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How would you redo Transformers?

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How would you redo Transformers?

Postby Crazy Jetty » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:51 am

Okay, so if Hasbro came to you and told you to redesign the next Transformer series and toyline anyway you chose, what would you do?

Would you create a whole new world, reboot or revisit an existing continuity, or what?

Myself, I would bring the focus back onto variety back into the line. While Beast Hunters has made the toys a bit better in this reguard, since the end of TF: Cybertron, transformers has been almost exclusively cars and jets, with a handful of tanks and helicoptors mixed in. Virtually no fantasy/fictional vehicles, or animals (realistic or robotic).
And I personally feel that Transformers seems to be at it's most successful when it offers a wide variety of alt modes.

Also, I feel Hasbro is clinging way too tightly to the Deluxe, which is not serving them anymore. And the reason Scouts keep failing in a way that Cyberverse isn't, is because unlike in BW, BM, and UT, Hasbro is not supporting them. They just will not put notible characters in the class, like they do with the Cyberverse commanders. Instead, they filled the class with great toys, but no one that ever got any fiction, or made any appearance that would make kids care for them the way they build the excitement for the deluxes.
Back in the day, we got MAJOR characters in that class... Rattrap, Terrorsaur, Scattorshot, Arcee, Backstop, Ransack, Silverbolt. But when they kicked the class back up again for RotF... in the hordes of Bumblebees, why didn't he show up? Why not Arcee, or Wheelie? When Hasbro felt it was failing, why not kick it over to Generations, and fill it with the fan favorite classics (Instead of waiting to the very last minute)?

I personally feel that DotM was the biggest failed opportunity Hasbro had to completely overhaul the line. Everything could have started absolutely fresh from that point on. Transformers could have been completely reinvented for the modern consumer, instead of adhearing to a model that is quickly becoming dated.
Every new series could have easily launched with the scouts as the backbone. Classics is mostly completed, so a new focus wouldn't have been as annoying to the longtime collectors.
Plus they could start over with the classics, keeping longtime fans in it for many more years to come.
So my new line would break down as such:

Legends- Would carry on pretty much as is. But all the absolute smallest characters would be focused in this line, like G1 Wheelie, Movie Arcee, G1 Rumble.
Basics- New name for the Cyberverse commanders. This is where the former Scout type characters would go. G1 Minibots, Rattrap, and the like.
Scouts- Like I said, the new backbone for the line, most of the toys are released here. The medium sized characters go here. G1: Prowl, Ironhide, Starscream, Swoop, combiner limbs. Movie: Bumblebee, Barricade
Deluxe- Cut back on this scale dramatically, not nearly as much selection, and reserve it for the large sized characters. This is where the larger types go. G1: Snarl, Slag, Shockwave, Optimus, Megatron, combiner cores. Movie: Ironhide, Ratchet.
Mega- Formerly Voyager, This is the last of the mainline. The brutes usually end up here. G1: Grimlock, Jetfire, Scorponok. Movie: Starscream, Megatron, Optimus.

On special occasions, maybe two or three each per year, around christmas. They would not have perminant places on the shelves.
Ultra- This begins the reign of the giants. Very special characters end up here. G1: Sludge, Broadside, Ultra Magnus (deluxe cab, combining trailer). Movie: Brawl
Super- Formerly Leaderclass. Movie: Blackout.
And once in a blue moon, for very special occasions, when the franchise is doing really well:
Supreme- Designed to be as much a playset as a transformer. Designed to be fully compatable with smaller scale classes. G1: Citybots, designed to be scaled with Legends. Movie: The Ark? Designed to be as much a playset and base for the basics and scouts, as a toy in it's own right.
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Re: How would you redo Transformers?

Postby Crazy Jetty » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:02 am

As for what I'd do with the franchise?

Transformers: Continuum
But I'd like to see a new series like this. Much preferable to the clusterf*** that is the "Aligned" Continuity.

A multi-year toyline and fiction that ties very closely. Idea is based around a smaller cast of core characters, since Hasbro doesn't really do variety anymore. Each character gets multiple toys, with multiple different designs. Each character would get at least two separate figures. One representing the cybertronian form, and one representing a contemporary alt mode.
Each would be designed by the same team or toymakers, and as such, actually looks like they're intended to represent the same character (As opposed to WfC/FoC and Prime. No more BS like that)
The fiction would be closely tied together and told primarily through the animated series (Which I accept will be done with CGI). There would be game and comic tie ins, but neither will be key elements of the universe. And they will be heavily monitored by the editor for this overall story to make sure EVERYTHING WORKS TOGETHER, and no one does whatever the hell they feel like, contradictions be damned.
And this universe will be set to be able to be completely refreshed, which is something transformers needs to go through, every so often. I believe part of the reason Prime is floundering so badly is because we've had largely exactly the same thing for the last 7 years, with virtually no variety.


Fiction
To be told over a two or three year TV series story arc with supplemental stories told through comics primarily, and videogames second.
The primary story will be told in two ways. It will follow our characters on an earth of the generic "near future," and will follow the "standard" struggle of Optimus and Megatron. However, at the same time, it will tell the backstory of the transformers, their origins and such in the form of relevant flashbacks, similar to how WB's Arrow tells of Ollie's time on the island as an ongoing story and makes it relevant to the "now" story.
Characters and situations will borrow influences from virtually every source, from G1 cartoon and comic, to Marvel G2, to the UT, RiD, and IDW. Prime and movies, Animated, and RiD.
Among the things I'd do, is get rid of the mystical mumbo jumbo behind "Prime," and turn it back into a title or rank. Most likely a title akin to a cross between President and Pope. In the tradition of Nova Prime, it is bestowed upon a transformer by a council, whom they feel best embodies the hope that Nova Prime instills.

Backstory- While the transformers preexisted, early on in their forgotten history they came to be enslaved by the Quintessons. After millions and millions of years under their rule, the Quintessons have forged the Cybertronians into two major races. Worker Sect, and Military Sect (Each sect having different classes, such as Scientist Class for the workers, and Soldier Class for the military for example).
Eventually, two members of each sect rose up and worked together to inspire the cybertronians to throw off the shackles of their oppressors, and create a golden age. These two came to be known as Galvatron, the soldier who Galvanized the workers and military into a solid fighting force, and Nova Prime, who shone such bright hope on them he was like a Nova shining in the sky.
The Data Records of this time are few and far in between, and what exactly happened to Galvatron and Nova remains a mystery. Though it is long assumed that they have long since passed. Some even question if this time period even really happened, likening it to a religious myth.
However, what is known is that the Golden Age lasted for more than half a billion years.
Eventually, a group of transformers began feeling oppressed by the decisions of the politicians, and feeling as though they were intentionally kept as second class citizens. Forced to fight in Gladiatorial Pits, and sent off to die in wars, or toil away digging mines and building construction projects. Seldom allowed to indulge in scientific interests, or other more intellectual ventures. Eventually one uniting voice rose from the crowd, gaining serious influence. A Mech known as Dezarus, who began a civil war, fighting for equal rights for everyone, and becoming known as the Destrons.
The Destron Cause began to become more and more corrupt as Anarchists, rogues, and scoundrels all flocked to it. Eventually Dezarus fell to power hungry minions who wanted to rule everything. With Dezarus gone, the Destrons fell into disarray, and fragmented into multiple factions, lead by multiple warlords. The likes of Straxus, Overlord, Scorponok, Soundwave, Shockwave, Clench, Skyquake. Starscream, Thunderwing, Bludgeon, and the former senator Ratbat create havoc across cybertron, doing unimaginable harm. Many destrons who feel this is not the cause they signed up for, now defect to the autobots, including Grimlock.
However, another rises from obscurity. An obscure gladiator known as Megatron creates another group he called the Decepticons, and one by one took out or subjugated the warlords, forcing them to pledge their loyalty to him, or be destroyed. Unlike the Destrons, the Decepticon Cause intended total domination of Cybertron, and destruction to all who will not kneel.
Megatron's debut into the greater war came with his brutal killing of Sentinel Prime, claiming the Creation Matrix for the new Decepticon Cause.
With the Matrix under his control, he began creating droves of manufactured decepticon drones known as Vehicons. Disposable soldiers, each with a spark of their own.
In this darkest of times, the council of primes, lead by Alpha Trion and consisting of Ultra Magnus, Vector Prime (One of the few Primes to retire feeling he was too old to be a frontline leader in a war), Star Sabre, Ginrai, Jetfire, and Maximus (Fort Max), chooses a young optimistic data clerk named Orion Pax, and transforms him into Optimus Prime.

From here, the show begins, set on earth in the near future, with the struggles of a young Optimus Prime against Megatron, and relevant victories and defeats being told through flashback. The history of the golden age, quintesson age, the Destron uprisal, and Age of Warlords can be told through comics, games, and novels. And spotted upon in the show.

On earth, similar to Animated, Movies, and Prime, the Autobots consist of a tight cast, with the occasional guest stars.
However, I would chose an entirely different cast than the normal ones hasbro constantly reuses, while acknowledging the fact that we'll never be rid of Optimus, Megatron, Bumblebee, and Starscream.
Personalities would be a cross between various existing versions, with new traits added in.

Autobots:
Optimus Prime- I would do something dramatically different that what we've seen before. As this overall story would be told in three distinct time periods (Past, Present, and Future), Optimus would be given three different personalities.
-In the flashbacks, to represent a young optimus, he'll be brash and bold, and take many risks. His personality will be a cross between Animated and RiD. He'll suffer many losses that shape who he is today.
-In the modern setting, his personality will be based more on a cross between Armada and G1. He'll be a lot more conservative and cautious. Older and wiser. Seeing the grander picture, he's a lot more hesitant to risk the lives of his soldiers, and those under his protection (Humans).
-In the follow-up series (More to come), he'll be even older. Tired and world weary, he'll be much more like what we've seen in Prime.
NOT voiced by Peter Cullen.

Bumblebee- like I said, cause we'll never get away from him. Make sure Bumblebee can TALK! And I'd also base him more on his G1 personality. We haven't seen that in a long time. Voiced by Josh Keaton

Red Alert- mix elements of every Red Alert. Has sort of a loopy personality, a bit like G1. Female like Animated, and form/style follows armada influences. Voiced by Mae Whitman

Inferno- The big bruiser of the team, and Red's protective big brother. He's the eternal protector of the weak, and will do everything he can to protect the innocent. Voiced by Brad Garret.

Perceptor- Hasn't really been used in a meaningful way in a long time. Plays more or less his traditional role. Based somewhat on his RtS toy. Voiced by Brent Spiner

Blurr- Fills a similar personality type that we see in Armada Hotshot, G1 Hotrod, Animated Bumblebee, and Prime Smokescreen. Young, eager, brash, and convinced he's the best there is. Voiced by Jason Marsden

Decepticons:
Megatron- Completely merciless and cunning. Draws most, personality wise, from Animated. Visually, he borrows most from Armada. Voiced by Mark Hamill

Starscream- Like bumblebee, we'll never get away from him. Subjugated by Megatron, he plots to remove Megatron from power. Extremely cunning, he is the cleverist of all decepticons. With a deep sense of honor, he once worked side by side with Dezarus, and believes in Dezarus' original cause. Voiced by ?

Scorponok- Once a leader of his own faction. Like Starscream, Scorponok was subjugated and enslaved by megatron, forced to do his bidding. Simular relationship as we saw between Megs and Scorp, in Energon. He's the decepticon egghead this go round, with mad scientist tendencies. Voiced by Tony Todd

Spinister- Because he's seldom been touched. Voiced by Phil LaMarr

Barricade- Pretty much straight adaptation of the movie character. One of the few great things FROM the movie franchise. Voiced by ?

Fracture- Loosely based on the gobot, but largely new. A supercar, Blurr has a bit of a crush on her. Voiced by Jennifer Hale

There would be several reoccuring characters, but the two most prominant are:
Hound- a pacifist autobot, abandons the war when he falls in love with earth. The only thing that will cause him to fight is to protect nature. Works with park rangers to protect wildlife from poachers.

Alpha Trion- Pretty much Alpha Trion. Voiced by Rene Auberjonois

Shockwave- a sinister and cold decepticon. One of the few that Megatron fears. And the only one he feels threatens his position. Voiced by David Warner.

This storyline with these characters would run for two to three years. After which, the series would refresh with new characters, a new plot, and possibly a new style.

Plot:
50 years after the fall of Megatron, Starscream has helped to largely bring about peace. Most decepticons have surrendered and are imprisoned for war crimes, or have been reformed. The transformer race is healing itself from millions of years of civil war.
Likewise, earth has undergone a revolution, itself, with it's close ties to the autobots. Cybertronian tech has advanced the human's understanding of science and the universe by hundreds of years. The transformers have also undergon a revolution of their own, being advanced with new tech that have come about from human imagination.

But the fragile peace that is enjoyed in this new Golden Age comes under threat when Galvatron and Nova Prime return with a new, second generation of neo cybertronians, and a mysterious leader named Jhiaxus... but is everything as it seems.
Galvatron and Nova disapprove of the state of Cybertron. Many transformers rush to their side, but Optimus feels something is off.
Unbeknownst to everyone Galvatron and Nova Prime have become Fallen... emmesaries of a mysterious being known as Unicron. Optimus fears the only thing that can expose them for what they really are, is the long lost Creation Matrix.

Again, accepting that many names are mandated by hasbro, we'll never be free of Optimus or Bumblebee.
The cast for this series/season is mostly different from the first. It's also not as tight nit and finely focused. It will also be stylistically different. As the first series was more traditional, as we've seen in G1 type series and in the UT. This series will have more organic shapes to it, as the transformers have become more adapted by newer tech, experementing with more biological type systems.

Autobots:
Rodimus Prime- Optimus' hand picked replacemet. It is he, who Optimus sends on the quest for the Matrix. Hotheaded, through the course of the series, and with the help of his two best friends (Brainstorm and Override), he must learn to calm his temper, and reign in rash actions. When he retuirns with a depleted Creation Matrix, he is acknowledged by the counsil as the new Prime. Voiced by Will Friedle

Brainstorm- Completely mad scientist. Builds devices just to see what they do. Always seems to produce the perfect gadget or tool for whatever task is at hand. Voiced by David Tennent

Override- Hotrod/Rodimus' confidant. She's the only one, outside of Blurr who can give him a run for his money in the speed department. A strong leader in her own right, she joins the Matrix Quest to help keep Rodimus cool, and Brainstorm focused. Voiced by Danica McKeller

Warpath- the brute of the group, warpath loves blowing stuff up. He's also a brilliant military stratigist. His kind and easy going personality tends to make his enemies, and even his friends underestimate his true genious. He's much older and wiser than he seems. Though, he does have a habit of talking to himself... a lot. Voiced by Aasif Mandvi

Nightbeat- The autobot's master slueth, Rodimus chooses him to aid in tracking down the Matrix. Paranoid to begin with, Nightbeat never accepted that Galvatron and Nova are what they claim to be, and wants to do anything he can to bring them down. Has a hunch that when the matrix was lost, it was soon found by another missing decepticon: Thunderwing.. Loosely based on The Question. Voiced by Jeffrey Combs

Springer- Warrior. Down home do-it-yourself country boy type. Voiced by Nathan Fillion

Neo-Cybertronians/Decepticons:
Jhiaxus- Dispatched by Galvatron to either destroy Rodimus and his crew, or find the Matrix first. In many ways, just as brutal as Megatron. Largely based on Furman's portrayal in G2. Voiced by Hector Elizondo

Slipstream- Cruel and cunning, she is the leader of the Sweeps. Characterization inspired by Azula, from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Voiced by Grey DeLisle

Cyclonus- Mostly included to complete the Galvatron/Scourge/Cyclonus trinity. Voiced by ?

Lockdown- A bountyhunter hired to track Rodimus. Pretty much straight Animated adaptation. Voiced by Lance Hendrickson

Flamewar- Pilot of the decepticon ship, Flamewar is a mole embedded in Jhiaxus' crew by Starscream. Voiced by Maria Canals-Barrera

The Sweeps- created by Scourge's Chaos Matrix, the Sweeps are pack of relentless, and seemingly endless trackers that fill the role of the Vehicons from the first series.

Reoccuring characters:
Optimus Prime- Takes a backseat in this series, and does not get used much at all. Since the end of the war, Optimus has become an ambassidor for the transformers, amongst many different races. Especially Earth. He's older now, tired and wise. Personality has evolved into more or less what we see in Prime.

Nova Prime/Scourge- Possesses the Chaos Matrix, granted to him when reformatted by Unicron, which he claims is the Creation Matrix. It is full of Unicron's dark power. Based loosely on a cross between IDW's Nova Prime, and RiD Scourge. Voiced by Keith David

Galvatron- Mostly based on IDW's Galvatron. Voiced by Ron Perlman

Starscream- Defects to reform the Decepticons when Galvatron and Nova return, pledging his loyalty and the decepticons to them. It is revealed at the end of the series that Starscream was working undercover for Optimus, all along.

Most of the original cast will have occasional appearances, but these four would be appearing the most, but not in every episode.

Toys
Would follow my earlier statement for downsizing.
Each character would get multiple toys, representing different alt modes they may have. All designed by the same team, so they all mesh well, and are obvious at a glance intended to represent the same character.
Since it would be a bit tedious to list every toy, I'll just mention a few stand outs.

Scorponok- Scorp would get two toys. Cybertronian form would transform into a starfighter that's a direct homage to his Cybertron toy. His earth form would be a direct G1 homage. Neither toy would be a triplechanger. Both would be voyagers.

Optimus Prime- Earth Mode. Cab and trailer, sold probably at leader class pricepoint. Cab robot himself would be a true deluxe, if not on the large deluxe side (Not the downsized modern deluxe). His trailer would transform into a Mobile Field Command Base.The sides of the trailer open up banana style (Simular to the trailer with the G2 Laserrod), and would have a ton of molded detailing to represent computer consols, communications equipment, and such. The floor of the trailer lifts and becomes an emergency field medical bio bed. The trailer is equiped with two non-transforming remote drone units. An All-Terrain Ground Unit (Basically, Roller), which can also tow the trailer when Optimus is preoccupied. And an aerial stealth drone. which launches and can silently fly over any area for Optimus to spy behind enemy lines.
Basically, I'd like to see a trailer base that actually functions as a field base for the autobot commander, instead of "It's a base because we say so" like the G1, RiD, and Cybertron trailer bases.

Basics (Cybverse commanders)- Flamewar

Scouts- Bumblebee, Blurr, Perceptor, Red Alert, Barricade, Spinister, Fracture, Vehicons, Hound, Hotrod/Rodimus, Brainstorm, Override, Nightbeat, Slipstream, Lockdown, Sweeps

Deluxes- Optimus Prime, Alpha Trion, Starscream, Shockwave, Rodimus Prime, Springer, Cyclonus, Nova Prime, Galvatron

Voyagers- Inferno, Megatron, Scorponok, Warpath, Jhiaxus.

And after this season/series, the entire line would refresh completely. Still remaining in the same Continuum continuity, we would jump ahead a few thousand years, and reimagine the Beast Wars
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Re: How would you redo Transformers?

Postby secondwhiteline » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:36 am

I'm calling for a girl-centric Transformer line. We already have an Optimus Prime!

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Re: How would you redo Transformers?

Postby Crazy Jetty » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:57 am

I sorta want to give transformers the monster high/equestria girls treatment, turning most of them into teenaged robot girls with outfits that called to mind their tf looks. Bookworm Optima Prime, and how she has to deal with her bully, Meg Atron, and the cheerleaders Starla Scream, Thundara Cracker, and Skye Warp.
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Re: How would you redo Transformers?

Postby beastovjudgement » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:29 am

How about importing the "Kiss Play" series? Being unfamiliar with the fringes of Transformers fiction (meaning I cannot be bothered with most of it), I only just learned of this abomination very recently. Someone sent me a link, and I actually thought it was a joke. I read the synopsis - which I do not recommend - and holy crap. That series is horrifyingly creepy, and the product of some folks with severely troubled childhoods. I know, "cultural differences", but apparently many in Japan opposed the series, on the grounds it puts Japanese entertainment in a bad light.

In all seriousness, I strongly dislike writing established characters and "universes" (although of course I would do it if paid well), even new takes on them, so I don't have any real idea pitch. I think the key to the continued success of Transformers is ongoing reinvention, with visually interesting character designs. Whatever kids are really into these days, as far as vehicles, animals, or whatnot, should be a focus for the robots' transformations. Transformers toys have so far been able to keep prices at less insane levels than most action figures, so maybe a slightly higher priced, collector-oriented series could be made. These could be produced in somewhat lesser quantity than the main Transformers line, and, being aimed specifically at adult collectors, would not need an entertainment tie-in. Right now, Hasbro is trying to play both sides, with mixed results. A higher-end, specialty market-exclusive line might be a good idea.
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Re: How would you redo Transformers?

Postby Skullmaster » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:14 pm

Oh man, don't get me started on Kiss Play. It takes a certain kind of mind to come up with something as gross and universally immoral as that concept and think that it's okay but that's just my opinion. Some cool ideas here, though.
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