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Old 2014-03-13, 12:09 AM   #181
Cliffjumper
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As a general point, I really don't think AOE is actually going to sell many toys... there's been a definite case of declining interest there and HasTak's approach to the toys suggest they're expecting the same. Make sure there's a bit out there but it's not the main object anymore, they're probably doing well enough on whatever cut of the box office they get without having to put their own plans on hold every couple of years. It's an action film franchise now, not a toy-selling franchise.
 
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Old 2014-03-13, 12:20 AM   #182
Tantrum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
I'm just so sick of seeing everything else dismissed as people talk about MPs as if they're the be-all, end-all of the franchise because nobody could possibly want anything but slavish 80s cartoon homages.
I wasn't trying to say MPs were the be-all end-all of the franchise. I was trying to say that MPs are likely the be-all end-all of slavish 80s cartoon homages, which have been a pretty solid way for Hasbro to sell TFs when they don't have a TV show or movie out. If I had all the MPs I wanted, I'd still buy movie toys that interested me, but I doubt I'd buy any more homages.

From the MPs I have (01 Optimus, Starscream and Grimlock), I see your point about MPs being great display pieces, but being too big and unwieldy to be great toys to play with. But, these new MPs are Voyager size and, from what I've read, have less convoluted transformations than Alternators. As toys, they could be as good as Generations Springer, who I still pick up to fiddle with pretty often.

Of course, they still cost around 3 times what Springer does. Maybe part of the reason Hasbro's selling $60 Voyagers is that 3rd parties selling $50 Deluxes have convinced them they can. If they wanted to justify the price, they should ditch Spike and pack Bee with Ratbat.
 
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Old 2014-03-13, 02:35 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Where is this vocal majority? I think our forum, as a whole, is fairly reasonable and restrained with both praise and complaints of toys, whereas other larger forums tend to have more hyperbolic atmospheres, but I haven't gotten any sense of the fandom "turning" against Classics.
Oh, not here thankfully. We're a lot more sane than that. But every time I make the mistake of poking my head into one of the big boards after a major Hasbro announcement (Toyfair, SDCC, Comic-Con) I see dozens of threads with hundreds of replies each about how Generations sucks, Hasbro don't care about us, the fans deserve better, the toys are crap for being designed to fit retail price points, etc. and people going on about how they're going to give up on the line and just buy MPs. How many people are actually participating I can't say, but it seems like a lot.

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I've never understood the dislike for Universe Prowl. And I still love the Alternators Mustang mold .

It may genuinely be a case of different strokes for different folks, though.
Personally I don't think there's anything especially wrong with the mold (Bluestreak is still one of my faves) but a lot of people have turned on Prowl in particular because his paint has turned into something akin to chewing gum. The design has its flaws (the neck is awkward and the chest is kinda hollow) but I don't hate it like some.

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Nah, there's been a clear regearing and reorganising of the line with a consistent design ethos (based on what we've got and what we've seen) since MP-10 - this is the first time Masterpiece has actually been on any sort of regular schedule with any significant plan seemingly in place.
I don't agree, but I see what you're saying. The first "set" of MPs moved along in fits and starts at around two releases per year with a more erratic choice of characters, but they were also selling at a much higher price bracket and that's a big influencing factor. And when you look at the line now you still see around two or three "big" toys per year. The scattergun approach to those releases is about the same, too, a mix of easy redecos and new molds of popular characters.

I don't see the cars as a big philosophical change, just an additional price point that give them the flexibility to do stuff beyond the A-listers. There's more product, sure, but it's cheaper than it was before so it's easier to get the stuff out there more regularly. That brings it back around to why Bumblebee annoyed me, actually. If they'd sold him on his own instead of adding Spike to bump him up to the cars' price point, it would have opened up yet another avenue for guys like the Insecticons, other Minibots who Takara might not see as viable at the higher price point (your Huffers and what not) and maybe even some more left-field stuff. Obviously there's nothing stopping Takara from doing that in the future, but I was a tad disappointed that they didn't decide to branch out in the here and now.

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It's not cherry-picking an arbitrary point; it's the equivalent to the shift in G1 design philosophy in 1987 where - taking the film figures as a First Edition style preview line - there's a distinct shift in style (only with MP it's for the better). Really until recently (with multiple lines running alongside each other) all subline differentation has been arbitrary - Armada and Energon share a lot more in terms of design continuity than the first and last years of G2, yet are considered completely different lines when the latter is considered one big thing despite an obvious revamp.
The reason why I say it's arbitrary is because I really don't see that big design shift that you're talking about. There's a shift is subject matter, sure, but I just don't see it as as big of a deal as you do, I guess. If I was going to draw a dividing line for where "modern" Masterpieces began I'd start with Grimlock, not MP-10. The 20th Anniversary Prime mold was designed as a one-off, not really meant to go with anything, and both Megatron and the seekers are really, really clunky and experimental. But Grimlock and Rodimus Prime both look exactly like their 80s character models given life, and MP-10, Soundwave and the cars all flowed from that. That's why it seems arbitrary to me to start from MP-10, if you feel the need to subdivide the line.

I think we're just debating semantics, though.

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You seem to be exaggerating my zeal somewhat.
If I am then I apologize, but glowing statements like this...

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No. The attention to detail, finish and presentation is basically unsurpassed in Transformers history
...sound like a great deal of enthusiasm to me. Especially coming from you, if you don't mind my saying, because of your rather harsh outlook on the rest of the franchise. I literally can't recall the last time I saw you this positive towards something with the TF brand on it. RiD Scourge, maybe?

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I haven't ever had any problem with cash-in redecos; I'm probably one of the more economically understanding fans in this regard. I do, however, object to them being done badly and - more particularly - to people who like them when they're shit for some retarded reason.
Is it sad that I knew exactly what review you were linking to before clicking it?

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I have no real problem with Hasbro thinking it's okay for Wheeljack and Tracks to share a mould (partly for the selfish reason that I wasn't collecting the figures particularly and it didn't bother me that Tracks was 'used up' that way). I have a problem with people who lap it up and claim it's brilliant.
Different strokes. I honestly don't see what's wrong with it, but I don't actually like Tracks, so I'm probably not seeing it the same way as you do. I've always thought his 80s character model was horrible, and that he was easily the most boring of the Diaclone-based cars, so the Wheeljack redeco is just a nice toy of a character I don't particularly care about. It could just as well be called Aquafend or someone.

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I'm seriously not sure how they've oversaturated the market. The trickling release schedule sees to that, as does the limited release of some of the redecos (Smokescreen, Bluestreak and Red Alert don't really count as redecos in this context as they're just as likely to appeal to the target demographic as the originals).
This is as much a Hasbro complaint as a Takara one, admittedly. Hasbro's release schedule is way more restricted than the Japanese one since they can only sell the stuff via TRU, and dreck like Acid Storm (who I'm led to believe is still warming shelves in a lot of the US) not only takes up space that could have gone to a toy that someone might actually want, but when it doesn't sell it negatively impacts the order numbers for future stuff. Year of the Horse Prime is also a downright bizarre choice, all things considered. Both of them seem akin to flooding the market with redecos, especially since a straight rerelease of both Starscream and MP-10 would have sold gobs better.

On the Takara side of things sales seem to be strong enough that stores will order lots of the "real" figures even when stuff like Tigertrack and Sunstorm doesn't seem to sell all that well, but IMO it's still a bad thing when they're putting out stuff in a high-end collectors' line that even fans of the line don't really want.

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As is the opposite, of course. If I'm guilty of getting tentatively excited (and it's hardly fantasising to suggest that the lack of a "licenced vehicles in 1:24 scale" ethos means there's more scope for variety and not shoe-horning characters into inappropriate moulds - Soundwave already shows that) aren't you guilty of being pessimistic? Is there any reason to think Takara haven't learnt?
Actually, yes. The big uptick in the recent quality of the line has been, to a great extent, attributed to Shogo Hasui taking over design duties. But he's apparently leaving the role and being replaced by the guy who designed the previous, much spottier series of MP figures along with stuff like Alternity.

Considering that the whole rest of Takara's output consists of minicons you have to build yourself, random chrome everywhere, toys that omit half of Hasbro's paint apps in favour of stickers and zillions of different redecos of Alternity Prime with different girly figures, I can understand why so many fans give Hasui credit for the MP renaissance. I'd be very happy to be proven wrong, but considering how the guy who's coming back has designed five MP figures and only one of them is up to the quality of the recent stuff, pessimism comes easily.

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I don't think a significant audience for high-end new figures of the G1 Dinobots is going to be particularly influenced by basically different characters who share rough alt-mode philosophy and whichever two or three trademarks HasTak still hold appearing in a mainstream action film. I highly doubt a serious sales crossover is expected with anyone sucked up by AOE.
Since Takara has already reissued MP Grimlock this year and Hasbro is planning to do the same in the summer, I get the impression that they do consider it a factor. How much of one I don't know, but it's definitely there.

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I doubt they will get everyone done just because Transformers doesn't really have the depth or reach, and the other Dinobots are probably down the list quite a bit (assuming the line gets that far, we'd have most, if not all, the cars and maybe a scaled-down Seeker to even the sides up before we do, for licencing reasons if nothing else).
I'd agree that the Dinobots would be pretty far down the list, but maybe not as far down as you're thinking. Takara seem to like the idea of having a mix of big and small MPs in any given year, and the Dinos would definitely fall into the "big" category. You wouldn't have to wait until Takara has run through the Diaclone cars like you would with, say, Blurr or someone, but there's still a fair number of guys who are probably in line ahead of them. Magnus and Star Saber we already know about, and I'd expect at least Blaster, Jetfire, Shockwave and Galvatron would be ahead of any Dinobots on Takara's wishlist. That's one reason why the third parties are hitting that subgroup so hard right now.

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However, I don't think that it might take 20 years to get through the pre-Movie characters is a barrier in itself.
The question for me isn't so much whether they get around to making MP Gears or MP Reflector in 2034, as it is whether there will be a market for stuff like that in twenty years. The core characters have an enduring popularity that transcends their generation, but nobody cares about random background guys from 1984 except for the demographic that grew up with them -- and we'll be thinking about retirement by then! If there is still an MP line twenty years from now, you can bet it'll have gone off on a few different tangents over the years and look very different than what we've got now. There will have been more redos of top-tier characters for sure, and maybe Masterpieces of characters from other continuities as well -- Movieverse in particular. Assuming we haven't managed to get ourselves killed by then we could very well be sitting around discussing the merits of MP Barricade or Blackout. Which would be awesome, but it would really put a cramp in the release schedule for G1-flavoured stuff.

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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
As a general point, I really don't think AOE is actually going to sell many toys... there's been a definite case of declining interest there and HasTak's approach to the toys suggest they're expecting the same. Make sure there's a bit out there but it's not the main object anymore, they're probably doing well enough on whatever cut of the box office they get without having to put their own plans on hold every couple of years. It's an action film franchise now, not a toy-selling franchise.
Absolutely agreed. And I think marketing most of the movie merch to the really young demographics this time around was a good idea. ROTF and DOTM proved that you can only sell essentially the same Bumblebee to the same kids so many times, but by hitting them when they're very young they can both sell them their first Bumblebee now, and maybe sell them their second, more complex Bumblebee two or three years from now with TF5.

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I wasn't trying to say MPs were the be-all end-all of the franchise. I was trying to say that MPs are likely the be-all end-all of slavish 80s cartoon homages, which have been a pretty solid way for Hasbro to sell TFs when they don't have a TV show or movie out. If I had all the MPs I wanted, I'd still buy movie toys that interested me, but I doubt I'd buy any more homages.
I don't think I can disagree with that. But I'm not sure they've really done too much else that you could classify as "slavish". When you think about it, Classics is pretty far afield from G1 and only a handful of toys make an effort to really capture the 80s look. Starscream and the seekers do. Cyclonus and Whirl too. Jazz and Hound do as good a job as they can while dodging vehicle licenses. But the vast majority of toys seem to go for reinvention rather than replication, and I think there's a market for that too.

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Of course, they still cost around 3 times what Springer does. Maybe part of the reason Hasbro's selling $60 Voyagers is that 3rd parties selling $50 Deluxes have convinced them they can. If they wanted to justify the price, they should ditch Spike and pack Bee with Ratbat.
Taking into account the added complexity, licensing costs and extra paint, selling them for $10 or $20 more than what Springer goes for (so $35-$45 US) seems reasonable. Double the price, though? That's pushing it, but you're absolutely right that people will pay it, so who am I to say? Personally I'd only buy something really great at that price (like a Prowl influenced by the toy deco or a Blue Bluestreak), but that won't stop the things from flying off the shelves.

Of course I also said I wouldn't pay import prices for G2 Sideswipe, no way, no how...and two days later I decided m'eh, why not, there's not much else coming out until summer that I want. So maybe they'd be able to sell me on more of the cars at $60 than I like to admit...
 
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Old 2014-03-13, 03:10 PM   #184
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Apologies for the double post, but here are some much better pics of Bumblebee:

http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-...t-mode-179475/

He looks nice but I still don't think he's anything extra special. A shame they don't have a comparison shot with one of the other cars to show how big he is, though my best guess from the size of the pins and screws is that he's about the same size as Classics Bumblebee, so he should scale nicely with the bigger cars.

Also, the "toy face" that everyone suspected will indeed exist, but it'll be an Amazon Japan-exclusive accessory. It's kinda half-assed through, as the longer cartoon horns don't swap out.

http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-...vealed-179476/

Is it weird that I only care about this toy because they might do a G2 or Goldbug redeco down the line?
 
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Old 2014-03-13, 05:12 PM   #185
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GOLDBUG HELL YES
 
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Old 2014-03-17, 08:07 PM   #186
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Reading through this thread and seeing all the discussion on the new MP figures, I had a question pop into my head, hopefully you guys can help. All I see is praise for all the new MP toys, and when I last collected these toys, I recall most of them being horrible messes with issues. At least Megatron, Rodimus, and in some accounts the original Starscream mold. Out of those three I only own the Hasbro Starscream which did get stress marks so bad that it will likely break if ever transformed again, on the wings.

So I guess my question is this, are there no issues with the current MP figures that have come out after Grimlock (which I own and adore)? Or are they just overlooked because of the whole "it's a new MP toy!" feeling that we all get?

I have been going back and forth on Prowl, but I know the MP line has a bad track record, and honestly all I see in reviews are praise. So truthfully, are these newest MP cars really problem free and fun to play with, or just something to sit on a shelf?

Oh and I was lucky enough to get the TRU MP Soundwave, and I know that one is every bit as good as Grimlock was, probably better with all the accessories and what not.
 
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Old 2014-03-17, 08:20 PM   #187
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The last few molds (the second MP Prime, Soundwave, Sideswipe and Prowl) are all significantly "cleaner" from a design perspective compared to the rather more primitive first few (the first Prime, the first Starscream and Megatron), and none of them seem to have the frankly horrifying QC issues that Rodimus did either. Though I can only speak first-hand about Soundwave, and you already know how great he is.

Prowl is apparently supposed to get released by Hasbro through Toys'R'Us later this year, so you might be able to save yourself $20 or so if you wait for that to come out. Assuming it's actually findable in stores, that is... Given Hasbro's track record the deco will probably be different from the Takara release, though how much so is something we won't know until we see some pics of it.
 
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Old 2014-03-17, 08:27 PM   #188
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I usually see the MP toys in TRU here when they are out, but it is likely because my close proximity to Los Angeles affords me a vast number of TRU to check. The YOTH MP 10 and Acid Storm are damn near shelf warmers here. I keep hoping for an eventual clearance on YOTH MP 10, not because I like the horrible gold, but because I imagine it will be my only chance to own MP 10. I went to the largest toy convention in LA a few weeks ago, and it's insane..people want $300-$450 for MP 10!
 
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Old 2014-03-17, 09:04 PM   #189
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I know what you mean. You've got to think that an eventual reissue of MP-10 would be in the cards though, with secondary market prices that high. Takara's already reissued him once I think, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him given another run in a year or so. Even the $200 that the recent Asian-market Grimlock and Starscream reissues were imported for would seem like a bargain compared to what MP Prime runs.

Honestly it just seems like the kind of thing that one company or the other is going to release every couple years in perpetuity, at least until a new MP Prime mold gets made down the road.

This is one time when I actually wish Hasbro would cut corners and put the thing out without the trailer for a cheaper price point, but only because I really have no idea what I'll do with a giant trailer the 95% of the time that he'd be in robot mode.

(Question for those with MP-10...how big is the trailer anyway? Looking at how big Soundwave is in robot mode, my brain is insisting it would be almost two feet long. But that can't be right, can it?)
 
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Old 2014-03-17, 10:00 PM   #190
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I have a problem with people who lap it up and claim it's brilliant.
Haven't got the early characters such as Ironhide, Mirage, Hound, Jazz, Wheeljack and Tracks out at the moment, but I do like all of them.

Surprised that YOTH Prime got a wide release. It'd probably look alright if gone over liberally in silver Sharpie, and if I hadn't picked up the original and Megs (boxy is still cool, it's more authentic) would probably feel inclined to get one and do that, but the gold does look shit. Another straight-up release for newer Prime and Starscream would almost certainly have done better.

Waiting to see what Bumblebee looks like in colour. I think I prefer the Art Feather one or the mods people have done of the Toyworld one. Apart from the car bits the MP sculpting says Cliffjumper more to me, personally, but I've never been a fan of the BB animation model.

Think I might give up waiting on an official MP Shockwave later in the year...

edit: Also, just found the Goldbug version of the Art Feather one, and I think that's going to be my BB.
 
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Old 2014-03-17, 10:31 PM   #191
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This is one time when I actually wish Hasbro would cut corners and put the thing out without the trailer for a cheaper price point, but only because I really have no idea what I'll do with a giant trailer the 95% of the time that he'd be in robot mode.

(Question for those with MP-10...how big is the trailer anyway? Looking at how big Soundwave is in robot mode, my brain is insisting it would be almost two feet long. But that can't be right, can it?)
MP10 is one of those rare Optimus figures where the trailer is actually fun.

I hate Optimus trailers. But I can't get enough of this one. Admittedly, you need Roller and mini-Spike for the full effect, but it's very fun as a base/display backdrop for the Prime figure.

Trailer is bigger, height wise, than the Soundwave/Optimus figure. Optimus himself is a tad taller than the MP Seeker mould.
 
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Old 2014-03-18, 12:44 AM   #192
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Surprised that YOTH Prime got a wide release. It'd probably look alright if gone over liberally in silver Sharpie, and if I hadn't picked up the original and Megs (boxy is still cool, it's more authentic) would probably feel inclined to get one and do that, but the gold does look shit.
I stood in the store and tried to talk myself into that for a while, I had a 20% off coupon too, but I don't know how well silver sharpie would work over that god awful gold. Then I thought of repainting the gold parts, but I've never painted anything, so $120 is too much for me to pay for something I would only like if it was a different color. However if they keep warming shelves and go on clearance down the road..I might pick one up if it was less than $100..the clear trailer is kinda cool.
 
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Old 2014-03-18, 08:10 PM   #193
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The metallics are more paint than ink and give good coverage with a couple of coats. Try it on something smaller and disposable, because silver comes out relatively matte versus silver plastic and it's certainly not chrome-like (I painted over the chrome on Takara Metroplex's face to stop it catching the light, personally, but maybe less the effect you want on Prime.)

Can't see as it's worth it to get one boxed with fugly clear trailer -- although the trailer would paint as well, I suppose -- unless it's really cheap.

edit: Also, it's presumably a bit fiddly to dismantle and paint properly.
 
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Old 2014-03-19, 11:18 AM   #194
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MP-10 is really brilliant - I actually really picked him up only after much soul searching and internal arguments because I wanted an Optimus Prime in scale with the current MPs (Soundwave and the cars in particular). I couldn't see how he could be better than the original. I was wrong - he really is an improvement. However, I wouldn't say he was dramatically better. I went for the Hasbro one because I prefer the cartoon accurate deco, as opposed to Takara's toy accurate one.

It's interesting how Takara and Hasbro seem to alternate between toy and cartoon accuracy though, isn't it?

I do own the original MP Convoy (with trailer) and Megatron, and thought these were the bees knees. As people have already said, the new MPs have much cleaner designs, more than anything else, and the reduced use of metal actually makes them more balanced I think. The Autobot cars have been superb indeed, and not only look great in both modes (I have Bluestreak and Smokescreen, as well as Sideswipe), but are easy and fun to transform if sitting on your desk (as they are mine). This is true of MP Grimlock as well, who I recently got, and I think he fits in with the new tranche of in-scale MPs. Soundwave and the cassettes are of course awesome also.

I do own MP-11 Coronation Starscream, and find he fits in nicely too. I have never owned another version of this mould, but I think a number of the design flaws have been addressed - however there are still some joints (tail fins particularly) which feel very thin, and the waist does not lock. That said, I think I find him the most fun of the MPs I own.

MP-10 is the only Hasbro Masterpiece I own, and he does have some loose joints and the clear plastic on his waist has been overglued, which you can see. My MP Frenzy has a paint error on his face, which is frustrating. MP Soundwave's finger likes to fall off as well, so you need to watch that! However, I wouldn't say any have major QC issues, unlike what I've heard of MP Rodimus, the original seeker mould and my first-hand experience of MP-05 Megatron.

I really am hoping for a new MP Megatron - a few more Decepticons in general would be nice!

Anyway, with my son now here, I think most of my TF buying will be focussed on MP figures - although that will itself probably be limited. (I have preordered Bumblebee and Wheeljack now though. )

Oh - and I do find MP-10's trailer boring, really. Optimus Prime really doesn't luck out with his trailers does he? It's just a shell with a few weird articulated things inside. Roller is really nicely done though, and it's great that Spike can interact with all these things. I would always opt for the Optimus Prime with a trailer though, as he looks naked in truck mode without it.
 
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Old 2014-03-19, 07:21 PM   #195
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Anyway, with my son now here,
Congrats.
 
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Old 2014-03-19, 07:26 PM   #196
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Yeah, you dropped that in quietly!

Horah for Numbat! I'm sure a baby is nearly as good as Masterpiece Prowl.
 
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Old 2014-03-20, 11:36 AM   #197
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Wheeljack in color.
 
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Old 2014-03-20, 12:22 PM   #198
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Yeah, you dropped that in quietly!

Horah for Numbat! I'm sure a baby is nearly as good as Masterpiece Prowl.
Nah, wee Logan is way better than any Transformer! Especially when we're playing with Neville the Newt - now that is one fun and educational amphibian!


 
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Old 2014-03-20, 05:08 PM   #199
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Well, that's a lovely Lancia Stratos, I've gotta give them that. And (if I understand right) Wheeljack's Amazon-exclusive accessory is a toolbox prop instead of an important part of his design like Prowl's was. So that's nice.

[obligatory complaining]
But overall, the whole package just doesn't seem as polished as the Lambos or Datsuns. The rocket is too big and blocky to be the cartoon design, but nothing like the toy. And for some reason it pains me to see the hood-stripes on his belly below the windshield. The ears really should be light-piped too IMO, since this is Wheeljack and light-up ears are his whole thing, but I get why they wouldn't do that. It'd be too toy-like and the "serious collectors" would heap scorn on it.
[/obligatory complaining]

It's a nice Wheeljack, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't strike me as "definitive" the way the best MPs do.
 
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Old 2014-03-20, 05:22 PM   #200
Clay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
[obligatory complaining]
And for some reason it pains me to see the hood-stripes on his belly below the windshield. The ears really should be light-piped too IMO, since this is Wheeljack and light-up ears are his whole thing, but I get why they wouldn't do that. It'd be too toy-like and the "serious collectors" would heap scorn on it.
[/obligatory complaining]
Actually, the designer gave an interview in which he addressed those two points specifically, and offending collectors isn't the reason.

Although your two nitpicks, taken in immediate juxtaposition of each other, sound like they come from a ridiculously contradictory curmudgeon.
 

Last edited by Clay; 2014-03-20 at 05:40 PM.
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