1) How did you get to Transformers, and how long have you been here?I have to confess that I've always been a fan of Michael Bay's directing. Not the racism or sexism (ew), but the fact that he can make an action scene look really slick and exciting. (Pearl Harbour being the obvious exception because it's a load of apocryphal tripe.) As a kid in the 90's I have to admit I was aware of Transformers but in a vague, "oh yes, this is a thing that exists" sort-of way - it never really interested me. I was more a fan of Johnny Quest, Battle of the Planets, Shadow Raiders and M.A.S.K. (Anyone else remember Shadow Raiders? No? Just me, then...)
In 2009, I picked up a copy of the 2007 film on a whim in HMV. I figured if it wasn't any good, at least there were robots to enjoy. I watched it that night and was instantly entranced - especially with Ironhide, who most people know as being my most favourite Autobutt of all time. (I cried in the cinema during Dark of the Moon. And then I raged.) The next day I was talking to Brent (@Brentosaur) over Skype and mentioned that I had watched the film, and he gave me a brief rundown of the Transformers franchise. But after that conversation, I didn't think any more about it...
...Until I went to GAME about two months later and saw the 1986 Transformers film on sale for the PSP. I'd only just bought the console and was looking to build up my UMD library, so again I picked the film up on a whim, and again I watched it that night whilst chatting to Brent. And I was hooked. I loved the animation, the cheesiness, and the designs of the Cybertronians. I loved Megatron's snark to Starscream. Hell, I even loved Wheelie. (Wheelie is a sweetie-pie who must be defended at all costs, and yes, I will fight you over it and I will own that third party toy one day damnit.) The next day I went to Sainsburys and bought a Voyager Class Desert Tracker Ratchet from ROTF. And that was the beginning of the end.
2) When was the point you realized you were not leaving?The day I bought Ratchet, definitely. I was fascinated with the way he transformed and I absolutely loved him. He's not the greatest Transformer by any means, but you'd have to pry him out of my cold, dead hands before I willingly gave him up. My first 'proper' (*tips hat to Geewunners*) Transformer was from a scalper on eBay (I was clueless about prices back then) and was Universe 2.0 Starscream. Again, I love him, and again cold dead hands etc.
It's been six years and whilst I'm currently downsizing my collection to move out of my parents' house, I'm still keeping a good 150 bots. I think it's safe to say that I'm never leaving this fandom, especially with Hasbro giving it so good at the moment. Generations Arcee, man. One of the best toys ever made.
3) Which series / comic / toyline would you say is a good starting point?In terms of media, it depends on the type of person looking to approach the franchise. If you're a child of the 80's and 90's and still love old cartoons with dodgy animation and voice acting, then by all means start with the G1 cartoon. In my honest opinion it hasn't aged well, but it's still terribly endearing if you give it a chance and I defy you not to love the zaniness of the story-lines. If you're more of an action movie nut then you may well like the Michael Bay films, although I would recommend only trying the first film and the Age of Extinction semi-reboot, as those are the best ones for me. I still don't think Revenge of the Fallen is as terrible as people make out, but that and Dark of the Moon are the weakest in the series. Finally, if you're not sure what you'd like, I would say to go with Transformers: Animated. For me it's the greatest of the 'new' approaches to Transformers and provides a very solid story-line, great characters and kickass music.
For the toys...ehhhh. You're looking at thirty years' worth! The G1 toys are solid but hard to find at a good price with all their parts, and the engineering won't be impressive by modern standards. The toyline from Revenge of the Fallen are the most tricky, and may be frustrating to beginners - especially the infamous Leader Class Optimus Prime. Really, the Classics/Universe/RTS/Generations/whatever the hell we're calling them now are your safest bet, especially the Generations line. And I still think Transformers: Animated toys like Lockdown and Blurr are some of the best ever engineered.
But really, I guess it comes down to whether the person is just interested in the toys, or the fiction. If you want characters you like from the comics/films/cartoons, then you're gonna go for those.
4) What advice would you give to get someone into the transformers universe?Nothing will ever make sense and it's brilliant. Also if someone uses the phrase 'true fan', run away. Run far away from that person. They will only ruin everything.
5) Name your highlights of the franchise and fandom.Meeting people, definitely. The fandom has introduced me to so, so many of my friends and it gave me the confidence to 'get back in' to being an unashamed sci-fi geek. The internet can still be a pretty judgmental place for female, minority or gay fans - and science fiction communities tend to still cater for the white heterosexual male demographic. But thankfully, 95% of all Transformers fans are lovely, welcoming and open-minded people who just want to talk robots and watch cartoons, and that's totally cool. Without Transformers I would never have visited a convention, taken part in the Back to the 80's podcast (and met Glenn, Jii, Sam and Phil in the process, as well as Jenny from WoC) or discovered that warm feeling you get from new toy joy. It truly is a magical place.
As for the franchise, I've sort of fallen out of the fiction lately - Prime did nothing for me and whilst I like the RID toys the show is kinda meh, and I've never been a fan of the comics because I like the sillier aspects of the Transformers universe. But I'm still loving the toys and the excitement they create, and that's all that matters for me. :-)
The beautiful Hauke Scheer looked at this year's Toy Fair, and perused the images to create a list of what excited him the most. Without a 6 foot Plundorr available, He decided on the following list.
1. Super Powers
I have to say that I have been less and less enthusiastic about super hero toys these last couple of years. I have multiple figures of most of my favourite characters at this point and there are just so many times you can get excited about getting another Iron Man or Batman. However I am quite thrilled about the giant Super Power figures from Gentle Giant. The Super Powers figures are one of my all time favourite toy line and I am looking forward to getting some of my favourites like Batman at a larger scale as well as getting a figure like Cyborg that I do not have at the original scale. I also hope that maybe down the road they get their hands on some of the unproduced prototypes and make large scale versions of them. I would love to own a Man-Bat.
Kotobukiya is also doing a line based on Super Powers. And while that line seems to have original sculpts they still seem to stay true in aesthetics and articulation to the original line. Depending on the price I will pick up some of those as well. So the next couple of years seem to be quite exciting for a Super Powers fan.
2. Star Wars Hero Mashers
Another franchise I have not been too excited about in recent years. As with super hero figures I just have too many figures of my favourite characters to bother about buying them at a larger scale or with slightly more articulation. The hero mashers however look quite cool. I love the bulked up style. Boba Fett and Bossk look especially nice. Even the Jar Jar figure looks kinda bad ass. And they do not seem to feature any cloth capes, which I hate on a lot of the Hasbro Star Wars figures.
3. Master of the Universe Classics
This is my favourite line at the moment and 2015 may be the best year since I started buying subscriptions. Even characters I thought would look quite plain in toy form, like Marla from New Adventures, turned out fantastic. In fact she may be one of my favourites this year. This year is also the first time I seriously consider getting the add-on subscription. The three figures shown for the 200x sub all look fantastic, as does the extra head pack.
I dig the new Bionicle villains and also love the Star Wars figures done in Bionicle style. I hope there will be a C-3PO since I think he would work quite well in that style.
5. Mythic Legions
O.k. the Kickstarter campaign already started before Toyfair. But seeing all the prototypes at the Four Horsemen booth is really cool. This line gets me even more excited then the Ravens did last year and I salute the Four Horsemen for getting these great original toy lines out there.
Sony’s reboot series. whilst making more money than you can shake a underbaked script at, has come to a screeching halt. Marvel Studios have entered a deal with Sony that allow Ol' Web-Head to join the MCU (which...granted, includes yet another rebooted single film in 2017). The deal itself appears to being kept under wraps, but will more than likely include vast swathes of cash being delivered to Sony in a dump truck.
The cancellation of the Spidey-Verse (copyright Marvel 2015) means that Andrew Garefield and Marc Webb's series has been jettisoned out the window, and as a guess, the Sinister Six / Venom movies have been placed on the back burner for the time being.
What happened? How did ASM and Sony come to this?
Sit back, and lets have a look.
WITH GREAT POWERS COMES MORE ORIGINS
When Sony rebooted the Spider-Verse, (already did this joke) they took a different slant on Parker's origins. A conspiracy element was added to his parents death, and then was excised for the most part from the final movie. The second film took these missing parts, and then adding to them, leaving a air of confusion for those who had not watched any DVD extras, or had read any leaked versions of earlier scripts. Add to that, the need that Sony had to add multiple villains to create a launching pad for more spin-offs and sequels (see: Marvel Cinematic Universe), left ASM 2 as broken and almost unwatchable mess.
ASM2's major failing however, falls with Spider-Man himself. Sony looked to the Ultimate Spider-Man comics to recreate the franchise, but in doing this appeared to forget to include Peter Parker himself. The Parker we are presented with is a cocky, skateboarding "cool hipster kid", who is already self assured an confident when bitten by a radioactive spider, thus lessening the impact over when a conflicted and socially awkward teen trying to fit in and gaining his powers, which teach him to be the best version of himself he could be, whilst also allowing him to find the confidence in himself he never could have gained otherwise.
In other words... ASM's Parker is very hard to relate to. Not impossible, but difficult.
Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man is quippy, and sounds more like Spidey than Tobey Maguire's ever was, so it is a shame that the script let him down so badly throughout the second film, none more so in the was he deals with both Uncle Ben's death and the promise he made to a dying Captain Stacy
What Sony set out to achieve is what it appears DC is about to try. A game of Catch-Up. By throwing all the eggs into a basket to create a single universe in which to create media, too much is going on before your eyes and it becomes a unified mess. Marvel spent years playing with the idea before going all-out with Avengers. Both Sony and DC don't feel they have the time to slowly build a shared universe, and maybe they could be right. But the gung-ho approach that Sony went for gave us ASM, and ultimately led to the point where one of the most recognisable Superheroes in the entire world...... became box office poison.
After many months of hard work, the Oilhouse Site is now up and running again!
Part of the reason for this update was to move all the shows to a blog based model, which allows comments on each post, and a new forum for the community that listens in each week.
The site is also now more integrated into both the Facebook page and Twitter feed, which hopefully should allow for easier use of the site itself, and being able to get to and download the shows faster (unless you use a RSS feed reader of course).
Now, Other changes that are taking place. The Lock-In is going to become weekly once again, with a constant backlog to make sure that shows are going up. The Lock-In is also becoming a anything-at-all show, and it will be very easy to find the shows you want using the tags system on the Lock-In Page. Add to this Matt (Timey)'s new project Cyberritz, with Stu and Tricky looking at Transformers again with Welcome To Kimia, The Old Arcade rolling on as usual, and a multitude of shows planned over the next year, We, here at The Old Oilhouse, would like to welcome you to the Greatest Show On The Internet, led by The Podcasting Lords of Misrule.
Now, this brings me to you, dear reader. You may have noticed that we have had a blog post by The Jer Bear of Back to the Eighties fame,and that some pictures of toys have gone up. We want you to be more a part of this site and the shows!If you have a toyline you want to share with the world, or an article you'd like to have read, there will be sections in the forums to do just that. And from those, we will add such articles and pictures to the front page, making you a Honorary Oldhouser!
Now, with all that being said.....
Pull up a chair, get yourself signed in, and get ready.
Your brain may not fully survive.
We are looking for people to add to our front page, be it interesting news articles from all over the world of geekery, be it articles you write yourself, be it a gallery of toys that few people know about.
Here is your chance! Use this forum to get our attention and we will get your stuff out there!
But not only that! Use the General Discussion board to post news stories from the work of geekery, start discussions and we will grab a few each day and post them to the front page. This is a launching pad for you guys as a community.
In other words, lets give TGWTG the kicking it deserves.
1) How did you get to Transformers?
Since I was born at the tail end of the G1 transformers universe, I did miss a lot of the series as well as some of the toys, cartoon and comics from the 1980‘s. But if it wasn’t for my older brother I wouldn’t have gotten into the transformers universe at all. One of my first memories of the transformers was from VHS, there was 5 VHS that I had available to watch which I did over watch because the series wasn’t on repeat during the 1990’s, as other cartoons came out. These VHS where the Arrival from Cybertron, Megatron’s Master Plan, Return of Optimus Prime, Dark Awakening, Grimlock’s New Brain and Rebirth (aka US Headmasters). The other VHS we did have when I was younger (and like the other tapes we owned, it was watched over and over) and this was Transformers The Movie. Since I was growing up I couldn’t watch the Beast Wars animated series because there was other cartoons or kids series that had my attention more. So I kind of grew out of the Transformers series until 2003 when the Transformers Armada got released for viewing by then I had a part-time job so I could afford to get the release of the 80’s transformers cartoon and start collecting some of the G1 toys that I never had or I owned when I was a child.
2) Which toyline do you mostly collect & what is your earliest memory of a toyline?
Some of the Transformers toys I remember seeing when I was younger they were:
Powermaster Optimus Prime,
G2 Bumblebee and G2 Hubcap.
These were the figures that my older brother owned or I had. Only 2 of them isn’t broken or missing parts, those being Goldbug and Searchlight, so these were the grounds I used to start my own Transformers collection. The first Transformer I bought with my own money was a Encore Hot Rod and my collection does mostly contain G1 toys. Other collections that I have picked up is the Generations line because in my opinion it is a continuation of the G1 toy line.
3) Which comics do you mostly read & What is your earliest memory of a comic series?
There was a lot of Annuals floating around when I was a child which did relate to the Marvel UK Transformers Comic series. The earliest memory I can remember about the Transformers comic line is a book which began the 4-part Marvel US Transformers comic run, although it would only have the first 2 parts, other story lines I remember is Megatron and Galvatron randomly having a fight, Highbrow fights Scorponok, Ultra Magnus & Goldbug fights Galvatron in a volcano and Hot Rod & Kup get beaten up by the Stunticons for some information which was turned out was fake. The main comic series I read now is the IDW transformers ongoing universe because the artwork started off in the G1 styles and has evolved to include the movie line, games and other series created for the transformers universe, while a lot of the stories can be dark at some times but can also be humours at other times. I have had a chance to read the marvel UK/US transformers comics thanks to IDW reprinting them as a whole collection minus the storylines which contain Marvel characters for example Spiderman.
4) What advice would I give to get someone into the Transformers Franchise?
My advice I would give to anybody who wants to get into and start enjoying the Transformers Franchise, is start with the video games called Transformers War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron they have a very simple plot, which anyone can enjoy and explain the backstory of the franchise. If you enjoyed the games and you wanted to start a small collection then a lot of the toys from the War/Fall of Cybertron series were released under the Generations line, then you could keep looking into the rest of the Generations line as a lot of the toys being released are remakes of older characters, for example Headmaster Brainstorm and the Combiners/Gestalts. After collecting these toys you might want to start collecting the original toys so if you have the latest Optimus Prime, you might want to try the other Optimus Prime toys be it G1, G2 Armada, Cybertron or even Animated.
If you where going to collect the comics then start with the IDW universe and buy the Transformers IDW collection, as it will have everything in it up to a certain point ( Megatron: Origins, Spotlights and Infiltration). While if you did collect the earliest comic lines like Marvel or Dreamwave these can be collected from eBay, Amazon or even have been reprinted by Titan or IDW. Some of the best storylines that I did enjoy reading was:
War Within series,
Last Stand of the Wreckers,
and All Hail Megatron just to name a few. If you do start enjoying the comics another piece of advice I could suggest is not to collect the comics singularly, but just to wait for the graphic novels as it can be cheaper and there is a chance the local comic store might not have the issue you require so you can be an issue behind.
For the cartoons since a lot of them aren’t repeated on TV it might be an idea to see what series are available to you through Netflix, Youtube or see what you can borrow from any friends that might have them on DVD. Some suggestions that I can think of is Beast Wars/ Beast Machines, Transformers Animated, Transformers Armada and Transformers G1.
In order to kickstart and relaunch the Oilhouse, we gather a collection of motley people round to discuss burning issues in the world of comics!
And there is much burning....
Check out the episode ater the JUMP
The era of the geek may be arising, but that doesn’t stop us from remaining the butt of the joke most of the time. Most of the humor from show like The Big Bang Theory stem from mocking the neuroses and inadequacies of the geeky main cast. While many fans of the series feel that this enables them to laugh at themselves a little, others fail to see much a difference between shows like The Big Bang Theory and common schoolyard bullying. Similar criticisms were at the core of campaigns against shows like Heroes of Cosplay as well.
That’s where The Great Fandelirium comes in. With the hopes of bringing audiences a fan-centric show that respects geek and nerd culture without making them look like unacceptable weirdos, host Anthony Brownrigg visits and highlights conventions of varying fandoms. Brownrigg wants to unveil what makes fandom work, how does it drive the market of the mundane world, and just how many people really are mundane? And how many simply hide it? “If anyone’s going to look like a fool in this, it’s gonna be me,” said Brownrigg, “because I just still don’t get all this stuff. But hopefully by the time I’m through living it, I’ll understand why millions of fans can’t be wrong”
The show is expected to debut either online or on a network in the coming spring and feature interviews with celebrity convention guests like Jim O’Rear (Hospital, Don’t Look in the Basement 2), Theodus Crane (The Walking Dead), Richard Hatch (BattleStar Galactica), Gigi Edgley (Farscape, Jim Henson’s Creature Challenge) and Vic Mignogna (Star Trek Continues, Full Metal Alchemist). However, they are still looking for feedback from the fandom community on what they would like to see featured on the show. Feedback can be submitted via their Facebook page.
What do you think? Is television failing to give fandom the respect it deserves? Keep an eye out for The Great Fandelirium!
Comment below on on the thread HERE
The world of the "geek" has grown leaps and bounds over the past 20 years. You think of the stereotypical geek and you think Steve Urkle.
Nowadays, the characters on the Big Bang Theory rule the world...and it's about damn time!
The majority of the readers reading this are collectors. We travel near and far to get our grails. We search web sites and online auctions just to find the items we want. People show off their collections via You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media like they are children's photos in their wallets. Collecting has become the number 1 Geek Phenom.
Take me for example. I used to have a basement filled with 80's toys. I loved my toys. Loved them so much, it was a fighting topic between me and my ex-wife. The escape of going in the "man cave" is something only a true geek knows. Be it playing with your favorite childhood toy or reading your favorite comic book. Whatever your escape maybe it's therapeutic and it makes the world what we are. Having a hobby used to be looked at as something to pass the time. I have come to realize that having a hobby molds who we are has humans. A hobby isn't something to waste extra money on or to pass the time by. Us Geeks collect and have hobbies that make us the souls we are.
Being a child is easier right? Eat, Sleep, Play, Sleep, and so on. Is it any wonder why the world collects what we had when we were kids? We all just want to be that little kid again, and collecting brings that out in us geeks. With every grail that is purchased, with every toy you never had as a child. Hell, being a geek keeps half the world off therapists couch! For me personally, my inner geek has allowed me meet some of the best friends I have. I mean what other fandom could have me fly to England for a Transformers convention just to meet the people I talk to on Skype.
My trip to Auto Assembly was something that ranks only behind the birth of my daughter. It was a lasting memory and I made friends from a different country. If it wasn't for me being a geek, I would never have met the majority of you reading this. I love the fact this community exists not only in my world but in millions of peoples worlds....and that's worldwide! It happens every day, somewhere on this little blue planet. All in all, the whole world is filled with geeks.
Everyone is a geek about something. The entire world collects. From the richest person to the homeless, we all collect SOMETHING. The great thing about this geek movement is what we collect are irrelevant. Collect toys, books, cars, models (the plastic kind), video games, sports memorabilia, stamps, the list goes on infinitely. We live in a great world now to where we all have something in common. We are all geeking out about something. The world has become small to where we can geek out together, worldwide. If you are reading this and you disagree with me. Awesome! I love a good debate and you know where to find me. There is one thing us geeks can't debate and argue about.........Us geeks are finally on top of the social food chain!