The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

 
  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers forum

Go Back   TFARCHIVE > TRANSFORMERS > Transformers News & Rumours

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2014-03-10, 09:51 PM   #161
Notabot
Lutheran
 
Notabot's Avatar
 
Lowden, IA
Default

Is there any kind of copyright issue with the Diaclone scheme? I can't imagine that a) if there was it would still be in effect or b) that they couldn't tweak it enough to get around it if it still is, but maybe that's the issue. Or maybe they live under a rock and are only able to watch MSNBC.
 
Notabot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-11, 11:10 AM   #162
Clay
"I've done better and got over it."
 
Clay's Avatar
 
Murray, KY
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notabot View Post
Is there any kind of copyright issue with the Diaclone scheme? I can't imagine that a) if there was it would still be in effect or b) that they couldn't tweak it enough to get around it if it still is, but maybe that's the issue. Or maybe they live under a rock and are only able to watch MSNBC.
I don't think that it would matter. If there were a legal barrier to a color scheme, I would think that licensing the car model would give access to that. I think that Takara are just being aloof in this case.
 
Clay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-11, 08:52 PM   #163
Ryan F
hunts pandas for lolz
 
Ryan F's Avatar
 
Default

According to one retailer on the TFW2005 boards, a blue Bluestreak will follow later in the year.

Consider this the equivalent of Tigertrack, a limited convention exclusive - a bonus release rather than part of the main line.

Just as Tigertrack was followed months later by the more popular, general-release G2 version of this mould, so it would appear that this exclusive is also a precursor for a more highly-regarded repaint.
 
Ryan F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-11, 10:07 PM   #164
Tantrum
Systems Analyst
 
Tantrum's Avatar
 
Aquidneck Island, RI, USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
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.
The price may not be entirely Hasbro's doing. The Masterpieces are Toys R Us exclusives, and TRU always seems to charge a bit more than other stores for the same toy. Without competition, they're likely to bump it up even more. Some of the previous MPs, at least the seekers, were available at Walmart.

Another possibility, which would be Hasbro's call, is that they figure they're killing the nostalgia goose that's laid quite a few golden eggs over the past decade. First, they rereleased a bunch of G1 molds. We bought some, but they were pricey, small and poorly articulated. Then came Alternators, which were less expensive, larger and better articulated, but were often kind of a pain to transform, and didn't usually resemble the G1 design all that much. Then came Classics/RTS/etc, which were closer, but still hit or miss as far as toy design and show accuracy go. Along the way, there's also been one-off tributes, like Animated Jazz or TF:Prime Wheeljack.

Now, there's Masterpieces, which look to be about as good as G1 show-accurate toys are going to get. Sure they tweaked MP Starscream a bit, but that mold had way more reuse possibility than any car will. So, once someone's bought the MP toy of a character, they're probably not going to bother buying another retro toy of that character. Would anyone with a Masterpiece Jazz on their shelf really be moved to buy a movie Jazz in G1 colors? So, Hasbro bumps up the price to make up for the fact that they won't be able to sell more homages in the future.

On the other hand, if you've bought the reissue, Alternators, and Classics versions of a character, you've spent around $60 to not have the toy of your 1984 dreams. So, spending $60 to get what you really want doesn't sound like that bad a deal.
 
Tantrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 01:18 AM   #165
Cliffjumper
Cellar Door
 
Cliffjumper's Avatar
 
Default

I don't find Bee's price to be too bad, assuming he's good. Value for money is a weird concept on toys - few mainline toys justify their RRP, largely because they're terrible (was Tubby Tracks worth the price of a Deluxe? No, because he was shite). A good toy goes beyond size class comparisons because it's actually good. As Tantrum says, I'm never going to buy another Prowl, Grimlock, Red Alert or Bluestreak toy again because it's difficult to see another mould of any of them hitting all the right buttons. Grimlock will pay for himself as he makes it incredibly easy to resist WFC, AOE, forthcoming Gen figures which almost certainly wouldn't be as good.

Size classing is all well and good, but if a toy's actually genuinely good rather than not bad for 10 I can allow a bit of wriggle-room. Besides which, imported MP prices compare fairly well to UK RRP Voyagers - my MP cars cost me around 35-40 each, which is about 15 more than a Voyager but less than a Leader with the added bonus that I actually get a genuinely good figure I'm likely to hang onto and enjoy rather than transform twice and hate before selling for about half of what I paid.
 
Cliffjumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 02:12 AM   #166
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
Warcry's Avatar
 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan F View Post
According to one retailer on the TFW2005 boards, a blue Bluestreak will follow later in the year.
If it happens, great, but I'll believe it when I see it. Both Hasbro and Takara have a history of saying "oh, sure we're totally going to release this toy!" and then not doing it, so I remain skeptical. Also, this rumour only surfaced once people started pointing and laughing at the current, totally pointless redeco, which could mean that the "plans" the dealer's source told him about could amount to nothing but a spur of the moment "let's try to do this, there's money in it!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum View Post
The price may not be entirely Hasbro's doing. The Masterpieces are Toys R Us exclusives, and TRU always seems to charge a bit more than other stores for the same toy. Without competition, they're likely to bump it up even more. Some of the previous MPs, at least the seekers, were available at Walmart.
What you say is true, to a certain extent. Hasbro's failure to get the MP cars into the mass retail space is definitely playing a role in the excessive final price, both because of TRU's usual price gouging, and because an exclusive has a lower production run and will cost more per unit to produce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum View Post
Would anyone with a Masterpiece Jazz on their shelf really be moved to buy a movie Jazz in G1 colors?
Yes. Absolutely yes. If it was going to stop people, then none of the people with 20th Anniversary Prime would have bought any of the Classics and Generations Optimuses, let alone the MP-10 version of the character. The thing is that MPs fill a very different niche than a Deluxe. One is meant as a high-end collectors' item, and the other is a toy. One is meant to sit on a shelf looking awesome and the other is meant to be played with.

If they made an MP Jazz and I was able to get my hands on one, I'd be more than happy to buy it. And I'd pose it on a shelf with the handful of other MP toys that I own, and he'd stand there looking awesome. But if I want a Jazz to fiddle with while I'm watching a movie or sitting at my desk, I'm probably still reaching for the RTS toy.

Does that make sense, or am I just nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Size classing is all well and good, but if a toy's actually genuinely good rather than not bad for 10 I can allow a bit of wriggle-room. Besides which, imported MP prices compare fairly well to UK RRP Voyagers - my MP cars cost me around 35-40 each, which is about 15 more than a Voyager but less than a Leader with the added bonus that I actually get a genuinely good figure I'm likely to hang onto and enjoy rather than transform twice and hate before selling for about half of what I paid.
And that's all well and good, but we've both been around this fandom long enough to know that the dominance of MPs isn't going to last. Five years ago, Classics and Universe toys were the thing and many people gladly paid import prices for Takara figures because they were the best toys of G1 characters ever, so they were totally worth it. Five years before that people were in love with Alternators, with many people paying double the US retail price for Binaltechs because OMG DIECAST and saying they were totally worth it because they were the best G1 toys we were ever going to get. And three or four years before that fans were importing Car Robots toys because they were modern vehicle Transformers, the closest we'd ever get to G1 reborn, and totally worth it. Maybe I've just gotten cynical in my old age, but the current MP fad is just that -- a fad. Five years from now the fandom as a whole is going to look back on it with the same mix of nostalgia and vague disdain that it has for all the other "hot stuff", and whenever the figures are brought up most of the discussion will centre around how overrated they were at the time, how much better the popular then-in-production toys are and how they totally make the old stuff look like garbage and how stupid we all were to pay that much for stuff that was superseded so soon after. So to see fans saying now that the current style of MPs are definitive and the best we're ever going to get...sorry, I've seen that script too many times before. Just because we can't imagine how they'll best them doesn't mean they won't.

I'm not saying don't buy the stuff, just that I won't be at all surprised to see you railing about how crap they are a few years down the line.

Also -- and forgive me if this is a bit too presumptuous -- but you really need to stop buying toys that you know you're going to hate. I know I'm much happier as a fan ever since I stopped letting myself buy garbage like Generations Hoist. And your standards are way higher than mine.
 
Warcry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 03:06 AM   #167
Clay
"I've done better and got over it."
 
Clay's Avatar
 
Murray, KY
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
If it happens, great, but I'll believe it when I see it. Both Hasbro and Takara have a history of saying "oh, sure we're totally going to release this toy!" and then not doing it, so I remain skeptical.
Yes, and they've both gotten worse at that as time's passed.


Quote:
And that's all well and good, but we've both been around this fandom long enough to know that the dominance of MPs isn't going to last. Five years ago, Classics and Universe toys were the thing and many people gladly paid import prices for Takara figures because they were the best toys of G1 characters ever, so they were totally worth it.
To be fair, some seven and a half years later, they're still churning out "Classics" figures, though they keep changing the name. But the exception proves the rule... the other side of the coin is that without a new line or fad, we'd have nothing to complain about.

Quote:
So to see fans saying now that the current style of MPs are definitive and the best we're ever going to get...sorry, I've seen that script too many times before. Just because we can't imagine how they'll best them doesn't mean they won't.
True, but on the other hand... look at them. LOOK AT BLUESTREAK HE SO PRETTY. Erm, I mean, how are they going to top that?
 
Clay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 04:25 AM   #168
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
Warcry's Avatar
 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
To be fair, some seven and a half years later, they're still churning out "Classics" figures, though they keep changing the name. But the exception proves the rule... the other side of the coin is that without a new line or fad, we'd have nothing to complain about.
Generations is still around, yes...but it's denounced by a large, vocal chunk of the fandom nowadays as "kiddie toys", so it's still an example of what I'm saying. It used to be hailed as the best thing that ever happened to Transformers, but now it's down on the second tier with stuff like the movie lines in terms of hype. It's still my favourite line, but I'm open about the fact that I usually prefer toys over pretty collectors' items and I'm fairly sure I'm in the minority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
True, but on the other hand... look at them. LOOK AT BLUESTREAK HE SO PRETTY. Erm, I mean, how are they going to top that?
Shit, I dunno. But in 2003 we were all HOLY CRAP SMOKESCREEN IS THE BEST TOY EVER THEY'LL NEVER TOP THAT!!!1!, and here we are. Seriously, take a stroll down memory lane some time and go through our archive of Alternators and BT reviews. Lots of high scores all around, even for absolute dogs like Sideswipe or Corvette Ravage. We've gone from stuff like that being the absolute apex of Transformers engineering to stuff like Soundwave and Sideswipe in less than ten years. Who knows where the next decade will take us?
 
Warcry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 06:36 AM   #169
Denyer
Shooty Dog Thing
 
Denyer's Avatar
 
UK
Default

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!se...c/-kNsp2_sk8EJ
 
Denyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 07:04 AM   #170
inflatable dalek
Duke of Kidderminster
 
inflatable dalek's Avatar
 
Kidderminster UK
Smile

Not completely sold either way on Bumblebee, how it looks in colour will probably be a decider. Props to them for not going down the deformed (and thus easy to make an equally deformed Cliffjumper, based on this if they do the later it'll have to be a whole new mould, possibly larger as well as IIRC what he's supposed to turn into is a noticeably bigger car) route.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's some way of retooling it to give the head a hood and thus instant Goldbug potential though.

Can't see the point of the Spike toy though, beyond presumably pushing the price up Bumblebee you don't really think of the Exo Suit as associated with Spike (he only wore it in the film didn't he?), it's more of a Daniel thing I'd have thought. Unless that's actually meant to be Daniel after all?
 
inflatable dalek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 01:09 PM   #171
Cliffjumper
Cellar Door
 
Cliffjumper's Avatar
 
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Yes. Absolutely yes. If it was going to stop people, then none of the people with 20th Anniversary Prime would have bought any of the Classics and Generations Optimuses, let alone the MP-10 version of the character.
I didn't, though I'm interested in MP-10 so he's in scale with the cars.


Transformers fans are indeed largely a fickle bunch of twats I'll admit... We should seriously seize the moral highground and put an embargo on toy reviews being done within a month of purchase because a lot of the ones on this site (mainly from a few years ago) are frankly embarrassing, made while people are still high on the smell of fresh plastic and far in denial that they've paid money for a dog of a figure. IDW syndrome.

People loved both Binaltech and Classics because they thought it was going to be as good as it got, the same way people were lauding Warbot Defender a few months ago and now think Springer's better. That's Transformers fans for you - everything's relative, they don't generally have the ability to appreciate a great figure on its' own terms, it's got to be whether it's better or worse than a previous version, conform with their own prejudices and so on.

The more sober sections of the fandom will tell you that both BinAlt and Classics (and successors) had a few great figures and then many which didn't work or pushed things too far; both broadly had a good starting point and then got thrifty/lazy/mined out the concept. Masterpiece <i>should</i> be able to avoid these pitfalls - as a high-end line there's fewer design restrictions, which should mean Wheeljack and Tracks don't share a mould. They haven't shackled themselves to a scale or even a thematic concept like Binaltech did, which means they can do Dinobots, Shockwave, a proper Megatron, Combaticons, Aerialbots, whatever should there be the demand.


Quote:
Also -- and forgive me if this is a bit too presumptuous -- but you really need to stop buying toys that you know you're going to hate. I know I'm much happier as a fan ever since I stopped letting myself buy garbage like Generations Hoist. And your standards are way higher than mine.
Eh, I've been better since DOTM... Though Alternators I bought on its' own terms knowing what I'd be getting into (and vocally disliked the Viper and Mustang while not even trying the shit Ravages and some of the stupider repaints), and Classics I really didn't buy much of (and again had Prowl's number when people were cumming in their pants about Smokescreen). The movie lines have a much better hit ratio, though the problem is anyone not on screen has their characterisation dependent on IDW, which obviously makes them quite easy to part with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
possibly larger as well as IIRC what he's supposed to turn into is a noticeably bigger car
Nah, the Datsun and Countach are already (apparently) significantly out of scale with each other (and a VW Beetle wouldn't actually be a lot smaller than either). The aim seems to be for robot mode scale, probably more or less taken from the G1 cartoon. Expect jets the size of cars at some point in the future.
 
Cliffjumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 03:46 PM   #172
inflatable dalek
Duke of Kidderminster
 
inflatable dalek's Avatar
 
Kidderminster UK
Red face

Ah, gotcha, I must have misread they were doing it the other way round.

In terms of toy reviews (or reviews of anything else for that matter), how do we tell the difference between those written by people giddy by a new toy and who those who genuinely like the toy and would have liked it no matter what, even if it is for reasons that might seem spurious to others? Who gets to be the arbiter of correct taste? Who reviews the toy reviewer? And then who reviews them?
 
inflatable dalek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 04:01 PM   #173
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
Warcry's Avatar
 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denyer View Post
The best part of this is that he thought they'd still be making toys of new characters in 2034, and not just endlessly recycling and reinventing G1 designs and names.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Transformers fans are indeed largely a fickle bunch of twats I'll admit... We should seriously seize the moral highground and put an embargo on toy reviews being done within a month of purchase because a lot of the ones on this site (mainly from a few years ago) are frankly embarrassing, made while people are still high on the smell of fresh plastic and far in denial that they've paid money for a dog of a figure. IDW syndrome.
I can see where you're coming from here, and personally I do try to give myself some time between opening a toy and reviewing it nowadays for exactly that reason. I know myself well enough to know that my opinion of figures often change quite a bit after the first week or so.

Although, circumstances and context can colour reviews quite a bit even beyond the "new toy" buzz. I wrote a lot of hilariously over-positive reviews back in 2008 during the days of Universe, I know, but most of that was due to excitement over actually having a good job and being able to afford to buy stuff, rather than the individual toys themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
People loved both Binaltech and Classics because they thought it was going to be as good as it got, the same way people were lauding Warbot Defender a few months ago and now think Springer's better. That's Transformers fans for you - everything's relative, they don't generally have the ability to appreciate a great figure on its' own terms, it's got to be whether it's better or worse than a previous version, conform with their own prejudices and so on.
Yeah, but what I'm saying is that people currently love the MPs for exactly the same reason, and when something better eventually comes along opinions will inevitably turn on Masterpiece the way they've turned on the previous lines, decry it as overrated, slag a bunch of the figures for being overcomplicated/boring, etc, etc, etc, and the toys that everyone says are so good now are going to be met with a "m'eh". Because that's what always happens with Transformers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
The more sober sections of the fandom will tell you that both BinAlt and Classics (and successors) had a few great figures and then many which didn't work or pushed things too far; both broadly had a good starting point and then got thrifty/lazy/mined out the concept. Masterpiece <i>should</i> be able to avoid these pitfalls - as a high-end line there's fewer design restrictions, which should mean Wheeljack and Tracks don't share a mould.
The problem is that, "high-end line" or not, the pitfalls are already happening.

Figures like Megatron and Rodimus have been pushed out in spite of being engineering disasters. I'm honestly struggling to think of a single Classics-style toy that's anywhere near the level of "mess" that Rodimus is, and I can't do it. Blitzwing may have had unforgivable engineering flaws but at least he doesn't explode before you remove him from packaging.

They've made random redecos like Tigertrack and Boring Bluestreak to whore out their molds for a few extra bucks. And frankly Soundblaster isn't much better. People were more excited for Ratbat than the toy he came with, which shows you exactly how popular that once-lauded redeco scheme is nowadays. And then there's Acid Storm and Sunstorm, all the various different-coloured Primes, King Grimlock, G2 Sideswipe, etc. Some of them are nice, sure, but they're no less of a transparent cash-in than Generations Doubledealer or Universe Treadbolt.

They have double-dipped with multiple molds for popular characters like Prime and Starscream. And then redecoed the shit out of the second molds as well, often the exact same redecoes that they'd used for the first one (I'm genuinely surprised that Takara haven't managed to squeeze out Thundercracker and Skywarp from the second Starscream mold yet, but we all know it's coming eventually). And that's without even getting into the frankly offensive behaviour that was reissuing MP-1 and marketing it as "the last time you can ever buy him!!!" six months before putting out the new and improved MP-10.

And with Bumblebee they've started padding out toys with silly accessories in order to him a preordained price point. I'm sure we'll see the same sort of chicanery with Cliffjumper, Brawn and any other Minibots they release, but with accessories even less desireable than Spike as they run out of ideas.

They are handling the line exactly the same way as they handle every other Transformers line. The only difference is that there are fewer releases, so the objectionable stuff is stretched out over a longer period of time. People ignore the bad because MP is the hot new thing right now, but how long is that going to last?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
They haven't shackled themselves to a scale or even a thematic concept like Binaltech did, which means they can do Dinobots, Shockwave, a proper Megatron, Combaticons, Aerialbots, whatever should there be the demand.
That's probably not going to happen, though. With Wheeljack coming soon they've done 6 of 18 Autobot cars in the last three years. Those guys seem to be the main focus of the line, and with their current release schedule it'll be, what, 2020 before we see them all? Longer, if they mix in more Minibots along with the big guys. They can do anyone they want (and an MP Shockwave would be a grand thing, wouldn't it?) but practical considerations mean that likely either interest will die down or Takara will relaunch the line with another new Prime and Starscream before they get too far into the cast list, just like the reissue series usually do.

Also, who are you and what have you done with Cliffy? I can't remember the last time we had a conversation where you were the positive one and I was gloomily raining on everyone's parade.
 
Warcry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 04:40 PM   #174
Cliffjumper
Cellar Door
 
Cliffjumper's Avatar
 
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Figures like Megatron and Rodimus have been pushed out in spite of being engineering disasters. I'm honestly struggling to think of a single Classics-style toy that's anywhere near the level of "mess" that Rodimus is, and I can't do it. Blitzwing may have had unforgivable engineering flaws but at least he doesn't explode before you remove him from packaging.
Ahhh... we're coming at this from a different angle I think. To me, Masterpiece effectively rebooted with MP-10 and I'm only particularly interested (and giving them much credit) for the more coherent stuff since then, with Grimlock and BIG OPTIMUS as effective outliers. And the line's philosophy does seem to have changed for the better.

Quote:
Some of them are nice, sure, but they're no less of a transparent cash-in than Generations Doubledealer or Universe Treadbolt.
No, but what I would say is that 1) they do no harm other than to the wallet of people with more sense than money, especially as most are some sort of exclusive that won't - say - be taking up shelf space anywhere in the way that, say, Magnus or Acid Storm did and 2) they don't (yet) compromise the original figure in the way some of the Classics ones do. They can do a yellow Sideswipe if they want based off some nerd's desperate scribblings and they might even get a few idiots buying it because of that tech spec switch thing, but as long as no-one tries to tell me it's Sunstreaker I'm not fussed.

Quote:
They are handling the line exactly the same way as they handle every other Transformers line.
No. The attention to detail, finish and presentation is basically unsurpassed in Transformers history, if you count the Diaclone figures as inherited (rare exceptions are some of the better film figures and the FE Prime stuff). So far there have been no compromises for the post-MP10 cars, despite ample opportunity (e.g. retooling Bluestreak's head when no-one would have really noticed).

Quote:
Those guys seem to be the main focus of the line, and with their current release schedule it'll be, what, 2020 before we see them all?
And? Soul of Chogokin, which is surely what Masterpiece is aiming to emulate in terms of demographics, image and quality, has been running since 1997. If anything the languid schedule is a good sign - the quality of both the Classics lines and BinAlt dropped radically as releases picked up. The last thing you want for a line like this is for it to start following Western "wave"-style distribution, which means you get ten moulds at a time with a hit ratio of about 20%.
 
Cliffjumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 05:13 PM   #175
Auntie Slag
Satisfaction guaranteed !
 
Auntie Slag's Avatar
 
Cambridge, UK
Default

I'd love MP Aerialbots, with all of them the same size as Seekers but with their own individual distinguishing features... so Slingshot is still a Harrier Jump Jet, but he's the size of Starscream (as they always should have been).

I never liked the way the Aerialbots were never really considered combatants against the Decepticon jets. They had a little shot in their comics introduction against the Dirge, Thrust and Ramjet but after that they were little more than short-guy components.

Warpath and Powerglide have had some big-ish new moulds to better represent their alt-modes. I'd love a proper Starscream-sized Harrier Jump Jet like Slingshot, and be happy with a redeco of the Seeker mould for Air Raid if it meant all five were clearly individual designs (and it would be a legitimate re-use). Happy to forego the Superion concept if it meant these guys looked like a Jetfire-themed boy band.
 
Auntie Slag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 06:18 PM   #176
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
Warcry's Avatar
 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Ahhh... we're coming at this from a different angle I think. To me, Masterpiece effectively rebooted with MP-10 and I'm only particularly interested (and giving them much credit) for the more coherent stuff since then, with Grimlock and BIG OPTIMUS as effective outliers. And the line's philosophy does seem to have changed for the better.
That's an arbitrary distinction, though. You're basically saying "Masterpiece is awesome, but only the toys I like. The rest don't count." By that logic Armada is the best toyline ever, as long as you only look at the three or four figures that were actually good.

You also have to remember that the line since MP-10 consists of a grand total of four new molds, some tiny cassette accessories and a reworked version of Starscream that you can't give them much credit for since it steals its' engineering improvements from a series of bootlegs. That's a very small sample size. What happens if, say, Wheeljack has an impossibly frustrating transformation, Bumblebee is hopelessly fragile and Ultra Magnus's combined mode has terrible articulation?

I don't mean to come off as hostile, it just really frustrates me that people seem to have taken "produced a small number of good molds in a row" and so quickly turned it into "best line ever!", even though those four molds have been spaced out with the same cash-in redecos that fans denounce in every other line (which is worse here than, say, Generations due to MP's much more limited release schedule).

They've produced a few really good MP molds over the last couple years, and that's great. But Takara are still oversaturating the market with questionable redecos, they still have a spotty record when it comes to engineering and they're still a company with a decade-long track record of running every good thing they get going into the ground. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be happy with the good stuff that they've put out so far, but the boundless enthusiasm that the MP line attracts is hopelessly naive and it's almost certainly going to end in heartbreak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
No. The attention to detail, finish and presentation is basically unsurpassed in Transformers history, if you count the Diaclone figures as inherited (rare exceptions are some of the better film figures and the FE Prime stuff). So far there have been no compromises for the post-MP10 cars, despite ample opportunity (e.g. retooling Bluestreak's head when no-one would have really noticed).
Which is exactly what people said about Alternators a decade ago, and they were just as wrong then as now. It's easy to say a line is great when you consciously choose to ignore all the crap that's been put out under the banner to focus on the handful of items you actually like, and as fans we all tend to do that, but it's not going to leave you with a realistic view of the line as a whole. People did the same thing with the Alt/BTs, waving off the fact that Dead End was clearly Sunstreaker or that Prowl was obviously meant to be Red Alert, or the stupid Corvette with a cat's head, or Hasbro's ludicrous distribution issues, or Takara's increasingly spotty engineering, and then when everything crashed and burned they were left asking "Where did it go wrong? Everything was going so well."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
And? Soul of Chogokin, which is surely what Masterpiece is aiming to emulate in terms of demographics, image and quality, has been running since 1997. If anything the languid schedule is a good sign - the quality of both the Classics lines and BinAlt dropped radically as releases picked up. The last thing you want for a line like this is for it to start following Western "wave"-style distribution, which means you get ten moulds at a time with a hit ratio of about 20%.
And? You were fantasizing about toys that are probably never going to happen due to the slow release schedule, then using them as a reason for why the MP line is awesome now. The fact that they "in theory" could go and make MP Air Raid doesn't mean they will, and until they actually start to put out MPs of anything but A-listers, Autobot cars and their redecos it's all just speculation.

I agree that they're pacing the new molds in the line about right. Three or four per year is a good sweet spot for a line like this. But if we embrace that, it comes with the price of admitting that, no, we probably won't get MPs of everyone in the cartoon, or of some of the popular late-run guys from the comics. I'm not even sure the other Dinobots are in the cards, honestly, because if they're not releasing them in the year when Dinobots are going to be thrust into the public consciousness by a major multi-platform media push when are they going to have a better opportunity?
 
Warcry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 08:21 PM   #177
Knightdramon
Primus
 
Knightdramon's Avatar
 
York, UK
Default



Good discussion. Really good.

Having written, like, 19 out of 20 Binaltech reviews for this site, around the time I was 17 or so [and not even in my mother tongue---beat that!], I can safely make a tremendous, but accurate, over-generalization.

Things reviewed at a certain time have only what's come out before them to compare to.

Car Robots were GREAT at the time because they were realistic, uber articulated almost officially licensed cars that came after a nearly decade-long reign of toys based on animals.

Binaltech were GREAT because they were the first [and to this day, only] BIG, unified scale, realistic-interior, functioning doors, hoods, steering, suspension FULLY licensed cars. And they came out at a time when Armada with their over-simplified playschool-esque figures reigned supreme. Seriously, you are a long-standing transformers fan, fed up with plasticky-plasticness on the shelves, colourful crappy hot shot toys, and you see BT Smokescreen. You open it up. It has a fancy stand. It's like 60% metal. It is fully painted, and then decorated like crazy with tampographs of real life advertisements. The doors, hood and trunk all open up. It transforms into a greatly articulated robot that goes into great detail to emulate G1 Smokescreen. How can you NOT think that is the best there is, up to that point?

Classics were GREAT because at that point, BT had driven itself up a wall. They shot themselves on the foot with the 1:24 scale, meaning lots of bots were too cost prohibitive to come out, they had run out of usable characters for cars and the line was flirting with cancellation ever since Skids and Prowl came out. Classics brought Megatron as a gun to the table, Starscream, Astrotrain etc all relatively faithful to their G1 selves.

MP is doing great so far because it's taking its baby steps [think BT01-until blue BT Tracks] in the span of 3 years and so far you don't have things like an all-black Sunstreaker christened Dead End etc.

I don't hold any illusions---some people rave on and think that we'll get EVERYONE in G1 and the line will continue forever--no it won't. There'll be a point after the Wheeljacks and Bumblebees and Galvatrons where we'll be getting the Hoists and Huffers and stuff like...Needlenose will be on the table, when takara will just say f*ck it and release an even better Optimus Prime and Starscream.

No, I won't forget Takara re-issuing MP1 for the LAST time, fans rushing to get the very last release of the mould...and 6 months later, MP10 comes out. Nor will I forget the fact that takara officially denied ANYTHING being wrong with the broken, mis-assembled and generally poor V1 Rodimus wave they sent out.

The MP11 Starscream is actually a slight re-work of the very first release of MP03 that was shelved for Kawamori's scabbard re-design. It actually pre-dates all current MP designs.

The hopeless enthusiasm, as mildly explained before, comes from a new surge of particularly talkative newbs [talking about the collective fandom, not this board] who have only lived from the jump from Classics to MP.
 
Knightdramon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 10:27 PM   #178
Warcry
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
 
Warcry's Avatar
 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
Having written, like, 19 out of 20 Binaltech reviews for this site, around the time I was 17 or so [and not even in my mother tongue---beat that!], I can safely make a tremendous, but accurate, over-generalization.

Things reviewed at a certain time have only what's come out before them to compare to.
Agreed! But at the same time...toys that are genuinely good should still stand on their own merits five, ten, fifteen years later, shouldn't they? I mean, toy technology hasn't changed that much since the Cyberjets or early Beast Wars toys ushered in the idea of articulation to the brand. If a toy was truly great then, then surely it still would be now?

Talking BT/Alternators in particular I'm still quite fond of Smokescreen, Bluestreak and Skids. Tracks had a gorgeous alt-mode but the robot was really clunky. A lot of the other molds honestly don't even compare that well to the Energon/Cybertron toys they were running alongside. Prowl in particular is just dreadful, and Cat Ravage is just a mess of kibble in beast mode. But in the context of them being the first new toys of G1 characters in over a decade, a lot of us tended to overlook those flaws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
Car Robots were GREAT
...
Binaltech were GREAT
...
Classics were GREAT
I guess my point is...why do we have to say "were"? Why do we always have to denigrate previous lines whenever something new and popular comes along? Why can't we like something new without shitting on what we used to like?

Car Robots/RiD are great because they are the only modern vehicle-mode toys that were designed with Beast Wars rather than G1 aesthetics and design styles in mind. They're unique, and something we're not likely to see again.

BT/Alternators are great because of the detailed licensed alt-modes and because they represented realistic updated takes on classic G1 characters instead of the "stuck in the 80s" vibe that the MPs and much of the fiction go for. I also love that most of them can pass as actual model cars in alt-mode.

Classics and the lines that followed are great because they produced updated, modern toys of classic characters that I can fiddle with on the couch, give to a kid to play with or, if I get bored, use to set up a big battle diorama. They're fun.

And you know what? MPs are great too. The cartoon-accurate robot modes are something that a lot of fans have begged for for ages, and even though the cartoon isn't really my thing it's impossible to deny that most of them make for great display pieces.

None of the lines are perfect, they have all produced some glaringly bad figures over the years and they've all suffered from cost cutting, redeco spam and or general corporate greed, but that's to be expected. 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.

Other lines aren't MPs, but they're not supposed to be MPs. Why do they get so much flak for not being what they were never supposed to be in the first place?
 
Warcry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-12, 11:15 PM   #179
Clay
"I've done better and got over it."
 
Clay's Avatar
 
Murray, KY
Smile

Bear with me as I catch up from being unable to post at work for eight hours...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Generations is still around, yes...but it's denounced by a large, vocal chunk of the fandom nowadays as "kiddie toys", so it's still an example of what I'm saying. It used to be hailed as the best thing that ever happened to Transformers, but now it's down on the second tier with stuff like the movie lines in terms of hype. It's still my favourite line, but I'm open about the fact that I usually prefer toys over pretty collectors' items and I'm fairly sure I'm in the minority.
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
We should seriously seize the moral highground and put an embargo on toy reviews being done within a month of purchase
I think I may have floated that idea as a general tip once... didn't codify it into the review rules, though. I was/am as guilty as anyone. The first reviews I wrote for the site are entirely too positive, but I had just started collecting and was writing from a small pool of figures to compare anything to.

Quote:
The more sober sections of the fandom will tell you that both BinAlt and Classics (and successors) had a few great figures and then many which didn't work or pushed things too far; both broadly had a good starting point and then got thrifty/lazy/mined out the concept.
I think you may have a slightly pessimistic view for the reasons behind the decline of various sublines. Whereas you could argue that Hasbro runs the well dry after a good start, you could just as easily say that the demand outpaces the design space. The kernel of the Alternators line was the first six or so molds, and the fandom responded well, so any more that they made had to be within the boundaries that they already established (1:24 scale, licensed vehicles, interior details, etc.). Volkswagen saying "no" shot Bumblebee down, having Optimus be a tractor trailer would be too big, et cetera. The line was doomed to have diminishing returns despite having a positive response from fans. And unlike the start of a line, when lots of planning goes on and ideas can be thought out all the way, once it's in the middle of things, a certain momentum has to be kept up with the releases. Then we start getting weird redecos. It's unfortunate, but it seems to be the natural rhythm of these sorts of things.

Quote:
Eh, I've been better since DOTM... Though Alternators I bought on its' own terms knowing what I'd be getting into (and vocally disliked the Viper and Mustang while not even trying the shit Ravages and some of the stupider repaints), and Classics I really didn't buy much of (and again had Prowl's number when people were cumming in their pants about Smokescreen).
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
And frankly Soundblaster isn't much better. People were more excited for Ratbat than the toy he came with, which shows you exactly how popular that once-lauded redeco scheme is nowadays.
I think the price may be the stifling point in this case. The reissue was only $50 or so, and the Masterpiece version is three times that. It's easier to get excited about a repaint of something you already have when it's still only two digits.

Quote:
And with Bumblebee they've started padding out toys with silly accessories in order to him a preordained price point. I'm sure we'll see the same sort of chicanery with Cliffjumper, Brawn and any other Minibots they release, but with accessories even less desireable than Spike as they run out of ideas.

They are handling the line exactly the same way as they handle every other Transformers line. The only difference is that there are fewer releases, so the objectionable stuff is stretched out over a longer period of time. People ignore the bad because MP is the hot new thing right now, but how long is that going to last?
This is, unfortunately, probably right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
I'm not even sure the other Dinobots are in the cards, honestly, because if they're not releasing them in the year when Dinobots are going to be thrust into the public consciousness by a major multi-platform media push when are they going to have a better opportunity?
It's Takara. What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
Things reviewed at a certain time have only what's come out before them to compare to.
Nail on the head, there. While I sometimes wonder if I should write an epilogue to some reviews, by and large, once they're uploaded they're unaltered. What somebody thought of figure X in 2005 is still there, despite that they might not have the same opinion now that figure Y has come along and mostly displaces it. But in a way that's good as it preserves what people thought of it at the time.
 
Clay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2014-03-13, 12:05 AM   #180
Cliffjumper
Cellar Door
 
Cliffjumper's Avatar
 
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
That's an arbitrary distinction, though. You're basically saying "Masterpiece is awesome, but only the toys I like. The rest don't count." By that logic Armada is the best toyline ever, as long as you only look at the three or four figures that were actually good.
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.

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.

Quote:
That's a very small sample size. What happens if, say, Wheeljack has an impossibly frustrating transformation, Bumblebee is hopelessly fragile and Ultra Magnus's combined mode has terrible articulation?
You seem to be exaggerating my zeal somewhat. What we've had so far has been excellent. What we've seen looks excellent, and certainly good enough for me to put down the money for a couple of figures to at least find out for myself (though I'm probably going to skip Magnus as his basic design is hideous... a Senior-style Action Master would do me, he must've only transformed about three times in the UK comic...). Everything else is up in the air, Takara can **** up at any moment.

What we have now is the germ of a line which can do exactly what I'm after. The five figures I've bought have done everything I wanted, the two I can't afford seem to do the same (personally I'm kind-of banking on MP-10 getting brought out once a year with tweaks).

Quote:
the same cash-in redecos that fans denounce in every other line (which is worse here than, say, Generations due to MP's much more limited release schedule).
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. I think the post MP-10 ones have been done respectably; Tigertracks is low volume and designed to appeal to Diaclone nerds, he's not aimed at proper people. Soundblaster the same, tailored to the small bunch of anime-lite freaks who still think the Japanese series is the best because a couple of characters die in a stupid way and the episodes vaguely connect. Neither do any harm, neither take up any slots in the schedule, neither are trying to trick anyone into double-dipping. Both actually look good for what they are.

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.

Quote:
But Takara are still oversaturating the market with questionable redecos, they still have a spotty record when it comes to engineering and they're still a company with a decade-long track record of running every good thing they get going into the ground. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be happy with the good stuff that they've put out so far, but the boundless enthusiasm that the MP line attracts is hopelessly naive and it's almost certainly going to end in heartbreak.
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).

Quote:
Which is exactly what people said about Alternators a decade ago, and they were just as wrong then as now. It's easy to say a line is great when you consciously choose to ignore all the crap that's been put out under the banner to focus on the handful of items you actually like, and as fans we all tend to do that, but it's not going to leave you with a realistic view of the line as a whole.
Not really - Sideswipe poured cold water on Binalt pretty much from the off for me, and Overdrive to a lesser extent countered Hound.

Quote:
People did the same thing with the Alt/BTs, waving off the fact that Dead End was clearly Sunstreaker or that Prowl was obviously meant to be Red Alert, or the stupid Corvette with a cat's head, or Hasbro's ludicrous distribution issues, or Takara's increasingly spotty engineering, and then when everything crashed and burned they were left asking "Where did it go wrong? Everything was going so well."
Again, not I. TBH, the worst thing about BinAlt was the needless stupidity, like the "shit, better bring in a big name!" desperation that rapidly set in (despite Smokescreen selling well) when the main problem laid in the fact they were trying to mass-retail a niche line by sending out solid cases of figures and clogging shelves.

Quote:
And? You were fantasizing about toys that are probably never going to happen due to the slow release schedule, then using them as a reason for why the MP line is awesome now. The fact that they "in theory" could go and make MP Air Raid doesn't mean they will, and until they actually start to put out MPs of anything but A-listers, Autobot cars and their redecos it's all just speculation.
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?

I'd say there's more the opposite. The release schedule remains at their pace. They're clearly prepared to go their own way and leave Hasbro to do what they like with the moulds, which means the line can probably unfold at the more leisurely Japanese collector's market pace rather than the Wal-Mart/TRU pace which has screwed other like-minded lines.

Quote:
I'm not even sure the other Dinobots are in the cards, honestly, because if they're not releasing them in the year when Dinobots are going to be thrust into the public consciousness by a major multi-platform media push when are they going to have a better opportunity?
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.

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). However, I don't think that it might take 20 years to get through the pre-Movie characters is a barrier in itself.
 
Cliffjumper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
 
 
[the-hub.co.uk]
[transfans.co.uk]
[oneshallstand]
[unicron.com]
[counter-x.net]
[ntfa.net]
[allspark.com]
[transformertoys.co.uk]
[tfu.info]
[botchthecrab.com]
[obscure_tf]
[tfradio.net]
 

[TFArchive button]
Link graphics...

BOOKMARK US
Or in FF, hit Ctrl+D.