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The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History

Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History

Saturday, September 8th, 2018 12:58PM CDT

Categories: Editorials, Top Lists
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Don't Call It a Comeback
The Top Five Reboots in Transformers History, by Scotty P


When something isn't working right in some way, a reboot can help set things back on to a better path. We do this with our gadgets all the time to set things straight, and more recently, large entertainment companies have been more willing than ever to restart classic franchises in order to cash in on new or lapsed opportunity for potential money. Soft, hard, full continuity reset, reboots until they were retconned out, non-reboots until they were retconned as such, that other Mainframe animation series - there have been many of these reboots and resets over the years.

Transformers is no stranger to this concept. Reboots, relaunches, and re-imaginings have allowed Transformers to persist over the years, and with each newly scanned concept or universe the world of Cybertron expands its IP empire further.

Usually.

Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History


Sometimes.

With IDW Publishing's long running Transformers comics continuity coming to an end this Fall, leading to a so-far nebulously defined reboot in 2019, inspiration struck to look back at the various times the heart of Vector Sigma has washed away the old and began anew. Take a short walk with me down memory lane as we look at the best reboots of all kinds throughout Transformers history - soft, hard, power cycled, and even some that are more "refresh" than reboot. Don't get too pedantic, I'm going to play pretty loose with the "reboot" concept's definition.

One more thing - This "top five" list is just for fun, just my opinion, and you should definitely comment by replying to this post to tell me why I'm wrong about all of it on our Energon Pub Forums!

#5 - Transformers Prime
Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History

Another way to put this first ranked entry could be "The Aligned Continuity and in particular, Transformers: Prime", but keeping the focus on Prime while acknowledging the wider Aligned Continuity feels appropriate, and somewhat similar to how Hasbro's various divisions handled things anyhow. Transformers: Prime was the focal point of a loosely-to-moderately-woven group of multimedia entries launched in 2010 with a goal of becoming a unified, overarching meta-continuity that would carry the brand for ten years if not longer. Along with Prime, several elements aimed to collectively achieve this goal: the War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron video games; Exodus, Exiles, and Retribution novels; Covenant of Primus and Transformers: Vault books, the Rescue Bots franchise, the follow-up Robots in Disguise animated series, and several tie-in comics. Despite these efforts, all these disparate pieces only really accomplish their goal if you're looking at their general ideas from orbit after your brain was launched into space from trying to actually patch it all together.

Despite the clear fictional problems at hand with the wider Aligned Continuity execution, Transformers: Prime itself brought a credibility to the television fiction and had a wider, more mass-market appeal than the beloved but niche Transformers: Animated and clearly kid-focused Unicron Trilogy. Using a main cast roughly the size of Beast Wars' main cast, the series was able to expand Transformers to an audience that had experienced the live action movies but was ready for something new that also remained grounded in at least some familiar, nostalgic territory. With hooks like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the voice of Cliffjumper (at least in the pilot, for a few minutes), Peter Cullen and Frank Welker reprising their respective Optimus Prime and Megatron roles for television, and the flash of a new cable network, "The Hub", Transformers: Prime felt like it had it all. This new multimedia onslaught looked to have the brand poised for another boom after the shocks of Revenge of the Fallen's awful experience, not to mention the late 00s economic near-collapse, had settled.



Presumably hoping to learn from the Transformers: Animated toyline's truncation due to the Revenge of the Fallen toyline (yes there were some late waves and exclusives, and yes there was more to it, just keeping things simple here), Prime's "First Edition" toys were plucked out of the pan-universal Generations lineup and released after Dark of the Moon's run in theaters. Kind of. Eventually, just ahead of the second season's premiere, a wider toyline hit the shelves and for a time, Prime was rolling with a quality TV show and a decent range of toys.

While not without its missteps, Transformers: Prime helped to bring in new fans after Revenge of the Fallen's deleterious impact on the franchise's credibility, and was an important first step towards making Transformers a franchise that had toys rather than a toy franchise that had fiction.

#4 - Transformers: Armada
Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History

In the 90s, there was Beast Wars, and it was good. Then there was Beast Machines, and it was good, mostly, but also a little weird and the toys were a mess. Then there was Transtech, and it was not.

With fans fatigued from running with the beasts, and Hasbro looking to set longer term plans in motion to really take Transformers back into the pop-culture A-list, time was of the essence. A new approach to get kids to like Transformers again was needed, and a new team was assembled from the ashes of the axed Kenner division (there's more to it, again, keeping things simple), ready to truly re-launch Transformers in earnest for the first time. They made some redecos of Takara's "Car Robots" Transformers line, called it "Robots in Disguise", and this filled some space on retail shelves for awhile while they got ready for a new battle.

Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History


With a new cartoon receiving a hyped-up release in Cartoon Network's popular "Toonami" block, a comic book from hip retro-cool licensed publisher Dreamwave, and a slew of new toys, Transformers: Armada had arrived to transform your summer of 2002. Mini-Cons were here - could you catch 'em all?

Disaffected young adults that had grown up with Generation 1 and Beast Wars were initially not pleased, for the most part. While some would come around (after some time coping with the fact that they were getting older), kids loved Armada and the toys were a runaway success, to the point where the line was padded out with Beast Wars repaints and multi-packs of previous releases with Mini-Cons strapped along to meet retailer and consumer demand. A Playstation 2 video game padded out the multimedia marketing, and Transformers was beginning to find some success again after another short flirtation with obscurity.

Armada's success not only spawned a sequel in Energon and a spiritual sequel to that in Cybertron, but it proved that classic ideas of the Autobots and Decepticons could be merged with new characters and myths to successfully market to both old and new fans. These lessons would be applied earnestly and soon into the future, leading to Transformers' second era of cultural phenomenon - but this is a ranked list, and sadly, this segue won't quite work unless you skip the next entry (don't!)

#3 - IDW Publishing's "Phase 2"
Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History
Line art by Nick Roche, colors by Josh Burcham

The one true "soft reboot" on this list was kicked off by the one-shot comic book from IDW Publishing, "The Death of Optimus Prime", released in late December of 2011. Picking up after the pretty good ending to the pretty bad Transformers "Ongoing" run of 2010 and 2011, this proved to be one hell of a hook for a jumping on point. Its premise is simple: the Autobot vs Decepticon war is over - now what?

The "what" proved to be two ongoing series that would run from January 2012 to September 2016 in what is quickly becoming known as the "golden age" of Transformers comics. John Barber's Robots in Disguise (later just Transformers) and James Roberts' More Than Meets The Eye comprised the core of a stretch of fiction that would treat Transformers like people while treating its readers like adults. While lighter on action than other eras of comics, plenty is still to be had as our heroes face down Decepticon remnants, their own bad decisions, not-yet-dispelled evils from another dimension, ancient Cybertronian relics and their masters, corrupted Autobot leadership, galactic organizations, the hazards of romance, and especially in the case of Megatron, themselves. Contributions of other writers such as Mairghread Scott and Nick Roche helped flesh out the universe and tie up other loose ends while creating new questions, and the artistic talents of several veteran and newcomer pencilers, inkers, colorists, letterers, and editors shone through the cloud of "licensed toy property book" like the brightest Spark on Cybertron.

Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History
Line art by Andrew Griffith, colors by Priscilla Tramontano


The casts were composed of many key "Generation One" characters, of course, but many characters that never got a chance to truly be defined finally had their time to shine. Whirl, Needlenose, Chromia, Rewind, Swerve, Tailgate, and almost countless others went from G1 afterthoughts to memorable, well defined, actual characters that you can describe in more than one sentence if asked. New characters came in as well and made huge impacts, with the likes of Rung, the DJD, Windblade, and Aileron - also among a plethora of others - to take what had been an almost exclusively "G1" lineup and expand it in a significant way. Couple this with the introduction of characters from across the Transformers lore, enabled by a colony concept similar to the various planets in Transformers: Cybertron, and the universe feels like one in where any Transformers character from any point in history could show up and fit in without being awkwardly out of place.

Perhaps the biggest contribution of this era is how it expanded the representation of people expressed through the robot characters in ways that were long overdue. In addition to the intrinsic value of doing this, praise is in order for how the authors and artists approached this new strategy of inclusion in a way that never felt pandering, belittling, or disrespectful, but was instead natural, empathetic, and uplifting. The world and its people are diverse and express themselves and their experiences in infinite ways, and IDW's Phase 2 books will remind you that it's possible for Transformers to do the same. The brand can tell stories that matter to us humans on a level that isn't boiled down to robots punching, shooting, and kicking one another while sometimes turning into cars, trucks, planes, and guns. While that's not a new concept, Phase 2 uses that as a paradigm and does so effectively while still delivering plenty of action and sci-fi/mecha goodness to please its base of longtime Transformers fans.

Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History
Line art by Alex Milne, colors by Joana Lafuente


It was truly a special time in Transformers fiction, and as its follow-up "Hasbro Universe" phase winds down, I can say that it is and will be missed dearly.

#2 - Transformers (2007)
Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History

Some fans love Michael Bay's take on the Transformers, and the five movies that comprise a decade-spanning chapter of the brand's history. Others loathe them, while others can appreciate them from a distance while pointing out their positives and rightly pointing out their less savory, regrettable elements. This is not about that. This is about the summer of 2007, and how the Transformers ascended to successful heights not seen since the 80s.

We all remember our first car and our first fling. My first car was a hand-me-down [redacted because I think this is a bank security question] that I wrecked and you don't need to know about the other thing. The 2007 version of Spike "Shia LeBeouf" Witwicky had a first car that was a 1977 Camaro that was actually Bumblebee and became a 2007 Camaro after being insulted by his first fling, Megan Fox. One of these things is much more glamorous and fun than the other, and this is one of the reasons that movies are cooler than real life.

Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History


No one was really sure if Transformers could work on the big screen, and early pre-release hype was tepid at best - no thanks to your pals here at Seibertron.com and producer Don Murphy, but that's another story. Then the trailers hit and excitement built a little, but then the movie premiered at Botcon 2007, was widely released shortly thereafter, and while critically panned as expected the movie was actually really fun to watch and became a surprise mega-hit of a summer blockbuster. The toys started to fly off the shelves, and the little VW beetle from G1 was now a cool modern sports car that you couldn't find a toy of for about two months - and some say we're still paying for that now. That aside, it did make Bumblebee a true Transformers A-lister again after his lengthy absence from the franchise. Bumblebee's rediscovered appeal helped the movie, and the movie helped its related toy line find huge success, to the point where the line was padded out with Cybertron repaints and reissues of previous mold releases with new paint decos strapped along to meet retailer and consumer demand. Sound familiar? Probably so, but Armada had nothing on this, for as good as that was.

Love it or hate it, there's no denying that 2007's Transformers movie took our favorite Cybertronians and again made them a phenomenon the likes of which they hadn't been for 20+ years. It's hard to imagine this success being repeated, but then again, there was a point where it was hard to imagine Transformers even being around to get to this point. If only something had been around to maximize its potential...

#1 - Beast Wars
Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History

As the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrived in the late 1980s to nunchuck G1 into a shallow grave filled with pizza cheese, Hasbro had to re-think how to continue with Transformers. They released the Action Masters, and it is generally agreed that this was a very bad idea. After hiding away in Europe for a couple years with their totally-radical-awesome toys like Overlord and the Motorvators, Generation 2 arrived to herald a renaissance and revival of the great Transformers brand!

Generation 2 also arrived just in time to be almost completely ignored by its target demographic because of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers smashing any momentum it could have hoped to have, like a Putty Patrol dude in season 2 when they just had to hit the big obvious "P" on their chests, or G2 Slingshot anytime after the year 2000 when you just had to move it in any way whatsoever or breathe on it funny. Don't tell me I'm wrong, I was in the third grade when G2 was released. No one cared about G2 in grades 1-5 except me. Transformers would have to again go live on a farm in the Midwest for awhile, which is probably where all the G2 Technobots were buried by your uncle as he made his way to Washington to go work for Nintendo.

Then in 1996, like a vast, predatory bird, nature did something unnatural. Nature lied...


They were robots in disguise! Gone were the Autobots and Decepticons, now there were the Maximals and Predacons. Not those Predacons, new ones with all sorts of crazy new forms and kid-appeal characters that changed into cuddly critters like pillbugs and octopuses and half-lionfish-half-bee-half-mans. It was awesome.

With extremely articulate (for the time) figures even at the most basic price point thanks to ball jointed hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, and more, and with a wide range of transformation difficulty scaling from one step up to "I'm still not done with Tripredacus mom, just another minute!", Beast Wars was the first truly successful "reboot" for the Transformers. Without it, this list probably wouldn't exist - both literally and figuratively. These remarkable toys had staying power, and were truly doing things both new and timely. Extreme reimaginings of classic ideas? Check. Scribbly packaging font? Check. A subline with vacuum metal chrome? Check. Beast Wars' toys were a microcosm of the 90s and what it took to reinvent an old property for a new era, while still holding up in many ways to "modern" standards.

Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History


Also incredibly timely was the accompanying television show. An entire kids' show, made with computer graphics, released on a weekly schedule was proof positive that the future had arrived. The small cast led to character driven stories, and while the first season can drag in places, go ask a kid catching just the loose episode here or there in 1997 if they cared. You can't so I'll answer: they didn't, I was there. The show was a hit and more than a few of my peers at the middle school held it as a guilty pleasure. While it looks worse every year thanks to advances in technology, and even in its time couldn't hold a candle to big-budget movies like Toy Story or A Bug's Life, it still blew away anything on a Playstation, Saturn, or N64 on the polygonal 3D playing field. The show may also lead some younger fans to believe Beast Wars isn't a reboot at all, with it technically falling into the Generation 1 fictional continuity! However, this wrinkle is the only facet of Beast Wars that wasn't a completely fresh start, and one has to wonder if such a wild departure would ever work today considering the constant flashpoints of toxic, social media driven, hot-take and hate-click fueled attention seeking behaviors that sometimes arise when anything dares to flip an established fictional property on its head. Regardless, quality can overcome even the most apprehensive of fanbases, and in the case of Beast Wars' show the fact that it truly was good helped immensely, leading to two additional seasons after the initial run and the Beast Machines follow-up, plus a lengthy syndication run in early mornings that lasted into the early 2000s.

The other thing that lasted into the early 2000s? The toyline, with a Walmart exclusive being released in 2001 - though 2014's Strafe themed repaint of Terrorsaur marks the last use of any of the original toolings, for now.

With Beast Wars nostalgia starting to crest, and Masterpiece toys of icons like Dinobot and Megatron just released or on the horizon, it can't be denied that Beast Wars truly saved the brand from its early 90s ultimate doom countdown to extinction (foil gatefold variant cover, 1:700 copy retailer incentive available with the order of 4,000 copies of The Death of Superman.) While there are still a few "Trukk not Munky" holdouts, even most of them have at least softened to the point of being able to recognize Beast Wars' contributions to Transformers. The rest... is silence.

Honorable Mentions

All Hail Megatron
Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History
Line art by Guido Guidi, colors by Josh Burcham

You may be thinking to yourself, "wait, was it a reboot!?" No, but it sure felt like it for a small stretch of time in mid-late 2008! This was a shot in the arm that kept the franchise going in comic form, and while the immediate aftermath wasn't great, eventually this led IDW's Transfomers story out of the meandering woods of the Dead Universe and into the great heights of Phase 2.

Machine Wars: Termination
Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History
Line art by Hidetsugu Yoshioka, colors by Evan Gauntt

Technically this isn't a reboot, but instead a story within the G1-derivative Wings Universe from Fun Publications. Let's be honest though, it's a Machine Wars reboot. And it's very fun! If you didn't read the comic that came with your Botcon 2013 set, what are you waiting for?

This concludes our look at "reboots" of all kinds in Transformers, and the superlatives of the bunch. Do you think I missed anything? Transformers: Animated fans probably do, but they're wrong and it's ok - and they can tell me why I'm wrong by replying to this post!

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Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982959)
Posted by Quantum Surge on September 8th, 2018 @ 1:15pm CDT
I really liked seeing a lot of reboots in the TF universe, and I do hope that the next movie universe and cartoon isn't a G1 lubricant leak fest that inexperienced nerd sites (that only praise Disney's MCU and Star Wars) will praise for noatalgia sakes. Btw the 2007 movie wasn't as panned as the other five; I can see some complaints for ROTF and TLK but DOTM and AOE didn't really deserve to be trashed by critics and bloggers (then again they praised the scrap out of a movie made by a controversial director that got fired not too long ago)
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982960)
Posted by ZeroWolf on September 8th, 2018 @ 1:16pm CDT
Great list scotty! And number 1 is rightly deserved :)
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982961)
Posted by TulioDude on September 8th, 2018 @ 1:16pm CDT
Armada and Movies 4 life.

Good list! :D
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982964)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on September 8th, 2018 @ 2:01pm CDT
A very good read, great job, Scotty! I never thought of the different continuities as reboots, I always thought a reboot has to take place in the same continuity to be considered as such.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982965)
Posted by TK415 on September 8th, 2018 @ 2:39pm CDT
Great choices Scotty. Great list. I love G1!!!! Beast Wars was a great reimagining, and amazingly written. Such great writing, stories, story arcs, and characters. So awesome and memorable.

Great stories in each of those reboots.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982966)
Posted by What's Crackin'? on September 8th, 2018 @ 2:54pm CDT
I Loved to see the movies get some more appreciation, but I wish Animate got at least a mention. I liked how difrent it was from previous incarnations of the Transformers, and I adored the art style. Jazz got some proper screen time and soundwave was simply the best. Still, It's your opinion, and your well written list, but good job.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982968)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on September 8th, 2018 @ 3:09pm CDT
Rodimus Prime wrote:A very good read, great job, Scotty! I never thought of the different continuities as reboots, I always thought a reboot has to take place in the same continuity to be considered as such.


The term reboot has been thrown around so much over the years it's lost all meaning. They kept calling that last season of Roseanne a reboot when it was a revival and continuation of the previous season(or strictly speaking the season before that one). A reboot would have meant a total change of cast, perhaps characters and of course continuity. Batman Begins was the reboot of the cinematic Batman franchise due to how they started from scratch to remove the bitter taste of Batman & Robin. Some of these on the list aren't reboots but alternate adaptations of the source material.

And the pic of AoE bugs me (though i do appreciate the movie franchise in general being high up, thank you) cos it's not a reboot strictly speaking as it adheres to the same continuity of the previous three films, and also I bloody love it (it's helped put me in good mood on some of my worst days, the design work is absolutely gorgeous as it is for all the movies but this one may be my fave mostly due to having two awesome forms for Optimus, a great villain in Lockdown and the glorious sight of the dinobots). And evil Frasier Crane is fun too. :D

Out of these I mostly ignored Armada after enduring a couple episodes of it but enjoyed the PS2 game based on it. IDW's comics I generally have no affection for whatsoever and I have tried, oh frickin' hell I have tried but there's just so much I dislike it all that the only thing I can say positive about it is... um... it's better than Dreamwave's. Beast Wars, even when brand new I found ugly (I've never been fond of animated CGI cartoons and even recent ones look pretty damn awful to me and I'm no fan of even the 'top-tier' like Pixar movies. Gorgeous 2D animation just looks better to my eyes and barely dates at all compared to CGI toons. The G1 cartoon still looks pretty bad though but the 86 movie still has some nice visuals). But the characters, their designs, their vocal characterisations and storylines just didn't do anything for me and niether did the toylines. The improved articulation that they'd been working on near end of G1 was nice but I had no interest in organic looking Transformers at all and a lot of them resulted in messy robot forms with tons of ugly weird looking animal kibble, and some that didn't such as Primal's first gorilla form barely looked any different from his robot form. Nah, it pretty much had killed any lingering love I had for the franchise and figured I'd grown out of Transformers and toys by that point and while i had tinkered with a few Armada & Energon figures (like wanting to see how Armada Prime's trailer 'transformed itself' I wasn't keen on the blocky look of a lot of the figures and my interest in TFs was only really piqued again when Classics came out in 2006 hitting some of the nostalgia notes and interesting transformations and looked well crafted in both modes and then the 2007 line hit and it was everything my child self had wanted. A return to intricate details, real world vehicles like the good ol' days of early G1 and the characters looked amazing on screen too. The CGI in even the first film still holds up very well overall and is believable enough.

jeez... i'm typing too much again. Am very sorry. I think i actually am ill for the first time in 8 years, feeling very hot and coughing and bleh. Never mind. Gotta get up at 6am tomorrow for a bike ride 6 miles there and 6 miles back. I will do it. ok. Sorry for all the typing. I'm an idiot and i know my opinion doesn't matter but i sometimes (often) feel the need to get it out of my head cos i often have difficulty concentrating on things. Hope everyone having a great weekend. Peace and such. :) I gone. :michaelbay:
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982982)
Posted by Tommy T. on September 8th, 2018 @ 6:18pm CDT
I've been a fan since I 2as a kid back in g1. I don't care about rebooting cause it will happen in every franchise regardless. I only hate when they reboot and only do a couple characters. Like the seekers for example. They always do starscream and usually one of the other ones. But that's it except for random cameos. Soundwaves tapes. Never have all of them show up. Oh well
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1982997)
Posted by blackeyedprime on September 8th, 2018 @ 7:37pm CDT
I wouldnt class Armada (sequel to RID/Car Robots with Optimus first appearing as RID optimus in it))or Beastwars (same continuity as G1) as Reboots myself.
Animated would be up there in my list, and maybe RID/car robots. I think Prime would be my no.1.

As much as I remember liking armadas story, going back to it hasn't been great so far (10 episodes in) with characters being called random names of other character at random times -it makes the headmasters dub look amazing in comparison.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983029)
Posted by Sabrblade on September 8th, 2018 @ 9:56pm CDT
blackeyedprime wrote:Armada (sequel to RID/Car Robots with Optimus first appearing as RID optimus in it)
Similar design influences =/= same person.

While Car Robots is in the same universe as all the Japanese G1 and Japanese Beast Era stuff, the English RiD version is a completely unique universe very much unlike Armada. Its Cybertron was populated not by Autobots and Decepticons but by Autobots and Predacons. Its civil wars were fought between the Autobots and Predacons. The Decepticons were only a Predacon subgroup first created on Earth from six Autobot protoforms. Megatron was a Predacon and loyally subservient to the ruling Predacon Council, rather than the single top leader of his faction. Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus were brothers created together by Alpha Trion, and with Optimus given his Matrix by Vector Sigma. The Matrix itself wasn't even a physical object but instead a force of pure energy, and which later becomes shared equally between Prime and Magnus (in Car Robots, this was not the case, as God Magnus had instead discovered that he already had his own Energon Matrix that had awakened within him). And most of all, while the Autobots did at times try to keep themselves hidden from humanity in RiD, their activities quickly became so noticeable that their presence was practically common knowledge, with TV news reports identifying the Predacons by name as early as Episode 6, and Optimus Prime likewise being addressed by name by nameless civilians even earlier in Episode 3.

Whereas in Armada, Decepticons are the dominate evil faction who fought in the Cybertronian civil wars against the Autobots, Predacons aren't a thing at all (barring one guy named "Predacon" whose toy was a Beast Wars mold reuse), Megatron is the numero uno top dog of the Decepticons with no council of any kind above or below him, Optimus has no brother (or father) to speak of, his Matrix is just kinda there, said Matrix is a fully tangible crystalline object encased in a solid container, only one bot is ever able to possess it at any given time, and the Autobots did their absolute darnedest (barring the occasional blunder) to keep themselves hidden from humanity as if revealing themselves to any general public other than the kids would have been some cardinal sin on their part.

Not to mention that initial plans on the Armada franchise had already begun before it was even decided to bring Car Robots over as RiD. Bringing RiD over was just a quick side project done to tide us over until Armada was ready to go a year later.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983042)
Posted by sumowrestler on September 9th, 2018 @ 12:05am CDT
I rather enjoyed Beast Wars. It was the series which got me excited again about Transformers. TF:Prime wasn't a bad take. The Unicron trilogy was meh but partly due to not catching about half of it. As for the comics, I didn't get much chance to read many of them. The one thing I did like in Animated was the rework of the titles of prime and Magnus. It was interesting to see Optimus Prime as more of a squad leader similar to Primal of Beast Wars. For me, Animated was my introduction to Sentinal Prime who was a complete douche. I didn't collect many of the toys beyond Micromasters due to money but I still check them out to see what is out there. The biggest compliment I have for the IDW line was the creation of the colonies because in my mind, it was an attempt to bring in all of these previous lines in. My complaint is when they branched out to the Hasbro line.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983045)
Posted by Black Bumblebee on September 9th, 2018 @ 12:47am CDT
While I agree with this list, and understand the rationale behind it, I feel that Animated deserved a spot on here as well. Like many people when they first saw the images, I was against it. Nope. No sir, this won't be good. But then, after I finally did watch it, I realized it brought back something that had been severely lacking throughout the "anime" phase and the later "Prime" phase: humor and a sense of family.

The original G1 Transformers gave us the Autobots not so much as a gritty war unit, but instead a "family" unit of various dads and kids. Optimus was of course the "big daddy" of the show, with his sense of duty, but also his horrible dad like jokes. Can you see later Cullen Primes saying something like "Ha! A booby trap that actually catches boobies." Of course not. He's too busy being silent and full of responsibility. Bumblebee was our surrogate child, along with other minibots like Cliffjumper.

Animated brought that sense of "family" back that had been missing. The Autobots weren't a war unit again, but they were a group of Autobots that protected one another. Kaye gave us an Optimus that was still learning to be a leader (like Primal in Beast Wars), and was trying to step up to fill that position. But he didn't let the responsibility get him down--there was still that humor.

Animated was a nice return back to the old way of doing things for a newer generation.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983048)
Posted by noctorro on September 9th, 2018 @ 2:44am CDT
Quantum Surge wrote:I really liked seeing a lot of reboots in the TF universe, and I do hope that the next movie universe and cartoon isn't a G1 lubricant leak fest that inexperienced nerd sites (that only praise Disney's MCU and Star Wars) will praise for noatalgia sakes. Btw the 2007 movie wasn't as panned as the other five; I can see some complaints for ROTF and TLK but DOTM and AOE didn't really deserve to be trashed by critics and bloggers (then again they praised the scrap out of a movie made by a controversial director that got fired not too long ago)


Objection!

You do realize that the Transformers movies (2/4/5) are objectively bad movies. (I'm utterly biased on TF3)
And that a lot of Marvel films are good films. No Transformers movie even comes close to a good Marvel movie. Marvel can pick up the Transformers brand (since the Transformers Lore is Marvel). But lets see what Travis Knight does with Bumblebee, maybe he'd be great for the Transformers movie brand. Bay was terrible.

Anyway ontopic. Agree on the list apart from the comics. I don't read comics. Armada was what got me back into Transformers, owning the entire line and several repaints. I really like the simplicity, Unicron is in it, they go to Cybertron. You have cool characters (Jetfire, Overload eventhough he doesn't do anything on his own). There's some progression, Smokescreen should've remained dead and Hoist should've been a new dude. Starscream was a great character (totally opposite G1 but very cool, I love both).

Prime was nice to, however I seriously hate 3d animation. Cell is the best in my opinion, I love the old school cell animation. 3D always looks like empty plastic, animation is wonkey.
Offtopic, anybody know a good animé show which is 3d and has GREAT 3d animation?
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983052)
Posted by angtre on September 9th, 2018 @ 4:24am CDT
Great list, I agree on almost every point.
Just a single note, to help it reach perfection: I'm pretty sure that the letter on "Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger" Putty Patrols' chests was a 'Z' (after their master's initial, Lord Zedd).
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983053)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 9th, 2018 @ 5:13am CDT
A solid list. Beast Wars of course deserves number one. Otherwise the rest probably wouldn't be here. Although it is a slight misnomer to compare BW CG to Pixar. The difference between TV and Movie CG is vast, sums of money. If Mainframe had the budget of Bugs Life, Toy Story et al Beast Wars likely would have been on par (and the cast probably would have been huge).

I will admit I did enjoy the first Bayformers, at least. As I said to friends at the time, I couldn't care less if the human cast were animated stick figures, that is not who I am going to a Transformers film to see.

Perhaps the biggest contribution of this era is how it expanded the representation of people expressed through the robot characters in ways that were long overdue. In addition to the intrinsic value of doing this, praise is in order for how the authors and artists approached this new strategy of inclusion in a way that never felt pandering


Summing up precisely why I jumped off IDWverse with Death of Optimus Prime. An unnecessary level of humanisation, which did seem very much like pandering. It's like they were saying: "We don't know how to write engaging stories about a race of shape-shifting alien robots, so we'll just write people in robot suits instead.We know they are not humans, but we don't know what else they could be" :BANG_HEAD:
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983069)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on September 9th, 2018 @ 10:57am CDT
For me, my personal Transformers "reboot" was the 2007 Bay movie. Without it, I wouldn't have any Transformers in my home today.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983077)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on September 9th, 2018 @ 1:46pm CDT
Great list, agree with the rankings. Beast Wars is forever the #1 reboot because it had the greatest odds to overcome: making kids care about Transformers again in the franchise's darkest hour.

About the video though: Is the even longer version of that first BW commercial still anywhere online? I couldn't find it on youtube. It's 90 seconds or 2 minutes, and the beginning actually mentions "PRETENDERS(!), then the beasts." It was my first introduction to BW in the winter of '96, and the last time I saw it was at BotCon 2000.

As for Animated...AFAIC, that was the greatest TF cartoon of all time, but kind of hard to place on this particular list because it was something more special than a reboot. The perfect balance between a barrage of homages from almost every past corner of lore, and something fresh with a new direction. There'll be more reboots down the road, but I'm not sure we'll ever get anything that succeeds on every level that Animated reached.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983127)
Posted by ScottyP on September 9th, 2018 @ 10:13pm CDT
Yeah I think Animated would make this list with almost any other author. Just never landed with me, but on top of that, the toy line release was a mess (like Prime's, to be fair) and then didn't last very long at all. I tried to think of cases where, at least for a time, the brand strategy was well executed. I never felt like Animated was anything more than experimental filler, but that's just me! Very much enjoyed the toys - that Botcon 2011 set is stellar, for one.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983161)
Posted by o.supreme on September 10th, 2018 @ 10:13am CDT
Interesting list, while I don't 100% agree with it, I respect the fact that all three prongs (animation, comics, and toys) were taken into consideration. Like when I think of Armada, usually it's the awful animated series that comes first to me, often forgetting that the toys were actually pretty decent. My take however will be purely from an animated series standpoint however because my interest in the toys has come and gone over the years, and I may be wrong, but I don't *think* there are technically even 5 comic-book reboots, and if there were, it would be pretty much an all inclusive list (kind of when someone made a top 10 characters in Machinima's CW...which was basically everybody :lol: ). If everyone gets recognized, it's not really a competition is it. ;)

So for me personally top 5 reboots (in animation) would be the following:

5. Cyberverse (At #5 just because I didn't want to put Machinima's series on this list)

4. Armada (*Unicron Trilogy*- While Armada was terrible, most fans seem to think Cybertron was a respectable entry as the 3rd part of the trilogy, even though it was completely separate series in Japan...ok yeah I know it was retconned later, but honestly, what makes me really actually think Galaxy Force is a decent show is it's separation from Armada & Energon)

3. TFA (As a stand alone series, the animation style looks awful to me, but the writing was pretty good, and you can tell all the creators cared about the mythos of what they were developing. A great new segue for kids at the time into Transformers)


2. CR/RiD (Back to basics...Kind of, Even though the antagonist "Destrongers" (Predacons) were mostly BW repaints, and a touch of various other lines, this series really got me excited for Transformers again (after the dud that was Beast Machines). The Cybertrons (Autobots) were vehicles again, and the series was great, and silly in its fun, but still having great action sequences. Also this series was the first true reboot of TF Continuity (yeah again I know in Japan they tried a wonky retcon, but I still consider it separate)


1. Prime - After nearly a decade of lackluster animated Series TF : Prime was exactly what I needed. When the world of animation was falling apart over at CN, Hasbro studios delivered a gem that adult fans could finally enjoy with their kids. It looked beautiful, the stories were great, and it was amazing. Unfortunately I guess it was "too good", in that it was too expensive to produce, so it was ultimately cancelled. Such unfortunately is the way of things, especially at that time. But at least we got 65 episodes, and a film out of it. I can't believe it's already been 5 years since it's been gone. I guess I'll only have to wait another 5 or so until the next decent TF animated series comes along.

*For anyone wondering why Beast Wars is not on this list, it is because technically it is set in the same universe as the original Animated Series, so while it was new and amazing, I would not consider it a reboot, since it's in an already existing continuity.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983192)
Posted by ScottyP on September 10th, 2018 @ 12:40pm CDT
^Cybertron/Galaxy Force is the most palatable series of UT start to finish, but when Armada gets good it gets good. The issue is that most folks can't slog past the first arc/cour which was "hook the kids", and still more drop out in the second arc which was "now they're hooked, sell them waves 2 and 3 and combining Mini-Con teams" where the Star Saber gets passed around like ecstasy in a rave. The back half is, to me, legit good, most fans just never got there.

Energon is trash though. It actually starts well but fizzles out so fast. Though even when the plot is lackluster, the sparse hand drawn cel animation sections are downright gorgeous.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983200)
Posted by o.supreme on September 10th, 2018 @ 12:56pm CDT
^ Yeah, the last 13 of Armada dubbed "Unicron Battles" wasn't as bad in hindsight, but agreed most fans didn't get that far. I remember somehow obtaining all those episodes before they ever aired on CN... I still maintain that Billy and Fred were by far the worst human characters ever in a TF franchise (yeah way more than even Kicker ...) * Side Point, I probably give Kicker a pass more than most because he was dubbed in English by Brad Swaile who has done voices in many other series of actually likable characters.

Energon is also dubiously my favorite of the "Unicorn Trilogy". Mostly because of the combining element most of the Autobots incorporated, also the return (at the time) of the closest thing to *scramble like* combiners we'd seen since the original, though how the series handled them was pretty lousy. Yeah, Energon ended horribly after such a promising start. Ending at 39, instead of plodding on to 52 would have been better in hindsight.

Galaxy Force for me is just *meh*, I prefer it to the shoehorning English dub "Cybertron" does to make it a "Trilogy", but there really isn't any character I like enough to get attached to. Seeing Primus for the first time was about all that stands out to me from this series. In fact, until my son watched it all the way through a couple times, I honestly couldn't tell you how this series actually ended, it was that forgettable to me.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983299)
Posted by Wingz on September 10th, 2018 @ 8:12pm CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:Great list scotty! And number 1 is rightly deserved :)


Agreed! :lol: :MAXIMAL:

I always enjoy these lists, because I usually end up learning something from them. Thank you for taking the time to write them ;)
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983308)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on September 10th, 2018 @ 9:35pm CDT
The other thing to remember about Armada is that it was the one and only reboot that homaged the dawn of Generation One by being a full-fledged Triple-Threat: The toyline, comic, and cartoon all debuted within a few months of each other, each a blank canvas that charged ahead full speed, three parallel but similar takes on the general concept (the toyline having several elements that didn't really make it into either storytelling continuity, much like the content of many G1 bios). So only the summer of 2002 can claim to have recaptured that bit of magic and enthusiasm from the summer of 1984. Apparently the price we paid for getting the show ready in time was inexcusably rushed and sloppy animation and dubbing, but the collective effect is what I fondly remember, as is surely the case for fans who made Armada their childhood introduction to TF.

And the separate-but-parallel Dreamwave comic continuity is important, because it explored the characters and themes in a more mature way despite lacking the storytelling time for the epic power struggle of the 'toon. Later, Animated set a precedent for the mainline toy franchise's comic series being mere appendices to their respective cartoons, set in the same universe. And while that makes more coherent continuity clusters, it also means that no future reboot will ever pack the 1-2-3 punch that G1 and UT led with.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983357)
Posted by ScottyP on September 11th, 2018 @ 8:40am CDT
^The Armada comic is a ton of fun and I'd much agree on the "triple-threat" approach being fun. They tried with Combiner Wars (and to a much lesser extent, Titans Return), but absolutely none of the timing worked out and shoving the concept into IDW's running continuity felt like a half-measure.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983362)
Posted by ZeroWolf on September 11th, 2018 @ 8:47am CDT
See they could have tried it again by asking IDW to put out a cyberverse comic, but given its more kid friendly inbuilt nature, I don't think the comic would survive. Maybe they could attempt it with what ever follows Cyberverse.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983366)
Posted by ScottyP on September 11th, 2018 @ 8:52am CDT
ZeroWolf wrote:See they could have tried it again by asking IDW to put out a cyberverse comic, but given its more kid friendly inbuilt nature, I don't think the comic would survive. Maybe they could attempt it with what ever follows Cyberverse.
They did a short RiD series and it was super fun, I wish they'd given it any sort of push at all. It had Team Prime! And Steve!
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983771)
Posted by Acolyte on September 13th, 2018 @ 6:29pm CDT
I can't argue with No.1. Wouldn't even want to. I never have watched (and probably never will watch) G1. It was before my time. Beast Wars was a HUGE breath of fresh air, and once it became clear in later Seasons that this was "canon" and started doing the little homages to "G1" it was really, really fun.

And after that, Hasbro stopped doing anything original. :BANG_HEAD:

I don't mean new looks (video games, IDW comics, etc) or a refresh on the look/grittiness/continuity (movies, games, Prime, ec.). I mean - before Beast Wars aired, with the exception of some recycled names that had practically NOTHING to do with earlier characters, had you ever heard of a single Beast Wars character before?

Shelves were filled with Fuzors, Transmetals, TM2's: Quickstrike, Airazor, Blackarachnia, Depth Charge, Rampage, Inferno, Rhinox. These characters have stuck with us through the years and were loved because Beast Wars was such a beloved, character-driven franchise.

Where did the love for risk-taking we saw in those late 90's go? Now, "new" is "We're doubling down on G1!" When was the last time a toy line saw a character that had never been released in the last 30 years? I mean with purpose, not just some third party or off-release that was obviously just them brushing off a mold? (or Encore release, which are usually great).

Where is the whole new world? Has nobody dared to imagine the Technorganic Cybertron that was birthed at the end of Beast Machines? Has nobody wanted to go back to BEFORE Autobots and Decepticons? No, and I'll tell you why. Because most of the fandom is fickle and worships nostalgia and would excoriate any attempt to do so. You saw how people freaked their :HEADHURTS: when animated characters started looking like Michael Bay stuff. You think they're ready for entirely new stories and characters that push them outside their comfort zone?

I'll just leave that rhetorical question hanging. But I long for the day when somebody "rescues" Transformers again and gives us and our children (mine is 3, we have a few years to play with here) all new horizons to appreciate and adore.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1983888)
Posted by o.supreme on September 14th, 2018 @ 9:21am CDT
The love for BW is well deserved. It's my personal 3rd favorite TF series of all time (critically 2nd favorite) . The toys I don't really feel qualified to rank, while I had many, I had skipped pretty much all of what was released from 2005-2015.

But on a side note, not to step on anyone's personal preference, but... I don't quite understand how anyone could purposely choose NOT to watch the original Transformers series, at least a few episodes if nothing else. I mean, to me it would be like calling yourself a Star Wars fan, and never having seen the original film, or a Star Trek fan and never having seen the Original TV series...

Again, I'm not saying people have to like it, but the thing that started the franchise deserves that respect. I mean when Gundam Wing first came on Toonami in 2000, and everyone when batshit crazy for it, I was in a real hurry to see the original series form 1979. I actually had the 3 serialized films that had been released on VHS (as well as 0080 & 0083), but I really wanted to see that original series in full to put things in perspective. To this day, while it's not my favorite Gundam series, it is easily in my top 5, and am glad I was able to see it early on before most of the series that came after it.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985346)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 22nd, 2018 @ 9:05am CDT
o.supreme wrote:But on a side note, not to step on anyone's personal preference, but... I don't quite understand how anyone could purposely choose NOT to watch the original Transformers series, at least a few episodes if nothing else. I mean, to me it would be like calling yourself a Star Wars fan, and never having seen the original film, or a Star Trek fan and never having seen the Original TV series...

Again, I'm not saying people have to like it, but the thing that started the franchise deserves that respect. I mean when Gundam Wing first came on Toonami in 2000, and everyone when batshit crazy for it, I was in a real hurry to see the original series form 1979. I actually had the 3 serialized films that had been released on VHS (as well as 0080 & 0083), but I really wanted to see that original series in full to put things in perspective. To this day, while it's not my favorite Gundam series, it is easily in my top 5, and am glad I was able to see it early on before most of the series that came after it.



Nostalgia is a fickle thing. As I've said before, aged 3 y/o, I watched Transformers The Movie and adored it. I avidly followed Sunbow season 3 & 4 after that. Now I never really watched Season one and two (note my age) at the time. Several years ago, it must have been some anniversary, Hasbro re-released the season boxsets on DVD. I bought Season 3 & 4 instantly and out of curiosity, Season 1 & 2 also. I barely made it to the end of the pilot episode. The horrendous dialogue, the "plots", the terrible animation, my first and last experience of the Pre-Movie seasons. I sold the boxsets soon after that. I won't attempt them again.

As an aside, you bring up Gundam Wing, which I also loved. However, that was the first Gundam series I ever saw on TV in the UK at the time. So I assumed it was The First. Again, as the other series are unrelated, I have no agency to see what else is out there.

Not everyone cares to explore the full history of any series. I wouldn't say to a Spider-Man fan of the new films and video game to watch the 60's "cartoon" or that they must read Amazing Fantasy #15. When it comes to Transformers, as one reading the Definitive G1 Collection, I wouldn't recommend a new fan reading the Marvel series either.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985701)
Posted by o.supreme on September 24th, 2018 @ 9:35am CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:I wouldn't say to a Spider-Man fan of the new films and video game to watch the 60's "cartoon" or that they must read Amazing Fantasy #15. When it comes to Transformers, as one reading the Definitive G1 Collection, I wouldn't recommend a new fan reading the Marvel series either.


I would recommend, on all those counts, out of respect, but that's just me. Also calling older things *horrible" is also subjective. I'd rather watch the original Transformers series 100X before watching anything form the Unicron trilogy, because to me, it's *far superior*, but again that's just me.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985702)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 24th, 2018 @ 9:44am CDT
That's the point, not everyone shares that reverence and you shouldn't force that stance upon people. Being a fan of X-Men, I've seen people ask where to start with that series? Again you see some say X-Men #1 (1963) or Giant Size X-Men #1 (1975). It's simply not necessary. Not everyone new to a series wants to recount chapter and verse, often merely the general gist is all they are actually looking for.


To anyone looking into G1 via cartoons, I always point to The Movie. It sums up everything you need to know with good action, decent characters, superior animation and a straight forward story.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985738)
Posted by ScottyP on September 24th, 2018 @ 12:16pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:To anyone looking into G1 via cartoons, I always point to The Movie. It sums up everything you need to know with good action, decent characters, superior animation and a straight forward story.
I'd agree with that all the way. Maybe add the pilot episode(s) on top, but yeah, for most fans this is going to give a taste of what that was all about.

I can't imagine starting out with Transformers in 2018 and planning to experience all of it. At best, someone would get done with that around 2030 but most folks would probably burn out before hitting G2. Imagine watching all of the American cartoon, Headmasters, Masterforce, Victory, Zone, reading all of the comics (US and UK, maybe some manga too), heck even going through tech specs. That sounds like an absolute chore and I love most of that material.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985739)
Posted by o.supreme on September 24th, 2018 @ 12:37pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
I can't imagine starting out with Transformers in 2018 and planning to experience all of it. At best, someone would get done with that around 2030 but most folks would probably burn out before hitting G2. Imagine watching all of the American cartoon, Headmasters, Masterforce, Victory, Zone, reading all of the comics (US and UK, maybe some manga too), heck even going through tech specs. That sounds like an absolute chore and I love most of that material.


Keep in mind personal preference here...I consider the animated series to be more *core* than any material in print. My son who was born in 2006, started watching TF pretty regularly around age 6. Rescue Bots (and regrettably Armada) ;) , were some of his favorites, but he had managed to watch the entirety of everything in animation in less than a year. (and I mean EVERYTHING including BW II & Neo etc...) . So no, I don't consider it ever a daunting task or chore to go back and appreciate *what came first* from any franchise I take a passive or immense interest in. however I know he is a unique case, most kids' parents probably don't have access to all of it.

I never said anyone has to watch/read everything, but you should at least give it a chance. I mean, yes TF:TM represents the greatest aspects of what the original animated series was, but it's really a subplot when compared to the greater overall story.

I just cant imagine anyone who is a fan of a long-lived franchise at least not being curious about how it all started. The one pass I'll give is to Dr. Who fans (which I am not) because it's my understanding that many of the original episodes are lost.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985741)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 24th, 2018 @ 12:43pm CDT
I went back and gave it a chance. The Movie is as good as Sunbow got ('overall story' is a kind appraisal, also) and although the Marvel UK Transformers comics are at least readable, there is nothing there that would enhance the series for a new fan 30 years later.

What could a new fan positively gain by reading Carwash of Doom?
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985742)
Posted by o.supreme on September 24th, 2018 @ 12:51pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:I went back and gave it a chance. The Movie is as good as Sunbow got ('overall story' is a kind appraisal, also) and although the Marvel UK Transformers comics are at least readable, there is nothing there that would enhance the series for a new fan 30 years later.

What could a new fan positively gain by reading Carwash of Doom?


Nothing, that's fine, you wont ever find me defending the Marvel Comic, as I am much more a fan of the animated series. So you watched a couple of episodes, and TF:TM, which is fine, that's much better than:

I never have watched (and probably never will watch) G1.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985743)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 24th, 2018 @ 1:03pm CDT
How far you choose to go in any series comes down to personal preference. Which can be rational or instinctive.

While it is more of an visible issue within the He-Man fanbase, too much emphasis tends to be given to G1. Placing it on a pedestal, one that negatively holds back Transformers as a series. An anchor that stops it from being More than meets the eye. There are many out there that think nothing more of Transformers than what Bayformers portrayed. Look back at the comics, TV series etc going today that started in the 60's or even 40's. They have become so much more than they were then. That reflects on a bittersweet note to this list. The fact Transformers keeps being pushed back to square one, over and over. Don't fans want more from Transformers 30+ years on, than Megatron and Optimus smashing against each other?
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985746)
Posted by o.supreme on September 24th, 2018 @ 1:11pm CDT
I'm never against changing things up over time. BW did this in a great way (despite the resistance that initially came with it). It's just that, at least knowing, and acknowledging anythings origin is essential IMHO. This does not mean you have to repeat it endlessly, but as time goes on, if how something started is forgotten completely, it may stop being that thing entirely.

I don't read mainstream comics for that reason. Marvel and DC have reinvented themselves into oblivion, and when I pick up any comic, I have no idea who the characters are, or why they even exist.

Also while Transformers may be able to exist without Optimus and Megatron, you really can't have He-Man without the titular character, the same with pretty much any self-titled fiction. Change can also be bad. Remember when He-Man went into space? yeah "New Adventures"...not really liked by anyone.

AllNewSuperRobot wrote:There are many out there that think nothing more of Transformers than what Bayformers portrayed.


Which is sad.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985748)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 24th, 2018 @ 1:32pm CDT
o.supreme wrote:Also while Transformers may be able to exist without Optimus and Megatron, you really can't have He-Man without the titular character, the same with pretty much any self-titled fiction. Change can also be bad. Remember when He-Man went into space? yeah "New Adventures"...not really liked by anyone.


Yet the last series of He-Man returned it to it's "roots", appealed to it's original fanbase and what happened? Cancelled and gone. Because you do have to change, move with the times and because the original fanbase isn't The Only fanbase you will ever have. As a fan of villains (and Sci-Fi), I preferred New Adventures to Filmation He-Man.

Batman is more than simply punching muggers and mobsters, as he did in the 40's. Meanwhile that aspect does still exist. However his fictional world has been crafted to stories beyond what was possible before. That would be like HasTak using BW as a template and leaving G1 behind altogether. Reference names, but telling stories that don't even remotely reflect the past.

o.supreme wrote:
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:There are many out there that think nothing more of Transformers than what Bayformers portrayed.


Which is sad.


The fanbase that holds G1 as sacrosanct, is just as much to blame for that.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985750)
Posted by o.supreme on September 24th, 2018 @ 1:36pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:Yet the last series of He-Man returned it to it's "roots", appealed to it's original fanbase and what happened? Cancelled and gone. Because...


CN execs are a bunch of dumb asses, that only care about *toy sales* for action shows. They wouldn't know a good show if it bit them. The fact that they cancelled YJ, Thundercats 2011, and Green Lantern, and haven't had a good show on that network since is evidence enough of that.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985751)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 24th, 2018 @ 1:41pm CDT
Exactly. As was the case with 200X He-Man. If you are marketing a show to sell a toyline aimed at new younger fans, your tag line shouldn't be "Remember Us?". Which is a confusing mixed message. The cartoon was aiming to appeal to nostalgia, whereas the toyline was nowhere near a "Collectors level" to bring in the now adult original fanbase.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985753)
Posted by o.supreme on September 24th, 2018 @ 1:45pm CDT
But that's the whole flaw...why does an animated series have to live/die by toy sales at all? This ISN'T the 80's anymore...So many other shows aren't held to that restriction, yet they last for years. 2002 MOTU was by far one of the greatest animated series of this century, it's premature ending was a travesty of justice.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985754)
Posted by ScottyP on September 24th, 2018 @ 1:47pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:I went back and gave it a chance. The Movie is as good as Sunbow got ('overall story' is a kind appraisal, also) and although the Marvel UK Transformers comics are at least readable, there is nothing there that would enhance the series for a new fan 30 years later.

What could a new fan positively gain by reading Carwash of Doom?
Carwash of Doom was a US story!

I actually didn't read any Transformers UK until about two years ago. The early (but post-"Man of Iron") stuff really fleshed out the US stories and provided some fun adventures for characters loke Brawn and the Dinobots. Some of the "epics" like Target: 2006 and Time Wars are fantastic, not to mention the enjoyment Death's Head adds to anything he's in! It was very worthwhile to go back and experience that material, almost made it like G1 comics were new again.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985755)
Posted by o.supreme on September 24th, 2018 @ 1:49pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:It was very worthwhile to go back and experience that material, almost made it like G1 comics were new again.


Your experience with reading UK comics, was pretty much my exact same experience with animation when I discovered Headmasters, Masterforce & Victory.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985758)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 24th, 2018 @ 2:02pm CDT
o.supreme wrote:But that's the whole flaw...why does an animated series have to live/die by toy sales at all? This ISN'T the 80's anymore...So many other shows aren't held to that restriction, yet they last for years. 2002 MOTU was by far one of the greatest animated series of this century, it's premature ending was a travesty of justice.


That was never just a formula of the 80's though. It may have gained prominence there, but the idea of cartoons being toy advertisements has persisted to this day. It is how that industry works. Even short lived post-80's cartoons such as Mighty Max, Toxic Crusaders or Earthworm Jim had a robust toyline to accompany the series.



ScottyP wrote:Carwash of Doom was a US story!


Yes it is. The point still stands

ScottyP wrote:I actually didn't read any Transformers UK until about two years ago. The early (but post-"Man of Iron") stuff really fleshed out the US stories and provided some fun adventures for characters loke Brawn and the Dinobots. Some of the "epics" like Target: 2006 and Time Wars are fantastic, not to mention the enjoyment Death's Head adds to anything he's in! It was very worthwhile to go back and experience that material, almost made it like G1 comics were new again.


To what end? What does a fan of today who, for example, jumped on to Transformers through the award winning Beast Wars or Transformers Prime, let alone the pinnacle of IDWverse (IMO) Last Stand of The Wreckers, gain by reading the Marvel run?

Without nostalgia, as I said before, there is very little merit to G1 fiction to recommend.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985762)
Posted by o.supreme on September 24th, 2018 @ 2:07pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote: It is how that industry works.


To a certain extend yes...but I'm pretty sure most of CN programming of the past 6 years or so (even though I don't watch any of it), do not have big toy lines to support them.

I don't hear my kids friends talking about toys when it comes to Teen Titans Go!, or Adventure Time, or (insert generic comedy show name here) toys...just the stupid shows themselves.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985763)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on September 24th, 2018 @ 2:12pm CDT
But.. Merchandise does still exist for everything you listed. Toys themselves aren't the be all and end all for kids they once were. It is still the model the industry uses, because it is something they understand.
"Better the devil you know" and all that.
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985769)
Posted by ZeroWolf on September 24th, 2018 @ 2:44pm CDT
Well this is a very good natured, robust debate :) why can't the rest of the Internet discuss like this?

For what it's worth I do tend to agree with what AllNew is saying. If fans actively look for more of the franchise then recommend away :) if not then live and let live. G1 is not gospel to me but I can understand that others are different :)
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1985821)
Posted by Sabrblade on September 24th, 2018 @ 6:43pm CDT
AllNewSuperRobot wrote:To what end? What does a fan of today who, for example, jumped on to Transformers through the award winning Beast Wars or Transformers Prime, let alone the pinnacle of IDWverse (IMO) Last Stand of The Wreckers, gain by reading the Marvel run?
Allow me to step in and answer this, speaking as one who entered this brand via Beast Wars and never got to read the Marvel run until he was 20-21.

As a young teen in the early 2000s, I was very much hyped up about all things Transformers and couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to absorb as much fiction as a I possibly could, though at the time I was also under the misconception that only the television/film-based works were what mattered since I had had zero exposure to any Transformers comics as a kid and up to that point as a teen.

So because I wanted to take in as much motion picture media as I could, I had already gotten through Beast Wars and Beast Machines and found myself wanting more. At the time, Kid Rhino was putting the G1, Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and Armada cartoons out on DVD, so I scooped all of those up without hesitation (RiD 2001 was--and still is--in Disney rights limbo at the time). And come 2004, Cartoon Network started airing Energon on Toonami (I was a dumb kid, so I was completely oblivious to most of that show's shortcomings).

I had also taken to getting Transformers news from fansites on the Internet at the time as well, around which point I'd discovered a few things that I'd never known about before. One of these things was the Transformers: The Ultimate Guide book publishing by Dorling Kindersley. Once I learned of its release date, I headed over the my local Borders (R.I.P.) and bought it. Reading that book fascinated me with what its contents detailed, as my ignorant brain initially thought it all pertained to the cartoon universes, until I later learned that most of its pages for the G1, Armada, and Energon sections were more specifically talking about the Marvel and Dreamwave comics (more correctly, the Dreamwave universes but with influences from Marvel).

I had never read any of the Marvel (or Dreamwave) comics, but what I'd learned about the Marvel run from both that book and on the early Transformers fansites of the 2000s intrigued me to no end. Especially the whole Primus and Unicron origin story that blew my blossoming adolescent mind way more than the cartoon's Quintesson origin did. I wanted to experience what these stories I'd heard about were talking about. I wanted to see the Dinobot Hunt, the Time Wars, the Megatron vs. Galvatron fights, The Legacy of Unicron, the Matrix Quest, the cult of Unicron, the Primus vs. Unicron fight, ALL of it!

And while I came to enjoy other new things as the years went on, I never stopped wanting to read the Marvel run, as my interest in reading it continued to linger in the back of my mind. It would not be until 2010-2011 that I finally got to read EVERYTHING from the Marvel run: US, UK, G1, G2, G.I. Joe crossovers, even Alignment! And while the US stories started to dull out around the middle of the run, the good parts were good enough to make me regret none of it. You ask what one who wasn't there for the original run gets out of going back to those old Marvel stories without the nostalgia for them to back them up? Well, I wasn't there, and what I got out of those old Marvel stories was:
  • The best version of Ratchet ever
  • The best version of Shockwave ever
  • The best "Unicron attacks Cybertron" story ever
  • One of the most hardcore depictions of Galvatron ever (and I don't mean Galvatron II)
  • The first Soundwave to ever make me even give a darn about him (in the UK comics only)
  • An awesome version of Blaster
  • A Grimlock who was both different from his cartoon counterpart and (when not being a bombastic bully) had a degree of intrigue and depth to his character (this was before RID 2015 came along and gave us its FUN Grimlock)
  • Awesome Decepticon leaders who weren't Megatron/Galvatron: the aforementioned Shockwave, plus Ratbat, Scorponok, Thunderwing, and Bludgeon
  • Storytelling that, even at its worst, kept things going in a way that showed how nearly each and every issue mattered to some extent in the long run of the series's ongoing narrative, as opposed to the cartoon's majority of filler episodes of rather pedestrian-by-comparison plots that could be skipped over due to how little overarching narrative the show had
  • Memorial character development for a good number of standout roles amid a sea of toys needing to be advertised (granted, this is not a concept unique to Marvel TF, but it's still noteworthy)
  • And on the whole, among many more things, a long-running substantial series of events that tonally felt more inline with the tones of Beast Wars and Beast Machines than the cartoon ever did, which was very poignant to me for how much I love the Beast Era ('course, this isn't to say that I subscribe to the notion of the Marvel comics, instead of the cartoon, being the G1 past of the Beast Era, no, I know good and well that the Beast Era's G1 is a mixture of cartoon/comic elements and is meant to be treated like Arthurian Legends rather than as literal history, with the exception of the contrary being the case for the Japanese Beast Era since the cartoons are absolutely the literal history of that version of the Beast Era, but I digress).
Re: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History (1986117)
Posted by ScottyP on September 25th, 2018 @ 10:31pm CDT
^ Very well said! Marvel UK offers this sci-fi feeling with a more serious tone that is maybe the most infectious of all the G1 media.

My other thought on what it can offer: Legacy of Unicron. It's this super unique take on what it means to battle a God and I don't think anything else in transformers gets close to its depiction of weird mental warfare.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #344 - Journey to the Pegs
Twincast / Podcast #344:
"Journey to the Pegs"
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Posted: Saturday, February 24th, 2024

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