25 February 2009

DVD: "Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye" - 25th Anniversary Special The Edition

Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye
Creative Director: Jay Bacal
Written by George Arthur Bloom
Starring the Voice Talents Of: Michael Bell, Corey Burton, Victor Caroli, Scatman Crothers, Peter Cullen, Dan Gilvezan, Casey Kasem, Chris Latta, Don Messick, Ken Sansom, John Stephenson, Frank Welker
DVD Release Date:  20 November 2008
List Price: $69.99

The Television Episodes
"More Than Meets the Eye" was originally aired in three parts on 17-19 September 1984.  For those not in the know, there are two factions of Transformers.  There are the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, and the evil Decepticons, commanded by Megatron.  Their war on their home planet Cybertron has drastically depleted their resources, leading the Autobots to search elsewhere; they are pursued by the Decepticons and crash land on Earth.  Four million years later, they are revived and resume where they left off.  The Decepticons waste no time plundering Earth in an effort to return to Cybertron and re-conquer their homeworld.

Two editing choices were made for this DVD release.  Firstly, the sound effects are much louder than the rest of the audio mix--you've been warned.  Secondly, all three parts have been edited together as a singular, 70 minute feature.  For those who would rather not endure the opening sequence and end titles thrice apiece, this is good; for those who love the old song, it's disappointing.  In any event, there is not an option of going to a specific chapter, meaning you had best not get interrupted and need to pick up where you leave off later.  There are two character design images of Optimus Prime and Megatron, and a downloadable wallpaper.

Far more importantly, though, you get a replica of the Optimus Prime action figure from 1984 as well as a replica of Marvel Comics's Transformers issue #1!  Hasbro may have gone with cheaper plastic instead of the heavier metal pieces they used 25 years ago, but the essence of the toy is still there.  For fans and collectors such as myself, who had the original years ago and have long since parted ways, this is a very welcome return.

The Recommendation
Let's be honest.  You didn't need my little review to tell you if you were interested in this release; either you saw what it was and immediately wanted to know where to get one, or you'll never be convinced of how ultra-cool this is.  Because of the amount of shelf space these consume and the high price point, many retailers have already clearanced out their remaining supply of these.  If you hurry, you might find one lingering at Walmart (where I snagged mine recently for $33.00), or Target (where online reports have found them for $17 apiece!).  Otherwise, you'll likely be at the mercy of the secondary market.  Thankfully, plans are reportedly underway for a complete mass re-release of the entire series on DVD this year.

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