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Comic-Con 2013: The pros and cons of mainstreaming geek

To me, Bumblebee will always be a Volkswagen Beetle.

That’s how it was for countless children who grew up watching and playing with Transformers in the early 1980s. Yeah, the Beetle isn’t as badass as most cars. It’s small, goofy, and cute — not very powerful. But the same was true of the kids who loved him, 6-to-10 year-olds who longed to prove, like that little battling ‘bot, that they could be brave and strong like the big ones around them.

When Michael Bay’s big-screen smash-and-grab blockbuster Transformers came out in 2007, the characters I loved as a boy were all back, and more popular than ever. Only this time Bumblebee took the far more formidable form of a Camaro muscle car.

The little boy inside me, who still keeps one of those old shapeshifting VW toys dangling from his rearview mirror, has never recovered. Since the Transformers movies are machines that make a billion dollars every time they are turned on, most fans now would be outraged if the character ever switched back.

That is the cost when geek goes mainstream. You get more of what you love, but you have to share your toys with others.  READ FULL STORY

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