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Old 2014-05-20, 10:58 AM   #181
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Especially when a lot of those people are going to stump up money to see it anyway just so they can complain about how they still don't like him.
 
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Old 2014-06-18, 06:58 PM   #182
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It looks pretty good eh? I've been trying to stay away from all promotion of the movie or toys but that went as soon as you see the ads at the top of the page here and then the toys appear in the local supermarkets.

So today I watched the full length trailers on Youtube. I like the films premise, am a bit stunned how many big names are in this; John Goodman, Stanley Tucci, Ken Watanabe etc. The story sounds like Mark Walhberg is playing a Sparkplug Witwicky type against the Machination.

Hound is filling in for Ironhide, and both he and the others look like ripe fodder for certain parts of the film, if Lockdown and Galvatron are the two big bad guys, and maybe someone will get mashed by the Dinobots.

Prime seems to be heading towards a big 80' shoulderpads revival, so maybe Melanie Griffith will be in Transformers 5.

What happened to Sidswipe, has he gone on holiday like Jolt? As a fan I'm a bit sad that the background guys flit in and out, especially when Jolt had such a cool gimmick to be displayed on the big screen.

[Edit] Fingers crossed the Dinobots don't speak dumb. And even if it becomes the Prime & Bumblebee show again I don't mind, because these films have made Prime completely brilliant. He gets proper angry, he argues with humans, he's got an incredible voice, he's had fantastic lines and he fights like an absolute mother****er. And the only reason the Dinobots are along for the ride is so he can punch a charging one in the face.
 

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Old 2014-06-18, 10:59 PM   #183
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Also avoided spoilers for the most part aside from the trailers and perusing a few toy pictures (which, TBH, aren't really much of a guide - Sideways came out in the first wave of ROTF figs for example).

Bay (and/or his screenwriters, though mainly Bay as screenwriters often tend to only have a vague input in making films) has taken Prime in a fresh direction (Bee too). It might not be to anyone's taste but compared to the recent alternative of Furman sending him through the same cycle of self-doubt through to redemption only to start him off at the bottom again it's been a breath of fresh air.

Highly suspect the Dinobots will be non-verbal. There's a fair precedent for TFs which can't do much more than growl across all three films.

As for the rest of the cast, it'd be nice if Sideswipe, Ratchet, Dino and the Wreckers were in it if only to be killed off but I'm not holding my breath after Bay resisted the cheap kudos of killing off Skidz and Mudflap on-screen. I'd prefer closure to another batch of disappearances certainly, and it'd add a bit more to the hunted angle than some new guy getting it.

I'm always very conflicted about the non-Prime/Bee guys. The TF fan in me would like to see more of them in the films and get a bit more depth but I'm not sure it'd actually work in an action film. Action films tend to have a bare handful of prominent guys and the rest get a bit of a quirk or a cool line at best; I think the TF series has done well to give the likes of Bonecrusher, Sideswipe, Frenzy, Dino, Que, the Wreckers, Ratchet etc. anything even halfway memorable to do when you compare them to the equivalent guys in, say, The Dirty Dozen.

The first thing most action films do is wipe out about seventy-five percent of the good guys so we're left with our 2-3 main stars. Even in Seven Samurai only about three of them get a genuine personality, the rest being defined by broad archetypes in the same way Ironhide is gun-guy and Que in science-guy.

And I don't think the franchise would really work as anything other than an action film. It drives me mad when you see people say "oh, it should be like this comic series or computer game where it's just Transformers on Cybertron with no humans", whereas to me the wonder of the live action stuff is the Transformers interacting with the real world seamlessly - Lennox hammering on Ironhide's bonnet, Blackout knocking the shit out of a SOCCENT base, Dino skidding down a freeway.

Lovely stuff.
 
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Old 2014-06-19, 02:33 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
As for the rest of the cast, it'd be nice if Sideswipe, Ratchet, Dino and the Wreckers were in it if only to be killed off but I'm not holding my breath after Bay resisted the cheap kudos of killing off Skidz and Mudflap on-screen. I'd prefer closure to another batch of disappearances certainly, and it'd add a bit more to the hunted angle than some new guy getting it.
Based on the trailers I've seen, I wouldn't be surprised to find that a lot of the previous films' spearcarriers might have been killed off between DOTM and AoE as part of the "hunting Transformers" angle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
And I don't think the franchise would really work as anything other than an action film. It drives me mad when you see people say "oh, it should be like this comic series or computer game where it's just Transformers on Cybertron with no humans", whereas to me the wonder of the live action stuff is the Transformers interacting with the real world seamlessly - Lennox hammering on Ironhide's bonnet, Blackout knocking the shit out of a SOCCENT base, Dino skidding down a freeway.
Yeah, the TF films might rely too heavily on explosions and generic action movie tropes, but the way to improve them is not by aping something that was successful in a totally different medium (also the TF games I've played are no better than the worst of the movies, so there's that going against the idea as well). Do that and you'll end up with something that's just as bad as ROTF, because what's fun on a comic page would be dreadfully boring in screen (and vice versa usually).

And I agree that a big top selling point is just how real the Transformers look on screen and how well they interact with the human cast and the background. Most of the time they don't look like CGI that's been inserted after the fact, they look like Bay actually built a bunch of giant robots and started filming them. There are a lot of things I'd change about the movies if I could, but this is one thing they got absolutely spot on.
 
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Old 2014-06-19, 03:03 PM   #185
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On the Dinobots speaking...


SPOILER! (select to read)
Was I mistaken in reading Greg Berger was onboard? Or was that for one of the computer games?


Fully agreed that for the films to qualify as live action they need to mostly take place in the "Real" world. Though I do think there could be an avenue worth exploring in placing the McGuffin out of the solar system for a change to allow for a middle act adventure on a proper other planet, I think ILM could do some very lovely stuff there and it could create a nice visual change of pace.

My main worry about this one is, based on the trailers, there's a general feeling of same old same old about it bar the Dinobots (not just from Transformers films either, I think Man of Steel may have been a tipping point in people getting bored of cities getting smashed up in summer blockbusters).
 
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Old 2014-06-20, 03:53 AM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
On the Dinobots speaking...


SPOILER! (select to read)
Was I mistaken in reading Greg Berger was onboard? Or was that for one of the computer games?


Fully agreed that for the films to qualify as live action they need to mostly take place in the "Real" world. Though I do think there could be an avenue worth exploring in placing the McGuffin out of the solar system for a change to allow for a middle act adventure on a proper other planet, I think ILM could do some very lovely stuff there and it could create a nice visual change of pace.

My main worry about this one is, based on the trailers, there's a general feeling of same old same old about it bar the Dinobots (not just from Transformers films either, I think Man of Steel may have been a tipping point in people getting bored of cities getting smashed up in summer blockbusters).
I haven't heard anything about your spoiler. Like not one peep. If it is true...

SPOILER! (select to read)
and he speaks like he did in FOC then I am 100% behind that!


SPOILER! (select to read)
We didn't even know if the Dinobots transformed or not until one of the recent TV spots.


I'm impressed with how the trailers haven't given away too much, yet we've had over 30 now counting TV spots and international trailers. Unlike The Amazing Spider-Man 2... which pretty much gave away EVERYTHING in the trailers... even the last frame I mean WTF!

Is anyone else as pumped for this movie as I am? It just seems like Bay wants to make one for the fans before he goes, and possibly set up a bigger storyline a la The Avengers. I mean I was sold at Dinobots and the fact we won't hear Shia scream "BUMBLEBEE!!!" at the top of his lungs again, but this other stuff seems like icing on the cake.

Stuff that's kinda spoilerish from some trailers.
SPOILER! (select to read)
We get actual Autobot Character development! Let's hope it's not all in the trailer but you don't just hire John effin Goodman for a few lines!

Also Lockdown looks like he could be a good villain! No matter what you think of the first 3 films, you have to agree that Megatron never got his time to shine, we've honestly never had a good Villain! Megatron came in the 3rd act in 1, The Fallen BARELY had a part in 2, and Megatron and sentinel split the time in 3 and half the movie sentinel was good. We've honestly never had a good villain in these movies and I think Lockdown could finally be one.

Also having all the dinobots being ridden by someone is a bit weird. Optimus on Grimlock, Drift on Slug, Crosshairs on Scorn, and Bumblebee on Strafe. I don't know it just doesn't sit right with me. Optimus riding Grimlock is cool but why does everyone else need to, they've all essentially been reduced to mounts... just, yeah.



But yeah i can't wait to see the early Thursday screening at my local theatre next week, I went in Dark of The Moon expecting nothing and was surprised. So let's hope this isn't like Revenge of the Fallen, where coming out of the theater is awesome because all you remember is the good parts and when you watch it on Blu Ray you notice the plot holes and just how bad it is. Fingers Crossed this one is good.
 
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Old 2014-06-22, 08:20 PM   #187
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Review from Variety, little to no spoilers.

It makes it sound like... a Michael Bay Transformer movie. Who would have thought?
 
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Old 2014-07-16, 09:28 PM   #188
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Article on the lackluster sales of movie toys (found from TFW).

I may be taking a shot in the dark, but I think overpopulating the shelves with a bunch of foot-tall dolls that don't transform, three different styles of "EASY TO TRANSFORM" assortments, tangential products like Kreons and Constructabots, and finally the "actual" figures... you might be diluting your brand and confusing customers a bit. I know that I have trouble divining out the generations deluxe figures that I want, and I'm a damn internet weirdo adult fan that's supposed to know this stuff.

While I can appreciate the simplification of individual figures, they've grossly complicated the selection process by offering myriads of choice, most of which are Bumblebees and Optimuses. That's an irony, it is.

(also toy sales in general are slumping, blah blah blah)
 
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Old 2014-07-16, 10:28 PM   #189
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A lot of the toys look nasty and cheap (whilst prices have increased) although the AoE figure plastic actually seems to be good quality if you can get past it being block colour in a lot of areas with few or no paint apps.
 
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Old 2014-07-17, 01:40 AM   #190
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Hmm. Also, could it be possible to just shelve the whole "video game / ipad" excuse for slumping sales as a bogeyman? Home video game systems became popular back in the 1980s... when the franchise first took off. They didn't become an excuse until the 1990s... which were twenty years ago now (ugh!). My seven year old nephew has an inherited ipad, and he spends just as much time with his toys as he does with that. Maybe AOE, taken as a whole, is just not a good offering? That seems kind of obvious... It's been mismanaged, to say the least.
 
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Old 2014-07-17, 01:53 AM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
I may be taking a shot in the dark, but I think overpopulating the shelves with a bunch of foot-tall dolls that don't transform, three different styles of "EASY TO TRANSFORM" assortments, tangential products like Kreons and Constructabots, and finally the "actual" figures... you might be diluting your brand and confusing customers a bit. I know that I have trouble divining out the generations deluxe figures that I want, and I'm a damn internet weirdo adult fan that's supposed to know this stuff.
They've done a terrible job of differentiating the different sublines for AoE. I can't tell what's what either. There's almost no difference between the packaging for Deluxe and One-Step or Power Battlers or whatever, and I need to look at stuff like the number of transformation steps or recommended age to even be able to guess with some of the stuff. Toys'R'Us and Walmart are no help either, since they stuff the figures wherever there's room instead of trying to differentiate the different assortments.

There are two other huge problems with the line:

1) Almost no bad guys! A lot of kids get bored if their heroes don't have any enemies to bash. There's not much incentive for kids to buy the whole Autobot/Dinobot cast if they have nobody to fight.

2) Way too many toys of the same ten or so characters! There are something like eight different Grimlocks and Primes. Six different Drifts! Four different Strafes! How many times does Hasbro expect to sell the same characters to the same people?

If Hasbro had stuck to one line for older/more experienced TF buyers and one for young kids/newbies, with no more than one version of most characters in each, I think the experiment would have gone over a whole lot better. DOTM proved pretty strongly that the appetite for movie TF merch was on the wane, and scaling back the line for AoE would have been a wise move. Instead, Hasbro doubled down.

[EDIT]Re: iPads, I think a big tipping point was the advent of cheap mobile gaming.

Games have been getting cheaper for decades while the price of toys gets higher and higher. When a video game costs $60, it's a big investment and a kid will probably only get a couple a year. Even when they're in the $20 bin, it's a toss-up between that and a good-sized toy. But a $1 iOS game? That'll occupy as much of little Billy's time as the Bumblebee he was eyeing, and it's way cheaper. Games have been stealing some money and attention from toys for a long time now, but it's only really become a huge thing for the industry since video games started to undercut them on price.

It also bears mentioning that today's parents all grew up playing games, so a lot of them probably don't have the same "put that controller down and go play outside!" aversion to kids sinking time into gaming that a lot of our parents did.
 
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Old 2014-07-17, 03:30 AM   #192
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I was confused when I first saw the AoE toys, too. If I hadn't wondered why Strafe was $1 cheaper than the other Dinobots, I would have bought the wrong one. Even then, I had to check on-line to see if a Generations Strafe would be out, and I only knew to do that because I was already familiar with the Generations line, and saw the word Generations on the sides of Scorn and Slug's packaging.

I don't understand the Titan Heroes dolls. They don't transfrom. They're not articulated. They aren't painted more elaborately than other figures. There are flip-change and one-step Transformers for small children who can't handle regular Transformers. The Titan Heroes seem to be utterly without merit. Are they for toddlers? And are there enough toddlers who want Transformers to justify their own line?

The marketing has really hyped Optimus riding Grimlock, but the only toys that can do this are Kre-O, Construct-Bots, and Dino-Sparkers. Of these, only Construct-Bots can transform. You'd think they'd have mini-con Autobots to ride Deluxe Dinobots, but they don't even seem to be doing Legends size figures this time.

I think video games would have more of an effect now than in the 80s and 90s. Back then, kids loved them, but they required a TV and many kids didn't have their own. So, they played with toys while their parents watched TV. Now, kids have their own screen on a device connected to the internet. Being able to surf the web, message your friends and play games on your own device is going to eat up a lot more time than waiting for a turn at the TV.
 
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Old 2014-07-17, 06:49 AM   #193
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At least in the UK AoE Generations are only available at Argos (Leaders only) and Toys R Us (everything except Leaders). That said, TRU mix and match their sticking in the same pegs between those giant fist simple figures and Generations Deluxe. If it takes adult fans ages to work out which is which what hope is there for disinterested staff?

And the lack of Decepticons / bad guys in this line is insane. I bet stats show Autobots sell better on average and that folk are more likely to buy the recognisable characters like Prime and Bumblebee. Step in market researchers and execs and you get a line like this. Just because you're more likely to buy an Autobot doesn't mean that you only want Autobots! Without bad guys there's no game for kids and collectors are likely to be less biased. And just because Prime and Bumblebee sell better doesn't mean anyone wants multiple versions - it just means everyone buys the main characters (once) and then bulks out with different secondary characters.

Bah!

And I do think lack of Generations in main retailers in the UK will damage sales when so many of the new lines look so bad... It's awkward to seek out TRU in Scotland as there are so few stores and big distances between. Plus other thuan hardcore fans, who knows to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
It also bears mentioning that today's parents all grew up playing games, so a lot of them probably don't have the same "put that controller down and go play outside!" aversion to kids sinking time into gaming that a lot of our parents did.
Not me - I already get my 18 week old son out to get close to lizards, bugs, flowers etc. I want him outside as
much as possible. Inside I'd rather he were playing with toys mostly as there's lots of research showing negative effects of too much of any sort of screen time on kids development. I think proper Transformers (ie transforming ones) are probably excellent balance between educational and character toys. They must help with dexterity, manipulation, spatial awareness, 3D modelling etc. Shame my wife hates them!


 
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Old 2014-07-17, 07:02 AM   #194
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The two lines confusing people (would it kill to use different packaging?) wouldn't be so bad if there aren't Big Toys for each. A child or a parent would only buy, say, either Generations Leader Bumblebee or RID Leader Bumblebee but not both. And most of the time why bother when there is a dozen other smaller Bumblebees around? And no one in their sane mind would buy, say, both Generations Drift and RID Drift. It's not like the last toylines where it might be difficult to find, say, on-screen characters like Soundwave or Dino or Leadfoot or whoever, but at least toy stores had variations instead of the same 8 to 10 characters repeated across three differing size classes that look exactly the same.

There is a small imprint on the side of the packaging bubble that says 'Generations' or 'Robots in Disguise' but really, with the amount of stuff that toy stores just pile together because they fit on the same peg...

And like Warcry said, there isn't much bad guys around! Both the big bads, Galvatron and especially Lockdown, are only around in wave 2 and wave 2.5 respectively. I don't think we even have a mass-retail Stinger planned, probably something to do with those pesky car licenses. And even Hasbro's usual routine of making vehicles in the show into bad guys like Junkheap (garbage truck KSI drone), Vehicon (Cemetery Wind jeep) and Steeljaw (Lockdown's wolves) are only found in the Kiddie line and not until wave 4 or 5 or whatever. It's got too much of an influx of good guys which wouldn't be so bad if the Dinobots were, like, antiheroes and thus can battle the Autobots, but as it is, well...

Not to mention Kre-O's and Construct-bots being basically the same stuff but in uglier, non-show-accurate looks. Those are definitely going to shelfwarm.

And stuff like the Dinobot chargers... does Hasbro think anyone would want them? I mean, it would be a thing if they painted the Dinobots properly, but they're just a massive chunk of transparent plastic vaguely shaped like dinosaurs.

And those big... cheap-looking statue things. The things I thought were knockoffs but aren't. Whatever the hell they are, they can't be good for sales.
 
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Old 2014-07-17, 07:33 AM   #195
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...all of the above is why I've given AoE a major swerve. The toys look the same amongst the various age ranges, the packaging is cheap, the toys are cheap looking being just colour + black and cost 2 more than the last main retail line Prime - and I thought that was expensive. These haven't a hope of attracting my interest at their current price points, if at all.

Lack of Decepticons isn't exclusive to AoE either. The fan orientated Generations line has been mainly Autobots. Only FoC has had a favourable showing of bad guys, which is a shame, as a lot of those figures are as terrible in their own way as the AoE figures.
 
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Old 2014-07-20, 08:34 PM   #196
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When Alternators were first coming out, I remember reading that villians don't sell as well as heroes in Japan, which was why Autobots were dominating that line up. Hasbro released a black Sunstreaker as Dead End since there weren't many Decepticons planned. The few AoE Decepticons being in later waves might be for the same reason.

How many different sub-lines are there? I can think of 8, but I may have missed some.
* Titan Heroes
* Dino Sparkers
* One-Step Deluxes
* Power Battlers
* Flip/Smash-and-Change Voyagers
* Generations
* Kre-O
* Construct-Bots

Even then, you can multiple figures of the same character within a line. There's two paint schemes for Bumblebee, a Generations Drift for each alt mode, and Dinobot Custom Kreons in addition to the larger builds. It's not only confusing, but if an unpopular sub-line shelfwarms, retailers might not order the next wave of any toys, since their shelves are still full of Transformers.

Plus, designing all those versions of each character meant the design team had less time to spend on each one. The Deluxe Lockdown is just going to have a gun that connects to the head. Maybe the design team could have figured out a way to have the face gun transform out of the figure if they didn't have to design and sculpt half a dozen Strafes.

I'm guessing the lines of kiddie-figs were in response to complaints about previous movie line toys being too complicated for younger children. But, the Generations AoE toys I own are already simpler than the ROTF toys. This is a good thing, since some of those ROTF toys were too complicated to be fun. But, they seem to have solved this problem more times than necessary.
 
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