Now that years of hoping and begging have paid off in the form of The Fly (1986) Special Edition, it's time to tackle the next hurdle on my list. It's been established in some other threads what a poor job Rhino Home Entertainment did in releasing the original Transformers and GI JOE cartoon series (and movies) on DVD. To add insult to injury, GI JOE Season 2, Part 2 has not and-- since Rhino no longer has the rights to either property-- will not materialize. Some have said that these two series were just 30-minute toy commercials. I say thee nay! If they were just toy commercials, then the huge TF/JOE fan followings that we know today simply would not exist. It's simply criminal that both series have not been given a *proper* release. So...when? How? Whom? Will Paramount do something to rectify the situation (other than simply re-releasing the Rhino versions of the DVDs)? The reason I ask is because Rhino's releases were less than stellar. Rhino used incomplete 35mm film masters instead of the 1" broadcast masters (the versions of both series that actually aired on televsion from 1983-1987) for their DVD sets, which resulted in better picture quality (never have the episodes looked so lush and colorful), but also caused many problems. However, as a result of using the film masters, the Rhino DVDs feature episodes with incomplete animation that was *fixed* for the broadcast versions. This is the equivalent of releasing the incomplete workprint of a film on DVD and claiming it's the completed version. The improved color and detail clearly had little to do with Rhino's "restoration". They attempted to "fix" some of the errors created by their use of the 35mm film masters, yes, but in shoddy and inconsistent ways. And despite the beauty of the colors and details (they look just as they likely did on the animation stand), both series always had a more muted look on tv and video. I personally feel that, despite the less pristine colors/details, the broadcast versions are more representative of what we saw in the 1980s. The DVD versions look almost *too* good. For some examples of some of these errors and excellent reviews of the Rhino DVD sets, go here (True Fan Jeff Jacobson is one of the few who really knows what I mean, and has been perhaps the most vocal about it here at HTF, save myself): http://kenshiroh.tripod.com/ There are lists and screencaps detailing all the errors out there, particularly in old alt.toys.transformers newsgroup postings. Also, the white lettered episode titles for many episodes had to be recreated by Rhino, resulting in "The Master Builders" becoming "The Master Builder" and "A Deceptacon Raider in King Arthur's Court" becoming "a Decepticon" (it was spelled incorrectly in the original broadcast version, but was fixed by Rhino). Also, the end titles for The Transformers season one (the actual credits, not the backgrounds) come from season 2, and various episodes of the Five Faces of Darkness 5 parter have the standard season 3 intro instead of the special FFOD intro. And the GI JOE season 1 Part 1 DVD set (all the episodes after the Pryamid of Darkness mini-series) use the *Season 2* main titles (which feature Season 2 characters like Serpentor). Even worse is the fact that Rhino added brand-new (and awful) sound effects to the audio tracks, presumably to take advantage of the 5.1 audio track without actually having to remix the episodes into 5.1 by throwing sounds on top of the existing audio. For some episodes, these new sounds are on both 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, for others, just 5.1. Eventually, Rhino began adding "original broadcast audio" tracks to the TF/JOE DVDs (but only 2 out of 5 Transformers sets feature the original audio, while all the GI JOE sets except The Original Mini-Series have the original audio as an option). Then there are the special features, which aren't even season-specific (or *series*-specific, as with the Neil Kaplan--from the TF: Robots In Disguise series--interview on the Transformers Season 1 DVD set). Here's what would make for good Transformers/GI JOE DVDs: 1. Historically-accurate episodes (based on 1" broadcast masters--regardless of decreased image quality--, with correct main/end titles, the misspelled "Deceptacon" TF episode title, commercial bumpers, histortical trailers, "Knowing is Half the Battle" PSAs, and recaps/teasers). The Transformers season 3 historical trailers should be at the end of the season 3 episodes, as they originally were (Rhino also had them as separate extras, but didn't even include *all* of them as extras!), just as the PSAs should be attached to the individual JOE episodes. There should also probably be a seamless branching option so one can watch the episodes without bumpers/PSAs/trailers. 2. The episodes should be in proper chronological order (not necessarily production *or* broadcast order; for example, in the case of The Transformers, "The Gambler" should come right after "Child's Play"). On the Rhino sets, even though they had knowledgeable fans consulting, they *still* had episodes in the wrong order! 3. Original braodcast audio in both mono (as originally broadcast) and stereo...with NO ADDED SOUND EFFECTS!!!! 4. Complete seasons per set (none of that "Season 1, part 1", "Season 2, part 2" stuff). 5. Extras and menus that are season-specific (the never-aired Transformers season 2 PSAs should *not* be in a season 3 set). The original toy commericals would be nice, with the correct commercials in the corrects sets (1984 commericals in Transformers season 1 set, 1985 commericals in season 2 set, etc.). 6. Extras that celebrate the *original* series (not RID, not Armada, not the CGI GI JOE movies, and not the Botcon or OFTCC conventions). The Japanese G1 laserdsics/DVDs feature booklets with the original character model sheets for each season, and that would be *great* here, for both TF and GI JOE. Fan audio commentary (TF fans like Zobovor or Steve-O Stonebreaker would be naturals), interviews with voice cast/crew, storytboards, etc. would also be great. 7. *Good* packaging (that doesn't feature what looks like a 5-year old's recreations of screencaps from the series), and insert booklets that don't have spelling errors and such. 8. An efficient use of disc space (we *don't* need two versions of "The Rebirth" of one disc, one with main/end titles and recaps and one without). 9. In the case of alternate material, such as the different audio endings for the Transformers episode "Dark Awakening", each version could be placed on a separate audio track (Rhino could have done this, but instead stuck us with the "tune in tomorrow for The Return of Optimus Prime" version...even though they had Dark Awakening in its *original aridate* spot, about 22 episodes *before* "Return"!!!!). The alternate main titles (such as the Transformers season 2 opener with season 3 music, used for reruns of season 2 and airings on the Sci-Fi Channel) could be included as extras. 10. A new release of The Transformers: The Movie (possible in a matted widescreen format, as seen in theaters), with *good* extras. Same treatment for GI JOE the movie (Minus the widescreen, and perhaps with the Sgt. Slaughter wraparounds, used when it was broken into 5 parts for tv broadcast. In fact, the Powermaster Optimus Prime/Tommy Kennedy and Sgt. Slaughter segments for reruns of episodes should *all* be inlcluded, for the sake of completeness.). Many fans have accepted Rhino's mediocre DVDs as is, but I think there should be higher standards (people tend to accept--and even defend--mediocrity these days). The original Transformers and GI JOE series deserve better. People have said "it's just a cartoon, let it go", and I think that's a bad excuse for a poor-quality release. They're cult-classics that have depth and style. They deserve better! The Transformers and GI JOE franchises have a huge fanbase, and the current Rhino DVDs don't honor either of the original series very well. These wrongs need to be righted! I would hope this thread becomes a rallying point for fans and supporters to discuss this topic, and maybe even get the ball rolling for future releases. We can do it! Any thoughts?