The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History

The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History

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

Categories: Editorials, Top Lists
Posted by: ScottyP   Views: 51,425

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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.


Transformers News: The Top 5 Reboots in Transformers History


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
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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
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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.

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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)
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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 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
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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)


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.

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