Transformers Geeks Assault Hasbro, Take Over Production

Really, it’s the only explanation for the news of the Target Exclusive that dropped earlier today. Y’see; back in 87 we had Transformers characters that looked like this:

Children of the early 90s! Fear me!

Children of the late 80s! Fear me! For I am your neon doom!

Except their toys didn’t look like that at all, they looked like pink and yellow atrocities like this:

Abominus struck fear into his enemies by his shocking lack of fashion sense.

Abominus struck fear into his enemies with his shocking lack of fashion sense.

Abominus was the combined form of the Terrorcons, a team of dragons and monsters that couldn’t even be controlled by their own faction. In concept, they were pretty cool. In execution…you know who loves hot pink toys that transform into sentient robotic monsters? If you raised your hand and said that one kid in middle school Science who liked to make the frogs “dance” when you dissected them, you’d be right. So how in the Allspark is THIS getting made:

Target Abom

Coming this Fall exclusively to Target, with fairly accurate homage colors. I’m not going to question it; but I sure will buy the hell out of it.

(pics are care of the ridiculously detailed TFwiki.net)

The Threeway: Top 3 Nostalgic Cartoons

Because ten items is too damn much first thing in the morning.

Have I mentioned how much I love nostalgia? The myopic lens through which decades-old toy commercials become paragons of storytelling and artistic excellence? It’s like really good drugs; but legal; and time-consuming; and you have to develop wrinkles, gray hairs, and then you find yourself on your lawn at 8 in the morning, your nose slathered in sunscreen, tutting at how the dollar weed is really just destroying your front yard this year…if only those damn punk kids would just stop their dog from crapping all over…

ahem

Like I said. Nostalgia is awesome.

3. “Spider-man and His Amazing Friends” might mark a very important pinnacle in my adolescent development. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one.

Actually, let me Google that for you…

…yeaaaaah, don’t Google Firestar. It’s just a horrible mish-mash of Rule 34 and adult-oriented cosplayers (and with that I’ve lost my entire audience to the whims of Google Image search).

Let’s move on

2. “Dungeons and Dragons” was utterly forgettable. Indeed, it would have fallen deep, deep into the fog of war that is my middle-aged memory if it wasn’t for one, iconic sequence. At the beginning of every episode, the heroes are transported from the modern day to the middle of a fight with a seething, five-headed dragon (Tiamat, for all you D&D nerds at home). I was into fantasy in a big way at the time (and working through the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and thought I’d seen everything. But a five-headed dragon? That was something new. Never mind that the show itself was utterly forgettable (except for my hate of Uni the Unicorn, that still burns bright); I would wait till 11:30 every Saturday just to see this opening sequence. For me, there was more action in that 45 seconds of video than in an entire morning of cartoons.

1. “Transformers” was something that I outgrew quickly. Once my brother and I had collected most of the first season of toys, we turned to “G.I. Joe” and proceeded to beat ourselves silly with those (I will admit it was considerably more difficult, given the lack of die-cast parts). The storylines are non-existent and the art is beyond horrible (and that’s even before they started farming out the animation to overseas studios). But maybe it was the hazy memories of those afternoon sessions, fighting over who got to be Sunstreaker (it was me), and who got to be Astrotrain, and who got to throw Optimus Prime the farthest…when I found myself at a professional roadblock (Roadblock: member of the Wreckers. Also the first toy that I ever broke on Christmas morning. Also the supposed reason I started collecting Transformers toys) post-college, I found myself obsessed again with Transformers and the mythology that had developed around the cartoon of my youth. Indeed, in the past ten years I’ve forgotten more about Transformers than most people would ever want to know in the first place. Watching the old G1 cartoons now with my son is cringe-inducing. But for every ridiculous plotline, every non-sensical directive from Prime or Megatron, there’s a moment where a robot dinosaur trashes everything on screen like it was papier mache and I can’t help but grin, 12 years old again.

That’s nostalgia.

Oooh, Shiny: Transformers at SDCC Prove that the Geek Shall Inherit

I was an unapologetic Transformers collector.

The bots covered an entire wall. The collection made people take a step back when they caught sight of it. My wife was the frequent recipient of the “Oh, you poor thing” look. Comparisons to “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” were made. Often.

I lead with this, only because Hasbro made some Transformers announcements at SDCC that made me step back and say “Seriously? You’re going that nerdy?”

Transforms from Tank into Stabby Skull-Faced Monster!

Hey, kids! Remember me? Of course you don’t!

First revelation came when they announced they’d be expanding their “Totally-not-LEGO” line of building toys, Kre-O (…sigh), to include blind-bagged Kreon figures (just like the blind-bagged minifigs from that OTHER BUILDING COMPANY THAT THEY’RE TOTALLY NOT COPYING, M’KAY?). That, in and of itself, is not shocking. The Kreons are arguably the best things about the sets (which are decidedly fiddly, can’t stand under their own weight, and blow apart into their component pieces whenever you touch them). No, what’s shocking is that they went deep, deep into the vault for its initial line-up and included characters like Bludgeon. The TL;DR version of that link is this: he’s a robot ninja who’s best idea for hiding his robot form was to put it in a shell that looks like a Skeleton Samurai. Now don’t get me wrong, Bludgeon was tons of fun in the G1 comics and I had the original toy at some point; but he’s the very definition of a fan wank character.

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