Monday, January 4, 2010

The Transformers.

This will be the first in an eventual series detailing my History with this very unique toy line that swept the world of the 1980s and is still arguably going strong today.

In the early 1980's a Japanese Toy Company created a series of spin off toy lines, Diaclone and Microchange, from its extremely popular Microman line. Microman having been quite successful in the 1970s in the US they felt these new lines would be equally successful. They attempted to bring them over as Diakron but the line was not as successful.. After all Microman was brought to the US as the Micronauts, complete with merchandising tie ins and a very successful Marvel Comic book series. So when the US toy company Hasbro went to Japan looking to license some Japanese Robot toys to bring over.. Takara went along with it, licensing both Diaclone and Microchange to Hasbro, Hasbro also got some molds from Takaras Competitor Bandai, which would eventually cause some usage problems with several popular characters. The Transformers hit in 1984 in the US and were such a huge hit that they were drafting figures that were not part of the line but were similar enough to others.. to sort of fill the gaps. The Line launched with a Marvel Comic book series and several Big Looker storybooks that came with Audio Cassettes and 45's.. a Cartoon special followed in 1985, and eventually a further 98 episodes and a feature film would be commissioned stretching from 1985 till 1987 on TV.

This of course was mostly before my time. But I felt I needed to set the ground work. Having been born in 1984, I was too little to catch the initial wave, but in 1987 a relative from the UK came to visit, and brought me my very first Transformer figure, The Autobot Currier, Blurr, voiced by none other than the micro machines guy himself John Moschita. I was hooked, I begged for more, Initially I didn't get very many, but as they became less new and less popular, and the kids who were a bit older than me started moving onto other things.. the Yard Sale hauls and Flea Market Finds reaped a bountiful harvest, as a result I have many many multiples in various stages of completion of the earliest figures. And at current count I'm about 90% complete in my collection from 1984-1990 lines.

The Line is of course still around, through many many permutations, some I liked, many I didn't. I decided to post this because I feel now as if the Line isn't the same line as the one I loved when I was little. It is now " Micheal Bay's Transformers " and the next decade will be defined by his piss poor adaptions of a rich mythos as told via the Marvel Comic and Cartoon Series.. This will be mostly the subject of future posts. And Transformers is not alone in this place of shame, it's joined by the Venerable Men and Women of G.I.JOE as well, By Conan the Cimmerian, soon to be butchered for the umpteenth time by Hollywood, and by Countless other characters and mythos.. the value they have to fans is unimportant.. they are now properties to be ruthlessly exploited and sold to the consumer, and unfortunatly the consumer is buying it in record numbers. I guess Shit sells.

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