Can’t believe it’s been thirty years since Transformers hit our tv screens.
To be precise, it was September 17, 1984 when the three part special entitled More Than Meets The Eye premiered. What transpired in that three episode installment has remained with me to this day; dueling sentient robot forces that can disguise themselves in to anything and they’ve brought their conflict to Earth. Humanity can’t help but be caught in the middle!
Something that I’ve always found fascinating was the color designations between the two forces. The Decepticons flashed purple and the Autobots claimed orange, it went counter to the whole blue vs red that we’ve grown accustomed to.
This was also our first introduction in to one of the best leader characters ever, Optimus Prime. The impact of this character was unprecedented. Metaphorically he’s the leader, physically he’s a tracker/trailer, he’s able to carry other Autobot Cars in his trailer, he’ll literally carry them in to battle with him. Then when he was phased out of the toy line and killed in the animated (and only) movie, the fan uproar was massive, so much so that in the proceeding tv series they brought him back from the dead. Since then, Optimus has been incarnated in every Transformers franchise that’s come about.
There was a regally inspired quality about the look of these transformers, they didn’t look like someone threw a box cutlery in to the air and a magnet got them all. The heads and faces of these characters was a cross between Kabuki and Samurai. The simple quality of their blank faces with horned helmet extensions, this design gave it a noble and subtle expression.
Here’s Cybertron, looks like a war torn Deathstar.
The rivalry between Autobots and Decepticons is a lasting conflict that reaches all ages and generations, and it’s one conflict I look forward to time and time again.
The Transformers reminds me of a time where things were black and white, cars fought jets and then both sides got jets and cars… kind benevolent robots would protect humans against evil war mongering other robots, and they would all transform in to something cool, and in some cases three cool somethings, or better yet, part of a bigger cooler robot (minus Superion), their battles would fill up my mornings and sometimes afternoons.
I would sit down in front of our dial television set with my brothers and watch a thirty minute animated toy commercial, when the episode had finished airing we would then continue the battles by enacting our own adventures with the toys we had, sure some of the toys weren’t show accurate, but we had our imaginations.
But most of all Transformers reminds me of a simpler time, where despite the fact that the bad guys looked cooler and were more powerful, the good guys worked together and never game up. Transform and roll out!