Transformers

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In the United States, the Transformers first aired on television from 1984 to 1987. The Transformers fan fiction community became active shortly after the first airings. This community began its life on-line, on Usenet and on Bryn Mawr College's VAX network. It wasn't until the late 1980s that the fandom began to have stories appear in fanzines. By 1997, the term beta version was being used in the Transformer fan fiction community.

Transformers is a catch-all term for a variety of different and sometimes conflicting incarnations of cartoons, comics and toys featuring transforming robots created by the Hasbro toy company in the US and based off toys originally created in Japan by a company known as Takara.

Cartoons

The cartoon series mentioned above is part of the toy/cartoon/comic collective known as Generation 1, or G1 Transformers. In the UK, the comic series lasted much longer than it did in the United States and featured storylines that were entirely unique to the UK books.

The US cartoon series was also aired in Japan (and elsewhere around the world). In Japan, the first two seasons were known as Fight! Super Robot Life Transformers and the third season (which takes place after the animated Transformers movie released in 1986) was known as Transformers: 2010

In the US, the fourth season of Transformers was a three episode mini-series called Rebirth, which served to introduce the Headmaster and Targetmaster toylines.

A second comic book series and toyline showcased Generation 2. It also had a UK incarnation.

In Japan, several cartoon series aired that were never broadcast in the United States. These included:

  • Scramble City -- 1986 - link leads to Teletraan-1 article about Scramble City OAV.
  • Transformers: Headmasters -- 1987-1988
  • Transformers: Super-God Masterforce -- 1988
  • Transformers: Victory -- 1989
  • Transformers: Zone -- 1990 (One Episode OAV)

In the mid-1990s, Hasbro introduced the Beast Wars line of toys and also hired an animation studio to create a CG1 animated series about the Beast Wars characters. This sparked a new interest in Transformers and, for many younger fans, was their first introduction to Transformers. The Beast Wars cartoon series referenced the G1 cartoon series and also incorporated input from many G1 fans, particularly those on the alt.toys.transformers Usenet group.

Beast Machines was the cartoon series that came after the end of Beast Wars, featuring some of the Beast Wars characters in new physical incarnations (to go with the newly released Beast Machines toyline). Like Beast Wars, Beast Machines lasted three seasons and, unlike the G1 American cartoon, had an overarching storyline. Also unlike the G1 cartoon, Beast Wars and Beast Machines featured smaller casts.

As with the G1 era, there were two Japanese exclusive series run during the time of Beast Wars:

  • Beast Wars II
  • Beast Wars Neo

Other incarnations of Transformers to come after Beast Machines include:

  • Transformers: Robots In Disguise (Transformers: Car Robots in Japan)

And the Unicron Trilogy made up of:

  • Transformers: Armada (Transformers: Micron Legend in Japan)
  • Transformers: Energon (Transformers: Superlink in Japan)
  • Transformers Cybertron (Transformers: Galaxy Force in Japan)

In 2007, two new Transformers franchises appeared:

  • A live-action movie generally referred to as Transformers 2007.
  • Transformers: Animated

While Transformers may have faded somewhat from the public eye and the fandom itself has ebbed and flowed, it has never really disappeared.

Comics

There have been almost as many comic book incarnations of Transformers as there have been cartoon incarnations. See External Links for a link to more information about Transformers comics.

Toyline

Because Transformers was a toy tie-in, some characters never appeared in either the cartoons or the comics and are exclusively toy-based. Also, most Transformer toys have what are known as 'tech specs' on their packaging which provide small biographies of the character and a list of 'stats' that tell how strong or how fast or how brave a character is. These biographies can sometimes conflict wildly with information given in the cartoons or comics.

Transformers (2007 film)

Transformers the movie stars Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Jazz, Ratchet, Sam Witwicky, Mikaela Banes, Captain William Lennox, Maggie Madsen, etc.


Terminology

Below is a list of terms and their definitions that are used in this fan community.

This section needs more information.

The Fandom

Gender composition

The general belief is that the Tranformer fandom has more males than females involved in it. [1] This is supported by December 2007 search keyword information:

That shows that more males than females, in December 2007 were searching for Transformers.

Timeline

Below is a partial timeline of events that took place in this fan community.

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

  • In 2004, BotCon was held. [58]
  • In March 2004, the demographics of the Transformers fandom were characterized as follows:
The age question used to be a lot easier to answer. For a long time, nearly all Transformers fans had grown up in the mid to late 1980s. With the wide success of the Beast TF lines, and continuing success of the newer stuff, new and younger people are joining Transfandom all the time. The distribution of ages depends a lot on which Transfans you're talking about. In the Usenet newsgroups, most fans are in their 20s or even 30s. In newer fora like the Allspark, the average age is a lot lower, with most (not all) participants being between their mid-teens and mid-twenties. [59]


2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

  • "On August 1, 2009, TFWiki.net switched to a CC-BY-SA3 license. " [80]
  • "On August 19, 2009 IDW comics published Transformers: All Hail Megatron #14. One page of that comic (pictured) features text from one of our articles. Specifically, it features 351 words from two sections of the Perceptor article; the complete text of his main bio and history in the IDW comics, quoted verbatim." [81]
  • On October 4, 2009, there was a minor blowup in the fandom on deviantART over a piece of fanart that depicted [[Tracks {Transformers|Tracks]] as gay. DexAntares responded to a piece of fanart by stripedwine saying:
See, in all seriousness, I don't like it when the fans arbitrarily DECIDE a character is gay or not. It's never dignified. It's always sorta... selfish... however, I don't mind if it's based on canonical information. The Transformers Wiki says nothing has OFFICIALLY declared Tracks is gay. He's more obsessed with himself than anything else. So he's more of an "auto-sexual." As for Sunstreaker, he was gonna be depicted as homosexual, at one point.
I just think it's immature to "decide" a certain character is gay. The same goes for people. I've been "accused" of being gay before [ironically I'm wearing a Tracks t-shirt right now! XD], and it's really infuriating. It's like saying "I decide who and what you are, and nothing you say or do will change my mind." Why is it that a sensitive male like myself who doesn't treat every woman like a piece of meat and drink excessively during football games is deemed "gay?" Why is Tracks "gay" just because he hangs out with a street punk/mechanic? It was the 80's. Lots of people were flamboyant. [82]
This comment and the subsequent blow up was then featured on sf_drama. [83]

Kerfluffles

This section needs more information.

Influential Fanworks

Art

This section needs more information.

Fics

This section needs more information.

Vids

In April 2010 *Stormfront Entertainment released a fan film based on the Transformer Bumblebee called *Hidden Friend.

Fandom Size

As of July 22, 2007 there are 3,771 stories on FanFiction.Net.

See also Transformers fan fiction community size.

Fandom members

See also Category:Transformers fans.

External Links

Meta discussion

See also

Sources

Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this community.

This section needs more information.

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