Monday, 23 September 2013

Closing Notes

And so concludes the 5th Anniversary Special for this humble toy blog.

It was an interesting exercise in making use of the 'scheduled post' option (struggling for the last couple of weeks to complete an ideal minimum number of posts to go live throughout the day on the 21st), and a nice trip down memory lane. From my latest TransFormer (Circuit) to my first (Cliffjumper), then meandering through other firsts before concluding with Galvatron simply because I thought it'd be fun, it has show me that, while many things in my life have changed, my reason for collecting TransFormers has not: they're pretty damned cool.

The structure of the toyline has changed dramatically over the years, the way it's marketed has changed... the quality of materials has changed, but the TransFormers toyline is still going strong, still full of that tantalising combination of action figure, model vehicle... and puzzle box.

In many ways, I'm quite glad that the Beast Hunters branch of TransFormers: Prime came along when it did. It may seem strange for a self-professed fan of Transformers toys to be glad of a toyline I don't actually like, but it means I can take a break from spending my limited funds on toys and concentrate on the necessities... like food, my flat's maintenance requirements, and going out with my girlfriend.

Hasbro/Takara Tomy have made missteps in the past, and they tend to spring back from them... eventually... But while Hasbro shuffles on with Beast Hunters, Takara Tomy are going all Power Rangers/Zoids with TransFormers Go! and I can't see the Autobot samurai teams coming out in the West anytime soon.

I'm not sure what the future of the TransFormers toyline will bring, but with Michael Bay working on the next movie in the franchise, it's bound to be controversial. Rumours of the Dinobots seem to have been confirmed by the title, new logo and screenshots from Bay's laptop that have turned up on the interwebs. What we've seen of the cars involved is quite exciting, and Optimus Prime's new, bulkier truck could bring a new, bulkier Optimus toy... I just hope they properly bring back Leader class for this toy range, and don't fumble with Megatron/Whoever Now Leads the Decepticons the way they did with the first three movies.

At the very least, an absence of Shia LaBeouf on screen will be an improvement...

My own preference for the toyline would be for a return to what made the line great in the first place. Not a continuation of Classics/Generations, but a true 'Generation 3' with unique characters in each of three or four different size classes, and a complete absence of gimmicks other than transformation. Continue the story that began in Generation 1 (or should that be War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron?) and ended not long after Rodimus Prime pronounced a new Golden Age of Cybertron, back in the distant future of 2006.

Here's to the 40th Anniversary of the toyline... and, with it, the 15th Anniversary of this blog?

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