Like just about any other parent who has an interest in Transformers - be it collecting or reading comics, watching cartoons etc - I've introduced the hobby to my child as well, in this case my 2-year old daughter. Nearly all of it is aimed at older kids, but with supervision I've been confident she won't do herself - or the toys - any harm.
|No, she didn't transform Wheeljack|
G1 minibot keychains were a great place to start. They are a good size, very attractive and fiddle-proof, not particularly costly to replace and daddy gets to sort of have a G1 minibot collection too! Her instant love for "Bumbadee" and "Keefy" was unforgettable, and I miss her mispronunciations of those names *sniff*. The Classics Wheeljack was my own but I never liked it - which I now realise was down to chronic mis-transformation. Since my daughter and I have started messing with it, it's grown massively on both of us. I don't see any issue in exposing her to all types of toys, whether they're considered girls or boys toys, and seeing her play with cars, aeroplanes, or children's tool-kits doesn't cause me any discomfort in the slightest.
At the same time, if she drops the Transformers and goes to chase a piece of lint, it doesn't cause me any sadness either. I have been very impressed with how well she's treated her toys, not a single one had broken or been mistreated until this bugger came along...
|The remains of BotCon Europe|
My variation obsession of course spilled over into this, a simple Windcharger keychain (thanks Martin!) wasn't sufficient. Oh no, my daughter had to have a BotCon Europe exclusive Rook key chain that resembled the Peruvian Lynsa Windcharger minibot. It was to be her early Christmas present, and of course she loved it. It was a sealed one from a UK online store, but a single trip off the highchair tray ended its usefulness. Repeated gluing has been unsuccessful and he is now known as "Rook Broken". It was pretty floppy and useless out of the packet, to be honest. I would have been disappointed as a collector.
|Yeah, that KO oversized minibot didn't last long either...|
She of course has the odd Transformers-themed soft toy as well, and despite my tentative looking around at Encore minibot reissue sets for her, I've not really been doing anything else to draw her attention to the toys or pushing Transformers on her. I've not been too precious about my own toys either, she's handled Macross Valkyries, Masterpiece Optimus Prime, G1 stuff, 3rd Party toys etc. My wife even picked out the Autobot t-shirt her Build-A-Bear cuddly toy is sporting!
In a recent interview I did for BBC Local Radio, the presenter asked me about my hobby and whether I would be passing it all on to my children. While I'll happily sell my collection items to fund anything for her future and hand her most toys she wants to explore, I stand by what I said to him in that if I can spare her the obsession of a possession-based hobby, I will!
All the best