Autobot fans meet up
Want to know where to get your regular Transformers fix? Here's how:
There are several lines of Transformers toys currently available in the local market. The main line is the colourful Transformers Energon figures, which are targeted primarily at children, but are also hugely popular with adult collectors.
The most unique aspects of the line are the special features that have the Autobots combining with each other to form larger robots, and the Decepticons sporting alternate "hyper modes" that boost their firepower.
For those who prefer something more "grown-up" (why are you playing with robots then, huh?), there's always the Alternator/Binaltech line, which feature Transformers with alternate modes that are actual real-life cars.
Hasbro and Takara worked hand in hand to ensure that almost every single detail of the actual car was replicated faithfully, down to the engines and car interior, resulting in an almost perfect mini replica of a real car that transforms into a cool robot.
So far, three versions of the Subaru Impreza (two rally versions and a street version), a Jeep Wrangler, two Dodge Vipers, and a Chevy Corvette are available. Coming soon – a Mazda RX-8 and a Ford Mustang.
Other current Transformers toy lines include Transformers Universe (which features repainted figures from older lines), and Robot Masters (mini versions of larger toys), as well as special commemorative reissues of old Generation One toys by both Hasbro and Takara.
The recent revival of the Transformers is partly due to a new range of comics by Canadian-based comic company Dreamwave Productions. Combining cool artwork with interesting plots, the most popular series is inevitably the ongoing series that focuses on the original Generation One characters.
Another popular series is the Transformers: The War Within comics, which focus on events that happened way before the original Transformers timeline, albeit when the robots were still on Cybertron.
Dreamwave has also combined the Transformers with another popular 1980s' cartoon character, G.I. Joe, to great effect. The first mini-series in the G.I. Joe/Transformers series was set in World War II, and had the robots transforming into vintage weapons of war instead of their conventional forms that we are so used to seeing.
Other Transformers series by Dreamwave are the ongoing Transformers Energon series and the Transformers Micromasters four-part mini-series.
While Malaysian TV does not air the current Energon cartoon series, one can always settle for the DVD releases of the original Generation One cartoon series, which comprises four box sets spanning three seasons of the original Transformers series first shown in 1984.
The Transformers: The Movie is also available on VCD and DVD, and like the cartoon series, this is a must-have for all Transformers fans, if only to watch one of the saddest and most pivotal moments in film history (to a 12-year-old growing up in the 1980's, that is) – the death of Optimus Prime.
Also, look out for DVD And VCD releases of the Beast Wars, Armada and Energon (or in Japanese, Superlink) series in your local anime shop. Alternatively, just search and download the episodes from the Internet (only advisable if you have a fast Internet connection).
Got the toys, read the comics, watched the cartoons, but have no one to talk to about Transformers? Then join the local Transformers fan club!
Formed by brothers Mike and C.Y. Wong, the Malaysian Transformers Fandom Group, or TransMy for short, aims to bring together Malaysian Transformers fans and collectors.
The group currently has almost 200 members ranging from hard-core Transformers collectors with huge collections of toys, to long-time Transformers fans that want to relive their childhood, to a new generation of fans who have only just discovered the franchise.
The group had its first major gathering recently on Sept 11 , during which members showed off their new toys and chatted about (what else?) Transformers.
To join the TransMy family, go to http://www.transmy.timichost.net/iacon