Friday, June 26, 2009

Transformers - More than Meets the Eye

I was never allowed to be an Autobot.

Transformers first appeared when my youngest son was around 4. He took to it like them proverbial duck to water. Them and the Gobots. But the Gobots never quite achieved the super star status as did the Transformers.

It all begins with the name. The heroes, Optimus Prime or Leader-1? Which has the better name? That also goes for the evil machines – Megatron or Cy-Kill? Need I even ask?

The Gobots had boring henchmen like Cop-Tur and Turbo and Tank. While the Transformers had (and still apparently have according to the $55 million opening day box office take) Bumblebee, Ironhide, Bluestreak and Sunstreaker if you are an Autobot. If you lean more toward the dark side you’re a Decepticon such as Star Scream, Galvatron, Shockwave and Buzzsaw. C’mon. You know these guys are way cooler just by what they are called.

It was a good thing I was into sci-fi and trucks from having three boys because these things became a staple in my house for a long time when they first were introduced by Hasbro.

Which brings me to why I loved seeing the Transformers movies. It certainly wasn’t the plots. There were none to speak of. The storylines jumped all around, some character lines weren’t tied up and finalized and mostly, things blew up and there was a lot of noise; for over two and a half hours.

And while Shia is not unpleasant to look at for that length of time, he’s no Hugh Jackman as Wolverine or Chris Pine as the current Captain Kirk.

But I digress.

In truth, I loved seeing the movies because they remind me of a time long ago when my son was small, innocent of what lay ahead for him and totally and unconditionally my best friend. We played Transformers in blanket-made caves on his bed, in kitchen pot hide-aways in the living room and in the alien-plant terrain of the backyard flower garden. We regularly blew up an awful lot of Tupperware and foiled the latest sinister plot hatched by the evil Decepticons. On Saturday mornings we’d watch the Transformers cartoon over cheerios and end the day with a book about the heroic Optimus Prime.

Back then I was never allowed to be an Autobot because my son was destined to save the world.

He’s only 26. Maybe he still is.


  1. What a fantastic blog. I was always Optimus Prime when I played transformers. I wanted to be a red corvette transformer in the worst way. Then my cousins informed me that I was a girl and had to watch she-ra. To this day i'm heartbroken.

  2. I don't think these guys were around when my son grew up; however, he's a quarter mile drag racer so we watched something with cars LOL. Now I have to see the movie. Great post.

  3. my sons (now 31 and 29) also had Transformers--brings back good memories!

  4. Somehow, I missed having this stuff anywhere near me. When I saw the first movie, I liked the way the cars and trucks unhinged and unraveled and turned into something else.

    Maybe we all sort of wish we could do that ourselves, or at least have our Pontiac vans turn into Corvettes!
    Make mine slick black with a dove interior....

    Once again, it was Irene who wrote that above! Why is my kid's name showing up?
    Now I gotta figure out how to sign in as me.
    Wait, wait, I'm gonna have to really think hard...