Today (yesterday for you) marked the 35th anniversary of the original Transformers cartoon. I'm just going to take a moment to appreciate a show I've been watching over and over for 35 years. I kinda I have to at this point. My strongest memories of the show was right around when it first started airing and my family had recently moved to a neighborhood in Statesboro GA. Like most kids around my age, I was obsessed with all the various cartoons and toys. For some reason this one stood out. It just did, I am who I am, and I like what I like. I like Transformers.
There's a few moments that are the type of thing that only happen when you're a child (normally). Megatron pulls a swerve and my brother and I looking at each other in surprise and disbelief with our mouths wide open. Or Megatron says something sinister and my cousin standing straight up yelling at the tv "THAT'S WHAT YOU THINK MEGATRON" shortly before my uncle tells him to shut the hell up. You never really get those moments back. If anything, that's what I have nostalgia for.
That Halloween, thanks to my local K-Mart, I was Snarl in my cool Collegeville costume. The kind with the name of the character on the chest so you could point it out to the old lady who asked what you were. Later that old lady went to a closed store, read the store was closed on the sign, then proceeded to beat on the door only to ask the cleaning crew if the store was closed. While the smock has long dissolved to time (my parents probably threw it away), I still have the mask somehow. Somehow. It slowly evaporates year after year. It wasn't meant to last a lifetime and it's eventually just going to fade from existence.
We lived in a neighborhood across the street from a college. Just behind the college was a tiny movie theater that we later saw the 1986 movie at. A kid from the bus who seemingly had his Perceptor with him everyday managed to watch every showing. He was a little older than me and one of my brothers friends. Sometimes I wonder if that kid grew up to be another one of us in what became the Transformers fandom. I was the only kid in my 3rd grade class to see the movie and got to have that cool moment of telling everybody what happened just in time for the new season to start. That kid who cried every morning was pretty upset.
We moved out of Statesboro and into the suburbs of Atlanta by the end of season 3. That following fall The Rebirth aired ending the show (for us in the US anyway) before beginning the reruns of season 5 and G2... or just reruns on odd channels. The comic continued for a while and the toys chugged on, but that cartoon never went away. I'm not being wistful, you can watch it on Tubi. But seriously, here I am 41 and still talking about it just like I was in second grade on the bus. Just a little more sarcastic.
Did I ever imagine I'd still be talking about that show all these years later? No. I don't think it ever occurred to me that I'd grow up. It's a surprise to some people that I spent my spare time with this old cartoon and talking about it online. I guess it isn't normal, though now in the time of social networking talking about old shows is common place. I'm not sure what my life would be like now without that cartoon. I don't mean that in any phony pseudo deeper meaning type of way. I mean that as outside of my wife and co-workers, the people I talk to most are because of that cartoon. I'm not ashamed of that either. I'm happy, I like who I am. So, like I said, I kind of owed it to that old cartoon to take a moment to talk about it a little. It's part of my life and part of me.