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View Full Version : Miss that 80's toy quality


Grimlock1980
2014-07-01, 01:34 AM
I remember the days growing up when transformers were cool. I think that Hasbro has done some cool things over the years with the movie lines and universe/generations, but nothing in my mind stacks up to the generation 1 toys. Think about for the first three to four years of the toys they had comics, tv show, etc to build their characters from. They may not have had all of the articulation down, but they had for the most part sturdy nicely made cartoon or comic accurate at times toys. I miss the fact that things were linear, all the cars and jets and other characters were practically voyagers/deluxe class toys of today, even what we call leader class would have been like Metroplex, Fort Max would titan class. The small guys and combiners were proportionate to the line. I may be wrong but I wish Hasbro would come up with a line that was as cool and diverse as what we saw in G1 and not just make 15 different Bumblebee and Prime characters, and a one step Lockdown when he should get a leader or voyager class no less.

Knightdramon
2014-07-01, 06:25 AM
I think it's just nostalgia talking.

If you want to get realistic about G1, see it this way; for the first 2 or so years they were using moulds taken from takara/other companies. From movie characters onwards, they started producing the moulds/toys themselves. Which brought stuff like Kup, some of the headmasters etc and other guys which aren't as hot as people like to fondly remember.

Cartoon or comic accurate guys? Sorry, no. Not one of the bots was cartoon accurate [have you looked at Ironhide?], at best they were comic accurate in the earlier issues where they artists based them on the toys and not the cartoon.

Back in the 80ies they had one cartoon and one comic. Nowadays they have at least 3 comics running simultaneously for one continuity, a movie and at least one TV show on air. It's not like in G1 they kept them close together [comic did its own thing since issue 2].

Besides Predaking/the Predacons, none of the other combiners were proportionate to the line, Motormaster was around the size of Jazz, the combiner limbs were tiny and so on.

Not trying to take away from your enjoyment, no, but giving it a realistic spin. Last year at Auto Assembly I had a chance to see up close some G1 toys I never had, especially most of the cars. My first impression was "really? this small?" :lol:

Grimlock1980
2014-07-01, 09:06 AM
True, I see your point but look at AOE Crosshairs hasbro and Takara. There is a difference. Yes, I know that all of them were not so cartoon or comic inspired, but I think that most were if not in robot mode, alternate mode fit the bill nicely in many cases. I did say at times toys which means I know that was not the case for many of the toys, but it was and is enough for me. I never broke my toys or anything that speaks to the quality of the toys. Well there was this one time with Megatron G1 we won't get into that lol. I also realize that they were not all proportionate, but they were fun and they tried to make things look close to it imo. Thanks for your perspective. I just like the way things seemed to run together instead of 15 Bumblebee's or Primes. Some of the figures were as cartoon or comic inspired as well. Like I said if not in robot mode, alternate mode did. Some of the cars and jets fit that bill and many others. What I like about forums is that we all get to share our feeling respectfully thank you for your input. Still like G1 overall though but I just bought Voyager class Grimlock from the movie.

Tetsuro
2014-07-01, 09:18 AM
I wouldn't exactly use the word "quality" to some of those toys, especially the ones that have a bad habit of breaking in normal use.

I do, however, miss the relatively simple transformation schemes, especially compared to some toys in Generations/Classics/whatever have you.

Red Dave Prime
2014-07-01, 10:03 AM
The toys now are far, far superior but if it was what you grew up with you cant beat the feel-good vibe from the original line.

Auntie Slag
2014-07-01, 10:10 AM
... but if it was what you grew up with you cant beat the feel-good vibe from the original line.

I reckon you can beat it. I grew up with the G1 line, then bought Beast Wars toys for my nephews when they were growing up and those toys are fantastic. Poseable robot modes, fun alternate forms, lots of detail and cool weapons.

And I think the Movie toys are very cool too (with the possible exception of AoE). Oh, and Masterpiece. So as much as I love the G1 toys, I do accept that almost all the later toys are far better, with a feel-good vibe still.

Grimlock1980
2014-07-01, 04:46 PM
Beast wars is a great example of what I mean actually. I may not have expressed myself right in saying this but you see how there was a year 1, then 2, and more. Everything followed a sequence that year's figures had some of what was from the previous line and some new to that year. It just seems like everything is thrown in together. I liked when the figures followed a series something that the kids could get attached to because they saw it in the show or read in the comic. We saw plenty of characters that never saw show time but what bought kids and collectors coming back was what we connected to in the show year by year.

Denyer
2014-07-01, 05:28 PM
I reckon you can beat it.

Yeah. I like boxy, hard lined and fragile engineering such as the Autobot cars for nostalgia value -- but as actual toys (and even as representations of character depictions in particular media) they're not a patch on most things available now.

Also, mould reuse isn't a new thing at all. It's surprising they stopped at six seekers, several Datsuns and various pairs of others.

ganon578
2014-07-01, 05:39 PM
I think what Knightdramon said about the line following 'one cartoon and one comic' hits it on the head back when the toyline began. A singularity of a single line in the brand is far easier to do. The nature of the franchise at this point beckons for multiple lines.

Now that the franchise is 30 years old, Hasbro/Takara has the complete joy of spreading their lines across ages of 3-50. I don't care for the multiple versions of the same character either, but from a marketing point of view, it makes sense. Older collectors will surely want their characters to be complex and articulated (Masterpiece), but the sales numbers from this group is likely the small slice of the pie. All of your mid-youth customers will buy up the movie stuff in droves, and need something moderately complex. Younger audiences that won't handle complex figures probably make up a large chunk of sales, and require purchases in the lower pricing brackets for themselves and parents (I myself won't even think of buying a $40-60 Transformer for my four year old) - hence all the figures that have minimal steps.

Along those notes, you have the pre-school/kindergarten crowd that will watch and enjoy something like Rescuebots, grade-school/middle schoolers who will enjoy the Prime series & movie lines, and adult collectors who follow the movies, comics, darker animated material, and all the above. All of those toylines have to be different to sell to the right audience and maximize profits. A 5 year old really won't care that Generations Jhiaxus is about to be released.

I don't think we'll see a singular line of the brand for a loooong time, possibly ever again. The only scenario I see of that is when the brand dies out and needs resuscitation.

Knightdramon
2014-07-01, 06:51 PM
Beast wars is a great example of what I mean actually. I may not have expressed myself right in saying this but you see how there was a year 1, then 2, and more. Everything followed a sequence that year's figures had some of what was from the previous line and some new to that year. It just seems like everything is thrown in together. I liked when the figures followed a series something that the kids could get attached to because they saw it in the show or read in the comic. We saw plenty of characters that never saw show time but what bought kids and collectors coming back was what we connected to in the show year by year.

Not sure what you mean here either...group all lines by "series" or timeframe, and there's a very similar progression curve line.

Armada to Energon to Cybertron is a beautiful case of natural progression in regards to complexity.

Classics and all its iterations take cues from the movie lines directly close to it in regards to engineering and all that.

Unless you missed out a line, there's a clear "oh hey we picked up from XX" from the previous line.

The one clear exception is DOTM from ROTF and HFTD, but that was mostly limited to deluxes and voyagers, and then there was an uphill curve with RID, BH and now the AoE toys and Generations.

In any way, generally speaking, diversity within a line even with the same character spread across size classes is a good thing.

It means a kid won't be frustrated that their Prime figure is too complex, and it means I won't be frustrated that my LDR Prime is so simple it feels dumbed down and is not interesting. :up:

Death's Head
2014-07-01, 07:59 PM
I'm a big fan of that old Diaclone aesthetic, which is a clear sign of my advancing years. I have this fantasy that one day Hasbro will release Impactor, but done Diaclone-stylee.

In the mean time, there's these chaps: https://www.fpcore.com/product/retro-future-glacialord-set-of-5

Grimlock1980
2014-07-01, 11:51 PM
Armada to Energon to Cybertron is another good example. Diversity of characters and story. I think that I liked that with each season came a different characters and more reasons to collect different items. I don't 100 percent mind various characters being reused over and over but within reason. I also see the point where figures are complex even for us as children but because we had no voyager or legends class, we had to adapt or broke it. Needless, to say we adapted or at least I did. I only broke one transformers in my life, and that is Megatron. I got a funny story that might be the beginning of another thread soon. Anyway, great thoughts keep em coming.