There have been some really nice Transformers art books aimed at adults released in Japan. The first, Transformers: Generations set the bar almost impossibly high, by featuring pictures of literally EVERY Transformers toy released (and some that WEREN’T) in Japan up through Generation 2. Since 2007, there have been multiple Transformers books released nearly every year. Some, like Transformers: The Comic (collecting ALL of the Transformers manga from 1985 up through 1991) and Transformers Visual Works (collecting a ton of Transformers artwork) actually manage to live up to that high standard. Others, like some of the subsequent Generations books…fall a bit short.
Fans who attended the Transformers Expo in Yokohama were among the first to be able to purchase the newest Transformers art book, simply called Transformers Pua. It cost only 1,500 yen (about half of what most of these books go for) and contains…quite a bit. Let’s take a look at what exactly 1,500 yen gets ya.
The jacket cover features packaging artwork from G1 all the way through the current movie. The cover beneath the jacket uses the artwork found on the reverse side of the first series of G1 packaging. I wish they’d have saved that art for *inside* of the book. You’ll see why in a bit.
Once we get past the table of contents, we’re greeted by the Dreamwave cover art from Pat Lee (AKA: Mr. Funana). Not off to a great start, book. There are very few bits of Transformers history that I’d like to forget, they ALL involve Pat Lee in some way or another.
We’re also treated to some nice concept-style artwork of Animated Optimus Prime and Movie Jetfire.
The next few pages are dedicated to Transformers: Lost Age, the newest live-action movie. We get character profiles, a few tidbits on the vehicles, and a full gallery of the main line of action figures.
Wrapping up the new movie stuff, the book treats us to some *really* nice artwork based on the main movie characters.
The center of the book talks about the Transformers Expo. It goes into some detail about how the gigantic diorama was planned out, how some of the costumes were put together, the use of Oculus, the guests, and a small gallery of exclusive items available at the show.
There are some pages dedicated to the Pre-Expo events, such as the “transforming” Convoy trailer and the Mach 5 inspired Nissan Transformers rally car.
Next, there’s an illustrated timeline featuring ALL of the Transformers cartoons and movies from “Fight! Super Robot Life Transformer” up through Transformers: Lost Age. This is a pretty cool summary, all told.
Several gorgeous two-page spreads show the reverse sides of G1 package art (and a few other surprises).
The series one art would have looked GREAT here, but since it was used for the cover, I understand why it was left out.
There are a few pages talking about the development of the upcoming Masterpiece Star Saber figure.
Finally, the last few pages give us a timeline of all the Cybertron/Autobot and Destron/Decepticon leader figures.
Also included in the back of the book is a huge, double-sized pull-out poster that features (headshots from) all of the packaging art from 1984 through 2014.
I’m glad I bought this book. It’s a nice addition to my Transformers library. I know the “Pat Lee” art at the beginning of the book started me off on the wrong foot (some Don Figueroa or Guido Guidi artwork would’ve been nice), but the poster at the end more than made up for it. At about $15, I think it’s worth picking up. For a new fan, it’s the perfect way to get up to speed on the history of the Transformers franchise. For an old coot like me, who’s been there from the beginning, it’s *at least*…happy hobbying.