The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story

Transformers News: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story

Sunday, March 4th, 2018 4:57PM CST

Categories: Site Articles, Editorials
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 15,647

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Welcome back to the tentatively monthly series of exploration of the Transformers fandom, from a variety of perspectives and a number of voices, now with its own punny title: The Fandom Menace!

This second editorial piece springs, after some deliberation, from a point raised by Twincast Podcaster ScottyP - also one of my fellow administrators on Seibertron.com - about the nature of the fandom more in general. Where last month I looked at how people participate as people in various aspects of Transformers, this month we'll be looking at which part of the franchise is The Hook.

And it really just comes down to two major areas: toys and fiction.

Hypothesis: There is a substantial and distinct divide between those invested in Transformers as toy collectors and those invested in Transformers as a fictional property, and the Venn diagram has an uneven overlap with blurred edges.

This was ScottyP's point, and something that was raised by another point of his on Twitter a while back:

Transformers News: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story


We've seen through the years differing approaches between how the fiction and related toys cross over, merge, find themselves completely out of sync and back again, either with toys supporting the release of a movie or a cartoon series, or the two never really working together at all for a number of logistical reasons (distribution, lack of sales, series cancellation, etc).

it really just comes down to two major areas: toys and fiction.


Most recently, however, Hasbro themselves have been laying down heavily their new Story First approach to the various brands they have control over, Transformers included. Whether this is actually true in practice is not my aim for the piece, but rather the shift from 'stories written to sell toys' to 'toys that fit a story being told'. And there is that potential divide again.

We've seen in the Transformers fandom a lot of focus on toy collecting, since pretty much the start. Anecdotes tend to talk about seeing a cartoon episode or a movie or a comic, and then 'wanting to go buy a toy of the character(s)'. Given my own approach to this 'collecting' business, the whole conversation piqued my interest even more, and I decided for a totally scientifically accurate exploration of it: ask Transformers Twitter about where they stand. Four options to choose from, and the results are below.


Hey #Transformers Twitter! A question for an upcoming piece: are you in the fandom for mostly...

35% ..toys first, then story.
46% ..story first, then toys.
08% ..just the toys.
11% ..just the stories.

369 votes


Ignoring how the grammar doesn't actually work in the poll, and that only asking this on social media will not give a full picture of the fandom, it's interesting to note that in this part of the conversation, story still comes first - and only very very few people are in it for the toys or the stories alone.

Of course, by story and fiction here I mean a variety of media: comics, old and new; live action movies; animated series, old and new; personal fiction that has been 'officialised' somewhat (accepted or widely known fanon, for example).

in this part of the conversation, story still comes first


The option I did not include, which is perhaps where I place myself even more in line with - along with some impressively dedicated readers of comics (within and outside of the Transformers community) - is artwork. You can see this in the collection of Dutch fan Sprite Anansi, artists such as Andrew Turnbull, TFNation's boss Tori O'Regan, and their different facets of art collecting, from commissions to doujinshi, to original art used in official media and fan commissions.

Transformers News: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story


Moving back to the fiction first faction, though, Marian Hilditch touches on this in her TFSource collector interview, too. New media, especially IDW comics and the live-action movies, have seemingly brought back this new approach of only wanting a limited selection of characters to be immortalised in their plastic forms, be it the Wreckers or the Lost Light crew or Team Bee.

This does speak back to points raised multiple times throughout podcasts, discussion on boards and elsewhere, and something at the foundation of toy collecting in general. As we saw on the Netflix documentary The Toys that Made Us, in the words of sociologist John Tenuto, many of us feel the need to need to touch or hold something physical that represents something intangible. Becka also mentions this point in her blog post at Refined Robo Co, discussing similar topics to this series of articles - though we might engage with fiction, we need that physical presence as a supplement (something not necessary, but that adds value if present) to the experience.

repeated incarnations meant to evoke more-or-less the same source material can and does lead to fatigue


To bring it back to a toy-first approach, from a company perspective, might even result counterproductive, as well as counterintuitive - on this,
ScottyP raises a good point.

ScottyP wrote:I think the "Classics" re-tread toy releases drove me more towards the fiction but not because of anything Hasbro did on purpose - or was it possibly on purpose? G1 provided beloved characters limited in toy form by their era and genesis. Many "needed" new toys, and that they have received them has been great for the hobby. But then you get to the 6th-ish "new" Optimus Prime, 3rd Bumblebee, 2nd Jetfire, 2nd Grimlock, 2nd Mirage, 2nd Megatron, 3rd Starscream, 2nd Skywarp, 2nd Ultra Magnus, and... oh dammit Ramjet I can't finish this joke but regardless, when the re-treads have almost all been re-tread it has led me to want something more out of these things than just the play experience. While that can lead to a feeling of fresh new adventure, repeated incarnations meant to evoke more-or-less the same source material can and does lead to fatigue.

When I think back on the history of Transformers, the most successful times for the franchise outside of G1's early years have been when the cycle of reinvention yields fun toys of new characters supported by good fiction. Beast Wars, Armada, and the 2007 Movie were as successful as they were for a reason, and that was the well timed (or at least sensibly timed, mostly. Usually.) release of new or new-ish characters while a compelling tale about them was still fresh.


We've seen droves of established toy collectors who had taken a break return to the Transformers precisely because of the new fiction rekindling that spark of the hobby - but also, where the lack of adequate fiction was felt, creative fandom rose to its own challenge. And not too long after, those same milestones in the stories told about giant transforming robots (not quite), along with the later addition of IDW's presence too, has brought a whole new story-first set of fans to the experience, and Hasbro seems to have noticed.

---

So what about your story? Was it the fiction that first shaped your interest in Transformers? Are the toys your primary way of engaging with Cybertronians? Is it an equal split, or do neither attract you as much as other parts, and you don't see yourself as a collector at all?

This is our space to share these tales, I hope you'll join me.
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Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1943849)
Posted by ScottyP on March 4th, 2018 @ 6:03pm CST
Glad I could contribute, and excellent work overall! I was mostly all about the toys and little else, until the paradigm shift of getting the same characters repeatedly took over. I think that's clear in the article, but maybe not. Anyhow, looking forward to seeing the other discussion on this one, hope it strikes a chord :)
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1943855)
Posted by Vic Zanzibar on March 4th, 2018 @ 6:47pm CST
I'm definitely an anomaly in that I'm pretty much a toys only collector. I own the TPBs of Infiltration, Stormbringer, Escalation, and the first two sets of Spotlights, but at the time I got those back in 2008, I was only fourteen and acquiring comics was both difficult and expensive so my consumption of IDW stuff stopped there. I've seen the first season-ish of G1 years ago, but it didn't really grab me, and I've also seen the first few episodes of BW too, but that was back in the ancient times when Netflix required one to get DVDs in the mail and one of the discs I got was scratched and unplayable so I didn't very far in that series either. As such, fiction doesn't have a super huge impact on me, but I can't say that it has no effect because I wouldn't care about Six Shot, Kup, Swindle, or Shockwave without reading what little of IDW I have read and even without reading much fiction, some of the stuff I have been interested in is because of reading synopses of stories on TF Wiki; for example, I own the BM Dinobots, the BW Mutants, and a lot of the original Universe stuff because the Fun Pub post-BM G1 stories and characters I read about online fascinated me. At this point though, my primary reason for collecting is simply that I find Transformers toys themselves to be aesthetically interesting and more fun than other available hobbies.
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1943861)
Posted by MagicDeath on March 4th, 2018 @ 7:50pm CST
I primarily am in it for the toys. I love the idea of a Transformer, and the more complex the transformation, the more I like it (so long as it's stable). I like the characters in the fiction, and IDW has had pretty good characters so far (I'm a couple years behind, though), so I'm still reading, but if the comics stop and the toys continue, I'll still be here.

One thing I don't find myself thinking is that G1 is getting dry. It may be because I don't collect toys in a very large scale, or because I haven't been back into collecting for very long, or because I have different standards than the majority of the fandom (scale!). I don't particularly like what are essentially re-makes of G1 toys, but I find myself attached to the characters, and want to see them in different incarnations (e.g., what if the Predacons were Earth vehicles?). I might be saying the same thing with different words here, but it's still my view.
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1943867)
Posted by Acesmcgee on March 4th, 2018 @ 8:18pm CST
So what brought me here? Well, when mommies and daddies...ok, joke done and on to topic. Well, for me it was the story and the connection it formed for me with my dad. I remember watching the first episode and he and I playing that out, the story made me want to be Optimus and crew. I actually dressed up as Bumblebee for Halloween shortly after, and it was only about then that I really recall wanting the toys.
I still make a story when I play, I mean pose my transformers. There has to be a reason for what they are doing. Even when I didn't collect and had actually donated most my whole collection that I had growing up (needed space for a move and wasn't going to let my son or wife sacrifice something for my toys) it was the story that I watched with Prime.
Because of the podcast I gave the comics a chance and now own all of the collected MTMTE in digital. I introduced my daughter to RID and G1 because of the story. (Yes, RID 2015 has its detractors, but it wasn't all that bad) If it wasn't for the story I wouldn't be so excited for the toys. I love the G1 stuff and haven't burned out on it since I've just recently started to collect since late into CW, but I also love new characters and ideas that breathe life into stories and fiction. I think Hasbro is hitting the right point with toys that support a story as it allows me more than just a toy to fall in love with and share with others that I love and respect. Oh, and you all on here too. ;)^
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1943873)
Posted by Flashwave on March 4th, 2018 @ 8:46pm CST
[quote] This does speak back to points raised multiple times throughout podcasts, discussion on boards and elsewhere, and something at the foundation of toy collecting in general. As we saw on the Netflix documentary The Toys that Made Us, in the words of sociologist John Tenuto, many of us feel the need to need to touch or hold something physical that represents something intangible. Becka also mentions this point in her blog post at Refined Robo Co, discussing similar topics to this series of articles - though we might engage with fiction, we need that physical presence as a supplement (something not necessary, but that adds value if present) to the experience.
[/quote]

I skimmed the article more than I should have, but its this paragraph that jumps out to me.

To John Tenuto's point: This is fascinating and I fully agree with it, but I was more familiar with a corollary to this than his own point. In Marketing, the reason so many things are in giant bins *Cough*Hot Wheels*/Cough* is because touch triggers ownership. Pick something up in store, and odds are very good that the average person wont put it back down. Or they will dwell on it and come back for it. Totally unrelated to Transformers, but it shows how important touch is to the Human Mind.

For me, I am a 50/50 split. I have a lot of Fanfiction stories (which will never leave my head) and the impetus for rhose, the castings are for me informed by what toys I have, or will trigger me to pull toys out of storage. Case in point: when the Prime Abominus figures came out, a lot of people hated them for their size and design and lack of Scramble style compatibility. Me? I looked at those and said

"Ooh! What if those are Human sized Decepticons to Fight Humans in places too small for a normal Cybertronian?" Toy developed Story. But then the Story evolved, because I dug my Cybertron Crosswise out of storage (although that toy was never very far from me, AWESOME design) as a Terrorcon Hunter. And the Terrorcons were the acncient Deceptions he had frozen in the Artic?"

story Drives toy.

And now, I have a more visual scale for approximately Human size. So when Marvel came out with its little 2.5" scale fugures for Avengers2 and Guardians of the Galaxy, plus a line-scale Hulk and Hulkbuster I had a scale I could comapre them to: Iron Man vs. Terrorcons; Optimus Prime vs. Ultron. (the strictly human figures in that line like Fury and Hawkeye are a *tad* tall, but the Iron Man armor adds bulk, and figures like Thor and Groot are variable.

Story
/ ? \
Toy - Toy

For another example, I turn only to LG EX Scourge and UWEX Baldigus. I am struggling with a story for them, because Toywise they look great facing off against Hot Spot, especially since he can flip his ladder around like Fire Convoy did his Blizzard Storm thing. But the Protectobots are a flat note to me, I continue to struggle with charactership for them. For Prime, and recasts of Prime/Movie verse casts using GenerAtions toyline figures I have plenty of examples of how they might react or intwract. Heck, even Scourge and the Commandos have a range of experiences to draw from. But when I try to imagine how the Protectobots might react to various people or situations I have nothing for them. The toys are the impetus for the idea, but without the fiction zi have nothing to do with them. And frankly that makes my head hurt czuse I want to do something cool. Even if it is just a rehash of ideas.

So I guess for me, one needs the other. The toys are, as John Tenuto said, the physical medium of an intangible idea, and that idea makes them mean more than just something on a shelf. But without them, the idea is just a flicker of something greater that flashes about in your brain.
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1943910)
Posted by RNSrobot on March 4th, 2018 @ 11:11pm CST
[quote]repeated incarnations meant to evoke more-or-less the same source material can and does lead to fatigue
[/quote]

This strikes a very powerful chord in me.

I have an interesting relationship with Transformers based out of what was available to me.

Believe it or not, I grew up in a small Canadian town and while we had plenty of channels, Transformers was not carried. Now, this doesn't mean I never saw the TF cartoon. Prior to this town, we lived in a city where I did get Transformers. I was born in 1981, so I was quite small but juuuuust old enough to "get" and like TF more than, say, other properties. It leads a lot of vague but vivid memories; for example, I have a distinct and powerful recollection of MTMTE part 2(?), with Prime rolling down the hill after the explosion. TO BE CONTINUED. I'm not so sure I ever saw part 3!

[Sidenote: I also saw part 1 of the GI Joe episode "There's No Place Like Springfield," which ends with several Joes and good guys melting into purple-ish mush and taking Shipwreck away. TO BE CONTINUED. I NEVER SAW PART TWO.

Traumatized me for years.]

I saw the movie in the theatre at age 5. Probably cried when Prime died? Hard to completely remember. Unicron in that opening scene? Freaked me the FUCK out. I remember seeing parts of FFoD on TV... of course my favorite, Springer, gets sucked up and destroyed TO BE CONTINUED [sensing a theme]?

But we moved, and there was no more TF cartoons. Except we owned "Roll For It" and "Fire In The Sky" on VHS, so I wore those out. I rented the movie and FFoD from the local video store over and over again. All that is to say: The cartoon informed my interpretation of SOME Transformers, but not even close to completely. There are tons of characters who I never saw on TV. I had no voice for them, no characterization, nothing. However, I was still creating stories, even if they were my own.

The second part of the equation is that I rarely got "new" Transformers. We won Pepsi Prime in some 7-11 contest, that was my first TF [PS: I hated the Pepsi sticker and removed it, painfully, with a wet cloth, to get to the proper stickers underneath. EAT IT MISB]. Mostly I received new Transformers from swap meets or garage sales. So I had, often, random assortments of toys, lacking weapons. Somehow I ended up with most of the 86 movie cast, albeit envious of my friend who had a complete Wreck-Gar. By the time I was old enough to have enough allowance to make my own decisions, I was buying Slapdash, the Monster Pretenders, and Micromasters, (whatever was available at our crappy small-town variety store). It wasn't until G2 I was REALLY invested.

Thus, I made up personalities and ideas for most of my TFs. I mean, Rodimus, Kup, Springer (THE MOTHERFUCKIN' BADASS), etc all had Cartoon-Ish personas, but Swindle? He was my own dude. Mixmaster? Heck yeah. And so on. Lots of random powermasters or headmasters without heads. Etc.

The TF comics either weren't on the racks or I just missed them until Furman's first issue on Marvel USA. I remember getting
"Bird of Prey" and being blown away. I was hooked, and a new group of characters became my favorites. I didn't have any of their toys, mind, but...

So as I got older it became more about the story than the toys. I never "outgrew" Transformers and was beyond excited when Beast Wars hit. Granted, up here, it was called "Beasties" and I didn't realize it was Transformers until the first opening credits. Helped that it turned into an absolutely phenomenal STORY based series. Marvel G2 comics. Beast Machines, RID, the Unicron Trilogy kind of lost me story wise... and as a result, while I bought some toys (which I still love), I wasn't as invested until basically Animated.

And then came MTMTE.

Now, I've significantly downsized my collection in the past year. From hundreds to maybe fifty. And it used to be bigger. It's a personal thing. But creating a Lost Light shelf was tremendously important. Buying toys based on how I cared about their STORY has absolutely become more important to me. I like TOYS. I like Transformers, puzzles I can fidget with. But certainly I am far more excited about Titans Return Misfire and Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus because of Roberts/Roche/Milne and MTMTE.

It's funny, because "story" has become so much more important that I realize I don't need the toys to be part of it. I can enjoy the (sadly not as prevalent as one would hope) quality story without having to attach it to consumption of the toyline. I mean, I'm not over buying toys at all. I'm enjoying POTP, especially the Prime Masters. My kids love Titan Masters and Prime Masters. It's awesome. But I realized I can enjoy the ten volumes of MTMTE, or the BW or Animated DVD sets, without having to tie that into the toys themselves.
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1943999)
Posted by homicide on March 5th, 2018 @ 11:51am CST
Being a child of G1 it was definitely the toys that first grabbed me as a child, but as I've gotten older & left more & more things from my childhood in the past I've always kept Transformers close to my heart. Now as an adult I'm absolutely a 100% type of fan, I own a complete collection of the IDW fiction & other misc comics/graphic novels, several different Novels series, in Animated I own all of G1, the 3 Japanese follow ups, Beast Wars, Beast Machines, Animated & Prime & I own toys from G1, Movieverse, Animated, Prime, RiD2.0, Kreo, Masterpiece, and a Huge amount of what could fall under the Generations category, various exclusives, not to mention a growing collection of 3rd Party figures & Upgrades(phew...)! I'm probably one of those rare fans who really attempts to take in the fandom in as many ways as possible, I'm very lucky I have a very supportive & loving wife, hahah!
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1944016)
Posted by itscramtastic on March 5th, 2018 @ 1:53pm CST
This is a pretty dang awesome feature!!

For me, the G1 cartoon, G1 comics, and G1 toys are all responsible for driving me to each separate medium. I definitely love my G1 cartoon and a few of the G1 toys, but I'm thrilled with the newer versions we've received over the years.

BUT I do agree that 15 different versions of Optimus Prime or more that I've accumulated since the beginning has grown tiresome. Same thing with Rodimus, and Bumblebee, and Grimlock, and Megatron, and Galvatron, and Starscream..I actually think the duplicates due to the "newer better version" kind of stuff is what is really draining to me.

I'm currently in the process of thinning the collection and there's definitely particular character's figures that I'd never thought I'd part with that I am, and others that I thought were totally being sold that aren't.

I have found that re-watching older stuff has triggered me tracking down certain characters, so I guess for me it ends up being stories driving toys, and I definitely REQUIRE the toys. :lol:
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1944045)
Posted by Lore Keeper on March 5th, 2018 @ 4:14pm CST
[quote]repeated incarnations meant to evoke more-or-less the same source material can and does lead to fatigue[/quote]
I completely agree with this. There seems to be a conflict of interest between Hasbro and collectors. Hasbro wants to keep putting A list characters on shelves because they sell well, especially with kids and parents. Collectors love Optimus Prime, but most aren't too keen on buying another one once or more per year. Your average collector would be happier with a new take on Omega Supreme than with Bumblebee #4382. I don't know if there is a way to reconcile such competing desires.
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1944111)
Posted by BombshellDaBug on March 5th, 2018 @ 8:38pm CST
Awesome article, dude!

Your article also hit on some really interesting ideas, such as the idea that people want physical representations of intangible characters and concepts, that really ring true especially when I look back at how I got into TFs.

What drew me into Transformers was DotM. All of the advertisements featured Shockwave, and it made me really curious about the character because a) he was so prominently featured and b) he had a really cool design. That led to me discovering TFWiki in order to learn more about the character. Once I went to see the movie, I was really disappointed to see that he didn't really do much in it.

That led me to seek out more Transformers fiction in a hope to see more of the character. The Hub would air old G1 episodes, so I got to watch those every morning getting ready to go to high school. Through that, I got exposed to all of the classic characters, and that led to me watching Transformers Prime. After watching Prime for a bit, I got interested in collecting because I wanted to get a physical representation of Soundwave, who I love as a character. TFP Soundwave may have been the first Transformer I got, but my love for the stories in both Prime and G1 made me start collecting.

Ever since then, I've been a die hard fan.
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1944176)
Posted by Michael Alex Kawa on March 6th, 2018 @ 6:29am CST
Very intriguing article. :-)
I guess the story is more important to me, since it was the story that got me into Transformers. Back in 1984-85, I knew of the Transformers....(kind of) I saw a few of the Autobot Cars in a store once and thought they were cool, and a friend had Hound :BOT: . I did not even know it was a Transformer at first till the friend asked me if I knew "how to do it" he lost the instructions and needed help, which I had no idea what he meant.
So I had a few generic-bots (one was a locomotive) and one Go-Bot...he was a submarine. I got rid of them after sometime, and a man in our neighborhood was moving and gave us a box of toys, in the box was Sludge :BOT: but I didn't know who he was at first. Also I thought his Rubsign :RUBSIGN: was his robot face.......seriously :lol:, I did not know that the silver panels opened to revel his chest, nor to pull the neck section back. He had all his weapons though, but I also did not know where his hands were....I was such an idiot. 8-}
Anyways a few weeks after that, around April of 1985, me and my sis were board. The only TV we had was a small black & white television, so we decided play around with the UHF dial. We came across this new channel we didn't even know existed called KRLR 21, and what they were playing at the time was the last 5 minutes of "More Then Meets The Eye Part One". After just seeing that small part me and my sis were hooked. We both could not wait till tomorrow, also we were so happy we found this cool new channel, they played basically old movies, music videos, The Monkeys, and cartoons (which is also how I found G.I.Joe :GIJOE:). I finally realized who Sludge was (and transformed him correctly), knew that my friend had Hound, and that there were a few G.I.Joe stuff in that box the neighbor gave us. So I became obsessed, and in August of the same year, when my Mom could finally afford it (this is a story for another time) I bought my first Transformer...G1 Bumblebee :BOT: (my favorite from the show).
Now yes I know that Sludge would have been technically my first, but...well he broke at the neck, and the dog we had at the time ate his one of his missiles, and since we had to move a lot between the Spring and Summer of that year, and the fact that the same dog got hit by a car......well when I got Bumblebee he was really all I had (besides a few die cast cars). But after Bumblebee I have kept every figure (be it Transformers, G.I.Joe, Anime etc) that I have ever gotten since.......well there was that 1990 Spider-Man....again a story for another time.
So my long winded, TLTR point is, it was the show that hooked me, the comic that kept me, and my love of both that makes me the collector I am today.
I do wish that Hasbro would make more IDW designed figures, but I also love seeing new incarnations that they create as well. Do I have like over 30 Bumblebees :BOT:, yeah.....would I want more....yeah if they call to me that is....and most likely they will.
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1944193)
Posted by ScottyP on March 6th, 2018 @ 8:00am CST
Lore Keeper wrote:[quote]repeated incarnations meant to evoke more-or-less the same source material can and does lead to fatigue

I completely agree with this. There seems to be a conflict of interest between Hasbro and collectors. Hasbro wants to keep putting A list characters on shelves because they sell well, especially with kids and parents. Collectors love Optimus Prime, but most aren't too keen on buying another one once or more per year. Your average collector would be happier with a new take on Omega Supreme than with Bumblebee #4382. I don't know if there is a way to reconcile such competing desires.[/quote]I have a hard time with it inside my own head! G1 is and always will be great, but so will Beast Wars, Armada, Cybertron, IDW, and plenty else. The 2013-ish Generations era was well on its way to achieving a nice balance, and CW's Leader Class kept it up well. Then it seems things went backwards. Whether this is on Rattrap and Rhinox's visibly and undeservedly poor retail performance, or even Armada Megatron's (which was lacking as an homage) I don't know. That said, it'd be great to see more updates for characters without great and/or accurate toy representations like Terrorsaur, Nightscream, and even some Mini-Cons. Space Team in Legends class that combines into a Titan scaled Requiem Blaster, anyone? =P~

I think there's room for both though. A nicer new deluxe Ironhide that borrows from Casey Coller's refined but mostly-G1 design would, I think, be satisfying to multiple verticals within the fandom.

Anyhow I hope my harping on this point doesn't derail things, having a great time reading these stories!
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1944226)
Posted by Flashwave on March 6th, 2018 @ 10:48am CST
Lore Keeper wrote:[quote]repeated incarnations meant to evoke more-or-less the same source material can and does lead to fatigue

I completely agree with this. There seems to be a conflict of interest between Hasbro and collectors. Hasbro wants to keep putting A list characters on shelves because they sell well, especially with kids and parents. Collectors love Optimus Prime, but most aren't too keen on buying another one once or more per year. Your average collector would be happier with a new take on Omega Supreme than with Bumblebee #4382. I don't know if there is a way to reconcile such competing desires.[/quote]
Its not just about them selling well, its about Recognition. Prime, Bee, Starscream, Megatron, are the foreground characters of the TF Line. Its like getting Star Wars and not having Leia or Luke, or GI JOE without Scarlett and Snake Eyes. Generations is one of those funny lines because yes, its being designed with more collector values in mind than RID or Cyberverse, but it os still being marketed to kids as well and therefore can't turn its back on those elements as well.

At least with this years Leaders, they do something unique.i was on the fence with Rodimus Prime, since I had JUST bought a Titan Master Hot Rod what, 4 months ago? But now that I have him, I am gladI did because that toy is more than just another futuristic red sports car, it adds a lot in its own ways.

I have no real attachment to Orion Pax, so I dont need another big Prime, but if I were more of a G1 guy I would probably be after that Leader Prime now. Yes, i have just bought several Big Primes recently, but it does something different than the Titans Return Prime.
Re: The Fandom Menace 2 - Toy Story (1945012)
Posted by Va'al on March 9th, 2018 @ 11:28am CST
Apologies for the late replies and discussion nudging, was abroad this past week!

With order...

Vic Zanzibar wrote:I'm definitely an anomaly in that I'm pretty much a toys only collector. [...] At this point though, my primary reason for collecting is simply that I find Transformers toys themselves to be aesthetically interesting and more fun than other available hobbies.


This is always fascinating, given the amount of fiction - official and unofficial - that exists out there. However, you do point out that it's mostly out of logistics and finance that you didn't get into that side of the franchise. Would that be different now, do you think?

Acesmcgee wrote:for me it was the story and the connection it formed for me with my dad. I remember watching the first episode and he and I playing that out, the story made me want to be Optimus and crew. I actually dressed up as Bumblebee for Halloween shortly after, and it was only about then that I really recall wanting the toys.

I still make a story when I play, I mean pose my transformers. There has to be a reason for what they are doing.


Two very different points, but two that I think are crucial for a lot of people in the fandom - and looking at casual to hardcore fan participation too: personal stories. It's not just the story behind a particular toy (we've talked about that a lot elsewhere on the boards too), but the stories that become part or viceversa, host the figures and products we have in our hands.

I see this a lot with younger fans, where fanfic, fanon and headcanon become the reason behind making a particular purchase, and can supersede an existing characterisation. It's something obvious as a child, but most definitely still exists in adults too!



There's some other really interesting points later down, but wanted to tackle these two first. :D
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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #207 - Through The Fargate
Twincast / Podcast #207:
"Through The Fargate"
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Posted: Sunday, September 9th, 2018
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