Some of you may remember that my
very first article for Visionary Darkness talked about how Hasbro was going to be re-releasing a lot of the old Transformers toys from the 1980s, as reported by various toy magazines about a year ago. And if any of you have been into a toy store since then, you've had a sorry sight waiting for you as you rounded the corner into the action figure aisle.
Yes, they DID "re-release" some of the old Transformer toys. But rather than actually releasing the OLD toys, they've created crappy NEW toys "in the spirit" of the old ones (cars and planes). Oh, sure they have the same names as back in the day, but they now look like shit. Think you can stomach seeing an insectoid-looking robot version of Prowl? Should Optimus Prime be a fire truck? Has Megatron EVER worked as anything OTHER than a gun? The answer to all of these questions is obviously a resounding "NO". If it is anything other than "NO", hit yourself in the head with a brick until it BECOMES "NO".
Original Optimus Prime = Good.
New Optimus Prime = Waste of Plastic.
My theory on this travesty, this HORRIBLE excuse for a "re-release" of one of the greatest toy lines of all time is that they initially WERE going to re-issue all of the old toys, until some high-up corporate boob no doubt came along, and decided to flex his company muscles by enforcing decisions grounded in stupidity. See, it doesn't matter HOW good an idea is, all it takes is for ONE idiot with some power to come along and topple the whole thing to ruin.
Take for example the new Star Wars movies. Sounds like a great idea, right? I'm sure we all thought that George Lucas COULDN'T go wrong...and then we went to the movie, saw Jar Jar Binks, gouged out our very eyes, and rioted in the theater parking lots. Of course the problem in that scenario is that the main creative mind behind the whole thing had all the power. So no one idiot came along, he simply BECAME the idiot as he gained more and more power and influence in the movie-making
Wookie = Good.
Animated Baboon = Bad.
Going back to toys, do you guys remember how up until a few years ago, Toys R Us had a really cool "warehouse" feel to it? It was completely unfriendly to customers, with shelves that towered over people, but it was awesome. It seemed fucking HUGE, especially when you're an eight-year-old kid. THAT was cool. Now they've been completely revamping the stores in an effort to make them "customer friendly". The shelves are all low now, and everything is reachable. You no longer have to resort to creative methods to reach whatever you want that's on the top shelf, you can simply reach for it. WHERE'S THE FUN IN THAT???
I remember a time when I used to rob convenience stores with Megatron. I commanded fear itself with him in my iron grip! What am I going to do with him now? What is he this week? A dinosaur? Some kind of bird-plane thingy? A koala? Who's going to take him seriously now? And why is Optimus Prime a fire truck? That's what Inferno and the lame-ass Protectobots were for! Prime's got better things to do than put out fires! He's got people to kill,
damnit! And I suppose Soundwave would now be one of those wretched "Rio" mp3 players... complete with little robots that turn into what? Sound files?
Somehow Soundwave just doesn't appear to be as
ruthless and menacing when he's a Rio mp3 player.
Anyway, the point here is that it seems everything in the world is slowly going to shit. I'm not sure if I'm noticing this disturbing trend simply because I'm getting older, or if it's actually BECAUSE things really are going to shit. Frankly, I think things really ARE going to shit. Entropy is finally taking hold, folks. It's got us by the balls, and it doesn't want to let go. And there is little but grave, empty disappointment left for us on the horizon. The light at the end of the tunnel has blown a fuse. It's out, it's over, it's done.
This goes a LOT further than simple toys and entertainment. If you want proof, look at our President. If THAT isn't a serious degradation in quality, I don't know what is! Look at our political parties...they've both gone to shit in recent years (although seeing as how they started OUT as shit, it's really not but so noticeable). Look at our schools, our media, our government. It's all going through the crap-wringer faster and faster, and eventually it's going to overtake us all to the point that we can't recover.
So what can you do? Well, I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to go to my parents' house, dig out all my old toys, I'm going to pull out and listen to all my old 80s music, I'm going to watch the old cartoons I used to watch as I was growing up, and I'm going to ignore the rest of the world as it falls apart around me. At least in that childhood fantasy world we have Optimus Prime and the boys to save us from the weekly Decepticon threat. But nobody's going to save us from Dubya. They've taken one look at THAT, packed up their bags, turned around, and headed home to Cybertron.
Protoclown is going to move to Japan, where they actually DID release the old Transformers that we grew up with. And you can get them too at hiked up prices and in Japanese packaging.
Protoclown received a lot of hate mail from some hardcore
Transformers fans about this piece. Many of whom questioned some
of the things that he said in this piece. So Protoclown would
like to clarify a few things:
PROTOCLOWN'S CLARIFICATION HERE!