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Old 2014-03-06, 04:34 PM   #141
Warcry
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So he's basically Classics Bumblebee, except turning into a VW and given a bit more articulation? That's kinda...underwhelming, isn't it? I mean, it's a nice Bumblebee, don't get me wrong. But it's not exactly a huge step up from what we've gotten before, not the way Grimlock or Soundwave or Prowl were.

Guess it doesn't really help that Bumblebee's design is a lot simpler than those guys, but this just doesn't wow me the way the best MPs have in the past.

Of course, me not being very fond of Bumblebee's design to start with is probably a factor here too...
 
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Old 2014-03-06, 04:50 PM   #142
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Those three also haven't had a good G1-styled toy made for years (actually, for all three I don't think the original's had been genuinely bettered without a radical overhaul until the MPs came out) whereas Bee along with the Seeker and the Lambo was one of the few genuinely great Classics figs; you would say the same about Prowl but they cannily avoided all the little ****-ups that turned Universe Prowl into a complete dog. No need to desperately reinvent the wheel for no good reason (Hi Binaltech!).

TBH I'm over the moon that he just turns into a bog-standard VW Beetle, because a) it looks better than a deformed version and b) it'll upset loads of people who aren't me.
 
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Old 2014-03-06, 06:16 PM   #143
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F*ck yes that looks nice.

Awesome.
 
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Old 2014-03-06, 07:09 PM   #144
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Looks promising... intrigued by the removable face and non-Dreamwave pose, and would like to see some colours. Wasn't expecting to be fussed by Bee.
 
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Old 2014-03-06, 10:37 PM   #145
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Very pleasant surprise, I can say. After I've cooled down a bit, I like the fact that they went for a realistic car mode.

The fact that they have a fully transformable exo-suit with it, and it's being offered at the regular MP car price, if not a bit cheaper, though, confirms that it's going to be tiny.

Take my money Takara. Take all my money now.
 
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Old 2014-03-06, 11:10 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Back end of the Beetle's a bit messy but hopefully will be tightened up a little and less obvious in colour.
After squinting at it, I think it's a matter of the rear end being cast in clear plastic and the rest being in gray resin. Painted up, it won't (or shouldn't) be noticeable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
So he's basically Classics Bumblebee, except turning into a VW and given a bit more articulation? That's kinda...underwhelming, isn't it?
Don't fix what isn't broken... Making it complicated for the sake of calling it Masterpiece got us Megatron.

I think that Bumblebee now being a proper VW Beetle is maybe a first. Was he ever depicted as a normal car, or was it always the scrunched up penny-racer version?
 
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Old 2014-03-07, 12:20 AM   #147
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Not bad, not bad at all.
 
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Old 2014-03-07, 01:44 AM   #148
Warcry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Don't fix what isn't broken... Making it complicated for the sake of calling it Masterpiece got us Megatron.
Fair enough. I expect it'll be retailing for $15 like the toy it's based on, then?

...

What's that? $45 plus shipping from Japanese stores, $80 from Western importers and $60 if Hasbro bothers to import it? The hell you say!

I don't mean to rain on everyone's parade, but I just can't get excited by the prospect of paying Masterpiece prices for a really good Deluxe and a giant accessory that 90% of the owners are going to toss in a parts bin and ignore after the first few days. Again, don't get me wrong, it's really good for what it is. But aside from the licensed alt-mode it could easily be a Generations toy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
I think that Bumblebee now being a proper VW Beetle is maybe a first. Was he ever depicted as a normal car, or was it always the scrunched up penny-racer version?
I think he was depicted as a realistic Beetle in some of the early IDW issues. That's the only thing that comes to mind, though.
 
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Old 2014-03-07, 08:02 AM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Fair enough. I expect it'll be retailing for $15 like the toy it's based on, then?

...

What's that? $45 plus shipping from Japanese stores, $80 from Western importers and $60 if Hasbro bothers to import it? The hell you say!

I don't mean to rain on everyone's parade, but I just can't get excited by the prospect of paying Masterpiece prices for a really good Deluxe and a giant accessory that 90% of the owners are going to toss in a parts bin and ignore after the first few days. Again, don't get me wrong, it's really good for what it is. But aside from the licensed alt-mode it could easily be a Generations toy.
Try to see it this way...

Don't compare it to US release prices because they are tailored to be that way from the get go, whereas japanese release prices have a bit more give depending on the character/mould etc.

From the looks of it [can't tell how it handles, though] it looks like it has more parts than dlx classics bumblebee...and that's on his legs only

These guys have got the following going for them

Realistic alt modes [ie fully licensed, ie it costs more]
LOTS of parts and complexity, ie it costs more to manufacture them
Their entire car bodies, so far, are fully painted, with a lot of their robot parts being fully painted as well

---And compared to jpn retail, they are slightly more expensive than a voyager. That's what justifies the prices for me. They start cutting corners on that, I won't be as eager to rationalize why they cost so much
 
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Old 2014-03-07, 09:24 AM   #150
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Do they need to have that many parts to make a good figure, though? Enough to justify basically adding a couple additional articulation points what is basically the Deluxe class design, and a couple additional transformation hinges to make the transformation better? Enough to charge three times the price? Like, say, taking MP Sideswipe and Prowl as examples, do the leg transformations have to bee that intricate?

Granted, they do have to cover the costs for the car licenses and you do get the Spike Witwicky, and there has been precedent with the previous smaller Masterpiece cars...

(And certainly far, far cheaper and look far better than third-party Bumblebees that I remember seeing a couple years ago)

And they are supposed to be priced at slightly more expensive than a Voyager, but even then...

Eh, suppose shouldn't let this bother me too much, I'm not going to get him anyway. Just happy for the people who want one because it is a great representation of G1 Bee.
 
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Old 2014-03-07, 05:25 PM   #151
Warcry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
Don't compare it to US release prices because they are tailored to be that way from the get go, whereas japanese release prices have a bit more give depending on the character/mould etc.
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
LOTS of parts and complexity, ie it costs more to manufacture them
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.
 
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Old 2014-03-07, 06:17 PM   #152
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Quote:
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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Old 2014-03-07, 07:41 PM   #153
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With the Bumblebee prototype images out now, I have to say I am very excited - he looks amazing! Could well be the best Masterpiece yet (for me at least)!
 
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Old 2014-03-07, 09:24 PM   #154
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You guys seen the japanese AoE line of repainted and remoulded deluxes and voyagers, right?

Dino, b*tch!

And other nice touches
 
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Old 2014-03-07, 11:22 PM   #155
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Dino, b*tch!
...repainted Sideways from RotF?
 
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Old 2014-03-09, 05:32 PM   #156
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Forget Dino, lookit DAT BEAUTIFUL JOLT
 
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Old 2014-03-09, 07:53 PM   #157
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Well, the Legends/Legion Dino was pretty terrible, but they didn't even bother giving him a new head. That retool looks as nice as could be expected given we weren't gonna see a new mould at this stage. I'd just be happy to round off my DOTM Deluxe Autobot cars with this guy, as we really had no right to ever expect to see him...

Jolt is blood gorgeous though, but would have been nice if they'd smoothed over all those panels.

Dispenser is the real winner for me though!

I would happily buy several of these, but the import prices are likely to limit me to two or three, sadly. Maybe less.
 
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Old 2014-03-10, 07:36 PM   #158
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So remember how we got word a few months ago about a special edition of MP Bluestreak, and everyone hoped it would be based on the gorgeous Diaclone deco that is almost universally loved by the fandom?

Yeah, not so much.

It's not official news, just from a retailer, so take it with a grain of salt. But it looks like what they're making is actually going to be a boring all-silver release based on the original US toy that nobody likes. If true, I'm not sure how I can react other than with bemused laughter.
 
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Old 2014-03-10, 09:00 PM   #159
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Still need to see more concrete info on that exclusive Bluestreak, but honestly, I wasn't holding my breath.

When there's a deco on a G1 Streak toy, it's one of the four options:

-Silver and black, like the MP toy and Henkei
-All chromed silver, like the e-hobby G1 release
-G1 toy silver
-pre-G1 toy blue

Option 1 is what is usually the mass-release. Option 2 is much rarer, option 3 is frequent enough as a repaint option, option 4 is actually so rare it never happened for transformers.

The only thing remotely close to a blue streak was the all-blue BT repaint.
 
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Old 2014-03-10, 09:24 PM   #160
Warcry
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It's just hilarious, though. How must that decision process have worked? When you have a choice between a deco that fans have clamoured for for years, an all-chromed joke that might actually be physically impossible on the mold but would at least be eye-catching and a boring all-grey deco that absolutely nobody expresses any fondness for, who in their right mind chooses the latter?

It can't be that they're not aware that fans like it, because they've used it on a few random Bluestreaks in the past (a Spychanger and a Bot Shot, I think?). Though that would have been Hasbro. Maybe Takara's designers are genuinely unaware?
 
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