Has My Little Pony Become Bigger Than Transformers?

It's bad enough that the third season of Transformers: Robots in Disguise is still getting such lousy treatment from Cartoon Network, but Combiner Force has so far failed to address all the problems that have been present since the show's first season. Namely, an overreliance on filler episodes despite this season having TWO major antagonists and a cool-looking gimmick that has only barely been touched upon since the season premiere.

Machinima.com's Prime Wars Trilogy also deserves a mention due to the backlash that its first installment, Combiner Wars, received, and due to me not being able to find the show on YouTube despite the fact that Machinima produced it. Turns out, Machinima made the series private, perhaps in response to the series poor reception. The only way to watch it is through go90, and all you need to know about go90 is that it's not available in Canada and Warren Zenna of Havas Media called it "YouTube, but not as good".

Back to Robots in Disguise, the series is part of the Transformers Aligned Universe, which supposedly cherry-picks the best elements of previous incarnations into a new continuity that wouldn't have to be replaced or something. It might have worked for the animated series, if you forgive the more comedic tone of R.I.D and lighthearted nature of Rescue Bots verses the dark tone of Transformers Prime, but nerds and geeks were quick to spot a number of snarls in the continuity's other properties. There's no official word yet if the upcoming Transformers: Cyberverse (Chapter 1) will be a prequel to Prime or a yet another reboot inspired by the Generation 1 animated series of old. We don't even know if the new show will be full 30-minute animated series or if it will air ANYWHERE BUT Cartoon Network!

It seems as if the only good news to know about the franchise is that the critically-reviled movieverse will continue without Bay's involvement, with an upcoming animated film being set in its continuity. Other than that, unless you're a toy collector, it's not a good time to be a Transformers fan. That's why I ask if the Transformers franchise has become a second banana to the My Little Pony franchise, thanks in no small part to a little show subtitled "Friendship is Magic", a show that's also very popular with boys.

Think about it. The upcoming My Little Pony movie is deliberately based on the television series and will be presented in two-dimensional animation a la Toon Boom Harmony. It won't be set in a alternate universe and it won't be a dark, gritty adventure nor a painful family movie that blends CGI-animated characters with flat, unlikable, "human" characters. If Hasbro is willing to go this far, they must be well-aware of the show's immense popularity and the profits that could be made if they actually gave a shit for once.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic airs on Discovery Family, or rather, Discovery Family exists for the sole reason to air My Little Pony content, because the network as a whole hasn't been good since it was known as The Hub. But let's face it, because of this, Discovery has given My Little Pony far better treatment than Cartoon Network did for Transformers. Discovery Family needs MLP, especially with Discovery acquiring the lifestyle networks of Scripps. Then again, even without Scripps, the low-rated joint venture between Discovery and Hasbro could fall apart at anytime.

As far as television and movies goes, I do hope Transformers: Cyberverse does well at the very least, because it feels like the franchise has completely lost its way. Transformers was truly much more than meets the eye, with storytelling and lore behind its action figures that used to captivate older fans of the franchise. If Combiner Wars, Combiner Force, and the live-action movies are the best they could do in Transformers media, it seems as if Hasbro can't keep up the pace anymore.

...By the way, anyone remember G.I. Joe?


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