UPDATE: Protoclown would like to respond to everyone that has questioned some of the things he wrote in this piece about the transformers and "being stuck in the 80s":
First of all, let me say that it amuses me to NO end to see that despite all the articles I've written in the past slamming one thing or another, it's an article about TOYS that gets me the most hate mail. There's just something lovely about that, something that brings a tear to my eye, and I can't thank you people enough for that. You have made me proud.
Secondly, I think it's evident that quite a few people out there are taking things a little too seriously, and in doing so, have missed the entire POINT of the article. I should have known that the nit-picking toy geek horde would have come down on me for neglecting a detail here or there, but I think I can manage to survive their flailing noodle-armed onslaught relatively unscathed. (And before anyone whines about the "toy geek" thing,
I'm one too... so shut up.)
The fact is no, I didn't know that they still WERE planning to release the old toys again. Thank you for informing me of their intention to do so. What is the average consumer to think though, upon walking into the toy aisle, having heard that re-releases have been in the works for some time, and stumbling across the fire truck version of Optimus Prime? They're probably going to assume the same thing I did. They do use the same names, after all.
The bottom line is that the Transformers really aren't all THAT important to the message of the "Disappointment" piece anyway. They're simply an allegory, an illustration, of how things seem to be going downhill in recent times (my first article featuring the Transformers was an allegory as well, and expresses much the same sentiment over current times). You can tell me all you want about how much more challenging the new ones are to transform, and how many more points of articulation they have, and how they're part of a completely new show not related to the old. Frankly, I don't really care. It's not important to me. The new ones may BE technically superior as far as toys go, but they still strike me as largely uninspired compared to the old. That's my opinion, and I welcome you to disagree. That's what the
I-Mockery message board is for.
In the end, we all see what we want to see, and that's sort of the whole point behind this thing anyway. I prefer the older toys because they remind me of my youth. I prefer the "shitty looking" Megatron and Optimus Prime toys because I've many a fond memory of them. Yes, they look like SHIT! That's half the charm, as far as I'm concerned. And they will ALWAYS look better to me than the fire truck Optimus Prime on the shelf now, even though it IS a vastly superior toy by all standards and measures. The reason you're looking at the badass painting of Optimus Prime compared to the toy version of the fire truck is because that's how I remember him. Of course it isn't a fair comparison! I never said it was!
And it doesn't have to be. It SHOULDN'T be. Such disappointment is often in our heads, a mere illusion of a so-called "better" reality superimposed over what we have now. I never said it made sense, I never said it was smart, and I never said it was a satisfying way to live. But it EXISTS just the same. People tend to glorify the past, make it out as something better than it actually was. I'm as guilty of it as anyone else. And that's why the painting of Optimus Prime will stay right there next to the plastic toy version of the new Optimus. If you STILL don't get the point, that's too bad.
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