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Old 2015-01-23, 05:13 AM   #93
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
Warcry's Avatar
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
The cost for kids isn't great, no - but a system with as many combining figures as possible could make it work better in the current wave system. It wasn't *that* hard to collect, say, Defensor when he shipped for two or three years.
True enough. And even if you didn't get Defensor per se, you could still cobble together a combiner with a Stunticon, two Protectobots, a Technobot and a Seacon over the years. With this, though? Who knows how long this stuff will be around.

I'm not just thinking of the individual figures (which, like you say, probably won't stick around more than three months), but the theme in general. There were Scramble City-type combiners available for, what, a decade straight if we count G2? Whereas Combiner Wars probably won't last more than eighteen months going by previous Hasbro line refreshes, and every time they revisit the combiner theme in modern times some bright light decides it's a brilliant idea to rework the connectors so they're not compatible with the last set they did.

Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
However, here the plan will surely be to have, say, Air Raid only on the shelves for a couple of months before a new wave overtakes him, so it'd be nice if there was, say, a Dogfight or Tread Bolt retool/recolour to help kids finish their Autobot jet combiner even if they don't get the G1 five. Which might be more in-line with a kid's spending for the year.
As long as that means they give me a G2 Skydive, I'll happily endorse any amount of mold reuse! And like you say, it'll help the kids assemble a team even if it's not the team.

Though I hope redecos don't choke out the potential for new molds. Tossing out a new Aerialbot or Stunticon to break up a wave of Predacons is fine, but solid cases of redecos probably wouldn't do too much for the line's sales.

Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
I'm finding with each successive increase in price in what was Hasbro's key size class, they're offering less and less value for money against a Voyager class toy that's only 6 more.
Can't disagree with that. Five years ago a Voyager cost nearly three times as much as a Deluxe in these parts. Nowadays they're less than double, and while the quality of the Deluxes has gone downhill quite noticeably from the halcyon days around 2008 to 2011 the Voyagers have if anything gotten better. Meanwhile, the new Legends figures are good simple fun and often seem to be higher quality than their bigger cousins. Honestly, if not for some mild curiosity re: Combiner Wars I'd be just about ready to give up on Deluxes entirely.

Originally Posted by Clay View Post
I dunno, I think it's about the same actually. We know from old store catalog scans that the Scramble-style limb guys were sold for $5 each and the torso guys were $12. According the US Government's site about the history of minimum wage increases, the minimum hourly wage was raised to $3.35 in 1981 and stayed there until 1989, or the bulk of the run of the original line. 5*4+12=$32 for a full set (whereas gift sets were $28), which would've taken about 10 hours worth of work at the minimum pay rate allowed to accumulate. Now we have $15 limbs and $25 torsos. 15*4+25=$85 for a full set, and at the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, that would take about... twelve hours to accumulate. But! The toys now are bigger, more articulated, and I think unarguably more durable than what was marketed back in the heyday.
That's not really the best indicator, though, since (in spite of big business's efforts) most of us don't work for minimum wage. Looking up a few inflation calculators, they all seem to agree that $32 in 1986 equals around $70 in today's money. And that actually lines up pretty closely to the hypothetical "four Scouts and a Deluxe" combiners that I was musing about earlier.

Today's $85 combiner would be the equivalent of a $40 one in the 80s -- which means you'd have been able to buy all the Aerialbots and still have enough left over for First Aid and Beachcomber. It's not a huge gap, but there definitely is one.

Combine that with the fact that real salaries have struggled to even keep pace with inflation over the last few decades, and the gulf is even more stark. Then on top of that, add in the fact that kids don't just want toys anymore. Electronics take up a way bigger chunk of the budget a parent sets aside for their kids' entertainment these days, which means that there is comparatively less left to go around for toys than in our day. Then toss in the limited shelf life of both individual toys and toyline gimmicks, and you've got a recipe for thousands of kids left with with 3/5s or 4/5s of a super-robot.

I actually do agree with your point that modern toys are a better value than their 80s counterparts. But once you toss in all the other mitigating factors, I think the price is still going to be off-putting.
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