Shout Factory Matrix Of Leadership DVD Set - G1 - Media

You'd think that after 25yrs the G1 fans would have enough of the show that started it all. Fortunately, they haven't. Rhino set out to offer all 98 episodes of Generation One, but the sets were pricey and often hard to find. The quality of the shows and extras were also questionable. Shout Factory has now secured the rights to the Generation One shows and has started releasing them in DVD sets. However, for those who don't want to wait for all 5 sets to eventually hit the shelves, they are also offering a "Matrix of Leadership" complete boxed set containing all 98 episodes in one tidy package.

The Box

The box holding all these goodies is pretty big. It's a simple package, showing the Autobot Matrix of Leadership along with "The Complete Series" towards the bottom. However,

... spread the box apart just like you would open the Matrix and you'll get a view of the core. Within the core holds all the contents that come with the set. Pretty clever packaging, but it does present a problem storage-wise, as it won't fit on your DVD rack. Fortunately, the DVDs come in sleeves that ARE rack friendly.

Two more notes on the box. As you lift the core/flap open, you'll notice a line drawing of Optimus Prime against a white background. On the bottom of the box, once you've removed the contents, you'll see a line drawing of Megatron on a black background. That artwork looks familiar...


Within the boxed set, you will find the following contents:

4) DVD cases, each containing 4 DVDs
1) 60pg softbound booklet
1) Autobot magnet
1) Decepticon magnet

The magnets are a simple black and white design, measuring about 4.5". The softbound booklet contains a breakdown of all 98 episodes, including original broadcast dates and some random trivia facts. You will also find bios for select characters. If the bios and drawings look familiar, they should. They are directly from Dreamwave's "More Than Meets The Eye" comic series. Same goes for all the drawings on the DVD boxes and discs.

DVD Media

There are 16 DVDs contained in 4 DVD books. Each book features a faction leader highlighted by an outline and a disc number on the front. On the back, you will find the contents of each DVD. Here is the breakdown:

DVD Book 1 (Optimus Prime, DVDs 1-4)

Season 1

Disc 1 (Optimus Prime)

More Than Meets The Eye, Parts 1-3 Transport to Oblivion
Roll For It
Divide And Conquer
Fire In The Sky
S.O.S. Dinobots

Disc 2 (Megatron)

Fire On The Mountain
War Of The Dinobots
The Ultimate Doom, Parts 1-3
Countdown To Extinction
A Plague Of Insecticons
Heavy Metal War


Disc 3 (Bumblebee)

Triple Changer: From Toy To Comic To Screen - The Origin Of The Transformers (Documentary)
(2) Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials
(1) Public Service Announcement
(1) Printable transcript to "Transport To Oblivion", PDF file

Season 2

Disc 4 (Starscream)

Autobot Spike
The Immobilizer
Dinobot Island, Parts 1-2
Enter The Nightbird
Changing Gears

DVD Book 2 (Megatron, DVDs 4-8)

Season 2

Disc 5 (Grimlock)

A Prime Problem
Atlantis, Arise!
Attack Of The Autobots
The Master Builders
The Insecticon Syndrome
Day Of The Machines

Disc 6 (Soundwave)

Megatron's Master Plan, Parts 1-2
Auto Berserk
City Of Steel
Desertion of the Dinobots, Parts 1-2
Blaster Blues

Disc 7 (Wheeljack)

A Decepticon In King Arthur's Court
The God Gambit
The Core
Make Tracks
The Autobot Run
The Golden Lagoon
Quest For Survival

Disc 8 (Devastator)

The Secret of Omega Supreme
Child's Play
The Gambler
The Search For Alpha Trion
Prime Target
The Girl Who Loved Powerglide

DVD Box 3 (Rodimus Prime, DVDs 9-12)

Season 2

Disc 9 (Jazz)

Triple Takeover
Sea Change
Hoist Goes Hollywood
The Key To Vector Sigma, Parts 1-2
Trans-Europe Express

Disc 10 (Shockwave)

War Dawn
Cosmic Rust
Starscream's Brigade
Revenge of Bruticus
Aerial Assault


Disc 11 (Unicron)

The Combiner: Forming The Transformers Animated Series (Documentary)
The Headmasters: Voicing The Robots In Disguise (Documentary)
(2) Public Service Announcements
(3) Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials
Original Series Writer's Bible
(2) Printable transcripts for "Starscream's Brigade" and "Revenge of Bruticus", PDF files
(1) Printable "Transformers Writer's Bible", PDF file
Concept Art (Gallery)

Season 3

Disc 12 (Rodimus Prime

The Five Faces of Darkness, Parts 1-5
The Killing Jar
Thief In The Night
Fight Or Flee

DVD Book 4 (Galvatron, DVDs 12-16)

Season 3

Disc 13 (Galvatron)

Starscream's Ghost
Forever Is A Long Time Coming
Surprise Party
Madman's Paradise
Carnage In C-Minor
Ghost In The Machine
The Dweller In The Depths

Disc 14 (Ultra Magnus)

Nightmare Planet
The Ultimate Weapon
The Big Broadcast Of 2006
The Quintesson Journal
Only Human
Grimlock's New Brain
Money Is Everything
Call Of The Primitives

Disc 15 (Cyclonus)

The Burden Hardest To Bear
The Face of the Nijika
Dark Awakening
The Return Of Optimus Prime, Parts 1-2

Season 4

The Rebirth, Parts 1-3


Disc 16 (Wreck Gar)

The Autobots, The Decepticons & The Fans (Documentary)
Into The Creation Matrix: A Conversation With Bob Budiansky (Interview)
From The Files Of Teletraan 2 (collection)
(2) Public Service Announcements
(3) Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials
Dialogue Scripts For Episodes 66-98, PDF files
Concept Art (Gallery)
Fan Material (1xvideo plus gallery)

For DVDs 1-11, you will get the Season 1 intro music. For DVDs 12-16, you will be greeted with the Season 3 intro music. Either way, you start with a red grid that has the familiar Transformers block lettering which shifts between Autobot and Decepticon before zooming out. For DVDs 1-11, the grid will then tilt and turn blue. For Discs 12-16, the grid will tilt but remain red. With all the DVDs, you will then be greeted with various animations. Some are of the bumpers used between commercials, others are points in the show where the characters transform. You will also be given two options: Play All or Episodes.

One nice feature built in deals with the multi-part episodes (The Five Faces Of Darkness, for example). Should you choose to Play All from the title menu, it will prompt you if you want to run all the multi parts together. If you select yes, it will bypass all the intros and outros between the parts. You will only get the intro for Five Faces Pt 1 and it will run all the way through Pt 5, where you will get one outro. There will be no prologues or epilogues in between. Also, with Discs 1-11, choosing Play All will give you the infamous Optimus Prime tagline. Choosing Episodes (or the various extras) will present you with a faction symbol that transforms into a monitor. You can then make your choices.

If you were hoping for any better video quality, don't do it. The quality of the video is exact to the Rhino releases. However, the sound gaffes that Rhino left in have been pulled out of this run. No more random booms! Also, the audio has been updated to stereo sound from the original source, so goodbye mono! As for the extras, allow 20-30 minutes for each documentary or interview. The galleries are best viewed on computer, as they go into a timer mode on a TV. My favorite extra has to be Headmasters, as it unites some of the quintessential voice actors of the show for reminiscing. The fan art section also has some niceties. As for the Concept Art, it's basically line drawings of all the characters used. Nothing new.


When the Rhino sets were released, each one could easily set you back $40-50. That means the complete set could cost you well over $200... if you could find them all. This boxed set, in comparison, will give you everything in one neat package for just $140. That being said, you can so far have the first 3 DVDs in one neat DVD set for $29.99 MSRP. I've seen this set at Target for $20 regular price, $17 on sale. Should that hold true for the other 4 releases, then you could get all of the episodes for $100 between 5 sets. Furthermore, all the extras on this complete set are more than likely going to be on the individual DVD set runs at stores. However, you'll have to wait until September for the 2nd set release at stores. Ordering the complete box set now will get you all 98 episodes now, for a $40 premium, thus saving you the hunt.

So what do you get for the extra $40? Well, you get the nice box that everything comes in, the 60 page book with complete episode listings and the 2 magnets. It's a very nice setup, if not slightly pricey in comparison to waiting for the individual DVD runs. They could have set this set apart by offering exclusive extras NOT offered on the smaller sets. It's a possibility that it could happen, as details on the remaining store sets have not been released. Only time will tell.

Click here to purchase

DateJuly 11th 2009  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  

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