Cliffjumper wrote:Wasn't there only a year between RiD and Armada, with RiD then just used as a convenient sub-title for any non-UT pre-Universe recolours they fancied doing?
Closer to a year and a half, I think. Enough time that RiD got a full line of toys released in 2002 before Armada showed up, anyway.
I don't think they expected RiD to be as successful as it was, because they pushed out almost all of the new molds in time for Christmas 2001. But Armada didn't start showing up until the second half of 2002 (maybe even closer to Christmas 2002, my memory isn't that great re: Armada) and they needed something
on the shelves even though the only mass-retail figures left that had been on the show were the Super Car Brothers. So they filled up the 2002 RiD line with Spychanger redecos along with a bunch of completely random redecos from as far back as G2 just so there was something new.
TFVanguard wrote:Yes. But on the other hand you had a Ratchet that, as bad as the figure was, LOOKED like Ratchet. You had a Hot Shot that looked like Hot Shot. You had a Starscream that looked like Starscream, etc. Even if kids didn't know who these characters were, the decos were, by and large, also very nice. It really was just superior to the Universe 1.0 line.
To most of the target market Ratchet was a yellow Hummer, Starscream is a chicken-legged monkey who turns into an F-22 and Hot Shot is no one they've ever heard of. Most kids aren't like us -- they grow out of Transformers toys in a couple years and move on to something else.
The toys are
generally better in Universe 2008 than in Universe 2003, but not that
much better. The line had more than it's fair share of bad toys, but generally gets looked at through rose-coloured glasses because it's mostly G1 guys.
From Hasbro's perspective, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the 2003 line was more successful just because it cost them so much less.
TFVanguard wrote:Right, but my point was that Hasbro could just say "All these Universe toys are really Energon toys" and repackage them as such and suddenly the retailers will want the exact same toys. They worship the branding to the near exclusion of all other considerations.
And with good cause. Branding does
help to sell the figures, especially when one brand is tied to a major media franchise and one isn't.
But purchasers aren't stupid, either. Mixing Classics stuff or even Energon/Cybertron stuff with Movie-styled figures works because they're not that
different. Trying to cram Animated Blackout and Wasp into ROTF would have caused problems because they're stylized so differently that they're blatantly just being crammed in. The same would probably hold true with Universe toys in Armada. The organic stylings of the figures (and the eye-searing colours) would have stood out too much. There's a reason why the Transmetals made the cut in Armada while Silverbolt, Razorclaw and Reptilion had to be put into a completely different line.
The people who make these sort of decisions have a lot of experience judging what kids will or won't fall for, don't forget.
TFVanguard wrote:To be fair to BWII, Japan hadn't seen most of the BW figures yet (and they were less than a year old). So, they were new molds, effectively, just repackaged for Japan. So we would realistically have to include the 17 Maximal, Insectron, Jointron, and Magnaboss figures as 'new'.
I didn't realize that...always thought that BWII was contemporary with Beast Machines for some reason. If the toys were coming out at more-or-less the same time as they did in the West, then you're right. They'd qualify as 'new' for all intents and purposes.