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Old 2016-12-30, 12:56 PM   #18
Skyquake87
One with the Matrix
 
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Having grown up with the '84 stuff, I can attest that only the most solid of the original Diaclone toys survived my clumsy fingers. My first were Frenzy and Laserbeak. Frenzy lost his feet and Laserbeak disappeared behind a banister (it was a weird cowled thing with a hollow interior which I decided one day it would be a good idea to slide him along, he slipped underneath and that was that). Sludge survived pretty well until I managed to snap his robot mode leg off. Slag survived intact, but I lost all the weapons (for Sludge too). Wheeljack lost his fins and one front wheel, and the canopy ended up cracked. Ratchet survived intact (I think even as a fairly clumsy child I was aware he was a bit more delicate than most so never took him out to play). The Minibots I had; Powerglide, Hubcap and Powerglide lasted fairly well. Powerglide lost the pin from right arm at some point (no idea) so that fell out. Hubcap's tyres eventually succumbed to cracking and splitting. Optimus just had to put up with my sister snapping his rifle in half removing it from that peg hole in the trailer and me standing on him which snapped part of the panels on his shoulders off. Lost the hose, but everything else was there. I do recall his stickers peeled heavily as time worn on.

The later figures I had Flywheels, Battletrap, Submarauder and Snapdragon remained hardy and durable. And with all their weapons too! So yeah, more Power to the '86 up toys. They weren't all gems, but they were colourful and fun. And, in the case of the '87 stuff - BIG. And everyone knows the big toys are always more fun. That said, as an adult, I'm more about the Diaclone/ Microman toys as I appreciate the detail and whatnot that the later boxy designs lack. But then I'm not playing heavily with these to destroy them so much. The '87 figures given the Generations treatment makes more sense to me - the original '84 - '85 characters had good enough toys to me to not need updating.

I can't recall anyone being sniffy about the change from the Diaclone stuff to the '86 and up toys, more that you were seen as a bit juvenile if you were still interested in toys at secondary school level (11+) when everyone was trying terribly hard to be grown up.


In terms of Pretenders, if we're looking at an interactive play pattern, then I think you'd probably more likely see a Legion scale inner-robot which could switch between Deluxe/ Voyager/ Leader 'Shells'. For Deluxes, I think some kind of action figure with a cavity the Legion robot can plug into would work - I'd be thinking some sort of Micromaster styled robot with the same basic size whether its a jet/ car/ boat/ tank - and Voyagers having a transforming shell with Leaders having some sort of Mega-Pretender / Base function going on. That would work.

That's an interesting observation about the Beehives that have built up and I think it has prompted some change of tack, which seems to be where the Generations line has started to find a sweet spot, RID on the other hand just seems to be an odd mish-mash of stuff, maybe due to Hasbro firing off the line to be all things to all consumer bases (but surely this is what Rescue Heroes exists for...?)

Its served up the same basic core characters in the Deluxe size class, just repainted. There is no one size class that you can collect all the characters in with guys like Fracture and Springarm having to make do with One Step or those weird Launder figures. There's Legion scaled figures with again figures only available in that scale, plus slightly larger Legion toys with clip on armour. Then you've got Mini-Con's that automorph into animals and robots into...a thing the Deluxe toys can use, with some dayglo add ons, and these things seem to vastly outnumber the of larger robots that can utilise them. There's no voyagers to speak of, instead there are huge, simplistic Leader Class One / Three Step changers which seem to be a tough sell for the price they're asking. The nadir of these is the 50 Bumblebee toy which has Legion-levels of articulation/ transformation and seems to be appealing to the same market that buys those preposterous 3ft 'Big Figures'. Its basically the equivalent of having Duplo and Creator Lego targeted at the same groups and based on the shelves full of this stuff, it doesn't much appeal to the demographics its targeting. In the stores I've got in my area, only the Deluxes seem to shift (and only when they're on sale with a significant discount). Which just goes to show, a line with a bit of thought and focus will do better than one that wont.
 
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