I started collecting transformers again after giving my collection to my little brother. I got him started back in 1999. I didn’t have very many then, a few Beast Wars and a few G2 figures. I got into Transformers during G2 but mostly at that time Incredible Crash Dummies had my attention, before being shifted over to Power Rangers - which held my attention until Pokemon (along with a much bigger focus on video games). He also was into Power Rangers though.
In 1999 I picked up the original movie on VHS, and a friend gave me a few episodes of the original cartoon on VHS. We both were pretty enamored by it but when Robots In Disguise came out, we both got into it a fair amount. While he became obsessed however, I focused on a lot of other stuff - mostly because I was 12 and getting a little too old for toys. I still liked them, and would buy an occasional action figure to display or a Gundam kit to build but it was mostly my brother building a collection. Eventually by the time I was 14 I realized I wasn’t one of “the cool kids” and decided to just embrace how geeky I was, and got pretty heavy into collecting Transformers. This is when the G1 reissues first started hitting the shelves, and Armada had debuted that summer.
My interest petered out once the Armada cartoon got boring. He still continued following the franchise and I would just buy the occasional figure I thought was cool enough to warrant my money. The series following Armada did nothing to capture my interest either, and I focused on Power Ranger mecha and Gundam for my Japanese robot needs. The movie series started, and I felt alienated as a fan. I did not like them - at all. The movies were gutter trash and the character designs looked too…human. I’ve always erred on the side of Decepticon, and they were all kind of samsey looking bland machines. So even if I hated the movie, the character designs left nothing for me to want to buy any more figures. The cartoon shows that followed, Transformers Animated and Transformers Prime were decent shows, but the art style didn’t do it for me. I couldn’t get into the figures anymore.
My brother continued to. And he’d get the G1 “Masterpiece” series as they came out, which were much more up my alley…but since he was buying them I had no reason to. I could just enjoy them by walking down the hall into his bedroom. But eventually, I was finished with school, and was 23 years old and time to move out of my parents house. I got married, and my job had me move down to Texas.
I gave my little brother my collection. My collection that started his. He was once the learner, now he is the master. The lore has changed, and now I go to him. Now I send him pictures of various figures and ask him to ID which series it is. It’s weird how things change. What was a passing interest to me, he latched onto and it became a defining fandom for him.
I still played the games (War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron KICK ASS). I still rewatch the old cartoons and if you ask me to put in my Special Edition DVD of the original movie I’ll say HELL YEAH. The IDW comic books I was unaware of until recently, back in 2002 I knew of Dreamwave’s War Within but I had no idea there had been on going comics since 2005 that continued G1. And in 2012 they launched 2 separate series that predate G1, and boy…are they deep. They’re rough, they violent. They’re exactly how a robotic civil war really is.
And now with the Generations Series releasing lots of updated G1 figures I’m back in the fandom. Timing is great since I’m moving back home in September.
…I asked my brother for my figures back. He lost the kibble for RiD Ruination but still has all everything else for all of them. It’s just strange to look back, and think about how a series that I would occasionally buy a toy from lead to those last 2 pictures (which are outdated by 2 years or so. Missing his city sized Transformers, Brave Maximus and Fall of Cybertron Metroplex and his Masterpiece series). It’s also strange to think about how different he and I are, but this one thing. This ONE thing, is something that we both really can bond over.
The thing that ends a horrible sibling rivalry and made us into best friends was a love for a 80’s cartoon about a robotic civil war.