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Transformers without Optimus


gojira77
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Optimus Prime is an icon of the brand as well as my personal hero and role-model throughout my childhood. The bad, bad, slimey marketing execs told the writers of the classic 'toon to kill him off in the movie in order to make room for a new robot James Dean hero-- a marketing decision that didn't take either the developing mythos or the kids at home seriously. If G1 and Season 3 of Beast Wars have taught us anything, it's that the "suits" need to stay out of the way of the creative process of awesome cartoons! Ok, Ok, fast forward 20 years... Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like Hasbro is still trying to apologize for killing Optimus Prime?!

 

Why can't we go a year without at least three versions of the guy on the shelves at any given time? Alright, toy marketing decisions are different nowadays-- in 80s lines like TF, G.I. Joe, and MOTU the objective seemed to be to produce as many different characters as possible, perhaps to replicate the success of Star Wars. Since the 90s, it seems the focus has been to create as many variations of the core characters as possible so that there are plenty of Michelangeloes, Batmen, Spideys, and Snake-Eyes for the discerning six-year-old. Now, Batman I understand, and there were really only FOUR Turtles under the tutelage of Master Splinter, but couldn't the scope of the Transformers be bigger than that?

 

Do you have to replace Prime in order to focus somewhere else in a vast and continually evolving mythos? Especially now, when Prime isn't even really Prime anymore in the current Animated continuity-- he's more of an Orion Pax, really. Do all the lead characters have to be named Optimus? Even in Beast Wars where they are clearly not the same character? Do you think that kids, familiar with the Optimi of TFA and the latest movie, could ever get behind an version of TF without the big, red truck? Would Hasbro ever be bold enough to try it again?

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Doubt it.

 

DC has Superman (Batman in at close second) Marvel has Spiderman, GI Joe has Snake Eyes, Muppets have Kermit and none of them could survive without those characters..

 

Transformers has Optimus. They are all flagship characters that have taken on a life of their own. When someone mentions the names of the above companies or properties the majority of people can readily identify the "face" of those properties.

 

Granted, we get an assload of Duke, Snake Eyes, Batman, Michalangelo, etc.. But in truth, they sell. The manufactureres of those characters must be seeing a nice return or we wouldn't be seeing them at all.

 

Could Transformers be made without Optimus? Yes it could but it wouldn't be as successful. Fans love to dismiss the over abundance of certain characters, but take them out of the equation and they will be up in arms over their loss. Transformers the movie as a perfect example. So much of a good example that they let Duke live in the Joe movie to avoid further hatemail.

 

Hasbro learned their lesson. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hot Rod/Rodimus came and went. He's a third stringer now and he was supposed to replace Prime.

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I don't think so... he's become too popular. A world without Optimus Prime or Megatron is like a world with no PB & J or Grilled Cheese... Prime is a mainstay!

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I duno I highly enjoy head masters & master force with out optimus, I don't really consider ginira to be optimus my self ...

 

I'd be just as happy having fort max or chrome dome or rodimus as a leader ... heck even ultra magnus is good by him self

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Probably not... Thats why we starting to see examples like Alternity Optimus that doesnt make any sense...

 

There will be a story behind it, I'm sure. It won't make as much sense to use, but Alternity is probably going to be part of Japanese G1 Continuity like Binaltech and Kiss Players are.

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Let me make one thing clear. Making Optimus Prime a car is like making Babe Ruth a whiffle ball pitcher. Seriously, WTF? While we're at it, why not make Megatron a soap dispenser. That shoots something, right? :rolleyes:

 

Ok, sorry. That was my rant. As far as topic discussion, Transformers without Optimus Prime is like Star Trek without Captain Kirk. It can be done, but it always sucks in the long run.

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I believe it IS possible. But there are a few key questions that need to be answered.

 

What media are we talking about here? Toy only? Toon? Comic? Combination?

 

Perhaps it doesn't matter.

I think the main key is the writing. If the stories are good, if the OTHER characters are good, it is possible to have a "non-Optimus" story. There have been some in unofficial media (or was that Beast Wars comic offical?)

 

What is needed is a MAIN CHARACTER. Optimus Prime is the main character in Transformers, but that doesn't mean he has to be the only one.

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If they want to experiment I guess they can make some kinda story where Optimus is "missing" for a while. And if it doesn't, then he'll simply just return :P

 

But yeah I suppose to its possible to make it withough Prime, but it'll probably be a lot tougher since he's practically the mascot of the brand.

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