Part 2 summed up my thoughts on the Unicron Trilogy, this one will cover the remaining time from then (Transformers: Cybertron aired in 2005, though I watched it in its Galaxy Force form) to now.
The next series at the time was Transformers Animated, which I really liked after getting used to the art style. Initial trailers didn’t catch my interest at all mainly due to the style. After some time I decided to give the series a shot, stuck with it for a few episodes and… it was worth it. The story and characters more than made up for my initial dislike of the art style. After some time I even got used to it, while I’m not a big fan of the series’ look, I appreciate how well it works in motion. The toys on the other hand are a different story. They worked together with Cartoon Network to match the style of the series and the figures as close together as possible. This did succeed, but the result just wasn’t for me. I won’t go for the “too kiddy” complaint, cause I know what the target audience for the toys is and at the time I wasn’t buying many figures any more anyway, so I kept to enjoying the cartoon.
At this point the Bay movie era started. Let’s not talk too much about the movies, they really didn’t work, especially after the first one (which was mostly tolerable, but I certainly would not call it good either… it was “better than expected” given the circumstances, I suppose). Granted they made a boatload of money on each. I pretty much exclusively watched them for the CG bot action (up to the 4th one). The newest one that got recently released (Bumblebee) seems to be a major improvement though. The action figures that came out of this movie series worked better than the movie designs (since they obviously could not be made up of thousands of pieces). But since I didn’t really like the overall designs in the first place, I hardly bought any of them.
At the time there was also the toyline-only “Universe” line that was aimed at the older fans, releasing new figures of classic characters. Generally I am a big fan of the idea, I just wasn’t buying figures at that time. Later on the Universe line got replaced by the Generations line, which was essentially the same (new figures of characters from classic series). I kept looking at the figures and in 2015 I finally bought several of the figures, namely most of the Aerialbots that combined into Superion. Since not all of the figures were available here, I supplemented one of the limbs with a Streetwise figure.
With the start of the IDW comics, my comic collection started to grow quite a bit. I do admit I have two or three issues of the Dreamwave stuff, but all I can say there is: good riddance. The IDW comics on the other hand I enjoyed a lot. I have around a dozen or so trade paperbacks, with several more issues in digital format. Due to recent developments in that company it is unlikely though that I’ll keep buying them. No matter, I have enough material to catch up on and re-read for quite some time anyway.
I might resume collecting Transformers stuff at some point, but right now I am a bit burnt out on it. TF figure wise I haven’t bought much in recent times, the Aerialbots from the Power of the Primes series in 2015 and a few of the other bots are the most recent purchases. I am considering getting the new Dinobot combiner, but we’ll see, since I have Masterpiece Grimlock, that is my most important character accounted for (besides Silverbolt).
Series-wise, after TF Animated I did watch TF Prime and enjoyed that a lot. The following “Robots in Disguise” in 2015 though did not click with me after the first few episodes. I’ll probably give that another go at some point, but I’m not in a rush to do so. As far as I know that was the latest “regular” series and since it ended in 2017, there has only been the online-only series “Cyberverse” that I have not checked out yet. The character designs do look more appealing to me than the RiD series, so who knows, I might like it.
So that has been my journey as a Transformers fan from the early 90s to now. Time really flies, looking back at how much this covers and how much has changed. I still think back with fondness to the early years and re-read several of the comic issues I have kept from time to time.