View Full Version : Aaron Archer

22nd January 2008, 10:55 AM
So I'm a little curious. What exactly is it that he has done (or not done) that has members of this board wanting to stab him etc?

Given the recent boom of the TF franchise he must be doing something right, right...?

Is it the Cybertron series or is there more to it?

22nd January 2008, 11:04 AM
People are annoyed by the repaints that keep appearing (but in my mind are justifiable)

As for what's he done in general:

22nd January 2008, 12:13 PM
Good question. I don't really quite understand the bagging of the guy. He does have a good job though

22nd January 2008, 01:03 PM
neither do i... can't really see what he is doing wrong, except for the mass repaints

22nd January 2008, 01:05 PM
1. Transmetal IIs... although not terrible, they did seem like a regression from the Transmetals.

2. Beast Machines - I appreciate the artistic concept behind the whole "technorganic" thing, but in execution it was very unpopular. Does anyone think that Supreme Cheetor was good value for money?? Also insisting on Mainframe making the BM show not a direct sequel to BW hurt the story. I see no reason why Archer/Hasbro decided to axe Beast Wars at the height of it's popularity - during a conversation with Ben Yee once he told me that up till Armada (this was during late RiD before Armada came out), Beast Machines and RiD was still largely riding on the coat-tails of Beast Wars' success and that the steam would soon run out and they needed something big to come after RiD to pick the TF franchise up again (and the marketing of Armada was very strong).

3. Deciding (seemingly on his own) that "Wheeljack" is an evil-sounding name and has thus been very reluctant to ever use it on an Autobot. As a result, Micron Legend Rampage was named Wheeljack, and Super Link Wheeljack was named Downshift! Graaargh!

4. Repaints galore! In Car Robot we had a few repaints - just the 3 Car Robo Bros who were repainted as the Super Car Robo Bros. And Devil Gigatron was a slightly different mould from Gigatron. Overall, just 4 figures in the mainstream CR line. By Armada and Energon most of the main Autobots and Decepticons got repainted as "Powerlinx" upgrades. W T F ? Talk about a shameless attempt to milk more money from fans. Which leads me to...

5. Transformers Universe!! When this line first debuted I called it Beast Wars: Generation 2 because it was a line that entirely consisted of repainted Beast Wars and Beast Machines figures... mostly badly repainted figures too... a purple Tigerhawk and Silverbolt?!? Universe Depth Charge looks like he'd been hit by Homer Simpson's make-up gun! There were some okay repaints in Universe - like Red Aler--oh wait, he got called Inferno despite clearly being a G1 Red Alert homage! (although this wasn't actually Archer's fault, there was a break down in communication at Hasbro - apparently Archer did originally intend for that toy to be called Red Alert) -- overall Universe was a very unfocused line where good and bad repaints tended to occur haphazardly without rhyme or reason. AUniverse taught us that Hasbro seriously needs Ritalin.

6. Hasbro's G1 reissues - deciding to co-market these toys at children was a big mistake which IMO led to its downfall (notice how Takara's adult-marketed reissue line is still continue whereas Hasbro's died years ago?). Most kids would've been more interested in the Armadaverse Transformers that were out and a lot of adults were turned off by the sacrifices made to the G1 moulds in compliance to contemporary child safety laws, like over-lengthened missiles and newtered launchers. And to add insult to injury - chrome-rapage! W T F ? ? Now considering that these reissues were selling for either the same price or more expensive than Takara's reissues - WHY would any collector want to buy a Hasbro reissue (unless the Takara reissue was a limited exclusive like with Hoist, Dirge, Grapple etc)?? For the most part Takara's reissues which were either approx. the same price or sometimes cheaper, offered better value for money!

7. Alternators... okay, forget the metal vs plastic thing for a moment -- WHY was Alternator Smokescreen painted in that awful flat light blue when the real life WRC doesn't sport that colour?!? In fact, Hasbro's often skimped out on using metallic paints on plastic and choosing to use flat paints instead. e.g.: a lot of RiD figures had flat paints whereas their CR counterparts had metallic paints. And that terrible white they used on Alternators Meister... bleecchh! I see no reason why Hasbro couldn't have used the same quality of paints on their Alternators that Takara used on Binaltech. Just because they're plastic doesn't mean you can't use decent paints! What's the point of boasting about how Alternators' paint won't chip (btw BT paint chipping was vastly improved after Smokescreen) when their paint job is teh suck in the first place! So we had these Alternators that were: (a) made from plastic and (b) had inferior colours, but sold for about the same price as Binaltechs here (comparing Alt and BT in-store RRPs)! Wha--?! For the same RRPs, it's little wonder why I just always opted for BTs instead. :p

8. Red Bumblebee =/= Cliffjumper W T F! They went to the effort of giving Classics Ramjet, who came out in the same wave as CL Cliffjumper, a new head and wings - why couldn't they give Cliffjumper a new head?!? Ditto every Cliffjumper that's come out since! Man, G1 red Bumblebee must be really p***ed!

9. Cyber Slammers... wtf? And why are FABs selling at the same price as regular Deluxes?! The new Leader Prime and Megatron that's coming out later with the nicer colours... why couldn't they have done that with the original ones? And then you have toys like Leader Brawl and Ultimate Bumblebee - who from what I've seen and heard, seem more like gimmicks than action figures. The gimmick should never overwhelm the Transformer.

10. Archer used to communicate directly with fans online, but then Hasbro ordered him to stop it. A dubious decision methinks - IMO Hasbro's TF direction became increasingly unfocused after that. :/

Good question. I don't really quite understand the bagging of the guy. He does have a good job though
But does he do his job well? IMHO Takagi Jun'ichi tries harder and is more considerate of collectors. I've had some phone conversations with him and he honestly does seem very genuinely interested in TF collectors and Transfandom in general. I've spoken to Archer a few times online (back when he was still allowed to directly interact) and I can't say that I got the same level of enthusiasm from him - he was never rude or anything - in my limited encounters with Archer I will say that he's always behaved professionally. But I just didn't find him quite as enthused. And long-time users are aware of some of my more "interesting" early encounters with Hasbro Australia... yes... ;) My later encounters were better though. :) But IMO I find Takagi to be the most approachable and genuinely earnest.


When you're saying that Archer is doing a good or bad job, who are you comparing him with? IMO Takagi does a better job for collectors overall - although he does make mistakes he is more consistent in improving upon them and overall his efforts appear to be far better focused than Archer's.

It's like when people say that Bruce Lee was an exceptional Kung Fu fighter. Really? Compared to who?? Compared to most other traditional Kung Fu practitioners at his level, he was pret-ty average. (-_-)

22nd January 2008, 01:12 PM

This looks like someone from this board :D -> http://www.otca.com.au/boards/showthread.php?t=222

no offense to that person or Archer :rolleyes:

22nd January 2008, 01:22 PM
i hate him because he stuffed up on the g1 reissues prices and mould changes

and because deep down he has plans to make play school tfs the main line

22nd January 2008, 02:05 PM
My main issue with Archer is that he does not seem to understand the toy line he is in charge of.

Like Goks said:

- Archer started if by doing TM2s and Beast Machines with the whole technorganic (cyborg creatures) is better than the traditional robotic angle and was in his view a good development path for Transformers. WTF?? ON top of that many of the BM toys were atrociously simple 'transformers' only requiring a head swap and twisting of limbs to change form.

- Unfocused and shameless repaints that feel very random as if they are spinning 3 game show wheels (1 with released mold names, 1 with avaliable colors and 1 with Transformer names) and then the result from each wheel is used for the next repaint.

- Putting ahead flashy gimmicks and boxes over toy design and quality. You get this huge boxes covered in art that take an hour to open but the toy is either badly assembled or with peeling paint.

- Related to the above, Hasbro seems to not give a damn about customer satisfaction, only that you give them your money. If you feel disapointed at the quality of the toy after you bought it, who cares. This also causes many of Hasbro's toys to smack of cheapness and production cost cutting despite the high retail prices with higher emphasis on packaging.

- Again related to the previous points, Hasbro does not give a crap about improving on past mistakes or listening to the customer base. They seem to only consider the retailers as their customer not the end buyer. Therefore when you see them making a big mistake that results in a toy becoming a shelf warmer (stupid repaint, over expensive gimmick toy, etc) its not unusual for Hasbro to make the same mistake for several following toy lines. Takara on the other hand is no stranger to making mistakes (MP Greenscream is one of the biggest mistakes in TF history) but you do see them trying to compensate or make an effort on correcting a mistake in future toys. That can be clearly seen with MP Skywarp.

-Crapstacular toy release priorities: Why do we need millions of fabs, Real gears, merchandise and endless repaints of unpopular molds when there is only a limited production runs for toys representing popular characters? Instead of a stupid repaint of an unpopular molds, why not rerelease the toy that its high on demand? You limit the possibility of shelf warming toys that way but Hasbro doesn't seem to get it.

- Crapstacular Toy distribution: Although Titaniums were by default not very good toys, a lot of people wanted the War Within molds but had a very hard time finding them retail. One of the big reasons that the line failed was that it was a humongous effort to acquire the toys, even in the US!

I am sure that I can think of more negative stuff but I could just go on so its only fair to end this post with something that Hasbro did excellently well and that is MP Starscream in G1 colors. That figure was superbly done and although some like myself do not like battle damage/grime in toys, I have to admit that it was realistically executed. Hasbro has proven that they have the capability to excell and execute focus on their toy lines and that is why the clearly lazy/cheap stuff is inexcusable.

Aaron Archer is the guy in charge of the Hasbro Transformers line as a result many of its failings have happened under his watch and leadership. This may be a coincidense but Hasbro's downwards spiral when it comes to toy quality also begun in force when he took over.

Edit: My god, corrected so many spelling mistakes :O
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22nd January 2008, 05:04 PM
There have also been some truly craptacular Transformer names from Hasbro during Archer's reign... these include...
Mo-Vor (they just sound so Go-Bot)
Mega Octane (why call a flatbed truck 'octane'?)
Wicked Attack Recon Sportscar (W.A.R.S.)
Race Evolution Vehicle (R.E.V. - pure acronyms should never be used as TF names)
Prowl 2 (it's like some loser's online handle... maelstrom86, prowl2...)
Slapper (just sounds dirty)
Night Slash Cheetor (also sounds dirty)
Mirage GT (acronyms tacked on with names don't sound good either)
Landfill (as the RiD name for Build King... so unfocused)
Megabolt (!!)
Smokejumper (cos that's a scary Decepticon name :/)
Lugnutz (are they pretending to be Wazzzpinator?)
Rodimus Major
Constructicon Maximus

..then there's the lack of creativity in name variations between faction leaders... like say in Armadaverse...

Convoy = Optimus Prime / Megatron = Megatron/Galvatron

Grand Convoy = Optimus Prime / Galvatron = Megatron/Galvatron

Galaxy Convoy = Optimus Prime / Master Megatron/Galvatron = Megatron/Galvatron

...lacking effort much?

And before anyone starts saying that Takara's names sound lame, remember that Takara is NOT marketing their Transformers at English speakers so it's an entirely different target market that they're going for. Furthermore, most Takara employees don't even speak English. Hasbro on the other hand is marketing their toys at English speakers and their main branch in Pawtucket Rhode Island is primarily staffed by English speakers. Aaron Archer speaks English! What's their excuse?

The fact that Archer believes that "wheeljack" is a type of crime shows a lack of understanding on his part with the English language.
...oh the villainy of changing your tyres!!

PS: And WHY doesn't Hasbro bother to give us tech spec cards?!? Not even their G1 reissues, Alternators or Masterpieces come with collectible tech spec cards. And they don't even have real clip & save tech specs anymore anyway... they just print some blurb on the back and that's it.

22nd January 2008, 07:36 PM
So maybe he is the Angry Archer :eek:

Interesting list of complaints tho, I can see why there is so much resentment but I would have thought that decisions such as Universe and other repaints come from marketing and not creative as I understand Archer is.

22nd January 2008, 08:41 PM
:cool:I don't really care, if it's not him I'm sure it would be someone else making decisions that some of us collectors don't like:rolleyes:.

22nd January 2008, 09:37 PM
So who came up with BT/Alt, Classics, Real Gear and Animated if it wasn't Archer?

Just curious :P

25th January 2008, 12:31 PM
It was Takara who came up with the idea for Binaltechs as it was the next stage of evolution from Car Robot.

Not sure about the others, but my hunch is that Archer came up w/ them.

25th January 2008, 12:57 PM
[QUOTE=Tober;4118]So I'm a little curious. What exactly is it that he has done (or not done) that has members of this board wanting to stab him etc?


Eeer, on the not done ....Make a TF figure of himself or named after himself and sell it mass production wise, with more hype and pomp, in more quantities that leaves no more shelf space for the more interesting TF figures to come :D:D would this count IF it happens... I can guess bloody murder will be a tad understatement on the mindframes of the fandom heheheh... would be interesting though how he survives with all them fans cmoing up with ways to stalk him and off him in "creative" TF related, styled ... ok Im just ranting now ..... need my ritalin

25th January 2008, 01:21 PM
I think that Takara had a heavy hand with the Classics. I am not sure where the idea originated but most if not all of the toys such as Classics Mirage were designed and prototyped in Japan by Takara.

With the movie line, it isn't really something that Archer or Hasbro/Takara did independently. It was a cooperation with many factors when it comes to the character look and feel of the toys.


I also suspect that Archer had a back sit approach to most of the movie line designs as many of the design elements seen in the toys do not match his style and were rather unique and innovative. Archer's designs and art direction have always involved simplified transformations on small toys and over emphasis on gimmicks in larger toys (as well as simplified Transformations). He is also fond of organic looking Transformers.

We can see more of his design influence on the larger Movie toys such as Leader Megatron and Leader Brawl due to the somewhat pointless but over excessive electronic gimmicks and not up to scratch Transformations. Megatron has a kind of a more organic look (much more so than the actual movie) which is a style that Archer was known to implement in his past designs.
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25th January 2008, 02:53 PM
Not sure about the others, but my hunch is that Archer came up w/ them.

Yes it is so very hard to come with an idea like "Let's make transformers that turn into everyday items!" ala Real Gears :p

Archer's designs and art direction have always involved simplified transformations on small toys and over emphasis on gimmicks in larger toys (as well as simplified Transformations).

Armada Laserbeak is probably the best example of Archer's work for Transformers.

I also believe that Classics Mirage was designed by the only Australian designer at TakaraTomy.

25th January 2008, 03:07 PM
I also believe that Classics Mirage was designed by the only Australian designer at TakaraTomy

That is true, I read his interview.

Armada Laserbeak is probably the best example of Archer's work for Transformers

Doesn't that toy suck?
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25th January 2008, 03:24 PM
The Moview transformers were designed by ILM subcontracters. Ben Proctor was one of them.

I also believe that Classics Mirage was designed by the only Australian designer at TakaraTomy.

Alex Kubalsky.

He also designed Classics Bumblebee and Booster X10 as well as the awesome Bumblebee 08.

Pingmag interview. (http://www.pingmag.jp/2007/06/29/transformers/)

25th January 2008, 10:58 PM
(Armada Laserbeak)

Doesn't that toy suck?

Like a hoover.... :mad:

26th January 2008, 03:16 AM
In Archer's defence, he didn't do Armada Laserbeak. I think it was one of their other lead designers (Eric) who did that, as his first Transformer.
Also in his defence, he wouldn't be getting things approved by upper management if they didn't want TFs to be done in that way. They wouldn't have kept him on for the last ten years otherwise.
And no hate/death/stabbing talk here. It might not be serious, but the writers of Beast Machines didn't attend a TF convention because of that type of talk on a global fan forum.

26th January 2008, 04:15 AM
From what I have read the Death threats on the Beast Machines writers were real and intentional. Some people were really that upset. It reached a point were they were getting death letters and the like not just people flaming in forums.

However it is kind of good that they didn't attend Botcon because I don't think that many fans would have been that welcoming to them even if fans keep their behaviour in check.
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26th January 2008, 09:12 AM
From what I have read the Death threats on the Beast Machines writers were real and intentional.

You have to wonder how empty some peoples' lives are...

26th January 2008, 11:29 AM
Most of the hate towards Archer is misdirected. People seem to think that he's been the sole person responsible for all of Transformers for the last 7 years - which is not true. He has helped to make Transformers very successful. While Takara went bankrupt and had to be bought out by another company, Hasbro and their Transformers have gone from strength to strength.

26th January 2008, 12:25 PM
Takara didn't go bankrupt (although they nearly did) and they weren't bought out, they merged. IMO one major contributing factor to Takara's financial woes was that they seriously over-invested in Beyblade and underinvested in many other areas, including Transformers (which many Japanese Transfans were irate about).

And as kup said, as the head of the Hasbro dept in charge of Transformers, responsibility for everything Hasbro does w/ Transformers - both praise and blame - falls on his shoulders (which as Rodimus Prime hated learning, is the burden of leadership :p).

As much as I may criticise some of his work (or the work of his dept) I've never disliked the guy on a personal level... I've never even met him. And as I've said before, my contact with him online back when he was directly communicating with fans was never unpleasant. I may not have always agreed with him, but I've never found him to be personally disagreeable.

I've never said "Aaron Archer did this.." I've mostly said, "these things have happened while Archer has been in charge of TFs at Hasbro" - which he is responsible for as that dept head. And where I know things aren't directly his fault I have mentioned it (e.g.: with Universe Inferno - I know that Archer wanted to call it Red Alert but other people in Hasbro screwed up and it got called Inferno).

There's a difference between disliking someone's work and disliking someone's character.

Unfortunately some people just take it way too personally and end up disliking the person, which is stupid. Then there's the other end of the spectrum where people will love a certain person just because they love their work - celebrities often fall into this category (e.g.: movie, TV and pop idols). Tom Cruise may be this kind and sensitive character in The Last Samurai, but in reality he's... a Scientologist. ;)