The date is July 30th, 2014. I sit on my bed with a slight buzz and bounce my eyes around the 40 inch TV screen in front of me as I watch the very first episode of the 1984 animated series, The Transformers.
As I watch, I find myself in awe of the concept, but flabbergasted by the execution; however, as the episode progresses I spot several glaring errors and issues that cause me to chuckle under my breath and shake my head.
My mind is alive with questions and concerns and when I glance over to the unopened Transformers toy I’d grabbed from the store the day prior, I suddenly remember that I’d signed up on some fan forum to ask a question when I’d gotten home.
So I slide off the bed and into my computer chair and punch in the url on my laptop so I can create a very important thread asking “What the hell is the point in transforming into a Jet if everyone can fly?” and within seconds I have my answer.
It was in that moment that I knew this community was something I wanted to be a part of.
I grew up with a brother who adored Beast Wars back in the 90’s but I myself was never particularly interested in the Transformers franchise. Sure, I knew who Optimus Prime and Megatron were and I’d played with one or two of the toys before, but I was far to busy being obsessed with other things such as the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and Pokémon to bother jumping into something new. So it wasn’t until much, much later when I saw the 2007 ‘Transformers‘ live action film that I realized “OK, this is kind of cool.”
What followed was several years of slow building love for the franchise where I fell in love with the Bayverse (Transformers: Dark of the Moon is still one of my all-time favorite movies) and began collecting various toys and playing the video games.
Even through all of this exploration, I had no idea just how massive the community surrounding these Cybertronians was. So when I Googled “Transformers Forum” to ask a simple question about collecting figures, I found much more than I’d bargained for with Transformers World 2005 – a massive fan site dedicated to everything Transformers. And I mean everything. Here they share news, photos and reviews, fan art, fan fiction, polls, discussions about the movies, TV shows and toys and well, yeah, everything.
Once I started interacting with the community, people soon realized that my only experience with the franchise was the live action films and that is apparently some form of unforgivable blasphemy that could not go unanswered. Within a month of joining the website I’d been nudged into live blogging my first impressions of the series that started it all, The Transformers, with “Bayformer Fan Watches G1 & TF: The Movie [BLOG]“.
The thread was massive and took a few years to complete while gathering over 2,000 replies across 110+ pages. All sorts of fans chimed in and everyone was happy to discuss their own introduction to Transformers while reacting to my own reactions and blunders – such as my mishearing of Soundwave sending out his trust cassetticon – Randal.
Perhaps most impressively, through out the entire multi-year blog I never once had any major plot points spoiled for me. Whenever someone slipped up and shared a spoiler, intentional or not, some readers would inform me within minutes and a wonderful moderator by the name of moreprimeland wasted no time removing the fun destroying replies and booting those with ill intentions.
When I finished the original series I was urged to move on to the next, and ultimately I ended up watching way more Transformers than I had ever anticipated including Beast Wars and Beast Machines, Transformers Animated, Transformers Prime and Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
Each of those blogs brought in new fans who were eager to discuss their favorite show and some of the previous ones followed along to just hang out. The sense of community from something as simple as watching a TV show surprised me, and I ended up making several friends in the process.
What started out as a buzzed evening watching some old cartoon turned into a multi-year experience that I’m still enjoying to this day. While some may look at this as “just reviewing some shows”, I know it evolved into so much more. Throughout, I not only shared my love of Transformers but also big life events, both good and bad (like my wedding and losing my beloved sixteen year old pup). This experience allowed all of us to transcend our love of the franchise to make very human, personal connections.
TFW2005 is one of the greatest communities I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. The staff, in all of my interactions with them, have been extremely kind, considerate, understanding, helpful and patient. Yes, even when I got slapped on the wrist a few times while learning the ropes.
It is a place that I highly recommend for any fan of Transformers. Whether you’re a grizzled G1 vet, a bright eyed newbie who just watched their first episode of Cyberverse today or someone who just thinks obscenely complicated toys are really, really cool – there’s something for you here.
For me, I think I’m done blogging Transformers shows for the time being. After all, I’ve just started Positive Plugs and we’ve got a lot of building to do. But if I ever decide to boot up a new thread there’s no shortage of suggestions as several members have already asked me to do Rescue Bots, the IDW Comics, the animes… it just goes on and on and on!
That being said… I do think some Transformers love would also be welcome on this blog. Now if I could just find a writer or two!
If you’re unsure where to get started with posting, I recommend my favorite section of the site, Transformers General Discussion!