About Me and Transformers
Transformers (TF for short) has already become one of popular cultures that I love. But I have a very long long history dealing with this franchise. I admit, TF wasn’t a significant part of my childhood at all. Back then, it was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (before understanding the existence of Super Sentai) that amazed me most. Beside that MMPR, I mostly enjoyed Kamen Rider Black (and RX), several tokusatsu series, anime, and several cartoons that aired on my local TV stations.
I have heard the name “Transformers”, but I didn’t know what it was other than an expensive toyline. My first encounter to TF franchise was when TF Generation 2 aired on both my local and Malaysian TV stations (complete with toy commercials) in 1995-1997. At that time, I thought G2 is the continuation and G1 existed as prequel and had different story. Although I did like the commercial, but I had no intention to buy the toys because that wasn’t my ideal type of toys since I was (and still is) influenced by Super Sentai. Still, TF is considered as super robot or mecha and I am myself is a mecha-fetish. Yeah, I never own original TF toys at all.
Speaking of G2 cartoon, I watched it every Sunday at 9 AM as part of Sunday morning cartoon marathon (I missed those days) in almost every TV stations here. At that time I was introduced to Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Rodimus Prime, Jazz, Prowl, Wheeljack and many more characters. Funny to thing back then that Rodimus Prime is Optimus’ successor and stayed somewhere else (I had no idea about TF Movie where Optimus died) while Optimus was in charge in another part of Earth. Silly childhood’s interpretation. I didn’t care about which episodes which, continuations, or anything, except watching another episode of TF and that’s about it.
Then, came Beast Wars Transformers and Beast Machines during my teenage days. I watched both series but I was too busy with my study. The only thing that I remember is Optimus Primal changed into Optimal Optimus. Several years passed and I heard live-action movie, I heard and watched TF Galaxy Force (Japanese original version of TF Cybertron), I knew there was TF Animated. Years passed but I just cared less about TF.
2011, my friends from Multiply decided to have gathering in Pondok Indah Mall and without a doubt I joined it. That was a fun experience because beside that gathering, I watched TF Dark of the Moon in 3D together with them. That was my first time watching 3D movie. After I watched it I ran into nearest toy store and bought Cyberverse DOTM Optimus Prime. Still, my interest in TF stayed the same. Cyberverse lineup did impressed me, but I still thought that TF toys were expensive for my budget.
DOTM also gave me a lot of impressions and I tried to respect the whole live-action movies, but failed. In my opinion, live action movie trilogy are nothing but explosion-vaganza. Characterizations are cheesy, lack of attentions to Transformers lifeform themselves, and overall designs are not that good compared to the past incarnations. For DOTM itself, missing Megan Fox from the story proved to be a major blow. And yes, I hate that Sam Witwicky (particularly Shia LeBouf) for every stupidities he had done.
And so, came TF Prime, a new television series in 2011. At first I cynically thought that TF Prime was Bayformers in form of TV series. I was wrong, TF is actually a good series, probably the best TF series ever made. It’s darker, serious, sarcastically humorous, and takes different approach from previous series. Not only TF Prime series that caught my attention, but the game Fall of Cybertron also hooked me to finally started collecting the toys. It was FoC Deluxe Optimus Prime that sparked my interest and shifting it from Gundam and particularly plastic model kit in general. Since then, lots and lots TF figures I bought and some of them are reviewed here.
After that, I read dozens of articles related to Transformers universes ranging from toylines (I got headache to realize about deco, redeco, repaints, etc), past movies and series, everything about Hasbro and Takara Tomy, and many more.
So, my favorite character from TF? It’s obviously the charismatic leader himself, Optimus Prime. I love this character since I watched him from G2 cartoon. Whatever Optimus Prime’s incarnations are, I just love them all. Most of my TF collections are Optimus Prime, from G1 until Beast Hunters. I guess I understand why I love this character. While my favorite characters from other pop cultures are mainly antagonist (Darth Vader, Gouki/Akuma, Evil Green Ranger, Raphael Sorel, etc), Optimus Prime is a very different case. He is in fact he is not only a role model for his integrity, passion, leadership, honor, or compassion. He is some kind of father figure to me. A figure I need to be. I understand I love this character even more today. I am not married yet but soon to, and somehow I repress my desire to be a “father” by channeling it to fictional characters, which is Optimus himself. A father figure is something that not only you idolize, but also you want yourself to be him by eliminating him (similar case to Macbeth from William Shakespeare eponymous play towards King Duncan). Maybe my love to Optimus Prime is my fear of not getting married yet. Who knows, this is just my speculative analysis though.
Enough with psychoanalysis, I appreciate TF toys not only as toys. They are pieces of art. A lineup of mechas that can be transformed into certain vehicles or animals? And also I love these toys better than Gundam because of less accessories given there. I hate hand compartment, weapons that can’t be stored, or needed stand base to be posed. But that doesn’t mean TF Toys are without problems. Several also has storage problems, poseability problems, and most of all, very very fragile. Luckily I just display all of them through my toys cabinet and that’s about it. I don’t play them much even I have problems now that not enough space left to store them all.
If there is one toy left for me to collect, that would be Masterpiece Optimus Prime. I hope I get this ridiculously expensive toy soon. Yes, this is the ultimate toy for TF fans. Maybe if finally I buy this toy, my journey in collecting TF will be completed.
That’s my story of me and Transformers, thank you for reading it.