I feel like since it’s been a good couple of months since I last mentioned Transformers, it’s safe to bring up the subject again. And not even because Mark Wahlberg was recently cast in the Transformers 4 movie due out in 2014. Though that does make me a little bit hopeful. He’s certainly a better leading man than Shia Labeouf could ever hope to be (I’m glad that I may never again have to look up how to spell “Labeouf”), and might actually do some acting in there other than stammering and screaming like a howler monkey. Then again, Michael Bay is still in charge, so maybe not.
Anyway, we’re all here talking about Transformers again because…well…I’m quitting.
Not enjoying the show and the characters in their various incarnations, mind you. I’ll always be a fan. But for many years, I’ve also been a collector. I have probably 100 Transformers, bought mostly during the “modern” era, your Classics/Generations, Masterpiece Series, Movie Series, and on up into Prime. And I do still have a few original G1/G2 holdovers from when I was a little kid, but I’ve had more expendable income as a big kid.
But that expendable income has shrank, and the price of these things has swelled, and swelled, and swelled. Like Unicron (or Orson Welles) on a bender, the cost of collecting Transformers has become too immense. And to quote Ultra Magnus, I can’t deal with that right now.
For a long, long time, the pricepoints of various Transformers toys remained remarkably fixed. $9.99 for a Deluxe-class (generally about 5-6″ tall figures), $19.99 for a Voyager (about 7-8″) and anywhere from $30 to $60 for the occasional larger figure. You might pay a little more at Toys R’ Us, but that’s because they’re dicks and they secretly hate joy. But now it seems Hasbro also hates joy. They’ve had to increase prices a little over the last couple of years due to rising petroleum prices and civil unrest in…New Countryvania…or something…but that’s only been a couple of dollars. Now, rather suddenly (at least to me), Deluxe figures are a whopping $19.99…what Voyagers used to cost. Holy shit! I mean, holy scrap!
No, I mean holy shit.
The justification for buying toys is always a tenuous one at best. Yes, they create happiness on some level, scratching some metaphorical itch that would otherwise go unscratched. And, unlike other obsessions/addictions I could name, they don’t give me cancer or liver disease, and I’ll actually have something to show for the money I spent…even if it is a piece of plastic in the shape of a robot/car/plane/dinosaur. But they are still inanimate objects that don’t feed, clothe, house, bathe, or even fuck me. So when they DOUBLE IN GODDAMNED PRICE, it becomes doubly hard to justify buying them.
So…*gulp*…I’m going to stop. I pretty much have to. Otherwise one day I’ll just snap at, say…Beachcomber…screaming “YOU COST ME $20 AND NOW I CAN’T EAT AND YOU DON’T EVEN PUT OUT WHYYY OH WHAT HAVE I BECOME” And Beachcomber doesn’t deserve that. He’s a pretty chill bot. And he’s a dune buggy, so I’m almost certain he would put out. Dune buggys are sluts. Look it up.
Long story belatedly short: My inner child is taking one for the team today. Responsibility and maturity and all that really really really lame garbage. He is NOT happy about it. Not in the least. But I’m bigger and meaner and hungrier and way more cynical than he is, so what I say pretty much has to go.
I just wish the little guy would stop crying.