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For a property as successful and enduring as Transformers , there have been surprisingly few officially-licensed publications that catalogued the history and diversity of the franchise — and even fewer in English.
Fans and publishers in the toy collecting industry have attempted to fill this gap over the years with unofficial works of varying scope, production quality, and accuracy. Fanzine by Fumihiko Akiyama distributed at BotCon Though it's nothing compared to Akiyama's later work , it was notable in its time for being the first comprehensive checklist and image gallery of Japanese- exclusive Transformer products, written almost entirely in English.
The pamphlet ended on an intriguing note, with images of new "armored" versions of the Cyberjets meant for a then-upcoming Japanese extension to the Generation 2 toyline , though in fact they were never released.
Written by Doug Dlin and Harold Tietjens, and published by Antarctic Press from , Cybertronian: The Unofficial Transformers Recognition Guide is a series of unofficial but highly useful guidebooks; its seven volumes encompass all American toy releases within Generation 1 , Generation 2 , Machine Wars , and the first several waves of Beast Wars.
To this day, the series remains one of the most comprehensive English-language reference texts available for American toy product. Two pieces of fan art commissioned for Cybertronian' s covers subsequently became official art when they were among the works selected for publication in 's Genesis: The Art of Transformers coffee-table book.
A high quality fanzine written and published by Fumihiko Akiyama in , with input from Jon Hartman , Karl Hartman , and others. Written in both Japanese and English. It covers the official convention from to in the U. Its glossy, magazine-quality photo galleries are especially notable for their emphasis on the unproduced toys and concept art displayed at various conventions over the years. Two books were released by Mark A. Kimmel who did all the photography and editing himself in These books are somewhat unique in that as well as featuring the mottos, parts and variants they are currently the only books to feature the line-art featuring the package art AND alternate modes from the toys' instruction sheets.
Cover is a single image of spare G1 parts Seeker wings and the like. Cover features fan art of Unicron attacking Cybertron. Perhaps unique among unofficial guidebooks, Prime Targets written by Lars Pearson, published by Mad Norwegian Press isn't a toy catalog or retrospective though it does sport a Toyfare Magazine price guide in the back , instead approaching the franchise from a story-based perspective.
It has just a few illustrations of generic robots, so as to avoid legal action from Hasbro. It consists mostly of summaries and fan commentary for every single episode in the Sunbow Generation 1 , Beast Wars , and Beast Machines cartoon series , plus every issue from Marvel and Marvel UK , minus most content from the British annuals. The authors show some disdain for every Headmasters origin story, the latter half of Bob Budiansky 's Marvel run, and Beast Machines , despite accepting the latter series and Beast Wars as being the future of American cartoon continuity rather than a vague G1 past.
Sunbow seasons 2 and 3 have their episode order altered a bit to try and reconcile continuity errors, and following this order on G1 DVD releases without Hasbro's permission apparently got Shout! Factory in trouble. The comic section is potentially the most useful for Marvel novices wishing to tackle all the American and U. After that, Earthforce is dealt with by placing The Hunting Party and the following three Survivors stories just before " Perchance to Dream ", then dropping the whole chunk into the two-year gap between the end of the U.
The author also includes a sub-section in each episode review called "Bumpin' Bumpers," which consists of every imaginable bit of sexual innuendo that one can reference from each episode. These segments seem to have been heavily shaped by the author's wildly active imagination and, at the same time, probable unfamiliarity with the English language.
For example, in the description of Five Faces of Darkness , there is a "Bumpin' Bumpers" notation that Dead End 's cry "What difference does it make if death comes from the front or the rear? Death is death! No, seriously. The same writers and publisher did, however, produce a similar guidebook for G.
This unique book — part of Open Court Publishing's "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series — examines Transformers media and character concepts from a philosophical and moral point of view.
It was pretty clearly released to tie in with the increased popular interest in Transformers since the live-action movie franchise came out. The book, edited by John R. Shook and Liz Stillwagon Swan, is an anthology of essays that compare various Transformers media and themes to the writings of well-known philosophers, as well as tackling questions such as non-human emotions, the nature of probable alien life, and how even professional academics who never heard of Transformers until last year think Kiss Players is gross.
The majority of Transformers material cited comes from the live-action movie, but there is also a great deal of examination of the Generation 1 cartoon and comic, as well as an occasional Beast Wars reference.
In multiple essays, various authors accept without controversy that Transformers form romantic attachments with each other. Essay topics include "Will we meet Optimus Prime in heaven? Beyond Evil? Beyond your Wildest Imagination? Developed by Krause Publications, written by Mark Bellomo this guide lists every American Generation 1 toy released from Each chapter covers a year with a short intro, though the intro is longer, as it includes a section on Pre-Transformers , the overview, and the franchise's success.
It then lists all of the Autobot subgroups in a somewhat random order, then the Decepticon subgroups in a similar fashion. Each character is listed in alphabetical order within its correct subgroup with its original Tech Specs and bios , as well as commentary by the author, full-color photos, and the occasional comparison e. It draws heavily on the Dreamwave Generation One continuity in its description of the characters, including their More than Meets the Eye profile books.
A much smaller but thick handbook to accompany the above book. It features nowhere near the same amount of information, and has several errors within. Actually preceding the Cybertronian guides by a year, this book is arguably the first Transformers-only toy guide.
It featured many photos from the author's own collection and some of his friends. Unfortunately not every toy is photographed, and a lot are missing their accessories. There is a good first chapter on the Diaclone and Micro Change lines. There were two editions: the first featured Fortress Maximus on the cover, while the second had an updated price guide but no new photos and features a variety of the Autobots on the cover.
A follow-on to the above book featuring toys that were more or less exclusive to Japan and the European markets. Probably the only book in the west to describe the Japanese TV series and toys in English. A hardback book featuring photos of all sorts of Transformers memorabilia such as comics, statues, lunchboxes, bed linen, etc. Also features a price guide, which was dubious at the time of release and is somewhat out of date now. This magazine has published several pull-out photo guides of various American Transformer series over the years.
A series of self-published books by Stuart Webb, it collects entries from his Solar Pool blog and irreverently reviews every issue of the Marvel UK run in order. Each review covers the story and art, related Marvel comics, and the assorted ads and letter pages and editorial pages.
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Cybertronian: The Unofficial Transformers Recognition Guide is back!
Discussion in ' Transformers Toy Discussion ' started by muffinhunter , Dec 18, Log in or Sign up. TFW - The Boards. Anyone know whatever happened to these?
Cybertronian: The Unofficial Transformers Recognition Guide
You want a copy of this without paying your weight in gold? Kiss my FEET for the privilege, foolish child Cybertronian: The Unofficial Transformers Recognition Guide was a series of unofficial guidebooks published by Antarctic Press between —, documenting the American Transformers toy line. Over the course of seven volumes, it covered every American Generation One , Generation 2 and Machine Wars toy, as well as the first year of the Beast Wars toy line. A departure from previous unofficial guidebooks that functioned primarily as price guides to Transformers as a collectible investment, Cybertronian put forth a view that Transformers toys were worthy of an intrinsic interest as "one of the best robot toy lines in history,"  separate from any monetary value, and focusing on the characters the toys represented.