|Abbreviation(s):||TF, TFA, G1, BW, RID|
|Creator:||Takara Tomy & Hasbro|
|Date(s):||1984 - present|
|Medium:||toys, television series, films, comics, books, video games|
|Country of Origin:||United States, Japan|
|External Links:||Transformers on Wikipedia|
The Transformers Wiki
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Transformers is an entertainment franchise that began as a toy property and expanded into television, comics, books, video games, and film. Most series in the franchise are about Optimus Prime and his Autobots fighting Megatron and his Decepticons, although the reasons and stakes vary depending on the series.
"Generation One" includes the 1984-1987 animated series The Transformers and the 1984-1991 comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The Generation 2 comic book, the Dreamwave comics, the Beast Wars TV series, and various spin-offs are also part of this same universe. Material continues to be produced in this universe to this day with the IDW comics, and it is still the most popular part of the franchise to write fic for.
Robots in Disguise
Robots in Disguise was imported from Japan, where it was known as Car Robots. It aired from 2001 to 2002 in the US. It was intended as a placeholder between the end of Beast Machines, the last series set in the Generation One universe to air in the US, and the Unicron Trilogy.
The Unicron Trilogy
The "Unicron Trilogy" is made up of three TV series, Armada, Energon, and Cybertron. Between them they aired from 2002 to 2006. The entire Unicron Trilogy, although especially Energon, is widely considered awful among the fanbase. This link provides a summary of the criticisms.
Live-Action Film Series
The live-action film series began in 2007 and is still ongoing. It consists of Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Transformers: Age of Extinction, with at least another two films yet to come. The films are directed by Michael Bay, and display many of his hallmarks. They are often maligned among the fandom for giving too much screentime to the humans, but despite this they made incredible amounts of money at the box office.
Transformers Animated began airing in late 2007, months after the live-action movie came out. It is set in Detroit, many years into the future. It aired for three seasons, until 2009, before being canceled. The creators of the show have released a pair of books, The AllSpark Almanac and its sequel The AllSpark Almanac II, which provide background material.
The Transformers: Prime TV series began airing in 2010 and ended in 2013. It is set in the same universe as the 2012 Transformers: Rescue Bots TV series, the 2010 War for Cybertron video game and its sequel Fall of Cybertron, and the books Transformers: Exodus, Transformers: Exiles, and Transformers: Retribution, making it one of the few Transformers series to have a true expanded universe. In 2015, its sequel series Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) (not to be confused with the earlier series of the same English name, known in Japanese as Car Robots) will begin airing.
Despite the size of the fandom, it is proportionally under-represented in fandom circles, possibly because of the unusual ratio of males to females within it or the unusual way in which the fandom engages with the canon. The fans are largely male, and tend more towards discussion and cataloguing of the canon than elaboration upon and transformation of it. The main wiki for the franchise, TFWiki, has roughly 20,000 articles; the "Transformers - All Media Types" tag on AO3 has roughly 10,000 fics. Being an old fandom, it also has fandom-specific forums such as TFW 2005, which tend to be more popular than multi-fandom sites such as Livejournal or Tumblr.
While there is less than the size of the fandom would suggest, there is fanfic for Transformers. As usual, it covers the whole wide range of character popularity, ship popularity, genre, and rating. Despite the fact that most of the characters are giant robots, there is plenty of porn in the Transformers fandom. There is an overview of the ways fans make this work in this post by Dunmurderin. The most common of these is stickyfic, which roughly one-tenth of all Transformers fic on AO3 is tagged with, although stickyfic often incorporates one or more other potential methods of sex.
BotCon is an officially-recognized fan convention. It is a mono-fandom convention, often featuring reveals of new series or products, exclusive products available only at the convention, and panels featuring the people behind various Transformers series and products; it's essentially a fandom-specific version of San Diego Comic-Con.
Common Tropes & Themes
Archives & Communities
- Transformers - All Media Types at AO3
- Movies > Transformers and Cartoons > Transformers/Beast Wars at FanFiction.Net
- Beast Wars Anonymous (now defunct)