02 September 2009

I'm liking this little book by Dlin and Tietjens

Cybertronian: The unofficial Transformers Recognition Guide

I came across this handy little book last week, quite by surprise and hesitated whether to buy it or not because I have Transformers: Generations (Deluxe) which I thought would cover the purpose which this book is intended to serve.

After some hesitation, I bought it.

I've been flipping through it now and then over the course of the week, I'm finding that I'm liking this little book, more and more.

My favourite thing about the book is all the useful commentary that the author has for each Transformer figure. Mind you, these are things a Hasbro or Takara exec is unlikely to know, these are things that normal authors commissioned to write Transformers are unlikely to know, these are things that only long time fans and collectors of the toys know.

For example, the authors said this about Sideswipe:

"Sideswipe's specs mentions flares and a rocket pack, which appear to correspond to Sunstreaker's back mounted engine and should-stored missiles. Some take this as evidence that their specs were switched at the last minute."

Now, that's something real useful to know. Of course, the animators went with the 'Sideswipe has a rocket pack' thing and actually gave him one true enough.

Ok, let's try this again... another random flick through Cybertronian: The unofficial Transformers Recognition Guide... we have...

"Doublecross's dragon limbs make it the first TF toy to display organic-detailing."

There, something I didn't know, but is nice to know.

My other favourite thing about this book is the photo of all of each Transformers' parts laid out and at a good scale, below the picture of each Transformer toy. It's like having a portable version of TFU.info, how useful is that!

In short, I highly recommend this book to Transformers fans and collectors.


  1. So is the book in colour?

    I have the original 6/7 volume set of these books and those are excellent books, so much better than the other English language TF toy guides.

    But I thought I'd read that the new reprint was going to be in greyscale.

  2. yes, this reprint is in colour. I took an interior shot of it here http://heroicdecepticon.blogspot.com/2009/09/interior-of-cybertronian-unofficial.html

    What was the original 6/7 volume set like? Is each volume thin and sized like a regular comic?

  3. Yes, the original books were thin volumes but regular comic size (except the last two or three which had smaller dimensions). Those books covered the US G1, G2 and first two years of Beast Wars.

    The photo you've shown looks like the book I have called "Cybertronian Transformers Field Guide 2002". Same page numbers and everything. Except in my copy there's less text on page 60. My "field guide" also doesn't have the notes about Sunstreaker/Sideswipe and Doublecross you mention. (Those are just in the original book.)

    So it seems like this new edition is a mix of details from the original books with the layout of the "Field Guide" edition. (Both books used the same photos.)

  4. hi Paul,

    good to know all that. I didn't know there were different version of this book till you mentioned it and I saw the date of first publication to be 2001.

    My impression was that the Alvarez TF guide was the only one in the market, and that, I gotta say, is a pretty dismal attempt.

    What were the covers for the original issues like?

  5. You can check out the covers for most of them on the Antarctic Press website (although the first print of Cybertronian #1 had a pic of Megatron on the cover not Starscream). http://www.antarctic-press.com/html/version_01/store.php?id=Cybertronian

    The first version of the Pocket Manga is also not shown on that page.


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