30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, July 1, 2011

I love the 80's #7: Transformers

Transformers: Dark of the Moon hit theaters earlier this week and was the hot topic in my class the past two days. I think I've been asked at least five times... maybe ten... Did you go see Transformers 3 yet?

My reply was always the same... No. I'll wait until it comes out on DVD.

Now before you get the wrong idea... it's not that I'm a hater of the new movies. I actually think they're decent. I'm just waiting for the DVD, because I'm getting old. I went to see the first two in the theaters and both times I was overwhelmed by the action and how fast things move on the screen. My brain just couldn't keep up and I felt drained when I left... lol... I totally sound like my dad.

Well... after seeing the trailer, I knew I'd be sitting this one out. When it comes out on DVD, I'll borrow one of my student's copies and watch it. That way... I can rewind it, pause it, or slow it down, so I can appreciate it fully. I know I'll miss the big screen experience... but the fact is... I'd actually miss a lot more if I watched it in the theaters.

So while the rest of America... or should I say the World heads over to the theaters to check out the latest Transformers installment... I'll sit down and watch this:

Transformers: The Movie on VHS

Yep... give me the old school cartoon version any day of the week. When it comes to the robots in disguise, I'm old school. I grew up in the 80's and can appreciate Megatron transforming into a gun instead of a jet, flying tank, or whatever he is in the third movie.

Not only that... I collected the toys too. Everything from Starscream to Sideswipe, and of course the Constructicons, which formed Devastator.

Hasbro Generation One (1984): Starscream

Alas... my collection is long gone... and these days... they're way too expensive for me to even think about reliving my childhood. Have you seen the prices of vintage Transformers? Just yesterday, a 1984 MIB Grimlock sold on eBay for just under $700. At these prices... I'll have to stick to my memories, which is easy for me to do... now that I've acquired the first season on DVD.

Transformers: Season One on DVD

I haven't watched all of the episodes yet... but it'll give me and my nephew something to do the next time we hang out.

So here is today's question of the day:

Were you a fan of the original Transformer cartoons in the 80's? If so... who was your favorite Transformer?

If not... what's your favorite television show (not necessarily a cartoon) from the 80's?

And if by chance you didn't have the opportunity to experience the 80's... what's your favorite television show from any decade?

By the way... I'm adding another prize to the contest. It's a brand new, sealed copy of the Transformers PS2 video game. I'm not sure how I acquired them... but I found two of these games laying in a box in my garage.

Any chance someone out there has played the game before? I'm curious if it's worth opening up and playing on my PS3. Otherwise, I'll keep my personal copy sealed and add it to my nephew's video game collection.

That's it... I hope everyone has a safe 4th of July weekend. Sayonara!


  1. Born in 1989. So yeah. I was a Power Rangers and Pokemon fan as a kid.

    Granted, I also watched South Park pretty early on.

    So my tastes vary.

    And my favorite show from any decade would be the aforementioned South Park.

  2. I remember watching Power Rangers when it first started airing in the US, and I've been a fan of South Park from the first commercial they ever ran. But I'm more than 10 years older than Greg, so I'm an 80s child.

    I had a Megatron transformer toy way back when, but I wasn't totally into the show. I was more of a classic Looney Tunes guy, and eventually Tiny Toons joined them. Oh! Clarissa Explains It All. LOVED that show. Melissa Joan Hart could explain anything to me anytime and I'll be glad to listen. I also was a huge fan You Can't Do That On Television, and Count Duckula. Nickelodeon all the way.

  3. I'm well aware of the prices that Transformers toys go for these days. When I first got back into the hobby, back in 2007, I funded my first trip to a major card show by selling some of my old transformers. The best was a G1 Megatron that sold for over $125. I raised around $300 for that show and made sure that I had fun.

    I liked the Transformers cartoon, but my favorite cartoon and toy line by far was M.A.S.K. It had a transformers aspect to it and then some. It seems strange to me that there hasn't been any modern versions done because it was such a cool property.

  4. Well, considering I graduated from high school 3 years BEFORE Greg was born! I was definitely not a child of the 80's. I liked the original Optimus Prime, but I do also really like the new BumbleBee. Favorite show from any decade, Big Bang Theory, but if you want old school, I'm a M.A.S.H. fan thru and thru (which is also where I get my love of the Toledo Mudhens). Now if you want to talk old toys, take your pick. I had all the original Star Wars figures, and half the playsets. Cases of well played with Hotwheels and Matchbox cars (H.W. were my favorite) or how about TONKA trucks, and I'm talking METAL TONKA trucks. Of course, the TONKA trucks and the Star Wars stuff was "loaned" to cousins and subsequently sold at garage sales which is probably why I'm not looking at BB cards as an investment bu rather just enjoying the collecting process... and all the new friends I've made out here on the world wide.

    And Fuji-san, I totally agree that there can be WAY TOO MUCH action in a movie to keep up with.

  5. I was never a fan of the Transformers cartoon, but my wife was.
    Fave show of the '80's is a tough one... maybe Magnum P.I. I'll go with that one.

  6. I was 24 years old when Greg Z. was born, so, yeah, Transformers was some cartoon that pipsqueaks watched while I was looking for music videos.

    Favorite show from the '80s was Cheers. I really couldn't tell you what cartoons were going on then.

  7. In the 80's, I was all about the GI Joe Cartoon. Loved it.

  8. Actually I remember sitcoms from that period more than cartoons. Cosby, Family Ties, Who's the Boss?

    Cartoons kicked in later for me with Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain. I also remember a show on Nickelodeon with live action puppets and cartoons called Weinerville.

  9. He-Man was the shite. I had every toy they made, the whole castle Grey Skull, everything. Then my mom said I was too old for those toys and some family hit the jackpot.

    Maybe Topps should do a new insert set, "The toys my mom sold at a yard-sale".

  10. timeless, through the decades, my show is Hockey Night in Canada

  11. Never liked Transformers as I could never work out who was good or bad,as for the toys my friends had them and broke them on a regular basis.
    The greatest cartoon of all time hads to be Hong Kong Phooey.I am the proud owner of a Hong Kong Phooey T shirt which I wear with pride.

  12. Robotech (mid 1980s)- a cartoon from Japan (it was adapted to US TV - it was 3 stories woven into one for the US market).

    Great comic grafics, sci fi scenes, kind of mature.

    It had an interracial couple as one of the plots (kind of a big deal) and in one scene he is sitting on a bed and pulls her down to the bed ( A big deal - I had never seen that before in a cartoon.)

    A friend had a vcr and showed me a seen where someone was shot in the head and by pausing it you could seen his head being blown apart.

    The DC Verigo line in comics years later would make the above appear tame, but I thought this was ground breaking at the time

  13. I was born in 1983. So, some of my cartoon watching bled into the 90s as well. I was big into He-Man and Bobby's World. Transformers was cool too. I havent watched the Transformers movies though because I love the old cartoon so much that the live action CGI crap can't be better.

  14. I never liked transformers,
    I used to love Ghostbusters Films & Cartoon & Attack of the killer tomatoes!

    I never got to watch much Tele so would often take my ball and find a wall!

    Happy Days!

  15. The school day always started with some cartoon, be it Leo the Lion, She-Ra, Tom & Jerry, Woody Woodpecker, Voltron, or when I was living in Texas, even reruns of The Lone Ranger or The Cisco Kid.

    I loved coming home from school every day to catch the hour of Transformers & G.I. Joe. Once those went into reruns, I'd switch over to the other cartoons like C.O.P.S, more Voltron, Robotech (though as a kid, I could never follow the story) BraveStarr, Thundercats, Silverhawks, Bionic Six, MASK, Masters of the Universe, just whatever I could get.

    I was definitely a Saturday Morning Cartoons junkie, sometimes even setting my alarm, so I could catch the earlier shows I normally missed (which always meant waiting thru the last 10 minutes of the morning farm report). Then it was hours of Smurfs, Droids, Ewoks, Jayce & The Wheeled Warriors, Bugs Bunny & Road Runner Show, The SuperFriends, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, Turbo Teen, Rubik, The Amazing Cube, Tom & Jerry Comedy Show, all the Saturday Morning Arcade shows like Pac Man, Q*Bert, Pole Position, not to leave out the underrated, and often forgotten Pryor's Place.

    Then there was the Sunday morning lineups, both on the local channels, and the USA Network which showed Dragon's Lair, Richie Rich, The Paw Paws, SuperTed (wow, did I really watch that?), The Laffalympics and what's is name with the Golden Lance.

    There's nothing more tragic than how the Cartoon Network is almost all original programming now, and Boomerang is almost 100% Hanna Barbera cartoons. There are dozens of old shows you just can't see anywhere. Some of which may never see release on DVD or BluRay.

  16. I have always been a fan of Transformers and VOLTRON!!! Wheeljack was my favorite character followed by prowl and then Optimus Prime. I remember when the movie came out in theaters I was totally shocked by how Ultra Magnus said, "damn thing won't open".

    I have played the Transformers game on my PS2 and I enjoyed it. Yes it's updated characters but I thought it was fun to rent and play.

  17. Born in '82 so it was only cartoons for me in the 80s. I used to love a show called Darkwing Duck but that may not have come out until the 90s.

    Never watched transformers, but I remembered loving shows like He-Man and TMNT (or was that 90s as well?)

  18. greg - i was a junior in high school the year you were born... damn... i feel old.

    offy - i just saw a really cool video on youtube...
    great cartoon... but never owned the toys.

    dawgbones - big bang theory is awesome!

    captain - transformers > magnum p.i., which means your wife is cooler than you. just playin'

    night owl - ahhh... when mtv actually played music videos. those were the days.

    jaybarker fan - loved gi joe too

    hairylemon - i vaguely remember hong kong phooey... i'll have to see if i can find these cartoons online

    john - i was planning on doing a robotech post in the future. IMO it's the greatest cartoon created. here's my official 80's cartoon rankings

    robotech > star blazers > transformers > gi joe

    jason - wow... that's one impressive rundown on cartoons (i'm awarding you an extra point... sort of like extra credit, since i'm a teacher... and this was an essay of a comment)

    the big kahuna - thanks for the review... i hope people enjoy the game

    nathan - tmnt cartoon started in the late 80's (i picked up a set of cards... it's in my next post)

    speaking of next posts... it'll be up in the next hour or so...

    which means contest points are closed for this post. thanks for the comments. loved reading what people loved watching.

  19. Seth Green and I would have to give that guy a schooling on the history of M.A.S.K. There was a red plane that went inside that white van he opens up and there were a few figures in there that infiltrated form other toy lines. Cool video though. I have to check out some of the other things that he's done.

  20. offy - you're my new go to guy when it comes to m.a.s.k. that's one helluva memory you have.

  21. I can remember stuff like that without a problem. Same thing with trivia about baseball cards. When it comes to something that happened 5 minutes ago or names my brain shuts down a lot these days. That's what I get for packing it full of the equivalent of junk food. I've always joked that I'm Cliff Clavin's illegitimate child.