Beast Wars is an excellent example of "reinventing" without tossing out everything that preceded it. Transforming robots? Check. Cybertron? Check. Energon as fuel? Check. Earth disguises? Check. Autobots and Decepticons? Check (more or less). Optimus and Megatron? Check. Stranded after their ships crashed? Check again. In addition, both the pack-in minicomic and the TV series kept the previous G1 backstory.
Thing is, even with all the holdover elements you mentioned there are lots of G1 fans out there who refused to see the BW cartoon as anything more than In Name Only until the Ark showed up. Conversely, there are BW fans for whom the G1 connection is meaningless and it actively annoys them that the incarnations keep getting folded together. Despite fears to the contrary though, neither incarnation is getting forgotten and it will likely never happen.
By the same token, I'm sure there a lot of 12" Joe fans saw (and some probably still see) ARAH as a pretender to "their" Joe. For decades the Adventure Team was dormant, but now it's a vital part of several ARAH continuities. Somewhere out there are fans who are annoyed by that (regardless of that being the only fiction it's had in decades), but it's given them new exposure and lots of new fans (I'm one!). ARAH is vastly more popular and influential to the brand (sorry, but it's true), so even if it goes away it won't take nearly the same amount of time to come back.
All I'm saying is that this has happened before, no segment of the brand has been completely forgotten, and ARAH is such a large and successful part of the brand that it's going to keep coming back for more. Even if it goes away for a little bit so a new Joe can gain traction, it won't stay gone for long.I'm not saying we HAVE to let go of "our" Joe to revitalize the brand, but there's no need to desperately cling to it either.
Edited by Lukeblast, 14 January 2015 - 11:55 AM.