I started this blog on Oct 9th of 2009, and it was around that time that Shout! Factory released their version of the complete DVD set of the Transformers G1 animated series. Rightfully titled the 25th Anniversary Matrix of Leadership Edition, this version is supposed to be superior in every way to the Rhino release that came out in the early to mid 2000s. This box set was released on Oct 20th to be precise, and so I made the news of its release my 2nd post in the history of this blog. You can read about that post here.
The first time I saw this set was at Botcon 2009. It must have been at the Shout! Factory booth. However, it was behind the counter in the display area, not available to be touched or inspected up close.
Today, I am happy to report that I have in my possession this awesome box set, and I will do it justice by giving it the proper review that it so deserves. Amazon frequently has this on sale for $86.99, and that’s what I got it for. This is the best price that I have seen anywhere for a new version of this box set. Definitely check Amazon if you are considering buying this set.
Let’s start with some pics. Here are the front and back of the box while it’s still sealed in the shrink wrap.
As you can clearly see, the graphic of the Matrix is printed on the front of the box. This box set is freakin’ huge! To give you some idea of its size, check it out next to a soda can.
The whole thing weighs quite a bit too. Sometimes I wish I had one of those things that you can weigh parcels with, like at the post office, so I can give some precise readings.
Now we get to why this is called the “Matrix of Leadership” edition. To open up the box set and remove the contents, what you do is slide out the boxes on the two sides away from the center until the middle portion is revealed. The side sections can only slide out so far, they will not fall off all the way. Now you can re-enact the scene where Rodimus opens the Matrix inside Unicron all you want.
Is that cool or what? Feel the power of the Matrix as you open it to watch some G1 Transformers.
After you have opened the Matrix, flip up the center cardboard piece to get at the knowledge inside.
The inside lid that flipped up contains a nice holographic image of none other than Optimus Prime. Looks very cool. After you take out all the contents in the middle section, at the bottom of the box is a nice image of Megatron. Check it out below.
This is basically the coolest DVD box that I have ever seen. Some fans have complained that the cardboard here is too soft. I guess it could have been cool if Shout! opted to use more solid material, like the ones used for the Limited Edition of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol. 1 box set. And it probably would have been nice to put LEDs into the center Matrix graphic so that it lights up when the box is opened. But all this is just nitpicking and wishful thinking, so let’s not lose sight of the fact that Shout! gave us a well-designed box that is way beyond anything that anyone else has ever come up with.
Now let’s take a look at the contents. You get everything in the pic below.
What you get is the complete 98 eps of G1 Transformers on 16 DVDs held in 4 cases. Each case has a graphic of an Autobot or Decepticon leader. In the center there is a collected book that contains episode summaries and some bios of the major Transformers. This book is made of high quality material and the print quality is superb. In the pic we also see the Autobot and Decepticon magnets. I currently have these up on my fridge. Show off your TF enthusiasm with pride!
The DVDs themselves look very cool. See for yourself.
The inside cover of each DVD case is the color graphic corresponding to the leader that appeared on the cover. The graphic printed on each DVD is also very nice. Shout! certainly paid attention to all the little details.
As of this writing, I have only watched 2 eps from Season 2. The transfer quality looked really good. My understanding is that Shout! took the best master of every scene so there should be no color goofs, unless of course the goof was never corrected in the 80s to begin with. Before I bought this Matrix set, I bought the complete Season 1 set, also from Shout!. I’m going to assume the transfer is exactly the same in both. In the Season 1 set, the picture quality was inconsistent for some eps, like for instance “Heavy Metal War”. This particular ep the varying of the picture quality is really noticeable, probably because the master came from different sources, but overall it’s not a distraction.
There are also a bunch of extras on the DVDs that I’m not going to list. Go to the Amazon listing of this item and see it for yourself.
Overall, I’m very happy with this box set. This is the definitive version of the G1 Transformers animated collection. I was kinda sore when I missed my chance to buy the Rhino releases (especially after they went OOP and dealers put an insane amount of markup on them), but this more than makes up for it. As a kid I dreamed of owning every episode of Transformers. Shout! has made this dream possible and at very reasonable price too.
At last, All Are One! Transform and Roll Out!