unicron Armada, reflector and catalog brochures, promo posters

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Re: unicron Armada, reflector and catalog brochures, promo posters

Post by Warcry »

Clay wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:27 pmI didn't know that! That's neat. But I would still weight the Armada one more heavily as it basically had the back 50% of the Armada cartoon pushing it.
You're probably right. I'd also guess that a lot of kids who bought it, bought it to be Armada Unicron anyway since that was their exposure to the character.
Clay wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:27 pmAs an aside, I never saw the Energon repaint of Unicron here. Were they plentiful in Canada?
Yes and no. Yes, I remember a lot of Energon Unicrons being stocked but no, I don't remember a lot of the repaints since they shipped a lot of Armada-coloured Unicrons in Energon boxes too. This was such a long time ago, but I remember my local Toys'R'Us having Armada, Armada-in-Energon-Box and Actual Energon Unicrons on the shelves all at the same time in about the same quantities (two or three of each maybe?) Which sounds like a lot until I realize that Unicron didn't retail for much more than what a Leader-class goes for these days.
Clay wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:27 pmI remember the Energon repaint of Overload as Ultra Magnus being basically non-existent in the US while completely swamping the UK, so I wonder if it was a similar distribution snafu.
I remember Ultra Magnus being super rare as well, but I definitely saw him in stores once or twice.
Clay wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:27 pmHmm. I don't think I meant to intimate that the UT stuff had the same kind of broad cultural recognition as the initial series, but just that it and all the other subsequent iterations had done their job of creating new fans that'll have different defaults. It's like... well, I may be grossly misconstruing what you and Denyer are saying, but it's like what you guys are talking about is the general conception of what transformers are among the general public and people with a more casual fondness, whereas I'm talking about newer generations of fans that will actually spend money on toys and read forums/social media and watch Hasbro convention reveals, which is a very different group of people.
No, I was actually agreeing with you! I was trying to say that the UT definitely created new fans, but that people wouldn't necessarily notice it so much because it simply wouldn't be happening at the same scale as the initial G1 outburst. And also, I suppose, because they're growing into fans amidst a backdrop of an already-existing fandom filled with G1, Beast era and Movie fans rather than building a fandom themselves from scratch.
Clay wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:27 pmI dunno... Classics didn't come around until 2006, and wasn't really capitalized on as a concept until 2008-9, which was a full 25 years after the first wave. Beast Wars came out in 1996, which was... 25 years ago, and now seems to be leading focus of the current line. Give it a few more years and we may see that new Armada Prime released yet.
Classics didn't happen until 2006 but Classics wasn't the start of Hasbro and Takara exploiting G1 nostalgia by a long shot. Reissues came on in full force starting from around 2001 or so. Dreamwave started to publish G1 comics at around the same time. Alternators (the first "G1 with modern toys" line) kicked off in 2003 and I believe the first Masterpiece Prime came out in 2004. For Beast Wars, we first got reissues in 2006. The first new molds came from Universe in 2008 and have sort of dribbled out slowly but steadily ever since then, in Generations and in Masterpiece. There was a ton of "testing the waters", so to speak, before they went all-in with a full line of new G1 stuff or (half) a line of BW stuff, and so far there hasn't even been that much for Unicron Trilogy fans to get excited about. Has there been a single new mold UT toy since Armada Starscream in 2013 or so? I haven't followed UT closely but I can only think of the occasional retooled G1 guy.
Clay wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:27 pm(but yes, they keep raising prices. Are the Kingdom wave three deluxes supposed to be $22.99 MSRP? This is getting ridiculous)
They went up to $32.99 here, so probably? Voyagers are also $44.99 now, though some retailers are selling them below MSRP. Honestly, it's getting to the point that I'm being put off of new Transformers entirely. I don't think I've bothered to walk through a toy aisle to check them out since last summer, and I've found it much more rewarding to trawl eBay for fun vintage stuff.
Denyer wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:01 pmI'm curious how well Kingdom will do, and more specifically what the distribution of sales between the vehicles and animals will be. I don't think there's much BW/BM nostalgia out there from people who had it as a first series, but that doesn't mean it won't reach some new fans.
You know, I was going to argue with that but honestly, most of the BW nostalgia I see comes from people who grew up with late G1/G2 and transitioned into BW as it came along (like me!) rather than from people who started with Beasties. With how hard the franchise pivoted away from beasts after the end of Beast Machines, I wonder how many Beast Wars first fans are even around, and how many of them left because of a reverse Trukk Not Munky?

In general it seems like Beast Wars is a lot of fans' second-favourite series, whether the #1 spot belongs to G1 or the movies or something else entirely.
Skyquake87 wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:51 pmI find it funny that the Armada toy was retooled to look more like the character from the '86 Movie...when he already looked like that anyway. At least to my eyes. All the character traits are there, anyway. Beard, horns, massive wings, right colours.
Without looking at pictures side by side I honestly couldn't tell you what even changed. The head, I guess? Or maybe the chest?
Skyquake87 wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:51 pmPersonally, I love the Energon version I own now. I could give two sh*ts about it looking exactly like it did in the old film, it just looks properly f**king evil in that black and orange marmalade, with green snot smeared all over him. Fantastic. Goes well with my Blue and Orange TLK Cybertron/Primus toy too!
I love Unicron's Energon colours. He looks like he should be on the cover of a metal album or something.
Skyquake87 wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:51 pmI do wonder if there will be much in the way of nostalgia for Armada/Energon/Cybertron. My nephew discarded toys pretty quickly after he got a console and it's been gaming all the way since. Heck, it might even have been like that for me, but I grew up in an age where games took about 20 minutes to load on a tape and I'd be more involved reading comics whilst my Amstrad 464 was screeching and whining away. Time the game had loaded, I didn't feel like like playing or my interest had waned!

Honestly, I wonder if it's less "kids don't want to play with toys anymore" and more "parents don't want to buy toys anymore". The value proposition of games vs. toys has been totally turned on its head. Games used to be a luxury and toys used to be cheap for what you got. Now it's the other way around. When I was a kid a new NES game was $70 or something and you could buy probably a dozen small Transformers or X-Men or a huge mess of Lego for that. Since then the price of video games really hasn't inflated at all, so a single Leader-class figure now costs about the same as a new console release. And you can usually find good year- or two-old games on Amazon for less than the price of a single Deluxe. And someone will get a lot more enjoyment out of a good game than a single action figure.
Skyquake87 wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:51 pmSeeing younger fans at TFNation, the enthusiasm for Transformers seems to have come much more from a media/creative angle than the toys themselves (although they do still play some part). From what I've observed, at least
Anecdotally, it seemed like there used to be a lot of people in the 80s/G1 crowd who were only in it for the media as well. I don't know if that's actually changed or if I just don't move in the same circles as that crowd anymore.
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