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The Reverend
2013-07-16, 05:02 AM
... was visible on the TRU website recently with a release date of 7/18. It was also briefly up for preorder, but apparently TRU cancelled all those within a matter of hours.

Still not up on their website and the local stores use the website to track items at guest-services.

Argh!

Blackjack
2013-07-16, 05:41 AM
From Seibertron: (http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/toys-r-us-cancels-masterpiece-soundwave-and-acid-storm-purchases-made-on-ebay-last-night/27815/)

Dear XXXXXXXXXX,

Thank you for contacting Toys "R" Us on eBay regarding the status of your order, Order #13357975.

We regret to inform you that we had to cancel your order due to our warehouse being out of stock.

We understand your interest in this item and suggest periodically checking back on the website for future availability. We are sorry we couldn't fulfill all of the items on your order and appreciate your interest in shopping with us.

If you need any further assistance, please feel free to respond to this email. Thank you again for contacting us. We value your business and look forward to serving you in the future!

Sincerely,
Adam
Guest Service Team
Toys "R" Us on eBay Support

Unicron
2013-07-16, 05:59 AM
It's actually more messed up than that...

ToysRUs originally listed MP Soundwave, along with Acidstorm and a number of exclusives from a variety of lines that are all scheduled for release on the 18th to coincide with SDCC, back at the beginning of the month. The listings were of a informational nature, not preorders or anything, and had a note indicating they weren't on sale until the 18th.
Early last week, at around midnight EST, the ToysRUs ebay store suddenly listed Soundwave and the other items for sale. Not pre-order but actual sale. In something like 20 minutes, 105 Soundwaves sold and the listing ended due to limited quantities. After some amount of time, half hour or an hour, a fresh listing went up with another 100 Soundwaves selling out in about 30 minutes. That happened 2 more times during the night before it finally stopped after 3am. All told, 405 Soundwaves sold, with several of them being bought in groups of 10 by some people.
Those who ordered recieved confirmation emails at or shortly after the time of purchase, and paid for their orders like usual.
A few hours later during the morning, people started getting notification that their orders were being cancelled due to the listing having been a mistake. At around the same time the TRU website listings for all the items were taken down. Refunds were issued as part of the order cancellations, though due to Paypal and banks and what not, some people's money ended up being in limbo for a few days.
Those that ordered and had them cancelled took to voicing their complaints through various means: negative ebay feedback, TRU's Facebook page, directly calling the company. A lot of them were given 10% discount offers to use later, usually with the note that a call to customer service would be needed to utilize them.
Friday rolls around and a guy from over at the TFW2005 boards gets a UPS delivery that turns out to be the MP Acidstorm he ordered, paid for, had cancelled on him, and was refunded for. (After some back and forth between him and TRU on what to do, he ends up being told to keep it).
And now today a handfull of the people who ended up with the cancelled orders are reporting that they've been banned by the TRU ebay store. Seemingly done at random as one left no feedback, and atleast one did leave a negative, with profanity.


As for being able to look up Soundwave in the system, despite the listing being removed, people have had success in getting info by using the SKU or some other number. TFW2005's thread on Soundwave and Acidstorm has a few numbers, including the UPC. One of them should help the guest-services people in tracking them down.

Soundwave:
"R" Web #: 204083
SKU: ECFE065A
UPC/EAN/ISBN:653569878926
Manufacturer #: A4348

Anyway, most people asking for info were told that Soundwave was at the various distribution centers and would likely arrive at the stores the night of the 17th/morning of the 18th to go on sale that day, with some places maybe not getting them until Friday. There was also an odd mention from someone that FLA stores (I assume Florida) won't get them in for a week or two, so it seems it may vary from area to area.

Odds are the only way to really know if a store will have them on Thursday is to go in on Thursday and look/ask. Some have suggested going in Wednesday night and asking if they've arrived, and if so seeing if they can hold one for Thursday morning.

EDIT: Yeah, some of the people who got cancelled orders got different reasons for the cancellation. Out of stock and mistaken listing were among them

Skyquake87
2013-07-16, 06:11 PM
I bet it's a right nightmare being a retailer in this day and age. We used to have stuff go wrong with pricing errors and things going on sale/ being listed when they shouldn't at the now -defunct Office Supply chain I used to work at. You get this across your various shopping channels these days and you end up in a right mess.

Mistakes happen, but I imagine TRU had no idea how prickly TF fans can be! I know unfulfilled orders where money has changed hands are a nightmare sometimes, but its not the end of the world. No one died, after all. And its just toys.

The bans on the ebay store are surprising, but I guess if people have been abusive and rude they shouldn't be surprised. Perhaps TRU have decided they can do without the business of a group of excitable men-children..?

Reminds me of all those hilarious "its not fair" reviews on Amazon after that MP Prime debacle.

Denyer
2013-07-16, 06:42 PM
The bans on the ebay store are surprising, but I guess if people have been abusive and rude they shouldn't be surprised. Perhaps TRU have decided they can do without the business of a group of excitable men-children..?
It's a short-sighted tactic because it doesn't work; people can create new accounts and make low-level purchases purely for the purpose of causing trouble.

Unicron
2013-07-16, 07:56 PM
Oh, it wasn't just TF fans having to deal with this. There were a couple of other lines involved, including My Little Pony...

And the bans are a weird thing. It appears they hit a very small number of people, and quite randomly too. It's not like they banned everyone, or even just those who left negative feedback. Pretty sure atleast one of them left either a civil negative or no feedback at all.

Warcry
2013-07-16, 08:15 PM
Did they just ban all the people who were trying to grab 10+ units under the assumption that they were scalpers, perhaps?

Unicron
2013-07-16, 09:53 PM
That's possible, I suppose. I haven't seen any of the people claiming a ban say one way or the other about the number they tried to order.

Which reminds me, supposedly when Soundwave and such get relisted on the site on the 18th, there will be a limit. 1 to a customer or some such.

Skyquake87
2013-07-17, 05:18 AM
I think that's fair enough. Scalpers are poo.

Knightdramon
2013-07-17, 11:07 AM
Yeah, impose a damn limit on the damn f*cking f*ck fest. I swear to God, the only thing wrong with these things [besides TRU taking a piss at customers] is stupid guys who create artificial interest and demand on a figure.

As I said on TFW2005, this is a figure with a production run of circa 10.000 units, aimed at roughly 30% of hasbro's general demographic.

Once people stop losing their shit over it, they'll realize that one way or another they can get the figure, so long as they don't suffer a brain aneurysm on their own thinking this will instantly sell out from the face of the planet and the only way to get it is to pay 3 times over its retail in the first week of release.

The 8 MP Prime figures at the TRU in Clifton Moor a year after Prime's debut, all sitting at retail price, say hi to Soundwave :wave:

Denyer
2013-07-17, 06:55 PM
TRU are fairly notorious in the UK for not restocking with any new product whilst there's existing stuff at the price point, and very rarely marking stuff down to clear it. IIRC the MP Roddy stock didn't show up until the Grimlocks had cleared, etc.

Knightdramon
2013-07-17, 09:09 PM
Hmmm, in a worst case scenario, we've potentially got around 10-12 TRU between us [including Cliffjumper and numbat] should things get desperate in the search for Soundwave.

Really tight on cash at the moment, but will gladly jump on the opportunity to get one should I scrounge something up.

Less drama, more results. We could make that a slogan or something in the eventual quest for Soundwave.

The Reverend
2013-07-18, 12:31 AM
In this town, we have two TRU's, one on the supposed "good" side of town and the other not.

Usually when I want MPs I go to the "bad" one because the stock doesn't move as quickly there.

Still not showing up on the website. argh.

Unicron
2013-07-18, 01:05 AM
It won't show on the website until atleast midnight, perhaps not even until later. Leading theories are either midnight, 3am (midnight on the west coast), or 9am (the only specific time that was given in response to some people asking when. I, among others, got a generic response of 'on the 18th').
Of course, it could pop up at any time in between, we just don't know.

Unicron
2013-07-18, 09:25 AM
Went up at about 5:15am est, with a 1 per customer limit.
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=19038126

The Reverend
2013-07-18, 09:42 AM
aye... and of course my TRUs don't open till 10a but I gotta be at work at 9a, ha. Owell!

Skyquake87
2013-07-18, 05:07 PM
TRU are fairly notorious in the UK for not restocking with any new product whilst there's existing stuff at the price point, and very rarely marking stuff down to clear it. IIRC the MP Roddy stock didn't show up until the Grimlocks had cleared, etc.

ooh there's a chance Soundwave might show up then - both my local TRUs sold out of Optimus (i know!).

Unicron
2013-07-18, 11:43 PM
Ok, for the anyone who still cares...
As I noted earlier, Soundwave went up on the TRU site at about 5:15am, and was effectively sold out an hour later at 6:15. Sporadically throughout the day, about 2-3 times, the listing reactivated briefly and people were able to get an order in (likely due to a few of the orders from earlier in the day being cancelled for one reason or another). But all told, it's sold out for now.
As an aside, Acid Storm didn't go up until sometime well after Soundwave and took longer to sell out.

As one might expect, people aren't happy about the quick sell out and the odd time it went up. Lots of calls made to TRU, etc. Standard response people are getting now is that more will be available sometime in August.
The best explanation of things is a rundown someone gave of their call to TRU customer service. To be taken with a grain of salt, this being TRU and all...

Alright, I decided to beat a dead horse and called TRU's 1-800 number, and after getting passed around several times (because they couldn't answer my questions, and I wouldn't give up), I talked to someone who gave me this rundown:

Today's online offerings were very limited to coincide with SDCC - today's not the "official TRU release" (her words) of either of the MPs. Hasbro wanted to sell them at SDCC, but because they're TRU exclusives, TRU got a small allocation to sell online.

The "official TRU release" will happen in mid or late August (she didn't know any dates), both online and in stores. There WILL NOT be any MPs in stores until then. They will have "significantly more" online then than they did today, and stores will "be well stocked." She said both Hasbro and TRU anticipated a high demand, and that they expect there to be enough to satisfy that demand "at least for a while," whatever that means.

She also acknowledged that the timing wasn't really well done. They're getting a ton of calls about this, and she said most of customer service people are just saying its out of stock, check back later. She reassured me there will be more in August for the "official TRU release."

I'm taking this for what it is - more info from TRU that may or may not be correct. It does jibe with what their FB page has been saying - more online and in stores in August.

The Reverend
2013-07-19, 12:55 AM
Aye, altho TRU had previously answered queries with "it will be available online as of 7/18 9am EST", apparently it went up much earlier than that and was gone rapidly.

Stopped by the TRU on the way home from work and the guest-services rep couldn't find any in inventory on a "nationwide" search (and he was using the internal inventory, not the website).

Unicron
2013-07-19, 01:21 AM
Well, the '9am on the 18th' responses were all before the ebay screw up last week.
Given that, and the conflicting responses some got (I had contacted them and was told the generic 'It'll be available on the 18th' without a time), I assumed the 9am was either a random guess or no longer applied.

So yeah, seems likely it's waiting till August. (Since I was gonna be up anyway, I camped the site and snagged one)

The Reverend
2013-07-23, 02:53 PM
According to the Q&A on the website now, the next release date is indeed "late August".

Unicron
2013-07-23, 07:02 PM
Or could be about now-ish. There's some reports of it being in stores today. Apparantly a few places in California and saw one reference to Arizona.

Notabot
2013-07-25, 08:44 PM
I held him in my hands today at my TRU. The stocker had the box on the floor but hadn't put them out. He freaked out when he saw what it was and said he'd be keeping one in back for himself.

It looks great, but not $120 great. Probably not even $60 great in my opinion, but I'm getting to where I don't like to spend more than $20 on any Transformer. Stupid adult-onset responsibility.

Unicron
2013-07-26, 08:45 AM
Mine showed up wednesday and it's insane. Stupidly fantastic figure. Lots of articulation, seems like it can handle a wide variety of poses. As stupid as it is I'm even impressed by the alt-mode. Yeah, it's a brick and kinda impossible to get wrong, but it looks exactly like you'd expect cartoon Soundwave to look. Like it fell out of the TV or something.

Value is a subjective thing. I'd say he's worth the cost, considering the awesomeness of the mold and the 5 cassettes he comes with. Especially with the engineering involved. I'm still shocked they got that nice of a Laserbeak/Buzzsaw out of the cassette with no add-ons.
And compared to the Japanese release, this is a freaking steal.

Tetsuro
2013-07-26, 02:17 PM
Any scalpers trying to rip people off on ebay yet?

The Reverend
2013-07-26, 05:57 PM
so far, not in this area. prolly a couple more weeks. ugh

Tetsuro
2013-07-31, 08:01 PM
I think that's fair enough. Scalpers are poo.
That's insulting.

To poo, that is. Poo is at least useful as fertilizer and has a place in the circle of life and stuff.

The Reverend
2013-08-02, 07:16 PM
Got mine today at TRU, they had a small shipment come in and were keeping them at the service desk.

I just unpacked it. Not too bad. The paint apps on Buzzsaw/Laserbeak are just slightly messy, and I noted the index finger on Soundwave's right hand wants to slide off if you're rough with it.

The Reverend
2013-08-02, 10:22 PM
Oh, and the Hasbro directions are total shite.

Hasbro
2013-08-03, 06:23 AM
LIAR!
OUR INSTRUCTIONS ARE PERFECT. THE BREAKAGE THEY CAUSE INCREASE REVENUE THROUGH MULTIPLE PURCHASES. DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THE PRINTED INSTRUCTIONS!

numbat
2013-08-03, 07:20 AM
I noted the index finger on Soundwave's right hand wants to slide off if you're rough with it.
Same with the Takara one though.

:)

Knightdramon
2013-08-03, 08:19 AM
Sister spotted him and Acid Storm at TRU UK's website, placeholder pages with no order button.

Both cost numerically the same as the US versions, but in GBP. Either nets you free shipping.

I am now praying to find something that pays until mid August.

The Reverend
2013-08-03, 08:56 PM
Same with the Takara one though.

:)

I saw one other reviewer mention that later. After a couple of momentary curse words I got better at adjusting it so it won't pop out, but it does annoy me.

Neuronutter
2013-08-05, 03:39 PM
Toysrus.ca now has listings up for:

Masterpiece Soundwave at $119.99
Masterpiece Acid Storm at $79.99
TF Platinum Edition Optimus Prime (Year of the Horse) at $149.99
TF Platinum Edition Grimlock vs Brutucus at $149.99
TF Supreme Starscream CNY Platinum at $119.99

Optimus could be a re-release of MP-10 with a new deco and I'm wondering if Supreme Starscream is a re-release of the huge Cybertron figure from a few years ago. Seeing as most of these Platinum figures are re-releases of older figures it seems like it could be.

http://www.toysrus.ca/search/index.jsp?fv=TRUSCA%2F2510384&f=Taxonomy&keywords=transformers+masterpiece&x=17&y=14

Neuronutter
2013-08-05, 09:46 PM
And the listings are all gone, except for Soundwave, already. Not sure what it is with Toysrus.ca and listings that don't last long.

The Reverend
2013-08-06, 12:13 AM
Yes, it disappeared on our side two days ago and came back. I don't get it. You'd think they could update the damn thing...

Notabot
2013-08-06, 03:37 AM
My TRU had another Soundwave on the shelf, as well as an Acid Storm. The guy stocking said that he just heard about them a couple days ago and was considering buying up all the stock as they came in because they were going for crazy prices on eBay. I told him that scalpers make children (and grown men) cry.

Tetsuro
2013-08-07, 04:30 AM
Well, you know what they say; it isn't the fool who sells...

It feels like it's MP-10 all over again. Except, you know, this time you don't have the option of just going for the Takara version. Well, you do, but good luck tracking down the cassettes separately. It might actually be cheaper to just buy the Hasbro version anyway, even at scalper prices.

Speaking of which, I did check ebay for how much he does go, sorting by price starting from the lowest, all the ones actually being sold at the SRP were missing the cassettes. Why? Are they planning to turn in profit selling them separately? One particularily infuriating listing actually said "complete" in the listing but mentioned "does not include the cassettes" in the description! THAT'S NOT "COMPLETE" YOU STUPID BASTARD! :wall:

Warcry
2013-08-07, 04:52 AM
Some of them might be bastards trying to flip the tapes in a separate sale, but others are probably people who bought the Takara Soundwave but either couldn't get the tape sets or waited for the Hasbro Soundwave (since he costs, what, ten bucks more than the two Takara cassette packs?) and are now trying to get rid of the extra Soundwave they don't need.

Tetsuro
2013-08-07, 05:31 AM
Some of them might be bastards trying to flip the tapes in a separate sale, but others are probably people who bought the Takara Soundwave but either couldn't get the tape sets or waited for the Hasbro Soundwave (since he costs, what, ten bucks more than the two Takara cassette packs?) and are now trying to get rid of the extra Soundwave they don't need.
See, I could understand if it's the latter, but why is Laserbeak missing as well?

Knightdramon
2013-08-07, 08:19 AM
Patience is the key in this instance.

You will, sooner or later, be able to get the figure via a good person, much like how I lucked out with Rodimus via our own Notabot.

What I love is that with each big name MP that gets released, people get bolder and bolder with their trading needs.

Examples
TRU Soundwave for TRU Prime [fairest one I've seen]
TRU Soundwave for MP11 Starscream or Grimlock [really? an 120 USD figure for a 300+ USD one?]
TRU Soundwave for SDCC Metroplex [same as above]

In my experience, things get effing crazy during the first few weeks/month of release of a US MP. Same thing happened with Thundercracker, who people wanted 100+ USD for a figure that eventually settled at 60 USD. Prime, things went batshit insane there while the thing still shelfwarms at UK. Soundwave, same old, except in this instance Acid Storm keeps his price so far.

numbat
2013-08-07, 08:30 AM
...in this instance Acid Storm keeps his price so far.
Yeah, well, it is Masterpiece Acid Storm after all...

Digital
2013-08-16, 02:49 AM
I heard that only 500 soundwaves were released in Texas. Dumb luck I happened to catch a few. Now I'm putting these boys away for a while!

Sunrunner
2013-08-20, 09:40 PM
So, as mentioned above, TRU UK are getting both MP Soundwave and Acidstorm in stock (according to the website in mid to late August). Considering that Grimlock, Rodimus and to a lesser extent Prime all shelf-warmed after the initial scramble to snap them up, is this a wise decision?
Why release 2 MP figures in the same month? I wonder if they will be a limited run and only a handful of figures will make it into each store?
I hope this isn't the case as I'm very keen to get my hands on Soundwave, but don't want to pay scalper prices because I don't get to a store quick enough!
Considering Metroplex is also due to be released in the UK soon, I just can't see TRU having three high-end items at retail at the same time.

Also, does anyone know why TRU have picked up a non-entity like Acidstorm for release in the UK when they passed on both Starscream and Thundercracker (both of which surely would have generated a higher demand)?

Thunderwave
2013-08-20, 10:10 PM
The TRU around here got 2 shipments of the two Masterpieces in. One shipment hardly anyone saw because the local scalper is a shit and bought the entire run of both. The second one the store manager wised up and out a limit of 1 MP figure per person.

That said there is still a few Acid Storms about but Soundwave is long gone, TRU having sold through 12 cases of him in 2 weeks.

Keep in mind that I live in the armpit of toyland USA. We usually see things a month or two after they actually drop and things seem to hardly move at times due to our area's situation (namely jobs are terrible and things keep getting worse).

Denyer
2013-08-20, 10:26 PM
Also, does anyone know why TRU have picked up a non-entity like Acidstorm for release in the UK when they passed on both Starscream and Thundercracker (both of which surely would have generated a higher demand)?
Not sure that the fact the site lists things means they'll ever get stock, or things will ever turn up in store. Assuming any are carried they might be order only.

I'm going to wait and see if they start taking orders on SW, personally, unless Kapow come in near the RRP.

Skyquake87
2013-08-20, 11:07 PM
I checked TRU's uk site yesterday. The expected eta of 'mid-August' has already been changed to nothing at all for Soundwave and 'stock expected 2 - 3 weeks' for Acidstorm.

Read into that what you will.

Rack 'n Ruin
2013-08-21, 05:33 AM
I checked TRU's uk site yesterday. The expected eta of 'mid-August' has already been changed to nothing at all for Soundwave and 'stock expected 2 - 3 weeks' for Acidstorm.

Read into that what you will.

That's weird. I just checked the TRU mobile site for Soundwave, and it still shows mid-August. Disparity between the two, or a glitch yesterday?

Skyquake87
2013-08-21, 06:30 AM
Possibly! Site now back to showing mid-August for Soundwave and late August for Acid Storm!

If all these American scalpers keep buying four at a time, i wonder if we'll get any .. ? :P

praetorian
2013-08-27, 01:11 PM
Up on the Canadian TRU website for pre-order. Price at $89.97! One pre-order per customer.

inflatable dalek
2013-08-29, 07:49 AM
The listing on ToysRUs UK now has it down as being available in stores (but not for delivery or click and collect...).

Might have a trip to Merry Hill over my forthcoming week off.

Denyer
2013-08-29, 06:20 PM
They had stock for delivery this afternoon (since sold out) -- no great rush, personally. Might drop by Merry Hill tomorrow evening in case any have been put out.

Denyer
2013-08-30, 08:11 PM
In-stock for delivery or click and collect now. None at Merry Hill yet; nearest was Solihull and I had other stuff to do when I ordered at about six before I left work, so should be delivered sometime next week...

inflatable dalek
2013-08-31, 05:24 AM
I misread that as you ordering 6, I was going to say that was a bit excessive.

Not being terribly trusting of the postal service for big expensive things I may go have a day out in Solihull (though Google suggest Shirley is the best station to go to as it's closer to the Toys R Us. Shirley not! ect).

My mother is worryingly keen to come with me as she's apparently always wanted to go shopping in Solihull. :eyebrow:

Skyquake87
2013-09-03, 06:50 AM
I got one yesterday with money off with my vouchers and everything. Although I did have to check availability. There's 3 stores in easy-ish reach of me (all out of town barns) and only the larger of 3 stores carries MP Soundwave. And he does seem to be limited stock, according to the guy I used to work with at TRU.

My, what a big box he comes in. It is a nice box though. A big purple box embossed with logos and other design fartiness. There's a bit of wrap around card with some nice touched up photos on that make the Cassettes look bigger than they are. Inside, everything's nicely laid out, although the expanse of packaging materials is hugely wasteful. Shame the instructions are, as usual these days, just jammed in and all scrunched up in a mess at the bottom - and why no product catalogues Hasbro? I used to love these...especially as Soundwave forms part of the thrilling 30 - it'd be nice to see what the other 29 are...

Kind of tickled how Soundwave is a good size, roughly twice that of his old school toy, yet the Cassette Robo are pretty much the same size as the originals. Some nifty engineering in the little guys. Ravage is heart stoppingly fragile though. The two bird-bots are awesome and I like that Rumble and Frenzy are unafflicted with springy heads! Hooray! The pile drivers for both don't like to stay on the arms though and plugging the guns into their backs isn't as easy as it should be.

If I'm being picky, which I am, I do feel Soundwave is a little over egged for a guy that has what is ultimately a pretty straight forward transformation scheme. Takara's wizards have felt the need to add in some unnecessary twiddly bits for the transformation. I was expecting him to be a bit like MP Grimlock with a pretty straight forward sequence with added articulation, yet he's oddly fiddly around the legs. I also miss that you can no longer store the shoulder cannon and rifle in a battery compartment. The dictation machine alt mode is very hefty and as with MP Megs is now a bit too big to pass for what its supposed to be, but its nice and detailed.

Robot mode is nice, although his lower legs swamp the figure. He has very tight hip joints too which gives mine a little bit of an awkward backwards tilt. These joints are those sort of parts that feel too tight around their surrounding mechanisms and seem to exert a lot of pressure onto the waist when you try and ratchet them about. I can see why they are so sturdy, but I think those tough yet moveable joints like this you got on Cybertron-era toys (and previous) would have been better. The head sculpt is nice, but his yellow visor seems a bit feeble and wishy washy which is a shame.

He does look very cool though, standing around surrounded by his minions with Laserbeak perched on his arm. And sticking them on the ground in front of him covers his massive legs!

I'd say Soundwave himself is worth a solid 60 - he's in the same class as Hasbro's MP Grimlock- not sure the tiny cassette guys are worth the same to get an RRP of 119.99. But then Hasbro are charging 14 for those crappy data disk dudes...

inflatable dalek
2013-09-03, 05:35 PM
I got one yesterday with money off with my vouchers and everything. Although I did have to check availability. There's 3 stores in easy-ish reach of me (all out of town barns) and only the larger of 3 stores carries MP Soundwave. And he does seem to be limited stock, according to the guy I used to work with at TRU.

They certainly didn't have any others out when I went to collect the one I reserved (there's an exciting story to tell other people's grandchildren in years to come "I had to go to Solihull to get this toy, it involved walking for up to twenty minutes!"), as I was leaving one guy excitedly stopped me to go "Where did you get that!!!! Where are they?! How much?!" to which I just had to laugh evilly and walk out cackling.

My, what a big box he comes in. It is a nice box though. A big purple box embossed with logos and other design fartiness. There's a bit of wrap around card with some nice touched up photos on that make the Cassettes look bigger than they are. Inside, everything's nicely laid out, although the expanse of packaging materials is hugely wasteful.

It never even occurred to me that the box was deceptively large, I guess because I already had a reasonably rough idea how big he was. I could see how anyone coming in cold to it would be a bit annoyed.


Shame the instructions are, as usual these days, just jammed in and all scrunched up in a mess at the bottom - and why no product catalogues Hasbro? I used to love these...especially as Soundwave forms part of the thrilling 30 - it'd be nice to see what the other 29 are...

What was the last range to have a catalogue in the pack? The Unicron ones are famous of course but did the films/Animated/any of the classics have them? I guess they've basically been made redundant by Google now (anyone picking this up who's curious about the thrilling 30 thing can find out more about it in 30 seconds than any catalogue could give).

Skyquake87
2013-09-03, 07:31 PM
The rotf nest toys, powercore and animated were the last ones to have a catalogue i think. Mainly in the us packages though. Us europeans haven't had them since cybertron in 2006,presumably to avoid disappointment! I know there's google,but thats no fun

inflatable dalek
2013-09-03, 07:51 PM
One thing I'm surprised they don't do (unless I've missed it) is take advantage of those little square barcode things smartphones can scan (as I believe they're technically called). A quick swipe over one of them could easily lead to a current product catalogue, or character profiles (giving you a choice of languages to avoid the whole trio-lingual reducing the amount of space thing) or all sorts of stuff.

Hell, I'd bring Robot Points back and make it so that when you've collected enough you get a free Itunes download of a Prime (or whatever comes next) episode. There are so many 21st century ways Hasbro could get around the fact the current cartoon and comics (especially in the UK) aren't easily viewable by the whole potential audience.

Sure, maybe not many six year olds will have a smart phone or an itunes account, but there's more than a good chance their parents will.

Denyer
2013-09-03, 09:35 PM
I guess they've basically been made redundant by Google now (anyone picking this up who's curious about the thrilling 30 thing can find out more about it in 30 seconds than any catalogue could give).
Not really -- it's good to show kids that don't necessarily have that motivation the rest of your product.

My guess would be that retailers aren't keen on catalogues or packaging that promotes stuff other than what's in the current wave.

Skyquake87
2013-09-03, 09:40 PM
No, the funny square thing isn't on Hasbro's stuff. Takara have had it on their stuff going back to the start of last decade (near enough - its on some E-Hobby stuff I have), but then Japan is some technological marvel light years ahead of the rest of world.

...I miss robot points.

Of course, they amounted to jack sh*t here in the UK (except the cardboard STARS centre.be still my beating heart).

I can easily imagine this sort of thing Hasbro would happily set up for US consumers. the rest of us can go whistle!


...Just noticed both Rumble and Frenzy's shoulders develop stress marks when you move them around the balljoints.

F**ks sake.

inflatable dalek
2013-09-03, 09:50 PM
No, the funny square thing isn't on Hasbro's stuff. Takara have had it on their stuff going back to the start of last decade (near enough - its on some E-Hobby stuff I have), but then Japan is some technological marvel light years ahead of the rest of world.

It's odd they don't really, the buggers are on everything at work. If you want to know more information that can be gleamed just by looking at it about Tesco value bog roll they've got your back.

I've never used such squares myself (mainly because I'm an old grumpy man), but it's odd that such an obvious and (presumably) popular avenue of promotion isn't being more fully embraced.

Considering toylines in general are in a loosing battle against computer games (especially in the UK) you think there would be more effort to use the technology da kids are down with to Hasbro's advantage.



...Just noticed both Rumble and Frenzy's shoulders develop stress marks when you move them around the balljoints.

F**ks sake.

Ouch, really?

Skyquake87
2013-09-03, 10:01 PM
I don't use the squares because my phone is too cheap and i'm so careless with mobile phones i will never buy a big fancy flash thing that can do that stuff. Also because i am old and a bit grumpy.

Seems the only thing thats surviving the video game onslaught is Lego. And i'll bet thats because they've sensibly tied in videogames and online content into their products, without restricting any of their product offering no matter where you live (er, with the caveat of the western world on that one!).

Probably explains why everyone is riding Lego's coattails and the toy aisles are a depressing sea of knock off Lego products.

And yes, Rumble is the worst. the red plastic feels a wee bit waxy and not as tough as it should be. And the same is happening to Frenzy. I've transformed them once and just put them in poses too :(

God's balls, what are Hasbro making their toys with these days?

inflatable dalek
2013-09-03, 10:14 PM
I don't use the squares because my phone is too cheap and i'm so careless with mobile phones i will never buy a big fancy flash thing that can do that stuff. Also because i am old and a bit grumpy.

And I don't really understand them. My brother was able to bring up an introduction to Paul from Pegg and Frost complete with trailer just by waving his phone over the cover of the Blu Ray, I can see how that's a pretty neat way of hooking people browsing in a shop to check something out.

Seems the only thing thats surviving the video game onslaught is Lego. And i'll bet thats because they've sensibly tied in videogames and online content into their products, without restricting any of their product offering no matter where you live (er, with the caveat of the western world on that one!).

I'm actually surprised (again) Hasbro haven't done more with the computer games considering that's basically where their key audience is, putting the effort into a really great game with a decent length of play would probably be worth more to them than even a cartoon at this point in terms of promotion. Especially as new technology means they can offer new characterts/toys as they go along.

If, say, they'd really thrown their weight behind War for/Fall of Cybertron and kept the on-line world alive with new content and stuff (technical term) and then, say, released Hoist as a free download character it would have reached way more people than any of even the best comics are capable of.

It's odd how the computer game side of things seems to have taken two steps back after the Armada one was so well recieved a decade ago (not that the new games have failed, but they don't seem to have set the world alight either. Which is daft when Transformers has a set up that almost perfectly lends itself to almost every type of action game if they got it right).


God's balls, what are Hasbro making their toys with these days?

Dang, I'll have to check mine now. I blame the 7 year olds putting them together.

Skyquake87
2013-09-03, 10:26 PM
Knowing my luck, the stressy thing will just on my examples. Its mainly where the shoulder pieces have come off the sprue. Rumble has two little burrs and the stress shows just around the top :( Frenzy is the same, just less pronounced.

I think the big problem a lot of large companies have is that they are run by old people whom don't understand technology or see it as something they should invest in.

Firm I work for, currently in the news for Cayman Island based tax shenanigans, has decided that IT is an area it will not be investing in for the next few years and has slashed the IT department back to the bare bones. We rely on IT everyday - from logging calls, managing customer accounts and logging and dealing with operational problems. As well as for more important things like telemetry on our assets and stuff.

Everytime this stuff goes down, we're f**ked and the whole place goes into a panic because we can't do without the techology now - and yet, this doesn't need investing in?!

Lego has a very interesting working environment where play is a big part of the work and that's reflected in their product and how they work.

Thunderwave
2013-09-04, 03:16 AM
Knowing my luck, the stressy thing will just on my examples. Its mainly where the shoulder pieces have come off the sprue. Rumble has two little burrs and the stress shows just around the top :( Frenzy is the same, just less pronounced.

No stress marks here on mine and I've transformed them both several times.

And the "little boxes" are called QR Codes. iirc Hasbro and a few other companies have done things with them where you can scan the codes and get character profiles, or play as the character in silly little online games. If my memory is still working right, didn't they do something like that for Hunt for the Decepticons?

As for the video games, it's not like Hasbro has had a lot of success in that area. Of all the video games they've had done only the Armada one and War/Fall games ever really amounted to anything. Most have been pretty big let downs (although I will admit the Animated DS game is a guilty pleasure). If they could work with High Moon to do a tie in game for what ever TF series hits next they might be able to make a real go of it.

Denyer
2013-09-04, 07:26 PM
Sure it's stress marks and not just slight mould flash? That's what it looks like here.

Skyquake87
2013-09-05, 09:22 AM
I dunno, I can't quite decide. It may be mould flash, but there's definately some tell-tale lighter marks around the top of the socket. They seem fine, having fiddled with them a bit more, but still...

I do like that you can cram three cassettes in his chest and eject them one at a time. That's really cool - Hasbro could have done pointing out all his extra features - as is the ability to store Frenzy and Rumble's weapons...in his feet! The instructions really do feel like they've been done as an afterthought. Sometimes, Hasbro seem so careless with their products - why would you not want to tell people about the full capabilities of the toy?

and shut up about Google. Its not an excuse!!

inflatable dalek
2013-09-05, 09:44 AM
No, paper instructions should be much more comprehensive that these ones are.

Having checked my boys, no obvious stress marks... yet.

Knightdramon
2013-09-05, 10:23 AM
Omitting a feature or two of the toy is nothing. MP Thundercracker shipped with the wrong instructions!

On the topic of videogames, hasbro can't advertise shit.

I firmly believe they'd make more, much more money off sales had they arranged the FOC releases to coincide with the game. What good is Grimlock and Bruticus, the big ooomph factors of the game, released way after the game is out, and one of them in colours not in the game?

Metroplex was a big factor in the game as well, even on the front cover and every promotional video, yet hasbro choose to put out one Metroplex [not the same design] over a year later, with the only tie-ins being comics.

Thunderwave
2013-09-05, 12:43 PM
Glad to know I wasn't the only one to find his directions lacking when it came to all the neat features, like fitting three cassettes into his chest or what some of the little do-hickies he comes with are or why they all peg into each other.

And thanks for the heads up. I hadn't checked his feet, of all places, for anything unusual.

The Reverend
2013-09-05, 02:51 PM
aye, that drives me crazy. the instructions aren't just badly drawn, they're incomplete... and yes, in MP Thundercracker's case they don't even correspond to the toy.

Thunderwave
2013-09-06, 12:38 AM
Something I noticed. The bottoms of Soundwave's feet are painted. I thought they where just diecast. I slapped some painter's tape on the bottoms of his feet to stop any more wear.

The Reverend
2013-09-09, 12:18 PM
Well, in a very predictable turn of events, it appears MP SoundBlaster is en route, with MP Ratbat packaged with him.
No word on any MP Overkill, Slugfest, or Squawkbox. Too bad :)

Ryan F
2013-09-11, 09:07 PM
What would be really neat is if Hasbro were to release a figure-based video game, like Skylanders or that new Disney thing. Plonk your new deluxe Bumblebee on the magic plate thingy and Presto! he's playable in a video game.

Denyer
2013-09-13, 07:51 PM
Soundwave and Acid Storm are in-store at Merry Hill TRU if anyone's still looking and is in the Midlands. Also re-stocked on FoC Grimlock and Orion Pax, IDW Megatron, etc.