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Transformers Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging Hardcover – October 21, 2014
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I never knew that every image was intended to be a mechanically accurate representation of the form not shown in the bubble (which necessitated that each artist be exacting and not take liberties), but now I do.
There isn't a whole lot of text in the book presumably because they wanted as much space as possible for the images but what text there is provides a general overview of the history of Transformer marketing and what changes were made from one era to another and from one market to another. There's a lot of Japanese/Euro images probably because those have been harder to come by than the American art. I appreciated the logo only pages, even those not into aesthetics would appreciate the terrific, creative marketing of these toys.
Some may not be thrilled that some transformers are not seen at all, but they understandably have page/cost limitations beyond their control and they had some difficulty finding good quality sources for some pieces anyway. Hasbro even recycled some of the original paintings! Even into the 80's companies were not as aware of future licensing/profiting to be gained from then new ideas.
I'm not 100% sure but I do believe that the majority of pieces from the '84-'86 golden era are represented, understably so given that that era produced the iconic characters from which most fan enthusiasm originates.
Given the obstacles to obtaining source material and presentably reproducing said material, kudos to the book creators and the many contributors who's property and cooperation was needed to create such a good book. Anyone into Transformer collecting will recognize some of these contributors who are thankfully credited in the book.
The book was a real thrill for him, and I think would be ideal for anyone else raised during the era. It's a great little jaunt down the road of nostalgia, and a high quality product to boot! The printing is crisp and bright, and the book is beautifully edited and assembled.
The book is a hardcover format with high quality glossy pages that showcase the art very well. Collected here is most of the art for the various Transformers characters from 1984 through 1990, the era encompassing the original run of Transformers that has come to be known retroactively as "Generation One." The book also includes some art from the G2 era of the early 1990's. The art itself is timeless, featuring vibrant colors and exquisite detail that continues to capture the imagination even today.
One nitpick: I had been hoping for some information about the various artists would created the amazing work in this book. The book does include a Hasbro advertisement for artists to work on these character renderings, but there is little to no info about the various artists themselves. In reviewing the pictures, it appears that many of the pictures were drawn by a handful of artists, with each artist doing multiple characters. It would have been great to hear from the artists, or at least know if they had done other work as well. Regardless, the art and presentation are outstanding.
All in all, the book is an excellent addition to the collection of any 80's or 90's Transformers fan.