Last month I mentioned the Transformers: 25th Anniversary "Matrix Of Leadership" complete series set. If you are concerned with spending so much at once, there is some good news. Arriving in stores on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 is the complete first season of the original Transformers series. It's hard to believe that it's been twenty-five years since they've first appeared. In this set, Shout! Factory delivers the complete first season episodes in the order they were intended.
Four million years after crash-landing on an unfamiliar planet, sentient robots with the ability to disguise themselves as common vehicles awaken on present-day Earth. Engaged in a crucial race to find a new energy source for their home planet of Cybertron, Optimus Prime and the heroic Autobots must defend the innocent people of Earth against their archnemeses, Megatron and the power-hungry Decepticons.
All sixteen episodes have remastered audio and have been restored to their original broadcast versions. The three discs have a running time of over 360 minutes. So you will have a lot of Transformers to watch. Let me just warn you, you may get the song stuck in your head from time to time. For some reason, in my youth, I didn't watch all the episodes when they aired (I was more into G.I. Joe).
Watching them now, I'm not sure what I was thinking. They are still good. Often when you go back and watch shows from when you were a kid, it can be surreal. Often your memory from youth can play tricks on you. I've tried watching some of the current Transformers cartoon and it doesn't feel the same. These are classics in ever sense of the term. When I first started watching these discs, my little girl joined in. Even she enjoyed them. Her only complaint was that they were "too short" but just because she wanted more.
There's no denying that some of the episodes are cheesey. I was never a huge fan of the Dinobots but they are an important part of the Transformers history. We also see the Constructicons and Insecticons. The episodes are still enjoyable. It's just nice going back and seeing the characters as they were first envisioned.
What about special features? The quality of the episodes and the transfers almost makes special features not necessary. Some have been included. The first is "Triple Changer: From Toy To Comic To Screen." Running at twenty minutes, you get a nice history of the Transformers from how they were created and marketed.
Three Original Commercials are included. You can imagine how priceless these are. The first, "Optimus Prime And Megatron" has a running time of a minute and a half. Pretty impressive for a commericial. One thing you'll notice is the kid that says "Robots In Disguise" has had his face blurred out. I always wondered if he was the talk of his school being able to brag to his friends that he was in the Transformers commercial. The second one, "Insecticons And Dinobots" runs at one minute (the kid in this commerical also has his face blurred out). The final commerical is for "G2 Optimus Prime" with a running time of thirty-one seconds. As time went on, the commercials got shorter.
A Public Service Announcement is also part of the special features. I don't think these were as big a part of the show as they were in G.I. Joe. The one here deals with "Running Away From Home" and has Bumblebee helping out. What was surprising is they also used the "Knowing is half the battle."
There is also an Autobots magnet included (seen in the first image above). It is surprisingly a pretty strong magnet. If you choose, you also have the option of printing out the script from the "Transport To Oblivion" episode.
Overall this is a very nice package. The DVDs are packed in the thin packs which I prefer over one big cardboard box. The box for the packs also has foiled embossed accents. The retail price is $29.99. You can probably find it for less. Not being a huge Transformers fan, I still would give this set a 4.5 out of 5. Maybe the complete set would be a cooler deal but this is a nice affordable set. It gives you a taste of what the classic Tranformers were like. And after twenty-five years, they still stand the test of time.