It’s been over three years now that we’ve been producing articles and collector interviews for the TFSource Blog, and just as with the previous two years, we thought it might be interesting for our readers to see what the top 5 most visited and read articles have been over the last 12 to 14 months. One thing the results have shown us are that our readership and reach have grown, and thanks for that must go not just to our staff but also to the collectors and enthusiasts whose contributions have helped make the blog something worthwhile to visit and keep up to date with.
The majority of interest seems to come out of articles where collectors are given a voice to either express their preferences, habits and obstacles, or to show off their collections, modest and expansive alike. 3rd Party products have also ranked highly on the list of popular articles which is to be expected after a bumper year of releases and announcements by a seemingly growing list of protagonists. Here, then, are the top 5 most read Source Blog posts of our third year.
~~~ 5. Pitfalls ~~~
It surprises me every time an article about the collecting condition becomes popular, but this April’s piece on the common pitfalls awaiting Transformers collectors struck a resonant chord with many readers who felt the need to confess to falling prey to some of the described dangers here. From trying to establish a collecting identity within the online community to making obligation collection purchases, “Pitfalls” discusses the issues facing Transformers collectors that can detract from the hobby or blind us to the reason we started spending time in the hobby in the first place.
Also mentioned are the difficulties associated with becoming caught up in competing with other collectors, or “keeping up with the Joneses”, making reference to the sheer volume of new official and unofficial product that seems to be pouring out of every Hasbro, Takara or 3rd Party creative orifice. I have personally succumbed to a great deal of fellow collectors enabling me on new products, recent mainline products and generally areas of the TF scene I had previously ignored due to a stricter focus. The result has been a more diverse collection of TFs I can’t put down as opposed to some of the museum pieces I was curating for years. So it’s not all bad news.
~~~ 4. The King is Dead, Long Live the King ~~~
Nothing complex or pseudo-philosophical here, but a straight up review and article on the Mastermind Creations Feral Rex combiner, their updated homage to the regal Predaking. I was fortunate enough to secure advance copies of MMC Talon and MMC Tigris, so I was able to – once given the all-clear – do a full pictorial analysis of the combined form of one of the most hotly anticipated 3rd Party products ever. The popularity of this article was not a surprise.
When this article was posted, most collectors were still waiting for their Talons, nevermind Tigris. Therefore, along with a number of video reviews around at the time, it provided the fandom with an early opportunity to see the fully combined production-ready Feral Rex and individual Feralcons with most of their final accessories and add-ons, finally completing the tapestry that we had all been adding to slowly since 2013, and teased with since 2012. The eventual set was as beautiful and imposing as promised, even though some have suffered issues with stability, my own Feral Rex still stands proud atop my collection display cabinets and is everything I ever wanted from Predaking, eclipsing the G1 toy in my estimation.
~~~ 3. If You Lost It All… (Part 1) ~~~
A very welcome reminder that our most recent articles and posts can still create noticeable spikes in popularity and viewing if the concept is solid. UK collector Alex Kirk asked the fantastic question “If you lost all of your collection tomorrow, what Transformer would you buy back first?” and by expanding that to three Transformers a collector would buy back, and getting well known and respected members of the community to contribute their thoughts and choices, the article created a ton of buzz and discussion across the platforms it was posted on.
Over the course of the two parts of the series, and across the forums, similar figures and characters began to emerge. Some of them were quite surprising to me, and as with the Ambassadors series I am sure it will lead to more purchases for me and discovery of other moulds and sub-lines previously neglected. It was a genuinely fascinating question that created great discussion, one that instantly provided me with the inspiration to pitch the article series proving there are still plenty of subjects to discuss in this hobby, not just the next pre-order.
~~~ 2. Ambassadors (Part 2) ~~~
Proving yet again that a strong topic and collector contributions make for a well-read series of articles, “Ambassadors” took different sub-lines and categories of nearly all Transformers eras and asked the question “If you were trying to sell the concept and qualities of the Transformers xxx toy line to a non-collector, or an enthusiast who doesn’t collect xxx, which one toy would you pick to represent and ‘sell’ the line?”,
The series as a whole was really very popular, the most well-read of the regular-style articles we produce, but Part 2 in particular stood out for amassing hits and shares. Looking at the Transformers G1 1984 to 1986 era, as well as TF Animated, Masterpiece and DOTM, it covered some extremely popular areas of the brand that are still highly appreciated and chased by collectors today, so it’s no wonder the opinions of our contributors – now all the subject of TFSource collector interviews – created so much discussion and mostly constructive disagreement!
~~~ 1. Collector Interviews ~~~
Speaking of collector interviews, last year we mentioned that Bryce Rutledge’s interview received a significant amount of views and shares, therefore credit was given after our top 5 article run down was completed. This year, however, three of our collector interviews performed better than all of the articles you see above, and so they are completely deserving of not just a place in the top 5, but the number 1 spot seeing as how they attracted the most traffic to the Source Blog.
Neil Dela Cruz’s incredible collection room inspired that article to go viral, while Neal Rochman’s astounding collection of G1 and G2 Transformers multiples packaged and loose in every available mode wowed a great number of readers. Sid Beckett’s fascinating insight and stunning collection combined made that piece the 3rd most read interview and visited post on the Source Blog in the last 14 months. There’s something quite heartening about the fact that the collecting community itself can be the most popular source of material for Transformers writing and information, and in an age where we are being bombarded with new Transformers products from every angle, it pleases me hugely to see that new toy articles don’t rule the roost. Many congratulations and huge thanks to our interviewees in the last 14 months, and an even bigger thanks to our supporters, friends and readers without whom the Source Blog would cease to be.
All the best