Thunderwave wrote:Cyclonus with Nightstick?
Cyclonus not so much, but Nightstick definitely counts.
The fact that we're splitting this hair shows just how slim the pickings have been so far, though.
ganon578 wrote:And with the designs they've been doing, the figures are simple, highly articulated, and fun.
CW and TR have definitely scaled back the complexity, at least for the Deluxe-sized figures. And while it led to a bit of tedium with Combiner Wars (everyone basically transformed the same because they all had to be able to yoga into arm and leg modes) with Titans Return I think it's led to a line that's a lot more fun than some of its predecessors. In some of the previous iterations of the line (I'm thinking especially of Universe and Thrilling 30) the Deluxes could get too
complex, and you wound up with a lot of figures that were overengineered and not a lot of fun to transform. The enforced simplicity of the recent stuff means we don't get any Deluxes the likes of Universe Galvatron, or even stuff like Straxus or Universe Prowl where it's difficult to transform the toy without parts inadvertently popping off. Or even something like Generations Rattrap, where each mode looks great but going from one to the other is kinda terrifying.
I still enjoy some of those older figures a fair bit, but I find the newer stuff way more fun to transform even if it's notably less polished (i.e. hollow limbs and a bit more kibble). It's a nice change of pace, if nothing else.
And that doesn't mean that I don't enjoy complex figures, either, but I do think it's better when that level of complexity is reserved for the Voyagers and Leaders where it has more room to breathe.
Clay wrote:I should like to say that, at an entirely anecdotal level, $15 seems to be the breaking point. At Walmarts here, the deluxe figures have been reduced to $10 when rung up, but the pegs at some stores still say $15. At the stores where the $10 price is displayed, they've sold out, whereas at the ones with $15 price tags, they're shelf-warming.
Up here it's $20 -- that MSRP seems to ward off all but the most devoted of collectors. But as soon as they go on sale, even by just a few bucks, people are on them like a barracuda.
Clay wrote:Compared to Starscream/Thundercracker/Skywarp and the Coneheads, that's wholly unexpected.
The seekers also suffered from one member of the team being shuffled off to an exclusive, though in their case it was worse because Skywarp was packed with the Classics Magnus that was so popular for a while because of that (in hindsight, hilariously primitive) third-party armour. It wasn't until this year that I finally tracked one down at a reasonable price to complete the set (thanks again, dalek!)
But you're right. Considering past precedent, I really didn't expect to see all seven "basic" HMs in the line at all, let alone front-loaded to the first couple waves. If anything I would have expected a random selection of guys, the HM Juniors and the Horrorcons, all at different size classes and mostly pushed to the end of the line to make room for Headmasterized 1984 Autobot cars and Seekers. With these seven being the batch of Headmasters that people care about the most (Fort Max and Scorpy aside) it's great that they managed to make them all available early on.
Clay wrote:You should look at the vehicle modes for Maketoys Quantron. Not that you need to buy a Quantron, but you should look at pictures of it.
Honestly can't say that I care for them. They remind me too much of the vehicle designs from the Star Wars prequels. I can see why they'd be popular, though.
Clay wrote:I've never understood as that, but rather that they were just making new figures in more-or-less the same sequence that they came around the first time. Minor gimmicks for individual figures can be done at any time (see the sporadic releases of the triple changers), but for the larger subgroups with cross-interaction (combiners and headmasters), it was just easier to do a bunch all at once. Plus the last iteration before combiner wars gave us Trailbreaker/Hoist and Skids, which were the last of the characters based on Diaclone left. So, aside from completely retreading what they've already released (which may actually be warranted: Classics is ten years old now!), it's sort of the natural next step to do a large selection of 1987-1988 characters.
Generally, I think the underlined is what most people expected them to do.
I don't know how much you paid attention to the Q&As that the design team does, but the old team always seemed to be ultraconservative. Fans would ask them about combiners, or Headmasters, or Pretenders, and they would always talk about why they can't do that -- can't do combiners because distribution makes it too hard, can do Headmasters because kids will lose the head, etc., etc... I don't think anyone could have forseen the huge change in philosophy that took hold after Hasbro cleaned house and brought a new team on board.
I mean, before CW we had (if I'm counting right) exactly four
Classics/Generations molds that were created for post-86 characters: Legends G2 Megatron, Thunderwing, Scoop, and IDW Brainstorm. One of those is bloody Megatron
, another was both in the cartoon and a major player in current comics and a third was just about the most recognizable Decepticon from the Marvel run. The other, of course, is Scoop, and even I think he was a baffling choice.
They didn't even do new molds for Nightbeat or Bludgeon (though, yes, he did get a cool Moviefied toy in the ROTF line). We actually got more new Beast Wars toys in that timespan (Cheetor, Dinobot, Rattrap, Waspinator, Rhinox), and Hasbro's never been more than lukewarm to Beast Wars since it ended. There's no way that ilk was ever going to make a new mold for mother****ing Weirdwolf
. They wouldn't even do Constructicons or Dinobots other than Grimlock because it was "too risky".
In contrast, in the past six months we've gotten something like twenty new molds for post-86 characters (maybe a couple more or less...I'm a bit foggy on which of the single-pack TMs are repaints of who), much like Combiner Wars flooded the shelves with Scramble City characters who'd only gotten (if memory serves) repaints and a couple Universe Ultras before that. I might not always be 100% on board with the execution, but the new guys are willing to try stuff that would have been utterly mind-blowing five years ago and I think that's fantastic.
Of course, the last couple lines have definitely raised my expectations. Now I'm waiting for them to figure out a way to make Pretenders not suck!