aboutwhy redux?generation oneg2-beast erarid-moviesclassics-animatedafajapanese

About Arkvander

(A History of Obsession)

My relationship with Transformers began in 1985 at the tender age of four, when I saw the Transformers cartoon for the very first time on Television. Followed quickly with the purchase of my very first Transformer: Smokescreen. I was fortunate enough to see Transformers: The Movie in the theater and pick up many of the toys off the shelves. Throughout the majority of my childhood they were a major force and major influence. I looked to Optimus Prime and Starscream (my favorite character) as role models and usually asked for Transformers for gifts. A few notable examples: I obtained Sunstreaker and Thundercracker through the mail, received Repugnus and Mirage as a birthday gift and Galvatron and Prowl for Christmas. Transformers are littered throughout my childhood.
Notice the Protectobots and Technobots. This was 1987.
My first falling out happened in 1989. I had finally collected enough robot points to order Reflector whom I wanted for years. So I sent in the order form and a few weeks later (remember when you had to wait 6 to 8 weeks for anything through the mail?!) it came back saying they no longer had any in stock. My parents bought me Countdown as a consolation, but I was very disappointed and with nothing but Micromasters and Action Masters on the shelves, my interest waned.

Then I happened to see a young boy playing with a yellow construction in a Burger King in 1992. I made an offhand remark to my mother that I remembered playing with those and tried to put it out of my mind. But I was curious. I did a little research and discovered that Generation 2 had been released! The fever gripped me once again and I saved for weeks for a trip to Toys R Us. Upon arriving I promptly purchased every G2 figure on the shelves that day. Well over $130 worth of Transformers. For a 12 year old.
The only (blurry) picture I have of my collection from the G2 days.
 G2 kept my attention for a while but the line waned yet again in 1995 and my attentions began to be diverted by high school and the promise of being able to drive soon. Again I thought it had been just a relapse into my childhood and put my toys away. Then 1996 and Beast Wars happened. At first I was skeptical and didn't think it was right that Transformers be organic looking beasts. But that changed once I saw the show. I caught on about mid way through the first season and was hooked once more. This time it held and never let go. I immediately went out and bought as many Beast Wars as I could find, collecting most every figure. I also started frequenting yard sales and flea markets since I was able to drive wherever I wanted. I started buying old G1 and G2 figures I had missed out on and watched Beast Wars religiously. It was also during this time that I discovered the Internet, the thousands of other Transformers fans and Botcon. All this only added fuel to the fire that was my obsession. I even solicited many friends at school for any old Transformers they may have had. By the time Beast Wars was over Transformers had become a consistent part of my life in a major way.

I met my (now) wife when I was seventeen and on our first date I showed her an amateur comic I was making about Transformers. On our second date we watched the 1986 TF Movie on VHS. I made sure this girl knew what she was getting into but she has been nothing but supportive in the years we have known each other. She even gets upset when I sell some Transformers off, she would rather cut other things out of my life than have me get rid of parts of my collection.
My collection in 2003.
By 1999 I was entering college and discovering never before known areas of Transformers; Japanese and European exclusives, Japanese 80's TV shows, BW2 and Neo, Botcon exclusives, American episodes I thought I had seen but hadn't and untold other things. Beast Machines was starting on television and even though I didn't agree with it at the time, my Transformers interest wasn't going anywhere. Even on a meager college student's budget I managed to keep up with new releases and even picked up a few international releases. Money that most college students would allocate to socializing, alcohol or trips I dedicated to Transformers. In 2001 I was fortunate enough to attend my first Botcon in Raleigh, NC (since it was close to me) and it was more than I could imagine. I had worked every day for the entire summer saving up for the event. Finally for the first time I was able to interact with other Transformer fans, learn more than I ever knew about the mythos, and experience a convention like no other. The organizers did a fantastic job and it was an experience I will never forget.
Botcon 2001, I can see at least four Primal Primes in this picture.
Since that time I have moved seven times, lived in three states, gotten married, attended three more Botcons, bought a house, started a business and lived life to the fullest. I even ran my own Transformer convention in 2013 called Charticon, named in honor of my wife, whose favorite character is Gnaw. Throughout everything Transformers have been there. Many have been presents, many have been hard to find and many have been expensive. But it is a labor of love that I find endless fascination with. I have come to believe change is constant, it is natural and it should be embraced. This is a lesson that only giant robots that have the ability to change form could have taught me.

Needless to say, Transformers isn't my one and only interest in life. I am an avid Star Trek fan, love Legos, enjoy Architecture and Writing. I also enjoy traveling to new places with my wife, volunteering when I can and experiencing new things as much as possible. Transformers just happens to be larger than all of those. So that is what this blog is about...mostly.