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One of those life altering moments:

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1 One of those life altering moments: on Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:38 pm

The Bill

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We all have them. Some of us have them earlier or later than others, but we all have some moments in our lives when we just know things are going to be forever different. For me, it was the year 1984 and I was sitting in my front room in our old house in Detroit after school one day. For the life of me, I don't have any recollection of what I was watching, as it was a commercial -of all things- that caught my attention.

At this point in time I had already had a serious love affair with pretty much all things robots, thanks to the Shogun Warriors and Iron Man (whom I had mistaken for a robot in my early years; sorry Tony Stark), even Johnny Socko and his Giant Robot. Robots were just so COOL! There wasn't anything that I wanted more than to have my very own Giant Robot at my disposal to crush my enemies and make the city live in awe of me. (Exactly what enemies I had that needed crushing, I have no idea, but it sounded good at the time!)

Anyway, it was this mindset that a 9 year old me was in at the moment in time when this commercial came on. I remember sitting in (to borrow a phrase from the Bush Administration) complete shock and awe. My mind struggled to wrap itself around the concept of what this 30 second commercial had just exposed me to: Robots....who transform...into vehicles. Robots....who are aliens....who can transform into vehicles. Robots....who are not controlled by humans, but themselves are self-aware. This was a commercial for a Marvel comic book series? This was all completely unheard of! In that 30 seconds, my 9 year old self knew that everything would be different from that point on forevermore!

I immediately wasted no time in running to find my mother and breathlessly pleading with her to take me to 7-11 so she could be granted the privlage of purchasing me this all important comic book! Surely she would understand how everything was totally different now! To my surprise, she really didn't seem overly impressed with the obvious earth shaking news I had just been made privy to. I was dumbfounded. Perhaps it was because she had not seen the commercial for herself?

Whatever the case was, I spent the evening trying my best to reconstruct the robots I had just seen with my Erector set. It's best not to dwell on the monstrosities I cobbled together that evening.

Anyway, not too soon after, my (then) lifes goal was complete as I got my issue 1 of the Transformers! Much to my parents chagrin, it was indeed a life altering event for me as the Transformers had pretty much become the focus of the rest of my childhood life. No more Star Wars. G.I. Joe took a back seat. I was all about Transformers from that point on! And thanks to youtube, here is that very first Transfomers commercial:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9-7RjhFzpM

NERD ALERT: Looking back on this for the first time since 1984, it's cool to see how Marvel used there comic book character designs for the characters rather than their (later) better known animated character models. I love the way Megatron hefts his fusion cannon like a bazooka as opposed to it being arm-mounted!
Why doesn't Marvel, or DC for that matter, make commercials for comic books anymore??

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2 Re: One of those life altering moments: on Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:52 pm

GoliathAssassin

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It was at that moment that my life changed as well, because in that year (most wonderful of all years) I was born! And I'm not sure if I was technically born yet when you saw that commercial. (I did come in August.) But you seeing that commercail quite literally decided what my favorite cartoon would be growing up. Transformers had already run its course by the time I was old enough to know what was cool. I'd have only had Ninja Turtles and X-men. (I wouldn't have needed your help to watch those for myself on Saturday morning.) It was you who intrudiced me to Transformers The Movie, and from that, I knew to keep my eyes open for the cartoon series. Years later, Transformers was showing re-runs, and I watched every episode as if it was LIVE! Truth be told, I still would have still done well as a kid if all I got to watch Ninja Turtles and X-men, but... I do feel that my life might have some empty place that I would have to fill with... Princess Leah in her slave outfit? Okay, no... That has its own place in my heart entirely. Nevermind. But I don't feel like I would have been altogether the same person without the Transformers there to shape my child's psyche. Case in point, My favorite Ninja Turtle (besides Donatello) was always Metal Head, and my favorite X-Man is Wolverine because he has metal claws. (and a bunch of other neat perks) Besides... What other movie has a sweeter 80's hair metal/neo synth soundtrack than Transformers the Movie? NONE! PERIOD! Thank you Vince DiCola, and thenk you Bill!

One of those life-altering moments for me was actually listening to Pearl Jam, Ten. I was maybe eleven years old. I don't remember the date exactly, but I know what school I was going to at the time. A kid at that school had told me Pearl Jam was the coolest 90's band ever. Also, there was this really tough chick (in 6th grade) who used to do the crosswalk thing and make sure kids behaved on the bus after school. I once saw her push a kid down into his seat so hard that he sat quietly for the rest of the trip! She was wearing a Pearl Jam shirt that day! Having only the Transformers soundtrack and my mom's Beatles cassettes to go off of, I figured I really had no idea what kind of music was cool in the 90's, so I'd just take a chance and buy Pearl Jam Ten. I never regretted it! Evenflow was a pretty good single, and Jeremy let me know I wasn't as crazy as some kids... But Why Go was probably my favorite heavy song, and Alive was clearly the anthem of my fatherless youth. Take your Teen Spirit and shove it! Pearl Jam was way more angry than Nirvana, and it got me listening to harder and harder stuff. Pearl Jam was passionately angry about a few very important things, whereas Nirvana was basically just mad enough to whine about everything in general. Pearl Jam was my gateway into modern Heavy Metal. And I never would have found such brutally-beautiful Christian metal to listen to without them! Thank you, Eddie Vedder!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPIwsAW2Q0w&feature=related

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3 Re: One of those life altering moments: on Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:41 am

The Bill

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I can't say I remember the exact month I saw the commercial in, but by looking at Marvel Comics publishing schedule, it lists Transformers issue 1 as a September release date; which due to weird comic book publishing practices, means is most likely came out in July (long story, don't ask). Anyway, I figure the commercial must have run at least a month or two prior to that. After all, it does say, "coming soon". The toys hit the stores in September, which is a normal roll out plan for product, as I learned from my days spent working at Toys R Us. I remember when the toys came out, it was a friggin' MASSIVE event! Seriously, I have only ever seen such a craze at one other point in my life....September 1993: The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. I was working at TRU then and I was in the middle of that nightmare!

Speaking of the Rangers cuz, that was something you forgot to mention from your childhood. I remember I took you to see the movie when it came out and how you were bouncing off the walls the whole time. I enjoyed it myself because the Pink Ranger was hot. (She still is!) I guess we were both content that day, if for different reasons. LOL!

Anyway, I thought you of all people would get a kick out of the commercial. Smile

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4 Re: One of those life altering moments: on Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:31 am

GoliathAssassin

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Don't think I was too young to notice the pink ranger myself, cuz! But judging from my dating history, I must have also found something rather alluring about the yellow ranger! Oh... Anyway, you've caught me in an embarrasing inevitability. Yes, I must own up to the fact that I was once a Power Rangers fan! BUt as the TV series goes, I was only on board for the first two seasons. Last I remember, the main villain went from that cheesy asian lady to Lord Zed and Tommy went from being the Green Ranger to the White Renger. Anything past that, and I'm affraid I didn't pay attention. Power Rangers have the unfortunate fate of being possibly the "most hoed-out" tv franchise of all time. But for those of us who were watching the first and second seasons, it helps to remember that Power Rangers was, at one point, a really cool saturday morning cartoon! Yes, and movie. But if I remember correctly, that movie was the turning point in the story where everything changed and they got yet another new set of zords! I, myself, was not ready to make that new leap just yet. Seeing that movie with you might have just been the high point of my Power Ranger mania. But in closing, I guess any high point involving the original pink ranger is worthy of note!

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