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Dairycon '07 Gallery Now On-line!

Transformers News: Dairycon '07 Gallery Now On-line!
Date: Sunday, April 15th 2007 4:04pm CDT
Categories: Site News, Toy News, Event News, Site Articles
Posted by: Bed Bugs | Credit(s): Fender Bender

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Views: 22,963

Greetings fellow Seibertronians! Just letting everyone across the world know about a little convention in Fond du Lac, WI called Dairycon which happened yesterday on April 14, 2007. Your's truly had the opportunity to attend Dairycon and take some pictures for your viewing enjoyment.

If you live in the Great Lakes region, you should definately try to attend in 2008! Anway, without further delay, click here to see my first ever photo gallery!

For those wondering what the Dairycon exclusives were, they are as follows:

Checkers - Repaint of Spychanger Prowl (Attendee Exclusive)
Nachos BelGrande -G1 Brawn repaint (Raffle Prize)
Washout - Beast Machines Tankor repaint (VERY Limited Raffle Prize)

Transformers Movie: "Ghosts of Yesterday" Review

Transformers News: Transformers Movie: "Ghosts of Yesterday" Review
Date: Wednesday, March 28th 2007 8:50am CDT
Categories: Movie Related News, Reviews, Site Articles, Digital Media News
Posted by: Stormrider | Credit(s): Ghost One, Ghosts of Yesterday

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Views: 158,077

Our own Ghost One has posted a synopsis of the Transformers book, Ghosts of Yesterday, by Alan Dean Foster. The Ghosts of Yesterday is a prequel to the up coming Transformers Movie.

*WARNING - Contains many spoilers


Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday
By Alan Dean Foster

As the world watched Apollo 11 launch for the moon (1969 for you young’uns), they missed out on Sector Seven’s (SS) launch of their prototype starship, Ghost One. Ghost One was developed using tech reverse engineered from the “Ice Man” (IM). Its mission is to investigate the possibility of IM’s friends staging an invasion fleet forming behind Jupiter. Slingshot around the sun, flyby to Jupiter and slingshot home, easy.

SS’s Artic Base has received orders to transport IM down to a new facility south of Las Vegas. SSAB’s C.O. (Kinnear) argued against the move to the “Old Man” and insisted on bringing “The Cube” to his facility. Kinnear is told it’s easier to move IM then to move the Cube (?).

Ghost One begins it slingshot around the Sun when the engines outperform the system specifications. Their acceleration opened a wormhole (think Back to the Future) and disappeared from SSAB’s sensors.

The Nemesis Transport (not Warship) drifts through deep space, commanded by Starscream, acting leader of the Decepticons. Crew: Barricade, Blackout, Frenzy, and Bonecrusher. Their standing orders: Locate Megatron, Aquire the Allspark. If the Decepticons locate Megatron, Starscream loses his command and that’s not going happen as long as he has anything to do about it (Starscream is more G1 than G1 Starscream!). As he is about to secure his leadership by ordering the plunder of a local system, the first new acquisition since Megs disappearance, Barricade receives a weak Decepticon signal on the deep field array. Barricade and Blackout argue that it might be Megs. Starscream hopes not as he succumbs to checking the signal.

The Ark, Autobot Transport and long time mobile home, exits a wormhole near a star cluster that is showing signs of containing the Allspark (beacon pulse once every thousand years). Optimus wonders if Megs will make an appearance when they find the Allspark. Ratchet is ordered to keep the Ark outside the system while Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz and Ironhide meet in the Docking Bay. They exit and transform into their Cometary mode and head off for their individual worlds to search. Ratchet stops them cold as he picks up a weird Signal from not to far off.

The Decepticons reach the signal and find Ghost One. Scans showed no Megs, but confused by its design, an investigation is ordered. And cut short as the Ark dropped out of a wormhole near Ghost One. Starscream orders a surprise attack before the Autobots even notice they are there.

The Ark’s sensors also confirm no Megs, but Prime believes it to be a Decepticon trap. A debate as to whether the Decepticons would use such a primitive vessel were heard when it was noticed that Ghost One had deployed a mounted weapon.

Back on Earth, Kinnear is trying to find out where Ghost One disappeared to when he received a call that there might be a Russian spy in SS. The IM transport team is just about ready to leave when an artic blizzard kicks up.

The Nemesis is in hiding behind the planet’s moon. The Decepticons are arguing, again (not in a bad way, but defining how they don’t trust Starscream). Starscream says he’s going to put a stop to this by destroying Ghost One and then the Ark.

The Autobots determine that Ghost One’s weapons will be less than ineffective against them in combat. They also note how instead of attacking like Decepticons, they are slowly shifting planet side. Prime dispatches Bumblebee to make contact with the animals inside. After Bumblebee leaves, the Ark picks up Starscream also heading towards Ghost One.

Ghost One finds a nice little place to hide planet side and the crew discusses there options. IM’s friends are around but not sure what they want. They don’t know where Earth is or where they are or even if they can get home if they knew where they were. No communication from SSAB. The most alone a Human can be.

Bumblebee makes his way to Ghost One when Jazz radios saying that they have detected the Nemesis and Starscream, who was heading his way.

On the Nemesis, Blackout (Megs Supporter) revives the anti-Starscream commentary. Barricade (leader loyalist, not necessarily Starscream) opposes Blackout’s plan to assault the Ark while Starscream is gone, but Bonecrusher and Scorponok are ready for action.

Ghost One tries to send a message home stating, simply, were lost, can you help and, oh yeah, we ran into some of IM’s friends. Ships sensors pick up something big moving in on them.

Kinnear received a call from “Old Man”. Wanting updates on the operations, Kinnear tells him the good news, IM is almost ready to go. The bad news, we lost Ghost One. “Old Man” wasn’t too surprised but had news of his own, new course for IM’s road trip and Kinnear is going with because he understands that if IM wakes, it’ll be worse then if the Russians captured it.

Planet side, Bumblebee tries to approach Ghost One in as unthreatening a way as possible for a giant alien robot. Then Starscream ambushes him. Bumblebee’s only option is to run. He transforms into a wheeled vehicle (predefined secondary alt? no cars on this world) and races off bobbing and weaving through spires of rock while Starscream shoots for the kill.

SSAB: Kinnear meets with Jenson (IM road trip manager) and they discuss how to keep IM frozen, deal with the storm and navigate a new course. As they ready to leave, Nolan (Ghost One manager, him and Kinnear served in Black Ops together) stops Kinnear and reports word from Ghost One. They discuss how to handle the message.

Starscream returns to Ghost One after chasing off Bumblebee. He studies the vessel and after downloading everything, makes contact via a form of Instant Messenger. “Greetings, it is fortunate that I arrived when I did. The other creature you encountered would have surely destroyed you and your ship.” (Told you he was slick.)

On the Ark, the Autobots ready themselves for the coming Decepticons. Prime, Ironhide and Jazz leave the ship to do battle with Blackout, Bonecrusher and Frenzy. Hell breaks loose (read it, this combat is incredibly well written). The Decepticons call a retreat. When the Autobots board the Ark, they receive word from Bumblebee about his encounter with Starscream.

Bumblebee takes cover by some peculiar outcroppings only to find himself dragged down a sinkhole into a natural underground labyrinth. As he finds the direction out, he also finds that the planet is not entirely devoid of life.

At SSAB, Nolan gets the tech to send a message back to Ghost One: “Glad to hear you’re alive, try to keep it that way, we’re working on a way to get you home”. To all their surprise, they got a real time response. Ghost One and SSAB traded updates and bad news. Bottom line that Ghost One received was that they are on there own. That did not boost morale.

Starscream talks to the “Humans” and convinces them that he is good, Autobots are evil and Prime is the vilest killer in the universe. Also, if Ghost One would be so kind as to help him with destroying the Autobots, he will help them get back home. (Your boss told you you’re lost and as good as dead, how bad do you want to get home?)

Ratchet points out that they haven’t heard from Bumblebee since just before he fell down the hole. Prime decides to go find him while the others stay and defend the Ark if the Decepticons return. If things start to turn for the worse, take the Ark, ditch the Nemesis somewhere and come back for him and Bumblebee. Prime heads planet side.

Kinnear and Jenson talk business as they plow through the snowstorm taking IM to his new home. The roads are treacherous, iced and visibility is like 10 feet. So when the lead truck spins out, the entire convoy piles up and the mission is officially halted. Also Kinnear gets his femur pulverized in the wreck.

Bumblebee hides against a wall as these Giant (Bumblebee’s size and bigger) Leech /Snake /Worms (Buggers) come barreling into the chamber and more hell breaks loose.

Prime pretty much follows Bumblebee’s footsteps to the letter, including the sinkhole and reaching the chamber where he finds battle in progress. Prime and Bumblebee retreat to preserve their sparks from the impressively tough Buggers. System checks indicate that it won’t be easy to get out, not to mention that they can hear the Buggers regrouping. It sounds like there are more now.

The crew of Ghost One is at ends with each other over how to handle the fact that if they go home without the destruction of the evil Autobots, they would just be leaving a trail for them to make there way to earth. After much conversation, they decide to help Starscream hoping that when it’s safe, he will take them home.

Starscream receives word from the Nemesis that Prime is planet side. Starscream orders the Decepticons to take out the Ark while Prime is gone. He turns his attention to Ghost One and explains the situation to the crew. They offer to help and Starscream accepts and leads them to the sinkhole.

Kinnear is woken up by Jenson who gives him the bad news, IM’s storage unit is damaged and loosing its cool. They set up a base camp and are trying to get the vehicles operational again.

Barricade brings the Nemesis to bear and the other Decepticons launch for their assault on the Ark. The Autobots are preparing, Ratchet stays behind to run the Ark (he has a little Wheeljack in him) while Ironhide and Jazz launch to face off with the Decepticons.

(Note: It is clarified that both the Ark and the Nemesis are purposely designed as weak attack vessels because the Cybertronians are far more powerful and efficient fighting bot to bot. In Fact, as best I can tell, the only reason they need the ships is for repairs and traveling through wormholes.)

Kinnear awakes yet again to find himself in a med tent and finds out that the lead driver is missing, as the search order is given, the driver is drug in half frozen. He’s Russian and he has alerted his comrades it is time to collect their prize. Instead of killing him, Kinnear strips him to his skivvies and has him placed in another tent. Fears of IM waking are beginning to manifest as reports of heat signatures and twitchy fingers come in. Kinnear’s clearly dying at this point.

Prime and Bumblebee find a way out but Starscream is waiting. They BS for a minute when Prime had enough he grabbed Bumblebee, hit his thrusters and raced through the opening towards Starscream. Starscream and Ghost One opened fire on Prime who pulled a 180 and went back underground. Starscream collapsed the opening on top of them.

Nolan at SSAB receives a call from “Old Man” who informs him that there has been an incident with the convoy. He was told to take the Rangers training there with and go fix the problem. Nolan was reluctant but set it up. He left a desk jockey in charge to find a way to get Ghost One back.

Ghost One is following Starscream after having taken out Prime and Bumblebee. They fake a malfunction to buy some time to talk about what just happened. Starscream buys the malfunction story (both Autobots and Decepticons couldn’t help but talk bad about how terribly primitive this vessel was) and anxiously waits. The crew discusses how weird it was that this most terrible of beings chose to speak with Starscream instead of fighting. Not to mention that he didn’t fire on any of them. They lie to Starscream and say they are going to be out of commission for a while. Starscream tells them that he will be back after he helps destroy the Ark. After he leaves, Ghost One tries to run when the Ship gets stuck in a sinkhole and before long they find themselves buried in a tin tomb on the ass end of the galaxy. Also, they’re not alone down there.

Prime and Bumblebee ducked from chamber to chamber trying to avoid another confrontation with the Buggers. In the next chamber, the more injured Prime pulls the less injured Bumblebee behind him and articulates his weapon in a stand off with Ghost One. This act eventually convinces the crew that Starscream twisted the truth and they lowered their weapon. Prime followed suit and Bumblebee initiated contact. They make friends and tell Prime that IM/Megs is on Earth. Prime must warn Earth of the danger it is in.

At SSAB, Nolan and his artic rangers prepared to leave to find Kinnear’s convoy. Nolan defends his current shape to the lead ranger and talk about “Old Man”.

In Orbit, Jazz’s plan wasn’t working out as well as he and Ironhide hoped (This battle sequence was very cool). Jazz is messed up real good and then Starscream shows up to knock the scales of the table. Not looking pleasant.

Prime finds a weak spot that can be blown open to allow for them to escape. Then the Buggers attack and screw up the plans. Prime gets a complex idea that can not only open a door and not kill the Humans, but take out the Buggers as well. With Bumblebee and Ghost One clear, Prime’s escape is delayed when he is caught by a hidden Bugger.

Kinnear wakes up and demands a stimulant, can’t lead if he’s asleep. As Kinnear ‘wakes up’, the Russians attack. Kinnear orders a perimeter and IM cannot be taken. They also begin to start firing the flares. Nolan and the Rangers see a flare in the distance.

Jazz and Ironhide have been successful at staying alive with Ratchet at the turrets, but Starscream, Bonecrusher, Blackout and Frenzy have a very large advantage. As the Autobots near the Ark, the Decepticons slow pursuit to avoid the turrets. That’s when Jazz and Ironhide made a mad dash for the Ark. Once behind the shields, they argue whether to follow orders and split or to stay and wait for Prime.

Starscream insists on finishing the Autobots before they escape, but the others won’t hear it. They want to know what is the deal with Ghost One (Starscream hasn’t told them a thing, in fact he’s been avoiding the subject). Starscream swears that if the Ark gets away he’ll take them all out. Blackout tells him that Scorponok is onboard already, destroying their engines. Blackout now demands to know about how Prime and Bumblebee died. Starscream says their dead because he says so. It’s on! Blackout opens fire on Starscream and a brawl ensues (I just realized Brawl wasn’t in the book, hmm). The other Decepticons just watch the fun.

At SSAB, that desk jockey calls up Ghost One to tell them that they are ordered to stay there if there is any chance for IM’s friends to find a way to Earth. The crew talks seriously about what has happened and decide that if they are going to die out here, they are going to do it as heroes. Prime reluctantly accepted their assistance after they explained their new situation.

As they made Orbit, they found the Decepticons infighting. Prime called everyone out of the Ark for the final showdown before they lose their advantage.

Jenson sees Kinnear and informs him that the perimeter is falling and the IM re-freezing has pretty much stopped. Then gunfire rang out, it was the rangers. Relieved, Kinnear gives Jenson his seal of approval as he heads out to defend the IM. Kinnear is next visited by the Russian Driver with a nasty knife. Kinnear, not being able to walk, is having a bad day. Nolan and his rangers arrive at the outskirts of the battleground. The rangers deploy on foot and Nolan drives the Sno-Cat.

Starscream and Blackout go at it pretty rough until Starscream all but kills Blackout. Having asserted himself as unquestionable, he sends Bonecrusher to take the remains to the Nemesis with Barricade while he and the others go to finish off the Ark. Before they could move, Barricade warns them of the approaching Prime, Bumblebee and Ghost One. Thought they were all dead, Starscream?

Kinnear was dying and crippled, the Russian was frost bitten and sick. A cripple fight is the best analogy here. The Russian pierced one of Kinnear’s lungs before he was slit ear to ear. As Kinnear laid there ready to die, he heard tearing metal and loud thumping from where the convoy’s direction. Nolan comes rolling up in time to see IM swaying on his feet, so he ‘ghost rides’ the Sno-Cat into IM, knocking him into an exploding truck which bounces him a little bit. Nolan looks to see that Kinnear has dragged his ass out into the battle to help with the IM. He was all that mattered now.

Aboard Ghost One, desk jockey tells the crew that their wormhole is still open, barely. They should come home regardless of the order to stay away. Conflicts flare between just going home and making sure home is safe. The Capt. puts an end to it all by ordering that they all stay and do what is right. They call SSAB and declare their intentions and sign off. Attack positions people.

How does the final battle end?
What happens to Ghost One?
How do they get the “Ice Man” back under control?
Do you get to hear the ‘squishy’ sound?
What goes down between the Decepticons and Starscream?
Did Scorponok complete his mission?
Do Kinnear and Nolan have a Brokeback Mountain moment on the artic tundra?

The last answer is NO.
I'll answer any questions EXCEPT those listed above.
For the rest, GET THIS BOOK!

The Transformers Vs. The Gobots

Transformers News: The Transformers Vs. The Gobots
Date: Tuesday, March 20th 2007 7:14pm CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Hotrod | Credit(s): Hotrod

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Views: 151,821

It has been awhile since we have posted a new article. Well, the wait is over! Our next article comes to you courtesy of staff member Hotrod. In this article Hotrod takes a look back at the early 1980's when both Transformers were competing with another brand of transforming robot, Gobots. Here is Hotrod's article The Transformers Vs. The Gobots:

The Transformers Vs. The Gobots

During the mid to late 1980's there was a war taking place. It was not just a war between Autobots and Decepticons, or Guardians and Renegades. It was a war between Transformers and Gobots. The war was a struggle for fans and ultimately survival. When the dust finally settled there was a clear victor in the contest. As a result of the war Transformers and Gobots have been forever linked to each others history. The conflict has had a lasting impact on today's Transformers fans. Gobots receive a very mixed reaction from the Transformers fandom. Some Transformers fans cringe at the mention of Gobots, because they hate them for some reason. Other fans are indifferent towards Gobots. There is still another group of fans who for some reason or another like something about Gobots. This article will look back at the beginning of the war, how it ended, and the lasting impact the battle had on the Transformers franchise.

The Staging Game Begins

Both Hasbro and Tonka were two of the biggest toy companies in the United States during the 1980's. Both were constantly competing in the market with one another to get parents to buy their products for children. Tonka was popular for their toy trucks and construction vehicles. Hasbro was known for a wide range of games and toys, mainly G.I. Joe. The competition would come to a head in 1984, when both companies released products that on the surface were very similar to one another, robots that could change into something else.

The beginning of the Transformers goes further back then 1984. The idea of Transforming robots was nothing new to Hasbro. Hasbro had already formed a partnership with Japanese toy maker Takara in 1969, when Hasbro, then known as Hassenfeld Brothers was looking to expand into Japan. The two companies worked together to create the Microman line based on Hassenfeld Brothers' G.I. Joe figures. In order to appeal to the Japanese market Stephen Hassenfeld developed a different type of G.I. Joe figure that looked more like a cyborg. Thus, the Microman line was born. However, the two companies were not done working with each other.

Under the direction of Stephen Hassenfeld, Hassenfeld Brothers began working on scaled accessories for either the Microman or G.I. Joe line that could turn into robots. In 1974 the company received the first patent for first transforming toy figure. This toy would later be released as Megatron. In 1981 both Takara and Hassenfeld Brothers would put the patent to use.

Takara decide to reset the Microman line and reintroduce the line as New Microman. It did not stop there. Both Hassenfeld Brothers and Takara decided to combine this line with the transforming accessories Hassenfeld had developed. The result was yet another line named Micro Change. This was just the beginning, because Takara was about to take the Micro Change line a few more steps forward.

In 1983 Takara took the idea of transforming robots to new levels with their Micro Change series. They began to produce robots that could turn into normal everyday objects. Also in 1983 Takara began to market a series of robots that turned into various vehicles know as Diaclone. They would market this line in the United States under the name Diakron. This line was never marketed to the mainstream so it did not enjoy the success of most mainstream toy liens, but it did prove to be successful.

Hassenfeld Brothers, now Hasbro, had been watching Takara's success. Beginning in 1982 the company started to recapture all of the designs, concepts, and works. Hasbro also decided to license parts of the Micro Change and Diaclone lines from Takara and market the two series under one name, Transformers. The Hasbro contacted Griffin-Bacal Advertising Company to help come up with ideas for the new toy line. In 1983 Bob Budianski was brought in to flesh the idea out more and give life to the Concept of Transformers. By 1983 the pre-production of both the Transformers toys and cartoon was underway.

In 1982 Bandai, a Japanese toy company began producing a toy line of transforming robots called Machine Robo. Machine Robo enjoyed moderate success in Japan, and this caught the attention of executives at Tonka. Tonka had by this time heard the news about what was happening at Hasbro. After seeing the results of the Diakron line Tonka officials realized that there was a place in the United States market for transforming robots. So, Tonka entered a partnership with Bandai to bring Bandai's Machine Robo toys to North America. The agreement between Tonka and Bandai allowed Tonka to import the toys to the United States. Tonka changed the name of the toy line to the Gobots. In order to fill the line out for the U.S. market, Tonka created a few of their own toys to be part of the Gobot line. These toys were the Command Center, Thruster, and Zod.

War Breaks Out At Retail Stores

Tonka may have entered the planning phases later then Hasbro, but it was able to beat Hasbro to store shelves. Tonka began to distribute Gobots to retail stores in the United States in 1984. Gobots were released five months before the first Transformers hit the shelves. It seemed like Gobots had an advantage by being the first to the market. However, when Hasbro released Transformers whatever advantage Tonka had was soon gone.

The idea of transforming robots was almost an immediate hit with children, males in particular. Initial sales of both Gobots and Transformers were good. Neither company had a clear advantage early on, sales were about equal. In order for one of the companies to take the lead in the market they would have to address the problem of educating parents and children if they wanted to maximize profits and take the lead. Since both lines were on store shelves at the same time parents were easily confused at first when they went to the toy aisle at their favorite store. To many parents Transformers and Gobots were easily confused with one another. In their minds both were the same because they all were transforming robots. The first company to distinguish their brand as superior would be able to win the battle at retail stores.

Hasbro was smart enough to address the situation. They added faction symbols to their products from the beginning. As time passed parents and their children could recognize Transformers based on the Autobot and Decepticon logos alone. Children and parents alike could tell weather they were buying a heroic Autobot or evil Decepticon. Tonka never added faction symbols to their figures. As a result it was often confusing to kids and their parents as to whether they were getting a good Gobot, a Guardian, or a bad Gobot, a Renegade. After the confusion subsided Transformers sales began to out pace the sales of Gobots. Transformers were clearly becoming the toy of choice.

Another thing that began to hinder the success of Gobots was while Tonka was selling Gobots in the United States, Bandai continued to sell its Machine Robo line in Japan unaltered by the changes Tonka made. There was no continuity between the two companies. Takara on the other hand took a different approach. After seeing the success Hasbro was having with Transformers, Takara would bring the Transformers brand to Japan in 1985 and stop the production of their Micro Change and Diaclone lines. This meant that now both companies would work together on the same toy line to ensure the success of Transformers. This helped make Transformers a world wide brand, where as Gobots was more of a regional brand that, was not challenging the Transformers outside of the United States for the most part.

Though the sales of Gobots were high in 1984 and early 1985 the line was in trouble. Transformers were taking the lead in sales by larger margins each year. In 1986 it was clear that the Transformers were winning out at retail stores. By 1987 Gobot sales dropped dramatically.

The War gets Televised!

In September of 1984 both the Transformers and Gobots would get their own animated television shows. The reason behind this was simple. Each company wanted to advertise their product and what better way to do so then through a thirty minute cartoon aimed at their targeted audience, children.

Tonka turned to Hanna-Barbera to bring the Gobots to life. At the time Hanna-Barbera was one of the most popular animation studios in the United States, though many would argue the studio was in decline at the time. The Gobot cartoon would be named Challenge of the Gobots. The Challenge of the Gobots was the first of the two shows to reach to the airwaves. The first episode aired on September 8, 1984. Once again Tonka would not work with Bandai in this endeavor.

Bandai would go in a different direction. Machine Robo would not have a cartoon until July 3, 1986. The series was produced by Ashi Production. The series was called Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos. This series ended on May 28, 1987. However, from 1988-1990 there were direct to video releases of the series. 1987 also marked the beginning of the second Machine Robo series, Machine Robo: Battle Hackers. The latest edition in the series is Machine Robo Rescue.

Not to be out done Hasbro also decided to create an animated series. They turned to an old partner who had helped them in the past, Marvel Comics. Marvel started to work on the Transformers cartoon with the help of the production company Sunbow, which was run by both Hasbro and Sony though Sony owned the company under the name Sony Wonder. Griffin-Bacal Advertising ran the media aspects of Sunbow. The first episode of Transformers would air nine days after the first episode of Challenge of the Gobots. Episode one of Transformers aired on September 17, 1984. Unlike Tonka and Bandai, Hasbro and Takara would share the cartoon and have it broadcast in both the United States and Japan. Initially Hasbro was on its own with the new cartoon, but after Hasbro started to enjoy success Takara had the series imported to Japan and continued to back it. In fact as many fans know Generation 1 continued on in Japan long after it had reached its conclusion in the United States.

Both shows tried to get some of the best voice actors available. There were voice actors who worked on both Challenge of the Gobots and Transformers. Two of these actors are popular with Transformers fans today. They are Peter Cullen and Frank Welker. Many Transformers know Cullen as the voice behind Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Wingspan, and others. Welker is known for doing the voices of Galvatron, Megatron, Mirage, Trailbreaker, Teletraan 2 and many others. Both actors also did a number of voices for Challenge of the Gobots. Cullen did voice acting for Spoiler, Tank, and Pincher. While Welker did the voices for Scooter, Zeemon, and Rest-Q.

Transformers would prove to be the better of the two series. Gobots lasted for sixty-six episodes, while the first Transformers series would span ninety-eight, thirty-two more then Gobots in the U.S. alone with many more episodes in Japan (Headmasters, Masterforce, and Victory). There were many reasons behind this. The first is simply many considered Gobots to be campier then Transformers. The writing and animation on Transformers was for the most part better then Gobots. Also the split between Tonka and Bandai over producing a cartoon also did not help. Instead of building a world wide audience both seemed to be after a regional audiences. Hasbro and Takara on the other hand were able to get a world wide audience by working together. This helped to increase the popularity of Transformers.

The War Expands Into Other Areas of MarketingTransformers #1 Marvel Comics

Hasbro and Tonka advertised their products on almost everything imaginable. Transformers and Gobots appeared on everything from plastic plates, birthday invitations, and bed sheets. Each brand even appeared in children's books. There seemed to be no limit to where Transformers and Gobots could be found. Hasbro, however, would turn to another marketing medium that the Tonka did not.

Hasbro wanted to bring the Transformers into the world of comic books so they signed a deal with Marvel Comics to produce a Transformers comic book. Marvel was one of the most popular comic book companies. Marvel was involved with Transformers from the very beginning. The first issue of Transformers was released in September of 1984, about the same time as the cartoon began to air in the United States. The Transformers comic was set originally to only run for four issues, however, due to early success it would last for eighty issues. The success of the comic would help spread the popularity of Transformers. Transformers were now able to reach people who read comic books but may or may not have watched the cartoon.

The War Erupts on the Big Screen!

Hasbro and Tonka decided to make movies of their properties. Both would in be released theaters. In the summer of 1986 the Gobots would battle the Transformers for box office superiority.

Gobots were the first to grace the silver screen. The Gobot movie was titled Gobots: War of the Rock Lords. Tonka would use the movie to introduce the Rock Lords as a spin off of Gobots. In order to try to ensure box office success Tonka and Hanna-Barbera would look to add well know celebrity voices to the movie cast. They brought in Roddy McDowell, who had done a number of movies before taking the role as Nuggit in the Gobot movie. McDowell had roles in a number of Planet of the Apes movies, The Poseidon Adventure, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Cleopatra, and many other films. They also brought in Telly Savalas and Margot Kidder. Telly Savalas was a very popular actor at the time. He played Kojack in the Kojack television series. In Gobots: War of the Rock Lords, Savalas would do the voice for Magmar. Margot Kidder was a very popular actress at the time. She was best known at the time for her role as Lois Lane in the Superman movies. Kidder was cast as Solitaire in Gobots: War of the Rock Lords. Gobots: War of the Rock Lords was released on March 21, 1986.

Hasbro also enlisted the aid of popular Hollywood actors to voice act for their movie, Transformers: The Movie. Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, and Orson Welles all provided their vocal talents to Transformers: The Movie. Judd Nelson had previously had parts in Moonlighting, St. Elmo's Fire, The Breakfast Club, and other films. In the Transformers movie Nelson would be the voice behind the main character Hot Rod (and Rodimus Prime). Leonard Nimoy was another popular actor at the time Transformers: The Movie went in production. He was best known for his role as Spock in both the Star Trek movies and T.V. series. In the Transformers movie, Nimoy voiced the part of Galvatron. Robert Stack had a long career in Hollywood long before Transformers: The Movie. He was known for his roles in Uncommon Valor, Airplane!, Most Wanted, The Untouchables Parts 1 and 2. His credits also included many other movies and television series. Stacked filled the role of Ultra Magnus in the Transformers Movie. Orson Welles provided the voice of Unicron in the movie. Prior to his work on Transformers, a few of Welles credits were A Man of All Seasons, House of Card, London, and Waterloo. Sadly Welles died of a heart attack before production on Transformers: The Movie ended. On August 8, 1986, a little over four months after the release of Gobots: War of the Rock Lords, Transformers: The Movie was released on the big screen.

Even though it was released later, Transformers: The Movie won out at the box office. In its opening weekend, the movie pulled in over $1,779,559 with an overall gross of $5,849,647. Gobots: War of the Rock Lords only made $531,905 on its opening weekend and made a total of $1,338,264, which was less then Transformers: The Movie made on its opening weekend. To add insult to injury the Gobot movie had a slightly wider release then the Transformers movie. Gobots: War of the Rock Lords was released at 1,045 theaters across the United States. Transformers: The Movie was only released at 990 theaters.

The End of the Road

After being beaten at the box office and at retail stores, Tonka decided to shake things up a little. Tonka decided to release a spin off line call Rock Lords. In their minds this made perfect since they had introduced the Rock Lords in the Gobots movie. So later in 1986 Tonka released Rock Lords which had the slogan Powerful Living Rocks! This line would be a disappointment. It only lasted for three waves of figures, and many planned figures were never released.

Sales on Gobots continued to fall in 1986 and early 1987. The failure of the Rock Lords line did not help matters either. Tonka decided to cut their losses and ended both Gobots and Rock Lords. In 1987 the Gobot line was discontinued, leaving the Dread Launchers as the last Gobots ever released.

The Aftermath

Tonka would be bought out by Hasbro in 1991. This ended the war between Gobots and Transformers. However, it did not completely mark the end of Gobots. Ironically, Hasbro would use the name Gobots in the Transformers line and produce another line transforming robots aimed at younger children that would be called Gobots. It can be argued as to whether this was done out of spite or as a homage.

The first time the name Gobots appeared in the Transformers line was in 1993. A figure named Gobots was released as part of the Generation 2, G2, line. In 1995 Hasbro released a group of Transformers in the G2 line called Go-Bots. Go-Bots were small cars that were simple to transform. The molds used for Go-Bots would later be used as the Spy Changers.

Hasbro and Takara have used the names of Gobot characters as names for Transformers. One example of this was in 2002 when Hasbro released the Transformers Armada line. One of the mini-cons was named after the Gobot leader, Leader-1. Another example occurred in 2004 when Takara release E-Hobby repaints of their mini-bot reissues, Transformers Collection 12. The mini-bots in the set were suppose to have used the names of some of the Gobots who looked similar to them. Renegades were made into Decepticons and Guardians were changed to Autobots. However, due to legal issues the toys were numbered but never officially named. Here is the list of the six repaints with their intended names:

Bumblebee repainted as Bug Bite, a Decepticon
Cosmos repainted as Pathfinder, an Autobot
Huffer repainted as Road Ranger, an Autobot
Gears repainted as Small Foot, an Autobot
Powerglide repainted as Bad Boy, a Decepticon
Warpath repainted as Treads, a Decepticon

Gobots have even made cameo appearances in Transformers comic books. When Dreamwave had the license to producing Transformers comics, they would put Gobots in some of the panels. One of the Gobots that was used most often was Cykill. A few of Cykill's cameos were in Armada #16, War Within #2, and Transformers: Generation #10. Other Gobots also had brief cameos as well.

Hasbro also released another line of toys using the name Gobots. Hasbro made the decision to combine their Playskool brand with the Gobots name. The result was Playskool Gobots. Playskool Gobots were Transformers aimed at younger children.

The End?

The war between the Transformers and Gobots is over. Hasbro has seen fit to use the name Gobots, images of Gobots, and former Gobot names time after time. Who knows when or how Hasbro will use the Gobots next. One thing is for certain, Transformers won the war in the 80's and continue to survive today. Also Gobots may be gone, at least in the same sense as they were in the 80's, but they are not forgotten. They have made a lasting impact on Transformers. In some ways perhaps Transformers fans should thank Tonka for the Gobots. If they never would have challenged Hasbro who knows how hard Hasbro would have pushed Transformers. One thing is for certain the competition from Tonka forced Hasbro to put their best effort forward.

Special Thanks:
I would like to give a special thanks to Raymond T., for all of his help with this article. Thanks you Raymond T. for all of your input and countless edits!

List of sources

Talking Transformers Movie Novels with Alan Dean Foster

Transformers News: Talking Transformers Movie Novels with Alan Dean Foster
Date: Thursday, March 15th 2007 10:38pm CDT
Categories: Site News, Movie Related News, Site Articles, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Hotrod | Credit(s): Hotrod and Alan Dean Foster

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Views: 26,569

Alan Dean Foster has written countless novels, short stories, essays, and reviews. Fans may know Mr. Foster best for his Star Wars books. Now Alan Dean Foster has written two novels for the Transformers Movie. He was kind enough to talk to Hotrod about his recent endeavors in an exclusive interview. Presents Shopping for Transformers in DenDen (Electric City) Japan.

Transformers News: Presents Shopping for Transformers in DenDen (Electric City) Japan.
Date: Wednesday, February 21st 2007 4:34am CST
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Air Commander Starscream | Credit(s): Stormrider

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Views: 31,587 is always trying to bring its viewers new information on the Transformers genre through various different site articles. In the past we have touched on the story of Sunstorm to the comparison of Transformers with Gobots. But this time our very own Stormrider has been working on a way to bring us a interesting glimpse into a different cultural side of Transformers that many of us are not aware of. He has been working on a article for Seibertron over the past 3 weeks that involves shopping in Osaka Japan for Transformers. The place in which this article is written about is DenDen which is also known as "Electric City".

Tranformer Guide
DenDen (Electric City)

-Stormrider, 2007

Where to find Transformers in Japan?
A common misconception about Japan is that the streets are lined with toy stores selling every kind of Transformer imaginable. Their doors brim over with hundreds of new and vintage Transformers, beckoning Transfans to feast their eyes on long lost and truly hard to find figures.

Sadly, these “golden” streets do not exist, but there is one place that comes very close DenDen (Osaka, Japan). I made a recent trip to DenDen and I was impressed with the number of hobby shops carrying Transformers. In fact, the quantity and diversity of Transformers blew me away (even more so than Akihabara). It took me two days to visit all the hobby shops in the area to determine, which ones were the best. I’ve compiled a map to make your transformer hunting there as easy as possible.

Very few foreigners know about DenDen. Most Transfans usually head straight for Tokyo in search of a couple Transformers they’ve been dying to get. However, if you are going through Osaka, it is well worth it to make a stop in DenDen.

DenDen, which is also known as “Electric City”, began the same way as Akihabara; both places started off selling surplus army goods after WWII and quickly became “Mecca’s” for cheap electronic goods and appliances. Where they differ is that Akihabara has developed into a computer district with hobby shops as a side component; DenDen on the other hand is splitting its attention equally between hobby shops and electronic goods. In addition, the word on the street is that DenDen will see even more hobby shop growth in the near future.

Hobby Shop Types
Hobby shops tend to specialize in particular goods such as: Action figures, Dolls, RC Cars, Trains, Collectables, Cards, Mangas, Vintage Video Games, Robot figures, and Models. Knowing the hobby shop type really helps.

Osaka is the third largest city, and usually people stop through for a day or two when they visit Japan. The city is divided into two parts (Kita – which means north) and (Minami – which means south). (Shinkansen passengers arrive in the Kita district, but a short subway ride will bring you to Minami).
• DenDen is near Namba Station, which is in Minami.
• Most of the hobby shops are concentrated on the Sakai Suji Dori (Ave), which is about a 15 minute walk from Namba Station.

I have grouped the hobby shops into three categories:

(TF) - These hobby shops carry the most recent Transformers.
(TF) - These hobby shops carry vintage Transformers. The figures range from MISB, MIB, to Loose.
(TF) - These hobby shops showcase clear Plexiglas containers, called “capsules” or “treasure boxes”. Renters then fill the containers with collectable toys that they wish to sell. You never know what you will come across (it’s hit or miss). Keep your fingers crossed for ultra rare figures.

*Map to be added soon after a few bugs are worked out*

Best Stores
There are many places to visit in DenDen, but some stand far above others when it comes to TF. (Unfortunately, I was not permitted to take photos inside the stores, so I will describe them). - This store has two floors devoted to new and vintage transformers. The vintage Transformers are MISB, MIB, and loose. It is the largest TF store, I have ever seen. (See photo of outside of store). They had the following:
• Complete collection of TFC (MISB)
• A plethora of MISB reissues including – Megatron Special Black Edition (S-16)
• Dozens of eHobby Exclusives
• A huge selection of G1’s: “Goodbye Megatron”, “Goodbye Optimus Prime”, Soundwave w/ headphones; Reflector (MIB)
• Giftsets - Aerialbots Giftset; Combaticons Giftset; Stunticon Giftset; Technobots Giftset;
• Several locked cases with their rarest TF, Diaclones, and lucky draws.
• Transformer merchandise – Shirts, clocks, videos, etc.

Mandarake – This chain store started off selling Mangas, but it has quickly become a vintage toy store favorite. The TF range from MISB, MIB, Loose. (See photo for the outside of the store).
• Great place for BT, TFC, BW, Galaxy, RID
• They also have several locked cases for rare TFs, Diaclones, and other goodies.
• Many hard to find G1’s in MIB
• Giftsets: Predaking Giftset; Protectobots Giftset; Raiden Giftset; Seacon Giftset; Terrcons Giftset
• There is another Mandarake in Kita district. It’s TF selection is not as large. (Email me if you need directions.)

So if you are planning to come to Japan, make sure to include a stop in Osaka for some great Transformer shopping. *Please note that Japanese stores can change locations suddenly (usually they move down the street).

Seibertron's review of the Transformers Movie sneak peek event

Transformers News: Seibertron's review of the Transformers Movie sneak peek event
Date: Monday, February 19th 2007 9:26pm CST
Categories: Site News, Movie Related News, Reviews, Site Articles, Collector's Club News
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 290,259

Written by Ryan Yzquierdo
February 13th, 2007

Ok, where to begin? As many of you know, I've been a pretty big naysayer about a variety of issues regarding the upcoming Transformers Movie. Most of my concerns have revolved around the designs of the robots. While I still think the look of Megatron and Starscream is pretty bad, other characters such as Blackout, Barricade and Bumblebee are saving my overall opinion. The leaked script that I read during August 2006 is actually a big part of what started to turn me around about the movie. While I think it's great that Transformers "transform", I've always been more interested in the story behind the Autobots and the Decepticons. I found the script interesting, entertaining, compelling, emotional and true to an alien invasion of Transformers robots coming to Earth. While I found the script up to par, I still had my reservations about the movie.

Until tonight.

Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

Event Introduction

Let me rewind by about 6 hours. Tonight was the big event that truly brought me from Chicago to a fun-filled weekend in New York that just happened to intentionally coincide with Toy Fair 2007. The event was located at the Walter Reade Theatre on 165 W 65th St in New York city, on the northside of Manhattan and east of Central Park (near WABC's studios). The doors to the event opened at 5:45.

Movie Preview InvitationMovie Preview Invitation

Upon entrance to the event, I had begun to immediately feel underdressed in my black pants and button up shirt. It had become obvious very quickly that the event wasn't designed to cater to guys who run major Transformers fan websites. Regardless that I was missing the attire that most were wearing, I quickly saw some familiar faces from Hasbro, Hunter PR and, of course, several key people within the Transformers hobby.

The walls of the front rooms to the theatre were decorated with various Transformers Movie posters, most of which prominently featured the Autobot and Decepticon symbols. The cardboard cutouts of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee were near the place where we checked in our coats. The 4 primary products featured at Toy Fair (Optimus Prime helmet, arm blaster, Leader class figure and Ultimate Bumblebee) were also on display. I expressed to Aaron Archer that I thought the Bumblebee figure was excellent. He seemed to be really proud of the figure. I got the same sense from Brian Goldner during a brief conversation with him at Hasbro's Toy Fair event this past Saturday.

The staff of theatre people operating the theatre were all dressed in black Autobot and Decepticon t-shirts. It was pretty cool to see all of these people wearing Transformers shirts ... and we weren't even at a BotCon or comic book convention. The staff of people handing out drinks had black Autobot and Decepticon napkins which several of us kept as souveniers.

Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

After a few drinks, we started moving into the theatre to view the presentation. I sat next to Tony Bacala ( and Rick Alvarez, one row above Brian Savage and one row below Kevin and Jason Lukis ( Ben Yee ( was there also but I'm not sure where he sat at the event. I'm assuming that most of the people who were in the theatre were executives of various companies or worked for Hasbro, Hunter PR, Paramount, Dreamworks or various retail chains (the CEO of Toys R Us was apparently there).

Brian Goldner (Hasbro - CEO) took the stage once everyone was in the theatre. He made several comments about the Transformers franchise before making some introductions. I missed the name of one of the people who were on the stage. Tom DeSanto was present, but not on the stage. Brian Goldner was joined by Adam Goodman (Dreamworks), Wayne (didn't catch his last name) and, of course, Michael Bay (Director). Here are some of the things that were said about the Transformers Movie prior to playing the 4 different scenes:

Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

  • This movie will be "Revolutionary" in the same sense of the Matrix trilogy starring Keanu Reeves from Warner Brothers.
  • I wrote down in my notes: "Robots in Disguise". If I recall correctly, Brian Goldner was talking about how the movie really plays up the aspect of the Transformers being "robots in disguise." While this might not seem like an important part to some of you, it really is the key idea behind the Transformers. The ability to infiltrate society as everyday objects, cars and planes is what makes the Transformers so unique.
  • [You will be] blown away.
  • Transformers is a 3 billion dollar brand behind Star Wars and G.I.Joe. I was surprised to hear that Transformers makes less money than G.I.Joe but this might have something to do with Hasbro's brand sharing with Takara Tomy.
  • The Transformers Movie is one of the few original franchise flicks that will be released in 2007. Mentioned other franchise films such as Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man and several others.
  • For Dreamworks, this movie will be bigger than War of the Worlds and Mission Impossible 3 (both movies starred Tom Cruise). The Transformers Movie will be a worldwide event.
  • Shia Lebeouf (Sam Witwicky) was compared to a "young Tom Hanks".
  • The scenes that were previewed were "most ready to show but not finished." This meant that there was temporary sound, music and animation still in place in the scenes that we saw.
  • Mentioned that this movie harkens back to the fun days of Steven Spielberg's Back To The Future and other Amblien movies from the 1980s.
  • Really stressed that Steven Spielberg is a really big fan of the Transformers and was familiar with the comics and toys from when his kids were into the Transformers during the 80s. For those of you who saw Spielberg's message on the website about 1.5 to 2 years ago, it seemed like this was a rehash of things that Spielberg himself said in that video clip.
  • Michael Bay stated that this has been a really fun movie to work on. He really seemed to have enjoyed his time with this movie. He told us some about the origin of him getting involved with the movie. His initial reaction was that he didn't want to be involved with a toy movie to "how can I find out more about this franchise" in about 30 seconds.
  • I read in some of the existing reviews of this event that people quoted Bay as saying it took 38 hours to render 1 frame of film. I wrote in my notes that it was 38 hours to render 1 second of film. I don't know if I misheard or what, but that's what was in my notes. I'm sure we'll find out clarification at a later date.
  • I think it was Bay who said that the movie was "mind blowing." It was also said that the film was ILM's "heaviest digital effects ever." Considering their work on Star Wars, I find this hard to believe but after the full sophisticated transformation of Blackout, I could see how it was more complex than just rendering a shell of a ship (for example).

Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

Descriptions of Movie Scenes

There were a total of 4 scenes previewed at the event. If you do not want to read any spoilers, please do not read any futher. Here are my notes and thoughts on the scenes that were previewed:

  1. Qatar 1: Blackout Transforms and Attacks!
    • The tension that builds up to Blackout's transformation (not to mention my anticipation) was excellent. The execution of this entire scene was very well done.
    • I noticed the Hewlett Packard logo on a couple of products in this scene. Knowing how movies work these days, I'm sure this was NOT a coincidence. I think we can add Hewlett Packard (HP) to the list of official movies sponsors alongside Pepsi and Burger King.
    • Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
      Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

    • Josh Duhamel (Las Vegas) and Tyrese Gibson (Four Brothers, 2 Fast 2 Furious) were both prominently featured in this scene. Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break, Mr 3000) was also in this scene. It was a running joke during his scenes that he was always speaking Spanish.
    • Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) speaks with his wife over a video phone. His wife recently had a baby during Duhamel's tour of duty. There's some fun cutesy comments shared between the couple. I'm assuming the video connection was lost during the couple's conversation thanks to Blackout's EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) deployment.
    • During Blackout's transformation, the original transformation was used briefly during one part of his transformation. I am assuming this is one of the temporary sounds that were mentioned in the introduction. It sounded out of place and much louder than the other transformation sounds. As much as I love the old school transofrmation sound, I would prefer it to be more realistic ... kind of like a cross between the "whirring" sound from Beast Wars when the Maximals and Predacons transformed. The actual sound of the transformation that was used throughout the rest of Blackout's transformation sounded more like I would expect: metal moving against metal, parts moving and shifting.
    • Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
      Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

    • Blackout's transformation was more complex than I would have imagined. This was a big area of concern for me originally. I was worried that the robots were going to have parts that "morphed." I was reassured by seeing an actual Blackout truly "transform" from a helicopter to a robot. I couldn't believe the complexity of his transformation on screen. It was unbelievable and much longer than I was expecting. If I recall correctly, Blackout is the first Transformer to transform in the movie. It was everything I could have hoped to see a helicopter transform for the first time on the big screen. It was absolutely amazing and even gave me chills while I saw this incredible event happen.
    • When Scorponok "ejected" from Blackout's helicopter mode, there was a round of applause.
  2. Sam's "first" encounter with Mikeala
    • Sam is being ridiculed by Mikeala's (Megan Fox) boyfriend, who is a Football jock, and his friends.
    • Bumblebee is the 1974 Camaro at this point in the movie.
    • There's an air freshener in the shape of a cartoonish bee hanging from Bumblebee's rear view mirror. The air freshener says "Bee-Otch" underneath the image of the bee. The crowd chuckled/laughed during this scene.
    • Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
      Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

    • Mikeala's boyfriend comes across as the stereotypical tool of a Football jock. He kind of reminded me of a modern "Biff" from the first Back to the Future.
    • Sam or his friend said "Bros before hoes." while Sam's buddy was getting kicked out of the car in favor of the opportunity to take Mikeala home.
    • Bumblebee breaks down near this make-out place where couples park their car. I believe the spot overlooks a cliff or something like that.
    • Mikeala and Sam get out of the car to look at Bumblebee's engine. Mikeala starts speaking car talk with Sam who tries to follow the conversation. It's obvious that she knows more about cars than he does. She comments on how her boyfriend is intimidated by her knowledge of cars.
    • Mikeala determines that she can't fix the car, so she starts to walk away saying something like "she can walk home faster than this.". Bumblebee's engine magically roars to life after a plea from Sam. "Baby Come Back" starts playing on the radio. Everyone in the crowd laughed. I think general audiences will really enjoy the music references from the mute Bumblebee. It's a clever plot device that I think will bring about an enjoyable light-hearted feeling to many people. The use of classic songs from the 70s and 80s that most people are familiar with will also be key to everyone's enjoyment of the movie.
  3. Sam and Mikeala at the Witwickys' house
    • I believe all 5 Autobots were in this scene (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Ironhide and Jazz) who took Spike (Sam, yes, his name is "Sam" in this movie. I hope he becomes codenamed "Spike" at some point.) and Mikeala to the Witwickys' house.
    • Sam was looking for his grandfather's glasses (Archibald Witwicky is his grandfather's name) which have the code from the AllSpark encoded onto the glasses if I remember the script correctly.
    • Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
      Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

    • While Sam was desperately searching his room for the pair of glasses, Optimus Prime lifts Mikeala up to Sam's window with the palm of his hand.
    • Sam tells Mikeala that he can't find the glasses. They argue back and forth about who should go tell the alien robots that they can't find what they're looking for.
    • Optimus Prime does have a mouth in this scene. While I can't really remember what his mouth looked like in this scene, it reminded me of a really detailed version of Masterpiece Convoy / Optimus Prime's mouth when you removed the toy's face shield. It was very alien looking just like the rest of the Transformers faces. It will take some time getting used to it though I imagine Optimus Prime will mostly have the face shield based on all of the marketing pieces that I've seen so far. I didn't really like it but I knew it was going to happen. It's better for live film (the same reason why Cybertron Optimus Prime and Beast Wars Optimus Primal had mouths.
    • There was only one line that I caught as sounding like Peter Cullen. It honestly sounded like a filler voice to me during the scene but everyone I asked about it said that it was indeed Cullen. Apparently, Cullen was talking quietly or whispering to keep quiet during this scene so that could be part of why it didn't sound like the Optimus Prime that I'm used to hearing. Generally, Optimus Prime is "commanding" the Autobots, which he definitely wasn't doing in this scene.
    • I especially liked the scene where Sam was attempting to keep the Autobots quiet. The mute Bumblebee acknowledged Sam's request by holding his index finger up to his face.
    • Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
      Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

    • It was pretty humorous when the Autobots transformed into car mode to "hide". This is a great example of the Autobots not always being able to pull off being "robots in disguise" which I appreciated as a fan. Sam commented on how transforming into car mode while still on the lawn wasn't "hiding". It was a pretty humorous scene that the audience seemed to genuinely enjoy.
    • The Autobots seemed very "real", which I guess is the main objective. This is one of the things that really seemed to gain my interest and trust in what the movie folks are doing with the Transformers property. If they can convince me, one of the most die-hard Transformers fans ever, then I think they've done their job regardless if I feel like the robots could've benefited from better designs in robot mode.
    • One of the Autobots almost step's on the Witwicky's Chihauhau. The dog retaliates by peeing on Ironhide's foot. The Autobot turns his weapon on the dog which causes Sam to flip out.
    • Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
      Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

    • Sector Seven, lead by John Turturro's character, arrives at the Witwicky's house who want to take Sam with them once they find out he's covered with "isotopes" (??? can't remember if that was the term used) from being around the Transformers. Determine he's had physical contact with them. Sam's father, Ron, tries to prevent them from taking Sam with them. From reading the script, I can tell you that Ron and his wife (can't remember her name offhand) were unsuccessful in their attempt.
    • Someone refers to the Witwicky's dog as a Taco Bell dog ... I think it was one of the Sector Seven guys.
    • Ratchet trips over some power lines while trying to leave the scene quietly so as not to alert Sector Seven. Ratchet's line that he says after falling was originally supposed to be a line Jazz says from the February 2006 script.
    • The Transformers seemed very real and despite some of their odd faces, they seemed to be able to express emotions just fine. Kudos to ILM for being able to pull that off with these designs.
  4. Qatar 2: Scorponok Attacks!
    • This scene was shown as an encore, thanks to Brian Goldner.
    • There's a humorous scene during Scorponok's attack of Captain Lennox trying to get a Middle-Eastern Operator to connect him to the Pentagon. Lennox obtained the phone from a civilian. The operator was trying to get Captain Lennox to use a credit card number when he obviously didn't have access to one during the middle of a battle.
    • Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
      Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

    • Jon Voight appears briefly during this scene at the Pentagon.
    • While Scorponok was one of my least favorite characters from the movie roster, I have to admit that watching him "slither" mechanically in and out of the desert sand was pretty damn cool. Scorponok is really little more than a plot device to show off a pretty cool desert battle scene but it appears they succeeded in coming up with a compelling action sequence that is sure to please audiences.
    • Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
      Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

    • The humans attack Scorponok with an onslaught of weapons. The humans are eventually successful in forcing Scorponok to retreat. Part of Scorponok is left behind which will be used as a plot device during a later scene in the movie.
    • For whatever reason, I don't remember as much about this scene as I do the others. It seems like it was pretty action intense. It was just an all-around incredible action sequence.

My Thoughts on the Sneak Peak

After the event, a group of us were gathered near the coat check toward the front of the building. I talked to Paula Walsh (Hasbro's Public Relations Director) for a little bit. Brian Goldner joined the group to ask a few of us what we thought. I said "Remember that little Transformers 101 stunt from my website?" everyone kind of chuckles nervously, not sure where I'm going with that comment. "Let's just say that tonight was Transformers 102 and it was MY turn to get schooled." Everyone in the group laughed and I felt a lot better after acknowledging the Transformers 101 thing directly to Brian. No hard feelings, right? ;)

The Transformers Movie reminds me most of Independence Day (ID4). It doesn't seem to have the stupid slapstick humor that I didn't find appealing in Armageddon but it does retain some of the classic humor that Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum demonstrated in Indepence Day as well as Bruce Willis and Ben Afleck in Michael Bay's Armaggedon. It's not Steve Buscemi type humor.

Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

The action seems very similar to Indepence Day (ID4 - Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum). ID4 is one of my all-time favorite movies so I'm pretty pleased with this direction. The scenes were absolutely incredible, the transformation of Blackout was fascinating and spectacular, and the mood was exactly what I was hoping for in the movie. I still think some of the robot designs could have used some improvements to be more reminiscent of the original characters but it's too late for that now. From what I've seen and from the version of the script that I've read, I think ILM has done a top notch job with bringing Transformers to life. The robots are designed to look like REAL Transformers, not computer animated or cell animated or toys for that matter. I think this goal was accomplished.

I've read that a few people out there were questioning if Hasbro/Paramount/Dreamworks "bought out" some of the outspoken people such as myself who attended this event. If getting to see a sneak peak of the movie so that I can share my thoughts with all of the fans of my website constitutes as being "bought out", then that's what happened. I think their main objective was to give some key people in the Transformers hobby a taste of what Hasbro/Paramount/Dreamworks have been seeing so that we could share that with you. It's a little different to hear the opinion of a die-hard fan like myself and not from someone who's officially involved with the movie. I saw it. I got it. It's going to be a spectacular summer blockbuster that most of us should enjoy. Ben Yee (, Kevin Lukis (, Jason Lukis (, Rick Alvarez (Transformers Collector's Club, etc), Tony Bacala ( and myself all seemed to genuinely enjoy the movie. If I can look past some of the robot designs that I don't really like and was able to thoroughly enjoy myself while I watched the scenes that I saw, then I'm pretty confident that most of you will be able to enjoy the movie as well.

Transformers Movie - Click here to view screen captures from the trailer!
Click here to view screen captures from the trailer ...

The Transformers Movie is going to be a very solid action flick that audiences worldwide will thoroughly enjoy. If you're a fan that is really against this movie, all that I ask is that you see the movie at least once with an open mind. You know the movie is going to be different. If you can accept the Transformers Movie for what it is, I'm pretty confident that you'll find yourself having a great time with the rest of the audience.

Stay tuned to for all of the latest news regarding the Transformers Movie. I'll see you in theatres starting July 4th, 2007!

Ryan Yzquierdo

Other Links

  • Transformers Movie - Official Website
  • Transformers Movie News on
  • Transformers Movie Toy Galleries
  • Transformers Movie Trailer Screen Captures
  •'s Preview Review
  • Ben Yee's Preview Review
  •'s Preview Review
  •'s Preview Review

  • Armada MTMTE Overview

    Transformers News: Armada MTMTE Overview
    Date: Sunday, January 28th 2007 1:44pm CST
    Categories: Site News, Comic Book News, Site Articles
    Posted by: Hotrod | Credit(s): Darth Bombshell

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    Views: 42,205

    This week Darth Bombshell has decided share another of his articles with us. Last week Darth Bombshell shared his thoughts on Dreamwave's Generation One More Than Meets The Eye Profile Series. In this weeks article Darth Bombshell shares his thoughts on Dreamwave's Armada More Than Meets The Eye Profile Series. If you missed last week's article check out's Article Section. Without further delay here it is the latest article by Darth Bombshell:

    Armada MTMTE Overview

    Throughout 2003, Dreamwave released the eight issue “More Than Meets The Eye” series. Despite the numerous problems that the series had, it was well received. It was perhaps this response that encouraged the staff at Dreamwave to create a sequel of sorts by writing a series based on the other Transformer franchise that the company was writing at the time: Transformers Armada.

    Because of the vastly different scope of the series, changes had to be made in the way it was presented. Instead of eight issues, Armada MTMTE would instead be done in three, no doubt due to the fact that Armada has less than a third of the characters that the Generation One series had to cover. Instead of drawing on previous writings, the biographies and tech spec quotes for most of the characters had to be invented by the writers, since only a select few had officially written bios. And since this series was drawing on both a completed comic and cartoon series, the creators had to attempt to cover elements of both series, while maintaining the fact that they have to try to arrange it all in the comic universe.

    All of these changes were perhaps made to make the series more understandable, since the information presented would be fresh in the fans’ minds. Unfortunately, this probably lead to it being as convoluted and confusing as its predecessor.

    The first and most obvious problem that the series has was the previously stated attempt by the writers to somehow manage to take elements from both the comic and cartoon and find a way to make them both work. Three bios in this series show how disastrous that attempts was: Galvatron, Nemesis Prime and Sideways. Galvatron, with the exception of the toy comics, was never a part of the regular comic to begin with, was somehow given a life as part of the regular comics, although the conditions and time that this occurred are purposely left vague, no doubt meant to cover up the fact that they have no actual way to describe it. The biography for Galvatron, narrated by Leader-1, gives a very interesting insight to the character. It is just a shame that it is not really part of the comic universe.

    Like Galvatron, Nemesis Prime also falls into the category as a toy character needing to have an comics origin. Unlike Galvatron, who was given a believable, yet implausible, comics life, the writers of the comic saw fit to merely rehash the plot of the Armada episode “Puppet”, trying to incorporate the events that occurred in the episode to the comic timeline. This doesn’t work for two reasons: there was no way that this event could have occurred in the comic, and they made the mistake of incorporating Run-Over, the Mini-Con partner who came with the Nemesis Prime toy that never appeared in the episode in question, into the character’s history. By all rights, Nemesis Prime should not be in the comic at all. Much like Galvatron, the only reason for his inclusion in this series was because he was a toy character who needed to be explained.

    Sideways, however, falls into a different path. Unlike Galvatron and Nemesis Prime, Sideways actually was in the comic. Yes, it was in two very brief appearances, but he was there. I expected that his biography would state that he was a mercenary playing both sides of the Transformer war. And I was right. That is how he was presented However, they made the big mistake of including elements of the cartoon into his bio, and said that he was a servant of Unicron. This makes no sense as far as the comic goes, since his first appearance was a good four issues before Unicron’s presence was ever confirmed, and his second was during Unicron’s ill-fated attack on Cybertron cowering with a bunch of Decepticons. This especially makes no sense, because if he was truly Unicron’s herald, would he not be rampaging around causing chaos?

    The writing, as previously stated, had to draw heavily on the imaginations of the writers of the series since, with a few exceptions, there were few “official” biographies made for the Armada characters during its run. This lead to a great many of the characters having fairly unsuited character biographies and tech spec quotes that sound incredibly horrendous. I do believe that a great many of these will be making an appearance on the Trannies “Worst Tech Spec Quotes” ballot next year.

    The artwork in the series, like in the Generation One MTMTE, is another round of “one good for every five bad” deal. Ironically, much of the good art in this series has made appearances on the toy boxes or promotional art made during the run of the toyline, also drawn by the various artists in this series. A good deal of this art takes up much of the space in the books, making me wonder why the artists were lazy enough to include this art. Couldn’t they do new artwork for this series? Isn’t it what it was meant to do?

    Another problem this series has in its artwork is the fact that the Mini-Con teams that were repainted during the toyline each had two pages of artwork devoted to them, one for the color in which they were first released and their “powerlinx” recolors. I found this to be an incredible waste of page space, with the only acceptable color changes coming from the Road Assault (Race) Team and the Star (Dark) Saber sword, since the bios for these weapons state that the characters would change color depending on how long they were held by an enemy.

    Finally, much like the Generation One MTMTE, the Armada MTMTE had a prologue and epilogue story designed to explain they reason why this information is being presented. Unlike the story in G1 MTMTE, the Armada one is meant to be part of the actual timeline. The prologue explains that a machine by someone that Alexis has possession of and is using to be prepared for the return of the Transformers. The epilogue explains that the device was left by Over-Run, who wants to prepare Alexis for the return of the Transformers. This would appear to make Alexis the focus of the Energon story, a fact we know to be false, as it is Kicker whose fate is ultimately linked to the Energon story…at least in the cartoon, anyway.

    The Armada MTMTE was written shortly after the end of the series, with Energon firmly in the minds of the people behind the Transformers. This fact, combined with the haphazard way that the series was written and the apparent poor production values, have lead many to look down upon this series. It could have been better, though, had it been written later. But as it is, it exists merely as a way for Dreamwave to earn an dollar by any means.

    After all, it’s what they’re known for.

    Darth Bombshell's Thoughts on Dreamwave's Generation One More Than Meets The Eye Profile Series

    Transformers News: Darth Bombshell's Thoughts on Dreamwave's Generation One More Than Meets The Eye Profile Series
    Date: Saturday, January 20th 2007 6:05pm CST
    Category: Site Articles
    Posted by: Hotrod | Credit(s): Darth Bombshell

    Permanent Link
    Views: 21,119

    Our latest installment in the Articles Section comes from staff member Darth Bombshell. Darth Bombshell wrote this article awhile back, but has decided to share it with the rest of the community. In this article Darth Bombshell shares his thoughts on Dreamwave's Generation One More Than Meets The Eye Profile Series. Without further delay here is the article:

    Darth Bombshell's Thoughts on Dreamwave's Generation One More Than Meets The Eye Profile Series

    In late 2002, Dreamwave announced plans for their most ambitious project yet: a series of profile book on the original Transformers that would appeal to both the current and older fans of the Generation One characters. The plan was not met with the best reviews, but I was cautiously intrigued. I felt that the series had the potential to be the most informative and enjoyable series that they had produced up until that time.

    And then the problems began.

    The first of these problems occurred when the first volume of their planned four issue series, set for a planned release on December 2002, was not released. Fans had thought that the project, due to the immense undertaking that it would take to produce, had fallen apart. The official word was that, in order to incorporate fan demand, the format had to be changed from a four issues bi monthly series to an eight issue monthly series. I don´t think that many fans bought this excuse. In fact, I am almost definitely sure that many fans thought that it was an excuse to explain the fact that they could not get the books out on time, a theory not at all helped by the fact that Dreamwave was, at the time, developing a history of not releasing their books on time. The last two issues of the first Generation One miniseries had arrived unacceptably late, an act most fans thought was an attempt to squeeze a second miniseries out of the various plot points left dangling at the first miniseries conclusion. This would become ironic in that none of these plots are expanded upon at all. In fact, it seemed that Brad Mick, the writer of the second miniseries, was going out of his way to ignore most of the events that had occurred in the first miniseries. In any event, most saw the restructuring of the whole project as little more than an excuse to try to attempt to construct an overall continuity to their Generation One projects.

    This would inevitably lead to what would end up becoming the most well known problem that the series would be blamed for. It was decided somewhere during the series run that the final issue would include what would ultimately become something of a “bible’ for their various Generation One series. Many of the plot points described in this issue (the origin of the Triple Changers, Cybertron´s history, explanation of the various ‘Master technologies, etc.) would become the hard and fast rules for their Generation One storyline, in the War Within series, the two mini-series and the upcoming ongoing series. Unfortunately, continuity problems arose almost immediately, the most famous of which was the fact that Shockwave developed the Triple Changer technology shortly after coming back online following the events of the Great Shutdown, a plot point which would be contradicted by the first War Within series, which would show Blitzwing as part of Shcokwave´s attacking force transforming between his various three modes, supposedly before he gained the ability to do that. This would become even more convoluted by the events of War Within: The Dark Ages, which state that Shockwave was using Blitzwing as a test subject for various technologies. Granted, the former was released before a set continuity was established, but the fact that the latter attempts, and fails, to try to bring together all these seemingly confusing elements together show how restrictive setting down a straight path that all future projects must follow unerringly can get.

    The quality of the writing would suffer, as well. This series was designed to give each and every Transformer character that was released in North America as a toy between 1984 and 1990 a profile. In order to do this, Adam Patyk and Brad Mick, writers of the series, had to draw from two different sources: the tech specs for these characters and the established bios written for the characters from Marvel´s “Transformers Universe’ series written almost twenty years ago. This would ultimately lead to the series having two different types of profiles: profiles that were nearly carbon copies of the original slightly rewritten to make them look different (for those characters who had previously written bios) and bios written using elements from the tech specs (for toy only characters) and bios written completely from scratch. (particularly the Micromasters)

    But all of these problems seem very moot when one realized the main reason that the series was being produced: to showcase new and exciting art of the Generation One characters. All the art in the series was drawn either by Dreamwave talent (such as Pat Lee, Don Figueroa and Guido Guidi) or freelance talent hired on for the project. (such as Matt "Jackpot" Kuphaldt and Joe Ng, later to do work for Transformers Energon and the upcoming War Within: Age Of Wrath miniseries). The art, like much of the elements of the project, is a mismatch of good and bad, the most horrendous of which, unsurprisingly, comes from Pat Lee. One need look no further than his drawing of Starscream in the sixth issue to realize this fact.

    The final problem that the series faced occurred, ironically, on the first page of the first issue. The whole series was based upon the fact that some unknown force was accessing this information from the Vector Sigma computer. Fan speculation ran unabated throughout the entire series run as to who this person was. The final issue revealed to us who this person was: Beast Wars Megatron. When people realized this fact, many mistakenly assumed that it would be a prelude to a Beast Wars miniseries. Although not likely at first, it was probably apparent that it was planned, the fact that a potential Beast Wars miniseries may occur (should enough fans vote for it on the upcoming Summer Special poll) confirming this fact.

    In the end, despite the many problems that the series faced, it was considered one of the more popular projects undertaken by Dreamwave, and would be of use as both a encyclopedia for fans and guideline for fans. It´s popularity would lead to the creation of a “sequel’ series for Dreamwave´s other Transformers project: Transformers Armada.

    It too would not be welcomed so easily, but unlike its predecessor, would not prove to be as popular.

    Shelf Warmers on the Other Side of the Ocean

    Transformers News: Shelf Warmers on the Other Side of the Ocean
    Date: Sunday, January 14th 2007 8:21pm CST
    Category: Site Articles
    Posted by: Hotrod | Credit(s): Professor Smooth

    Permanent Link
    Views: 40,596

    We have added another article to our article section. The latest endeavor comes from our very own Professor Smooth, who has been spending a lot of time in Japan. He has written an article about Japanese Transformers Shelf Warmers. So without any more delays here is Professor Smooth's article:

    Shelf Warmers on the Other Side of the Ocean

    Throughout the long history of The Transformers, there has been two constants from the very beginning. Optimus may have given way to Rodimus; Powermasters may have been replaced by Actionmasters; and Beast Wars may be been replaced once again by Robots in Disguise, but no matter the premise, the gimmick, or the homage, there have always been shelf warmers. You see them all the time. Nobody wants Cybertron Defense Scattorshot. Nobody wants the Beast Wars Rhinox reissue. You can probably still find a Beastformer if you hunt around at a couple of K-Mart stores. If you're anything like me, you often pondered an alternate reality where GOOD figures, figures that someone might actually want, lined the shelves. Why should you be doomed to spend an enternity looking at unwanted mini-cons when Japan is getting figures that collectors gladly shell out for? Well, I'm here to tell you that Japan is no different. Just as there are Toys R Us stores in Japan, there are shelf warmers here too.

    Yes, readers, Japan has shelf warmers too. Not only shelf warmers, but peg warmers and overstock warmers as well! So what figures that you've thought about importing clog the shelves in the land of the rising sun? I've been to several Toys R Us stores and brought back a detailed report on just what the Japanese won't spend their hard earned yen on.

    You may remember that Takara released Beast Machines a few years back as “Beast Wars Returns” and most of the TF shelf-space is taken up by those figures. Toys R Us Japan had the exclusive rights to sell these figures. As turns out, that means they had the exclusive rights to STOCK them because, let me tell you, they did not sell. Ultra Jetstorm and Nightscream are in WIDE supply. Rattrap and Cheetor are out in force. You'll find the occassional Optimus Primal (Blast Punch) or Megatron (Dragon) with Tank Drone, Strika, and Obsidian making occassional appearances.

    Robot Masters was a popular import line when it debuted. Online retailers blew through their early stock. So too did Toys R Us Japan. However, Gigant Bomb and the Thundercracker/Skywarp 2-pack STILL hog a ton of shelf-space. Each of these figures would only set a collector back 1,000 yen (about 8.50 USD), but those collectors just aren't buying.

    Galaxy Force sold out completely. There is only ONE item from the entire line that can still be found. The Blurr/Buzzsaw two-pack has that honor. Like the Robot Masters figures, they only run 1,000 yen for, but every Toys R Us has a TON of them.

    Takara has had great success with their line of reissues. Re-releasing characters that fans and collectors want has had people on both sides of the Pacific snatching them up. This proved that when a hard-to-find and high-demand toy is offered again, sales are fantastic! Takara seemingly set out to prove the opposite was also true when they reissued G2 Convoy. This reissue of Laser Optimus Prime usually has an entire shelf to itself. At 4,999 yen, it's not hard to see why. Nice figure, but with MP-04 around, it's almost redudant.

    There is a Binaltech figure that has clogged the shelves of every Toys R Us retailer I've been to. This will either come has a shock or a complete no brainer, depending on how you feel about the figure. It is the Japanese exclusive Binaltech Yellow Tracks figure. Takara, in al their infinite wisdom, released Tracks as a yellow 'Vette. The figure was, in short order, re-released with the correct blue color scheme and the character's signature flame-decal on its hood. Yellow Tracks, still available more than 2 years after its release at the bargain price of only 3,000 yen (26.50 USD).

    The most surprising shelf-warmer, in my opinion, makes sense on further inspection. Not a single one has sold since I've been in Japan. I've checked. The award for most expensive shelf-warmer is: Masterpiece Starscream. TakaraTomy released the best Starscream figure to date. Easily surpasing the G1 and Robot Masters version of the character and arguably outdoing even Hasbro's Classics Starscream. Then, for reasons outlined by the creator in the included booklet, gave it a paint scheme that looks absolutely nothing like the character. No doubt TakaraTomy thought that the awesomeness of the mold would be enough to sell the figure. No doubt TakaraTomy thought wrong. Masterpiece Starscream is a shelf-warmer the likes of which have not been seen since Supreme Cheetor. At 7,999 yen, it doesn't look to be flying off the shelves any time soon. Fortunately, the second constant of Transformers has always been “repaints.”

    Happy 30th Birthday to Ryan, creator of!

    Transformers News: Happy 30th Birthday to Ryan, creator of!
    Date: Thursday, January 11th 2007 10:58am CST
    Categories: Site News, Site Articles
    Posted by: Bed Bugs | Credit(s): Professor Smooth

    Permanent Link
    Views: 20,599

    Hello fellow Seibertronians!

    On this day, January 11th, we celebrate everyone's favorite webmaster, Ryan Yzquierdo (Seibertron) as he turns the big 30.

    Swing by General Discussion at the Energon Pub, spread the love, and have a cold one with us to celebrate it.

    Happy Birthday Ryan from the entire Staff!

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