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December 10, 2010

Dark of the Moon trailer

The first Transformers: Dark of the Moon trailer's hit the net.

Sort of an Alien meets Transformer vibe to it...

Posted at 6:10 PM | Comments (4)

November 4, 2010

Transformers: Prime is coming!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the next movie, is still half a year away, but screw that, because Transformers: Prime is starting at the end of the month!

The Hub has just released another commercial for it, and it looks very good. If the writing's as good as it was on Transformers Animated, this should be a great series!

Posted at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 1, 2010

This may be a Transformer

At last, a site dedicated to rooting out the cybernetic organisms hiding in plain sight:
Transformer Sightings

They're everywhere, man!

Posted at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2010

Moonbases alpha and beta

I love poking around in the corners of Transformers canon. Last night I was watching the Super-God Masterforce episode "God Ginrai - Into the Sky!!" and suddenly realised that the moon base captain who appears in a couple of scenes was the same guy as the commander of the Lunar Base in the Victory episode "The Brave Hero of the Universe - Star Saber". It's probably just a case of the animators pulling the character models out of a drawer - the crew exosuits and even a satellite are also duplicated across the two episodes. It's also kinda implied in the Masterforce episode that the moonbase crew were all killed. They're not mentioned as having been rescued, and the last time we see them, they're all zapped with Mr Freeze gun. Since they were all wearing space suits, it's probably feasible that they somehow survived, and since the commander turns up later, I guess it's canon.

Left: Victory, Right: Super-God Masterforce

It's a kinda cool bit of continuity between the two series, though I have to pity the poor guy - he was put in charge of two different moon bases, and both times the Decepticons came and blew them up.

Posted at 8:47 PM | Comments (1)

December 15, 2009 passes 10,000 articles!

Today the Transformers Wiki passed 10,000 articles. There are many Transformers Wikis on the web, but only one dares to have more than 10,000 articles!

Of course, to put this in perspective, Wookieepedia currently has 72,759 articles (Fair warning, they are hosted on Wikia, so you will probably see many pictures of almost-naked fat people if you go there) but may catch up yet!

Posted at 3:50 PM | Comments (1)

July 9, 2009


So Burger King, though they have the Revenge of the Fallen toys here, haven't introduced the BBQ Double Stackticon. Luckily my favourite burger chain Burgerfuel have come to the rescue with BURGERTRON.

A burger, oh yes!

The primary ingredients are a 1/3 pound Optimus Prime beef patty, Philadelphia cream cheese, mango, and prosciutto. I'm... not quite sure what those ingredients in particular have to do with Transformers, but what the hey. They're tasty.

Posted at 9:27 PM | Comments (2)

July 5, 2009

It was the best of animation, it was the worst of animation

I have a strange fascination with the season 3 Transformers episode Fight or Flee, not because it's a well written episode, even though it is well written, but because the variations in animation are so extreme. You'll go from a dynamic heroic shot of Rodimus Prime standing in front of explosions to a shot of a bunch of generic block robots all in the same colour. It appears as though an animation studio, possibly Toei started animating it, got about half of it done, and then ran out of either time or money. It's hard to say if the lower-quality animation that crops up in a couple of shots was done by another company, or it was just temporary animation intended to be replaced later when the proper stuff was done.

But I've found what I believe to be the worst shot in all of the original Transformers cartoon. Here we see Cyclonus welcoming his leader, Galvatron, to a newly conquered planet:

Unfortunately it appears it's not Galvatron at all, but merely a cardboard cut out.

Posted at 5:06 PM | Comments (0)

June 6, 2009

Questioning Hasbro

Every couple of months or so, Hasbro has a Question/Answer session where they take questions from Transformers websites, three questions each, and answer them. I was fortunate enough to have my question picked to be sent in by the Transformers Wiki. My question was:

Given the advances in toy design over the last twenty years, if you could go back in time and impart one piece of knowledge to the Transformers design team of the 80s, what would it be?

You can read the answer Hasbro replied with on the Wiki's May Q&A article, along with the other two questions and answers.

Posted at 12:12 AM | Comments (2)

March 13, 2009

New Transformers Animated!

Battlestar Galactica may be coming to an end, but season 3 of Transformers Animated is just starting in the US this weekend with a three-parter titled TransWarped! (URL may contain spoilers!) It's rumoured that this season will be the last, but Hasbro refused to confirm or deny it in the recent Q&A. I'm hoping this means they haven't decided yet and are going to see how season 3 does....

Derrick Wyatt made a teaser post last week and supplied the Transformers Wiki with an image of one of the background characters, Mainframe. Continuing Animated's run of borrowing characters from all places in TF history, as well as the aforementioned Action Master, there's new versions of Strika (originally from Beast Machines) and Blackout (from the recent movie).

I'm holding out for an Animated version of Sky-Byte. What's more awesome than a Transformer who turns into a flying shark and writes haikus?

Posted at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

March 5, 2009

Cars of the Future!

Between seasons 2 and 3 of the original Transformers cartoon, the show lept some 20 years ahead and therefore took place in the futuristic year of 2006. Since 2006 was The Future, humans had spaceships and space stations. Most of the stories tended to be set on planets other than Earth, only a few depicted Future Earth, and fewer still showed vehicles.

Only two episodes, "Only Human" and "The Burden Hardest to Bear", made an attempt to depict what the makers thought cars might look like in 2006. Naturally their guesses were a bit far off...

In "The Burden Hardest to Bear", Marissa Faireborn drives this car, which more resembles some kind of dodgem.

This single-seater features gull-wing doors, a roof-mounted laser turret (presumably it's an Earth Defense Command staff car), what appears to be jet engine sized exhausts, and an indeterminate number of wheels. Mind your head getting out.

Continue reading "Cars of the Future!"

Posted at 8:07 PM | Comments (2)

February 2, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen trailer

Yep, finally a trailer for Revenge of the Fallen!

You can see a higher-resolution version at Trailer Addict. It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. What kind of a plot it'll have is still pretty much a mystery, of course, but people are going to be going along to see giant robots hitting each other anyway. One might hope that this time they keep the cameras a bit steadier, and perhaps not have any references to masturbation, thanks very much.

There's also a G.I. Joe trailer, which is notable for having Christopher Eccleston being quite prominent. I was never into G.I. Joe myself, but I might go and see that one anyway...

Posted at 10:02 PM | Comments (2)

January 6, 2009

Armada and Victory

As previously mentioned, I've been watching the Generation 1 Transformers cartoons which Japan produced after the American series wrapped. Lately I finally got around to watching Transformers: Victory, the last of these.

Representing the Autobots are Star Saber and his team of Brainmasters. There's an obligatory human kid named Jean whom Star Saber has legally adopted, and his annoying Wheelie-esque Autobot friend Holi.

On the Decepticon side are the improbably-named Deathsaurus and his Breastforce (they have chest plates which turn into animals). They're "aided" by the Dinoforce who are mostly around as comic relief.

It's... not really a deep series. The Decepticons turn up somewhere, cause trouble, and are fought off by the Autobots. It's only towards the end of the series that things begin to get interesting. It's perhaps telling that at least a dozen of the original episodes were clips episodes (The Madman release doesn't include them).

Something that is included on the DVD set is the one and only episode of Transformers: Zone, which barely has time to introduce a bunch of new characters, including new Autobot leader Dai Atlas, before there's an extended fight scene and it ends. I have to wonder why they bothered. Oh, yeah.

Also among the stuff I've watched recently: the 2002 series Transformers: Armada. TV2 either didn't play the whole series or I missed the end of it, as I hadn't previously seen the last nine episodes or so. Most of Armada is taken up with relatively self-contained episodes concerning the search for Mini-Cons, smaller Transformers which link with the larger ones to give them extra power. The last dozen or so are taken up with one long storyline, which sets the scene for the later series Transformers: Energon, which is more or less one epic 51 episode storyline.

Despite the obvious problems they seemed to have translating the show from Japanese (there are very few occasions where Mini-Cons are referred to by the correct names, for instance, and often the dialogue doesn't quite match the visuals) there are some pretty good character arcs and it was entertaining most of the time. It's interesting to see the difference in story telling that some 13 years made.

Posted at 4:03 PM | Comments (1)

December 22, 2008

Doctor Who versus Transformers 2: This time it's canon

A while back I wrote about a fan-designed Police Box Transformer. I was unaware at the time that there was actually a canonical (in Transformers canon anyway) Doctor Who related Transformer. In a 1989 UK comic drawn by Lee Sullivan (who's not unknown in Doctor Who circles, having drawn Abslom Daak strips for DWM), one of the ruling Decepticon triumvirate, Octus, is quite clearly meant to transform into a Dalek.

Sadly Octus has never had a toy, but considering we've recently had the Transformers toyline cross-over with Marvel's Avengers, Star Wars, and Mickey Mouse of all things, I think it's time for Hasbro and the BBC to strike up a deal and bring us a toy version.

Although I'm not entirely sure how the transformation would work!

Posted at 7:59 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2008

Guess the Doctor Who title!

Another wave of Robot Heroes has turned up, so it's time to play guess the Doctor Who title!

Can you guess the Doctor Who story title represented in this picture?

Robot Heroes

Edit: The answer was "The Unicorn and the Wasp", as represented here by Unicron and Waspinator (Not to scale).

Posted at 5:36 PM | Comments (3)

September 28, 2008

Transformers, Japanese Style

Recently I've been catching up on the Transformers series which were created in Japan after the original 80s cartoon was canceled. Evidently the toys were still selling well enough there for Takara to commission further series.

The first of these is The Headmasters, which follows directly on from season 3 of the US toon (ignoring the three-episode season 4). As such, it brings back many of the characters from season 3 and introducing alternate versions of characters who were introduced in season 4.

While the Headmasters in the US version involve existing Transformers combining with smaller humans (or at least Nebulons, who are humanoid), in the Japanese version the heads are small robots who combine with large non-sentient robot bodies called Transtectors. They're pretty much the focus of the series, with many of the older characters barely appearing.

The second is Super-God Masterforce, which doesn't have any characters returning from the original series (although there are a couple of links to Headmasters). SGM introduces the concepts of Pretenders and Godmasters, the latter being the Japanese version of Powermasters. Like the Headmasters, the concept is switched around so that Godmasters are humans who combine with large non-sentient robot bodies. In fact, most of the characters in SGM are humans rather than robots, including their leader Ginrai (who's currently the featured article on the Transformers Wiki). And it all takes place on Earth, while The Headmasters was more spacey.

The DVDs for both series include a very dodgy English dub done in Malay. One episode in The Headmasters starts out by announcing that Mars is the fourth largest planet in the solar system and over 50% larger than Earth. I stuck to the Japanese soundtrack with subtitles, and I usually hate reading subtitles.

And now that I've watched those, there's still Transformers: Victory!

One amusing thing I noted was that both series had a trio of Decepticons who seemed to exist solely for the purposes of comedy relief. In Headmasters it was the three Decepticon Headmasters: Mindwipe, Weirdwolf and Skullcruncher. In SGM it was the three Decepticon Pretenders: Blood, Dauros and Gilmer. Similarly the Robots in Disguise cartoon (translated from the Japanese series Car Robots) had Slapper, Gas Skunk and Dark Scream. I'll be interested to see if Victory includes any comedy relief..!

Posted at 12:57 PM | Comments (5)

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