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Old 2015-09-21, 10:24 PM   #21
Warcry
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Originally Posted by Red Dave Prime View Post
I know not a jot about the toy business but would it be worth hasbro linking their tv shows to the movies a bit more? I dont mean in a continuity basis but have the same characters and general world and style - so the movie appeals to general audiences and the tv show keeps the overall toy range (and the wealth of characters and their respective models) valid.
It's not a bad idea in isolation but I think there's a couple snags with that approach. First off like Cliffy says, the companies actually making the fiction don't seem to care and that makes it pretty difficult for Hasbro to enforce a "house style". The other thing is that the fans would pitch a fit. I mean, remember how angry people were when Figuroa started drawing G1 characters like movie ones a few years ago? If all the fiction and toys were Moviefied it would alienate a big chunk of Hasbro's fandom that only sticks around for the G1. If they'd taken that approach from the get-go as soon as they realized the movies were a big deal, they probably could have gotten away with it. But they've spent the last decade trying to please everyone with a mix of movie-based stuff, G1-based stuff, kid-targetted stuff and whatever other random things popped into their heads.

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While their responses have not been smart I do think that Hasbro are in a bit of a bind here. Like you say, many film toylines have tanked - especially when the film isn't particularly aimed at a toy-buying demographic; it must be tempting at times to do the IDW thing and just leave Paramount to it. But at the same time Hasbro are a toy company and they'd be stupid not to have some tie-in product on the shelves.
Oh, absolutely! But at the same time they need to set their expectations reasonably and not expect every movie line to be the same smash hit that the first one was. Because honestly, Star Wars aside, no movie franchise moves much merchandise with sequels because the hype from the original has long-since come and gone. People will still spend $10 on their ticket but they're a lot less likely to drop a few hundred on toys.

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I'm just surprised they put so much money into new moulds for each line.
This is the really baffling part. They made three, sometimes four or more different molds for a lot of characters at different levels of complexity. The amount of investment they must have made for the line was staggering, even compared to the previous movie stuff. And then it all pretty much just sat there because nobody could tell what was what.

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Nah... the transformations (while getting rarer with each film - in the first every single character had a detailed onscreen transformation... in the fourth most were either fudged or offscreen) are special effect money shots and require a certain level of complexity to transform a real working car into what suspends audience belief as a real robot. Even the best Transformers toys like Masterpiece are full of the sort of cheating that would be impossible in live action - things like car interiors being full of limbs, fake alt mode features, robot mode kibble etc.
I don't think that the CGI models should be beholden to the toys per se, but they should at least put some thought into whether or not a simplified version of the model can be made to work as a toy. The amount of cheating required has been going up quite a bit over the last couple films as the models get crazier and the toy budgets get smaller.
 
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Old 2015-09-22, 12:09 AM   #22
Red Dave Prime
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I dont know if the movies have it right though with their transformation sequences - this ad which I think came out before the first bay movie showed that it could be done in a more realistic style but still be believable - and as a personnal preference I prefer the look of the robot mode here. Its less stylish than bays robots but I feel it has a charm coming from the robot form linking so close to the car.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4ckJFNkra8

edit: theres actually a longer collection of those ads - the ice skating one is really quite good.

I was specifically thinking of the cube transformation stuff in four though. Silly to have that when you know there will be a toyline (you can make the argument that they were supposed to be the anti transformers but you can also **** off with that idea) That was terrible looking in a film which otherwise had so much visual effect splendor I was numb to the dinobots attack sequence.

Seriously, that sequence is fantastic when viewed on its own but is lost in that mammoth of a movie.
 
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Old 2015-09-22, 04:06 AM   #23
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I will try to look it up later but someone here with a bit of CGI knowledge cut the Citroen adverts to bits from a technical POV (or provided a link to someone doing the same) - the model basically only works shot from the exact angles seen in the commercial itself, which meants it would be nowhere near versatile enough to stand up to use in a film.

EDIT: Yeh, not a fan of the visuals of the Appleformers changing either (even if I think it was a great idea on paper. Budget shortcuts, I think - it's worth remembering that in spite of the box office there's still an upper limit for the amount of CGI modelling the films can afford to do, which sometimes results in cheap-looking crap like that.
 
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Old 2015-09-22, 04:46 PM   #24
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I don't think the cube transformations would have felt so rubbish and incongruous if they'd been used to turn into multiple things. I think it was Dalek on here who said a while back that if they'd been able to shapeshift into a whole bunch of forms then the whole "these are the bigger, better version of transformers" thing would have made sense. As it was, they ended up as generic cannon fodder.

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(it'd be interesting to know how many people who watched DOTM in the cinema in 2011 and then had no real contact with the brand before watching AoE were even particularly aware of the changes and just assumed Prime changed back into his '07 form after his Evasion Mode mood)
My dad noticed the robot mode had changed, at least. He said Optimus now looked "really camp" and "like Louie Spence."
 

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Old 2015-09-22, 05:06 PM   #25
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I don't think the cube transformations would have felt so rubbish and incongruous if they'd been used to turn into multiple things. I think it was Dalek on here who said a while back that if they'd been able to shapeshift into a whole bunch of forms then the whole "these are the bigger, better version of transformers" thing would have made sense. As it was, they ended up as generic cannon fodder.
Defendable.

Firstly, the Apple PR claimed they were better but no-one else did and Slaphead is basically made of hubris and hype. Galvatron's the only one with anything approaching a full personality; the Autobots have fully formed personalities and Dinobots. If nothing else, the triumph of the human(ised) few over the apparently powerful alien hivemind is such a common trope in film and TV that to flag it up for AoE is harsh - this is why Spike survived a showdown under Sunnydale High against uber-vamps long enough for his magic necklace to kick in, why Schwarzenegger can give meaningful opposition to Patrick, why Lee Marvin can shoot loads and loads of Germans without a scratch and why alien saucers run on MS-DOS.

Secondly, Dalek claimed that TF:AoE set up a big rivalry between Bumblebee and Stinger (a non-sentient drone which looked a bit like Bumblebee and was named at random to get fans to STFU which appeared in a comedy scene with Bee) which didn't have any pay off at all (when Bumblebee destroyed him). So he's clearly on some bad crack or something.
 
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Old 2015-09-22, 09:12 PM   #26
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It was adequate crack.

Still haven't had chance to see the film on blu ray yet so my memory may be a bit off, but isn't the idea of the Bumblebee/Stinger rivalry set up in the really unsubtle way of Bumblebee watching a video saying "This guy is totally Bumblebee's rival"?

The idea of the new Decepticons not living up to the hype is fair enough, but it still makes them underwhelming villains the film probably spends too long on as a result. It's also hard to view it as a triumph of individuality over the hive mind when the day is saved by Optimus unleashing his own group of mindless (as far as the film goes, I don't think there's even any indication the Dinobots can speak) monsters to sort it all out.
 
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Old 2015-09-22, 09:26 PM   #27
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Oh, there's a bundle of problems with the film but the whole "these guys are meant to be the cream but they just get creamed" thing is the same in every action film ever. And like I say the only time they're said to be all that great is in Slapple's PR; the idea that thirty bodies built by humans after a few years' reverse-engineering could hold their own against a dozen battle-hardened Autobots would be more of a problem, really, and in that context it's not that difficult to believe Hound and Bumblebee could keep them at bay until the cavalry arrived. Galvatron seems to be the only one with any hint of individuality and thus serious control, the rest act more as drones.

The big problem with the transformium is that it throws out a big question in general and a bigger one for the movieverse (where scanning is well established - Optimus has the energy to do so after a few repairs by Cade and then fighting his way out of Lockdown/Cemetry Wind's trap, so it's clearly no biggy) in that why don't they just change modes according to situation. Galvatron especially just morphing a hole in himself around Prime's sword was very silly indeed.

Regarding Stinger I really didn't read it that way at all; it's a comedy scene to get Bumblebee to act out in a covert situation and it gets a simple payoff when Bumblebee smashes Stinger (is he named in the film? is he sentient?) later on. To think it was going further and needed more is IDW Barricade thinking.
 
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Old 2015-09-22, 09:31 PM   #28
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Yeah, it's a straightforward "This thing's better than Bumblebee!!!!" "Er, no" set-up/pay-off. Hardly the stuff of legend.
 
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Old 2015-09-22, 09:47 PM   #29
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Just to clarify, I don't have any issue with the drones not being tough enemies, I just feel that the crap transformations would have felt less like a letdown if they used it to all act like Terminator 2s.

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Stinger (is he named in the film?)
The promotional video calls that model Stinger, IIRC.
 

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Old 2015-09-22, 10:05 PM   #30
Red Dave Prime
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I'll side with Summerhayes on this a bit. That silly cube transformation should have led to something better. Maybe if the drone army had been regular transformers and say Galvatron and one other (stinger!) had the cube transformation which allowed them to do amazing stuff, than I could have bought into it more.

But, as cliffjumper says, movies, tv shows, comics always have to have an enemy who appears to be the bees knees only to crumble when the good guys get their act together and in this case thats kind of what happens - Prime has to ride in the Dinobots to get the job done.
 
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Old 2015-09-22, 10:09 PM   #31
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EDIT: Responding to other bits rather than RDP

So yeah, not much more applicable than NBE-1, really. The Slapple Army are a big problem with the film IMO in terms of what are they? Are they basically Decepticons activated in the same way as Galvatron by disembodied protoforms/dead grunts? Is Galvatron remote-controlling them somehow? Are they just following Slapple's* "RAR KILL AUTOBOTS" programming and it just dovetails with Galvatron's "RAR KILL AUTOBOTS" personality? I've seen the film four or five times now and I'm damned if I could tell you.

IMO AoE goes off the rails pretty badly once Prime gets captured, with the whole silly "rescue without Lockdown noticing" bit and then the random relocation of the whole plot to Hong Kong; it means both the "Decepticon" army and the Dinobots feel really thrown in with little explanation (again, it's pretty unclear what exactly the Dinobots actually are); ironically it felt like a bit of a toy advert. Though Hound just shooting everyone is pretty cool.




* = I realise this is pretty tiresome but I genuinely can't remember his name now after months of calling him Slapple.

 

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Old 2015-09-22, 10:23 PM   #32
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Quote:
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But, as cliffjumper says, movies, tv shows, comics always have to have an enemy who appears to be the bees knees only to crumble when the good guys get their act together and in this case thats kind of what happens - Prime has to ride in the Dinobots to get the job done.
It's actually a pretty recurring trope in Transformers alone when you think about it. It's basically the defining dynamic of the G1 cartoon and the Marvel comic - the Constructicons/Stunticons/Combaticons are THE SHIT when they first arrive capable of keeping whole factions busy until they're countered and then they just become rank and file Decepticons.

Even less toy advert-orientated modern media's far from immune; IDW's Pretenders seem to have faded to nothing and while I've stopped reading MTMTE I'm sure someone would have mentioned it if the DJD have actually managed to massacre the Lost Light crew.

If anything the movies buck the trend to some degree by regularly having new characters killed or plain disappear while older ones hang on - if we assume that disappearances count as deaths between films Ironhide outlives the Twins, Jolt and Arcee while Ratchet lasts longer than Sideswipe, Que and Dino while AoE once again ended with Prime and Bee still surviving (and with a better chance of showing up in 5 than Drift or Crosshairs).
 
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