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View Full Version : So...videogames, or figures?


Knightdramon
2013-10-13, 03:45 PM
Inspired by the general comments, by Hasbro, that kids are more into videogames at the moment than action figures, and by my own personal experience, I'm kind of curious to see where you all are in this argument.

On one hand, I firmly believe that videogames are, nowadays, cheap for what they offer you. DLC bullshit aside [I do hate companies who do that, and Capcom in particular seems to suffer], there are hours and hours of "fun" to be had on a videogame.

On the other hand, a figure [in our case, a transformers figure] will offer you an exciting first hour or so [figuring out the transformation, posing both modes], then a curious first week or fortnight, in which you discover more joints, posing, comparing it with other figures and so on, all in increments of 5-10 minutes "playing" time.

In my time in the UK, I have clocked more hours playing Dead Space 2 on the PS3 and Pokemon Black 2 on an emulator than transforming MP Red Alert. MP Rodimus gets fiddled with a lot, though :lol:

Moving to a new house soon on my own, I found that I was very, very anxious in getting a nintendo handheld and a pokemon game to fill up my hours than figuring out which figures I'd bring along.

What's your stance on this? Considering that, on average, a car MP figure costs like 32 GBP while an average VG costs 35-39 GBP in stores around here?

Skyquake87
2013-10-13, 04:31 PM
With the caveat that as an adult, I don't really play with toys so much anymore (much as I'd like to on somedays, with 7 cats running around and a Girlfriend whom clutters up the house with work related stuff its not really practical) , my enjoyment of TFs these days comes from the innovation. I like asethetics that grab me and am surprised with the fairly sizeable collection of Prime toys I have (finishing issues aside, I do like how they've taken the slightly unworkable Animated aesthetic and beefed it up) and that the same line has made the easy to dismiss Legion scale worth the bother.

I don't own a console or do much in the way of gaming, odd bouts of Tetris, Pac-Man and Diamond Quest (or whatever it is) that are on my phone aside. Gaming passed me by as a child. I just wasn't that into it. I had an Amstrad 464 (with GREEN SCREEN MONITOR oooh) and a ton of games for it, but when it died I never replaced it. I was much more into comic books and music by that stage.

Transformers for me are like all the other things I'm into, something to constantly revisit and explore. Like all 'new toys' their appeal waxes and wanes from time to time, but occasionally I'll dig out a figure or twelve and remind myself that these things are actually pretty bloody cool. And, in my head, I can imagine great big fighty space battles and so on.

Video Games give you all the stuff that you'd otherwise use your imagination for. Everything's there - the characters, the environment and so on. You play videogames in a slightly less imaginative way, I feel. They do, on the other hand, teach you a great many things about timing and strategy and problem solving. And because its so busy with stuff going on around you all the time, it can feel like they are the better alternative to more traditional pursuits. Especially now with all this interactive stuff where you get to interact with other players. i can see why they are winning the war over traditional toys and games - and action figures in particular which really are starting to die out as the toy aisles tell you. The only stuff that's surviving are construction style sets, which in some way tap into the sort of literal world building that you get in some types of video games. These make an interesting comparrison to games where you world build as the things have similar principles - here are the parts , lets see what you can do with them.

The more I think about it, the more I think play is becoming more socialable. its like with music. Whilst album sales and so on decline, so the live interactive experience of seeing a band has become more popular. Witness the way Glastonbury now sells out in a stupid amount of time - people have to be there to experience things. Its not enough to simply enjoy listening to a band at home. Interesting times.

Denyer
2013-10-13, 05:06 PM
Transformers are mainly visual and occasionally interactive background clutter whilst I'm doing other things -- a load of engineered hard angles that can be posed is something to flit to. Considering downsizing a lot of the stuff that's stored at the moment.

For the most part games are something I might get around to in retirement, they're usually only fun playing against someone else, and hardly anyone's going to skid towards death wishing they'd spent more time on them.

Can see why kids aren't getting into figures, though -- the value for money is getting pretty minimal.

Skyquake87
2013-10-13, 05:09 PM
I was just going to say something similar. If we're talking about 'bang for your buck' , then video games win hands down, being more responsive and adaptable to how you play with them. An action figure is a static thing and isn't going change (pun intended).

Auntie Slag
2013-10-13, 07:21 PM
I'd argue that if you can imbue an action figure with its own personality (in the eyes of a son, nephew etc), then that figure can take on a magical property, and they'll love that little Sparkabot Guzzle, Animorphs Cassie the Wolf, Seaspray as much as any rabid collector would love um... mint pointy-nosed Swoop that you could never get in the UK for instance.

Probably more so.

Denyer
2013-10-13, 08:03 PM
Certainly some of that, but in terms of creative play being the characters is as of much interest as getting lots of figures and bashing them together for younger kids... and the older ones have probably already moved on to games and circumventing porn blocks on phones. It's a smaller window to market to, plus prices are steadily rising.

inflatable dalek
2013-10-13, 08:07 PM
I think the last time I played a computer game with any regularity was when I last had a phone with Snake on it.

Peter Kay/Remember Snake eh?/Peter Kay.

Cliffjumper
2013-10-13, 09:28 PM
Yep, the value for money aspect is staggering, as is the entertainment value. GTA V is, what, the same as a Leader class toy in terms of price and (I'm not a big gamer, so assuming it's even as playable as VC or SA) could keep a kid occupied for months; insert FIFA for younger kids. In the UK especially football in general is probably more popular with the target demographic than toys and games combined. TBH I would say we're all predisposed against the idea of a Transformer being value for money - if we like it, if we have the funds and the means, we buy it; the idea of whether you're going to get 13's playvalue out of a Deluxe doesn't enter the equation because Jazz is your favourite character/you want the core cast from TF:P/you have disposable and haven't indulged a Transformer for a month etc. TBH even then I've been largely put off buying anything new for some time as the UK RRP of most has gone up as the basic 'worthiness' (looks, finish, durability, size) of the figures have gone down. It's going to take some ****ing impressive designs in TF4 to swing me back around.

That said, consoles are probably the next dinosaur. Smartphones seem to be the teenage drug of choice, with simple but addictive games with the added bonus of social networking thrown in. Same way the web's moved over to simpler stuff like Tumblr, Twitter, infographics, content aggregators, gossip, lists, social networking pages etc. as opposed to bespoke websites I can see consoles getting hit in 5-10 years' time. Obviously there'll always be a market for photorealistic games and the like the same way there is still for dedicated websites it wouldn't surprise me to see kids not as interested in them.

Knightdramon
2013-10-14, 08:26 AM
I believe VG companies are trying to tap into that aspect as well; social networking, but aren't doing so well or it's not as well received.

But there's always room for it to improve or change. Anybody remember mobile phones 10 years ago? Teenagers were hardly interested, in my time, in a phone you can carry around that only calls and texts people. Cue in integrated, overpriced photocameras, mp3 capabilities, video capabilities, internet, applications, connectivity with social media and a billion other aspects that would never cross your mind if somebody said "mobile phone" ten years ago, and you have today's mobile phone.

Same can be said for consoles. 10 years ago [circa PS2? I think], little to no internet connectivity, much smaller disc storage space per game, bare bones consoles compared to today, split screen mutiplayer if you were lucky, arguably worse graphics than today...you get the drift.

Consoles and mobile phones, ie depended entirely on technology, shift and change with the times in a manner that traditional toys do not. Sure, at the end of the day, ROTF LDR Prime is way, way more sophisticated than, say, Energon LDR Prime, but at the end of the day, they don't really offer anything different between them. A transforming toy with more parts and detail is a vague approximation of the progress between them.

Warcry
2013-10-14, 05:39 PM
On one hand, I firmly believe that videogames are, nowadays, cheap for what they offer you. DLC bullshit aside [I do hate companies who do that, and Capcom in particular seems to suffer], there are hours and hours of "fun" to be had on a videogame.

On the other hand, a figure [in our case, a transformers figure] will offer you an exciting first hour or so [figuring out the transformation, posing both modes], then a curious first week or fortnight, in which you discover more joints, posing, comparing it with other figures and so on, all in increments of 5-10 minutes "playing" time.
I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment.

A good video game will give you lots and lots of fun, I agree. When I was in high school my friends and I played a lot of multiplayer on the N64 -- I logged around 200 hours of Perfect Dark multiplayer, probably around 50 of Smash Bros, etc... But there are also games that you play with for two or three hours, say "this is shit" and never touch again. A good game will keep you coming back, and a bad one won't and will be a huge waste of money.

But you know...the same thing holds true for a good toy. I got Hun-grrr in 1988 and never stopped playing with him. I'm sure I've spent way more than 200 hours with him over my life.

(I do suspect that most of us have so many toys by this point that we don't play with them as much as we 'could', though -- they just go on a shelf and get forgotten because you already have 200 or 300 of them.)

Toys also have the advantage of being decorative. If I'm not actively playing with a good toy I can still look at it, but if I'm not actively playing Mass Effect or Zelda the games just sit on a DVD rack (and in many cases not even that, since I don't have the physical disc for all my current-gen games).

I'd say that a good game and a good toy can bring an equal amount of enjoyment, but the emphasis needs to be on good. There are far too many poor efforts in both categories for my liking.

Can see why kids aren't getting into figures, though -- the value for money is getting pretty minimal.
I think you have cause and effect backwards -- toy prices are rising because sale volumes are shrinking, and Hasbro needs to make a higher margin on every toy they sell in order to stay profitable.

That said, consoles are probably the next dinosaur. Smartphones seem to be the teenage drug of choice, with simple but addictive games with the added bonus of social networking thrown in.
Have to agree with this. Compare the launch of the WiiU or the impending PS4/Xbox One releases to the absolute pandemonium that we saw when the last generation of consoles launched. I don't want to say that nobody cares, but aside from hardcore gamers that's the truth.

I think handheld systems like the Vita and 3DS will die before the consoles do, because smartphone games are direct competition that (a) run on the hardware that kids already own and (b) cost 1/40th what a new game from Nintendo or Sony will run you. But I don't see a bright future for consoles either. Microsoft especially is going off in entirely the wrong direction, building so many unwanted features into their new console that they're running the risk of pricing themselves out of the market.

I mean, seriously, who wants to awkwardly try to use their Xbox to watch cable TV? Are any of the smartphone generation going to use a game controller to write up Facebook/Twitter posts? Who thinks it's necessary or even a good idea for the Xbox to be voice-activated? Does anyone want a Kinect? I'd say only 1/20 users are interested in these features, but Microsoft made them mandatory and jacked up the system price to include them...why, exactly?

The more I think about it, the more I think play is becoming more socialable. its like with music. Whilst album sales and so on decline, so the live interactive experience of seeing a band has become more popular. Witness the way Glastonbury now sells out in a stupid amount of time - people have to be there to experience things. Its not enough to simply enjoy listening to a band at home. Interesting times.
I would fervently disagree with that. When I was a kid and even when I was in high school, "playing a video game with someone" meant that they were sitting on the couch beside you and you were shouting taunts and slurs back and forth as the game went on. That was social. Nowadays you "play" with random fourteen year olds more interested in shouting obscenities and teabagging than playing the game, or "play" with friends on the other side of the city or other side of the world. In my opinion the decline of split-screen multiplayer has made gaming more anonymous and antisocial, not less, and the modern multiplayer game might as well be played against foul-mouthed AIs for all the social interaction you get out of it.

Notabot
2013-10-14, 06:32 PM
I totally agree with Warcry on the social aspect of modern video games. I hate online multi-player. It takes forever to load, can drop at random times, and I either wind up playing a 5 star pro who annihilates me in five seconds, or someone who isn't sure which hand is supposed to run the X button and wanders in circles until I quit. And both are usually filled with profanity if I accidentally leave the audio on.

I really miss sitting down next to someone and playing a video game with them. There are some games you can still do that with (especially on the Wii), and I would much rather play a mediocre game with someone beside me than a fantastic game on-line.

Denyer
2013-10-14, 07:59 PM
toy prices are rising because sale volumes are shrinking
Costs are also rising -- moving labour to the next cheapest source of exploitable workers is expensive in itself, and raw materials and shipping increases all add up even before corners start being cut on the finish. The basic cost of stocking something on a shelf of a basic quality, almost irrespective of size point, is making the lowest price point unviable. Pound/dollar store toys end up removing quality from the equation completely.

On the big ticket items (Masterpiece) I agree there's gouging going on -- Soundwave and cassettes isn't much less than importing a Takara Metroplex, and Acid Storm (75) is the exact same thing as Skywarp, which Argos flogged off for 20.

Cliffjumper
2013-10-14, 08:50 PM
I dunno, maybe they've cut Acid Storm's parts off the trees in a room with lights on and not made him out of the same plastic they use to make binbags? Though he's probably the same KO quality Skywarp is...

ganon578
2013-10-15, 03:13 PM
For me personally, I think I gravitate more towards games over figures because of usage per $. Most of my Transformers are bought, fiddled with for a week or so, then they sit on my shelf once all the nuances have been exploited. They are good display pieces though, so from that point of view, my Transformers get more usage than my games. From a functionality perspective, I have a lot more interaction with my game library than I do with my Transformers.

The other thing that drives me to games is the ease of trade-ins towards new games. I can go to a handful of shops that are 5 minutes from my house, trade in some things, and get something new. As for Transformers, I need to turn them over through this site or eBay, then ship, then subtract PayPal and eBay fees. Then I can use the excess money to get new figures. Games are just easier for me to switch around.

I think handheld systems like the Vita and 3DS will die before the consoles do, because smartphone games are direct competition that (a) run on the hardware that kids already own and (b) cost 1/40th what a new game from Nintendo or Sony will run you. But I don't see a bright future for consoles either. Microsoft especially is going off in entirely the wrong direction, building so many unwanted features into their new console that they're running the risk of pricing themselves out of the market.

I mean, seriously, who wants to awkwardly try to use their Xbox to watch cable TV? Are any of the smartphone generation going to use a game controller to write up Facebook/Twitter posts? Who thinks it's necessary or even a good idea for the Xbox to be voice-activated? Does anyone want a Kinect? I'd say only 1/20 users are interested in these features, but Microsoft made them mandatory and jacked up the system price to include them...why, exactly?

Completely agree that the handhelds will be out before consoles. I own a 3DS and absolutely enjoy it... but I also don't care for the lack of tactile buttons on a phone. Most non-gamer people nowadays have more easily learned to adjust without buttons. Consoles to me will simply last longer just because of the sheer number of people that play things like Call of Duty. I don't see those numbers falling off a cliff anytime soon.

And as far as TV on an Xbox goes - no one is buying that machine simply to stream TV. I agree that Microsoft is taking a huge misstep going in that direction. Why buy a $400-500 machine when you can buy a Roku box for 25% of the price to do the same thing?

I totally agree with Warcry on the social aspect of modern video games. I hate online multi-player. It takes forever to load, can drop at random times, and I either wind up playing a 5 star pro who annihilates me in five seconds, or someone who isn't sure which hand is supposed to run the X button and wanders in circles until I quit. And both are usually filled with profanity if I accidentally leave the audio on.

I really miss sitting down next to someone and playing a video game with them. There are some games you can still do that with (especially on the Wii), and I would much rather play a mediocre game with someone beside me than a fantastic game on-line.

Me too, on all accounts. As for online, I really only play with a friend of mine who is 2000 miles away from me. And usually we play the modes that only the two of us are in, or we mute everyone else. Couch co-op has always been fun, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it with some Diablo III.

Paul053
2013-10-15, 03:50 PM
It really depends on each person I guess. For me,

Now I really just don't have much time playing. Yes, I still have PS3 but it's pretty much a DVD player now. I also have Wii but they are pretty much for kids and I may play with them if mom allow them to play. I would also say games these days are so expensive. A new game cost more than $50 and only good for a little while and done (campaign/story mode are so short now and no, I don't like/care multi-player). Waiting for Greatest Hit at $19.99 is another option but back to the beginning, I just don't have the time. Still couple games I want to pick up and try (such as FoC) but it always can wait. Guess I pretty much out grown the video games either. Being played these games since the very first Nintendo red white famicom. Final Fantasy for instance, I played it from the very first one until the 10th and then called it quit.

TF On the other hand. Since I don't buy MP, Takara stuffs, and the exclusives (not counting the minority 3rd party stuffs), the regular cost for a voyager is around $20 and $13-15 for a deluxe. Price aside, I also found I have more time enjoying them since I can randomly just take one down, fiddle with it, and then put it back.

Notabot
2013-10-15, 05:53 PM
As far as video game price, I've got such a backlog of games that it's usually not a problem to wait for the games I want to play to go way down in price. I typically try to keep video game purchases around $20, and I think I've only ever paid the initial release price on one game. Even with that one, I had a couple trade ins and a coupon, so I still didn't technically pay release price.

And I try to do the same thing with Transformers since I've got so stinkin' many of them now. I'd say about 80% of my collection was bought below retail, and that's the biggest thrill for me now. I go for figures I like, but try to catch them on sale in one form or another.

Ultimately, I'd say that most of my video games give me more entertainment for the price, but Warcry's point of the toys being decorative is totally right. I've never had anyone complement my video games, but the TF collection has dropped several jaws over the last few years.

ganon578
2013-10-15, 06:18 PM
I've never had anyone complement my video games, but the TF collection has dropped several jaws over the last few years.

Same here, but I can't tell if it's because they think its awesome from a deco standpoint, or if they're just amazed at how geeky I am. :lol:

Notabot
2013-10-15, 07:30 PM
A little from column A, a little from column B. :) It's usually a mixture of, "Wow, that's really impressive," and "Oh my, how much did you spend on these?"

Addl
2013-10-16, 01:45 AM
I only see the loss of imagination needed by a child, so the lack of its development.

I consider lego to be one of the smartest toys, once you build your own things after learning by the stuff you bouggt, but even action figures let children create a setting / story by their own imagination... still lego and playmobil being better than cartoon influenced transformers and gi joe ( all this of.my era)

With video games, you get easy pre cooked entertainment. Just get through the pre developed story by someone others idea... even if multiple endings.

This is why i want my kids to start late on video games and i hope traditional toys will survive.

For myself, i collect the figures, but hardly ever unpack them. And i do not play video games.

MarkNL
2013-10-16, 06:10 AM
I hate it that many people prefer their mobile phone above everything else nowadays. The only thing many of them are doing with those phones is sending totally unimportant messages or they want to check their Facebook every minute. Even when you're in a conversation with those people they're not paying attention to you. The only thing which is important for them is their phone or social media.

And about social media.. well.. I think I might be the only one in the western world who doesn't have Facebook, Twitter, etcetera. You don't want to know how and how many people abuse such social media. Many wrong things happen because of it. I don't know what's happening to the world these days, but I don't really like it. I might sound like an old man right now, but I'm only 19. What I just wrote is just what I stand for.

Skyquake87
2013-10-16, 07:08 AM
i don't have facespace or twitbo either. for the reasons above and because i am not fond of my employer (or any employer) checking up on staff by monitoring facebook.

MarkNL
2013-10-16, 07:26 AM
i don't have facespace or twitbo either. for the reasons above and because i am not fond of my employer (or any employer) checking up on staff by monitoring facebook.
Ah, someone who thinks the same as me about it. :clap:

By the way: this is a very interesting discussion.

inflatable dalek
2013-10-16, 07:52 AM
Hell, back when I was a kid there was a lot of worry computer games were ruining kids, and we seem to have turned out OK. I think parents just have a natural distrust of their sprogs being heavily into something that wasn't around when they were youngsters. Certainly most games are better at provoking imagination and interaction than, say, television. Or even a book, where you're still confined by the events happening as the author wants them to.

MarkNL
2013-10-16, 08:04 AM
Hell, back when I was a kid there was a lot of worry computer games were ruining kids, and we seem to have turned out OK. I think parents just have a natural distrust of their sprogs being heavily into something that wasn't around when they were youngsters. Certainly most games are better at provoking imagination and interaction than, say, television. Or even a book, where you're still confined by the events happening as the author wants them to.
True.

Above I said that I don't like social media and those new mobile phones, but I think games are different than that kind of stuff. Games can stimulate people to become creative or think creatively (problem-solving). Besides of that, many games are English (or American, whatever you want). In other countries, like here in the Netherlands, people can learn English by playing those games (like I did and still do). Gaming has advantages, but yea, like nearly everything else it also has disadvantages, though.

inflatable dalek
2013-10-16, 08:20 AM
The thing to remember with things like social media is you control it, it doesn't control you. You affect what you read, what you post and what you read from other people. Lots of people use it for truly inane stuff (though not me of course, to pick a recent example I just compared the season 5 Quantum Leap theme tune to having my ears raped by a whale with a 12 foot penis. Which I'm sure we can all agree is a sensible and fulfilling use of the internet) but you don't have to actually be exposed to any of that if you don't want to.

Of course, it's easy to screw up (as I did almost epically badly last year in a story that can only be told in full in my eventual autobiography, Oh, Ah, That's Not The Soap), but considering the amount of times I've badly screwed up face to face conversations with epic consequences, the internet it probably ahead on preserving my dignity.

I must admit though, I do find Twitter beyond me most of the time. I use it to whore my site (and anything I write for here as well, something the other mods don't really go for as they're even more curmudgeonly than I am. Yeah, I'm the cool one around here) but otherwise find the whole 144 character thing far to restricting.

Addl
2013-10-16, 11:12 AM
Hell, back when I was a kid there was a lot of worry computer games were ruining kids, and we seem to have turned out OK. I think parents just have a natural distrust of their sprogs being heavily into something that wasn't around when they were youngsters. Certainly most games are better at provoking imagination and interaction than, say, television. Or even a book, where you're still confined by the events happening as the author wants them to.

If we or you turned out pretty well might not be my criteria... and we have as many ppinions as people around. I do believe that books inspire more imagonation, as i always seemed disappointed in followup movies like never ending story ( htrat book).

On the tv i agree and that is why i do not have a tv since 13 years and i would also like my child to selectivly choose their tv, game or toy... not jist consume endlesd nd brainlessly as it is always on

ganon578
2013-10-16, 02:15 PM
I'm on Facebook, and rarely check it nowadays. Everytime I go there all I see is who has eaten what for dinner (sometimes with a photo of their plate of food?), and random statements that mean nothing. Initially it was a good way to communicate with long out-of-touch friends, but now it just seems like a terrible waste of time. And now when I see a lot of people's status updates, all I can think of is this:

Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake Hashtags (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA)

Notabot
2013-10-16, 03:19 PM
No Facebook for me either. I kind of figure that if I lost touch with someone from my past, it was for a reason, and if there's someone I really want to catch up with again, it's easy enough to do in real life.

And I can see where Twitter might be handy for businesses, but for people it just seems like a ridiculous ego trip to announce what you're doing or thinking throughout the day and hope that people read it and react. Totally unlike posting here. :)

With our kids, they watch very little TV, play video games on a very limited and supervised basis, but read and play with games and toys phenomenally. I love listening in to the little universes and schemes they come up with while building cabins with Lincoln Logs, setting up tea parties with GI Joe and Polly Pocket, or staging seek and destroy missions with Transformers teaming up with plastic dinosaurs. We've tried very hard to ensure that our kids can entertain themselves, and, despite ourselves, I think we succeeded.

Knightdramon
2013-10-16, 05:01 PM
I think you're as confined with figures as you are with a videogame, more or less.

Every figure is a set somebody [example, MP Red Alert is, was, and always will be marketed as G1 Red Alert], who you want it to be and do is different. The very same principle can be applied to videogames as well.

Social media is a different beast than this discussion, but I'll chime in; it *is* mostly full of useless information, you can filter who you interact with and basically it's a great and in essence free way of being in text, video or voice contact with people all around. You're where you grew up in, lived for the past few years, and work at, and don't want facebook? Sure, I can see that. You're in another country, temporarily or not than the one you grew up in, and all your friends and past colleagues are away? Not using social media is a bit of a social dead end in that case...

Warcry
2013-10-16, 06:32 PM
Completely agree that the handhelds will be out before consoles. I own a 3DS and absolutely enjoy it... but I also don't care for the lack of tactile buttons on a phone.
Oh, I totally agree. My wife is constantly playing iOS games when she's got spare time on her hands but I just can't do it. The touch screen controls just ruin the experience for me.

And as far as TV on an Xbox goes - no one is buying that machine simply to stream TV. I agree that Microsoft is taking a huge misstep going in that direction. Why buy a $400-500 machine when you can buy a Roku box for 25% of the price to do the same thing?
Nobody, that's who. Especially since most TV providers (at least around these parts) will provide the box anyway and don't want you using anything but their approved hardware.

It seems to me that a $200 console without the fancy bells and whistles would sell far more units than a $400 console that can do everything your computer, phone an TV box already do and induces Big Brother paranoia (justified or not) because it's always watching and listening to you even when it's allegedly turned off. And that would in turn sell far, far more games and make Microsoft more money. But what do I know?

Couch co-op has always been fun, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it with some Diablo III.
I forgot about Diablo III having in-person multiplayer. Will have to investigate that when I eventually get the game...

Ultimately, I'd say that most of my video games give me more entertainment for the price, but Warcry's point of the toys being decorative is totally right. I've never had anyone complement my video games, but the TF collection has dropped several jaws over the last few years.
Never thought of it quite in those terms...was thinking more of "I like how they look". But you're right. Pretty much every male under the age of 40 who visits my house stares at the Transformers for a while and around half of them look like they really want to play with them but are terrified to ask because they think I'll go into a nerd-rage.

The thing to remember with things like social media is you control it, it doesn't control you.
If only that were true. I know far, far too many people who've allowed social media to basically eat up their entire lives. It seems like a lot of people (usually the ones who in real life are obsessed with gossip and what people think of them) just physically can't bring them selves to "unplug" for very long at all.

I think you're as confined with figures as you are with a videogame, more or less.

Every figure is a set somebody [example, MP Red Alert is, was, and always will be marketed as G1 Red Alert], who you want it to be and do is different. The very same principle can be applied to videogames as well.
I don't really agree with that. What a toy can and can't be is limited only by your imagination (and in some cases your painting skills), especially in combination with other toys. That Red Alert could become Clampdown or Deep Cover if you put the time into it. Or it could become a part of a gigantic battle display. Or it can hang out on a shelf with the G1 and Universe versions of the character. Or maybe it's a coffee table toy for guests to be impressed by, or a character in a photocomic. Or maybe you just want to sit down on the floor and have Starscream bash Red's face. Anything you want to do with it, you can.

But a video game? What it can and can't do is strictly limited, even in the case of sandbox games, to what the developers' imaginations could think of. I'm constantly disappointed by things that I want to do in video games but can't, things that seem obvious to me but that either never occurred to the programmers or weren't considered important. In the days of old modding PC games was a passtime of mine because there were always so many things that I thought I could do better, but modern games are often set up to make modding more difficult and it's not even a possibility on console games. So once you exhaust all of the game's preset challenges, you're basically done with it. A toy, not so much.

ganon578
2013-10-16, 06:58 PM
Or it can hang out on a shelf with the G1 and Universe versions of the character.

It's interesting you mention that. I have considered several times doing that with my new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and my classic ones I had as a kid. Almost like the Turtles Forever movie in figure form. Haven't done it yet though...

Cliffjumper
2013-10-16, 11:50 PM
I consider lego to be one of the smartest toys, once you build your own things after learning by the stuff you bouggt, but even action figures let children create a setting / story by their own imagination...

Lego seems to be one of the few toylines on the upwards curve, actually.


Whether the move towards video games/smartphones/social media is good for kids or not is neither here nor there, as it's pretty much what's happening regardless. Is it just me not keeping in touch or has there not been a Buzz Lightyear/Furby level must-have toy craze for years now? Compare and contrast with the launch of GTA V, iPhones, etc, which have all made big waves in the old media.

Something being tangible seems to be less of a concern to kids now, certainly - difficult to blame them when everything's going digital. Give it 10 years and physical shops selling physical music formats will be some sort of weird hipster thing.

Regarding possibilities of imagination, games are - of course - finite, but how many really do exhaust them? Your 30-year old serious gamer might have 100% in GTA V three days after the release but will a 13-year old? Or FIFA, with its' various permutations which only need to keep the player entertained for a year anyway?

ganon578
2013-10-17, 02:50 PM
Lego seems to be one of the few toylines on the upwards curve, actually.

Lego is an evergreen toy. The parts have changed little over the years, and with the drop-in/drop-out ability of different licensed properties, the sets are like a never-ending gold mine (add in the every present City sets too). There's a ton of parents out there who, like me, had Lego sets in their youth are now excited to get their kids Lego sets. I can't wait for my kids to be old enough for Lego. As it is, they have Duplos already.

Whether the move towards video games/smartphones/social media is good for kids or not is neither here nor there, as it's pretty much what's happening regardless. Is it just me not keeping in touch or has there not been a Buzz Lightyear/Furby level must-have toy craze for years now? Compare and contrast with the launch of GTA V, iPhones, etc, which have all made big waves in the old media.

Furbys (Furbies?) are back. Sans the craze. The last toy craze of that nature that I can remember was Tickle-Me Elmo.

The PS3 KILLeR
2013-10-17, 05:01 PM
Furbys (Furbies?) are back. Sans the craze. The last toy craze of that nature that I can remember was Tickle-Me Elmo.
Zhu Zhu pets (I believe that's how you spell it) were pretty big a few years ago. Every little girl, and some boys, had to have them for Christmas that year. My friend who worked at Walmart at the time hated when they got a new shipment in as he would get attacked my 5 year olds while he was putting them on the shelf.

MarkNL
2013-10-17, 05:24 PM
Lego is an evergreen toy. The parts have changed little over the years, and with the drop-in/drop-out ability of different licensed properties, the sets are like a never-ending gold mine (add in the every present City sets too). There's a ton of parents out there who, like me, had Lego sets in their youth are now excited to get their kids Lego sets. I can't wait for my kids to be old enough for Lego. As it is, they have Duplos already.

It's a pity that Lego is so expensive these days (well, in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, etcetera that is. I don't know about other countries than these.) I remember back in the days when I was a little boy...
...
Oh, never mind. No time for old war stories now. Gosh, I feel like Kup now.

Skyquake87
2013-10-17, 07:33 PM
Iirc, lego has always been a slightly pricy toy. The licensed stuff is very expensive,but the 'gateway' city stuff remains affordable and good value. Massively improved recently by adding in buildings and also going for a playset vibe with a lot of new city sets.

I adore all the farm stuff they did a couple of years ago and love playing with that stuff once in a while. Lego cows and pigs!

ganon578
2013-10-18, 08:14 PM
It's a pity that Lego is so expensive these days (well, in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, etcetera that is. I don't know about other countries than these.) I remember back in the days when I was a little boy...
...
Oh, never mind. No time for old war stories now. Gosh, I feel like Kup now.

Iirc, lego has always been a slightly pricy toy. The licensed stuff is very expensive,but the 'gateway' city stuff remains affordable and good value. Massively improved recently by adding in buildings and also going for a playset vibe with a lot of new city sets.

I adore all the farm stuff they did a couple of years ago and love playing with that stuff once in a while. Lego cows and pigs!

Lego is expensive in the States too, especially licensed sets. I browsed the Man of Steel sets a while back, and was surprised how expensive the small sets were.

Skyquake87
2013-10-19, 08:54 AM
On the plus side, with Lego, you know its not being produced by children in a sweatshop somewhere, so its worth paying the extra for.