|Abbreviation(s):||TF, TFA, G1, BW, RID, MTMTE|
|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. Three direct sequels to the animated series were produced in Japan from 1987-1989, "Headmasters", "Super-God Masterforce", and "Victory". These series were first released in the US from 2011-2012. The Generation 2 comic book, the Dreamwave comics, the Beast Wars TV series and its sequel Beast Machines, 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. There is a trend more towards discussion and cataloguing of the canon as well as toy collection and customization. A dramatic increase in store prices and corresponding decrease in toy quality, both in construction material and resemblance to the character, has led to a number of high-quality 3rd party Transformers toy creators. Fan-made plushies are popular, several well known seamstresses sell out in minutes and have lotteries for commission spots. The main wiki for the franchise, TFWiki, has roughly 20,000 articles; the "Transformers - All Media Types" tag on AO3 has roughly 24,000 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, Dreamwidth, or Tumblr. Some attribute Transformers' relatively small transformative fandom to its higher ratio of male to female fans.
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 was an officially-recognized fan convention. It was 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 was essentially a fandom-specific version of San Diego Comic-Con. In 2017, Hasbro discontinued BotCon in favor of HasCon which featured all of its franchises.
Other Transformers conventions include:
- Auto Assembly (Birmingham, England)
- Auto Assembly Europe, previously NTFA NordCon (Sweden & Denmark)
- B.O.T.S. (Netherlands)
- C.O.N.S. (Germany)
- CybCon (Washington, USA)
- Cybercon Expo (New Jersey, USA)
- Cyberton Con (China & Singapore)
- CybFest NW (Washington, USA)
- DairyCon (Wisconsin, USA)
- DutchBotCon (Holland)
- Iacon One (Indiana, USA)
- OzFormers (Australia)
- TFcon (Illinois, USA)
- TFCon, previously TransformersCon (Ontario, Canada)
- TFExpo (Kansas, USA)
- TraFest (Nagoya, Japan)
- Transforce (England)
- TransForMarket (Tokyo, Japan)
Fanfiction Tropes & Themes
- MegaOp: Megatron/Optimus Prime
- MegaStar: Megatron/Starscream
- Dratchet: Drift/Ratchet
- Cygate: Cyclonus/Tailgate
- Breakdown/Knock Out
- Red Alert/Inferno
- Turning Points by Alathea2 -- Prowl endures the long process of switching sides
- The Botosphere by Darthishtar, Eowyn77 kateydidnt, and SpiritOfEowyn -- a large cooperative Bayverse AU
- War Without End by Dracoqueen22 -- after Dark of the Moon, Ratchet begins to lose faith in Optimus' leadership
- Bridges by Dwimordene -- in the aftermath of the first Bayverse movie, Mikaela distinguishes herself to the Autobots
- Patronus by femme4jack and Merfilly -- Bayverse series set after Dark of the Moon
- Sound and Fury by fractalserpent and HopeofDawn -- Soundwave will do anything to ensure his cassettes' survival
- Where You and I Collide by Hearts of Eternity -- two very different people join forces to face the corrupting force of Shockwave
- An Adjustment of Plans by L. Mouse -- G1-inspired, Soundwave is captured by the Autobots after being severely and permanently damaged in battle
- Masks by L. Mouse -- mingling a large ensemble of G1 characters with a Bayverse setting, even this first version of the fic is widely read
- The Brave Shall Heed the Call by Mllemusketeer -- after the events of Transformers Animated, Optimus becomes aware of serious flaws in the methodology and philosophy of Autobot government
- The Quality of Mercy by Mllemusketeer -- a Transformers: Prime AU in which Optimus and Megatron repair their relationship in the face of a human threat
- Fallout by nan00k -- a post-apocalyptic Bayverse AU series
- five million years by razordragonfly -- precanon, early war, a long Thundercracker- and Skywarp-centric drama
- Eugenesis by James Roberts -- a fan novel written by Roberts in the years before he went legit writing canon comics
- Things We Don't Tell Humans by Sinead Rivka -- a widely popular Bayverse adaptation
- Best First by SkyShadow -- Thundercracker tells a story in exchange for his life
- Borealis by tainry -- very AU since Revenge of the Fallen, the Cybertronian species adapts to a new method of repopulation
- Pygmalion by Velvet_Glove -- a take on the origin of the Cybertronian species
- A Day in the Life of Dr. Rafael Esquivel, Ph.D. by White Aster -- Soundwave needed a nanite specialist, so he kidnapped the best.
- And I Alone Have Escaped To Tell You by astolat -- very popular G1 movie/season 3 AU
- More Than Meets the Eye Season One Animated Trailer by Alex Cole -- based on the IDW Publishing continuity
- Transformers: the Basics by Chris McFeely--panfandom intro videos
- Overlord II
- Transformers: Poetry and Verse
- In Repair
Archives & Communities
- Transformers - All Media Types at AO3
- Movies > Transformers and Cartoons > Transformers/Beast Wars at FanFiction.Net
- Beast Wars Anonymous (now defunct)