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Hi!

Hi guys, PacifistPrime here with my third originated article. I hope you'll please contribute.

Personally I love these books (mags, whatever), even though they cost me a SERIOUS wad, having foolishly NOT bought them at the time due to their outrageous price even then. Oh foolish, foolish poppet... One of many such decisions my wallet has come to regret.

I'll try and get around to issue/volume summaries soon, but if anyone else wants to jump in first I'd be happy for you to do so.

Also, does anyone know what befell the series, i.e. why they stopped publishing with vol.1 of Beast Wars, only to later put out the index? Also, as I don't have the Index myself, I don't really know why it was so unpopular. Anyone wanna dish in?

Anyway, hope you like it, and let me know what you think. Cheers! PacifistPrime.

I heard that much as Doug Dlin would like the magazine to continue, there are some logistics issues in getting all the right resources lined up at all the right times. I imagine a collection like the one used in the books doesn't come along every day, for a start! :) --Ratbat 12:38, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I skipped buying this too when it came out, 'cause I thought it was a little too costly... more fool I.

I don't see a problem with having this series of books having an entry, by the by. Dj convoy 17:44, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Dreawave used them for reference material, no? -150.253.70.105 22:47, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Unofficial guide

I am still unsure on whether we should be putting up pages like this on unofficial guides. I am inclined to delete it before this page becomes the precedent for putting up pages on every unofficial guide ever published. And there are a lot. And they shouldn't be on this wiki. --ItsWalky 14:52, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I've been unsure on this as well. It's that "slippery slope" deal again... as much as I LIKE the Cyb guides... we should probably delete this page. --M Sipher 20:24, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I dunno, I think the Cybertronian might be an exception. They at least got permission from Hasbro to use images and artwork of the actual characters and toys. Other books like Prime Targets couldn't even do that much and had to smatter ugly "generic" looking robots and vehicles all over the book. But that's just me. Do most other unofficial guides use official artwork and images? --DrSpengler 20:31, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I guess I'm just of the mind that wants to see an entry about these things, regardless of their official status (similarly, I'd want to see something about Prime Targets and the series of books J. Alverez has put together)... Whether Hasbro has placed the stamp of approval on these books or not, these are books that have been published about Transformers, which, to my mind, elevates them from being something more than a fanzine or whatever, and, therefore, makes them worthy of inclusion here. Dj convoy 21:11, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, and I LIKE the Cybertronian guides. The Hasbro/Takara stamp IS important. I DON'T want a precedent for unofficial works getting pages, because then we're talking about every last Lee's or Tomarts or ToyFare or whatever that published an unlicensed TF whatever. The purpose of the wiki is to catalog the official stuff, and there's still tons more of that to go through that we don't have on here yet to even bother with unofficial items. --M Sipher 21:30, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I understand many users' wish to cover a fine piece of work like this guide on our Wiki, but I regretfully fall into the "slippery slope" camp with the other naysayers. If we are to cover *any* unofficial fanworks at all, we need to have a very clear and defensible demarcation between what we will and will not include. If a published book can be covered, does it matter whether it was made by a real publisher versus a vanity press?
If we say "no fan works except books published on paper" does that include TransManual, which you can download as a PDF but was, at one time, printed out? How do we JUSTIFY allowing books, even if they are crappy, but excluding really well-made websites? People are going to ask these sorts of questions when they try to create an article for their favorite fan project and somebody tells them 'no'. What sort of division can we make among fanworks that isn't arbitrary? I would LIKE to have articles about things like unofficial conventions, the major discussion boards, TransMasters, etc., but I don't know how to allow those sorts of article without making up totally broken guidelines for what to include and what not to, like Wikipedia's "notability" criterion. --Steve-o 21:45, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Bingo, especially the note about Wikipedia. I think it's less crummy to cut out any and all unofficial product (unofficial stuff can be MENTIONED on pages when exceptionally relevant, like how Macromasters is noted on Don F's page or "Chronicles" on Ichikawa's, though neither of those items should have their own pages) than to either 1) Open the doors to every unlicensed TF-based whatever ever or B) get ourselves embroiled in arguments over Who We Like Gets To Be In The Wiki. Both, I feel, defeat the purpose of the enterprise. --M Sipher 21:58, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Would've thought the main purpose of the enterprise might be to provide a useful resource to fans. (And if there's enough information to justify a separate page, isn't it better to split to a separate page to improve readability?) A published retail work with an ISBN and specific focus on TFs is hardly comparable to a fansite. --Denyer 19:21, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Bumping... we should maybe, you know, make the call on this. --M Sipher 07:19, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

I say we have a single Unofficial guidebooks article, and move this content to there, and we can (potentially) also list other guidebooks there. One article for all of them, sort of like the Tonka GoBots or unofficial conventions or something. --Steve-o 13:40, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this. --ItsWalky 16:00, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Thirded. --Sntint 16:09, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
Fourth'd. -- Dark T Zeratul 18:58, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Deletion/merge

While (as always) I realize we're not Wikipedia, in my mind it's sound policy to split off articles if there's enough material to merit a full article. This article seems to demonstrate such and would just make the unofficial guidebooks article rather unwieldy if merged.--RosicrucianTalk 19:36, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

And I think it's sound policy to not go into such length for unofficial products. Again, where does it end? Why is Cybertronian exempt, and why not have gigantic pages on every other unofficial guide? Cyb should get a paragraph on a "bulk" page for Unofficial Guides, maybe a second to note the links to official things (reused artwork or cover artists who have done official TF work), and leave it at that. --M Sipher 20:41, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Despite being a big fan of Cybertronian, I dislike the idea of starting a precedent where unofficial things can have enough written about them here that they warrant their own articles. If nothing else, it would make it very hard to fairly prevent articles for unofficial things we don't like, such as crappy guidebooks, random regional fan gatherings, etc.. (Although saying that suddenly leaves me wondering whether the alt.toys.transformers article should exist or be merged into Fandom or something...)--Steve-o 15:57, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Hi, Paci here. I state from the outset my bias, in that I originated this article. Anyway, I understand all the problems people are having with the issue of precedent, but I think this should merit an exception. Firstly, as noted earlier by DrSpengler, it was actually "semi-approved" in the sense that they gained Hasbro's permission to use the images, which clearly indicates the level to which it was a condoned publication, albeit "unofficial". Secondly, for whatever it's worth, several of the original cover artworks have been "retconned official" by their inclusion in the book Genesis. But also, I think that it has a modestly significant place in TransFandom, as the first major English-language comprehensive reference text on the franchise, predating the Dreamwave-spearheaded wave of retro interest in G1 Transformers. As noted in the article, Cybertronian is believed to have influenced later official publications, and stands as an extremely well-researched, professionally produced guide made with implicit consent by Hasbro.
I would argue that the article deserves to stay, clearly noted as belonging in the Fandom category. After all, if we can have an article on unofficial guidebooks in general, then surely there is little cogent argument to support deleting (or merging and drastically reducing) a standalone article on a work of Cybertronian's stature? If we can have standalone articles on totally unofficial things like Alt.toys.transformers as Steve-o pointed out (not to mention the various "joke" pages like JaAm, Seafood Louis etc. or descriptions of fan-phenomena like Ruined FOREVER or Toy scalping etc.), then I think the horse has bolted.
Frankly I think this speaks somewhat to the question of what is this wiki's purpose? If it is only concerned with cataloging official HasTak product, then by that argument pretty much everything in the Fandom category should be deleted or merged. If, however, it is a resource for Trasformers Fans that includes the wider tapestry of significant elements in the Transformers zeitgeist/meta-text (which is what Teletraan 1 certainly seems to be intended as), then I think a solo article on Cybertronian most certainly has its place here.
Anyway, that's my two cents (personal bias noted).PacifistPrimePP 02:31, 4 May 2008 (UTC).
Wow! I'm a recent contributor, and as opposed to lurking started contributing straight away. However, I was immediately struck by the amount of censorship that was applied to this wiki. I think this discussion on the Cybertronians highlights that there are several schools of thought about the purpose of this wiki, yet it seems that the moderators collectively belong to just one school really.
My opinion on the wiki, is that it should include EVERY possible scrap of information about Transformers. Pretend, for the moment, that a Martian (or a Human that has NEVER heard/seen TF) lands on earth and discovers these fascinating transforming robots. It's not too difficult to imagine, as most of us can remember our first experiences. Now say he wants to bring back a book (in English, it's a well known fact Martian brain physiology can only cope with European languages) to show all the other Martians. Or to bring back a book archiving all the Transformers, as he'll never get back to see them again. Where would he find details on such a book? Google would help, sure. But a resource, say this wiki, that had set to be the most complete repository of information would be good place to start. What this wiki has, that most other sites don't is things like behind-the-scenes info on licensing, trademarks, economics, unpublished and unreleased items etc etc. Other than scrolling through forums, you can't get all that info anywhere else. Who are we (you) to decide what information should be witheld?
I appreciate that to open up the door to all info is likely result in a flood of crappy fan fiction, baseless gossip and crappy customs. Personally I feel some of the character profiles start with juvenile humour bios that equate to fanwank anyhow. Thus the antithesis of the "only official" argument would to replace all the bios with the official ones. I'm not suggesting this, but official-ness is really a spectrum rather than a yes-no thing. Check out he continuity aticle as proof that even HasTak, Marvel, IDW etc show no respect for their own previous work.
I would like to hav this wiki reference every USEFUL bit of trivia. This includes a lot of unofficial resources such as Botch's site, TFW2005, Tformers.com, TFU.info, Prime Targets book, JE Alaveres' books (as his was the first), the Obscure TF website and Bigbot.com. I would also like to see it reference some of the best comedy tributes such as LILFORMERS and the Cybetron Enquirer. And I especiall would like to see i include these Cybertronians. I have all of them, but even I didn't know some of the background info until today. So I say: KEEP THIS ARTICLE!
Incidentally, has anyone considered the other wikis. The Star Trek one has the Official-only Memory Alpha. But they also have Memory Beta to inlude the (mostly awful) novels and books. And I think there is a Memory Gamma for fan-fiction. A similar thing could be applied here: Teletraan 1 for official stuff, Teltraan 2 for unofficial stuff (websites, reference works, novels, games etc), Teletraan 3 for fan-fiction, Teletraan 4 for customs etc etc. Just a thought. Drmick 13:32, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I say keep it. I don't see the harm. What if someone else makes an extensive page on a crappy guidebook? For one, I doubt anyone will—it's crappy! If they do? So what? Is it that bad?—Starfield 17:54, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

I'd have to put myself in the 'keep it' camp. They are terrific resources, probably the best english language photo reference guide in print. They're published by a legitimate publisher. Their commissioned artwork has been used in official publications. Most importantly, they're worth knowning about, more so than a lot of other minutia that exists on the site. I don't find the slippery slope argument compelling at all; we're not a court of law, if joe shmo publishes a fanzine (do people even do that anymore?) that has 3 photos of a beat up ravage and calls it a guide we can decide not to include it wether or not this page exists. If someone were to publish, say, an unauthorized biography of Peter Cullen, we'd include information from their, no? Jimsorenson 21:25, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Follow up: if this page gets deleted, then I think we should also delete Alignment's page. Unofficial is unofficial, regardless of quality or pedigree, right? Jimsorenson 18:09, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

See Talk:Alignment for more details, but the upshot there is that enough canon material has referenced "Alignment" for it to deserve its own page. As Derik put it, "we might look to the apocryphal story of Alignment to inform our understanding of things that are official- which is why it even has an article. So we can summarize its events and why it's importance." - Jackpot 18:20, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
How about Transformers: Mosaic then? I certainly look to the unofficial Cybertronian guides to inform my understanding of things that are official, so the brief summary seems appropriate. BotCon 2004 was an unofficial convention. Mosaic are unofficial stories. (I feel passionately about this.) Jimsorenson 18:56, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
"Mosaic" gets its own page because it's published officially by a Hasbro licensee. BotCon 2004 gets its own page because... well, I've never seen discussion about that one. I could see it going either way, honestly. But I would defend it on the grounds that the name "BotCon" has become an official Hasbro trademark (hasn't it?), and its previous unofficial uses directly relate to its current official use.
The problem with the Recognition Guides is that their existence does not "inform our understanding" of anything on this wiki. "Alignment" contains story elements that directly pertain to the Liege Maximo, Galvatron II, the 13 original Transformers, and others. It gets mentioned so often in so many articles that it's just silly not to gather that information in one place. Unless the Recognition Guides' little blurbs are way more pertinent to our articles than they've shown themselves to be so far, I don't see a similar need.
- Jackpot

Main image

Am I misremembering, or did one of the Cybertronian covers make it into Genesis? (oh, wait, it says yes in the article.) Is the image currently featured one of them? -Derik 21:04, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes. Not that I can confirm this, as Sebastian never sent us any copies...--Apcog 22:38, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
I seem to recall two CybGuide covers became "officialized" in Genesis: worms-eye view of Optimus Prime sitting on the ground, and Starscream flying in robot mode with his face in shadow. --74.73.131.210 23:51, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay, so the one we're featuring in the article right now is, in fact, official TF art-- even though it only became official after the TRG's publication. -Derik 18:23, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Establishing relevance (or attempting to,)

Okay, I'm gonna throw this out... back when Dreamwave launched with 2 posters, someone (Zob?) pointed out that the decals on Prime's feet were backwards- which he attributed to a very /specific/ source material whose toy photos had their stickers flipped.

I thought that was The Cybertronian- but flipping through the Index-- Prime's stickers are correct. Was this fixed for the index, or am I simply wrong and the Cybertronian wasn't the source he was using? Can someone who owns volume 1 please help? -Derik 20:23, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

I have Volume 1 (first edition) and the stickers are applied correctly. --ItsWalky 20:30, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Drat. We know DW used 'em extensively- but it'd be nice to have such a concrete example of that use to point to!
I feel like the two sides here are;
  • People who think the C:TRG is relevant enough in itself and want to keep the article and may-or-may-not be inclined to document other unofficial publications.
  • People who like the C:TRG and wish we should keep the article- but hate-and-fear the precedent that would establish could open the doors to a flood of such articles.
With that in mind, I'm gonna take a stab at re-editing the intro and try and establish relevancy on a basis that doesn't automaticaly lend credence to other, similar, articles. (We can then argue whether this attempt is successful- the group consensus might simply be that no matter how presented the guide remains too marginal to merit inclusion... but I think the group wants to at least give this article a fighting chance to establish its bona-fides that the current presentation isn't allowing.)
I've seen it suggested here that Hasbro 'permitted' this book in some manner... though it was not official-- unlike other such reference books it was 'allowed' to be sold with new, non-official artwork of Hasbro-copyrighted characters that was either somehow cleared- or was at least given some form of under-the-table blessing or assurance that there woudl be no legal action as a result of this? Can someone provide an external source on this, like a usenet post from that time?
(Yeah, I know I could just ask Doug, and I'd love to have him chime in... but I really want an external source to lend objective validity to these events. If none exists I suppose I could just ask Doug to post one...) -Derik 21:11, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Hasbro never had a problem with the images; they just didn't like the usage of the exact tech spec text.--Apcog 01:27, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Quick question- did TRG include a price guide? I'm assuming not given that I've never heard anyone mention it despite how badly the Alvarez guides' prices were trashed... but I'd like to be sure sure as I proceeded. -Derik 21:18, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
There was a condensed edition of the first three issues called the Cybertronian Field Guide which included a price guide. It came in two cover variants: Autobot (Prime) and Decepticon (Megatron). It was more retailer-oriented, with no tech specs, just images, names, and some info tidbits (mainly about what easily broke or got lost).--Apcog 01:27, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Nope. I... dimly recall that there was a condensed handbook version that had prices, but I kind of wasn't paying attention to that. --M Sipher 21:28, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
The index has no prices. I remember collector-oriented handbook that was solicited but never (afaik,) produced around the time Dreamwave went under-- but I don't think that was Antarctic Press.
This article really needs a picture of a representative interior spread if it's ever going to pass muster as being of merit on its own-- to show off what sets it apart. (And yes that's a request. I've got picsneeded on top of my edit-in-progress, but if someone coughs one up beforehand it'd be helpful.) -Derik 21:48, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
By a startling coincidence, I happen to have access to images of representative interior spreads. Do you have a particular one you'd like to use? If so, about how small should I make it, pixel-wise, to keep it within wiki limitations?
P.S.: If it isn't obvious, I've been avoiding participation in most of this discussion, simply because any input from me on the article's right to exist would be biased by default. I think answers to the above questions are outside that topic, though.--Apcog 01:27, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Right- but I think it's worthy of inclusion exist (well, I have a vague wist that it should anyway, I'm not terribly emotionally involved one way or the other,) because I have arbitrarily chosen to see Cybertronian as symbolizing a different kind of fan investment in the franchise that emerged around the time of its publication-- where being a Transformers fan was about the characters and not the toys (or at least not about the toys MISB with packaging variants,) a watershed change-of-self-perception for fans that's ultimately what set us apart from He-man collectors. It's not the origin of that change- but its continuing success (and the continuing perceived desirability of volumes ~10 years later) mark it as one of the first outward signs that the change was taking place. Also I have a soft sport for what is largely a collection of primary source material rather than secondary-- that's the kind of almost literary publication that Transformers NEVER gets, and it's cool to point to that it exists.
Sooo... *chews cheek* improper for you to make an argument- but willing to help me make one? Okay...
  1. The Hasbro-blessed-even-though-it-was-not-licensed thing... true or not?
  2. Sameple pages-- a representative single-page character spread showing off the elaborate nature of the detail shots, included info and call-outs... and maybe one of the story summary summary pages from the back? (Both from the first volume, unless you feel the format evolved in later volumes to the extent that they would be more representative.) Large enough to read at least section headers so you can tell what kind of info is being included. Legible body text would be nice too- but I'm not sure how bit that means in this instance. (Are you scanning these, or do you have digital source handy? If the latter- I'd like to see the forward to the first volume if it has one-- see if there's anything relevantly quotable.)
  3. Years of publication? I'm pretty sure the ones in the article are wrong.
There's probably something else, but I'm blanking on it at the moment. Oh right-- was there one particular fan (or set of fans) whose collection was drawn on for a lion's share of the toys photographed? -Derik 05:03, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
  1. Not really. I've mentioned a little detail above.
  2. I'd have to blur out the tech spec text, at the very least, as that was the point of contention mentioned before. We have digital files. I guess I can upload the foreword pages, though if you're only going to quote text from them rather than use them as images per se, they'd probably be best deleted once you've gotten what you need, just to save server space. (Wait...you mean you don't have your own copy of #1 for reference? Am I gonna have to start questioning your TF cred, Derik?)
  3. First printing of issue 1 was April 2001. BW issue #1 (or #7, if you like) was October 2002.
  4. All toy photos were from Harold Tietjens's collection.
It seems like enough of you have come around to my way of thinking that deleting this article isn't a foregone conclusion. Awesome. But, if you need more ammo, JaAm? The Cybertronian has to be at least as important to the understanding of the state of Transformers as JaAm. Jimsorenson
I don't particularly like the existence of the JaAm article, just as I don't the existence of this article. (Luckily, I don't care enough to argue about either one.) —Interrobang 04:02, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
At the risk of... well, anyway; having previously noted my obvious bias, it seems to me that the predominant consensus (mild oxymoron?) is now pretty much in favour of leaving the article intact, especially now that we have the excellent new alterations by (I presume) Derik at the head of the article which better contexualise the significance of Cybertronian. Right? So, is anyone strongly opposed to us dropping the merge and delete tags now...? User:PacifistPrimePP 15:40, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
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