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inflatable dalek
2013-02-01, 09:10 PM
I'm pleased to introduce a whole new series of articles, one a month, counting down the year to Transformers 30th anniversary. It's early days yet, but hopefully we'll be getting a variety of writers looking to talk about various varied aspects of Transformers, both in terms of fiction and real world references.

This thread is both for discussion and feeback, and also for anyone who has a burning desire to write about [insert your thing of choice] to put themselves forward for a slot.

We do have a potential list of ideas which I'll post in here when I'm 100% sure what has and hasn't been taken to see if anyone fancies a punt on any of them, but we're also open to fresh suggestions as well.

First up, the four million year sleep:

http://tfarchive.com/fandom/features/thirtieth-anniversary/

Denyer
2013-02-01, 10:10 PM
Not necessarily a limit, any number of extra slots can be open if stuff is interesting.

numbat
2013-02-10, 05:03 PM
Enjoyable read!

I guess the modern take on Transformers tend sto use the stochastic equilibrium approach to the war. But I always did love the idea of these massive alien robots lying dormant on Earth while people moved about their everyday lives oblivious to them. The first live action Transformers movie does also play on this with Megatron being frozen, but the timeframes are unclear and the muddle created with Sentinel Prime and the Ark in Dark of the Moon leaves the duration of Megatron's slumber even more uncertain I think. But he could have been there for as long or almost as long as Sentinel was on the Moon. However long that was.

I'll look forward to more articles!

inflatable dalek
2013-03-01, 10:36 PM
Delayed in bumping the thread due to my exciting holiday, but the second feature looking at the sexism/or lack thereof in ther Bay films is now up:

http://tfarchive.com/fandom/features/thirtieth-anniversary/?s=countdown-11-female-characters-in-michael-bay-transformers

Kungfu Dinobot
2013-03-06, 11:04 AM
I'm afraid I'd have to disagree with you on one thing Dalek, Leo is the 2nd best character in ROTF*. I like him because he is reacting to the world around him in a very realistic manner. I mean how many people have met think they're so swag about life before being confronted cold, hard reality:lol:?


*1st best is Jetfire.

electro girl
2013-03-06, 12:05 PM
Very enjoyable, I just love discussions on gender in pop culture and I'm always keen for strong female characters. I do take issue with the part on male objectification though because the difference is that the sexy men in the films are more like male power fantasies than sexy sex objects what with all that running about with guns and being all commanding and badass. The short history given at the start was very nice and I would like to see more as well maybe a bit of theory like the male gaze or how societal gender roles effect what we see on screen and vice versa. Great read.

numbat
2013-03-06, 01:45 PM
Another great read. I do think the Transformers films get unwarranted panning on the merit that they are directed by Michael Bay, and are based on a series of toys. As you've shown, they are in many ways more progressive (note the use of the word 'more') than a lot of other mainstream blockbusters.

I don't want to have to bang this drum forever, but it annoys me that people lay in to them so much as being silly, or unrealistic, or too comic: Transformers is about a bunch of alien robots that turn in to cars (and other assorted things). After accepting that premise, you just have to go with it to enjoy the ride. It's a lark!

:)

Avengers delivers the same sort of tone - light-hearted comic tongue-in-cheek uber disaster - but seems even more formulaic to me. And, as you say, is less inclusive than Transformers. Certainly just as daft. I enjoy both very much, but struggle to understand why one is viewed as absolutely phenomenal, and the other as a complete joke. It's particularly funny as Empire say about Transformers Dark of the Moon that because it was such a huge financial success doesn't mean it's a good film, whereas in the same issue just a few pages away they use the argument that the huge box office success of Avengers shows how great a film it is. (They also say just because a film is a box office flop doesn't mean it's bad, using John Carter as the example, and I do agree with that... Dredd is another case-in-point...)

:swirly:

As a side note - Dredd is really a truly brilliant film. Beautifully filmed, perfectly acted, wonderfully scripted and directed, intelligent, brutal and the best use of 3D I've seen (the only artistic use of 3D I have seen for sure anyway) (still hate 3D though...). Such a shame it flopped in the States.

Kungfu Dinobot
2013-03-07, 01:23 AM
Avengers delivers the same sort of tone - light-hearted comic tongue-in-cheek uber disaster - but seems even more formulaic to me. And, as you say, is less inclusive than Transformers. Certainly just as daft. I enjoy both very much, but struggle to understand why one is viewed as absolutely phenomenal, and the other as a complete joke. It's particularly funny as Empire say about Transformers Dark of the Moon that because it was such a huge financial success doesn't mean it's a good film, whereas in the same issue just a few pages away they use the argument that the huge box office success of Avengers shows how great a film it is. (They also say just because a film is a box office flop doesn't mean it's bad, using John Carter as the example, and I do agree with that... Dredd is another case-in-point...)

COMEDY GOLD.


Yeah, I like Avengers too, but I have no clue what make it so "great".

inflatable dalek
2013-06-10, 07:57 PM
This has fallen behind a bit due to me suffering some severe Transformers writing overkill earlier this year, but now we start to catch up with two write ups.


First, Mr. Clay invites you to look at his Hardbone as his examines the explosion of Third Party toys over the last few years:

http://tfarchive.com/fandom/features/thirtieth-anniversary/?s=countdown-10-the-rise-of-the-third-party-transformer


And I look at how Pat Lee, a man who is already a bit of a bastard even without hyperbole, has gone on to become the big black bogeyman of Transformers comics to a somewhat exaggerated degree:

http://tfarchive.com/fandom/features/thirtieth-anniversary/?s=countdown-09-the-lee-venson-enquiry

Clay
2013-06-10, 08:21 PM
I do like writing and thinking about my Hardbone...

Knightdramon
2013-06-10, 09:31 PM
Hmmm, interesting. Some ideas I have;

--An article about how transformer toys moved from "rounded up to avoid lawsuits" RID car brothers, to purely made up cars/jets [Armada to Cybertron, with few exceptions] and the fact that we, today, enjoy fully licensed cars in the lineup.

--Or something about how toy engineering technology advanced so much from RID to fall down to Armada simplicity, Cybertron robust stuff, only to get more quirky and reach a finite stalemate at ROTF/Animated and regress back to DOTM/Prime/BH stuff.

--Or something about how much the franchise changed and reset itself, from TFTM to Animated to ROTF/DOTM to Prime and beyond.

Is there any deadline? Required word count per article? I could really get behind my first topic and start writing stuff about it.

Denyer
2013-06-10, 09:51 PM
--Or something about how toy engineering technology advanced so much from RID to fall down to Armada simplicity, Cybertron robust stuff, only to get more quirky and reach a finite stalemate at ROTF/Animated and regress back to DOTM/Prime/BH stuff.
It has been a long road for Hasbro, hasn't it? At least in the main lines... these days they seem to have hit on price/size points and a spread of complexity that's sustainable, even if the distribution management is almost as bad as Mattel's 200x MOTU line at times, but they're now compromising so much on quality and deco with some of the smaller ones that it's amazing the stuff sells.

Deadlines aren't strict (once we're caught up, if there's more than one a month, great). Article length... ideally about the sorts of lengths we've had so far as a minimum, and some pointers on accompanying images would be good.

Happy to entertain any of the topics mentioned. :up:

Blackjack
2013-06-11, 05:36 PM
Blackjack likes this. :up:

Terome
2013-06-11, 07:22 PM
I, similarly, enjoy reading these articles.

Ryan F
2013-06-15, 01:18 PM
I know my post count here is extremely low, and most you don't know me from Adam (I'm a long-time lurker here who only recently signed up), but I too would like to throw my hat into the ring.

I've already written a bunch of essays for Seibertron and tfw2005 back in the day (my one and only Seibertron news credit was for a piece I wrote on why Blot was the best Transformer ever).

By way of auditioning, I've put three of these essays back online:

Why did G1 Die? (http://rsbwpc.weebly.com/why-did-g1-die.html)

The G1 Cartoon - More than Just a Cash-In? (http://rsbwpc.weebly.com/the-g1-cartoon---more-than-a-cash-in.html)

And

Do Transformers Eat Trees? (http://rsbwpc.weebly.com/do-transformers-eat-trees.html)

I'd like to do a piece about Beast Wars, and how it reinvigorated Transformers after the early-nineties lull, if that's okay.

If anyone else is thinking of tackling the same subject, let me know and I'll think of an alternative.

inflatable dalek
2013-06-16, 06:49 PM
Top notch, by the look of it you're good to go.

Clay
2013-06-17, 04:49 AM
I'd like to do a piece about Beast Wars, and how it reinvigorated Transformers after the early-nineties lull, if that's okay.

The more the merrier. Welcome to our little community!

Blackjack
2013-06-17, 05:17 AM
Do Transformers Eat Trees? (http://rsbwpc.weebly.com/do-transformers-eat-trees.html)

Hee hee hee

Knightdramon
2013-07-09, 08:46 AM
The Beast Mode article is an entertaining read, though if there's one thing I could change, it'd be removing Furman from the cartoon writers. The guy only wrote [or co-wrote] the final two episodes, two out of 50?

Just nitpicking :up:

Ryan F
2013-07-09, 04:33 PM
The Beast Mode article is an entertaining read, though if there's one thing I could change, it'd be removing Furman from the cartoon writers. The guy only wrote [or co-wrote] the final two episodes, two out of 50?

Just nitpicking :up:

Hey, no worries - nitpicking is what Transformers fans do! And thanks for the interest, by the way!

With regards to your comment, I was basically making the point that Beast Wars did enjoy its fair share of dedicated writers, as opposed to the Sunbow G1 crew, where there was a LOT of hack-work going on (to tight deadlines, to be fair).

I wasn't listing the Beast Wars writers in order of how many episodes they did, or even importance... it was just a way of illustrating that some decent writers - people who cared - helped make the show become a hit.

Auntie Slag
2013-07-09, 04:55 PM
Regarding the hack work, is there any information that expands on this? For example; a comment from Writer X who recalls how he was regularly given two-week deadlines per episode, with enforced requirements like... Powerglide and Seaspray must feature prominently in this episode, use the Constructicons in any constructive way you see fit, or include a strong human element for the next three episodes etc.

I'd love to know the constraints. And how it differed (if at all) between a Marvel Sunbow writer and someone working on Beast Wars, or Animated.

inflatable dalek
2013-07-09, 06:20 PM
Donald F. Glut and his various interviews over the years put the hack viewpoint across, he's fairly cheerful about taking the money and running and having knocked out any old crap.

Considering most writers don't start off wanting to do what basically extended toy commercials I would say that, before the franchise became old enough for people who grew up on it to start working on it, those behind the scenes tended to fall into two categories:

Fresh faced young writers "Paying their dues" by doing the work they have to do before moving onto the work they want to do. Furman on the Marvel comics is a great example of this done right, he threw himself into it knowing a good job could see him move onto better things (probably remembering that just a couple of years before Alan Moore had been on Doctor Who and Star Wars).

The other, generally journeyman writers in it just for the cash. That doesn't mean the better ones don't do it to the best of their ability once they've agreed to take the gig (that's the life of a freelancer after all, even if you're doing it to pay the bills you still need to do a good enough job to keep working). It's just that, as all aspects of the entertainment industry struggle with meeting deadlines, there will always be a place for writers like Glutt who can be left to their own devices and will turn in a usable script on time even if it's not brilliant.

Ryan F
2013-07-09, 09:24 PM
Most of all though, it just shows in the writing of the two shows. Qualitatively, they're like chalk and cheese.

I realise that some of the difference basically boils down to the fact that, in the 80s, writers were neither required or expected to write brilliant epics. Look at other similar shows of the 80s, and it's all pretty much the same thing.

We can pass off the 80s scripts as hack work, but in their defence, that's just the way things were done back then. A few years ago I decided to have a little wallow in nostalgia and bought some Thundercats and MASK box sets; many of the episodes were downright rotten - the Sunbow G1 show, comparatively, was actually pretty good.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, although we should go a little easy on Glut and his brethren, I really do think that Beast Wars, by comparison, blazed somewhat of a trail, story-wise.

So although both were products of their time, the writers had very different approaches. The 80s writers took what worked in other cartoons, and just went along with what was normal at the time - making good, solid kids' entertainment, just not pushing any boundaries.

The BW crew, on the other hand, seem to me to have thought outside the box somewhat, tried something a bit different to what kids were mostly used to.

Jaynz
2013-07-09, 09:34 PM
Yeah, a lot of people forget how good G1 was in comparison to what else was out at the time. This is also true of the writing, where we might cringe at quite a few episodes today, we have to remember that Batman: TAS hadn't premiered yet, and He-Man was the previous 'high bar' set for animated series. That fact that ANY of G1 holds up as well as it does (and it is still better than several of the series that followed) is a testament to some real skill behind that hackery.

Skyquake87
2013-07-10, 05:22 AM
The other thing to remember with Beast Wars is that the Transformers brand was pretty much dead after Generation 2, so Mainframe were given a far freer hand then than they would probably get nowadays. I don't know that Beast Wars necessarily blazed a trail in terms of storytelling in Animation. Both Batman: The Animated Series (1992) and Reboot (1993) have a similar maturity to them. Even shows like Animaniacs and Tiny Toons had a smartness and a sass that earlier humour cartoons lacked.

I'm quite fascinated by the change in children's animation (and television generally) as the 1980s rolled into the 1990s. Suddenly you get some really good stuff like The New Adventures Of Mighty Mouse (helmed by John K whom would go onto develop Ren & Stimpy), Ox Tales and even decent live action stuff like Round The Twist. I wondered what precipitated such a sea change in how children's telly is viewed?

inflatable dalek
2013-07-10, 07:00 AM
When did Saturday morning cartoons really hit their stride in America? The '60's? If so, by the time you get to thirty years later you got an entire generation raised on them who've grown on them and moved into TV. Chances are the shift in the early '90's was at least partially trying to make the same sort of shows they remembered through their six year old eyes rather than the reality.

Ryan F
2013-07-10, 12:31 PM
I actually think the UK were a bit further ahead of the game than their US counterparts. Shows such as The Magic Roundabout, Dangermouse and Henry's Cat all had sensibilities which we might now call 'modern'.

I caught an episode of Dangermouse the other day, and DM & Penfold were admiring a painting of the Houses of Parliament in an art gallery.

DM: Ah! A Canelletto!

Penfold: Oooh, yum! I love pasta!

DM: (sighs) No Penfold, that's cannelloni.

Quite a funny exchange, and I must admit it quite tickled me. But that probably went WAY over my head when I saw it as a six-year old.

Having seen a lot of old 80s kids' shows in the last few years, I have to say that one of the best US ones was The Visionaries - I found it very witty, and there was also just the slightest hint of story arcs and even some character development. It's a crying shame it lasted only 13 episodes.

I don't think the US TV landscape helped matters, either: what's the point of trying to tell a long, over-arching story when episodes get jiggled about, shown in random sequences, and often pre-empted by other shows - compare the transmission order of the G1 Sunbow cartoon to the broadcast order, for example.

Shows like The Simpsons and Star Trek TNG were specifically made to watched in any random order, because the production staff knew they couldn't trust the syndicators / network affiliates to show things in the correct sequence.

In the UK it's a bit of an alien concept that things can get switched around, but even as recently as a couple of years ago a season 1 episode of serialised US sci-fi show Fringe was held back and shown mid-season 2, which of course resulted in major confusion.

I can only assume that, at some point in the late-80s / early-90s, the US Networks got their collective asses in gear and started becoming more reliable, thereby allowing writers to carry a single storyline through multiple episodes without fear of a shuffle.

But that's just a theory, I don't live in the US so it might be that I'm talking complete rubbish!

Jaynz
2013-07-10, 03:21 PM
I think it's simpler than that. Hanna Barberra and it's 'government partners' had a stranglehold on televised cartoons in the United States up through the early 1980s. As more and more companies got sick of having to deal with them, they went to the syndication route where they had a freer hand. Even the networks got sick of them and ditched Saturday Morning cartoons for sports, which were more lucrative and far less hassle.

It's laughable now, but remember that shows like GI Joe and Transformers were 'too violent' for children and would have never aired on 'regular television' back in the day. (That's actually why He-Man went syndicated as well). Syndication allowed for Batman: TAS, where as the 'usual route' gave us 20 years of Superfriends.

inflatable dalek
2013-07-10, 06:56 PM
Oh yes, Visionaries was seriously ahead of the curve, at least as far as toys shows went. A very smart series, and probably Sunbow's best.

Cliffjumper
2013-07-10, 07:13 PM
DM: Ah! A Canelletto!

Penfold: Oooh, yum! I love pasta!

DM: (sighs) No Penfold, that's cannelloni.

"Oooh! An alpenstock! Funny, I thought they went south for the winter"

inflatable dalek
2013-07-10, 07:27 PM
Of all the 80's cartoons my mother had to watch with us Dangermouse and Duckula were the only ones she didn't hate hate hate with a passion.

Knightdramon
2013-07-11, 08:56 AM
Recently watched TFTM 1986, followed by mostly random season 3 episodes.

I class the animated movie along Macross DYRL and other 80ies relatively high end films, at least in Animation, whilst I class season 3 as garbage.

Things went [in my opinion] downhill in S3 of BW as well. The fact that this time they were pressured to add upgraded toys to the cast almost randomly instead of all in one go, ala season 2, hurt things more than it should.

Moreover, BW being CGI thankfully put a lot of limitations on the cast numbers, which worked to our advantage at the time. Still, with the exception of S2, other seasons could probably be watched out of order [much like the G1 cartoon], besides the openings/endings.

BM, on the other hand, had to be watched in order.

We have to sadly, always bear in mind that these shows were made first and foremost to sell toys to children, which means a lot of what we as adults take for granted in shows, is non-essential.

Also, I have no clue which cartoons or TV series you guys are talking about at the moment, besides B:TAS :lol:

Skyquake87
2013-11-17, 06:16 PM
Would anyone mind if I had a stab at doing something around the European originated lines of 1992 - 1993 (the stuff that sort of lead to G2) ?

Cliffjumper
2013-11-17, 06:33 PM
Would anyone mind if I had a stab at doing something around the European originated lines of 1992 - 1993 (the stuff that sort of lead to G2) ?

YES

Cliffjumper
2013-11-17, 06:34 PM
No, obviously I'm just a massive cock, it's an area of Transformers that definitely needs more love and attention.

Can you believe that I'm still staff here?

inflatable dalek
2013-11-17, 06:51 PM
Would anyone mind if I had a stab at doing something around the European originated lines of 1992 - 1993 (the stuff that sort of lead to G2) ?


That would be awesome sauce.

My plans also include on the strange and mysterious world the Japanese cartoons used to be (a totally valid article and not just an excuse to call it I Think I'm turning Japanese for the racist wanking gag lols. especially when coupled with "So Fortress Maximus has come himself") and a "30 things I want from the 30th anniversary" one.

With five up, three in the bag, and those two plus yours, that only leaves us one short of the 12 with two months to go.

I think...

Skyquake87
2013-11-18, 08:04 AM
:lol:

I will get to work then. Hasbro Europe's short lived burst of originated product is one of my favourite bits of all Transformersdom.

inflatable dalek
2013-11-19, 11:00 AM
The final result can either be PM'd to me or Denyer.

If you're a lovely person you can help Denyer put the final page together by doing the one thing I think I've managed to forget with Every Single One of mine when sending them on: Suggestions for pics to accompany it (or even the actual images themselves).

I think I've just used the phrase "Fortress Maximus cum face" more time than I ever thought I would.








Not as part of the write up, I just like to shout it at passing children.

Skyquake87
2013-11-20, 10:16 AM
Very good.


Best get cracking then! Will rustle up some images too. I do have some picks from when I used to have all the toys, but they're a bit crap and out of focus or have spoooky shaky hand cam :(

Might have to crack out the naughty discs and see if there's owt on them i can use :)

inflatable dalek
2013-12-03, 08:29 PM
A whole brace of updates as we come up on the close of the year, from myself, Warcry, Blackjack and Skyquake:

http://tfarchive.com/fandom/features/thirtieth-anniversary/

Knightdramon
2013-12-03, 09:17 PM
:lol:

How about that--about five months ago I had the idea for an article...and completely forgot it until I saw dalek post updates on facebook.

Sorry guys, too much on my plate on this "foreign" [lol] land. Will try to do it on my pace back in Greece in a few days, and have it uploaded whenever possible, even outside the anniversary countdown articles, since you seem to have filled your quota.

:up:

inflatable dalek
2013-12-04, 08:28 PM
Have no fear, there vague plans in motion to make this an occasional ongoing series, probably called something awesome like The Secret Files of Teletran 2, so there's no escape from it yet.

There's also something coming in Januaryish everyone can contribute to as well (strokes chin mysteriously).

Skyquake87
2013-12-04, 09:06 PM
ooh that sounds interesting.

*raises eyebrow quizzically. or at least tries to and realizes he can't and just looks a bit constipated so gives it up as a bad idea*

Red Dave Prime
2013-12-04, 09:23 PM
Really enjoyed all the articles to date guys, top work. Especially enjoyed the look at the european gen 1.5.

Warcry
2013-12-04, 10:13 PM
Have no fear, there vague plans in motion to make this an occasional ongoing series, probably called something awesome like The Secret Files of Teletran 2, so there's no escape from it yet.
Yeah, by all means, he should feel free to write it up whenever he's got a chance. And that goes for everyone -- if we can get enough contributors, maybe we can make a regular monthly series of it (or just publish one whenever, if not). :)

ooh that sounds interesting.

*raises eyebrow quizzically. or at least tries to and realizes he can't and just looks a bit constipated so gives it up as a bad idea*
Mwahahahahahaha! My plan is already working and people don't even know about it yet!

:glance:

Seriously though, I think you guys are going to like what we've got coming. :)

Red Dave Prime
2013-12-04, 10:17 PM
Mwahahahahahaha! My plan is already working and people don't even know about it yet!

OMG - Warcry am Shockwave!!

Auntie Slag
2013-12-04, 10:35 PM
The Secret Files of Teletran 2

It's Teletraan 2.

This guy don't know Transformurs.

Warcry
2013-12-04, 10:35 PM
OMG - Warcry am Shockwave!!
Nope. I've got twice as many hands and four times as many eyes as Shockwave. And I cackle better. :)

Cliffjumper
2013-12-04, 11:56 PM
Can we not have less of this stuff and more long lists of barcodes and case assortments instead? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT ALTERNATORS WHEELJACK'S WALMART SKU CODE WAS FOR ****'S SAKE.

Terome
2013-12-05, 02:43 AM
Fantastic reading, thanks for writing them.

inflatable dalek
2013-12-05, 07:17 AM
It's Teletraan 2.

This guy don't know Transformurs.

Well, I did only say it would be called something like that.

Don't make me use my mod powers to go all IDW on your ass and change your screen name to the Hasbro Approved Aunty Slog.

Thanks for the kind words peeps (and as well as the various writers Denyer also deserves credit for doing... something behind the scenes. I'm not sure what, but he does it well).

Can we not have less of this stuff and more long lists of barcodes and case assortments instead? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT ALTERNATORS WHEELJACK'S WALMART SKU CODE WAS FOR ****'S SAKE.

Ah, sorry folks. No future essays then, barcodes it is. :(

Denyer
2013-12-05, 07:13 PM
the Hasbro Approved Aunty Slog.
I can't tell if you intended the last word or not.

inflatable dalek
2013-12-05, 07:54 PM
Of course I intended it!

Unless it's Slug rather than Slog that Hasbro are trying to pass Slag off as now. I can never remember as both are equally stupid names for the character when Sludge is the slow fat one.

inflatable dalek
2014-01-01, 03:56 AM
And to bring us formally into the anniversary; a (by coincidence) somewhat topical piece considering the extra focus Furman's writing has been under from the fandom this last week; Cliffjumper looks at why Time Wars wound up being a bit odd:


http://tfarchive.com/fandom/features/thirtieth-anniversary/?s=countdown-01-small-time-wars

Warcry
2014-01-16, 03:09 AM
The vague plans that Mr. Dalek spoke of have come to fruition...

http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=52256

Skyquake87
2014-01-16, 08:44 AM
I'll have a bash at that...in a bit :)