State of the Fandom 2014: The Response

(Webmaster's Note: After reading Fred's State of the Fandom, I felt that a rebuttal (a comedic one of course) was needed, and so, you'll find my comments in red italics below. Enjoy.

So-called educated people ... people with Marketing or Business-related degrees ... often have their souls removed somewhere between college and entering the workforce.

      I thought that was only lawyers and doctors.

It's likely the only explanation for why they think that it's ok to make money off of people who are emotionally damaged; collectors whose self worth has a deep sense of incompleteness.

      Oh, so this is about me? I'm flattered.

I mention this because super mega fun collecting is gearing up again (like sports, it never stops; just one sport into the other baseball basketball football hockey lather rinse repeat.)

      You bet, lather rinse repeat. Can you imagine what those locker rooms smell like?

With McFunDump just around the corner, and SDCC(AC/DC?) after that, I thought I'd take a moment to tell all these people:

      SDCC/AC/DC. I'm going to remember that one!

Fuck you.

Instead of helping people to better themselves, you just keep making cool stuff that we need to own. You ought to be ashamed. There's more to life than cheap plastic crap, and you're keeping us from realizing it.

      No, I don't think there is, and if my credit card statement is any indication, cheap it's not.

How do you sleep at night?

      I don't, not since I found out the end of line Beast Hunters stuff was not to be released in the USA. It's okay now though. I found it all!

I mention this because I went from, 'I need NO Movie 4 Toys', to 'Well, I'll just get Evasion Mode Optimus', to 'Well lessee, 186 dollars isn't so bad for a Walmart toy run if you count Generations...'

      Have you seen the Platinum Edition Evasion Mode Optimus Prime vs. Voyager Grimlock? They are both chromed and look awesome. (This might not be helping.)

And now, I may have to remove my imaginary eternal ban on Mcboxed set, because the damn thing's actually kind of cool this year.

      I can almost hear Brian Savage laughing maniacally as he stirs his cauldron containing the souls of those he has corrupted.

I may as well just piss my money away. To top it off, I've already used three swear words, which in my writing is more than I've used in years, much less one essay, so you know this must mean something (piles mashed potatoes into mountain shape.)

      Swear more. I do it all the time. It helps, it really does. And chocolate. That helps too.

I'm in no better a position than the rest of our community. Being aware that I have a problem doesn't help; in-fact, it makes it much worse, because I'm *aware*; as a result, I have to analyze every purchase instead of just enjoying it - because after all, the granola crunching part of my brain just knows that this is bad for me.

      But it feels so...good. If this is a problem, everyone should have it.

I miss the me that just got toys because he enjoyed them. Of-course, 'Back then', there were hardly any toys to get. I can pinpoint it exactly; it was 1988 at the Holiday gas station, I'd just filled up my entire 30 gallon gas tank with ten dollars, and with the CHANGE I bought headmaster Highbrow, because the gas station also sold Transformers! Just the one, though.

      You don't want to haunt toy stores every day until they know you by your first name, leading to crushing disappointment after crushing disappointment for days on end, only to finally find this weeks' holy grail and raise your voice to the heavens in praise of your great victory, only to do it all again next week? I don't know what I'd do with myself.

Now, everyone's making them. Hasbro, Takara, Tomy, about 152 different knock-off plans (they prefer the term, 'Parties of 3rd') but regardless, everyone and my Uncle is out there making crap and trying to steal my hard-earned money.

      They don't have to steal mine. I practically throw it at them.

Enough already. The market is more than saturated. I can't even make fun of you, because it's actually kind of sick. It was bad enough when Hasblow was the only one trying to lie to me like a cheap carny and steal my dollar. Now every f-ing circus is in town, barking all at once, trying to get you to spend 20, 50, 182 dollars, trying to cash in on your nostalgia! For fond memories that you *aren't* going to recapture!

      I don't think that's true. Every movie toy release day is like reliving the ones that came before in all their brilliant glory. There will never be another like Revenge of the Fallen though. Two shopping carts full. Two. It was so beautiful. *wipes away tear* Sigh.

It's enough to make me blow my stack, good citizen.

      If blowing your stack includes only three swears, then you need some stress relief. How about a hobby? Oh, wait...

That's the rub. They *know*. They know it's wrong, and they don't care. Situational ethics?! 'Well, if I don't take their money, someone else will, so I'd better get it.'

      It could be worse. You could be collecting My Little Pony.

Is that how they love us?

      If they still love me after all the nasty things I've said about them on my blog, it might be the strongest relationship of my life.


I've employed a number of toy reduction strategies over the years, and it doesn't help - I'm still unhappy. Buying them all didn't help, either. Freeing my mind doesn't help. Gardening doesn't help. Living a balanced life and eating flavorless wheat biscuits? Doesn't help.

      Truthfully I think it would make it worse. *shoves big mac into mouth*

The only thing that will help is an idea I had way back during the Beast Machines era. We've got to get them to stop making toys. Except now it's not just Hasblow, it's Everyone. Shut them *all* down. It's the only way. :-)

      I would literally die. Think well of me.

Time to pursue this to the full extent of the law.

      Not...not...the Quintessons!

What a waste. Like you, I once strived to be one of the beautiful people... but alas, it is just not to be. I'll never live in a gated community. I'll never be thin and pretty. And my head is lumpy and misshapen, so it doesn't look good shaved.

      I skipped that part.

But I'll have one heck of a collection of cancer-causing chinese plastic to look back on.

      Now you're talking!


We ask the Govt to step in and regulate so much of our lives - smoking bans, taxes, gun control, clean water, safe schools, secure borders... so it should come as no surprise that we'll eventually want to see legislation passed where the Govt bans all harmful toys from our homes.

      Gun control? Smoking? Really? You call them banned and controlled?

And these toys are harmful - not just the fumes they're giving off, but the damage they do to the soul.

      Now I see the problem. I don't have a soul, so it doesn't bother me. Now it makes sense.

You heard it here first. The National Guard will come into our homes and take away all of our dangerous toys. We condemn people for being hoarders of newspapers and tuna cans, so it won't be long now before they get our Transformers, too.

      NEVER! I shall fight to the death, and take as many of them with me as I can. (The toys I mean.) They can take our lives, but they can never take our toooooooooooooooooys!

Collector Intervention was just the start. The end is near, folks. They're reshaping our brains even as we speak.

      Not possible. Mine is a shapeless blob of muck already.

'They may get my guns, but they'll never get my toys!'

      Now you're talking!

But people will love you if you get rid of your toys.

      But I won't be able to love myself.

'Oh, ok, then they can get my toys, too.'


That feeling you have of being unworthy or not being good enough? That's ego. The intense craving, wanting, needing. It's what drives you in pursuit of 'ego-gratification,' of trying to fill that hole. We stive after money, possessions, power, success, recognition... perhaps a special relationship. All in pursuit of the idea that you can somehow feel better about yourself.


You buy toys. Lots and lots and *lots* of toys.


And those Marketing and Business-related people *will* try to cash in on it. At least some of them are honest about it; Hasblow rightly admits they're selling you the trick (and if it's clever, you go 'aha' and buy the toy.) Others... much less honest. Like cheap cigar smoke, you can smell the dishonesty on them. And just like the carnival shysters, they have the smirk, the crinkle of one corner of the eye. They try to slick it up, tell you it's such a good deal; if you don't fall for it, they simply move onto the next sucker.

      And we're back to Brian Savage.

That's the problem. There's *always* a next sucker. And if you get rid of the shyster, there's always *another* shyster around the corner, too.

      Hallit, then Savage, the villain's name changes, but the rest stays the same.

It's exhausting.

      So is this reply.

You can tell people, 'It's not going to help. You can't fill the hole with their plastic crack. Believe me, I've tried.'

      It works fine for me.

They won't listen. But feel free to keep on trying, Skippy.

      Mmmmm...peanut butter.


As I said earlier, I still believe there's a certain responsibility we (well, they- whoever 'they' are) must all have to the Fandom. Here is a ten point list for success:

      I'm not sure I have time for ten points.

1) Companies must immediately stop making stuff.


2) We all have to eat healthier

      Double never! *shoves big mac into mouth*

3) Some things to work out after this house of cards we call an economy collapses from 1 and 2 (I recommend hoarding ammunition and antibiotics.)

      Right after the toys are safely displayed in the bunker. We must not forget our priorities.

For you see, there's the rub - you want to try to save people. But you can't. You can't save people from themselves. You likely can't even save yourself. So you turn a blind eye to your fellow man, and let the shysters ply their trade, right?

      I you think Brian Savage even knows what "ply" means?

Well, No Sir. If I see a shyster, I'm going to continue to call him out. If that offends people, sorry. I'm too-old to change now ;-) Calling out the shysters is what you might call my stock in trade.

      You have to do a Dairycon exclusive that is a tank with the Marines logo on the side and is named Shyster.

and giving away cheese.

And long winded essays.



Did I mention the free cheese?

      Mmmmmm. Cheese.

Now if we could just get some crackers.

      I actually saw a prototype box for some Transformers crackers from the UK once. Kills me that I didn't buy it when I had the chance.

With our dwindling dollars, and with everyone who wants to swipe an ever-increasing share... there's only so much to go around, and let me tell you, they aren't getting another red cent until I see some more meaningless nods to health and wellness. Remember when Hasbro switched to natural string to tie down their toys, because it was good for the environment? Well, how about granola transformers? Play with them, then eat them. Completely natural, biodegradable. No chinese plastic. Good for the earth. Good for your colon.

      This would bring up the waffle problem again. I could never find a way to preserve the Transfomers Animated Waffles. *sniff*

Because as we get older, that's an issue, believe me. You *need* that feeling of accomplishment, if you get my Drift. Heh. How Nabisco missed *that* particular tie-in, I'll never know...

      Incidentally, have you seen pictures of the helicopter Drift that is coming up? It's voyager DotM Skyhammer repainted with a new head.

Now that's what I call Problem Solved.

      No, not really.

You know, I wasn't sure where this was going to end up when I started, but I'd have to say, after re-reading it, I still have no idea.

      Go to Toys R Us and pick up a few Transformers, that should help. Or you could read some Age of Extinction toy reviews on my blog. I've got a merchandise list with photos too.

Mission accomplished, folks. Keep pumping out the crap. We'll keep buying it.


Even though it's killing us.

      Talk about ending on a downer. :-)