At the time of writing (late January 2013) we are less than a year away from the 30th anniversary of Transformers. In the decade since the 20th — a time where we basically had Dreamwave and Energon and not much else — the franchise has enjoyed a renaissance that has seen it achieve levels of success and general public awareness it hasn't enjoyed since the original heyday of the late 80's.
The majority of this has to do with the Michael Bay movies (love them or hate them, having some of the highest grossing films of all time certainly does a lot for the status of a franchise) but we've also had a general increase in quality of the cartoons, and the toys and comics as well.
Coupled with that quality we've seen a great increase in variety, with styles covering everything from the kid-friendly froth of Robot Heroes through to the literate and mature work of James Roberts on the More Than Meets the Eye comic. It may be increasingly hard to love everything, but equally you'd have to be the most Scrooge McDuck of people not to have at least one thing you're getting a lot out of, be it the multi-player fun of Fall of Cybertron, the political shenanigans of Robots in Disguise or just the mere thought of Marky Mark teaming up with Optimus Prime for the next film.
In short, Transformers will enter its fourth decade in a position of strength, and to celebrate that and the forthcoming milestone birthday TFArchive is going to do something a little different and special (if you're reading this in THE FUTURE and everything's gone horribly wrong don't begrudge us our youthful enthusiasm.)
For every month between now and 2014 we'll be adding to a series of articles from a variety of authors, each looking at a different aspect of the things that have made the franchise mean something to us all. From the minor to the major, and covering the fiction and the reality.
The write ups will be personal and opinionated, but also celebratory. 30 years is an impressive amount of time for something to be in almost constant production. And with the recent great strides forward there's more than a good chance of us all still being here in another 30 as well.
But that, as Swerve would say, is another story...