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 Post subject: Pretenders logic
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:38 pm 
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City Commander

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i understand the perspective of the Transformers toymakers: You only make toys if you think you can sell enough of them to make back at least as much as it cost to make them.

i understand the perspective of the Transformers writers, illustrators, and animators: You give a certain emphasis to characters/abilities/gimmicks represented by toys which are on sale.

From the perspective of the Transformers characters, though: Why isn't everybody a Pretender?

i'd want to be a Pretender just for the ability to be in two places at once--three, if i could score a schnazzy new Ultra Pretender deal. In some versions of Transformers fiction, a Pretender shell also has the ability to shrink itself and its wearer to the size of a Human--also a very useful ability, i would think, even if you only use it for hiding and/or slipping in and out of enemy territory. If you like Humans, the ability to shrink down to their size makes it easier to interact with them (not all of their architecture--living spaces, workplaces--is designed to accommodate somebody of TF size, after all), and the ability to look like a Human might make some Humans more comfortable interacting with you. If you don't like Humans, the ability to shrink down to their size and mimic their appearance could make it a lot easier to infiltrate their "secure" installations and sabotage/steal things, not to mention the psychological warfare tactics available when you reveal yourself as you truly are (and perhaps plant seeds of doubt in their minds as to whether others in their lives might not also be like you, robots in disguise).

Does any official TF fiction explain why not all TFs become Pretenders? If not, has fan fiction or fanon offered any possible explanations?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:48 pm 
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Father Time (Admin)
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Image (from TFwik.net)

Also, it's painful. REAL painful.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:00 pm 
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City Commander

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Time Traveller wrote:
Image (from TFwik.net)

Also, it's painful. REAL painful.
What's painful? Having a Pretender shell, having a mate, or being found desirable? (Sadly, i don't know what any of these things feels like.)

Not that i doubt what you're saying, but i'm curious what your source is (other than that TFWiki/G1 Marvel pic).

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Father Time (Admin)
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A) I was trying to depict that all transformers having pretender shells would be inefficient and difficult. Sometimes it's easier to just be a giant alien robot. I should mention that Cloudburst here isn't the only Autobot pretender in canon who has to deal with admirers... When Lander first appears in Masterforce, he is in the elevator with his date when he has to cut and run to answer Metalhawk's call.
2) Getting a Pretender shell is painful. Trust me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Throttlebot

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In some continuities the process is risky and exceptionally dangerous as well as painful. The pretender shell is also an additional weakness as well as useful tool because if you're not in it and it gets attacked or destroyed you get feedback, pain, and a risk to your own health, life, or sanity (assuming the process didn't already make you insane). When in disuse it's something to keep track of and protect. Repair of a pretender shell or bonded bot could be an issue too, I haven't read or seen enough to know what happens when they sustain damage, or I can't remember.

You could argue beast wars era transformers have something similar as a common technology: synthetic organic alt or beast modes but they can't remove them.

In some peace-time fields more than others (like anthropology) they'd be exceptionally useful but in war there's an experimental arms race going on; pretenders, headmasters, targetmasters, gestalts, triplechangers, and more all have hit and miss pros and cons and none have been universally adopted for various reasons, even if you ignore personal preference and that many transformers find a lot of the above technologies alarming.

Versatility equals a potentially greater chance for survival? Seems like another good reason not to universally convert and sort of fits with the transformer philosophy.

In the real world as a kid I thought pretenders were a stupid gimmick and I don't know how popular they were. The pretender shells looked awkward and deformed in a lot of cases and the concept was incomprehensibly weird to my younger mind. If you're already walking talking robotic awesome why are you reverting to something uncool and wearing a disgusting organic shell? I did like some of the characters that were pretenders though and their use of non-human pretender shells was cool. I don't want all the transformers being pretenders from a collector or fan point of view, I like the giant alien robot aspect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Case in point on maintaining an organic pretender shell:

Car Insurance: $500/year

Organic Pretender Shell Insurance: $500/month +

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:23 pm 
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Throttlebot

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Time Traveller wrote:
Case in point on maintaining an organic pretender shell:

Car Insurance: $500/year

Organic Pretender Shell Insurance: $500/month +


Excellent point. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:46 am 
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Steeljaw wrote:
In the real world as a kid I thought pretenders were a stupid gimmick and I don't know how popular they were. The pretender shells looked awkward and deformed in a lot of cases and the concept was incomprehensibly weird to my younger mind. If you're already walking talking robotic awesome why are you reverting to something uncool and wearing a disgusting organic shell? I did like some of the characters that were pretenders though and their use of non-human pretender shells was cool. I don't want all the transformers being pretenders from a collector or fan point of view, I like the giant alien robot aspect.
Good points, Steeljaw. As for the HasTak perspective on making Pretenders, i'm not sure it was a bad idea, but i'm also not sure it was done well. Really, i imagine for some kids a lot of the appeal of TFs was getting "2 toys in 1" (toy robot and toy vehicle [usually]); Pretenders would be "3 toys in 1" (robot, vehicle, and shell). Too bad the shells had little or no articulation, and the rest of us (who didn't just think of TFs as "2 toys in 1" but cared about the fact that the 2 modes were 1 character) had to try and twist our brains around how these giant robots could hide inside puny organic creature-disguises. Not to mention how weird some Pretenders' inner robots' alt-modes were. (i've discovered that i like a lot of Pretenders' inner robots' alt-modes much better simply by telling myself that these TFs wanted to keep their Cybertronian vehicle modes when they came to Earth, so they used Pretender shells for Earth disguises instead of being reformatted.)

Time Traveller wrote:
Case in point on maintaining an organic pretender shell:

Car Insurance: $500/year

Organic Pretender Shell Insurance: $500/month +
...Earth currency? You found a place on Earth where you can get a Pretender shell insured!? All the places i've checked have--

i mean, uh... Never mind.

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One shall stand; one shall fall; and the one who stands shall help the one who falls to stand once again.
--Rhymus (also known as STARS Commando 539, also known as transit)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:53 pm 
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Steeljaw wrote:
In the real world as a kid I thought pretenders were a stupid gimmick and I don't know how popular they were. The pretender shells looked awkward and deformed in a lot of cases and the concept was incomprehensibly weird to my younger mind. If you're already walking talking robotic awesome why are you reverting to something uncool and wearing a disgusting organic shell? I did like some of the characters that were pretenders though and their use of non-human pretender shells was cool. I don't want all the transformers being pretenders from a collector or fan point of view, I like the giant alien robot aspect.


Couldn't have said it better myself, Steeljaw. About the only Pretender I even remotely care for now is Bludgeon. I never liked the toys, nor understood the concept behind it as a child. If all Transformers were forged in that fashion I wouldn't of been a fan in the 80's as a child and definitely wouldn't be here now. I'd be haunting G.I. Joe forums on a (more) regular basis.

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