View Full Version : Transformers Audience Presentation Coursework

2013-05-23, 12:47 PM
Hi Guys and Girls:

Im an 18 year old British student studying Media at A-Level, the course requires me to do a presentation on a Film Franchise with a recognised Fanbase, and being that i am a Transformers fan myself, I choose Transformers. In order to recieve the top mark for this presentation, i must include opinions from people who consider themselves BIG fans, which is where you come in, I will post 2 questions down below and if you can answer them both in your replies, that would be great, thanks!

Question 1: What is it about Transformers, as a whole, that makes you love it so much?

Question 2: What is the craziest thing that you have done/bought/tried etc. because of Transformers.

Again, thanks for the help

2013-05-23, 01:24 PM
1. They got me with some good imagery when I was an infant (It was probably the Unicron bits of the 1986 movie that really hooked me). Then some solid follow-through with the comics (again, I seem to remember my mind being blown clear out of my skull during the two months of On The Edge Of Extinction).

Then they got me again when I was halfway sentient with Beast Wars, which stood out among some generally strong animated shows aimed at 8-12 year olds at the time. Mainly, I think, because it could sneak more horrors past the censors that shows like Conan The Adventurer could not.

2. Bought Beast Wars: The Ascending? I mean, The Gathering should have warned me enough. Maybe I was drawn in by the promise of some Unicron? That does appear to be my weakness.

2013-05-23, 02:23 PM
1. Beast Wars is a great show, even though it alienated the G1 fans. The Bay Movies are great movies that cater to everyone's tastes, ROTF aside. The comics... well, the James Roberts one, at least, rival all other sci-fi fiction in terms of quality and characterization. The older comics are great for a nostalgia hop.

And the toys are awesome.

2. Craziest thing would be to obsessively collect the comics, even the terrible ones. Normally I wouldn't do that.

(How come I never get these kinds of assignments?)

2013-05-23, 05:51 PM
1. For me, Transformers is sort of my one crazy, unexplainable vice. I liked the cartoon as a kid, really enjoyed the toys as a kid (and protected and preserved them much better than my G.I. Joe or Star Wars toys), but wasn't able to convince my parents to buy me all of them (thankfully). As an adult with some disposable income, I can sort of relive that fun part of my childhood, even if my collecting has become a bit obsessive and consuming. It's a link back to the carefree days of elementary school minus the playground taunting.

2. I suppose the craziest thing would be my ongoing collecting. A friend gave me a handful of RID toys when I was just finishing college, and that inspired me to dig out my childhood toys and display them on a shelf. That led to buying a couple new toys here and there in the early 2000's, which led to hunting down some "wish I had those" toys from the past, which led to a completist urge kicking in when a new line was introduced, which led to a collection that now fills more than four entire walls of shelves in my house, plus a closet full of unopened ones. Thankfully I've been able to throttle back a bit, but my justification is still, "It's cheaper and healthier than cigarettes or alcohol." (Some friends question my "healthier" bit, but they don't matter.)

2013-05-23, 06:32 PM
I suppose being involved with a fan site for over ten years and having minor input into a little bit of product qualifies me as more than usually obsessive.

1. It's as much about what you can read into the concepts as what's been produced officially in the way of media. Science fiction's mostly about discussing people, but Transformers has the potential to be (and is occasionally written as) harder science fiction, with the alienness of functionally immortal giant robots at war over periods of time we can't really get a grip on played up to.

And it's perhaps harder to pull off with licensed material in a corporate sandbox, but at times everything comes together and you get a character or piece of fiction where things line up; original and entertaining/intelligent with good production values (such as IDW's current More Than Meets The Eye comics) or well-engineered toys with good designs for all modes (some of Takara's Masterpiece figures such as Grimlock and Sideswipe.)

Sometimes it's just about big fights, explosions and robot dinosaurs. Like the much older Doctor Who franchise, there's so much been done that there's something for most people to enjoy.

Transformers was also in the right place at the right time -- in the early 80s restrictions began to be lifted on direct marketing to kids, so the early franchises such as MOTU, Thundercats, Turtles, etc. got a foot in the door before audiences started to fragment. You got two or more toys in one, and something else that was a bit different was having the majority of the cast be robots rather than piloted by humans (even if written very much as humans a lot of the time.)

2. Nothing stands out as particularly crazy, because geek and retro culture has become very mainstream. Those of us who've been in TF fandom since early days are reaching the point of settling down with families and mortgages if not already there. You get a few people who go off the rails and overspend or go completist on some things and then regret it, or change their name to Optimus Prime, or get large tattoos, but fandom's mostly about chewing the fat with people who have similar interests.

Particularly prized collectibles for me (other than a few figures with sentimental value or particularly neat designs) include a thick fan-published novel (http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2003/2/7/eugenesis-transforms-a-childhood-classic-bowing/) that follows on from Marvel UK continuity, the score to the original animated TF movie on CD, the Generations photo book, some signed comic reprints, etc. They weren't particularly expensive.

As other people have said, there are occasional lapses of judgement that involve buying complete crap just because it has Transformers on it.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-24, 03:15 PM
1: The British comic. Opened me up to a world of far more than just giant robots hitting each other but got me hooked on the whole reading thing full stop.

2: Well, I've been to every Auto Assembly since 2003, come rain or shine. This year will be my tenth (the only reason it's not the 11th is they didn't do one in 2007). It's gone from taking up five or six hours on one day to four days at the convention itself (well, I only wound up staying over on the Sunday last year when London Midland decided no one could possibly want to travel to Kidderminster by train on the day of God, effectively marooning me, but I've decided to do the same for 2013) and two weeks booked off work as it goes from the one working week into the other and who just books a Thursday and Sunday night off?

Also, I'm planning to do this to James Roberts this year. SHHHHHHH, don't tell him:


2013-05-24, 09:17 PM
:lol: "Would it be okay if we kiss James?"

I love those Doctor Who Night sketches...

1. As with Dalek, it was the UK comic for me. I used to borrow bunches off my mate at a time (ours was a Beano house at the time), although I did keep up with the Collected Comics Holiday Specials. It was the energy and enthusiasm that galvanized my young mind. Not only that, but the lengths the editorial team went to great lengths to make you feel part of something, with their letters page and pre-internet community sections in Stock Exchange, Reader's Choice and so on. It was the things that span out of Transformers that also got me interested in wider reading material. From small acorns like Dragon's Claws, Knight Raven and Death's Head to more mature and thought provoking stuff like Knights Of Pendragon (history! mythology! environmental issues! ) which lead into other interesting comic book reading habits ... and an interest in how the world works. I'd probably go so far as to credit my choice of reading material as a youngster with my current sensible grown up interest in current affairs (albeit filtered through Private Eye and Charlie Brooker).

The facets of this rolling franchise that I like the most are the ones that shake things up a bit, whether its the brutal Generation 2 comics, the smart sci-fi sass and reinvention of Beast Wars, or the balls-out fun of Animated, the things that drive the franchise forward or change it radically are what I find most exciting and involving. I'm less impressed with things like the current Prime that lack that vital spark to make them special.

2. I don't think I've done anything ridiculous. Attending Auto Assembly in 2009 and being mostly drunk and shouty and silly all weekend. That and spending 120 on Brave Maximus, a 2ft tall toy that is basically an enormous door stop / umbrella stand. That's about as ridiculous as my collecting habits have got.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-25, 12:58 PM
2. I don't think I've done anything ridiculous. Attending Auto Assembly in 2009 and being mostly drunk and shouty and silly all weekend.

I know, even now, four years later you're still the talk of the convention. "Remember that one drunk shouty guy? Totally ruined the sober contemplation of the rest of us".

2013-05-25, 01:12 PM
1. The fans, they have such a wonderful sense of perspective.
2. I edited the Wiki once. Felt dirty for weeks, still self-harming.

inflatable dalek
2013-05-25, 01:21 PM
1. The fans, they have such a wonderful sense of perspective.

I've just finished the JN-T biography, and whilst he was a man with some really dark faults the present day interviews with some of the fans involved at the time are staggering in how twattish and lacking in perspective they are.

Which might be excusable if they were reflecting what they thought 30 years ago, but no, you've got serious grown men saying they still think it was their right to steal props from the set because JN-T was just a "Custodian" of their show, of talking proudly of what a maverick-sticking-it-to-the-man rebel they were despite the fact that in reality all they did was run a small Doctor Who fanzine read by about 50 people.

And whilst there's obviously a lot of parallels with Transformers fandom (and Trek fandom... and Bond fandom. Hopefully all fandoms rather than it being something I do to the ones I'm part of) I would sincerely hope, say, Walky wouldn't wind up paying for Michael Bay to have as many prostitutes as he wants in exchange for scripts and memorabilia like Ian Levine did for JN-T. Whilst still blaming JN-T for making him do it.

Cyberstrike nTo
2013-05-28, 05:09 PM
Question 1: What is it about Transformers, as a whole, that makes you love it so much?

Despite that a lot of the stories in the various medias are pretty lame or just downright stupid, there are stories that are very good and a few that are great.

Question 2: What is the craziest thing that you have done/bought/tried etc. because of Transformers.

I paid $707 for an original MITB God Ginrai the day before Takara announced the reissue then I turned around a bought a reissue and the American version later on.

Inaction Master
2013-07-04, 06:27 PM
1.) As dalek said, with the cartoon series - it was the earliest form of media I had been exposed to, and it lead to just about everything else that I can think of that I've come to experience and enjoy. And I still do, even with all the twists and turns the franchise has taken.

2.) It's sad that the craziest I've done seem so mundane, but... at a younger age I constructed a Soundwave costume entirely out of cardboard, soda boxes and ceramic piping. All visual evidence of the results thankfully no longer exist.

inflatable dalek
2013-07-04, 06:36 PM
Though you are still wearing it today.