Big Transformer Trev!
Fanscan Interview: August 2017
Subject: Big Angry Trev
Interviewer: Dr. Hook, PhD, OBE, FIBRIR
Master of Processes: Mr. S Megatron
Dr. H: (takes a seat) Thank you for joining me here today.
BAT: (takes the seat opposite) No probs.
Dr. H: Care for a water? Or tea?
BAT: Na. Got any beer? Maybe some jerky or a couple of rissoles?
Dr. H: Er… no.
BAT: I take it a fried egg & bacon sandwich is out of the question?
Dr. H: We have no meat or alcohol on the premises
BAT: Shit, really? Don’t worry then
Dr. H: Ok, we are going to go through some of what are referred to as the ‘stock’ questions, then some questions from some of the Aussie Transfans out there.
BAT: (leans back) Go for it.
Dr. H: Getting straight onto the topic of Transformers, if you had an Allegiance, what would it be?
BAT: Decepticon. I find humanity for the most part to be made up of fricken idiots! I’d love to rule the planet and thusly run it the way I think it needs to be run, under the threat of force from my giant army of killer shape-changing robots from space!
Dr. H: (Underlines ‘messiah complex‘) What would your techspec motto be?
BAT: All shall love me and despair
Dr. H: You stole that from LOTR didn’t you.
BAT: (shrugs) Don’t give a f*ck – always really loved that phrase.
Dr. H: Which existing, official Transformers character best describes you?
BAT: Back in my hippy/backpacker years I would have said Beachcomber. When I was a brash young man I would have said Hot Rod. Now, I dunno, I guess maybe Brainstorm from The Lost Light? Good deep down but a smart arse, slightly amoral and thinks he is more intelligent than everyone else. Chuck in a bit of Whirl psychoticness for good measure andSwerve’s obsessive need to amuse in the hope he will be accepted by his peers.
Dr. H: Which special ability of any Transformers character would you want to have for yourself?
BAT: Blurr’s super speed, I reckon that beats almost every other power if you are too fast to stop or hit. But since I’ve been a kid I’ve dreamed about flying. To have personal flight like the G1 cartoon Cons (a Disney-Movieesque sparkle enters his eyes), what freedom that would be!
Dr. H: How would you rate yourself on a C scale, C10 being MISB Mint perfection to the lowest C1 ‘junker not worth it even for parts’?
BAT: For a long time I’ve felt like C3 at best. In the past few months with no booze, smokes and energy drinks I reckon I’d be a C7 or 8. Or as close to as someone my age can be. I’ve lost nearly 10 kilos and do physical work all day with breaking nary a sweat.
Dr. H: How long have you been a fan of Transformers?
BAT: Since the very first episode aired on TV here in Australia back in 1984 – love at first sight!
Dr. H: And how long have you been a collector?
BAT: As a kid you just take what toys you are given so I reckon I started being a ‘collector’ as a teenager. I started collecting a lot of the reissues that I had originally missed like the combiner groups and stopped when G1 finished. I then started collecting again when a friend gave me a G1 Optimus for my first wedding in 2001 and have been going ever since.
Dr. H: Do you think you will collect Transformers until you die?
BAT: Is that a threat?! (smashes bottle on side table and brandishes it) IS THAT A THREAT YOU FILTHY BASTARD?!?!
Dr. H: (looking shocked and slightly disgusted) No! Now sit down sir.
BAT: F*CK YOU!
Dr. H: I SAID SIT DOWN SIR!
BAT: (sits, looking properly chastised) Ok, no need to be snippy.
Dr. H: Ahem. Now. Do people outside of the general Transformers fandom know you collect TFs?
BAT: (grinning again) Oh my yes, have you seen my ute?
Dr. H: Were your family/parents supportive of collecting toys or did you have to hide your passion from them and friends?
BAT: Mum ran a little toy shop so during my teens I got all my TF’s at cost price. I vaguely remember her being annoyed once when I bought my 3rd pack of Micromasters in the one fortnight. Dad, well, Dad stayed on the farm all his life and had a few issues so to be honest probably couldn’t have told you what I collected, since if it wasn’t related to the farm he wasn’t interested. My friends have always been really supportive of my collecting as an adult.
Dr. H: Given your rather gregarious nature, have you attended any fan-meets, Fairs, Conventions etc?
BAT: When I lived in Melbourne I used to go to Supernova each year but was never aware of any Transformer-specific events.
Dr. H: Being creative, do you do any such endeavors with Transformers such as drawing, writing, customising etc?
BAT: I used to write fanfics about 15 years ago. My Soundwave vs The Borg one was the top rated on Lexicon for quite a while. But no, not really, except for reviews on my blog.
Dr. H: What is your favourite series, era or year, and why?
BAT: I’m a geewunner through and through. I have enjoyed pretty much all the iterations of the Transformers, even the movies, but G1 wins hands down for me.
Dr. H: And your least favourite series/era/year, and why?
BAT: I really didn’t like the first Robots in Disguise series back in the naught-ies. I found the cartoon awful and while many of the toys alt-modes looked fantastic – the best I’d seen since early G1 – I found the majority of the toys had needlessly complicated transformations, especially the 3 Autobot brothers.
Dr. H: Do you collect any of the comics?
BAT: I’ve collected most everything from the Marvel G2 run onwards and have since gotten a lot of reissues of the Marvel G1 ones.
Dr.H: And what have been your favorite comic stories?
BAT: I really loved the first half of the IDW ‘All Hail Megatron’ storyline. It was great to see how easily the Decepticons handed humanity their arse! I quite liked the Sunstorm story arc from Dreamwave and am currently enjoying MTMTE/The Lost Light. And since they were the first comics I ever owned the entire run of, I really enjoyed the G2 twelve-parter, even if the second and third issues were pretty weak.
Dr. H: Collect any cartoons?
BAT: (looks up a pic on his phone and holds it up smugly) You tell me doc.
Dr. H: Er, yes, well done. Do you have a favorite cartoon or episode?
BAT: G1 is da bomb baby. Do people still say that? F*ck it – I’m bringing it back! The mutha-f*cking bomb yo! Optimus Prime actually sounded happy and used to laugh back then! Call of the Primitives was an awesome episode from season 3 but I could happily watch nothing but seasons 1 & 2 for the rest of my days.
Dr. H: Who is your favourite character, and why?
BAT: Aw man, that’s like asking a guy to pick his favorite kid again. Don’t have an absolute favorite but I really dig Soundwave, Swindle, Shockwave, Starscream, Grimlock, Hot Rod, Omega Supreme, etc.
Dr. H: Who do you think is the sexiest Transformer?
BAT: (looks aghast) Dude. They are giant alien robots. There is nothing sexy going on.
Dr. H: I took the liberty of looking at your blog before this interview started. Care to explain this image from one of your reviews then?
BAT: I..I like to have a comfortable mousepad for my wrist is all.
Dr. H: So why did you need two?
BTT: I’ve…. got two wrists?
Dr. H: (sotto voce) And I bet they both get worn out pretty often.
BAT: What was that?
Dr. H: Nothing.
Dr. H: Which Transformers character would you want to exist for real?
BAT: Omega Supreme. Always loved him, plus he is big enough to intimidate entire countries and get me off planet if needs be.
Dr. H: Favourite TFs movie?
BAT: The animated one from 86’ – I can recite every word off by heart and have the soundtrack in my twincab CD player permanently.
Dr. H: Which was your very first Transformers toy?
BAT: G1 Dirge. Got given it for my birthday from a lady my mum used to babysit for. I went that nuts that when it was Xmas the next month I scored both a Mirage and a Cyclonus from my siblings.
Dr. H: Given you have been collecting for over 30 years then, approximately how many Transformer action figures in your collection now?
BAT: I haven’t done a database update for a while but I know earlier in the year I passed the 2000 mark. And I’ve got about a thousand other TF items like clothing, books, mugs and stuff.
Dr. H: Do you keep the action figures sealed or do you take them out to play with?
BAT: I reckon I’ve got maybe 100+ that have never been opened. Half of those would be because I never got around to it, like a lot of the DOTM Human Alliance toys.
Dr. H: Given your impressive collection, how much do you think you’ve spent on your collecting habit all up?
BAT: Oh f*ck knows – thousands, probably tens of thousands all up.
Dr. H: Are any of these particularly rare or expensive?
BAT: The MP Coneheads were stupidly expensive. I spent about $500 on a MIB G1 Scorponok about 5 years ago and over a grand on a 100% complete G1 Fortress Maximus the year before that. Of course 5 months later they announced the reissue that was going for a quarter of that price – was kicking myself. Also got the Botcon Stunticon lot shipping as we speak. As for rare, I do have a G1 Bumblebee red-variant somewhere.
Dr. H: What interesting Licensed Merchandise items do you have?
BAT: I have a tshirt from the actual visual effects team from the first live action movie. An American mate of mine had a friend who worked on TF1 and he passed it along. I’ve also got Big Grim from TF4 as well of course, though he is currently awaiting repair.
Dr. H: What’s one toy you most want?
BAT: One? Bwah haha! You are joking mate – there are bloody tons! If I was to make up a list off the top of my head though from different continuities I’d say:
Armada Powerlink Thrust
Energon Beachcomber & Galvatron
Animated Blackout & Ratbat
Movieverse TLK Leader Megatron
Arms Micron Breakdown
Dr. H: Whoah – that’s quite a list! I can’t believe you came up with that off the top of your head! One would almost think you Googled the toylines in advance in anticipation of my question.
BAT: (looking shifty) Na, I wouldn’t do that. Hey look over there – that wall is pretty rockin eh!
Dr. H: Moving on. What is the current centerpiece or favoured toy in your collection at the moment?
BAT: Titans Return Trypticon with G1 Overdrive an honorable second.
Dr. H: What was your favourite toy in your early years of collecting?
BAT: As a young kid it was the Stunticons as it was the only combiner group I had.
Dr. H: Which Toy do you like transforming most and why?
BAT: The reissue Powermaster Optimus Prime. That’s so much fun and so satisfying.
Dr. H: What’s the worst toy in your collection?
BAT: RescueBots Quickshadow – what a f*cking piece of shit! Only one damn movement to transform and it still f*cks up!
Dr. H: Along those lines, which toy was most disappointing when you got it?
BAT: Masterpiece Star Saber. Paid a ton for it and its just such an underwhelming toy.
Dr.H: What do you think about gimmicky and non-convertable Transformers toys?
BAT: I have almost zero interest in toy gimmicks, like I’d probably be happier if a lot of the Titans Return toys were not Headmasters. As for non-convertible, if it’s a display piece like a bust or statuette that’s cool, otherwise I don’t see the point of them. I do have most of the Robot Heroes though and love those little guys!
Dr. H: What do you think about unlicensed fan-project figures and accessories?
BAT: I don’t touch’em usually. I got an upgrade kit for my CW Menasor because frankly he looked shit compared to the other gestalts. I also picked up some 3P Quintessons simply as otherwise I’d have no toy of them at all.
Dr. H: Thoughts on the Transformers Brand over the last five years?
BAT: Pretty damn good – it’s an awesome time to be a collector, even if it hits the wallet pretty hard. The Beast Hunters cartoon and the Generations toyline are the definite highlights of the last half decade. The fact we have had two high-grossing live action movies bodes damn well for the franchise as well.
Dr. H: Best Memory with Transformers?
BAT: I’m forming new ones with my son every week.
Dr. H: Worst memory with Transformers?
BAT: When I was a kid I scored Omega Supreme because I literally got down on my knees and begged when I saw him in the shop on a family holiday. A few weeks later the movement gimmick of him stopped working and my mum returned him. A few days after that I was telling a mate at school and he said “Why didn’t you just keep it anyway?” It was such an obvious thing to do, I was kicking myself! Think I even went away and had a little cry.
These days it’s all the fighting and negativity that seems to permeate the fanbase. People seem to think that making personal insults to strangers, over something like a difference of opinion about toys, is fine because its online. My motto: ‘If you wouldn’t say it to someone in the pub because you’d get a smack in the mouth – don’t say it online!’
Dr. H: In your opinion, which single TF toy should every fan own?
BAT: There are two, both masterpiece. MP Optimus with the trailer and MP Soundwave with the cassettes.
Dr. H: Which Transformers toy/product would you give as a wedding present?
BAT: I got a G1 Optimus for my first wedding and was thrilled, can’t think of a better one to give anyone else.
Dr. H: Do you collect anything else?
BAT: During the post-G1 years I collected memorabilia from the TV show Home Improvement. Clothing, mugs, board games, trading cards – the lot! A few years ago I was collecting anime figures like Super Sonico & Pochaco but it was cutting too much into my Transformers budget and stopped.
Dr. H: (subtly Googles ‘Pochaco’ on his phone, then writes under the other observations ‘probable mazophiliac’) What other interests do you have that are non-toy related?
BAT: Mainly hobby farming. For every minute I spend playing with my Transformers I probably spend a full day working on my farm. Everything from building cubby houses, pirate ships and sandpits for my kids to organically growing fruit, vegetables and the like. I have goats, chooks, ducks etc. I really do love living on a farm in the nice, quiet, beautiful countryside and growing plants and animals. I’ve quit teaching to see if I can make a go of it as a living.
Other stuff? Well I love meat – like I REALLY love meat! My wife was a vegetarian when I first met her 15 years ago – didn’t take me long to lure her back to the winning side. I intend to start making my own sausages soon as well as brewing my own beer.
I’m a big fan of Deadpool and also The Tick.
I’d say my family but that’s not an interest – that’s my reason for existence.
Dr. H: What entertainment do you enjoy for leisure? As in music, movies, tv, books and the like?
BAT: When it comes to music I don’t give a damn what is popular or what genre it is, it’s whether I personally like it. So back in the day I was just as likely to listen to The Spice Girls as I was hard rock. If I have a particular genre I like best it’s probably Speed Metal. The best way to describe it is, if the song makes me want to charge into battle and headbutt a tank then that’s the music for me! If I have a favorite band at the moment I’d say it is Baby Metal. What it will be in 6 months I honestly don’t know. Quite like Hilltop Hoods, Rammstein and The Wombats as well. Best show I’ve seen live was the Jon Butler Trio a few years back.
Movies, my tastes are fairly wide but generally action and/or comedy are the ones that appeal to me. A good sci-fi/horror gets my vote as well. Anything that talks about feelings – no thank you! Anything animated – yes please! I don’t watch movies that much because frankly you can figure out the plot and the probable ending in the first 5 mintues of a flick these days. I really liked Seven because it didn’t have a happy ending.
Television, I don’t really watch much as I’m an outdoors person and of a night we have the kids routine to work through. The shows I make time for would be Criminal Minds, Law & Order SVU & Mad as Hell. Just finished season 2 of Arrow. My fav show at the moment would be Rick & Morty – it’s awesome! I’m really hoping the new version of The Tick does justice to such a great character. The only reality TV show I’d ever watch would be if it chronicled me hunting down the f*cker that invented reality TV in the first f*cking place and shoving a movie camera forcibly up his bastard arse! Stupid f*cking shit that it is!
Books, don’t have much time for sadly which is a shame because I’ve always been a prolific reader. I enjoy reading classics that I’ve never encountered before, the latest one would be The Day of the Triffids and before that it was Animal Farm and One flew over the Cuckoos Nest. I’ve read the Discworld series to death and when younger used to read Footrot Flatsover and over. I like Deadpool comics as well.
Dr. H: If you died today, and no that’s not a threat, what would your tombstone say?
BAT: Realistically, and most accurately, probably ‘Loving Husband and Father’. But I wouldn’t mind it saying ‘Trev’s on his way – duck and cover God!’
Dr. H: And before we move onto the submitted questions from other Aussie Transfans, is there anything else you would like people to know about you?
BAT: Not really, I’m a very private person.
Dr. H: Yes, evidently so.
BAT: Ok, let’s put this Beast Wars thing to rest once and for all.
My G1 collecting massively slowed down in the late 80’s as the majority of the Decepticons became weird monster things rather than vehicles. A few monsters and animals I didn’t mind being in there for variety and loved groups like the Dinobots and Predacons, but it was getting too much by 1988 and taking up too much of the line. Hence why I had groups like the Triggercons but not the Decepticon Headmasters. Then came the Pretenders and I absolutely hated them – organic shells seemed so stupid! Where were the armies of giant robots that turned into jets and trucks and sports cars and stuff that I fell in love with in 84’? So my collecting slowly died and I bid Transformers what I thought was a final sad farewell, with the Predator team being the last lot I collected that I really liked.
Animorphs came and went which I didn’t even credit as being Transformers. Then one day in 1996 I was flicking channels and there was some talking rat who looked up to a gorilla standing next to him and called him ‘Optimus’. What. The. F*ck!? I watched a bit more and found out that THIS was the new version of Transformers and that Optimus turned into a gorilla and Megatron turned into a T-Rex and both they and their armies were all really small and had organic alt-modes now. Also they were called Maximals and Predacons instead of Autobots and Decepticons which seemed to be just a bunch of new-age bollocks.
It was blasphemy! It was bullshit! It was a kick in the face to everything I had loved about the franchise! I was beyond pissed off and ranted, usually over several beers at the Uni pub, that this was everything that was wrong with the world and they might as well start dropping the bloody nukes right now!
Of course many years later on I learned better. I learned that these were not the original Optimus and Megatron and that the series actually paid a lot of homage to G1 and was a continuation of it rather than a replacement. Then came Transmetal bodies, The Ark, appearances by Ravage etc and I got right into it. So now I have the DVD box sets, a couple of toys, some comics, a poster etc. Yeah it’s not my favorite iteration of Transformers, not even in my top 5. But I can appreciate it for what it is and there are some episodes from late in S3 I’d happily watch again and again. I really like Depthcharge and have a soft spot for Waspinator.
So I hear you’re the current Ozformers Member of the Year (2016). The website owner has held this prominent position for many a years. Do you think the voters got ‘boss fatigue’ & voted for a non-traditional member? (just like Donald Trump for the White House)
BAT: I am nothing like Trump!
I don’t think I was Boss fatigue per’se, it was just a bit of fun to vote for someone different. In fact I think he himself had been encouraging people for years to not vote for him. If there is any element of what you are suggesting involved, at most it may be that the site owner is often forced into the teacher role trying to control peoples behavior whereas I’m often at the other end of the spectrum in the naughty-scamp role, stirring shit hither and yon.
The elections on that site are always shrouded in mud slinging & dirty campaign tactics but never get the light of day. Can you give an insight on how your campaign team was so overwhelmingly successful to achieve 29% of all primary votes.
BAT: It was all a bit of fun really. I Give all the credit to Scotty for doing campaign art!
You’ve got more Transformers apparel than most people. Which Transformers apparel are you most fond of? How’d it come into your possession?
BAT: Well I already talked about the tshirt from the visual effects team. I’ve got a light-up Autobot tshirt somewhere that I like for the novelty value and about 8 different G1 Soundwave tops. I think my favorite one at the moment is my Optimus one where he is a Truck because of the message on it.
It’s not remotely PC which always gets my vote but also is self-mocking via the fact that anyone wearing a Transformers tshirt in public is actually very unlikely to be mobbed by the opposite sex.
My question: It’s no secret you have young kids. What do you do (if anything) to pass the torch of TF fanship to the next generation? Is it a concern for you if they decide to not pursue TFs as a hobby/interest?
BAT: Well considering my sons given names the poor little sod never had much of a chance to avoid the Transformers world. He truly loves it though and to be honest sharing it with him is now the highlight of the hobby for me! I never open a new toy without him and he loves putting the trading cards in my folder, holding the Titan Masters and weapons while I transform the figures and playing with them in both modes. He has a pretty extensive collection for a 4 year old, with the majority of the Rescue Bots, a lot of the Happy Meal figures and a few huge figures like the Stomp’n’Chomp Grimlock and RID(15) Bumbebee. He’s got tons of TF clothing himself as I buy it for him whenever I see it.
I have a crate up in the cupboard full of Transformer stuff for him for future birthdays, many based around his namesake.
My daughter has not fully escaped either. At only two years of age I’m getting her right into my little pony and even made a display of TF/MLP comic crossover covers for her wall.
If you could go back in time to collect a MISB Transformer, either Hasbro or TakTom, what would it be?
• If it was for profit I’d say G1 Fort Max, I’d bring him back to the future and flog him for a fortune!
• If it was out of bitterness, I’d say G1 Soundwave. I gave one to a close mate in my early 20’s and a couple of months later he turned into a total bastard and we weren’t friends anymore, so I regret giving him such a special gift – especially since I may have two G1 Soundwave’s myself but neither have their box.
• If it was MOSC instead of MISB I’d say Squawktalk & Beastbox since they are the only Hasbro Con cassettes I am missing.
BAT: No wukkas, can you call me a taxi?
Dr. H: You’re a taxi
BAT: Oh, just fu*k off would ya!