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View Full Version : New Hasbro Q&A 05/27/04


Nevermore
2004-05-27, 07:37 PM
http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/energon/pl/PAGE.news/ID.1042/dn/default.cfm

Q: Why are Hasbroís TRANSFORMERS ALTERNATORS molded in plastic while Takaraís line is die-cast metal?
A: We felt that it was important, for the US market, to make ALTERNATORS affordable.

Q: Do you have any plans to release more G2 toys, such as the Laser Rods or the Autorollers?
A: We are looking at many toys from TRANSFORMERS history. If molds exist, there is a chance you will see more G2.

Though rather useless, I hope this will finally put an end to the endless fanboy "b00 H45br0 5uXX0r2 4173rn470r5 dumb p1a57!c n07 d!3c457"...

Zizicez
2004-05-27, 08:38 PM
when hasbro said Lazerrods i started foaming at the mouth and i got a hard-on

Windrazor
2004-05-27, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by Nevermore
http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/energon/pl/PAGE.news/ID.1042/dn/default.cfm

Though rather useless, I hope this will finally put an end to the endless fanboy "b00 H45br0 5uXX0r2 4173rn470r5 dumb p1a57!c n07 d!3c457"...

I don't think much of anything would put an end to that. Hasbro may say its more affordable, and in this case it might be, but if Japan can make them in metal, then why can't Hasbro? If the demand is out for them, I'm sure they would sell well. For example, regular Alternators are being sold for $19.99. So if they made Die-cast versions for about $24.99, or even $29.99 then a lot of people would be happy enough to stop bitchin'. At least I know I would. I like the plastic versions just as well, but it seems that consumers should have a choice too. After all, what would Hasbro do without us?

dedicon
2004-05-27, 10:47 PM
does hasbro ever talk to fans or are they asking questions at random thoughts?
they are grinding the same qs over and over. bet you next month one of the q&as will again be:will soundwave be reissued again?
or are you going to release more alternators?
well at least the answers are always diffrent.
still,bring me previews!not stupid q&as!

Denyer
2004-05-27, 11:06 PM
I'm guessing adult die-cast only fans are in a minority... Alternators are pitched at teens, too, and the die-cast leads to flaking, may make it harder to pass US toy safety laws (Japanese society isn't as litigious as the US) etc...

Cliffjumper
2004-05-27, 11:39 PM
Plus it'd be expensive and impractical to make plastic and diecast versions. I can't see Toys R Us giving up shelf-space to some near identical toy for $10 more that'll appeal to a minority within a minority with a not exactly massive fanbase.

Windrazor
2004-05-28, 05:54 AM
All I can say, is.. ya never know until/unless it happens.

Dark Rodimus
2004-05-28, 08:20 AM
Originally posted by Nevermore

Though rather useless, I hope this will finally put an end to the endless fanboy "b00 H45br0 5uXX0r2 4173rn470r5 dumb p1a57!c n07 d!3c457"...


Oh, jeez. Here we go with another fanboy bashing thread. Canít you guys think of anything more interesting to post about? Do you people know how many threads start out as fanboy bashing? There are so many, that itís redundant. And here you go. You go around bashing people who like metal over plastic. Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? If something as trivial as whether someone likes plastic or metal toys upsets you that much, then you have serious problems. Why donít you people come up with something more original to post, like something about the actual toys? And you guys are always crying about someone being a fanboy because they are critical of Hasbro. Did you ever consider the fact that you might be a Hasbro fanboy, because in your eyes Hasbro can do no wrong?

I like this site. Itís very informative, but the problem is an environment for free and open discussion is very discouraged, and that discouragement is supported by the mods. This thread is a case in point. From the title it looked like a very informative and interesting thread, but then the first post establishes open season on fanboys. It was established from the first post that if a person liked the plastic toys then they were fine, normal people, but if you wanted a metal toy, then you were seriously disturbed, had mental issues, and were of all things, a fanboy. The horror. Now this behavior is supported by the mods, sometimes encouraged by the mods, and often times the mods participate in it. Now what happens say if someone did like the metal toys better than the plastic ones, and wanted to share his thoughts, ideas, and opinions with others that have similar interests? He would quickly be flamed and humiliated. In fact, because of the abuse that he would endure, he would probably either never post on this site again or if he did post, he would probably not be able to post his true thoughts and feelings, and have a truly honest and meaningful discussion for fear of being ridiculed again. He may even in the future participate in the flaming of other people who display these despicable fanboy traits. Thus openness would be stifled. Creativity hindered.

This would be a much better forum if openness to new ideas was allowed and tolerance to others views encouraged, but I guess you guys like the closed minded, intolerant, stifling environment better. Hey, hereís a thought. Why donít you all free your minds, drop the attitudes, and try to get along with your fellow Transformer fans? You all would probably live better lives if you didnít harbor all of that negative energy.

Dark Rodimus
2004-05-28, 08:22 AM
Hereís an illustration that kind of explains what Iím talking about:

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a ladder under it. Before long, one of the monkeys will spot the banana and start to climb the ladder. As soon as he does, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water.

Replace the banana.

After a while another of the monkeys will probably go for the banana. Again, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. Monkeys are fairly smart, so pretty soon whenever one of the monkeys tries to climb the ladder all the other monkeys will try and prevent him doing it. When this happens, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. Then put another banana at the top of the ladder.
The new monkey will spot the banana and make for the ladder. To his surprise all of the other monkeys attack him. After a couple more attempts result in further beatings the new monkey will not make any attempt to go for the banana.

Remove another of the original monkeys and replace it with another new one. Then replace the banana. Again, the new monkey will make a grab for it. Like his predecessor he will be amazed to find that all the other monkeys attack him. The previous newcomer will take part in his punishment with some enthusiasm.

One at a time, gradually replace all of the original monkeys with new ones. Each of the newcomers will go for the banana. Each one will be attacked by the other four. Most of the new monkeys have absolutely no idea why they were not allowed to climb the ladder, or why they are participating in the assault on the newest monkey.

When all of the original monkeys have been replaced, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless no monkey ever approaches the ladder. Why not? Because as far as they are concerned that's the way it has always been done around here.

Now the banana is the metal Alternator, and the monkey who climbs the ladder is the fanboy. Now the rest of the monkeys that attack the fanboy monkey are all of the people that flame the fanboys on this site. And theÖ..oh, screw it. Youíre all a bunch of monkeys.

Bombshell
2004-05-28, 08:44 AM
Dark Rodimius, you really need to chill out. Seriously. I don't seem to recall anyone in this thread "fanboy bashing" what Nevermore said at all. In fact, there was quite a good discussion going on.

Like Denyer said, diecast metal toys aren't generally considered great for general sale since, even though the Alternators line is marketed to older collectors, the general age of a Transformer consumer (Energon and Universe in particular, and Alternators in general) is 8-12 years old. And like Denyer said, there's a whole lot of saftey issues regarding diecast toys. Not only is paint chipping and flaking a potential problem, but there is also the possibility that a child could potentially be injuried playing with a diecast toy. (I've had a metal toy dropped on my foot once. Let me tell ya. It wasn't pretty.)

And as for your criticism about how we mods deal with this situation, I do believe that it is unfounded. To my knowledge, we have never (and I certainly have never) attacked a forum member for speaking his opinion. I would certainly like to see any proof that you have that a mod or anyone else has "flamed and humiliated" someone over stating their opinions.

Zizicez
2004-05-28, 08:55 AM
no offence dude but he didnt say

"i decree that all who like Metal shall burn in hell, and all that oppose my decree will burn along side them, thus is my will"

but really

Takara makes BinalTech (those are the metal ones money boy;-))

Hasbro makes Alternator (the plastic ones)

its pointless for them to bitch constantly about Hasbro for that reason

it they want the metal ones, they can talk to Takara

Edit: this post is directed at Dark Rodimus

Windrazor
2004-05-28, 09:55 AM
Bombshell.. I think this thread is starting to go majorly off topic here. If Nevermore would have left the beginning post with just the Q&A, and the next post after that would have had some sort of fanboy reply that would have been one thing. But he started it off with fanboy comments about metal not plastic. This is related to the whole Truck not Monkey concept. Newcomers have no idea of what that is supposed to mean, even though they come on to the scene saying they like the original G1 Optimus Prime over the Beast Wars Optimus Primal. I can see Dark Rodimus's logic in saying what he did. I have seen it first hand too.. especially in topics of religion, and politics. Moreso in the area of those who oppose or who agree with George Bush, those who think gay people should either be accepted or that the concept is wrong, or those who have religion and feel standards should be continued to be followed. I have seen people come into discussions and give the reasons as to why they agree with Bush's plan even though it may not be logical, but the majority of the consensus don't like Bush, just because they think it is all about oil. So anything anybody else says in agreement to Bush and what he is doing is immediately flamed, and sometimes banned. Same way with with the homosexuality scene, and religion. I've seen people give off a good debate and side to their story, and just because the majority of this board was on one side, and not the other.. the newcomer was banned. Is this right? I think not. I've seen this happen in many situations.. and I personally am afraid to give my opinion about this BS anymore due to thinking I'll be banned as well. I was brought up with morals and standards, as well as religion with ryhme and reason. But if I was to present my case, I can just be as sure that someone will disagree with me with no matter what I say and will bring up some sort of case or trickery to get me banned and I'm not gonna fall for that.

Anyways.. I'm getting way off topic here myself, but the fact is that the first post should probably be edited to remove the fanboy comment about plastic not metal. If that is removed, then feel free to remove this post as well.

I personally like the concept with Japan putting out diecast versions. I understand that there are probably teenagers as well that like this series, just as much as the older fans. I can't say I know how many of the younger generation go after Alternators and not the Energon series, as I see 7 thru 12 year old kids that go to the stores looking for Energon toys, and not Universe or Alternators toys. Usually I only see Collectors going after the reissue, Universe and Alternators line. In that line of thinking, I think there should be metal versions produced as well. Regardless of if they may be more expensive or if Toys R Us has to make room for these other versions. After all, they have the Armada and Energon versions of Tidal Wave and Unicron on the shelves.. so why not the 2 versions of Alternators? The reissue pieces sell on average for $20 to $35. So what would be so wrong to have them be sold at for around $25? I think it'd be a great idea. What does Hasbro have to lose with doing this? Absolutely nothing.

Nevermore
2004-05-28, 10:01 AM
Dark Rodimus:

1. Personally, I prefer Binaltech over Alternators. Surprise. And I think everyone is free to prefer what he likes. What I don't like, however, is fanboys bitching over any decision Hasbro is making (like "boo, Meister is the same transformation as Smokescreen, boo, Hasbro suxxor, boo, Side Swipe is another transformation as G1 Sideswipe, boo, Hasbro suxxor") no matter how many times people have come up with valid explanations for those decisions.

Do I say Hasbro is withouth fault? Hell, no. But it's one thing to say "I'm not satisfied with Hasbro's decision in that regards" and a totally different pair of shoes to say "waaaah Hasbro hate fans because the Bumblebee Alternator they bring out who looks exactly like a real 1975 VW Beetle, transforms like G1 Bumblebee, has the face of cartoon Bumblebee and talks with the voice of Dan Gilvezan IS RED INSTEAD OF YELLOW OMG TEH SUXXOR!!!!!!!"

Cliffjumper
2004-05-28, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by Windrazor
So why not the 2 versions of Alternators? The reissue pieces sell on average for $20 to $35. So what would be so wrong to have them be sold at for around $25? I think it'd be a great idea. What does Hasbro have to lose with doing this? Absolutely nothing.

Did you actually read what I posted? They have money to lose. They'd have to, at a guess, set up a second product line to produce what I'll call USBT. Then they'd have to package the things differently [maybe slightly differently, but differently]. Then they'd have to persuade someone to stock them. And even then, they wouldn't be able to count on many of the fans buying JBT buying USBT. It's a financial risk they needn't take.

Your comparisons with Unicron and Tidalwave are invalid. a) they're recolours, using the same material as the originals, b) they're supported by animated and comic appearances, c) them being on the same shelves as the Armada version isn't some grand scheme to allow buyers choice, but because the Armada versions didn't sell well enough and d) Alternators appeals to a significantly smaller audience than Armada/Energon. USBT would appeal to a faction [those who wanted USBT] within a faction [those who want diecase BT/Alt] within a faction [those Transformers fans who actually buy BT/Alt full stop] within a medium-sized fanbase [Transformers fans].

Sir Auros
2004-05-28, 12:56 PM
Cliffy, let me introduce you to a dear friend of mine...:wall:

Denyer
2004-05-28, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by Dark Rodimus
bashing people who like metal over plastic.Nope. Read what's written. I like metal parts (I mostly collect '84-'85 series stuff) and I certainly don't take what's written as an attack on me.

Originally posted by Dark Rodimus
It was established from the first post that if a person liked the plastic toys then they were fine, normal people, but if you wanted a metal toy, then you were seriously disturbed, had mental issues,It was established in the first post that people who can't wrap their head around the economics of the US toy market (and continue to whine they aren't getting the same product as somewhere else) have the mentality of brats: "This is why we've done this." / "But I WANT. Waahhhh!"

Importing is really easy these days. We also get international information in days rather than months, thanks to the net. The only thing holding most people back is weak currencies and the belief that things should be served to them on a plate, regardless of whether it makes economic sense for the distributing company.

Clamber down off the horse and get back on topic.

Originally posted by Bombshell
I would certainly like to see any proof that you have that a mod or anyone else has "flamed and humiliated" someone over stating their opinions. That's not strictly true, since bigotry counts as (admittedly irrational) opinion. No-one is going to apologise for disrespecting those opinions, in much the same way no-one is going to regard an opinion as more valid because it follows an institutional line. An opinion isn't valid simply for being an opinion.

inflatable dalek
2004-05-28, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Dark Rodimus
Youíre all a bunch of monkeys.

Oook, oook, oook?

Windrazor
2004-05-28, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Did you actually read what I posted? They have money to lose. They'd have to, at a guess, set up a second product line to produce what I'll call USBT. Then they'd have to package the things differently [maybe slightly differently, but differently]. Then they'd have to persuade someone to stock them. And even then, they wouldn't be able to count on many of the fans buying JBT buying USBT. It's a financial risk they needn't take.

Yes, I read what you wrote, and I took that into consideration. Actually it isn't that much expensive or mind bending as you may think. As far as the graphics on the boxes would go, Hasbro could borrow the graphics from Takara's Binaltech line. As everything can be passed through the net, it wouldn't be much of any trouble to send the picture by email to Hasbro. There would be some key words or things to be changed (i.e. Takara symbols to Hasbro symbols, Japanese text to American text). This program is then loaded into a machine that prints the picture onto cardboard. That same program is used for the cutting machine to accurately cut out the layout. Packaging wouldn't really change. They could use either the Binaltech form of packaging or the Alternator form. They would all be the same size vehicle. The only thing that would change is from plastic to metal. Cost is roughly the same in actuality these days. Plastics are going up in prices whereas metals are staying around the same price. (I know this from working at a rotational plastics plant - John Deere, Graco, Rug Doctor, etc.). Persuading someone to stock the items is really not a hard thing to do. Wal-Mart would do it no problem. Toys R Us would probably do it as well. Since it is all under the Transformers line, there isn't much cost there adding another toy to their shelves. I would love to see a comparison sheet in adding another toy to the shelves and the actual cost difference to both items. I can bet you that it really isn't that much of a difference. I don't think it would be that much of a financial risk as one may think. A financial risk would be to come out with some more of those stupid Animorphs.

Denyer
2004-05-28, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by Windrazor
it isn't that much expensive or mind bending as you may think. If it's a formula for such raging success, why hasn't it been done? Simply because they haven't thought about it (doubtful) or because it hasn't been run through their various departments (doubtful)?

Hasbro and Takara have a rough agreement whereby each doesn't poach the other's customers, which may have some bearing on things, but I do think it's as simple as Hasbro not wanting to have to quantity balance products competing with themselves. Alternators are already a sub-market.

Alpha Trion
2004-05-29, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by Windrazor
Packaging wouldn't really change.
The packaging would have to change to make it clear which version was plastic and which was metal.

Originally posted by Windrazor
Persuading someone to stock the items is really not a hard thing to do. Wal-Mart would do it no problem. Toys R Us would probably do it as well.
Walmart and TRU already have plastic Alternators all over their shelves. Do you really think they want to put near-identical toys next to them on the shelf?

We all know it would be physically possiblel for Hasbro to release diecast Alternators. It's just that it's so impractical that it will never happen. The sales would be so low that it would be a disaster. Think about it: if Hasbro suffered huge money loss like that, they might even stop producing Alternators entirely, or close the Transformers line altogether.

Windrazor
2004-05-29, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Hasbro and Takara have a rough agreement whereby each doesn't poach the other's customers, which may have some bearing on things, but I do think it's as simple as Hasbro not wanting to have to quantity balance products competing with themselves. Alternators are already a sub-market.

I tend not to look at it as competition amongst themselves but a chance to make something for collectors as well as to increase their profits. Poachful amongst other customers, doubtful, since a collector will go after each variant anyways. I agree that Alternators are already a submarket, and Binaltech figures could fall under that submarket.

Windrazor
2004-05-29, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by Alpha Trion
The packaging would have to change to make it clear which version was plastic and which was metal.

Hence my suggestion of borrowing the cardboard part of the box from the Binaltech line, the inside packaging (plastic, wireties) would remain the same

Originally posted by Alpha Trion
Walmart and TRU already have plastic Alternators all over their shelves. Do you really think they want to put near-identical toys next to them on the shelf?

Near identical toys? Same as Armada and Energon Unicron? Or perhaps the Universe lines with copies of the RID car brothers? If they are willing to carry the Universe lines, then yes.

Originally posted by Alpha Trion
We all know it would be physically possible for Hasbro to release diecast Alternators. It's just that it's so impractical that it will never happen. The sales would be so low that it would be a disaster. Think about it: if Hasbro suffered huge money loss like that, they might even stop producing Alternators entirely, or close the Transformers line altogether.

I doubt that they would stop producing alternators even if there was a loss. Even though you may have a point there, I don't quite believe that they WOULD suffer a loss if they happened to produce diecast alternators. It's not exactly that impractical either. Japan makes the die cast toys. They are reproducing the G1 series with diecast. So why can it not be done with the Alternator line? My logic points to that it could be done, the demand could be just as high, and they could make a profit. Of course, know one knows the TRUE answer to this unless it happened. Expansion though usually does make for a more successful outcome.

Denyer
2004-05-29, 01:21 AM
Originally posted by Windrazor
a chance to make something for collectors as well as to increase their profitsUnfortunately, it just comes across as "me, me me, and damn the economics."

Toys in the US are about 40% cheaper than in the UK (it's cheaper to pay US retail and shipping than buy retail here in a lot of cases) and K-Mart has still just filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy, mostly because its prices were slightly higher than other stores.

Originally posted by Windrazor
a collector will go after each variant anyways. How many collectors who are that obsessive do you know? That haven't already imported Binaltech, have no plans to, or wouldn't if they could finance it?

Cliffjumper
2004-05-29, 01:28 AM
Out of, what, a hundred or so regular posters to this here Transformers board, how many are completists? Seriously? I don't think we actually have a single variant fanatic...

EDIT: Just set up a quick poll to see how the board members would think...

Windrazor
2004-05-29, 02:36 AM
I'm a completist to a point. After all, I have all 4 versions of Armada Jetfire.. or at least the packaging.. (Original Jetfire, Target Jetfire with 3 free minicons, Powerlinx Jetfire, Kmart Jetfire/Optimus Prime/6 Minicon pack) I have yet to collect all of the Universe line.. and probably don't plan on it.. other than that I have everything else. Well.. except for Energon Ultra Magnus.

Spiderman
2004-05-29, 03:00 AM
I really don't see why they can't make them with die-cast parts. Die-cast metal is not that expensive. It would be nice to see them that way. For $20 they should have some metal parts.

Sir Auros
2004-05-29, 03:03 AM
Originally posted by Windrazor
Near identical toys? Same as Armada and Energon Unicron? Or perhaps the Universe lines with copies of the RID car brothers? If they are willing to carry the Universe lines, then yes.


Twit...

1 - Armada and Energon Unicron are on shelves together because there was a significant surplus of the Armada version, not to give people extra choices. This has already been covered, but since you're only listening to your own delusions...

2 - Comparing your ill-conceived plan for releasing die-cast Alternators with the Universe line is ridiculous. The Universe line contains repaints of figures from previous toylines, not existing ones. If Universe had some repaints of Energon figures, then perhaps there could be some room for comparison, but it doesn't, so you're just sh*t outta luck.

Denyer
2004-05-29, 03:12 AM
The Unicrons didn't shift in many places until they were marked down to unit value or below... how many stores are keen to reorder?

Anyone think the car brothers would sell at 150% of the price with some random extra metal bits? Or that Unicron would ever shift at a higher price with some metal? Or that Beast Wars repaints would ever shift with die-cast? Or that anyone would be even remotely bothered about getting heavier Alternators more susceptible to paintwear if they didn't know about Binaltech?

edit: BTW, can we stick to calling people's logic spurious, ill-founded, and detached from current market reality rather than going the easy route of calling 'em names? Thanks.

Denyer
2004-05-29, 05:10 AM
Originally posted by Windrazor
My logic points to that it could be done, the demand could be just as high, It would rely on them changing direction in the middle of a line, involve them in competing for a market with Takara, necessitate significant packaging redesign (the Binaltech materials aren't hugely different), possibly break the terms of whatever licensing they've arranged with car companies (Alternators compete with model kits in the same price range, which is another reason to keep products competitively priced) and taking a gamble on commissioning fresh mould sets at its factories.

'G1' reissues are sold as collectibles. They've also run into problems moving stock, since many fans regard them as poor value for money. Starscream was priced at £27 here initially, and is still on the shelves since being reduced to £10. More recent reissues suffer from limited character recognition.

But yes, Hasbro should disregard all of those factors and trust a hunch...

Hound
2004-05-29, 06:59 AM
Ok, I'm gonna use the local TRU in Spokane as an example and state outright that this has probably already been thought of by Hasbro and disqualified for reasons I'm not thinking of.

TRU has 16 boxes of Alternators on their shelf last time I was there, two rows. I assume that at some point some of those boxes will have sold or have been removed from the shelf to make room for Hound and Silverstreak. So why not instead of two rows of 8 drop to one row so as to clear space for some Binal Tech versions?

Here's my reasoning. They'd be marked up so as to make a profit so all they have to do is be sold. Well as has already been pointed out, they aren't going to sell to casual toy buyers primarily. So ship them in smaller amounts. Throw four boxes on the shelf and restock only as necessary.

Now all the hardcore fans out there that prefer the die cast metal but can't fork over for importing the toys can get them.

Hasbro could even reduce the risk by making them TRU or Wal-Mart exclusives.

The only real hurdle I can see to that is US toy safety standards of which I have little knowledge of.

That said, no one here is going to attack anyone for stating an opinion. It's the opinions that are stated that get attacked and not the poeple who state them.

You are, as always, free to have and express any opinion you choose to. This freedom though doesn't include an immunity to being disagreed with. You must remember that everyone else is equally entitled to their opinion.

What Dark Rodimus has suggested is that a majority of people here are bad people for holding and stating an opinion that is contradictory to his opinion. That we should be silenced and be ashamed for doing so. Can't say you're going to gain much respect from me for saying that.

All the time people here disagree with eachother. I disagree with Denyer and Auros often enough. I'm not ridiculed or attacked for it. (They ridicule and attack me for other reasons).

I love that I can disagree with someone here. With anyone here. I've never once felt unwelcome because I stated an opinion that others didn't agree with.

Sir Auros
2004-05-29, 10:18 AM
The biggest hurdle would still be producing them/changing packaging. It could be done, but I doubt it could be made cost-effective enough so that people could actually get the things for much less than importing and then importing the product direct from Takara's factories runs into the same problem.

For all the trouble required just to get the things on shelves, Hasbro wouldn't be seeing a realistically good profit from them. Assuming you make them store-exclusive and produce fewer of them, you'd end up paying much more per figure for production, couple that with the higher cost of materials (metal and extra paint), and designing/printing/assembling new packaging. I'd say Hasbro would have to add at least $10 for those expenses alone, so you're looking at $30 without further jacking the price to make it all worthwhile, so I wouldn't expect to see them for less than $35-$40 and do you think there'd be a big enough market to sell out a row of 8 of those before selling out 16 Alternators?

inflatable dalek
2004-05-29, 01:00 PM
I can't see Hasbro releasing diecast versions of the ones already out, though if there were a huge swell of demand they might swith to die cast for future ones (though that doesn't seem very likely).

However, at least one of the UK sfi-shops (Another World in Derby) was selling the Bineltech version of Sidesswipe ( along with Superlink toys), so it shouldn't be that hard to get hold of one if you don't want to go the internet route.

Denyer
2004-05-29, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Hound
They ridicule and attack me for other reasonsWe love ya really.

Further to what's been said, Alternators (like virtually all retail toys) maintain their price of $20 because of economies of scale. They also sell on that basis. Universe is already an speculative line, and probably fills that niche in Hasbro's corporate topology.

TRU tend to get exclusives and more variety, because they have acres of shelf space. They also have distribution through Amazon and aren't tied to production dates as tightly as some other mass toy retailers.

Whilst the Alternators appeal to casual collectors, anything else with would compete directly with the 'G1' reissues, which are already overpriced. People are waiting for the things to clearance before buying. Kids sure as hell aren't buying them in any quantity (other TF lines offer larger toys, have more play gimmicks, etc.) Energon stuff is about a third of the price.

Diecast Alternators wouldn't be any cheaper than reissues. Being considerably larger, the price would only scale up. Then they're competing with regular Alternators and reissues for the collector's wallet. If the reissues were dropped, perhaps Hasbro would be more willing to chance it.

That's assuming any conditions about not competing with Takara, having licensing agreements with car companies to not compete with other adaptions (Alternators are very clearly toys; die-cast would place them in competition with car collectible ranges) etcetera.

I don't think there's a snowball in hell...

Cliffjumper
2004-05-29, 05:31 PM
See, this is the thing... I'm pretty sure the way a Binaltech hits before an Alternator by a month or so is some agreement between Hasbro and Takara... and Binaltech doesn't seem to cost a huge amount more from the right sources for many US buyers - when you have an American store like BBTS which can make the shipping negligible and the price not much more than an Alternator, let alone a diecast Alternator, plus get it a month early AND have the Takara coolness factor [yes, I know... but it's undeniably of appeal to many collectors, and this is a collector-orientated theory], they're not that appealing at all, and certainly not a license to print money just waiting to be used.

As they've shown with the more recent reissues [Red Alert, Hoist, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Grapple], in the collector's market Hasbro are largely working with Takara rather than against them. They both exploit a certain area, with Takara using their k3wlness factor to cover the diehard fans, and Hasbro tackling those who are a bit less, erm, zealous.

Windrazor
2004-05-29, 08:54 PM
You consider BBTS to have Binaltech at more of an affordable price? I'm looking at a preorder for BT-07 (http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/toystan.asp?Queryid=pre953) and its priced out at $54.99 plus $4.99 for shipping and handling. I'm not sure which line of thinking you were going after there, but $60 doesn't appeal to me for these figures. Hasbro would just have to use the same technology, programs and equipment (which they already have) that Takara uses for these figures. They can be produced for $20 and sold for $30. Thats half the price of going to BBTS and paying $60. I recall when Rodimus Major first came out he was priced at $17.99 from Toys R Us. All of a sudden for the Series 2, prices jumped to $24.99. Was this due to production costs? No.. it was due to the manufacturers trying to make more money. I've worked in a plastics plant, that deals with graphics and has parts such as actual steel not just diecast, and I know from first hand that it doesn't cost as much as you seem to believe. Whatever the reason, its only that they figure they can make a bigger profit by making collectors that actually want the diecast figures, go to extra lengths to get them, instead of producing themselves. If you didn't happen to go to Botcon in 2002, you would have heard that Takara and Hasbro are working together in the Transformers lines. This means that there isn't an infringement on ideas or sales, but that they both design them, and go from there. Hasbro CAN produce them, but they choose not to, most likely because they are profiting in other ways.

BTW.. please refrain from namecalling... its immature.

Denyer
2004-05-29, 09:09 PM
Originally posted by Windrazor
You consider BBTS to have Binaltech at more of an affordable price?Yes. I think it's because our currencies aren't gasping, to a certain extent... an Alternator will cost £20, the Binaltech version a little over £30 to import.

Originally posted by Windrazor
Hasbro would just have to use the same technology, programs and equipment (which they already have) that Takara uses for these figures.I think casting metal requires higher-quality moulds, and I suspect they'd have to get more from Takara than they have for Alternators production. That would need to come with an added incentive for Takara. (Which Takara would be very happy to supply for a fee or a break, I'm sure... they'll cheerfully cash in on anything.)

Originally posted by Windrazor
its only that they figure they can make a bigger profit by making collectors that actually want the diecast figures, go to extra lengths to get them, instead of producing themselves. If you didn't happen to go to Botcon in 2002, you would have heard that Takara and Hasbro are working together in the Transformers lines.They don't share profits directly, though. Takara does a hell of a lot of international business, and Hasbro sells to the mass market. It's a gentlemen's agreement.

Sixswitch
2004-05-29, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by Denyer

I think casting metal requires higher-quality moulds

I'm reasonably sure that this is true. I don't know the specifics, but I used to be a collector of Games Workshop stuff, and they produced both metal and plastic versions of some models. I remember reading reference to different types of molds in regards to Games Workshop (they called them 'soft' and 'hard' molds), so I assume it'd be the same for Transformers.

-Ss

Cliffjumper
2004-05-29, 10:45 PM
Actually, it's just struck me that the Hasbro/Takara agreement is a lot like the way Marvel handled Transformers in the 1980s. US Transformers was just about the only US comic not mass-imported to the UK in the 1980s, and apparently both it and Generation 2 weren't avaliable via the likes of Forbidden Planet, while no copies of TFUK went the other way... I'd say export is a significant portion of Takara's audience [by significant. I mean they're well aware of it, not that it's 40% or something], and what with the company's constant financial problems [you wonder why Car Robots panned out at about 50% recolours, and from then on they jointly developed the line with Hasbro?], it's a market they might want to hang on to. As they're designing most, if not all, of the moulds, Hasbro won't piss with them. I'm aware they work together, and I'm just curious where you got the notion I said otherwise; but DC and Wildstorm work together, and both have their respective markets which they tend not to tread on.

BBTS was more a random example, and it turns out to be an inaccurate one. ebay is probably a better one, and assuming most hardcore collectors have access to ebay isn't much of a leap.

Is $20 cost, $30 sale really accurate figures? Because by that logic, Hasbro would only be in profit if three-quarters of the figures shifted at full price. It's not about the simple cost. I'm certain that diecast Alternators would make money. But Hasbro don't want to turn a few grand on this. Why should they go to huge efforts to be a little bit more in the black and please a handful of people?

No-one's denying that the reissues are overpriced. But that's the vagary of an entirely collector orientated line [I'm sorry, but if anyone actually thinks reissuing Prime was so that kids today can experience his 'greatness', there's jaw-droppingly naive - Supercon Op can move his legs, and has a back...]. You honestly think Palisades or McFarlane are pricing their stuff at anywhere less than, oh I dunno, 1000% of production cost?

Also, where specifically did I namecall? Don't get me wrong, Windy, you're a waste of oxygen which could be used by decent people. I'm just wondering what you're referring to.

Denyer
2004-05-29, 11:01 PM
He's referring to Auros' "twit" and I'm not sure if it means something different in America...

I think I remember seeing one or two copies of US G2 in John Menzies, funnily enough. Definitely saw a G.I. Joe crossover or two. But I've never found one in a comic shop apart from those Marvel Collectors packs. To be fair, I've never found very many decent comic shops.

Strafe
2004-05-29, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Dark Rodimus
Youíre all a bunch of monkeys.

http://www.biologycorner.com/resources/orangutan.jpg

You'd better apologize for calling him a monkey. The Librarian hates that.

Sorry, had to edit that. We're a TF board, after all. Besides, internal links are cooler. But kudos for the idea. ;) - Nevermore

Yeah except I disagree.
- Strafe

Cliffjumper
2004-05-29, 11:07 PM
A few definitely made it across both ways. There's a letter in US #61 where Tetra Reris attempts to spoil the last 20 issues by giving synopsises of five-year old UK material after getting a bit confused about the new writer. It's a staggering pompous letter on the whole, saying she'll let Marvel use her copyrighted characters if they're good, which gets a response along the diplomatic line of "piss off, ours are better". Must scan it some time...

But that's backed up with conversation with several retailers. Menzies might have had some job-lot backstock deal [maybe similar to the one The Works seem to have?], and they might not have bothered much with G2, what with Marvel UK having no competing title. In the 1980s, though, full stories in full colour in one comic, possibly avaliable months in advance? Threat. I'm still convinced Panini had something to do with the brainfart that briefly clobbered European Dreamwave imports.

Sir Auros
2004-05-29, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
He's referring to Auros' "twit" and I'm not sure if it means something different in America...

'Round these parts, it means a dumbass like certain semi-literate news-trolls around here. Name-calling may be called immature, but when it's coming from someone who can't handle typing his own damn language...

Windrazor
2004-05-30, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper

Also, where specifically did I namecall? Don't get me wrong, Windy, you're a waste of oxygen which could be used by decent people. I'm just wondering what you're referring to.

As Denyer explained, it wasn't being referred to you. But it is funny how you worded that since you typed quite a bit. Part of what you said I agree with, and with SixSwitch's insight on hard and soft molds, comes a better understanding. The other part about if they would make profit, how much would they actually profit from, price ranges, etc, is vague only because we don't have actual cost prices in front of us to measure it up to reality. Knowing that, I don't have an accurate answer. If we were able to actually go in there, see the molds they use, IF they can be used for both treatments, the actual cost to run the machines, print the decals, etc, etc, then we could actually get a feel for if there would be profit or not. Since like most factories, it is usually a production line, programs that were already in the computers, training manuals that could finish both products, I'm sure theres not much difference except from plastic to diecast pieces. Maybe we should go to Hasbro and take a tour of their plant in Pawtucket... ;)

BTW Auros, please use your keyboard for other reasons then the sorts of responses you lash out at me. Thank You.

Sir Auros
2004-05-30, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by Windrazor
BTW Auros, please use your keyboard for other reasons then the sorts of responses you lash out at me. Thank You.

Stop trolling our board.

dedicon
2004-05-30, 02:38 PM
!:wall: :wall: :wall:
you guys always do that(and by you guys i am refering to 40-50% of this board)
you want to talk trash and insult each other,pm it to one another.
others dont need to hear this crap.
as for the laser rods,i want a white ultra magnus repaint of scourge/optimus prime dammit

Denyer
2004-05-30, 04:58 PM
And posting off-topic meta-discussion is such a great solution, too. *cough*

Originally posted by Windrazor
with SixSwitch's insight on hard and soft molds [...] IF they can be used for both treatmentsIf it wasn't blindingly obvious to begin with, here's a bit of the science...

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:sCvwR0-is9oJ:www.dur.ac.uk/p.c.matthews/Copy%2520of%2520handout.sxw.pdf+metal+plastic+difference+in+moulds&hl=en

Sir Auros
2004-05-30, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
And posting off-topic meta-discussion is such a great solution, too. *cough*


Well, really, most of this thread could be punted off to toys since it went off-topic ages ago...

Nevermore
2004-05-30, 08:35 PM
I was thinking about that, but actually it does directly discuss the Hasbro statement quoted in the first post. On second thought, it's fairly on-topic. The only problem I see is someone's tendency to respond to all counter-arguments like "NA NA NA Fingers in my ears don't hear you I want I want I want!"...

Denyer
2004-05-30, 08:43 PM
Your call. I'd say punt/rename once the date rolls on a bit.

Spiderman
2004-05-31, 03:24 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Alpha Trion
[B]The packaging would have to change to make it clear which version was plastic and which was metal.


Walmart and TRU already have plastic Alternators all over their shelves. Do you really think they want to put near-identical toys next to them on the shelf? It's just that it's so impractical that it will never happen.

Wait a minute now. Walmart TRU and all the other toy stores have racks of SW toys including all thew variants that flood the market. That sounds like the same thing to me.:confused:

Spiderman
2004-05-31, 03:34 AM
It does not cost that much to make any of the transformers. All of Hasbro's products are made in China, and BTW their employees get payed less than a penny a week. They have them made incomplete or they say they have to alter the toy in some way to doge importing fees. Than they put an inflated price tag on it a watch the bucks roll in.

Denyer
2004-05-31, 03:41 AM
Originally posted by Spiderman
their employees get payed less than a penny a week. You're talking crap.

Wages are not directly comparable with Western economies, but nor are they non-existent. I suppose Hasbro get free transport of goods on magic carpets and their raw materials just fall out of the sky, too?

Sir Auros
2004-05-31, 03:52 AM
http://filebox.vt.edu/users/luflora/spiderman.gif
Shouldn't be too hard to figure out...

Spiderman
2004-05-31, 03:52 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
You're talking crap.

Wages are not directly comparable with Western economies, but nor are they non-existent. I suppose Hasbro get free transport of goods on magic carpets and their raw materials just fall out of the sky, too?
Ever heard of fee-trade off-shoring. How 'bout NAFTA? Ya see they can get dirt cheap labor with this wonderful free trade. :rolleyes:

Hound
2004-05-31, 05:40 AM
Originally posted by Sir Auros
http://filebox.vt.edu/users/luflora/spiderman.gif
Shouldn't be too hard to figure out...
Sigh... :rolleyes:

Anyway, the actual cost of manufacturing a toy is probably very cheap. I actually don't doubt that at all. Though to think that is the only cost in producing a toy is both naive and ignorant...

Whether or not Hasbro makes a profit from the selling of toys is not at issue, whether or not they'd make enough of a profit to produce die cast Alternators for the western market is.

As none of us have access to any actual figures that Hasbro would have to take into account when considering the matter I don't see how anyone can pretend to be an authority on the subject.

If you are going to speculate please do it with humility and intelligence...

Windrazor
2004-05-31, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
And posting off-topic meta-discussion is such a great solution, too. *cough*

It's not exactly off topic considering Nevermores' first post included "Metal not plastic" (minus the haxxor text)

Originally posted by Denyer
If it wasn't blindingly obvious to begin with, here's a bit of the science...

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:sCvwR0-is9oJ:www.dur.ac.uk/p.c.matthews/Copy%2520of%2520handout.sxw.pdf+metal+plastic+difference+in+moulds&hl=en

I'm aware of the science. I worked at a rotational molding plant. We worked with polymer pellets as well as resin which is basically grinded up pellets into powder. Machines that we worked with were by a company called Ferry (http://www.ferryindustries.com/home.html). We had machines that you would just toss in either pellets or resin and set the temperature and time depending on the atmosphere (A hotter day would require more water in the cooling chamber and less heat and time during the burn cycle). We had molds such as roofs for John Deere tractors that would have a time release sequence so that some resin would melt and form right to the mold, and then after about 10 mins (during a 20 min process) the extra resin would be dispensed to form to the liquid plastic in the mold already formed to the inside of the mold. I took a look at that website and read it over talking about injection molding. I can't say I've worked with that. Closest to it, is when we would hook up vortex lines usually at about 20 PSI to certain molds such as hog feeders so that the plastic would form to all the edges a little better. I didn't exactly see anything about actual differences in molds such as the original observation was being directed at with Sixswitch's reference to soft and hard molds. The molds used in rotational molding were made out of steel. So my guess would be that diecast molding would require possibly a form of titanium steel. I saw that the link was referring to molds as being sand casted, but I didn't see what type of metal was used for the molds, or to what degree it was burned to make the mold. If you could find a link to the actual mold differences, it would be greatly appreciated.

Strafe
2004-05-31, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Windrazor
If you could find a link to the actual mold differences, it would be greatly appreciated.

www.google.com

Windrazor
2004-06-01, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by Strafe
www.google.com

I wasn't asking for a search browser, but an actual website link.

Strafe
2004-06-01, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by Windrazor
I wasn't asking for a search browser, but an actual website link.

Yeah, and I was subtly motioning for you to do your own research rather than have others do it for you.

Cliffjumper
2004-06-01, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by Spiderman
Wait a minute now. Walmart TRU and all the other toy stores have racks of SW toys including all thew variants that flood the market. That sounds like the same thing to me.:confused:

Star Wars figures are generally much cheaper, and even with the poor response to the prequels, SW is about 15 times more popular than Transformers will ever be.

And once again, one of the news troll gang has failed to turn on their brain. The argument isn't that variants per se are are costly/unlikely/whatever; it's specific to the Alternators line, with a number of factors for which there aren't easy comparisons - it's a collector-based line of a middle-hitting franchise, and the diecast factor has a big competitor in Binaltech.

What the Hell am I doing? This kid's just a troll. Never mind...

Sir Auros
2004-06-01, 12:52 AM
Wow, someone reinstated my little political cartoon...

Denyer
2004-06-01, 12:59 AM
They did? I've seen it every time I've come to this thread. And I'd much prefer it if people'd stick to proving people morons rather than calling or illustrating in the literal sense...

Trolls generally have some organisation ( http://spiralx.dyndns.org/howto.html ) ...but I s'pose we're little league in comparison.

Who thinks die-cast Alternators would sell if they came signed by George Lucas?

Sir Auros
2004-06-01, 01:03 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
They did? I've seen it every time I've come to this thread. And I'd much prefer it if people'd stick to proving people morons rather than calling or illustrating in the literal sense...

Bah, it's what Photoshop's for...

Cliffjumper
2004-06-01, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by Denyer

Who thinks die-cast Alternators would sell if they came signed by George Lucas?

Well, the thing we're all forgetting is that Pirates of the Caribean was released on VHS AND DVD. Also, in my shop where I work, Walkers have multiple variants of all their crisps. Some come in blue bags, some in green, some in red, some in pink, some in orange... So therefore diecast Alternators are highly viable.

Windrazor
2004-06-01, 01:54 AM
Umm.. how did Star Wars get mixed up with this? I'm not a collector of Star Wars merchandise and dont' have an idea as to if they even offer diecast pieces. I believe the conversation was more in regards of whats out on the market, and what can be done if brought to the states.... Variants? Closest thing that I can relate variants to with Star Wars is Armada toys that also had Powerlinx toys.. or the Universe lines. I believe this is more in likes of things such as G1 vs G2 figures.. (metal to plastic).

Hound
2004-06-01, 06:56 AM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Well, the thing we're all forgetting is that Pirates of the Caribean was released on VHS AND DVD. Also, in my shop where I work, Walkers have multiple variants of all their crisps. Some come in blue bags, some in green, some in red, some in pink, some in orange... So therefore diecast Alternators are highly viable.
:laugh:

Best post in this thread...

inflatable dalek
2004-06-01, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
A few definitely made it across both ways. There's a letter in US #61 where Tetra Reris attempts to spoil the last 20 issues by giving synopsises of five-year old UK material after getting a bit confused about the new writer. It's a staggering pompous letter on the whole, saying she'll let Marvel use her copyrighted characters if they're good, which gets a response along the diplomatic line of "piss off, ours are better". Must scan it some time...


And the UK comic had the odd letter from an American, including at least one moaning about the fact that they couldn't get the UK comic over there any more, perhaps the earlier issues were avaliable but not the latere ones?

Cliffjumper
2004-06-01, 11:02 PM
Yeh, at a guess I'd expect it took Marvel a little while to realise it was even happening... I doubt many of Marvel UK's preceding titles were as sought-after...

inflatable dalek
2004-06-03, 11:34 AM
The Decepticon Dambusters collected comic that arrived for me today has an American price on it below the UK one (though it's possible there are 100's of UK issues with US prices and I only noticed today because of this thread;) ), so at least a few got a offical release over there. I suppose that Marvel US would have considered it's transatlantic cousin soley a reprint title, presumably no one noticed (or cared about) the UK strips.

Spiderman
2004-06-04, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
You're talking crap.

Wages are not directly comparable with Western economies, but nor are they non-existent. I suppose Hasbro get free transport of goods on magic carpets and their raw materials just fall out of the sky, too?

Ever heard of fee-trade off-shoring. How 'bout NAFTA? Ya see they can get dirt cheap labor with this wonderful free trade. Currency is comparable where ever you are in the world. It just so happens that because the American dollar is so high that they can pay them a penny and it's equal to a couple yen.

Sir Auros
2004-06-04, 02:45 AM
Wow, deja vu...

Denyer
2004-06-04, 03:17 AM
"Is there an echo in here or am I on gas? Anyone here ever done gas? It's brilliant, like, it's a bit like reverb in your head..."
óMatth, ex- Murry The Hump

Remember this is the guy who came up with the SW comparison.

Zizicez
2004-06-05, 06:14 AM
im not really adding anything but...

i like Alternators

i perfer them to Binaltech

a-Men

7h3 1aZ3r r0d ar3 g0nna' b3 teh 5h1zz!!!!one!!!1111one

Electro, Volt, Sizzle, Jolt

and Optimus Prime

Shine yall

*insert ghetto sign laungage here*

:D

Windrazor
2004-06-05, 08:18 AM
Umm.. your right.. uhh.. what exactly are you adding here? It makes just about as much sense as.. umm.. adding Fraggle Rock to this conversation.

Alpha Trion
2004-06-05, 08:23 AM
Originally posted in Q&A 05/27/04
Q: Do you have any plans to release more G2 toys, such as the Laser Rods or the Autorollers?
A: We are looking at many toys from TRANSFORMERS history. If molds exist, there is a chance you will see more G2.
Discussing Laser Rods is on-topic.