This is the story of how I became a big Transformers fan after almost thirty years of being aware of the franchise.
I was born in the Mid-Seventies, so it comes to no surprise that I am a Star Wars Fan, a a fan of vintage cartoons and TV shows along with the toys marketed with them. One of my younger brothers was born in the early eighties, thus I was surrounded by Legos, Plastic Robots, He-Man Action figures, GI Joe figures and Hot Wheels along with my Barbies, Herself the Elf Dolls and Strawberry Shortcake dolls. We often would mix up our toys together, play and watch all the same cartoons during our indoor playtimes. (Sue me, I love my little brother and he played fair. Dad insisted we play together and ride our bikes together.) Anyway, some of these toys, mainly “The Plastic Robots” looked complicated and I was afraid I would break them. These were my kid brother’s Transformers. I preferred all of these Robots in Vehicle mode because I would use them with all the Lego Mini figures we had. (I had and still have a wild imagination, I made it work). My brother was able to transform these toys in seconds and I could never figure it out.
We watched all the afternoon cartoons including the Transformers and G.I. Joe block. I was around 9 or 10 at the time and my brother was 4 or 5. I remember us singing the theme songs to both of these shows and thinking these songs were better than the cartoons at the time. I would halfway pay attention to these cartoons while my brother was fully engrossed while they were on. (It was Barbie time for me; these shows were just my background noise. It was bad enough I was getting teased by some of the fast ass girls at my elementary school for still playing with Toys.) Nevertheless, it appeared that kid brother was a casual fan who liked the cartoon and owned a few Autobot toys. Years went on and we apparently grew out of our toys and got more into sports and music.
Fast forward to more than twenty years later, I’m Iiving with someone who has been a Transformers fan from the beginning (Since he was 10) and is just as passionate about it as he was when he was a kid. Not only does he own the entire series and all the Transformer Series that came after G1, he has a huge collection of Transformer comics. Also, this man owns many G1 and G2 toys and refers to all the Michael Bay movies as Bayformers. (Did I mention that his toys are in great condition and many are still in the box?) In addition, he builds Transformers out of Legos and they are on display in our house. He goes to the main Transformer Convention, Bot Con and has been going off and on from the mid nineties. After he’d get back from Bot Con, he would show me pictures and I thought it was neat that people were still fans and got together to hang out at conventions. (I remember thinking, Bot Con 1997 looked really cool!) . Keep in mind, I always knew that he was a huge fan all of these years I’ve known him, but I didn’t realize how huge until we became a couple. When I actually saw every toy and how his collection continues to grow, I became fascinated. Some of my girlfriends do not get it and do not understand why I am okay with toys being on display in my living room. Sometimes when you live with someone, you become more curious about some of their hobbies that differ from yours, especially if it seems interesting and cool to you.
Furthermore, being an avid movie watcher, I was dragged to the Transformer movie that came out in 2007. (I will not mention who dragged me. A mouth-breather.) I thought the movie was so-so and I recognized that they didn’t really stick to the classic cartoon. In fact, I thought the robots in the Michael Bay film were ugly and looked like the Predator. Therefore, when the live action Transformer sequel came out, I had no interest in watching these ugly robots and I assumed the movie was going to be another lousy “popcorn mouth-breathing flick”. Like a lot of die hard Transformer Fans out there, he watched the G1 cartoon in its entirety once a year. The first year we were together, I decided to watch it with him. It took awhile for me to get into it, but by the fourth episode I was hooked. I thought the Robots were handsome compared to those ugly Bayformers and Starscream cracked me up! What a whiny pain in the ass! As I continued to watch the show, I found that my favorite Autobot was Wheeljack and I loved Soundwave. I was becoming too emotionally involved with the storyline and very soon I realized I was a fan. A couple of my boyfriend’s friends stated that I only liked the G1 cartoon, because he did. (Insert annoying eye roll here.) I was not forced to watch this show and formed the opinion on my own. Why can’t some geek/nerd guys accept that girls do think for themselves and not all of us are snotty FiFi girls who scoff at Toy collecting? Also, there is nothing wrong with being a new fan. Why does everyone put so much rank on how long someone has liked something? I’m sure Hasbro is welcoming all the new Transformer fans!
I have always like costuming and had just recently started cosplaying from time to time at local conventions, so I asked about Transformer cosplay. I was really interested in putting my own spin on Transformer costumes. I did a few You tube searches and my boyfriend recommended that I do a human version of Wheeljack. We focused on getting the color scheme right and even adding some small details like the logo. So I began creating my Wheeljack costume….and this was the result.
He introduced me to some of his old friends, Tony and Rose who have been going to Bot Con from the beginning. Rose gave me a few tips on Wheeljack as well and shared how she designed her human “Nurse Rachet” costume.
The next year rolled around and we found out that Bot Con 2011 was going to be in Pasadena, CA. I knew I wanted to go and check it out. I am glad I did, because I’ve made a lot of new friends.
So far, it has been the best convention I’ve attended and it was neat seeing how big Transformers have become again. I am looking forward to Bot Con 2012 and many more to come!