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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 August 2015
Transformers the Vault is an illustrated history of all things Transformers, from the very earliest toys and comics to the very most recent movies and computer games, and will offer something to any Transformers fan regardless as to what generation they come from.

The Vault is a terrific looking hardback book contained in an embossed slip case, and takes the reader through a chronological history of the Transformers franchise, including its humble origins as part of obscure Japanese toy lines such as Diaclone and Microman, the emergence of the first Generation 1 toys in the mid 80's that would form the basis of a toy line that would take the world by storm, UK and US based comicbooks, early animated series and movie, and subsequent animated series such as Beast Wars and Transformers Animated, the recent Michael Bay live-action movies, modern Dreamwave and IDW comic book series, and computer games including the popular War for/Fall of Cybertron series.

The book is wonderfully presented with dozens of full colour images and illustrations and also features numerous bonus visual aids such as reproductions of original Transformers 'Tech Specs', a movie poster, animation cell, script pages and others.

This really should have been what fans got for a Transformers 30th anniversary present instead of the rather lackluster collection of 'important' comic books we ended up with, but its here and it comes highly recommended!
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on 10 January 2017
Quick Delivery arrived just in time for Christmas.
Bought this for my partner who is really really pleased with it.
Bought back childhood memories for him.
Has lots of interactive pages and packed full of information and facts.

Highly recommend for someone who loves Transformers and wants to either learn more or take a trip down memory lane.

This book is a hardback which comes in a beautiful sleeve protecting the inside.

My only worry is that over time things could break if not looked after carefully as the pages are interactive and some you have to unfold etc..
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on 22 March 2017
If your a Transformers fan then this has to be a book that you have to get. Really informative with beautiful displays that capture the memories of an 80's child like me!
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on 4 June 2011
Whilst Japanese Transformers fans have been spoilt with a succession of glossy, well produced Guidebooks and reference works from Beast Wars Universe to Transformers : Generations and more, the west has been strangely bereft of such weighty tomes, with only 2004's patchy Ultimate Guide (which wasn't quite) and 2010's superb Transformers : Animated Almanac which focused on the superb (but sadly overlooked) recent cartoon of the same name. For a long time, I've wanted something approaching the quality of the unofficial Cybertronian Guidebooks that matches the insight and knowledge of the tfwiki.net. Finally, we have it in the shape of Pablo Hidalgo's excellent tome.

The book is exhaustive, covering the Transformers origins in Japan amongst half a dozen toylines and a reinterpretation of G.I. Joe (which us in the UK remember as Action Force). Every major toyline is covered, including the interesting developments in Japan and Europe once the original toyline ceased production in America in 1990.

Hidalgo writes in a clear, informative fashion that belies an obvious enthusiasm and interest in his subject matter. The involvement of Hasbro in proceedings doesn't prevent Hidalgo pointing out some of the lines less successful diversions and failings (the highly contentious Action Masters,Beast Machines, Animated). Each of the main incarnations of the brand are given plenty of page space, with just enough information to keep you informed and interested, without boring you with the whys and wherefores.

The book is illustrated with some nice toy shots, illustrations and photos of the brand's 27 year history, and there's nice pull out 'interactive' features ( I particularly loved the tech specs and decoder!). The design is clear and well laid out, with only some two page box-outs causing a slightly irritating jump in the narrative. There are also some excellent archive pieces - I'm quite pleased we were spared the horror of the neon pink and green Generation 2 Mirage toy.

If there are any points of criticism, for me it would be the brief splash the European and Japanese lines get, as these lines were crucial in keeping Transformers a going concern during the early 1990s after the toyline ceased in the US. The European line also introduced concepts and characters that would form the back bone of 1993's Generation 2 relaunch (and were where we got those natty faction symbols used at the time. Reduced to a few short paragraphs, it seems almost dismissive of the contribution these lines made. The unsavoury Japanese Kiss Players line (from 2007) is also conspicuous by its absence, as is the mind bendingly preposterous Alternity line. Some of the points made by the author could have used further illustration - references to terms and concepts fans will grasp easily will be lost on the casual reader. There's also a massive spoiler warning that should be present : the major plot lines of the upcoming film are given away!

Finally, there's the long shadow cast on each new development by the hardcore fanbase. Hidalgo makes many points that the radical departures from the 1980s toyline asethetic have not , by and large, been well received by fandom. Concepts that have reinvigorated and revitalised the Transformers such as Beast Wars, Animated and even the phenomenal live action films have frequently been sneered at and held in contempt. As a big fan myself, whose found soemthing to enjoy in each of the various re-imaginings, it does make me sad that a sizable majority of the fanbase seem incapable of accepting the one thing the very concept of Transformers embodies: that of change. Its what's stopped Transformers becoming some quickly forgotten nostalgia line, and for that, I think we should be grateful that Hasbro and its various partners continue to experiment and expand the mythos.
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VINE VOICEon 4 June 2011
Since 1984, Transformers has taken the world by storm. Whether it be a toy franchise, animated series, comic or even a motion picture, the Robots in Disguise have remained vast, colourful and larger than life.

Even though Hasbro has reinvented their franchise time and again, generation after generation, the history of Transformers has always remained the same at heart; cool and exciting, fresh and innovative, deep and captivating, and armed with the most memorable characters in all of fiction. The premise has remained virtually the same; warring factions of robots (mostly the Heroic Autobots against the Evil Decepticons), able to transform their bodies into all manner of disguises, devices, vehicles, beasts, forms and weapons. Yet each incarnation - Generations 1 and 2, Beast Wars/Machines, Robots in Disguise, the Unicron Trilogy, the live-action movies, Animated and (most recently) Prime - introduced new and original concepts, which has allowed both franchise and fan base to grow and evolve in awe-inspiring ways.

Marvel Comics and DC Comics have both been subjected to the `Vault' Treatment; a great big book summing up the history of a fictional universe, from original ideas, to text accounts, to concept sketches, promo arts, reproductions of memorabilia, stills from animated shows and the movies etc. For fans, it was a godsend, a thing of perfection that not only provided a new learning experience, but also a PIECE of the entire scope, making readers truly realise the sheer effort of what went in to establishing decades of history.

Transformers is a natural fit for this kind of presentation, and immediately I must say that Hasbro, Abrams Publishing and the author Pablo Hidalgo have done sterling work in making this Vault edition an outstanding masterpiece. The pictures herein are beautiful and fascinating to look out, everything from cartoon shows, movie captures, panels from the comics, toy photos/designs, character sketches/concepts, wax sculptures of toy prototypes, promotional material, box art, computer games, t-shirts, general merchandise etc. It's such a rich tapestry and beautifully laid out, and Pablo's writing helps explain it all even more.

Throughout the book, Hidalgo writes with such professionalism. He avoids going into "fanboy" mode, and narrates the whole history clearly and concisely, never understating or overstating anything. The author points out the successes and failures of the franchise's aspects/renditions with an impartial view, chronicling reactions from fans, children, parents and critics, factoids about the toy-line and its ongoing creation, the legacy of certain writers, animators and film-makers etc, the emotional impact of famous characters, the cultural influences of Europe, America and Japan...and condensing the whole 27-year-spectrum of Transformers' generations, spin-off materials, contributions and impacts with exactly the right amount of pacing and necessary detail.

I've been a fan of the Robots in Disguise for as long as I can remember, and I can safely say that purchase of this book was an essential experience. Learning of the toyline's Diaclone origins, the evolutions and ongoing innovation of the toys, the captivating story concepts from all the comics and animated shows, the unique ways of storytelling from G1, Beast Wars and Animated, the sheer artistry of advertising and character design, the critical and financial success of the franchise; all made for worthwhile reading. And the hardcover book itself is a thing of beauty, with its bold and striking slipcase, and the covers of the actual book, featuring multiple incarnations of opposing leaders Optimus Prime and Megatron (the most famous Transformers of all time).

And of course, I haven't mentioned all the delightful goodies inside, namely the reproductions of things like rare fold-out G1 toy catalogues, actual tech specs from the original 1984 toys (complete with Red acetate decoder!), a removable piece of concept art by Casey Coller, an ANIMATION CEL from the original Generation 1 cartoon(!), rare artwork to promote Transformers: The Movie in Japan, a character sheet for the film and a rare premiere ticket for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen!! A delightful foreword from the one-and-only Peter Cullen (THE voice of Optimus Prime) is the icing on the cake, and the afterword which emphasises how important the legacy of Transformers truly is. As Simon Furman once said, "It never ends!"

In closing, Transformers: Vault is THE book to get for all fans: old and new, adult and child. Not only does it do the impossible task of summing up the entirety of Hasbro's greatest franchise in a nutshell, but it also makes you prouder than ever to be a fan. It even manages to surpass Dorling Kingsley's classic Ultimate Guide. WORTH - EVERY - SINGLE - PENNY.

What are you waiting for? Transform and roll out!
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on 31 July 2011
As soon as I saw this item I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. Having previously been given two "Vault" books as gifts I expected this to be something special, and I wasn't disappointed. For anyone who can remember the Transformers cartoons from the 1980s,indeed for any Transformers fan past or present, this book is a must, as it traces the history of Transformers from their original creation in Japan, the enormous success they enjoyed when produced by Hasbro Toys, the numerous cartoon series they have spawned and the current live action movies which have made them big business once again. As with any "vault" this is filled with drawings and promotional materials that you can take out and examine, although some are a little tricky to get back into the slots provided for the in the book. The book is lovely quality and would make a great gift as the whole book comes in a sturdy slipcase which protects it and prevents you from losing all the little bits of memorabilia.
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VINE VOICEon 18 January 2012
now i know i cant write a huge review based on knowledge of transformers as some have and for that i apologise but as others have done this already there is i suspect no need.from a non fan point of view even i thought this book was interesting and had a good read myself, i purchased this for my husband who was a huge fan in his childhood and he loved it to bits, i had a job to get him to put it down to speak to me or to let me have a look ! he said it really transported him back to his playful days and he really enjoyed seeing some of the photos of old models he had owned and all the little add on bits which made him chuckle. superb quality book encased in a hardboard outer which is a nice touch. well worth the money to see that smile on the transformers fans face.
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on 4 May 2014
This book nicely blends the G1 franchise with the 21st century Michael Bay franchise. It shows the evolution from G1, and has some really cool templates and pull out posters and my favourite is the red acetate that you placed over the line chart that used to be on the back of every G1 toy, showing the transformers attributes. This is a great book, and a must for G1 transformers fans. There's a good bit in here about the animated movie as well. This is probably the best transformers book i've ever bought.
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on 3 September 2016
An excellent collection of packaging and animation materials, information and annecdotes for a much loved you series. It basically collects a lot of the real world lore on the creation and distribution of Hasbro's iconic toy line, from it's Japanese origin on Diaclone, to the Marvel comics led fiction, to the subsequent series.
Being a "Vault" book, I'd have liked maybe a few more reproductin items, (you get some tech specs and mini posters), but all in all, a very thorough piece.
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on 9 November 2013
Great book containing a vast summary of the Transformers universe covering everything from toys to the popular tv shows. One point to mention is some of the toy reproduction sheets which are included- a massive nostalgia trip for any Transformers fan. The only negative point for me was perhaps the lack of any real informative behind-the-scenes information with the people who made the whole thing possible.
Otherwise, a great read for any Transformers enthusiast.
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