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Thread: The Universal Counting Method

  1. #1
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    Default The Universal Counting Method

    Here's a copy of the democratically formulated Universal Counting Method for this new board...

    ---------------------------------
    PREAMBLE

    "How many Transformers do you have?"
    "What's the size of an average Transformer collection?"

    These are questions that we often hear as Transformer collectors.

    The Universal Counting Method was created to allow fans to:
    1. Participate in collection count surveys.
    2. Provide a fair way to compare collection sizes.

    The definition of what should and shouldn't count as a "Transformer" in one's collection count greatly varies between individuals collectors depending on individual opinions which makes it ineffectual for individuals to compare collection sizes or effectively participate in surveys if every collector has a different method of classifying and counting Transformers.

    For example, imagine 2 Transformer collectors. They both own 2 G1 Seaspray toys in their collections. That's all. Transfan A decides that doubles count whereas Transfan B decides that they don't. Thus Transfan A considers himself as owning 2 Transformers whereas Transfan B considers herself as owning 1 Transformer. Despite the fact that both of these collectors own the exact same toys in the exact same quantities, Transfan A's collection count is 100% larger than Transfan B's simply because of discrepancies in their counting method. Now imagine this discrepancy on a larger scale when comparing collectors whose collection count would number in tens, hundreds or over a thousand and you can see that the disparity exponentially increases making collection size comparisons grossly unfair and rendering any data gathered from surveys about collection sizes useless.

    Due to the arbitrary nature of Transformer classification, it is not possible to formulate a single system of counting that everyone would completely agree with.

    As a result, during 2006 and 2007 a series of polls were conducted over numerous Transformer forums with collectors from various countries voting on what they considered to be the "correct" way of classifying and counting Transformer toys, and thus the Universal Counting Method was born based on the results of majority votes.

    It is a counting method made by the people for the people. Is it the "best" counting method? There's no real way to answer that because we all have different opinions on what is the "best" or "correct" way of classifying and counting Transformers. But considering that each Article in the Universal Counting Method is based on majority votes, I believe that it is at least the fairest method of counting Transformers for the purposes of comparing collection sizes and participating in surveys.

    The Universal Counting Method has not been officially endorsed by Hasbro Inc or TakaraTOMY Co., Ltd. It has been made by fans for fans. This system is not necessarily intended to replace everyone's personal preference for classification and counting - you can count your Transformers however you want to. But if you want to compare your collection count with others or participate in a collection count survey then you need to ensure that you and others are counting by the same method to make the comparison or results fair. The Universal Counting Method exists as a pre-made method that you can choose to use for such purposes.

    ---------------------------------

    * ARTICLE 1: What Is A Transformer?
    A Transformer is legally defined as any product created under licence from Hasbro Inc. and/or Takara(Tomy) Co., Ltd under the "Transformers?" logo. As a result:
    1/ Pre-Transformers do not count as Transformers. Although they may have been manufactured by Takara, they were NOT done so under the Transformers? logo.
    2/ Knock-Offs/Bootlegs do not count as Transformers. They are not manufactured by Hasbro or Takara(Tomy) and they are certainly not released under licence from HasTak.
    3/ Any other kind of non-Transformer transforming robot toy that's not really a Transformer does not count as a Transformer. This includes your Macross, Gobots (Machine Men), Machine Robo etc. - again, if the toy is not manufactured under HasTak licence under the "Transformers?" logo then it doesn't count. It's as easy as that.

    * ARTICLE 02: Nebulans, Master Robots, Motorvator partners, Pretender/Crossformer/Dinoforce shells and Action Master partners and vehicles do not count separately. See Special Exemptions below.
    e.g.:
    - Triggerhappy & Blowpipe = 1 Transformer
    - Landmine & his Pretender shell = 1 Transformer
    - Action Master Sideswipe and Vanguard = 1 Transformer -- in total these all count as 3 Transformers.
    - Any Transformer made as an accessory will also not count as separate Transformers under this article's definition. (e.g. Barricade's Frenzy, Blackout's Scorponok - the Deluxe Scorponok toy does count separately as it's not an accessory for a Blackout toy).
    - Special Exemptions: Takara's Headmaster, Godmaster Warriors and Titan/Prime Masters that are sold individually do count separately.

    * ARTICLE 03: Micromasters and Mini-Cons count individually. See Special Exemptions below.
    e.g.:
    - A complete Air Strike Patrol = 4 Transformers (Whisper, Tailwind, Stormcloud & Nightflight)
    - A complete Mini-Con Air Defence Team = 3 Transformers (Sonar, Jetstorm & Runway)
    - Hot Shot & Jolt = 2 Transformers
    - Overload & Rollout = 2 Transformers -- in total these all count as 11 Transformers.
    - Special Exemptions: Transformers Prime Arms Microns (including Ion Scythe) & Power Core Combiner Mini-Cons don't count

    * ARTICLE 04: Only the component members of a Gestalt team count. e.g.:
    - Devastator = 6 Transformers (6 Constructicons)
    - Superion = 5 Transformers (5 Aerialbots) -- in total these all count as 11 Transformers.

    * ARTICLE 05: Individual combiner robots count individually but multi-in-1 components do not. e.g.:
    - A complete Constructor Squad = 6 Transformers
    - Battletrap = 1 Transformer (not 2)
    - Magmatron = 1 Transformer (not 3) -- in total these all count as 8 Transformers.

    * ARTICLE 06: Bases do not count. e.g.:
    - 1984 Optimus Prime = 1 Transformer (combat deck doesn't count separately)
    - Airwave = 1 Transformer (his Micromaster Station doesn't count separately)
    - BW Diver = 1 Transformer (Niagara Base doesn't count separately) -- in total these 3 Transformers are belong to us.

    * ARTICLE 07: "Peripheral" Transformers, drones and pilots/drivers do not count. e.g.:
    - Metroplex = 1 Transformer (Scamper, Six Gun and Slammer don't count)
    - 1984 Optimus Prime = 1 Transformer (Roller doesn't count separately)
    - Luke Skywalker/X-Wing Fighter = 1 Transformer (Luke Skywalker pilot doesn't count separately)
    - BTA Alert = 1 Transformer (Kuruma Ai doesn't count separately) -- in total these are 4 Transformers.
    - Blackout's Scorponok figurine will also not count as separate Transformers under this article's definition.

    * ARTICLE 08: Decoys, Statues, busts, PVCs, meal/candy toys, kits etc. do not count. e.g.:
    - Super Collection Figures don't count
    - Mega Collection Figures don't count
    - Mighty Muggs don't count
    - Be@rbricks don't count
    - Mega Bloks & Kre-Os don't count
    - Model kit style Arms Microns don't count
    - R.E.D. Series figures don't count

    * ARTICLE 09: Variants count. e.g.:
    - Red and yellow Cliffjumper = 2 Transformers.
    - Original 1984, Classic reissue, Takara reissue, Ghost Starscream and TFC reissue Starscream = 5 Transformers -- in total 7 Transformers

    * ARTICLE 10: Multiples count. e.g.:
    - 2 Seasprays = 2 Transformers.

    * ARTICLE 11: Only the transformable 15cm Titanium Series Transformers count.

    * ARTICLE 12: Transformer Juniors and "non-mainline" Transformers count.
    e.g. Choro-Q Transformers Revoltech Transformers, Transformers etc. count.

    * ARTICLE 13: Microman Transformer humans count. e.g.: Kicker, Ga'Mede.

    * ARTICLE 14: PlaySkool Transformers count.

    * ARTICLE 15: Quintessons, Beastformers and Build-figures count. e.g.:
    - Alpha Quintesson = 1 Transformer
    - White Leo = 1 Transformer (NOTE: Battle Beasts do not count as Beastformers and thus do not count as Transformers)
    - Transmutate = 1 Transformer -- in total 3 Transformers

    * ARTICLE 16: Transformers Plushies count.

    * ARTICLE 17: All transforming movie Transformers count (e.g.: Cyber Slammers, Fast Action Battlers) but non-transforming movie Transformers do not (e.g.: Robot Replicas, Beatmix Bumblebee).

    * ARTICLE 18: Loose and sealed Transformers are counted in the same way.
    e.g.: A Micromaster Combiner Squad counts as 6 Transformers regardless of being sealed or loose

    * ARTICLE 19: Only Transformers in C-6 condition or above count
    i.e.: junkers don't count but anything that's not a junker counts.
    Most toys that you find on eBay etc are C-6. They are in reasonably fine to good condition and are mostly in tact. They are not missing any major parts and are not too heavily worn with no significant damage. Gimmicks are still operational. They may or may not come with accessories, depending on the nature of the toy. They should come with any major accessories - so a Headmaster or Targetmaster would only be considered C-6 if it has its Nebulan partner. In the case of a Maximus, it needs to have at least the "Cerebros" component, because it can still form the basic robot mode w/o "Spike."

    * ARTICLE 20: Customs and kitbashes count. Remember that under ARTICLE01 only Transformers manufactured under licence from Hasbro and/or Takara(TOMY) and specifically marketed as part of the Transformers brand count, therefore only customs/kitbashes constructed entirely from legitimate TF products count.
    Last edited by GoktimusPrime; 5th November 2020 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Amendment made to Article 08

  2. #2
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    why does Revoltech count but Mega Collection Figures don't? they are pretty much the same thing!

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    I personally agree but the majority of voters didn't. There's little point in debating the merits of each of these articles because as the Pre-Amble states, it's all based on subjective opinions (except for Article01 which is based on a legal definition). The threads where we had these polls were the places for these debates to happen - and they did. Further polls will be created as the need arises and you can debate about future classification criteria there, but this thread isn't the place for debating the pros and cons of these individual articles.

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    Will the polls be redone yearly? If not, what interval?

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    * ARTICLE 19: Only Transformers in C-6 condition or above count
    i.e.: junkers don't count but anything that's not a junker counts.
    Most toys that you find on eBay etc are C-6. They are in reasonably fine to good condition and are mostly in tact. They are not missing any major parts and are not too heavily worn with no significant damage. Gimmicks are still operational. They may or may not come with accessories, depending on the nature of the toy. They should come with any major accessories - so a Headmaster or Targetmaster would only be considered C-6 if it has its Nebulan partner. In the case of a Maximus, it needs to have at least the "Cerebros" component, because it can still form the basic robot mode w/o "Spike."
    that isnt right is it? if you own a complete trypticon whose gimmiks dont work, would that mean that it is a junker under this definition?

    i certainly hope not

    George
    www.mariokart64.com
    --------------------------------------------------------
    "Sometimes, the wrong thing feels so right"
    --------------------------------------------------------

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    Borgeman, You're going to upset Gok

    I think we can all find flaws in various bits of this, but I think he thinks that that isn't what this thread is for...

    Hence my question, now that this is the "official" counting method and we've had some time to reflect, when do we get to go back to the polls?
    Last edited by jaydisc; 18th January 2008 at 06:23 PM. Reason: grammar and poise

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    ahhhhhhhhhh too many words

    someone else can count my collection for me

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaydisc
    Will the polls be redone yearly? If not, what interval?
    The survey will be redone yearly but not the polls for the articles because then the rules would change every year and we wouldn't be able to compare annual trends between years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Borgeman
    that isnt right is it? if you own a complete trypticon whose gimmiks dont work, would that mean that it is a junker under this definition?
    As I said on the thread on that poll, definitions of conditions between C-2 to C-9 are very subjective and most of that definition is based on a general description for action figures in general and not necessarily just for Transformers (remember that there are some toys that are just worthless without their gimmick operating). For the purposes of this counting method, the definition of "below C-6" is what most of us would consider a junker. So long as the toy isn't a heap of crap that's only good as a junker for spare parts, then it counts. So by all means count your Trypticon with busted walking gimmick. My Omega Supreme's walking gimmick is broken and I count him.

    I don't count my Aquablast because the chest/bonnet is detached and more importantly, it has no head. benben2142's recently acquired Transmetal Cheetor with no arms and missing tail doesn't count either (it's really the lack of arms that count against it, I would count a TM Cheetor w/ no tail if the body was in tact - it would certainly be incomplete, but not a junker).

    So yeah, the basic rule with Article19 is that junkers don't count.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roller
    someone else can count my collection for me
    Don't you have a headless Optimal Optimus? That wouldn't count. I recall you had Cybertron Optimus Prime which was in tact. So, erm... your collection is 1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
    The survey will be redone yearly but not the polls for the articles because then the rules would change every year and we wouldn't be able to compare annual trends between years.
    I think that's a bad move. As has been demonstrated here and in virtually every place this counting method has been mentioned, people have had second thoughts once seeing the implementation in place.

    If the method is truly sound, the voting results shouldn't change.

  10. #10
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    People will always object to parts of the method. We cannot create a method that everyone will completely agree with - as stated in the Pre-Amble - because we all have different opinions on what should and shouldn't count, and debates over opinions just rage on forever... :/

    In 2006 when I started the polls, I told everyone that this would be the only time that I would be doing this - and thus to ensure that everyone made their votes count.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaydisc
    If the method is truly sound, the voting results shouldn't change.
    But the data would be useless for annual comparisons if the voting results changed. For example, we would not be able to compare the results of the 2007 collection count survey with the 2008 survey if the 2007 and 2008 data was gathered under different counting definitions.

    Say for example in 2007 we've allowed multiples to count. Say we have two collectors - Transfan X who and Transfan Y.
    Transfan X owns...
    + Seaspray
    + Seaspray
    + Laserbeak
    Transfan Y owns...
    + Seaspray
    + Laserbeak
    In the 2007 survey where multiples count, Transfan X owns 3 Transformers and Transfan Y owns 2 Transformers.

    Now let's say for the 2008 survey, voters decide that multiples should no longer count. And let's say that over the next year Transfans X and Y acquire no more Transformers, thus their collection count remains static. But due to the new counting definition, their collection count both becomes 2.

    This is obviously an extremely simple example, but you can see how in more complex cases with much larger collections numbering in tens, hundreds and thousands where a slight alteration in counting rules can drastically alter the results.

    And what would happen in this example is that we would observe an overall decline in the collection size between this sample of fans despite the fact that in reality their collection size didn't alter at all.

    At the end of the day, if you don't like this method, don't use it. It's a Serving Suggestion for when you want to compare your collection count with other people's. If you and the other person(s) all don't like it, feel free to sit down and agree to a common system amongst yourselves that you all might feel is gooder.

    The only time this system becomes mandatory is if you choose to participate in the annual collection size survey because we want to maintain integrity in results to compare annual trends.


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