As we now reach the end of the poll results (you'll never guess who number one is), everyone here at TFArchive really hopes you've enjoyed taking part and reading the final write up pieces, and that the entire experience has been a lot of fun for everyone who has joined in.
But now, it's time for the fun to stop. It's time to get serious. Stop looking like you're enjoying yourself, especially you at the back there. This penultimate piece will be providing some quite amazing dull statistics and facts about the poll results, and is not in any way shape or form meant to entertain. If you start to be excited at any point you're doing it wrong.
One thing that surprised our super statistics compiler Warcry was how narrow the margin between various characters was, with various entrants only just missing out on being placed. Amongst the most popular were:
Tarantulas and Springer. These two are especially notable as they had enough votes to make the top 30, but were let down by how low they were placed on peoples lists, meaning scamps like Impactor were able to leap frog them.
Furman's Favourites: Nightbeat, Death's Head and Bludgeon. Three characters who have suffered from not being as popular as they were ten years ago (in the case of Nightbeat and Bludgeon due to being involved with bad comics, Death's Head was likely only hampered by only being added back to the reprints recently), but all three still made a respectable showing and Death's Head was the only other non-Transformer after Unicron to get a decent amount of love.
The IDW crowd: Perhaps surprisingly considering the current books are aiming to be character based (and on a more practical level characters the voter has been exposed to more recently are more likely to be fresh in the memory), Swerve was the only character to have effectively been created by either James Roberts or John Barber to make the final 30. The ones who came close however were: Chromedome, Ironfist (I'm genuinely surprised he didn't make it), Whirl and Overlord.
Though if it makes James Roberts feel better one person filled their entire form with More Than Meets the Eye characters, including Atomizer.
The Generation One boys and girls: Arcee (merged votes for pretty much every variation of the character), Ironhide, Kup, Omega Supreme, Sideswipe, Hound, Thundercracker, Perceptor, Blitzwing, Swoop and Swindle.
Ironhide would have placed if we'd merged his votes with Movie Ironhide (indeed, if we'd merged all the votes for every variation of a character into one he's the only difference there would have been on the list), but unlike Bumblebee or Arcee voters didn't count them as one so neither have we.
Characters it was Beastly that were Ignored: Inferno and Rampage. Considering the general depth of Rampage's character and the fact he had a genuinely well done payoff to his arc he's arguably the surprising omission there.
Robots in Disguise: Sky-Byte. By a considerable margin the only character from that show anyone remotely cared about (second best Scourge was down in the 90's).
The modern boys and girls: Bulkhead and Knock Out, the only two non-film characters to have been created in the last five years to have come close to making the list, though Prime Arcee wasn't that far behind. Of course, the main audience for the current shows of kids aren't likely to be voting in this poll (at least I hope not, I said bastard twice in the Soundwave piece), but considering how loved by fandom Animated seemed to be it is interesting that not one of them made much traction here.
Those characters who did much worse than anyone on the team were expecting. Mostly being those who would have featured easily had we done this ten years ago but who have been undone by changing tastes.
Thunderwing. Once a fan favourite character, and indeed one that hasn't been too badly served (or rather, has been pretty much ignored since Stormbringer) by the current comics. Either way, in just a decade he's gone from being so popular he was picked to be part of the World's Collide crossover with Armada to getting fewer votes on this list than Spinister, Rumble or Rung.
Even less popular though was Jhiaxus. Once a hugely successful villain who underwent and extremely well done mental breakdown and nuked San Francisco, being associated with the entirely terrible Dead Universe idea in IDW seems to have killed any love for him. A surprisingly non-embarrassing showing for him in ReGeneration One couldn't save him as it came after most people had given up reading, meaning the most recent thing he's done anyone would have seen is having Starscream take the piss out of his new toy (in a comic that's presumably going to come packed with that toy, how fun for any kids who buy it. Hey, you know what you just spent your pocket money on? It's a bit crap isn't it?"
The Japanese leaders proved extremely unpopular as well, with Star Saber, Deathsaurus and Ginrai only managing five votes between them. Metalhawk, despite being a lead in Robots in Disguise (not that one) for two years now couldn't even manage one, a perfect summing up of how annoying and badly written he was across that series.
Primus only got one vote, showing the devil really does have all the best tunes.
Ratbat only managed ten votes. What the hell is wrong with you people?
Get it right next time, please.
Most Popular Characters From Each Series
Other than those mentioned above:
Animated: Lugnut, Lockdown, Sentinel Prime, Prowl, Optimus, Megatron.
Unicron Trilogy: Armada Starscream, Vector Prime. Not Hot Shot, who only got one or two votes
Movies: Optimus, Sentinel Prime, Ironhide, Barricade.
Beast Machines: Strika and Obsidian.
Most Popular Humans:
Despite opening this up to all characters from the franchises, it's clear you only have time for giant robots. Sari from Animated was the winner here by a considerable margin with a whole five votes (and I was under the impression she was actually a robot as well anyway?). Sam, Mikaela, Spike, Verity and Circuit Breaker are the only others to even get more than one vote.
I was hoping to close off with some of the amusing joke votes that were contributed, but amazingly you all seemed to have taken this very, very seriously, with only one person voting for Flywheels 87 times (as this presumably required filling out three forms, why not go for the full 90?). [He voted for BW Megatron once per ballot, he's not totally nuts! -ed]
What's is especially interesting about the final list is that it firmly shows Beast Wars as the version of the franchise with the most beloved characters, filling nearly a third of the list from a series that didn't even manage to have 30 regular characters across its entire run. Whilst having a small focused cast likely helped, it didn't do Prime or Animated much good, so there's clearly something about the writing and performances in Beast Wars that speak to people more.
On a similar note, Scott McNeil is clearly the most popular voice actor ever associated with the franchise, managing to get all (counting the Dinobots together) of his main Beast characters onto the list. Perhaps surprisingly considering he played just about everyone in the original series, only two characters played by Frank Welker are featured.
Of course, I'm sure that who we voted for depended a lot on our mood at the time and which characters we might have recently been exposed to, so who knows if any of these boys and girls will make the grade when we do the top 40 characters of all time in a decade? That'll be fun to do won't it Warcry, even more votes and statistics to work through...
Warcry? Step away from the ledge, come on down... I was only joking, with our lifestyles we'll probably all be dead by the 40th anyway...