I touched on a similar idea, though I approached it more from a toyline perspective. I commented on how the newer lines all seem very "safe" from a character design and toy-engineering perspective. I used Beast Wars as my example of what I'd like to see more off -- oddball robots with unconventional transformations -- but the early movie lines provided a lot of the same things as well. Even G1 could be an example too, with so many different robots sourced from so many different original lines followed up by a pile of varying gimmick sublines.
It just seems that in general, as Transformers has become more and more of a successful juggernaut of a franchise, Hasbro has become more and more conservative in how they manage it on all fronts. The toys and the media have both been boxed in by convention to a greater extent than they were in the dark days when the brand's popularity was on the wane.
The other question that confused me was in the 3P bit where, if you selected (paraphrasing here) "It depends on if they release characters I'm interested in" in response to "Will you continue to buy 3P toys?" you were asked to elaborate.
What needed elaborating? If they don't release toys I'm interested in I can't buy them.
To be fair, I think that's because some people buy absolutely everything regardless of whether they like it or not. You know this is true.
You'll all be delighted to know I embraced the stereotype and answered the "what would you like to see more of question" by just typing Flywheels over and over until I got bored. I am nothing if not a caricature of myself.
I think they were hoping for you to specify which characters?
I don't think they quite realize that quality is as big a factor as who the toy is, though. The "Would you stop buying 3P if Hasbro vastly increased its output?" question seemed to operate under the assumption that we're all mad completists, and I had to explain that they already make tons of crap I don't want now and that the best way to get people to stop spending money on 3P stuff would be to make better toys, not necessarily more toys. Pumping out twice as many one step changers isn't going to make the slightest dent in things.
I basically pointed out that, even if Hasbro expanded its output, the 3Ps would probably just shift to doing other characters. The back catalogue of characters is just too vast for anybody to effectively cover, so there's always going to be a market for these guys to fill.
It's a shame that there wasn't more scope for selecting multiple answers on certain questions. While I'm primarily only in the 3P market for characters who don't have an official release in the sort of size I'm after, there being a "proper" product doesn't automatically mean I won't buy the 3P version if I think it's better.
Ironhide's a good example of this. While I don't have a real problem with the MP design, the Voodoo one (so far) looks preferable. But that's going to come down to final product QC, reviews and comparative cost. So yeah, I'd prefer to buy the official one, but it's a case-by-case judgement call.