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Your new series, Transformers-Robots In Disguise, is going to air on Cartoon Network. In the press release, you said it is because more boys watch Cartoon Network, that Transformers are for boys, and that girls watch what is still The Hub and will become Discovery Family.
Are you aware of how many of your fans you just insulted and dismissed.?  I am a female, and I have always loved Transformers, even though many deemed me nerdy and geeky because of it. It’s bad enough to be looked at as a freak by your peers simply because you love a particular toy. It is worse when fans of those same  toys — and the toy creator itself — ostracize those they don’t believe belong in the fandom. Yes, girls and women love Transformers just as much as boys and men.

I started watching Transformers when I was a kid in school. It was the original, now known as Generation 1. That was 30 years ago and since then I have watched many different incarnations, Animated, Armada, Beast Wars, Prime. I’ve seen the movies. Cringed at the deaths of Transformers I came to care about. I’ve read the comics, fan fictions, bought toys, tee-shirts and movies.

Now you say they are for boys. Why? Why do feel the need to dictate whom the cartoon is for? Why can’t it be for girls as well? Have you seen Twitter, Facebook and Deviant Art? So many of the Transformer fans there are girls and women.

Gender bias is nothing new and sadly a very real topic in the geek world. To have the very creators of something I enjoy so much deem it not for me because I am a woman bothers me. Transformers are just as much mine as any boy or man’s.

But your comments did not just insult Transformers’ legions of female fans. They also insulted and dismissed the legions of Bronies who are loyal to My Little Ponies. These boys and men have faced mockery and ridicule for their enjoyment and loyalty to a show, you and others have deemed appropriate only for girls. School age boys have been bullied, men have been laughed at and in some cases physically attacked for being Bronies.

Perhaps you could lead the way in ending the gender biased and separatism that plagues not only the geek world, but society in general, by not delegating which genders your shows and toy lines are for. Instead, you could promote and market them to all their fans regardless of gender.

A month or so ago I got my Masterpiece Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. I break the cardinal rule of collecting Mint in Box, Transformers. I take them out of the box and play with them. I make comics with them and post the comics on my DeviantArt page.

 

I’ll devote another blog post to how my spoiled robots actually live. But this blog entry is about my Masterpiece Sunstreaker. I am a huge fan of the Lambo Twins, but there was something about my Sunstreaker that wasn’t sitting right with me. Sure, he’s missing the Autobot logo on his chestplates. No harm there, a small oversight. No, there was something else nagging me that was off about the frontline melee warrior. The proverbial itch that one cannot scratch. And I’m ashamed to admit it took me until this morning to have my “Eureka” moment.

 

Sunstreaker is missing his helm fins. Instead of his trademark fins, he is sporting the same audial horns as his twin, Sideswipe. How could the manufacturer get it so wrong? Yes, I know they just changed the paint scheme on the previously released Sideswipe, but really? Sunstreaker is known for his exotic helm fins. They are as much a part of him as his golden paint and narcissistic personality. It seems wrong to look at him and see audial horns. The Transformer Universe Sunstreaker has the helm fins, so they can be done and look pretty good I might add. It’s just Sunstreaker without his helm fins is like Prowl without his chevron or doorwings. It’s just wrong on every level. So very very wrong.

 

Masterpiece Sunstreaker and Sideswipe

blog pic 1

 

 

Transformer Universe Sunstreaker

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I’ve been watching Transformers every morning. Who am I kidding? I’ve been watching Transformers for more years than I care to admit. Currently there are two different versions airing, the original G1 series and Transformers Prime. I’ve noticed something.

For some reason, each incarnation of Transformers portrays Starscream as an idiotic, cowardly traitor, a mediocre flier and incompetent in battle.

It leaves me wondering if those who write and produce the different series have ever read about who Starscream is.

Before the war he was Winglord of Vos, a brilliant scientist at the Academy creating many inventions while still a student.  A deep space explorer he ranged across galaxies and was unparalleled in flight. He had deadly accuracy in weapons training, and was well known for his weapon creations, including the null rays which he is most famous for.

Once he joined the Decepticon Army Starscream led his trine to become Megatron’s Elite Trine, while he himself became Air Commander and Second-In-Command of the Decepticon forces.

Why then is he always portrayed as such a coward, idiot and a traitor?

Perhaps his portrayal as a coward is because throughout every incarnation the one thing that is consistent with Starscream is he is afraid to die. As a soldier, as a Decepticon, and Second-In-Command, Starscream is a target not only for the Autobots but his fellow Decepticons. While it would be a badge of honor for any Autobot to off-line the Decepticon Second-In-Command, among the Decepticons it would be their chance to move up the ranks.

His portrayal as an idiot, I think is little more the comic relief. This is sad because it takes so much away from the character as he was originally written. He is not bungling, incompetent, or a mindless idiot. He is sharp-witted, intelligent and very quick to assess situation and see flaws in not only military strategy but weaponry. He is anyways very similar to the Autobot Second-In-Command Prowl, who is renowned in both armies for his intelligence and tactical brilliance.

The last and probably worst character assassination of Starscream is his constant portrayal as a traitor to the Decepticon cause. Starscream is the most loyal to their cause. The one who has betrayed the Decepticon cause is in fact their leader Megatron. When he called for the revolution that led to the Cybertronian war, Megatron’s rallying cry was freedom and equality for all Cybertronians. No longer should Cybertronians be owned as slave and forced to fight in the gladiator pits of Kaon. No longer should the elite few hoard all the energon and wealth for themselves. He argued the Council should no longer be able to rule without question and they should be held accountable to the citizens of Cybertron. Megatron argued the Flyers of Vos should be seen as equal Cybertronians not some strange sub race that were to be feared because they were different and had a different culture.

It was to that cause Starscream and the Flyers of Vos and other Decepticons pledged themselves. And it is cause that Megatron himself has betrayed. He no longer fights for equality or freedom but for universal domination and tyranny. His will and word are absolute and any who disagrees finds themselves on the opposing end of his fusion cannon.

Starscream is unapologetically ambitious. Is this something to be looked down upon or admired? Starscream has never hidden his ambition or desire for power and greatness, either scientific or political. Throughout the different series, his ambition has always been looked down upon and scorned.

Combine all of these factors and Starscream is constantly portrayed as a traitor. But is he? It was Megatron that deviated from the path of his original cause to one of self serving glory and power. Is Starscream truly a traitor if he still supports the Decepticon cause but no longer supports Megatron? Is it wrong for a Second-In-Command to point out obvious flaws in not only tactics but weaponry? For those of us familiar with the G1 series has anyone figured out the reason for Megatron’s giant, flying, purple griffon yet?

Does questioning the wisdom or lack thereof and plans of a leader make one a traitor if those questions are in the best interest of original cause one fights for? Is it better for one to be a devoted, mindless sycophant who obeys without question, even when the chosen path is wrong and will cause more harm than good?

Starscream does question Megatron; call him out on his faults and misguided plans. Yes, he has tried to overthrow and offline the tyrant. His loyalty to the true Decepticon cause puts him at odds with their leader, but does it make him a traitor, or the most loyal of Decepticons?

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