Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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I was at the mall last week and I decided to watch the new Bumblebee movie (it came out late over here because reasons). Here’s my spoiler-free review.

As the link says, I’ve been a big fan of Transformers since I was a kid, so I thought I’d talk about that for a bit. The 1980s cartoon obviously, though I think only the first two seasons of that aired on local TV. I had quite a few G1 toys as well, though I think some of them may have been Chinese knockoffs. I remember I had an Optimus Prime, a Megatron (yes, the walther ppk with the robot mode with super thin legs), a small Powerglide, something like 3 out of 5 Aerialbots (no Silverbolt!), and so on. During their first trip to the US, my parents bought me a Metroplex, which was huge, that thing brought me so much joy and playtime. So much playtime that at some point I broke the toy at the hip. D:

Another favorite was a G1 Sixshot! Shown in this picture:

That toy was borrowed by a kid I knew from the school bus who lived nearby and he never gave it back! I haven’t forgiven him to this day lol.

I didn’t actually have a very large TF toy collection when I was a kid. I know buying the toys back then must’ve been quite expensive, so understandably my folks only got me Transformers on special occasions. Even now as an adult with disposable income I find Transformers toys to be a bit pricey, so I fully understand!

What I really got into and had a large collection of was the Marvel Transformers comics series. I remember I had the entire 80-issue Marvel run, plus the Headmasters and Universe limited series. It was the first comic series I really followed, I would eagerly look forward to buying the next issue every month. The stories were a lot more compelling and had a lot more continuity than just watching the cartoon. The stories were a lot more complex - in the cartoons, the Autobots were recognized by humans as heroes and the Decepticons as villains. While in the comics one of the main plot points was the humans mistrusting all transformers. Sadly, I have no idea what happened to my collection D:

In modern times though, I have also seriously enjoyed IDW’s Transformers line of comics, which had a much more space/Cybertron focus. Freed from the need to sell new toylines every so often, the IDW line was able to give better characterization to the Transformers and had such great writing, especially towards the end. This continuity recently ended and they’re starting up a new one I’m looking forward to this March.

Recently over the past five years or so, I started buying a few modern Transformers toys as well. I’m not a big collector or anything, so I only buy one every so often, preferably when they’re on discount/sale, and only the smaller ones. It’s fun seeing how they’ve updated modern toys to have a lot more articulation and so on. I mostly have them standing on my desk.

Twinferno! #transformers
Twinferno! #transformers (Click to view full-size)
Hound! #transformers
Hound! #transformers (Click to view full-size)
Sunstreaker and Drag Strip #transformers #dilawan
Sunstreaker and Drag Strip #transformers #dilawan (Click to view full-size)

Transformers was my first realy fandom, and something I’ll probably never get over, no matter how old I get. I have a couple of nephews, when they’ve grown up a bit, I plan to be that uncle who always gifts them Transformers, to set up the next generation of robot fans. Despite my lack of love for the Bayverse series of films, I am grateful that those movies led a resurgence in their popularity, leading to more modern-day comics, toys and animated series as well, so even the young’uns will be able more… much more than meets the eye!

Posted by under post at #transformers #comics #toys #Pop Culture
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