YMMV / Transformers
Transformers Rescue Bots
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Very common amongst the various universes and incarnations, both in-universe and out. Quite a few people view the Decepticons as Well-Intentioned Extremists and the Autobots as a peaceful but oppressive group. The series has had a long history of varying morality to it, with each version differing on just how good or evil the Autobots and Decepticons are. The general official stance nowadays seems to be this: Autobots are flawed but are largely good and the Decepticons are extremists who kick the dog a lot and are more often than not unabashedly racist towards other races.
- Archive Panic: Particularly for long-time fans when they discover the nine year gap between G1 and Beast Wars wasn't quite as empty as they thought.
- Base-Breaking Character: There's a whole cavalcade of characters, many of whom cause strong emotions in people.
- Mikaela. Some wished she was the main human protagonist, next to Lennox, since she was less whiny, more assertive and just more competent than Sam. On the other hand she doesn't have quite enough of those moments so it still feels like she's just there to show Sam is a heterosexual.
- Unicron, he's either a fearsome God of Evil that provides neat Enemy Mine situations or the biggest Generic Doomsday Villain the franchise has to offer.
- The Classics Seeker Mold. When the Classics launched to Fan acclaim, the Classics Seeker mold was considered the de-facto mold for the Seekers, updating the animation models with modern technology to produce Starscream and the rest of his posse, the retools even giving the Coneheads accurate functional toys. However now fans question if the mold has been overused; with Hasbro churning out figure after figure of obscure Seekers or special edition Starscreams (and that's not getting into the accusations of mold degradation from repeated uses). While the mold was eventually retired fans are split between the argument over whether it was one of the best uses of a mold with so many G1 accurate figures from it, or whether it was an overdone mold who's age shows in its mid 2000s tooling.
- Action Masters. From their debut till today, they are still derided for being Transformers who don't Transform, the very antithesis of the brand. Since the debut, however, there has been a bit of fan softening about them, as they provided posable figures whose character models matched closer to the cartoon then their original toys. The In-universe Justifications; the original one being that Nucleon was injected into them, making them more powerful at the expense of their alt-modes, and the Reimagining the Artifact in the IDW version (there called Monoformers, bots who forgo their Transformation Cog either due to religious reasons or just damage) have been met with approval, or at least acceptance. The new-characters created for the line all have their own fans, and even get new toys retooled into them today... all these new toys, however, are able to Transform.
- Alpha Bravo, Offroad, and Rook. Many fans see them as Replacement Scrappies for Slingshot, Wildrider, and Groove of the Aerialbots, Stunticons, and Protectobots respectively while others believe that they bring variety to the teams in Alpha Bravo and Offroad's case.note In Rook's case, many of his defenders state that it is more logical for a SWAT vehicle than a motorcycle (that has to be made larger) to make up a limb of a gestalt, despite not usually being a problem otherwise. Further, unlike Alpha Bravo and Offroad, Rook only replaces a limb, as Groove is still on the team, just relegated to a chest piece. Not to mention Rook is considered one of the best Combiner Wars molds in his own right.
- While this is averted with the Combiner Wars version of the Combaticons, many fans are not happy with Blast Off's appearance as a redeco of Quickslinger (aka Slingshot) instead of his iconic appearance as a space shuttle and that the low-flying AV-8B Harrier jet in particular is a poor fit for the character, since his entire personality and name is about being physically and in his mind metaphorically above other robots. Others argue that his new appearance is more practical for someone who is part of the Combaticons, again, despite not being an issue otherwise.
- Even if some fans don't mind Blast Off's alt-mode, others have found contention with the use of Slingshot's head instead of Firefly's despite the two of them being mold mates and Firefly's head being closer to Blastoff's in appearance due to having a mouthplate. Others think the Quickslinger's visor is a better approximation of Blast Off's visor, and that is the more important feature.
- Generations Devastator: the return of the original combiner was divisive to say the least. One side loves him, as a massive solid figure, and the perfect recreation of the green giant whose flaws pale in comparison to how good it is. The other side takes issue with all the sacrifices made to achieve the mold such as hollow plastic, and dumbing down the Constructicons themselves to get a better Devy (most infamously are the elbows, with Hook and Mixmaster's being uncomfortably thin, Long Haul's elbows only bend sideways, and Scrapper has no elbows). There is also the matter of Mixmaster's vehicle type being changed so that the mixer faces forward, leaving Devastator's foot as the smaller back engine block rather than the cab section, a change some have questioned since the other five remained faithful to their original designs. His size is either praised for giving him the towering presence he deserves, or criticized for not being in scale with all the other combiners (being half a foot taller than them). Then there's his price tag of a solid $160, with his parts sold in box set. Some feel this is an acceptable price for such a massive popular toy, others feel Devy should have been smaller and more affordable.
- Upon the reveal at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, the majority did not take the fact that Combiner Wars Scattershot was not only a(nother) remold of Silverbolt, but that even Computron's torso seemed more like a recolor of Superion rather than a retool (Unlike Galvatronus, which at least received a new head).note While others are hopeful that the figure displayed is an Obvious Beta and that the real figure will be displayed with a torso mode that looks more like Computron or are turning towards Takara as their only hope in getting a "proper" Scattershot.
- We are getting a proper Computron in a box set, although the solo Scattorshot was still released with only minor changes, with the combined mode being named Betatron and using only existing random limbs.
- Broken Base: It's a franchise steaming past 30 years so there's bound to be divisions.
- Repaints and Retools. Due to cost reasons, toys are frequently repainted and in some cases altered (most prominently given a new head) and sold as another character. This has been going on since the beginning of the franchise and it causes a bit of consternation. On the one hand, many repaints go on to be accepted as their own character and fans happily anticipate the mold's reuse; the Seekers are the biggest example of this. On the other hand certain fans feel the practice is lazy and extensive use of repaints can decay the mold used to create the toy leaving later produced figures more prone to breaking. In addition there are the outliers who feel other characters are more deserving of remolds than some of the one's chosen. Finally there's the issue of factory errors. If a figure has a design flaw and the retool doesn't fix it, fans are left with two toys with the same problem (such is the case of Generations Blitzwing's infamous shoulder flaw that carried over to his retool, Doubledealer).
- The more mystical aspects of Transformers lore, are they out of place or do they fit in well with the sic-fi? Such a debate plagues even the writers and toy designers.
- When toylines are released which makes the better figure/gives the better paint job: Hasbro or Takara? Adding onto that, many opinions, both positive and negative, of the color scheme or toy designs seem to heavily depend if they're "G1-Accurate."
- RIRFIB and FIRRIB: what colors are Rumble and Frenzy? Due to switching them for the cartoon Rumble (whose toy was red) became blue and Frenzy (whose toy was blue) became the red one. The japanese dub of G1 switched the character names so they would match their toys, and since then the debate has taken off reaching memetic levels and producing countless jokes. Different comic series, books, video games, all assign colors to them and there's no set consistency. The Tfwiki has a humorous article on it. One of the few consensus on the matter is that The Transformers (IDW) made a mistake by making Rumble Red and Frenzy Blue and then changing it around for no reason before changing it back, confusing everyone.
- How should the toys be designed? Stickers vs. Paint Applications, and with the stickers, self applied vs. factory applied? It all depends on which you think will last longer, what looks better, whether or not you think applying them just gives room for error. Balljoints vs. Ratchets? Articulation is a must, but which provides smoother movement? Which one lasts longer? Which one is more prone to errors in quality control?
- The "Ask Vector Prime" feature, which ran on the official Facebook page from April 2015 to February 2016. The feature allowed fans to ask questions of writer Jim Sorenson, in-character as Guardian of the Multiverse Vector Prime, with the answers becoming part of official Transformers canon. Fans are split on if it was a clever way to resolve mysteries that likely would have no answers otherwise (like the names and fates of minor characters) or a sad excuse for fans to add their own Fan Wank to canon by asking leading questions of Vector Prime. In particular, a large edit war erupted on TFWiki.net when Vector Prime was asked a series of questions that resulted in Challenge Of The Go Bots (an old competitor of the Transformers brand that it later bought out) being officially added to Transformers canon, and how the Wiki should address this.
- Primus vs. Quintessons: Some fans prefer the Marvel Comics origin which says that Cybertron is a shell around an ancient god named Primus, with Unicron also being an ancient god. Primus created the Transformers as a means to fight Unicron some day. Others prefer the cartoon origin which says the Quintessons colonized a dead asteroid, building a mechanical factory planet on it, and building the Transformers as mere consumer goods to be sold to alien races. The machines eventually developed intelligence and ran their creators off to escape slavery. Unicron is also a giant WMD created by Primacron, merely an oversized robot that became too powerful for its creator to control- it's weak to the Matrix because Primacron owned it at the time and built in the weakness as a failsafe.
- "Third Party" Transformers toys made by unlicensed companies. Not the typical bootleg toys, mind you- new toys designed to mimic or update franchise characters, add-on sets for existing toys, etc. The mentality behind these is "if they won't make it officially, WE will!". This can range anywhere from unofficial Masterpiece toys(we have seen 3P toys based on Mirage and various other characters that have yet to see official toys, and Shockwave had TWO unofficial updates before the official release!), IDW characters or designs that may not get official toys, or "artist interpretation" designs. The fandom is highly split on this issue because of the legality(these toys are being made with no license or permission) with some taking a strong pro-corporate stance and others going with the "if Hasbro won't make it, I'll buy from someone who will" line of thought. Hasbro themselves have been unusually quiet on the issue, taking no real legal action against these companies(granted, many of them are located in China which could make things difficult, and some new designs are so different that Hasbro may have little legal ground- considering they themselves often do unauthorized homages in their toy lines), failing to go after online stores that carry them, etc, with a sort of "we're okay with add-on kits that require buying our toys" quiet approval of that part of the market. However, Takara HAS gone after online retailers, at least in Asia, and the management of Botcon was very strict about not allowing ANY such toys at the conventions(including threats to confiscate any toys people bring, even personal copies- which they may have no actual legal authority to do).
- The Masterpiece line has created a few major broken bases:
- The first is MP-01 Optimus Prime vs. MP-10 Optimus Prime. Proponents of MP-01 consider it the best Transformer ever, loaded with gimmicks, articulation, and a great deal of die-cast giving it a fantastic heft. Those that like MP-10 more think MP-01 is overrated, the die-cast detracts from the figure, its alt-mode is terrible, and MP-10's proportions are better.
- Beginning with MP-27 Ironhide, Takara's design philosophy on Masterpieces have torn the fandom asunder. Basically, Takara has begun making the figures look as animation-accurate as possible. While you wouldn't think that this would be contentious, detractors lament the fact that in doing so they make the figures look flat and dull, with large portions of completely undetailed plastic. Others like the "straight from the screen" look.
- Cant Unhear It: Let's face it, Peter Cullen is Optimus Prime.
- Complete Monster: So many of them, it has its own page.
- Creator's Pet:
- Bumblebee has become this, due to his Movie and Prime incarnations being overpacked in case assortments and, especially in Movie BB's case, having too many just-slightly-different versions of the same toy.
is filled with Bumblebee toys, including a large playset. Bumblebee only appears in three episodes as a guest. A lot of fans are bemoaning the oversaturation of Bumblebee, and wishing Hot Shot
would make a comeback. In fact, the creators of Animated
vyed for Hot Shot (in a main role, at least), but since execs wanted 'Bee instead, they had to compromise
. And for all his charm, he has a lot
of screentime and is intentionally annoying.
- As the franchise marches on many start to view Grimlock as one, feeling he's overused, overpowered, and overhyped. They feel his stories just involve "Grimlock shows up and beats up everyone to be a badass" and prefer his less powerful incarnations.
- And then we have Skids and Mudflap. They got almost as much toys as Bumblebee in ROTF, and had more screentime than any other Autobot. Thing is, it's possible that them flopping and flopping hard led to Bumblebee becoming a Creator's Pet.
- Drift started out as this. The guy read like a laundry list of every bad TF fanfic trope - badassAngsty Ninja Samurai with a BFS who pulled a Heel–Face Turn in a woefully overwrought backstory. The only one he didn't have was (thankfully) any feelings for a human girl. However, thanks to James Roberts' More Than Meets the Eye ongoing, Drift has been (mostly) Rescued from the Scrappy Heap. It also didn't hurt that his toy was really great.
- Crosses the Line Twice: At some point in human history, Takara Tomy thought it would be a good idea to release a recolor of Masterpiece Optimus Prime as he was flatlining. You know, that one scene that traumatized thousands of children and made them lock themselves in their rooms? It still manages to become funny just for the sheer ridiculousness of it. And he still looks pretty badass,◊ if you ignore the whole "corpse" thing.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Oh Primus. Some fans take the Well-Intentioned Extremist interpretation to the next level and act as if the Decepticons are the actual good guys rebelling against the "fascistic" Autobots. This often involves conveniently glossing over the numerous horrible war crimes, abusive behavior, and horrific racism that the Decepticons commit. This is especially bad in series that give the Decepticons a sympathetic/tragic backstory or avert Always Chaotic Evil.
- Fans writing from a perspective of "the Decepticons were right". Transformers Animated starts to lean this way itself, as the high command seems a bit morally suspect and the Decepticons are basically rebellious freedom fighters whose leader happens to be Megatron. Then again, we see the kind of people who follow Megatron.
- Ear Worm: Transformers... more than meets the eye...
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Quite a few from all series.
- Fanon Discontinuity: Exactly what it is varies from person to person. The live-action movies are especially popular for this treatment. Also popular are the Animorphs toys released during the Beast Era, due to massive Kibbles and Bits syndrome, and other factors (including being linked to the crappy Ani-TV adaptation).
- First Installment Wins: For better or worse, G1 is the most known of the series, and only the live-action movies can stand up to it in terms of general recognizability. It get's the most callbacks, most parodies in popular culture draw from it, Peter Cullen and Frank Welker are considered the best Optimus and Megatron, the comic series that are produced in the present day draw from the G1 reference pool far more than others, and future series base their characters more on the old designs than any others. Even the toylines feature the most homages to G1, and the old toyline has the most figures given updates with modern toolings. The Masterpiece series, aimed to the collectors, features a predominant Gen 1 cast.
- When it comes to the Michael Bay films, the first film is the only one many people would argue is actually good, or at the very least, the best of the films.
- Friendly Fandoms: Somewhat surprisingly with Doctor Who of all things. It helps that many of the better-regarded writers for the franchise are also Whovians; also of note is that Ensemble Darkhorse Death's Head (originally from the Marvel UK Transformers comics) made the jump from this franchise to the mainstream Marvel Universe via an encounter with The Doctor.
- As a whole Transformer fans have historically good relations with other Hasbro series, namely the company's other flagship titles.
- It's very close with the G.I. Joe fandom and most people who like one like the other. Not surprising given the two series are not only made by the same people but are also frequently set in the same universe and crossover often, but also have a very similar tone and give shout outs to one another on a daily basis.
- And the Bronies also qualify- the 2014 Bot Con had several exclusive comic variant covers from IDW and other stuff that crossed between both series, like Soundwave and Dj PON-3 working together. On an old front, because both series had their first generation at about the same time, many fans of either work grew up practically considering the other series their fandom's Distaff Counterpart. Also helping is the MLP G1/FIM fic The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds, which has the humans from the 80s' MLP not just helping to found modern Equestria, but also living on the same Earth as the G1 cartoon, the 80s' G.I. Joe toon, Jem and the Holograms and Inhumanoids (which were previously linked, mainly by a Geraldo Rivera parody named Hector Ramirez). The first chapter of "Side Stories of First Contact" has Prime meeting with Celestia, Luna and Twilight; a prequel fic, "Day of the Broken Fang", details what happened to Cobra (Serpentor attacked the Decepticons and got annihilated); most of the fic focuses on Cobra Commander escaping and the Autobots, Joes and Oktober Guard forming the Earth Defense Command.
- Growing the Beard: The series as a whole settled into it's own around 1985, when the second wave of toys started up and introduced massively improved mechanics and fan favorite characters like the Dinobots and Constructicons. It was also around this time that Simon Furman started writing for the Marvel comic, which led to the creation of much of the franchise's mythos and characterization.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Just Here for Godzilla: Fans generally only care about the robots themselves and are ambivalent at best towards the human characters.
- Macekre: A rare case for toys, of all things. Transformers was created from two completely unrelated toy lines.
- Tropes Are Tools: ...and created a well-loved and more memorable franchise the later went on to produce it own toys.
- Memetic Badass: Optimus Prime is the Robo-Jesus.
- My Real Daddy: Although writer/artist Bob Budiansky created the personalities for most of the original G1 characters, and wrote many of the early comics, Simon Furman, who breathed new life into the comics, established much of the lore and characterizations for the franchise, and has wrote a good majority of Transformers comics.
- Periphery Demographic: Transformers has a massive and varied fanbase of people from numerous demographics. Hasbro is quite aware of this; the comics can essentially do the things that the children-focused cartoons can't so that adult fans aren't left out.
- Ron the Death Eater: According to some the Autobots were horrible oppressors who are being overthrown by the "heroic" Decepticons. This view pretty much requires that one believes dictators frequently encourage their slaves to express free will and despise cultural discrimination.
- Rooting for the Empire: A small contingent of fans feel that the Decepticons are the real good guys, and that the Autobots are evil. Granted, a few continuities show that the Bots aren't perfect paragons of justice, and the Cons had good reasons to rebel, but stories where Decepticons take small children hostage (or kill a puppy) show that they are NOT nice mechs.
- Given a bit more weight in Transformers Animated in which the Autobots are the ruling empire led by someone who's just a bit too willing to do bad things to achieve victory for comfort while the Decepticons are the scrappy rebels, albeit vicious and ruthless ones.
- In the IDW comics the Autobot government was evil (well corrupt at least) and the Decepticons were laid off blue collar workers living in slums until this one miner showed up... (Most of the story is set millions of years later, by which point they're rather less sympathetic.)
- One of the movie prequel comics showed one part of the falling out between the Autobots and Decepticons was Prime wouldn't allow Megatron to attack a hostile force on their way to Cybertron, until they arrived and started attacking. Megatron was just trying to protect Cybertron.
- In the Transformers: War for Cybertron continuity, Megatron was initially a gladiator who rebelled against an oppressive, caste-based society ruled by the Autobots, so initially it was the Autobots themselves who were the Empire and you should have rooted against. But Megatron became too prideful and ruthless, to the point his ideal of a caste-less society was buried by his desire to rule. Transformers seems to have been moving over the years from "Decepticons evil, Autobots good" to an almost Star Wars-like setup, where Cybertronian society badly needed shaking up but the Cons went too far and the necessities of war turned the Autobots into the casteless society the Decepticons wanted, while the Decepticons became too obsessed to remember their original intentions.
- The Megatron in Beast Wars seems to imply that the Predacons are currently stuck as servants to the ruling Maximal class and its Council of Elders. Megatron himself is made into a very nationalistic figure, fighting to improve the lot of his suffering people after their terrible losses in the last war, damn the consequences. And get power himself in the process.
- Sacred Cow: Optimus, as an icon of popular culture since The '80s. Many of his fans strongly believe that he's a universally-loved character, and will adamantly defend him from outright criticism.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: One of the most infamous fandoms for this, they even named Ruined FOREVER. The fandom's full of differing opinions so now all changes are met with criticism by a certain group, and the changes back are met with criticism by other groups. It's gotten to the point of parody, and beyond, so now there are tons of fans making fun of this mindset mixed in with those who actually do dislike the changes, leading to a severe case of Poe's Law.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Some have noted that Warpath would perfectly fit into the live-action films, due to his love of explosions and action.
- Took the Bad Film Seriously: Whether if the TV show/movie is good or bad, you can always expect Peter Cullen to deliver a stellar performance as Optimus Prime. Peter always gives it his all simply out of love for the character.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Kiss Players is infamous for how ungodly not kid friendly it is. To give an idea of how bad it was, Kiss Players is a Sailor Moon-esque Magical Girl manga. TF Wiki compares it to Narutaru. The writer/artist of the manga has explicitly said he deliberately designed the comic to shock people for kicks.
- The Woobie: Stepford Smiler Bluestreak, who talks over his own bad thoughts and memories of what happened to his hometown.