - be it Transformers, other comics, or any other medium I discuss - and while I do apply critical reasoning to my approaches to things, the emotive side is fortunately never far. (If anyone believes that the two are separate, that's fine. You're wrong, but it's fine.)

I'm happy, really, with admiring other people's work.


I do get invested in narratives, in stories, in interactions, dynamics, relations, spools, knots and unravelling, fictional or otherwise. It may be fleeting, or it may be lasting. I may drop something if I get tired with it, without seeing it to its end. I may pick something up halfway, or just sample it and never go back to it again. And that applies equally to media and physical objects, such as figures or artwork.

I spoke briefly to someone else on staff about this, and they replied - quite straightforward - with:

I think it's mainly about joy. Does it make you happier to have the figure than not? Or do you find more joy in talking to people in the fandom? Or creating things? Or writing? Or taking photos? Or comics?

You can enjoy bits and pieces of a fandom without having to make yourself enjoy all of it.


And at this stage, my honest answer is: I don't know. If I were not where I am with Seibertron.com, TFNation, and the comics world more in general, would I still be participating in fandom, in any way? And if not - why am I where I am?


This is the first part of a potentially monthly series exploring contemporary Transformers fandom through the perspective of a number of members of the community, starting with myself. If you'd like to contribute a post, please get in touch! And, as always, do join the discussion in the Energon Pub!

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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby King Kuuga » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:29 am

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As someone who dreams big and falls short of those lofty ambitions ("I'm gonna read all of IDW, I'm gonna own every transformer from XYZ line, I'm gonna watch all the shows from both sides of the pacific") I can sympathize with this. I find myself sometimes drifting in and out of my interest in various fandoms, and the degree to which I want to interact with fans and the content varies from day to day. As of this point I haven't read an IDW comic since shortly before the beginning of Revolution (and I've only read scant issues before The Death of Optimus Prime), I skipped out on the Last Knight toyline entirely (until the other week when I finally picked up a few figures), the same could be said for RID15, and my email inbox is filling up with responses to forum threads I haven't looked at in a month. I got burned out on playing Earth Wars a few months ago and the only thing keeping me from dropping it entirely is the thought of the money I dumped into it shortly before I crashed. So let me just say, however much or however little you enjoy the franchise, and participating in the fandom, that's okay. Do what you want to do, what you feel up to doing, don't let yourself be pressured too much by obligation to do something you aren't invested in. You can work yourself back in later, but if you're not enjoying the here and now, there's nothing to be gained by forcing yourself to participate.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby primalxconvoy » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:33 am

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Thanks for that article, Va'al. I hope we can read more insightful articles like this, as it gives Seibertron a more human side than some other places on the internet. That's always a good thing.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Burn » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:47 am

Do I feel like I have a place in the Transformers fandom? There are times, when the answer is simply no.

For those that don't know by now. I live in Australia. That's a fair distance from the US and UK where the bulk of the fandom reside. That's not to say that Australia doesn't have a decent sized fan base, it does. I just don't live any where near it. I live in a regional part of Australia. A small town in Far North Queensland with a population of 20k.

There's a major city 100km's (60 miles) up the road but the "geek community" up there is more for a younger generation.

Suffice to say, my only interaction with other Transformer fans is via this website and an Australian forum and an Australian Facebook page. But again, I don't feel I fit in with the Australian sites because I'm too far away to attend meets. In fact, I've only attended one Transformer gathering and that was for the world premiere of the 2007 Transformers movie (and I didn't have to do anything because i_amtrunks was there to represent Seibertron.com!)

But even being a part of this site isn't smooth sailing. Some people can't see past the Admin title. It's not easy joining in conversations either. Chat about the new Power of the Prime toys? Oh you mean me having another bitch session about their lack of release in Australia? ugh. It's like being locked out and I have to stare in from the window outside as everyone gets to play with their cool new toys. Then months later I can run in and wave my new PotP Optimus Prime around and no one wants to talk it because they've got their new wave 3's! Image

And don't even get me started on the comics. IDW has reached a point where I'm expected to remember some small plot device from 10 years ago. Nope. Not going to happen.

I find myself often "living vicariously" through other members collection threads, though I rarely step into them due to time and also I feel there's still some animosity when discussions were held a while back about those threads and my views on them weren't well received. But that's in the past. I'm waffling ... really.

Transformers is what I collect, but I am not solely a Transformers fan (it's the only one I spend money on though)

I'm a life long fan of Doctor Who. But that fandom has become so incredibly toxic these days. Don't like the idea of a female Doctor? You get branded a crying man-baby. (I'm keeping an open mind though). I'm just not venturing there at the moment.

I'm a life long fan of Star Wars. I don't collect the toys (I had a couple as a kid), but I did collect the Expanded Universe novels. I read a smattering of the Dark Horse comics (oh yeah, there's no comic shops near by either) and now read all the Marvel stuff (we really need more Dr Aphra). But I steer clear of the fandom.

The X-Files was a big part of my life, but the fandom now basically consists of "shippers", "no-romos" like me aren't really welcome. Though I did make a friend through the fandom. Going on 20 years now, she's a shipper, I'm a no-romo, she's a vegetarian, I'm a carnivore. At least we agree that Scully is hot (I can't say the same about Mulder like she does though).

So yeah, when you live in a rural town, far away from capital cities, a town where it takes forever to appear, often weeks after being found in other parts of Australia, it's hard to be part of any fandom where you can't engage instantly with everyone else.

Pity me.
It's Monday in a few hours. Maybe banning someone will make that easier ...
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby fenrir72 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:23 am

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You presume too much for this site or any other online site! Been a fan of G1 like forever! Even before this site existed. There was no climax or denouement phases. If you "depend" on others or in this case, an entity to give yourself or your hobby validation then you are not a real fan! End!
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby ZeroWolf » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:18 am

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Thank you Va'al for this very thought provoking piece. I'm no longer the same person I was when I first signed up here 4 years ago, indeed I dropped off the radar for a year and a bit because of different issues. Till that time I was collecting when able, and keeping up with all the IDW trades. It was actually the IDW stuff which flagged first as it started to become harder to get the issues (I like physical issues) so I fell behind and other things grabbed my attention again. It's only been the new power of the prime toys that's brought me back and i've started getting the collected trades of IDW again. The thing I've missed the most is actually just talking on the forums, that's just what makes me happy.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Va'al » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:02 am

Motto: "Till All Are Pun!"
Thank you for the comments so far! I'm really interested in developing the series more, so do contact me in private if you'd like to contribute something (which is not specifically and exclusively about toys, that is my one guideline). :D

A selection of responses follows:

King Kuuga wrote: Do what you want to do, what you feel up to doing, don't let yourself be pressured too much by obligation to do something you aren't invested in. You can work yourself back in later, but if you're not enjoying the here and now, there's nothing to be gained by forcing yourself to participate.


Oh that is for certain! I wasn't looking for external validation or confirmation, just reflecting on the various areas that one can take part of a fandom - any fandom - to enjoy that franchise or interest, and how sometimes it can feel like you (or me, in this case) don't really fit in any of them.

The pressure is always self-imposed, I tend to find by talking to others too, with a good dollop of Fear of Missing Out. But "So let me just say, however much or however little you enjoy the franchise, and participating in the fandom, that's okay." very much so. Thank you. :D


Burn wrote:I find myself often "living vicariously" through other members collection threads, though I rarely step into them due to time and also I feel there's still some animosity when discussions were held a while back about those threads and my views on them weren't well received. But that's in the past. I'm waffling ... really.

[...]

So yeah, when you live in a rural town, far away from capital cities, a town where it takes forever to appear, often weeks after being found in other parts of Australia, it's hard to be part of any fandom where you can't engage instantly with everyone else.


Two things here I can identify with, too.

I really enjoy looking at other's photos, creations, enjoyment of toys or comics or possessions. I've played with and posed a lot of fellow fan's collections and figures at a number of events, but once I've taken a photo - and maybe not even shared it - that's it, the moment was that moment, I don't really feel like I need to, or want to, hold onto corollaries.

As for location: Italy, and my area in this case, can be challenging in similarly different ways to what you're saying, Burn. We don't have what I'd call 'distribution' (we don't have TRU either), we didn't get most comics (Panini has just started releasing translations of the post-Death of Optimus Prime material, we got little before that) except imports, and the online communities to which we gravitate are very much toy-based (FB groups, and the various anglophone fansites), and a lot of time, space, attention, and money, is devoted to non Hasbro or Takara items. Which is not my thing, but it is for others, clearly! And here's the 'hard' part again, as you say.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Cyberstrike » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:50 am

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Sometimes the fandom leaves us. Gaming is a huge factor in my life but in the last few years I'm finding that the kind of games that I enjoy (single player RPG and single player action games) being made less and less and the games that I love get nothing but hate because they don't appeal to tastes of whinny entitled hardcore gamer trolls who do noting but hate a game and the people who love said game because of reasons and then there is just toxic nature of gaming culture especially on larger sites.

Hell I use my Xbox One and PS4 more for streaming movies and TV shows and playing Blu-Ray and DVD than playing video games.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Va'al » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:03 am

Motto: "Till All Are Pun!"
Cyberstrike wrote:Sometimes the fandom leaves us.


..that is a really intriguing take I had not considered. Thanks!

(I don't think it applies in my case, but an interesting route to explore, nonetheless.)
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Shock.wav » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:49 am

Personally, I never consider myself part of any "fandom" or clique. Especially when it comes to Transformers. I like what I like, I collect what I want, and I watch what I want. Don't think about it too much and don't let your relationship with other fans affect you consideration of the things you enjoy.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby meekus3 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:00 am

Motto: "“Right now, in this moment, in EVERY moment, we stop to recognize something of ourselves in each other. UNITY isn’t some hoped-for event. It’s a matter of perspective.” ~ ‘AUTOCRACY’ #9"
An interesting look into the self and how the individual and the community can change.

My first gut reaction would be to say “why can’t you just enjoy your nerd-stuff? Why the examination of how you nerd-out compared to how others do it?” But then I remember my own story and have no room to talk.

I’ve been lurking in the background for about a decade, reading, watching, admiring...even worked up the courage to post a sighting of Animated Safeguard when no one else had... Recently I finally got some of my collection posted, and Va’al and Burn and many others welcomed me with open arms. It felt really good, being so warmly welcomed into a community ;)^

It also felt really weird being welcomed as a newbie when I’ve been lurking for so long. Sometimes I felt a bit like Kevin in Home Alone: big, loud family...lots of love, lots of tension, me invisible in the background (leave me home alone with some of y’all’s collections and a very happy kid I would be :-D )

The point I think I’m trying to make is that I get where you’re coming from, I think... I fell into adult collecting almost by accident...it was my dirty secret I kept hidden in the closet, that is until I stumbled upon the internet fan communities, and realized I wasn’t the only grown-ass adult still “playing with toys.” So even though I was a wallflower about it, I still felt a part of the community. Even during a period where I just wasn’t into collecting anything, I still felt like a fan, like a part of something.

So if I’m reading ya correctly, Va’al, you’re saying that the community, and the work, and people are what keeps you into it all, right? Not the collecting or the creating but the social interacting.

I guess when your main hobby is called “Transformers,” it makes sense that your interests would “transform” periodically...get it? Get it!?! (Oh I can hear all the groans and eye-rolls now. :BLACKEYE: )
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby ScottyP » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:30 am

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Va'al wrote:
Cyberstrike wrote:Sometimes the fandom leaves us.


..that is a really intriguing take I had not considered. Thanks!

(I don't think it applies in my case, but an interesting route to explore, nonetheless.)
I feel this way quite a bit lately. The Brand has this newfound yet somehow really haphazard clinginess to G1 and there are several echo chamber groups of fans that help give Hasbro the perception that this is the right thing to do. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, I'm sure that ultimately, money talks. I love G1, but after so many years I'm also ready to truly and actually move on from it.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Rated X » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:14 pm

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Interesting read. Interaction with fandom is definitely a factor in these forums. Ive been to four Botcons and did get a chance to meet some of the old school senior staff for this site. Some have disappeared or taken a step back and passed the torch to a new generation of staff members from countries outside of the US. Needless to say, over the years the site has changed radically in so many ways. For a time, I was discouraged from posting here because I felt the newer staff was expecting people from the US to adopt the mindsets and etiquette of other countries when posting. Some people are not accustomed to those who are more outspoken than others. But after a while I realized you cant change people so you might as well focus their good side rather than the negative. I try to treat a forum conversation like a bar or a man cave conversation. Some people get it, others dont. Sometimes my urban tastes in music, fashion, or overall mentality also alienate me from others around here. Yes I got a couple stares at Botcon like "youre not one of us, you dont belong here". But I try my best not to let those people stop me from enjoying my hobby. The majority of the people I met including Seibertron himself were very welcoming and friendly. They get it that the Bay movies opened the flood gates of Transformers fandom to mainstream pop culture. They get that some of the sterotypes associated with sci-fi fans are out dated and represent only a small portion of the actual fandom. On the flipside, nobody on here is going to get along with everybody. Theres always going to be G1 guys. Theres gonna be Beast Wars guys. Theres gonna be comic and gamer guys. And needless to say people are going to clash. As long as they respect each other things should be cool. But I collect for me. I got a couple friends in my city that we hang out on occasion and talk transformers. But just like me, they all got outside lives. So I enjoy coming on here, for better or for worse. And smart phones make it easy. Its cool to have other fans online to interact with. But if the site goes down tomorrow, I still will enjoy the hobby in full.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Gordicon14 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:31 pm

I've been visiting Seibertron.com for over 5 years and i dont think i've ever posted anything. I enjoy seeing news about upcoming bots and articles about bots (like the favorite lists). I'm a mediocre curator and a dismal creator, but - like others - i enjoy seeing what others have created.

Fandoms are like cultural groups. Yes there are certain common traits that are groupable, but the diversity within the group should not be overlooked or under appreciated.

The human penchant to collect things is an interesting phenomenon i wish i understood better. In particular the desire to collect toys. I'm not much of a completionist (although CW and TR had so many good bots i kinda strayed in that direction). I do feel a certain fulfillment in finding a bot i've been looking forward to, especially when it is on sale. For me there is a therapeutic element to reasoning through a transformation and making sure everything pegs together just right.

On a darker note, i also feel frustration when i can't find the bot i wanted, or when i passed on a bot that i should've picked up, or when i realize my collection is becoming difficult to manage, or when i reflect on the materialism my hobby demonstrates, particularly to my kids.

I think it's a great idea to have more Seibertron articles on the nature of collecting and passion for transformers
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby AllNewSuperRobot » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:36 pm

An interesting thread. Honestly over the years I've remained an outside observer of Fandoms and "communities" of things I enjoy. Especially online, some people can be a bit too intense, which makes you appreciate the safe anonymity the internet at times provides. I have considered conventions over the years, but ultimately in my eyes I just stick to solo collecting, while expressing the occasional view here and there.

ScottyP wrote:I feel this way quite a bit lately. The Brand has this newfound yet somehow really haphazard clinginess to G1 and there are several echo chamber groups of fans that help give Hasbro the perception that this is the right thing to do. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, I'm sure that ultimately, money talks. I love G1, but after so many years I'm also ready to truly and actually move on from it.


I've thought this for the longest time. While I was into Transformers when the Sunbow series first started, I became a true fan through The Movie. Aside from being a practical demonstration that if the previously "incompetent" Decepticons actually mounted an all-out offensive, an army of jets, tanks, triple changers etc would easily wipe the floor with essentially a bunch of Car Bots. The main thing I really loved about it, was how Hasbro cleaned house and moved the plot forward in a massive way.
The backlash to their bold decision was the first time the problem raised in the above quote raised it's head. Some fans unable to accept change. The ever constant revivals of Optimus Prime ever since that movie highlight this problem more than any other. Fast forward to the end of G1 Sunbow - The Rebirth. Surrounded by the New futuristic designs of the Autobots and Decepticons, Prime couldn't look anymore out of place. More so a relic than Kup.

Ultimately they brought back Prime to please the few, but it didn't really change anything. The plot still progressed without him and those clinging onto a single character over the series itself, have led to the ever present recycling of G1 that has molded every new TF series ever since.

Beast Machines and the Takara Series might not be everyone's cup of tea, but they did push the story of Transformers forward in time, not just rebranding the same old song.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Burn » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:11 pm

ScottyP wrote:The Brand has this newfound yet somehow really haphazard clinginess to G1 and there are several echo chamber groups of fans that help give Hasbro the perception that this is the right thing to do. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, I'm sure that ultimately, money talks. I love G1, but after so many years I'm also ready to truly and actually move on from it.

I feel the same. When Classics first appeared I hoped they this was the start of something, modern engineering applied to the characters I grew up with.

And we got that. Unfortunately though, several characters have received more than one update while others have been ignored, and at this point, I see a lot of those characters will continue to be ignored, so I would be okay if we move onto something else. Something new and fresh and not over-simplified.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Wolfguard » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:34 pm

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Speaking for myself with regards to anything I like and the fandom/groups I've encountered, I really don't try to fit into anyone else's comfort zones. I'm pretty loath to being part of any sort of group-think, group feels, and/or various forms of "monolithic thought" in any subject. In other words, I've never tried to "fit in" or find my place. I don't need to because it's all right here in who and what I am. Take it or leave it. I like what I like and what I don't, I state my opinion about it, or disregard it completely.


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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby primalxconvoy » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:22 pm

Motto: "私はルールに違反している"
It's nice to see faces to the names and a little more about everyone. I think this is one of the site's strengths; the sense of personal connection and is something I've come to appreciate more than some other places online.
Last edited by primalxconvoy on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby MECHdirge » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:41 pm

Motto: "That which does not kill me is dead when I'm done with it."
Weapon: Sonic Disruptor
I grew up in the eighties, so have fond memories of the G1 era. I only owned a handful of Transformers—Brawn, Gears, Windcharger, Powerglide, Warpath, and Mixmaster. Instead, a friend and I created an RPG using Transformer characters and that has forever stuck in my memory. I watched a bit of a Beast Wars, but didn’t get interested in Transformers again until 2000, when I started working for a company that imported Japanese toys and anime merchandise before the big box stores caught on. I started picking up reissues and Beast Wars figures, Car Robots, etc. At first, it was a figure here and there. Since the Classics line appeared, I have been more ambitious. There are lines I skipped—like Animated and Masterpiece—but most series I buy the entire line. I’ve bought more third-party figures than I should have. I own over 900 figures now, working mostly on acquiring original G1 (‘84-‘87 mostly) toys and the Classics and modern takes on existing characters.

I don’t really participate in Fandom beyond the rare post on Seibertron.com. I haven’t been to any convention since 2004. I don’t have a single close friend that collects, although I have one friend at least familiar with the toys and G1 show and comics.

By and large, I have a difficult time connecting to Fandom. I’m in my mid-40’s and a semi-geek, college-educated (lit and history) but my background is in martial arts, sports cars, and basketball. I tend to get along with the blue collar crowd. I’m not especially social. I’m not really sure how you become part of the community sans the occasional post. I’m not a critic, pretty accepting of new figures (loved Classics, CW, Titans Return, new PoTP series). I don’t take photos of my collection, although I do display many figures (mostly G1 and a couple modern equivalents) in my man cave.

I don’t have a great reason for collecting. I buy a lot of RPG products (Pathfinder line, ShadowRun, the occasional other series) and some Lego sets (mostly superhero themed now that Harry Potter is retired), but I probably spend $2000-$2500 a year or more on Transformers. It’s not enough to hurt my spending, but just enough to make me question why I keep buying them. I read the gaming books even if I’m not playing actively, put Lego sets together, and am an avid reader in general. Transformers? They get opened, transformed once or twice and go on a shelf... collect dust, too. Yet.. my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and the first thing that came to mind was some G1 Transformers. I can’t really explain it. That said, despite taking very good care of myself, I’m having eyesight issues after forty years of type 1 diabetes. I’m no where near blind, but if my vision keeps going the direction it has, my interest in Transformers is over (and there is no point saving for my next car—2020 Stingray).

Anyway, I just thought I’d share my take of the hobby. I’m sure I’m not alone in my baffling interest in Transformers.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Ironhidensh » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:38 pm

Motto: "Tell those damned kids to stay off my lawn!!!"
Weapon: Big Cannon
Man, I've shared my feelings on this topic several times, and I don't want to sound like a broken record.....but.......this is a really boring Superbowl so far....

I feel like I'm hitting this crossroads every so often, usually when a new movie comes out. Gotta say, as a fan since '84, and an almost 15 year member of these boards, I've seen a LOT of changes come through not just the fandom, but myself as well. Hell, if things don't change in 15 years, let along 34, you are doing something very wrong.

I've left the fandom at points, and the fandom has left me. I've been around long enough to know that we will more likely than not meet up again. Tastes change as often as the seasons, so it is normal to feel this way.

*HOLY ****!!!!! NETFLIX IS MAKING A CLOVERFIELD SERIES!!!!!!!*

I really feel Burn's comments. While I don't really live in the sticks, I don't have any fellow fans in my immediate circle of life. I have a few aquantices here that share my passions, but other than that, there is nothing to connect us enough to truely be friends. Outside of online forums, I feel very much alone in this hobby. At times, it makes it hard to carry on. Especially when you add in how easy it is to not just offend, but be offended online. It seems some people (even myself at times) hunt out the topics and conversations they dont' like, just to start some ****. It can make it hard to remember that by and large, the majortiy of people, even online, are good folk. We really are.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby primalxconvoy » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:52 pm

Motto: "私はルールに違反している"
I agree. For m, I believin "flying the flag", sotospeak, and take the cover off of the elephant in the room. However, by doing so (to be more inclusive), it can actually be more exclusive. I think, in part, it's also due to technical tools offered to users and staff (I wish, for example, there was a way to create sub threads within threads for different aspets of said discussion, which tags could then be used, or ways for bans/staff action to be given via dedicated Pm system that had site rules that could be selected easily for mods to click on, or even a "LIKE" button, which might reduce my own post count).

We live in a more global age, where Dinobot and other Tf names can cause offense, and where various social, politicl or other issues trickle down to a form of escapism for others (for better or for worse).
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby Acesmcgee » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:11 pm

Motto: "It only takes one step to move forward."
Weapon: Vibro-Axe
Thank you for your piece Va'al. It was thought provoking and in some ways, touching. It was a very open and honest assessment of how you feel about your place in this fandom. It made me examine my place in this fandom, and I find in some ways I'm like you and in some ways I'm like other board members as I read their posts.
I agree whole heartedly with what your friend had told you on twitter though, do you find joy in what your participating in? What is the point in being a fan of something if you aren't enjoying it? So it isn't wrong to pick and choose what parts you enjoy. I love that there is enough of this brand about that we can do that.
If you do participate in the portions of this brand that you don't like, just so you can say that you are a true fan, I feel at times that people who do this, do it to say I'm better than you, a better fan, etc.
I've shadowed this site a while before joining, deciding in the end to join due to the fact that I don't ever see to much venomous attitudes and also the podcasts. The rambling, the derailments, the whole thing. I felt like I had found a group of people, based on the impressions I developed of all of you casters, that really was what it seemed like when I poked about in here.
So if I have to say that I disagree with anything about your piece, it's the title. You haven't lost your anchor, but by being you, you have actually cast a net. I imagine that a lot of the people on this site, overall, feel closer to you due to your participation in the podcasts, the little insights we can get by your opinions (hell you're a human, you're allowed a opinion, regardless of your title), and now this article of writing.
So thank you, thank you for being a part of this fandom. Thank you for being you. Thank you for raising this question and making us think, at least a little, about our drift in this fandom. Your part in this fandom, no matter where it lands matters as long as it matters to you, and for what good it all does, I will support that place you find, just as I would support the place that anyone finds, as long as they enjoy it. Find what you enjoy and most the fandom will rally to you I feel. Most everyone here I think are good, loving people, and would support you, I really believe that.
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby dragons » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:29 pm

After reading whole arrivals and reading title of article it doesn’t match up with what I was reading title of article says fandom what I got from reading it being transformer fan on different sites you grew out of being fan and changed over time you wanted be writer for Idw comics but never had chance and your plans had changed maybe you could be more clear what you are talking about comments are saying famdon to transformers fan series article was all over place and it didn’t make sense.,

I’m growing out transformers when I first made account all I look for is movie news old fans always complaining how they don’t like movies what they don’t realize is new fans don’t read comics and watch cartoons if live action bots look blocky and cartoony boring looking to new fans new fans will not be watching new movies and I will never ever be seeing cars driving around with transformers stickers on there cars and be seeing people wearing transformers shirts say transformers to new non fans before live action movies where made they say cartoon series they will not watch and if I had dollar for every member that says toy is mistransformed i be millionaire and same that can be said transformers movie bots don’t look human enough they are giant alien robots from another planet never had contact with humans on there alone planet out in space aliens don’t look human,.

Transformers fans can not accept change in movies and accept how movies make new fans out of people that don’t read and watch cartoons most fans don’t accept that change but fans can accept prime being firetruck and never complain and fans can accept giant alien robot riding carosel with human woman, and humans go on cybertron without needing space suit and not able float away but they can’t accept change in live action movies that is almost joke and not wanting new people who are getting into transformers because of movies slap in face I forgot mention big change blitzwing with three faces and three different personalities he’s big fan favorite on original fans but new fans don’t like little changes that in movies that close to cartoon cand comics
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby SureShot18 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:21 pm

Motto: "Certainty of death, small chance of success...What are we waiting for?"
Weapon: Gattling Gun
ScottyP wrote:I feel this way quite a bit lately. The Brand has this newfound yet somehow really haphazard clinginess to G1 and there are several echo chamber groups of fans that help give Hasbro the perception that this is the right thing to do. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, I'm sure that ultimately, money talks. I love G1, but after so many years I'm also ready to truly and actually move on from it.

I couldn’t agree more. It was something I began to realize in Titans Return but it is really becoming noticeable now with Power of the Primes. I just don’t feel like the main Generations line is for me anymore. I’m just not a fan of how G1 almost every figure has become since John Warden took over with his team. I’d much rather go back to the style of Thrilling 30. Because of this I’ve stayed out of the Power of the Primes thread for the most part(even though I do need to make sure I sing Slash’s praises at some point), knowing I wouldn’t have many positive things to say about many of the figures. As well as the Takara Masterpiece and Legends threads, since the cartoon accuracy Takara goes for can be more at odds with my tastes than what Hasbro does.

And even the figures that do look pretty good, I have a lack of interest in, since they are often characters I have no attachment to. It’s just not a part of fandom I feel like I can interact with as much as I’d like to anymore. Luckily, and many will hate me for saying this, third party is offering many figures that check all of my personal boxes.

Oh and that was a wonderful article Va’al. When I have more time I’d like to get more in depth with my participation as a whole, especially since my age might give a different viewpoint. However given how long I rambled on here, that might not be the best idea. :lol:
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Re: Losing the Anchor: My Place in the Transformers Fandom

Postby avarathriul » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:53 pm

Motto: "If it ain't broke, brake it."
Weapon: Sniper Rifle
Well said, very well said indeed.
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