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Old 2016-08-30, 09:24 PM   #1
tfforlife12
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Default the alternators!

Looking back the vehicle modes look alot better than the robot modes for the alternators
 
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Old 2016-08-30, 09:56 PM   #2
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Eh, I'd deny it even that. Basing them largely on mid-market contemporary cars made for a pretty boring line-up even with the high level of detail; only the Jeep, Mustang and GT40 really stood out as particularly nice-looking cars. In the real world an S2000 or an RX-7 is a nice flash car; in a fantastical world that's given us custom-engined Countaches, Datsun police cars, Boss and Hot Rod they're a bit bland.
 
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Old 2016-08-30, 10:27 PM   #3
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Made the mistake of leading with what was arguably the best design.
 
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Old 2016-08-30, 10:55 PM   #4
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A mistake from a critical/collector point of view as it raised expectations but if they'd led with Sideswipe would we have got that far? IIRC licences were drummed up a couple at a time as results came in and gradually got easier with the success of the first few so the Subaru might have been one of the few on the table.

But yeah, Smokescreen easily the best, probably with Jazz, Hound and Mirage next. Then probably a fair bit of fresh air, largely dictated by character and car model preferences. Felt legs on anyone who didn't follow the Diaclone Datsun/Porsche layout were a big weak area for the line as a whole, too often just inorganic unfolding blacksnake-things with whatever car bits weren't integral to the robot torso just hanging off. Weaponry was another failure; sadly the "weapon must be stored regardless of how poor it ends up looking" thing is still hurting TF figures 15 years down the line. Cheers, Alternators.
 
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Old 2016-08-30, 11:39 PM   #5
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If i remember correctly there was major licensing issues with the cars,also i think why the robot designs were so ugly was because, they were trying to put so much detail into the cars it hurt the designs of the toys.
 

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Old 2016-08-31, 04:00 AM   #6
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Yeah, Smokescreen was so ****ing impressive when he came out. He's still one of my top favourite figures. It sort of fizzled a bit for me after that, though the novelty of having a transformable Viper was big for awhile. I seem to remember the pricing being very decent as well.
 

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Old 2016-08-31, 10:40 AM   #7
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Ya they were like 19.99.
 

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Old 2016-08-31, 03:56 PM   #8
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They were like $30 up here, but that's still a great price considering they want more than that for a simplified, hollowed-out Voyager nowadays.

I do agree that the robot modes are dated, though I think that's mainly because they were the first real attempt to make a realistic car turn into an articulated, G1-style robot. Let's not forget that Hasbro and Takara had spent the previous eight years or so making Beast-era toys, which required a very different design philosophy, and had only just moved on to Armada stuff (where gimmicks rather than articulation brought most of the the play value). So this was very much a new thing for them, and while some of the figures left a lot to be desired, they learned a lot of lessons that they were able to apply to stuff like Classics, the early Movie toys and even Masterpiece stuff today.

Smokescreen is definitely the best of the bunch, as a few others have said. I've still got a soft spot for Bluestreak and Skids as well, but I sold off most of the others I owned a couple years ago to a fellow Archiver and to be honest, I can't say that I miss Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Prowl or Tracks in the slightest. Most of the designs were awkward and clunky even back in the early 2000s, and compared to modern stuff they just weren't much fun.

I'd love to see them revisit the idea with today's engineering standards, but I suspect that Masterpiece probably has the market for G1 characters with licensed alt-modes sewn up, so movie stuff is probably the best I could hope for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Eh, I'd deny it even that. Basing them largely on mid-market contemporary cars made for a pretty boring line-up even with the high level of detail; only the Jeep, Mustang and GT40 really stood out as particularly nice-looking cars. In the real world an S2000 or an RX-7 is a nice flash car; in a fantastical world that's given us custom-engined Countaches, Datsun police cars, Boss and Hot Rod they're a bit bland.
I don't know that they could have done any better. The lineup of cars that they chose for the Alternators line was a pretty decent early-2000s analogue for the lineup that they used in the 80s, and they did a great job of replicating them. The problem was that cars in those days were all boring, samey-looking shit, but that's something that was out of Hasbro's hands. They did as good a job as they could with what they had to work with at the time.

I'm just glad that car designers had started to move past the "design everything in a wind tunnel" phase by the time the movies hit a few years later, so that Bay had the opportunity to choose more interesting vehicles for Bumblebee, Sideswipe and co.

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Felt legs on anyone who didn't follow the Diaclone Datsun/Porsche layout were a big weak area for the line as a whole, too often just inorganic unfolding blacksnake-things with whatever car bits weren't integral to the robot torso just hanging off.
A lot of the molds wound up with really gimped leg joints, too. I seem to recall having a lot of trouble getting the Viper and Corvette molds to even stand in anything other than a neutral, straight-legged pose.

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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Weaponry was another failure; sadly the "weapon must be stored regardless of how poor it ends up looking" thing is still hurting TF figures 15 years down the line. Cheers, Alternators.
They seem to be moving away from that idea more and more now, thankfully. But it's crazy when you consider how long they kept it up for, considering it only rarely worked well. Having Smokescreen's "engine" fold out into an approximation of his G1 rifle was a real nice touch. Having Sideswipe and Prowl literally point engines with gun barrels on them at people, not so much.

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If i remember correctly there was major licensing issues with the cars,also i think why the robot designs were so ugly was because, they were trying to put so much detail into the cars it hurt the designs of the toys.
A lot of European manufacturers turned Hasbro down for the Alternators line, I remember that. Volkswagen and Porsche in particular said no to them making a modernized version of Bumblebee and Jazz. Of course, once the movies became a smash hit those doors started to open up again, and companies decided they'd like to be associated with the brand after all.
 
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Old 2016-08-31, 05:33 PM   #9
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let's try to make this thread to be the longest to be on top(i don't know if theres a record),but let's try.
 

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Old 2016-08-31, 06:02 PM   #10
electro girl
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Picked up wave 2 of the titan masters at Asda today after deluxes were nowhere to be found. Got warrior class RID Scorponok for a tenner too.
 

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Old 2016-08-31, 06:42 PM   #11
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Nice pickups.
 

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Old 2016-09-01, 10:27 AM   #12
Skyquake87
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I have five Alternators and I like them all, Skids with his silly flaming tampos, Silverstreak - the boring looking 'street' version of the Subaru, Swindle (no love for Hound), Rumble and Ravage. The latter two are just interesting for me for Rumble's comparative simplicity and Ravage for trying to do a cat mode (and out of a Jaguar to boot. Meta).

The others I have are Binaltechs, and I do like the die cast on them, even though it means I rarely touch them (Dead End, who I played with the most, has a fair few tiny chips on the bonnet and is a little looser then the others). I still think Shockblast is the best looking Shockwave toy we've ever got (even compared to the MP) and I just like the detailing and finish.

In their own way, they are equally as awkward as the original Diaclone toys, where the vehicle mode is the focus. And that's probably why I still love them as much as I do - they feel like a proper update and refreshing of those characters in way that the current MP line doesn't, which is basically redoing the old toys with better engineering. I also liked that they were a good, chunky figures and feel good to handle and definitely feel like the money I spent on them was actually worth it. That said, I had no desire to go out and buy every single toy and agree that some of the designs weren't so great (Grimlock/ Wheeljack, Prowl/ Camshaft) and mould degradation seemed to be a problem (my lovely Asterisk Alert is a wibbly mess).
 
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Old 2016-09-01, 07:35 PM   #13
tfforlife12
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i sold all my alternators.
 

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Old 2016-09-01, 08:21 PM   #14
electro girl
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Wait. This isn't the newest acquisitions thread. Why on earth did I reply here?
 

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Old 2016-09-01, 08:38 PM   #15
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ha lol
 

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Old 2016-09-02, 12:20 PM   #16
Clay
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Never have understood why the Subaru is so commonly preferred over the Mazda. Basic design is the same, but the Mazda's legs actually ratchet back into place. If you don't get the Subaru's legs just so, the car doesn't click together properly.

Anyway, yeah. It's easy to criticize the selection of vehicles now, but back in 2003 and 2004 the transformers brand just wasn't what it is now (or is again, depending on your perspective). The idea that the films are certifiably their own thing now would have been inconceivable when Hasbro were trying to solicit for vehicle licenses a decade ago.

That said, they quickly painted themselves into a corner by using a relatively large scale. Not that that couldn't be overcome, but it wasn't. Also, the consistent trend was to use some part of the car chassis as the robot chest (contrast this with, say, the original stunticons), so they ran out of design space pretty quickly that way.
 
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Old 2016-09-02, 01:10 PM   #17
Warcry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
The others I have are Binaltechs, and I do like the die cast on them, even though it means I rarely touch them (Dead End, who I played with the most, has a fair few tiny chips on the bonnet and is a little looser then the others). I still think Shockblast is the best looking Shockwave toy we've ever got (even compared to the MP) and I just like the detailing and finish.
I tend to forget all about the BTs these days. When I do remember them I usually wonder how well they've aged, with the painted metal and die-cast-on-plastic joints. After what you've said, I can't imagine they've aged any more gracefully than the Transmetals.

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Never have understood why the Subaru is so commonly preferred over the Mazda. Basic design is the same, but the Mazda's legs actually ratchet back into place. If you don't get the Subaru's legs just so, the car doesn't click together properly.
Probably due to character selection and decos more than anything to do with the figure itself. The Subaru mold was a good fit for Smokescreen, Bluestreak and Stepper, and all three of them had really nice colours. On the other hand, Jazz is pretty bland looking (a big problem for such a flashy character) and a lot of people are a bit put off by Shockwave being a car. So even if the Mazda mold is a little nicer, the Subaru is remembered better.
 
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Old 2016-09-02, 02:21 PM   #18
inflatable dalek
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Oh yeah, they did a Stepper. That's just glorious that is.

I still have a lot of fondness for Skids, but yeah, they've aged more than I think any of us would have expected at the time.
 
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