Netflix The Toys That Made Us Featuring Transformers Debuting on Friday May25th #TTTMU
Friday, May 25th, 2018 12:38AM CDTCategories: Toy News, Digital Media News
Posted by: Va'al Views: 12,181
The four episodes due for upload will feature Lego, Star Trek, Hello Kitty, and the brand we've all been waiting to see on screen, Transformers! Spanning across multiple media, from the Michael Bay live action movies, the Marvel comics with Bob Budiansky, the toys over at Takara Tomy and Hasbro, and the cartoons with Peter Cullen and others, plus our very own Seibertron, the episode is looking to be extremely entertaining. Give it a look once it's live, and come back to the Energon Pub to share your thoughts!
Season 2 of #TTTMU airs on Netflix on May 25!
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Posted by WreckerJack on May 25th, 2018 @ 2:04am CDT
Posted by Burn on May 25th, 2018 @ 4:57am CDT
There was definitely stuff I didn't know, particularly how it really all harkens back to the early G.I. Joe figures.
Now I'm trapped watching Hello Kitty ... damn this series makes everything fascinating.
Posted by Va'al on May 25th, 2018 @ 5:12am CDT
Posted by ausbot on May 25th, 2018 @ 5:49am CDT
Posted by YoungPrime on May 25th, 2018 @ 10:48am CDT
I guess I wouldn't have been so disappointed with this if it didn't take like 2 years to finally release it.
Posted by Va'al on May 25th, 2018 @ 11:15am CDT
YoungPrime wrote:Well..... This felt like 45mins of stuff they've already explained over the years at toy fairs, comic Conventions and online interviews.
I guess I wouldn't have been so disappointed with this if it didn't take like 2 years to finally release it.
I mean, it is for wider public and/or more casual audience..!
Posted by o.supreme on May 25th, 2018 @ 4:50pm CDT
ausbot wrote:I want that VHS transformer.
Same here. I never knew that even existed! . What the episode had was great. I would not take anything away from it. However they just kind of skipped from briefly mentioning Beast Wars to jumping straight to the live action film, almost a 20 year gap there, they could have filled maybe 5 or 6 minuets talking about the differences of the toys in international markets. Highlighting fan conventions etc..., after all the SW episode was 51 minuets, while all the others are about 45. Oh well, who knows, if the series goes on for long enough we may get a 2nd Transfomrers episode.
Ryan, it was good to see you. very well done .
Posted by william-james88 on May 25th, 2018 @ 10:59pm CDT
ausbot wrote:I want that VHS transformer.
Yeah, me too, that thing looked awesome!
Loved the episode. And even though I knew a lot of this stuff, now i have it all condensed with the best visuals yet. And Ryan is a natural.
I love those Takara guys (and Larry Hama, what a champ!)
Posted by Va'al on May 26th, 2018 @ 8:03am CDT
Posted by shajaki on May 26th, 2018 @ 9:10am CDT
However I was surprised how much was in there that even I didn't know. I'm no Sabre, but I think my knowledge is pretty extensive. It was great to see the Takara guys, and Cullen. And one thing I love about this show is their ability to find the people who were the inner workings of these creations.
I think what I like most about it, is this is something I can really simply point to to explain my obsession to outsiders. I sat down and watched it with my gf last night
Posted by WreckerJack on May 26th, 2018 @ 6:16pm CDT
I do wish that they gave us more insight from fans and collectors about their favorite pieces. I would really like to know what being a TF fan in the 1980's was like. I wish that there was more talk about bot con and the effect that the fans had on Transformers to keep things going.
Posted by Burn on May 26th, 2018 @ 6:26pm CDT
WreckerJack wrote:I do wish that they gave us more insight from fans and collectors about their favorite pieces.
I'd rather see that as it's own series. This is more about how the toys came to be, with a balanced contribution from the fans on how it impacted them.
Posted by huryochagi on May 27th, 2018 @ 4:30am CDT
Posted by Burn on May 27th, 2018 @ 4:56am CDT
huryochagi wrote:They talked about the Michael Bay stuff, but didn’t mention the MP figures and the G1 reissues.
They skipped a number of lines to bring up the live action movies, and even then, that was brief just to say how far Transformers had come since Hasbro made a licensing deal with Takara in the 80's
Posted by Va'al on May 27th, 2018 @ 5:11am CDT
As such, we sat some of the staff down and had a chat about what we thought about the way our favourite transforming robots were treated, and how it lived up or not to our expectations! Read along below to find out more, and join the discussion with your own thoughts in the thread on the Energon Pub discussion boards!
Introducing: the participants
Va'al - I have watched entire series out of interest, and in anticipation for the Transformers episode in particular, of course, so I can also see and compare this episode in the frame of the whole documentary. People who know me are aware of my stance and position towards toys, in that I don't really collect them but am fairly invested in the fiction surrounding the characters - but have gone through the motions as a kid who grew up in the 1990s, so Beast Wars and what followed were definitely a thing until the toy buying died down!
william-james88 - This was the first episode I watched of the series so far and I thought it was an excellent look at the toy brand and the best piece yet relating its history. Transformers are my very favourite toys, always have been, ever since I was 8 and discovered Beast Wars toys. I have been buying figures here and there ever since and went deep down the rabbit hole in 2014 where I have yet to emerge. I love all transforming toys, so I collect a few more franchises as well (e.g. Power Rangers, Voltron, Japanese 70s Super Robots) but my favourites are still Transformers, simply due to the Takara workmanship, which I was very happy this episode highlighted.
Qwan - I don't have Netflix myself, so this episode (when I managed to bum a friend's account) was my first chance to watch the show. Bearing that in mind, I don't have anything to compare this episode to in the show's broad scope, but hopefully I at least have enough perspective on the Transformers franchise to judge it in that way. I've been into Transformers since Cybertron (I was only 6 when it caught my interest!), and though I care most about the toys, it's the fiction and characters that keep always me wanting to buy more. I collect a bunch of other stuff too - Gunpla, Bionicle, other Lego mechs, basically anything with big robots; and then anything else with characters that catch my interest - but in the end it's always been Transformers that stands out as the one that matters most.
Cobotron - Being born in 1975 put me right at prime demographic for every toy brand this series has covered. And boy did I play with a lot of if not all of these toys! So needless to say the entire series not only hits my nostalgia button, but also covers a subject that is still near and dear to me 42 years later. I've been playing with and collecting Transformers since even before 1984, as I had friends with Diaclone toys. My love for Japanese robots grew from playing with my older brother's Micronauts, and Shogun Warriors, but really found it's focus with Transformers. To this day I still have my childhood collections, and/or actively collect not just Transformers, but Star Wars, GI Joe, MASK, Lego, and more. Transformers makes up a majority of my collection, but first and for most I consider myself a toy collector, and specifically a collector of these very toys that made us.
D-Maximal_Primal - This is a show I have been interested in watching, but this was the first chance I have gotten to see an episode, thanks to my girlfriend's Netflix account. My journey with Transformers began with the 2007 movie, and I got my first toy on Christmas eve of that year, which was movie 1 voyager Megatron. I started collecting a bit more around Revenge of the Fallen, and my collecting really took off in 2013 after I started college. I am 23 now, and still vastly enjoy the brand all the different aspects of it. I also enjoy the Marvel Universe, particularly Iron Man, Gundam, and Voltron.
With the backgrounds set out and the cards on the table, let's dive in!
What did you enjoy the most?
C - Every episode in the series has offered something interesting about each brand they've featured. With the Transformers episode I was delighted to gain more insight into the early days and the designers at Takara. In fact, Transformers humble Japanese beginnings is probably one of my favorite aspects of the brand. While this history is not new to me, I'm so happy they focused a lot of this episodes on the prehistory of Transformers, because now there is this nice, comprehensive source, wrapped in a fun to ingest package, that sums up their origins for even the newest collector to learn about how it all began.
D - ...seeing all the old Takara stuff was so neat and also incredibly informative to see where Transformers came from, what all Takara did, what Hasbro did without them for a bit, and then how things have progressed since. It is especially interesting to see how the toys changed from being good guys to bad guys and viceversa between the original Microman/Diaclone and the Transformers versions.
WJ - I agree, my favourite part of this episode was how we spent a lot of time with Takara. I liked how humble everyone was and how these men were just glad to know that what they created brought joy to children and keeps doing so as the brand evolves and grows. I also loved learning of Takara's reaction to Hasbro's take on their product, which was something I had oddly never considered.
V - Yeah, I think that was the most enjoyable part of the episode, mostly also due to the tone of the entire series: the switching between different speakers to gauge the reactions and reception of the brand initially - the history is a well known mismatched one in the fandom, and the editing of Takara vs Hasbro, toy vs marketing, with the almost flippant narration, was entertaining (though I know this is not the widespread reaction to the series).
Q - That mismatched history stood out for me. I thought it was great seeing the process leading up to the brand's creation and introduction to the Western market. All too often the background of Transformers is given as "GI Joe then Microman and then Transformers happened" with about that much detail, so I loved how much time was dedicated to seeing exactly how this brand we all adore came about, from early cultural and media influences through to actual licensing.
What do you think was missing?
Q - Since I'm a little baby boy who missed out on the whole G1 and Beast Wars scenes, I would've really liked to see even a bit of screentime dedicated to the post-BW pre-Movie stuff; Car Robots, Unicron Trilogy, Animated, anything like that. Heck, even Beast Wars got the shaft a bit in terms of its importance. Things still happened between 1996 and 2007, guys! (I also sorely felt the lack of any G2 raps: easily the most artful creations to ever come out of the brand.)
D - Yeah, I really missed seeing more of the toyline past G1 though. As a big Animated fan, movie fan, and now a Beast Wars fan, I missed seeing more of those guys, and seeing some of the newer toy designs that came from the original 80s toys. Other than that bit of oversight, I really enjoyed the episode!
C - I do wish they had spent a little more time covering the post Beast Wars era toy lines. They had Aaron Archer as an interviewee, but really just dusted over the huge contribution he (and his team) made to the brand. The Archer led era of Transformers was an important time that produced some of the toys that are to this day among my very favorites.
V - I mean, the series is dedicated to the 80s, of course, so we knew all of the toys some of us grew up with were going to be only briefly featured from the start - but for me the Italian perspective on the brand, with the GIG licensing, naming, and branding situation, essentially the creation question about the Transformers (or Trasformers on my side) would've been fun to see explored too! (That, and some issues with framing the Japanese perspective from a production point of view.)
WJ - On that last point: Since we do spend a lot of time on the Japanese side of things, with the creators and designers, I would have really liked to have the option of their speech subtitled rather than dubbed. This brand is so deeply rooted in Japan that it would have been nice to have this episode fully embrace this idea of two worlds and give us two different languages at least. Also, while the episode looks great and seems to have a budget on par with any other documentary, that intro feels like it comes from Newgrounds circa 2001 and feels off compared to the rest of the episode which has a rather decent quality.
What is one new thing you learned?
D - I only know a little bit about Diaclone, So almost the entire first half of the episode was a history lesson I really knew nothing about, so that was really cool! I enjoyed seeing the ideas form and change over time, and it was awesome to get all that history and pre-history of the brand.
V - Similar for me! The original GI Joe connection was one I was not entirely aware of - the shared Hasbro Universe everyone has been griping about at IDW goes way back further than I thought, and I'll admit I had a little 'ha!' moment about that. Oh, and the wooden toy prototypes were pretty cool.
WJ - Yeah, I really liked seeing the early process as to how Transformers (Microchange and Diaclone toys) were first designed, in wood. We are used to seeing grey prototypes but seeing prototypes in wood just shows me how limited toy technology once was and how amazing it is that we got such complex toys back in the day. Also, as a Jim Shooter fan, it was really cool to learn that he came up with the story of the Autobots vs Decepticons.
Q - Shooter yes, but also it was really interesting to hear how Budiansky ended up writing for the original Transformers; I never really stopped to think about how he got the job, only that he did it (and did it well). I've always loved behind-the-scenes stories, so learning more about how the very original TF fiction was created was fascinating to me!
C - I'll stand out on this one: I was surprised to learn that after Transformers: the Movie, Takara stepped out of the picture completely. I thought for sure the "Masters" eras of the brand were still created in tandem with Takara. In fact I've always thought that the likes of the Head Masters were so awesomely silly and original that they had to have come from the Japanese designers. I would have liked to learn more about the design process during this time frame.
What was your personal highlight from the episode?
WJ - The highlight is everyone they got to interview, including seeing our own site owner Seibertron being rather eloquent, with a contagious enthusiasm for the brand. You did us proud buddy! Oh and probably the major highlight was seeing all those gorgeous Diaclone toys. I was watering at the mouth watching those beauties transform onscreen, what gorgeous toys.
Q - Yes, seeing Bossbot represent us so well was great! That aside since it's almost cheating to pick it, I thought the moment at the end with Yoke's Perceptor was incredibly sweet and a heartwarming note to end on. (More lightly, I got a good chuckle out of the observation that even whoever was in charge of the Transformers displayed in the episode couldn't get MPM Optimus' truck mode to cooperate either!)
C - I think the biggest highlight for me was the interviews and insight into the original Takara team. Especially Yoke-san! That moment where he started to get emotional showing off the Perceptor that Hasbro had given him kicked me right in the tear ducts too. Everything I love about all Takara toys, not just Transformers, can be linked to him. And, he seems to just be such a nice and kind person, not to mention a design genius. I'd like to thank Yoke-san for giving me and so many others the fuel we needed to drive our imaginations to the farthest reaches and back, for all these many years.
V - I really want to say something else other than seeing Ryan / Seibertron on screen, as you all did. I do. So I'll go with Bob Budiansky's entertainingly dry humour, and Hideaki Yoke calling Bumblebee 'a sweet boy'.
D - The whole naming and personality part from Budiansky himself, and how it took so long to get to him and how fast he put everything together. "High Beam" huh? Guess the person who vetoed that name wasn't around when Erector came out! But really though, seeing the toys take on their personalities that have helped endear them to all of us was really awesome, and it's amazing how fast it was all done too.
All in all, we thought this was an great look at the franchise, covering the early major beats and giving us our best and most accessible version yet at the story behind these magnificent toys - it's a fantastic primer about this huge universe and the wonderful people that made it happen, even with the sometimes goofy, forced humour (to some).
Oh, and one last thing from Cobotron, before we hand the thoughts over to the rest of the community:
I watched the episode twice. The first time I was at work, and while I was looking down at my work I heard a very familiar voice. It was a true delight to look up and see the old Bossbot himself, Seibertron. It's so great that such an important and long time contributor to the fandom got recognized in such a wonderful way. You deserve the acknowledgement Ryan. Thanks for giving us Transformers nerds a place to hang out and be ourselves!
The Toys That Made Us is now streaming on Netflix, with all 8 episodes available.
Posted by Galactic Prime on May 27th, 2018 @ 7:05am CDT
Posted by Qwan on May 27th, 2018 @ 7:54am CDT
I thought it was a fun episode! To my understanding, this series was never about showing why the toylines are successful nowadays but are instead meant to be retrospectives on how they came into existence, and perhaps a touch of "where are they now". From that perspective, the episode did a great job - I think a lot of us learned at least a detail or two about the line's creation that we didn't know before! (Like how sweet a boy Bumblebee is )
Posted by Yotsuyasan on May 27th, 2018 @ 8:10am CDT
Other episodes (such as Barbie and Lego) really seem more comprehensive in talking not only about the origins of the brand, but also in where the brand has gone from its beginnings through to today. The Transformers episode focused hard on G1, and barely scratched the surface on what followed. Watching this, you would think that the only post-G1 properties there were were Beast Wars and the Bay films.
Even as someone who's own fandom is highly G1-based, it would have been nice to see even brief mentions of things such as the Unicron Trilogy or Animated. And especially as someone who's fandom is highly G1-based, I thought it odd to omit the two toylines that most pay homage to the G1-days, namely Classics and it's followers through to Generations, and the Masterpiece line.
That all being said, I did really enjoy the episode, and it is an excellent look at the origins of the brand. But it isn't the comprehensive look at the brand as a whole that other episodes seem to be...
Posted by Ironhidensh on May 27th, 2018 @ 8:34am CDT
That said, I did enjoy this episode very much.
Posted by Ralstotron on May 27th, 2018 @ 8:38am CDT