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Transformers PH interviewed by Gadgets Magazine

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Name: Mark Santos
Group Position: TF researcher and Video Librarian

Name: Mark Cerbo
Group Position: Founder

Name: Azrael Coladilla
Group Position: Co-Founder, Events and Marketing

Name : LC De Leon
Group Position: TF band leader, (vocalist of Reklamo Band)


Could you give a brief history of the Transformers toys?

Mark Cerbo: Transformers toys where originally Micro Change Diaclone a product of Takara in the early 80s, where it had its very own series where the Autobots (the good guys) and Decepticons (the bad guys where in one faction). They where driven by humans to battle against an alien threat. So basically Transformers toys where merely machines under the Microman Diaclone toy line that had its own animated series.

The toys became Transformers when Hasbro (the US toy manufacturer of G.I. Joes), Marvel Comics, and Takara collaborated to bringing in a new series about robots changing into vehicles. At that time Takara was having difficulty importing the toys until Hasbro came and then it was a done deal.


Mark Santos : Trasformers (TF) toys were originally taken from 2 popular toy lines in
Japan by Takara in the 70's; Diaclone and Microman. When Hasbro acquired the
distribution license of these 2 lines from Takara in the 80's, they made a
new concept in bringing these toys to the US market. And thus Transformers
was born. When the first toys came out in 1984, the US loved the concept and
believe it or not, they ruled. With the popularity of TF's in the US, Takara
decided to re-import their toys back to Japan as a TF brand line, it also
became popular.

When was Transformers Philippines established and by whom?


Mark Cerbo :
Originally it was established in on June 6th 2002, and way back then I was been looking for a local group that would cater to the hobby. Azrael and I have been friends even before the group was founded. I decided to put up a group because there was no local Transformers organization. Most of the members back then hangout at foreign message boards. Because around that time there was a resurgence of interest again, when they introduced the latest series Transformers Armada (Micron Legends titled in Japan).

Mark Santos : Transformers Philippines was established in June 2002 by Mark Cerbo. The group's objective is bringing the fandom of Tranformers here in the
Philippines. The group not only collects Transformers,

But we also meet every month to watch TF episodes and also share our toys to other people who were also a fan of Transformers.


Azrael Coladilla : It was the year of 2002, as Mark Cerbo and Me organized the fan group via a yahoo group mailing list (http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/transformers-ph ), we decided to form it there and we invited everyone to join the premiere Transformers fan group in the Philippines. Then later on it grows into this small community and we created a message board (http://transfansph.proboards24.com/) exclusive for Filipino who loves and also a fan of Transformers, and now we are growing and having some chapter group outside the country. Our blog website (http://transformersph.blogspot.com/) experienced a 10,000 hits one time when we featured the Transformers live action movie and also some updates about the movie production and upcoming toys. Now we are preparing for the great launching of two new sites one portal site (http://transformersph.laibcoms.com) and the official site (http://www.transformersph.com) for the year 2007, in preparation for the live action movie and tribute to the greatest franchise animation and toy of all time.



What do you think is the reason why the Tranformers toys are so enduring and unique?

Mark Cerbo: You get two toys for the price of one. A robot and a vehicle or anything changes into something was really cool, even before when it was first introduced in 1984.

Mark Santos : The uniqueness of these toys are its complexity of how it was transformed, its like a puzzle, figuring out how to transform it by looking it in the
pictures. Sometimes it’s a bit of challenging, example transforming a six
changer TF toy from robot to six different modes, that is really a challenge!


Azrael Coladilla: For me they are the only robot toy that can transform into these cool vehicles, ships, dinosaurs and also combines to one another to form another big cool robot character. And the title says it all. – Transformers! They can really transform into one piece to another different piece.



LC De Leon : The Transformers are so unique bec. of the fact that they transform in a very ingenius way, backed up with a great cartoon story line and strong personality... its just uniquely great!


What got you involved with Tranformers Phils.? How long have you been involved with them?

Mark Cerbo : I basically helped founding the group along with Azrael. I've been a fan back then and come to think of it when I was ten years old. I could say there was already a Transformers group unofficially that’s me and my childhood friends. I was one of the kids who live along our village, where we use to meet every Saturday afternoon. We bring in our latest toys and watching the shows together. I've been with the group since 2002, where it started.

Mark Santos : I joined Transformers Philippines in September 2002. As a fan of Transformers, I meet people who were interested in the series and get some information on the latest Transformers news; it would be a new or soon to be released TF toy or
news on the upcoming series or any Transformers related media. I've been in
the group for 4 years, I now research the latest TF news and also I'm the
Video librarian of the group.


Azrael Coladilla: First, I like the toy line and the animated series, secondly; there is no other Transformers fan group in our country. Third, this is the only fan group that was founded first ever in Philippine soil and I’m a Filipino, thus, I must join and be a member or else I may be left out. I joined the group were we first organized it (2002) and it was Mark and me made a great shout out online to all Pinoys to be part of this awesome fan group community. I’m a Transformers Generation 1 kid, so my purpose in joining this group is to learn more about the fandom and also meet other people with the same interest, also share what I have to others who aren’t aware of the series, toys and the group.


LC De Leon :Im prob. one of the newbies in the group, being a fan almost my entire life it was inevitable that I joined the group, plus my band plays the transformers theme that makes us somewhat of an oficial transband.


What are the more innovative add-ons to these Transformers toys?

Mark Cerbo : They came out a lot of cool gimmicks for the toys besides changing into a cassette player or a 18 wheeled semi truck. When they where reintroduced again in 2001 under the Transformers Armada line they came out with a 3rd faction known as the minicons little Transformers that changes into vehicles. The gimmick is you attach the minicon to any Transfomers which activates there special abilities. For example Starscream's shoulder weapon won't be activated until you attached his minicon partner or any minicon. Sometimes it activates cool sounds built for the toy.

The most recent Transformers namely titled Transformers Cybertron (Galaxy Force in Japan)has a similar gimmick but this time instead of minicon companions you used planet keys that come with the toy.


Mark Santos : The innovation about these toys are the toys now have articulation. Back
then, the toys were not pose able because of lack of articulation. Another
innovation is the toys are now well-engineered thanks to modern technology.


Azrael Coladilla :
I really like how they treated the design and also its likeness to the animated version. The texture and proportion are more smooth compare to the classic version. They now added with electronic light and sounds, crunching sound when you transform it, and also the launching projectiles in their weapons. The most important of them all is the articulation of every joints.


LC De Leon : The add ons as I see it are these new remakes or the collectible models that are being sold for a pretty high price for a kid to aford. I bought my optimus 20th aniv toy for bout 5k and this was 2 years ago.


How much would these toys go for?

Mark Cerbo: There are certain price points and that depends on the toy line namely Basic ranges from PhP 450 to PhP 500. Then theres a Deluxe which is priced between PhP 600 to 750. Followed by Voyager Class which is the mid-sized figure that goes from PhP 900 to 1,600 depends on the character with that size. Then there are the bigger ones like the Leader Class usually where Optimus Prime or Megatron is prices at PhP 1,700 to PhP 2,500. For the biggest they call it the Supreme Class going for Php 3,500 to PhP 4,000 mostly the ones as big as Unicron which is 17 inches tall.

But like I said it depends if that toyline has a huge line of characters. The most recent Transformers toyline that came out is the TF Classics line, which represents original characters take on "What if Transformers where introduced today". More on giving the original 80’s character a modern look on what they would look like if they where first time introduced today. They only most have two price points for the basic characters. Deluxe Class and Voyager Class. I haven't mentioned the Exclusive editions release only for the US market or mostly store exclusive as what they are known.

Mark Santos: Basically, Transformers toys are quite expensive today for an average
person. There are 5 sizes of Transformers currently selling; basic figures
prices ranged from 350 to 450 pesos, the deluxe figures cost around 600-700
pesos, while the mega figures ranged from 1,000 to 1,800 pesos ultra figures
priced at 2000 pesos up. The most expensive of all Transformers were the
Supreme figures ranging 4,000 pesos up.



What’s your favorite Transformer toy of all time and why?


Mark Cerbo : Transformers has been around for twenty one years. It’s hard to pick up the most favorite toy of all time for me. I guess it will be the Master Piece Collection 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime, is the best to date my favorite.

It represents how technology was use to improve the toys. The qualities of seeing a Transformers toy like the Master Piece almost close to its animated counterpart. It came out in December 2003 and was viewed by fans as the best toy of 2004.

Mark Santos: My fave TF toy would be the Transformers Galaxy Force Starscream because it has an aerodynamic design of his vehicle mode, the articulation of the
figure, a neat toy gimmick which springs swords in his forearms when the
planet key is inserted and most of all, he is also my favorite character.


Azrael Coladilla: My very favorite of all from my childhood day is the Generation 1 Hound. That green military jeep robot that has the capability to create holograms, for me he is the coolest character, coz I remember in the animation that he fooled the Decepticons one time when he projected a hologram of a big Autobot to scare the bad guys off. The toy is a classic one, and I’m glad that they created a re-issue version of the classic Hound. I still stick to the classic versions coz that’s the toy I cried in COD with my mom when she failed to buy me one for Christmas.


LC De Leon: My fave transformer of all time is of course the bossbot himself Optimus Prime. As soon as I saw the movie when I was a kid optimus just got to me bigtime. "Youve got the touch!".

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Transformers Philippines REVIEW

"Transformers Philippines is the Vector Sigma of Pinoy TF fandom" - Ruel De Vera, Inquirer.net

"Transformers Philippines online forum, the largest and most prominent Transformers-related forum in the country." - Alex Villafania, Hackenslash Inquirer.net

"Collectible for the Big Boys" - ANC Dateline

"theyre doing a great job having a site, an egroup, and especially holding screenings." - Jomike Tejido, artist and Kzone Foldabots creator

"They can help remember and, ultimately, relive the days when robots had the ability to control their bodies in order to resemble other objects" - Gadgets Magazine

"The Place where TF is Alive and kicking!!!!" - D.A.R.K. Corp Alliance

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