Thursday, July 19, 2007

Transformational Memories

Five minutes ago I finished a conversation with a nine year old. Today is his birthday, and he was showing me his new cell phone. I thought, "A child with a cell? What poppycock!"

The cell however was more than meets the eye. The kid flipped some panels to reveal what I knew to be the AUTOBOT emblem. After a few homemade and all too familliar "Chee koo kah kah" sounds the transformation was complete and a conversation about the finer points of Transformers was struck. I pulled up some old transformer cartoons on YouTube, and the lad explained to me that he was a supporter of the Optimus Prime to Rodimus Prime transition. Now, anyone worth their chops understands that the fatal error of the Transformers franchise back in the 80's was the introduction of Roddimus Prime and the death of one Optimus. They jumped the proverbial Sharkticon. Not to take away from the masterpiece that was the Motion Picture, but the seris and the toys went off the deep end, never to fully recover.

The exchange with the lad brought back a few memories of my youth. Playing transformers with my younger brother in the basement, the pogo ball being used as Nuke of some sort, and Nerf Golf Balls being Vector Sigma (And Family, when i was being particularly cruel). The alliances formed in that basement weren't Hasbro approved. Often Autobots and decepticons were mishmashed into roaming teams of ultra-violent, revenge-obsessed, over-hyphenated, marauders. My parents had inadvertently thrown the transformer world into turmoil by giving us EACH a Galvatron action figure.To my parents they were giving us each a "Gun". To US we were given a double embodiment of battery charged light-up evil. Neither of us willing to dispense with our galvatron both action figures were eventually folded into the randomness of our play. However, at that early age, one thing stood out; My brother was a tutu wearing namby pamby hot-rod scrote lickin', Roddimus supporter.

Perhaps like this young un I spoke to earlier, youth was easily influenced. My brother, being three years younger was willing to eat whatever bullshit Hasbro fed him. Whereas I, who at one point was forced to use a bare bones Ultra Magnus as a Prime replacement, knew what a load of crapticon Roddimus/Hot-Rod and all the post film transformers became. Though i must admit the sharkticon with the mace was pretty sweet. History has vindicated me, the return of Optimus Prime in the summer blockbuster has once more proven me wise beyond my years. But, even now i can't help but rub it in my brother's face.

"Optimus Prime..the TRUE Autobot Leader.."

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