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Old 2014-03-07, 06:17 PM   #152
Knightdramon's Avatar
York, UK

Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
The designer himself has spoken about how the new MP toys are designed to fit a specific price point and that it has forced his hand with regards to some design choices (like why the Datsuns have fewer accessories than the Lambos did), so I'm not sure that this is relevant to the conversation. Do you really think Spike would be there if they weren't trying to justify selling Bumblebee for the same price as the bigger cars, instead of just selling him for $10 or $15 less on his own merits?

But don't get me wrong. The Takara cars go for, what, $45 at Japanese retail? I don't think that's at all unreasonable for the non-Bumblebee ones, given their size, the added cost of licensing and a higher part count than your average Voyager. I'd happily pay that for Prowl or Sideswipe if I could walk into a store here and do so. The import-shop prices around $80 are insane, but I'm not buying from them so whatever (I wanted to go for G2 Sideswipe but I just can't justify it to myself). Hasbro's price is what really gets me angry -- considering they have economies of scale on their side, and considering they matched or undercut Takara's price on pretty much every other MP to date, charging $15 more for MP Prowl is a bit nuts.

If Hasbro followed Takara's lead and charged a bit more than a Voyager for them, they'd be in "totally worth it, buy them all!" territory for me. As-is the price point makes it hard to say I'd be getting my money's worth, especially if Hasbro cuts back on the paint apps and such like they have on some previous figures.

Yes, but this is a bad thing, not a good thing. Grimlock (allegedly...I never found one ) and Soundwave are among the most popular MPs and they are exactly as complex as they need to be and not one jot more. Megatron and Rodimus are what you get when designers act like "parts and complexity" are something to strive for for their own sake, and pretty much everyone agrees that they're a mess.

In Bumblebee's case, from what little we can tell from those prototype pics he's got some good added complexity (a bicep cut for added articulation and ball-jointed ankles) but also some totally unnecessary, showy bits (the doors wrapping around his feet are great in theory but the joints stand out as clear as day in alt-mode and detract from the look, and I dread to think how pointlessly overengineered the backpack/rear end transformation must be to get a wheel on his back). The end result is certainly very nice, but I'm hard pressed to say it's three times as nice as the much cheaper and simpler toy from way back in 2006.

Now, if he was selling on his own for $30 or so? That'd be a different story. But for the price that they're asking, and especially for the price that Hasbro will ask when they import him? M'eh.
It was relevant to the discussion because at the point you were comparing a 15 USD toy to a [at this point, unknown, but close to] a 45 USD toy. Which still fits inside a budget, but a higher one.

Sometimes a little complexity is good, sometimes it gets overdone and the entire product suffers. No argument about that. Bandai's SOC Aquarion was designed years ago [2006?] and it's still the most complex transforming, quad-changing combiner I've ever held. Yet because almost every joint is quad-jointed and there's ample die-cast all over, it's the floppiest mess I've ever handled.

I think the MP cars, so far, are a very happy medium. Sure, Prowl might be a taaaad over-engineered, but I'd rather see something as tightly packed as they are, for 45 USD, than something like the newer FE AoE Prime

Grimlock and Soundwave are a bit on the easier side, but they are very good figures. Prime and the cars are a tad more complex, but stand in-between. Thankfully there can be a middle TF class between Grimlock and Megatron, otherwise things would get pretty boring or pretty disastrous fast enough.

The problem with some MPs, especially in Wheeljack's case as mentioned in the more recent interview, is the discrepancies between the G1 toys and the G1 cartoon. Bumblebee's doors kind of disappeared in the G1 cartoon when he transformed, they were almost non-existant on the G1 toy that was based on a chibi vehicle...but they have to go somewhere on the MP toy, and that somewhere couldn't be the arms because they had to be clean for robot mode. So yeah, it does look a bit cluttered in that regard.

Perhaps BB is one of those rare cases where the size is in-between "size classes"---not quite 3000 yen like the cassetes, not quite 5000 yen like the cars, but they have to bump it up to the next highest point.

Regardless, I'm very excited in waiting for this and Wheeljack.
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