Like many other children of the 80's, I have very fond memories of the toys I grew up with from that decade. I spent countless hours playing with action figures, applying stickers to add detail to vehicles and gawking at every inch of the character catalogs that called upon me to own everything. And while I played with Star Wars, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K. and many others, they all paled in comparison to the one line that still holds a special place in my geeky heart: Transformers.
I remember having the toys, saving up my quarters to buy the comic books, and urging my grandparents (who watched my younger brother and I after school until our parents picked us up after work) to break every speed limit possible to get us back to their house in time to watch the cartoon. I recall a Christmas where I sneakily opened one of my presents when no one was looking to verify that it was the motorized Omega Supreme I had asked for. Afterwards I carefully measured out exact lengths of scotch tape to cover my tracks and conceal any signs of tampering. I was so enamored with these toys that while I was in the emergency room after breaking both of my wrists in 3rd grade (just two days before school let out for the summer) I begged my parents to buy me the remaining Constructicon figures so I could complete Devastator (5 robots combining into 1 larger one = badass) and have something to do while I healed up. How I thought I'd be able to play with any of those toys when at the time I couldn't even hold a fork to eat is still a mystery to me.
Needless to say I was a huge fan as a kid, and I'm still a fan today. Hasbro, who owns the property, was one of the vendors at this year's Dad 2.0 summit, and I was able to chat with two of their awesome reps about toys, nostalgia and the upcoming release of their new series Transformers: Robots in Disguise. I recently received an invite to attend a sneak peek of the series (which debuts March 14th on Cartoon Network) at Tribeca Cinemas this past weekend. I prepped Olivia on some of the characters, packed us all onto the express bus (which, sadly, did not turn into a talking robot) and looked forward to a fun afternoon.
The event, much like the new series, was really fun and both kid and adult friendly. There were plenty of activities to introduce everyone to the characters and style of the show (coloring, action figure races, hands-on time with the app and a karaoke loop of "You've Got the Touch." Ok, maybe I just wanted that last one to happen. The show itself is slanted more towards kids, but there's nostalgia, humor and plenty of action to keep adults entertained as well. The style is bright and colorful anime mixed with CGI. I also learned that the robot forms of the Decepticons in the show are modeled after animals, which makes them much easier for kids to identify.
Overall it was a very fun show and I can definitely see myself sitting down to watch it with Olivia on a regular basis. Big thanks to Hasbro for the invite and allowing us to participate in the event! We all had a great time, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the show develops. Here's hoping they bring back some of my favorites from G1 (hint, hint: Soundwave!!!).