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Warcry
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Post by Warcry » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:12 pm

I have to say...not only are these toys awful, but even the basic designs are horribly blah. I think they might actually be my least favourite figures of the whole G1 range.

Skyquake brings up the 'Con Headmasters, and while those guys weren't as bad I can't say that I'd call them particularly good either. But they at least have interesting designs, and they could have been good with a higher parts count and better plastics. And the same could be said for the year's Targetmasters and Powermasters...not very good, but most of them are at least a little bit interesting (except for maybe Scoop, who's an abortion in his own right).

These guys, though...I can't see how you'd make anything interesting from them without redesigning them from the ground up. Nightbeat is especially awful, but Hosehead and Siren are both Micromaster-tier designs.

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Post by Denyer » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:25 pm

Quite a fan of the designs personally, particularly Hosehead, but most stuff from this era is a bit too big for the lack of complexity. Would like to see modern updates rather than chase originals with easily lost parts... think the only original HM I've got now is Skullcruncher (and a Squeezeplay without the nebulan)...

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Maz
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Post by Maz » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:44 pm

I’ve often said that simply buying, amassing and displaying toys is not enough to sustain my interest and passion for Transformers as a hobby. I’ve spent many years researching variants, writing articles, photographing toys and trying to unearth unknown facets of the global Transformers and pre-Transformers history since joining the community. Much of my writing in the last year or two has become geared towards new figure reviews, with vintage Transformer articles becoming rarer as my budget and priorities have shifted unpredictably. With my collection of toys seemingly resembling the converging direction of many others’, I felt like I needed to find further ways of keeping things interesting. I’m focusing on Masterpiece for this article because they’re probably a lot more removed from the idea of straightforward children’s toys than most of the other Transformers product we have today, in the minds of collectors.

Play With Your Toys | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ

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Post by Cliffjumper » Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:12 am

Skyquake87 wrote:Hmm...I do think these three Transformers toys in particular were a harbringer of the cost cutting ugliness that the line turned into at this point. They're just poor, even as a kid I thought these looked horrible and cheaply constructed. The plastics feel weak and of a lower grade than earlier TF toys (something the Pretenders are also guitly of) The smaller Decepticon Headmasters Squeezeplay and Horribull were decent, though. Whats worse is the screws and pins and so on used from this era until around 1991 - they all rust so quickly, leaving even a reasonable condition toy of this vintage looking horrible.

The smaller and simpler idea wouldn't get any better until Micromasters showed up.
Have to agree there. One of my most vivid childhood memories was of excitedly cracking Siren out of the box and realising instantly what a cheap piece of shit he was. The plastic, the can't be ****ed monoleg , the bend me over Nebulan...

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Post by inflatable dalek » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:54 pm

When I finally got a G1 Nightbeat (I was warned and it was an entirely heart based purchase than one based in objective quality) I was mildly surprised it was a better and more involved toy than I'd expected.

Still fairly terrible (and considering the theme of the other two and the fact the hinge would be better hidden as a light bar, why didn't they keep him as an emergency vehicle?), the Classics version is objectively the better toy on every level--and actually a neat little figure--even if he doesn't really feel Nightbeat.

Placing him next to my purchases of Misfire and Getaway last week--and even allowing for Misfire being of a better standard of other toys of that year--you can really see the decline across 87-88-89.
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Maz
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Post by Maz » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:12 pm

Imagine a relatively complete collection of Generation 1 Transformers from about 1984 to 1988. An impressive sight and a wonderful achievement. Now imagine that same collection in the form of prototypes, test shots, first shots, packaging samples, hand-painted mock-ups and pre-release box/catalogue/Toyfair photo subjects. Throw in the rarest production Diaclone, Micro Change, Generation 1, Minibots, TF Juniors, Kabaya kits, Lucky draw/Campaign prizes and Takara watches in existence, season it with original vintage G1 box artwork, animation bibles, storyboards, unreleased G2 Transformers, and you have one of the most unique, well-respected, breathtaking and landmark collections in the history of the hobby. One day there might be an essential series of books about the significance of Ras’ collected treasures – literally the history of the Transformers toy brand – but for now here’s his interview and a majority of his collection display.

Collector Interview 46 – Ras | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ

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Denyer
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Post by Denyer » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:18 pm

Any copies of the shelf shots with the pretenders and white protos that are large enough to see rather that just vaguely identify things? Not for the first time the resolution the site seems to insist on ruins an otherwise interesting window on franchise history.

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Maz
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Post by Maz » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:38 pm

I have bigger copies on the Transformers Square One Facebook page - a few of them anyway. TFSource have asked that I limit the images to 700 pixels width because they no longer wish the images to link to the full size picture, just back to TFSource's web store.


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Clay
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Post by Clay » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:25 pm

Maz wrote:. One day there might be an essential series of books about the significance of Ras’ collected treasures – literally the history of the Transformers toy brand – but for now here’s his interview and a majority of his collection display.
Not... really? I mean, collecting prototypes is neat and all, and collecting that many when they don't have a single, steady stream supplying them is neat inasmuch as completing any arbitrarily difficult task is (for anything that made it unchanged to the final production run, I can't personally see any justification whatever in collecting prototypes), but the idea that a bunch of prototypes gathered together in a room documents a brand that's become part of pop culture is ridiculous.

I mean, basketball is a big thing for some people - the athletic element, the teamwork, the progress through a season - but to say that basketball is a story of trickshots because that's the most difficult thing to accomplish is missing the point to such a degree that you're playing a different sport.

That is, for me, what rings so hollow about all these collector spotlights you do. They're not about what different people see and are attracted to in the brand, they're not about the emotional hook of a community to participate in that's a bigger draw than the actual collection, and they're not even all that different. They're all about people that spend far too much on little pieces of plastic and that, when that's no longer enough to distinguish themselves, they turn to collecting prototypes or packaged samples with typographical errors. It's all the fun of Autism.

I suppose what irks me is that there's plenty of potential to give a platform to a wide variety of voices instead of just an ever-more-exclusive level of completist. What's next, someone who collects uncast plastic leftover from sample runs?
TFSource have asked that I limit the images to 700 pixels width because they no longer wish the images to link to the full size picture, just back to TFSource's web store.
That's because it's advertising disguised as content.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:44 pm

Yeh, I can get that there's a certain cachet to, say, a hard resin prototype or a hand-painted catalgoue shot that was changed or what have you and a one-off item but outright collecting the things just seems excessive to me.

The last picture in the advert with "Everything in this pic is a vintage TF sample, mock-up, test shot or a prototype"? I'm sure it is. But it looks largely like a pile of the line's less thrilling engineering moments in mediocre condition apart from the stuff on the top right. They're just expensive incomplete unfinished figures, and they're probably never transformed either. I mean, Broadside with the comic head is a neat piece of history. Broadside with paint, no stickers and no accessories and x times the cost of what is already a figure people should be paying you to take? **** that.

To me it smacks of some sort of basic addiction. It's like the way some people get addicted to porn and always have to find something more obscure and/or unusual to release the addiction on it and the next thing they know the police are confiscating hard-drives full of horses spearing Brazilian preteens. At what point are you paying money for a box or a lump of plastic out of bloodyminded completism rather than any genuine love for the intrinsic quality of that item? I'd say it's before you spend money on an unchromed Dragstrip myself.
There. It. Was. In the lot, face down, the turquoise thrusters grabbed my attention like a magnet. As both a collector and a human being I can safely say that this was the most excited that I had ever been.
On the other hand, the diversity of the fandom always amazes me. That this perspectiveless guy (I mean, what's that competing with as a frame of reference? I liked finding Apollo Robo in a Gobots joblot but I doubt it'd scrape the top hundred of even my modest life), the MTMafia, 3P bores, Trukk Not Munky idiots, Fanimated cretins and so on are technically fans of the same thing as me.

Well, maybe not amazing, but it does make me feel very superior about my life choices and that's the same thing.

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Post by Tetsuro » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:15 pm

Clay wrote:That is, for me, what rings so hollow about all these collector spotlights you do. They're not about what different people see and are attracted to in the brand, they're not about the emotional hook of a community to participate in that's a bigger draw than the actual collection, and they're not even all that different. They're all about people that spend far too much on little pieces of plastic and that, when that's no longer enough to distinguish themselves, they turn to collecting prototypes or packaged samples with typographical errors. It's all the fun of Autism.

I suppose what irks me is that there's plenty of potential to give a platform to a wide variety of voices instead of just an ever-more-exclusive level of completist. What's next, someone who collects uncast plastic leftover from sample runs?
Well, I'd say you articulated my thoughts on the subject pretty well, and probably with a lot less confrontational tone.

That's honestly the biggest reason I dislike these "collector interviews", they're all largely representative of the exact same cloth of Exclusive Completist Club. Just because you don't have glass cabinets full of prototypes or MISB Japanese G1 exclusives of Lucky Draws doesn't make your personal story as a collector any less valid.

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:17 pm

While I admit that the notion of a complete collection of G1 stuff was an idealistic nostalgia-fueled aspiration when I first started back in the fandom, at some point during the process surely there's a bit of the brain that says "hang on a moment."

I mean, speaking completely objectively, the majority of the toys aren't worth the original RRP, let alone the current aftermarket prices. And of course it's the genuinely terrible stuff that's the most expensive, because it's rarer/mythical/foreign/buoyed by comic characterisation. I don't get how people can pay the sort of prices that the tail-end G1 stuff commands without admitting that they're doing it because they've over committed to the notion and can't back out now.

Then of course you're in a situation where they can't cave in to sanity and offload it without demanding more than they paid for it ("it's an investment!"), which just means some other poor sucker lands in the same position and the prices spiral even further.

Sure, an exhibition of the complete run, along with novelties and curios, boxed and unboxed would be a nice exhibition to go and see in a toy museum or something, but there's no ****ing need for all of us to set fire to our savings and storage space for our own personal one.

"Yah booh, sucks to you, I've got ALL the Transformers and you haven't... oh, you have? Yeah, well I'VE got ones that weren't even painted!" feels like the approach a seven year old would take.

I mean if people want to spend all their cash on a prototype, that's fine, but it doesn't make their collection better than mine. It just means it's full of more stuff that wasn't finished. Let's be honest, if these were films we'd all have the prototypes as an assembly cut on a DVD bonus disc and none of us would ever watch them.

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Post by Tetsuro » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:26 pm

Brendocon 2.0 wrote:"Yah booh, sucks to you, I've got ALL the Transformers and you haven't... oh, you have? Yeah, well I'VE got ones that weren't even painted!" feels like the approach a seven year old would take.
The sad thing is that attitude isn't even an exaggeration. Remember the G2 Menasor fiasco?

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:30 pm

Tetsuro wrote:The sad thing is that attitude isn't even an exaggeration. Remember the G2 Menasor fiasco?
Not specifically, but it's fair to say the fact those Stunticons never got a commercial release was a blessing to all of us, and I don't understand how anybody could treat owning them as a thing to tell other people about.

"Hey, look at my G2 Stunticons!"
"Wow... these... you paid money for these?"
"Yeah!"
"Like, really?"

Very excited to see how badly the CW version sells.

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Post by Tetsuro » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:40 pm

Brendocon 2.0 wrote:Not specifically, but it's fair to say the fact those Stunticons never got a commercial release was a blessing to all of us, and I don't understand how anybody could treat owning them as a thing to tell other people about.
As a child of the 90's, I'm much more forgiving towards neon and garish colour schemes.

But no, I mean the part where the guy who bought them demanded his money back - about 10k dollars if I remember correctly - because it turned out there was more than one set.

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Post by Clay » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:46 pm

Tetsuro wrote:As a child of the 90's, I'm much more forgiving towards neon and garish colour schemes.

But no, I mean the part where the guy who bought them demanded his money back - about 10k dollars if I remember correctly - because it turned out there was more than one set.
Ooh, funny. Link?

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Post by Tetsuro » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:02 pm


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Post by Clay » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:12 pm

Tetsuro wrote:That's honestly the biggest reason I dislike these "collector interviews", they're all largely representative of the exact same cloth of Exclusive Completist Club. Just because you don't have glass cabinets full of prototypes or MISB Japanese G1 exclusives of Lucky Draws doesn't make your personal story as a collector any less valid.
Exactly. Instead of spotlighting people that have acquired everything, why not people that have chosen not to, or to limit themselves purposefully? What then makes a figure worth keeping? Or how about someone that's only been collecting in the past two years? How do they make sense of the movie stuff, multiple Masterpiece figures (Convoy, Starscream, Hot Rod), Classics, 3rd party, etc. when all of it is present at the start instead of watching it gradually emerge over time? How did the friends/family react to someone who just started collecting in a world where the Avengers movie made the most money ever as opposed to those of us started in the late 90's/early 00's when it was still a geeky niche thing?

Spotlighting collectors with largely identical collections and outlooks squanders the potential these articles really have.
Brendocon 2.0 wrote:Let's be honest, if these were films we'd all have the prototypes as an assembly cut on a DVD bonus disc and none of us would ever watch them.
This is also an excellent analogy.

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Post by Warcry » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:29 pm

Clay wrote:That's because it's advertising disguised as content.
I think it's fair to say that the TFSource articles have been pushing more in that direction, especially with all the images linking back to their sales pages, and I know I find it off-putting too. Especially if I'm browsing on a tablet, accidentally click an image when I meant to scroll and suddenly find myself on a sales page. Unfortunately a lot of media is going in that direction.

It's really a shame, because Maz is a good photographer and a lot of that goes to waste on the TFSource articles now. At this point, I'm probably three or four times more likely to click through if Maz is linking to one of his Square One blog articles than a TFSource link because I know the former will have good-quality images to look at and the latter, not so much.
Cliffjumper wrote:On the other hand, the diversity of the fandom always amazes me.
This is definitely true. And we all think everyone else is crazy, which is simultaneously the best and worst part of it. The people I roll my eyes at for spending $600 each on multiple third-party combiners probably think I'm just as nuts for spending time scouring conventions, thrift stores and flea markets for random non-show recolours of Beast Wars toys. But we both agree that they guy army-building hundreds of BM Vehicons is taking things too far (even as he looks back at us and thinks "What are they wasting time and money on that shit for?").
Brendocon 2.0 wrote:Sure, an exhibition of the complete run, along with novelties and curios, boxed and unboxed would be a nice exhibition to go and see in a toy museum or something, but there's no ****ing need for all of us to set fire to our savings and storage space for our own personal one.
I feel much the same way, actually about most of the collections that Maz has taken a look at. They do feel more like a museum exhibit than a collection. And honestly, a lot of the collectors give me the same impression. Some of them like modern stuff but more than one of the interviews I've read feature people with no interest in anything post-80s. Which is fine, people like what they like, but I think collectors like that are more and more of an oddity as time goes on. I'd love to do a demographic study on the fandom at large to see what the average "fandom join date" is, but in absence of that I think it's fair to say that at least a very large minority of today's fans didn't become active in the community until after the Bay films. In fact, that's probably underestimating things. Those of us who've been around since the early 2000s or 1990s are probably the minority by now.

A lot of us old-timers can at least look at these sealed/mint G1 collections and think "Hey, that's what I wanted ages ago when there was no other options!", but I really wonder what the newcomers make of it.

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Post by Brendocon 2.0 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:00 pm

Clay wrote:Spotlighting collectors with largely identical collections and outlooks squanders the potential these articles really have.
There's a regular feature on one of CBR's blogs called Shelf Porn. While it largely includes photos of people's near-identical TPB collections, every now and then you get a spotlight on somebody whose collection consists exclusively of Turtles merch, or an extensive Lego version of Latveria, or somebody who just buys Punisher figures and poses them with miniature harps.

Yeah, there's signed original artwork in there as well, and it can all get a bit samey. But there's variety and scope. And surely there's enough diversity of interest in the TF fandom to do featurettes showcasing the a similar range of specialisations.

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