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I want to tell you about the Transformers!
December 15, 2009 12:22 AM   Subscribe

The Transfomers Wiki is a surprisingly complete resource about everything related to one of the largest sci-fi franchises that exists to sell toys. You can find information on everything from 1986's The Transformers: The Movie to the more recent Transformers Animated and the bizarre Japanese line Kiss Players (that one gets NSFW). The wiki has just reached 10,000 articles, which I guess means that it is ruined FOREVER.

More highlights!

Pat Lee was the president of Dreamwave Comics, a company that started selling Transformer comics in 2001. Things went sour once his artists realized that he wasn't paying them, and Dreamwave imploded with debt over a million dollars. He is the inventor of the dull surprise.

The fandom page, with a history of how it developed and a little primer on how they act.

Misconceptions and urban legends about Transformers.

Humans and kissing.

The terrible Energon cartoon.
posted by The Devil Tesla (32 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Allspark Mutation:

* Screenwriter Roberto Orci has offered some potential explanations for the evil nature of on-screen Allspark Mutations both at BotCon 2007 and on the official movie forum
o "Prime intended to use the Allspark to repower Cybertron as it was intended. Megatron wants to abuse it by creating Transformers directly, which makes souless[sic], primal Transformers."[3]
o "It is meant to power Cybertron, not adapt human technology. Also, since all earth's tech is reverse engineered from Megatron, maybe that affects the outcome, too."[4]

* A final explanation can be taken from a mission in Transformers: Autobots. When the Autobots attempt to retrieve the All Spark, it produces drones from the local machinery to defend itself. As such, the All Spark-created transformers may have been feral as a survival mechanism.


Alright, question answered. Kind of.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:42 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do you remember when they made the toys from the stories?

Nah, thought not.
posted by pompomtom at 1:08 AM on December 15, 2009


If I had only known about this when I was a kid...
posted by FireballForever at 1:11 AM on December 15, 2009


In all seriousness though, even just a few days ago a friend and I were having a big discussion about Generation One Transformers and if I'd had this handy, it would have cleared up a lot of our fuzzy childhood memories.
posted by FireballForever at 1:24 AM on December 15, 2009


563 days until Transformers 3.

I don't know what's saddest: that Michael Bay is signed on to make another installment, that they already have a release date, or that anyone having seen Transformers 2 would be eager enough for more that they'd need a countdown.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:33 AM on December 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I see the countdown as less OMG WERE EXCITED and more, oh, this is going to happen, and we are all going to see it or at least talk about it.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 1:44 AM on December 15, 2009


Yeah, I agree. But it just struck me as a little odd to have a countdown for something that far out (July 1, 2011). Also, maybe I've been watching too much Entourage, but it seems like being able to hit a release date for a huge project from such a long way away seems a bit optimistic, given all the complications that a huge Hollywood project must have to endure.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:02 AM on December 15, 2009


I don't know what's saddest: that Michael Bay is signed on to make another installment, that they already have a release date, or that anyone having seen Transformers 2 would be eager enough for more that they'd need a countdown.

Oh god.
posted by JHarris at 2:41 AM on December 15, 2009


For some reason I thought that this would be a wiki about electrical transformers
and I'm disappointed that it's not
posted by atrazine at 2:57 AM on December 15, 2009


Oh man, I can't believe I forgot to put this in the post. Gold Plastic Syndrome, the breaking down of toys with improperly made plastic, has a really great article.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:13 AM on December 15, 2009


The phenomenon is even more widespread in countries such as Germany, where the cartoon wasn't officially shown on TV until 1989(!).

(!) indeed! Where is your cultural superiority now, Old Europe?
posted by No-sword at 3:52 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have to wonder if keeping this thing up is a cool thing for the writers, or if they're sick of it now.
posted by lysdexic at 4:58 AM on December 15, 2009


One of my friends made Optimus Prime cry.

This was before the movie franchise took off, and Hasbro was kind of nervous about the upcoming film, so they decided to embrace the nerds by officially sponsoring Botcon, a Transformers convention, and held it in RI. One of the featured guests was Peter Cullen, who was at a table signing autographs and chatting with the attendees. He was a little overwhelmed to begin with by the incredible length of the line to see him, and then my buddy shows up next in line. With an Eeyore poster.

"When I was growing up, Transformers was my favorite cartoon, and Optimus Prime was my absolute favorite character. Now that my kid is old enough to start watching TV with us, her favorite cartoon is the Piglet Movie, and her absolute favorite character is Eeyore. Thanks for making our childhoods special."

Cullen, one of the most recognizable "tough-guy" voices in the industry, broke down in tears as he signed the poster.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:45 AM on December 15, 2009 [23 favorites]


...a surprisingly complete resource about everything related to one of the largest sci-fi franchises that exists to sell toys.

A similar project.
posted by Evilspork at 6:36 AM on December 15, 2009


The final nail in Wikipedia's coffin was when they banned this sort of thing, thinking that it was holding them back from appearing to be a legitimate encyclopedia. This is exactly the stuff that makes a wiki worthwhile—allowing fans to assemble this kind of thorough, obsessive compendium about things that 'credentialed' folk wouldn't bother with.

Very neat. They obviously have a lot of fun keeping this up.
posted by cribcage at 6:40 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


The final nail in Wikipedia's coffin was when they banned this sort of thing

I imagine that stand-alone wikis for fictional universes is actually a better solution. Groups can set their own tone (this wiki is great for it's amused take on all things Transformers, which wouldn't be allowed on Wikipedia proper), and set their own standards. No need to clarify that this universe is fictional, or explain the details back to the very basics, as you should do with a true encyclopedia (assume people know nothing of the subject, and go from there). Additionally, stand-alone wikis can set their own standards for using images from 3rd party sources.

I am impressed at the photos for the articles. This image could be a bit sharper and the background white could be a more pure white, but it's leagues better than this image, which looks to have been shot in a rather dark room, so the camera had to compensate for that.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:56 AM on December 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


While I am not adverse to giant robots per se, the Transformers fandom kind of bothers me sometimes. This, however, I like, because it does not take it as seriously.

Thumbs up.
posted by HostBryan at 7:17 AM on December 15, 2009


I love the fact that the multi-page article for the animated movie—detailing animation goofs, snarking about plot holes, and explaining the mechanics of future retcons—has an external link to an "extremely thorough" page about the movie.

Sadly, the link is dead now.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:50 AM on December 15, 2009


filthy light thief: I imagine that stand-alone wikis for fictional universes is actually a better solution. Groups can set their own tone (this wiki is great for it's amused take on all things Transformers, which wouldn't be allowed on Wikipedia proper), and set their own standards

Completely agree. I think this wiki is awesome not because I'm some huge Transformers fan, but because it strikes the appropriately cheeky tone any kind of discussion about the franchise deserves. If I came across the same content in the neutral editorial tone of Wikipedia, it'd make my eyes bleed.
posted by mkultra at 8:07 AM on December 15, 2009


The 1986 Transformers: The Movie changed my life. I have literally watched that movie frame-by-frame more than once.
posted by autodidact at 8:28 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


forget TF3 for the moment. Countdown to This.

here's
the TFwiki page for the game.
posted by ServSci at 8:29 AM on December 15, 2009


The article on scale. It includes the word "farcically."
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:33 AM on December 15, 2009


The Kiss Players article is insane.
posted by brundlefly at 8:48 AM on December 15, 2009


When I was really young there's nothing I wouldn't have given for a Shockwave toy. This link is a mixed blessing, because now I know it wasn't out in the UK ... but I've also found out that Japanese kids got an awesome version that included blaster sounds, lights and co. Pah.
posted by bonaldi at 9:12 AM on December 15, 2009


Ahh yes, the hated rubsigns. Seems there was a reason for them after all: to crack down on piracy. I thought it was just some lame-ass marketing gimmick totally rad idea meant to piss off totally hype my 8 year-old self...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:15 AM on December 15, 2009


The 1986 Transformers: The Movie changed my life. I have literally watched that movie frame-by-frame more than once.

When people ask me what is the perfect action movie? I point to Transformers: The Movie- I think there's no more than 2 minutes between any scene of shooting, something blowing up, or someone getting punched out. It's the perfect pacing for 13 year olds, and that's what makes it perfect.
posted by yeloson at 9:20 AM on December 15, 2009


It's the perfect pacing for 13 year olds, and that's what makes it perfect.

I tried to get my girlfriend (who's in her late 20s) to watch the '86 movie a few years ago, after I dug it out of storage. She had never seen the cartoon, never played with any of the toys, and only had a vague impression that these were cars that turned into robots. She had to stop watching because it gave her a severe headache and she didn't have the slightest clue what was going on. And lest you think she's some Fellini-humping egghead of a cineaste, let me assure you that this is a person who thoroughly enjoys all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Later, I overheard her telling someone else about the experience: "There were all these hundreds of characters running around, and every few minutes they'd stop and say, like, 'let's go!' and then they'd run somewhere and shoot some more, and then they'd stop again and say 'let's go!' and then go shoot some more bad guys."

And that is the most accurate description of that move I've ever heard.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:45 AM on December 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Did we kill it?
posted by brundlefly at 10:57 AM on December 15, 2009


I can't write a 500 word proposal summary but goddamn if I can't spend two days writing a chronology of a single Transformers episode. Thanks, TV!
posted by boo_radley at 11:03 AM on December 15, 2009


All I can say is that the death of Optimus Prime is one of the enduring traumas of my childhood.
posted by MasonDixon at 12:11 PM on December 15, 2009


My Grandmother: "So how did you like your Transformers movie?"

Me: "It was really good but... [whispers] Optimus Prime DIED! [/whispers]"

My Grandmother: "Oh, my God. [whispers] You're kidding! [/whispers]"

Me: [shakes head violently]
posted by brundlefly at 12:25 PM on December 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


>All I can say is that the death of Optimus Prime is one of the enduring traumas of my childhood.

Oh yeah, definitely. Which death?
posted by NortonDC at 6:57 PM on December 15, 2009


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