Transformers are an iconic part of my childhood. I remember quite clearly running home form school to watch the cartoon show. I was excited about the theatrical release and dragged my parents to it. I even bought the soundtrack. The songs wouldn’t normally have been my taste of music but it was Transformers so I loved it. I wore that tape out from playing it so much.
I asked for the toys for Christmas and birthday presents. I had quite a few of the toys too. I had an original Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Ironhide. Man, I wish that I still had those. I remember when they started selling smaller toys that had a colour changing logo on the front. You would have to rub the logo to see if the robot were an Autobot or Decepticon.
They have tried to keep the franchise going since then, but nothing has ever really matched that original animated series. They have had several other animated series, some have even been computer animated. The only one that was remotely good though was Beast Wars, and while I can say it was okay, I can’t say it was great.
A few years ago, they started up the comic book again. I was intrigued and started buying the montly issues. Dreamwave told stories that focused on the robot characters. They were adult stories and quite well done. They had a series entitled, The War Within, which I absolutely adored. Finally, I thought, someone gets what Transformers is and should be about. The story took place in the past and focused on the civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. There were no human characters involved whatsoever. It was entirely the robots on their own planet. It was brilliant storytelling. Unfortunately, the company went belly-up and the third story arc was left uncompleted.
A new company has picked up the title and put its own spin on the franchise. So far they are doing a fairly good job. I really miss The War Within though. I was so looking forward to the live action movie, but it was garbage. There is also a new kids animated show on the weekends, and it is horrible as well.
I’m not sure why the Transformers can’t seem to get it right. I have high hopes that the big budget sequel to last summer’s movie will focus on the robot characters and tell a better story. The compelling thing about the Transformers has always been the robot characters. The gimmicks, and effects don’t really matter as long as there is good character development and story writing. Here’s to a return to the glory days.