So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Chat about stuff other than Transformers.
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Denyer
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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Denyer » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 pm

Reference material's pretty well served by the wiki (not perfect by any stretch but a good, active resource) and there are a few specialist sites like TFU for toy ID, Botch for boxart, etc. Whilst it's nice to read reviews sometimes, YouTube's got new/rare stuff covered with enough footage to give a good idea of what something's like (usually watch on mute and jump around in videos, but they let you see all angles).

The podcast was well-received, but IDW have jacked in the interesting source material. Might be mileage in one on other topics -- but it's a big time commitment and slog unless there's loads of stuff people want to talk about on a regular basis.

I think this place is one of few or the only place to have collected a few things -- the tech spec archive as it was when it went offline, Eugenesis, etc. If Brendan gets to the point of not wanting to host (although bandwidth continues to fall in cost; besides AWS my own host now offers 20GB storage and unlimited bandwidth on its most basic tier) I can preserve the unique stuff somewhere else.

Then there's stuff that circulates in the background that people don't want online because let's face it they were very young when it was created, like the TMUK archive.

Could probably rework toy reviews and some of the content to be more mobile-friendly and/or maybe script dumping the content into a CMS.

http://transfans.co.uk/ has literally died. I'm pleasantly surprised there are a few of us still here.

Personally barring accidental or intentional death it's one of those “When the first living thing existed, I was there waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I'll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights and lock the universe behind me when I leave.” things. Because I still think in cultural references from several decades ago.

And video aside, the detritus I've collected digitally over the last twenty years doesn't fill that many gigabytes either, so I've kept most of that too.

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Skyquake87
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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Skyquake87 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:23 pm

Well, so long as this place is still around, I'll be here too. I came off Facebook in 2011, I've got a Twitter account but don't use it, because I can't be doing with the avalanche of guff that platform churns out, along with my own personal displeasure that peoples passing thoughts are given legitimacy because it's been published online for all to see.* I think if this place went, that would be it for me. I've no intention of going to TFW2005 or Seibertron. Too vast for me.

*Annoys me at work when someone managing the Twitter feed comes over in a bit of a flap because someone's mouthing off and being a prick, because they've forgotten there's another human being on the end of their ranting. Like that poor person on the Yorkshire Tea Twitter who had to put up with a horrendous amount of abuse because a Tory politician said he quite liked their Tea on the internet. Well, Jesus H Christ, it must be the end of days...

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Warcry
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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Warcry » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:49 am

It would be nice if this place had a bit more traffic, for sure! I'm at a bit of a loss when it comes to how we'd go about getting folks here, though. Nowadays people seem to gravitate towards shouting into the void that is Twitter or big, overpopulated forums like TFW, and I just can't see the attraction of either. One od the things that always attracted me to this place was that, even in its busier days, the population was small enough that I felt like I was discussing things with people I knew, not a bunch of strangers.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by ganon578 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:39 pm

I'm not dead yet! My fandom has waned though. I really enjoyed some of the recent toy lines (mostly Generations), and last year I was able to catch up on a bunch of the comics. After a while though, I found my shelves to be too cluttered, so I've had to 'trim back'. Additionally, I wish I could be more active in the Reviews section like I was a year or so ago, but I can't find the bandwidth.

For me it's becoming harder to keep up in general. I've taken a new role at work that keeps me busy and exhausted. My kids are also at a great age where they're active in sporting activities, which eats up spare time. I've got multiple hobbies which pull for my attention & cash. More recently it's been video games and Lego Star Wars stuff. I've also been more in-tuned to putting effort into outdoors like hunting, fishing, and hiking. For better or worse, those hobbies can be pricey and consume a lot of time.

I'm sure I will be back to the fandom in a more engaged way sometime in the near(ish) future, but the upcoming lines haven't done much to stoke the fire. I like a few of the figures, but I haven't been able to convince myself to go whole hog on the Earthrise line like I had with Siege, CW, TR, and PotP (though the last one was pushing it).

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Dead Man Wade » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:28 pm

Denyer wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 pm
and there are a few specialist sites like TFU for toy ID
Is TFU still going? I know the site still technically exists, but there's nothing post 2016, I think?

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by StoneCold Skywarp » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:30 pm

Dead Man Wade wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:28 pm
Denyer wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 pm
and there are a few specialist sites like TFU for toy ID
Is TFU still going? I know the site still technically exists, but there's nothing post 2016, I think?
There's a front page tfu update dated 2018.

I can only attribute this site's quietness to the fact it looks like it all but stopped updating over two years ago. Couple that to the fact that the front page design is broken and it's not a good look for the place.

There's nothing to immediately indicate there's still activity anywhere beyond the occasional forums post.

Most topics are merged into one catch all solution which might be "tidier" particularly in the news section but makes it look like things never get reported any more hmso with things like the video game post and dvd /movie posts there doesn't appear to be any variety of discussion going on.

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Denyer
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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Denyer » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:12 pm

Yeah, I think there's a good argument for making the forum the main page and having an updates page a click away (not that a lot of the old update links work, going back very far).

Individual threads... not really convinced, forums that have loads of threads but loads with zero or a handful of replies make a place look more inactive (and you see it a lot with eg software projects that have a dozen subforums when one or two would look less dead, more people might see threads, etc). There's more chance of a running conversation about a group of related things than people will specifically care about Earthrise Micromasters or whatever.

I think the news forum would be best being removed and having the threads put into relevant forums, though. As it is it just splits discussion. Officially archive the RPG, maybe empty Other Toys, Cartoons & Comics into GD. It wasn't necessarily time a few years ago, but now?

The biggest killer in terms of traffic was probably changes Google made ten years plus ago, which dropped this site and a load of others from front page of results to irrelevant. And some of the remaining "big" TF sites have kept a significant amount of momentum, found or built CMS arrangements that work, etc -- this has always been cosier and more amateur hour. Hand-coding HTML doesn't get very far in this day and age or with devices people are using.

On a side note, phpBB has changed so much in twenty years it's unrecognisable.

Anyone else have any thoughts on any of the above? Think we're all pretty much past ego or having loads of free time, so it's a case of being realistic about what changes would work best.

In terms of toy reviews was thinking that indexing the existing ones in a straightforward database but using forums threads for new reviews would be practical -- cut the need for someone to manipulate the content into pages.
Is TFU still going?
Don't think anything's quite replaced it outright, although the wiki/TFW/Seibertron have kept up better with toy ID. It's essentially feature complete for its main demographic.

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Dead Man Wade
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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Dead Man Wade » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:36 pm

Fair enough. I hadn't had occasion to use TFU for a few years until recently, when I was trying to find specific information about release dates, and I couldn't find anything on toys for several years. It looks like, while the site updated for a while afterword, they hadn't added any new merchandise since November of 2016.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:32 pm

I think making the forum the front page is a good idea, plus merging some threads. Agreed Other Toys could just go in General Discussion. I kind of like the news one being separate, but I get that it does sometimes split discussion.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by zigzagger » Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:37 pm

Shame to see the old place as quiet as it is, but I'm one to talk since I, on the rare occasion, quietly haunt the forums, not saying a peep. Same as always, I suppose [/shrug].

Not much interested in the comics these days, since I jumped ship some time ago with the ending of Lost Light. That is/was/has always been my main draw to the franchise.

And as for the toy stuff--I have the odd impulse buy (and **** yeah, I do love me that upcoming Doubledealer; that's a non-brainer buy for me), but I'm hardly "collecting", per se. Still, I like to observe from afar; there's some pretty nifty stuff out there.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Auntie Slag » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:58 pm

I’m the same as Zigzagger and Skyquake; I adored MTMTE and felt sad when the James Roberts material was drawn to a close. I particularly loved the banter here when a new issue came out and we’d try and guess the motivations behind the characters and where the plot-lines would go. I still love going back to them now and again, far more than any other TF media.

The only thing missing for me is a graphic novel of Eugenesis and a nice photo collage of all the people involved in making that era what it was; Milne, Roberts, Roche, Lawrence, LaFuente etc, and that guy who drew once for issue 15 of MTMTE (or whatever it was) where Chromedome was doing to wipe his own brain so he wouldn’t fall apart over Rewind’s death.

I also like coming here for Skyquake’s excellent music reviews.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by inflatable dalek » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:43 pm

With the website redesign...

As there are more episodes of the podcast coming (one is being edited as we speak!), is there any way of making it more prominent on the main page? It's a bit of a hunt to find it now.

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Denyer
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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Denyer » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:33 pm

Right now, if you let me know when it's up I'll hack something into the header to show at the top of the main forum index.

As and when we can sort something out with the toy reviews, or other content, I'll do an easier-to-update content block similar to the updates page code.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Knightdramon » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:23 pm

The prodigal son returns...although to do so I had to reset my password and change the email address on file ;) [I *may* be wrong but think I'm the youngest person in this thread so far? ] ;)

No surprise to anybody that I had dropped out of the site, yet not fully the fandom. I did remain in lurker mode for a while.

The fandom and what I get out of it has changed very much in the past 15+ years since I've re-joined, not to mention life itself. Peak storyetelling excitement for me peaked around MTMTE's run, gradually declined during LL and is non-existent nowadays. I am happy that through all this, I do have not one but 2-3 broadly self-contained series that I can go back and revisit at any point. And it's there. It's self-contained, it has an official end. If I ever want to, there's a very finite number of toys/figures I can go back and collect/recollect to commemorate that.

I'm just as keen on figures these days than I was awhile ago, but I do find myself going back to the 2005-2010 era lately and re-living my "youth", so to speak. Not to say I don't get any modern figures [they are drop dead gorgeous] but that particular era captures sentiments, feelings, thoughts...a more blaise period of my life. With me not following a comic like I did in the past, the number of new figures on my watchlist will continue to drop 'till they reach 1-2 a year. And that'd be the point I pack up, probably, and call it a day.

In terms of the fandom, I don't have that much time anymore. There are lovely people [this site, which I sadly don't frequent anymore] and ...sections of other sites, but not really feeling like connecting as much anymore in relation to Transformers. The few people I have on facebook/in real life are people I will talk to/discuss various ongoing things, with transformers being a background recurring thing, instead of it being the main thing.

In terms of what we [or at least I] used to do on this site...Denyer hit the point, youtube pretty much killed written reviews. You can reach a lot more people via video rather than text [a by-product of our times and how attention span is reduced. Won't even go to literacy levels] and to be honest, figures are so complex in some cases nowadays that you are better off showing it rather than trying to describe it in writing. Some prolific writers of "our age" have gone into photo blogs and whatnot, and even on the few written reviews, the ratio of actual text to pictures has changed dramatically.

In general, life goes on I guess. But it's always nice to be part of this particular community.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Hound » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:34 pm

While I wouldn't say I'm very connected to the fandom, in that I don't discuss Transformers with really anyone anymore, my passion for Transformers hasn't really dimmed at all. I read the comic, in collected form because I haven't bought single issue comics in almost a decade at this point. It's not high art but I still enjoy it, though I've never needed or expected high art from Transformers media. I'm excited about the upcoming Netflix cartoon. I, again, don't expect it to blow me away but am sure I will enjoy it nonetheless. The toyline is what has always been my biggest interest and I haven't lost a bit of my interest in it. I still find a way to buy all the stuff I want and still find that there is plenty of stuff I do want.

It's not that I don't enjoy talking about the state of the franchise it's a matter of having the time and people to discuss it with who also share the passion. I find that I've lost the patience to have much use of a message board as a means of discussing my interests these days. I lurk and really only post if there's something I'm so excited about that I feel I have to share it, or if I'm really bored. I think something with a voice chat is more my speed at this point. I would love to get involved in a regular meet up with people who are also interested in talking about Transformers, video games, and other geek stuff.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Skyquake87 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:38 pm

Aww thanks, Auntie Slag :) And hello Knightdramon! Good to hear from you again.

I think as life moves on, it is harder to keep the enthusiasm going. I'm exhausted from work at the moment, as it's a strange and stressful time, but it's nice to come here and just blah. Even if I don't have anything insightful to say beyond 'I like that'.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Clay » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:08 pm

Knightdramon wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:23 pm

I'm just as keen on figures these days than I was awhile ago, but I do find myself going back to the 2005-2010 era lately and re-living my "youth", so to speak. Not to say I don't get any modern figures [they are drop dead gorgeous] but that particular era captures sentiments, feelings, thoughts...a more blaise period of my life.
Same. I have a far stronger, nostalgia-twinged squishy pull towards Energon, Robotmasters, and Alternators than I do for the stuff I actually had as a kid.

It's nice to see some familiar peeps poking their heads in here. Only people I've had any traction discussing these silly robots with are from this forum. I'm not crying, YOURE crying.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Knightdramon » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:13 pm

Skyquake----yay hi! Hope when all the current situation finishes you can take the 20 min train ride between us and drop by for a coffee/TF meet up!


Clay---same for me on the nostalgia. Definitely think it's psychosomatic; getting/hunting for these older figures takes me back to the time where they were brand new and I was reading up on them, collecting them etc. Simpler times in life :)

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Warcry » Sat Apr 04, 2020 1:49 pm

It's really nice to see some familiar faces popping up in here. I hope you guys aren't going to totally disappear on us again!
Clay wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:08 pm
Same. I have a far stronger, nostalgia-twinged squishy pull towards Energon, Robotmasters, and Alternators than I do for the stuff I actually had as a kid.
I thought I was the only one! I used to have huge nostalgia for G1 and G2, but that's shifted more and more towards Beast Era and Unicron Trilogy stuff these days. Even, a bit, towards the early movie lines. I think a lot of it is as Knightdramon says...simpler times in general, we were all a lot younger and collecting was exciting and new.

But I think a lot of it for me personally is that we're constantly bombarded with G1 from all angles these days. An ongoing G1 toyline, G1 video games, G1 comics, an upcoming G1 Netflix show, heavy G1 influences in the kids' stuff... How can I miss it when it won't go away?

Nowadays I'm missing the originality and creativity of the late 90s and early 2000s more than anything else.

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Re: So I'm pretty much out of the fandom at this point

Post by Skyquake87 » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:33 am

Knightdramon wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:13 pm
Skyquake----yay hi! Hope when all the current situation finishes you can take the 20 min train ride between us and drop by for a coffee/TF meet up!
I would like that - it's been a while!

I feel similar to you and Warcry - the internet was a foreign country to me in the late C20, so I liked following devleopments in Toyfare and Tomart's Action Figure something something magazines. Exotic looking Car Robots figures, the early reissues and the imaginative stuff done with Armada and Energon felt very exciting at the time. And I loved those Magazine's features and collecting guides, which I loved cooing over.

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