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Thread: Not very screen accurate Transformers.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    12th Jun 2011

    Default Not very screen accurate Transformers.

    I was thinking about how almost every toy in Transformers post season 1 of Beast Wars is normally very screen accurate (because the character models are heavily based on the toys).

    But not everything released has been super cartoon accurate because of "reasons". Obviously, $10 Bayverse toys for three-year-olds are going to not be very cartoon accurate and that's acceptable. But as someone that wants to hold what I saw on screen, it really makes me want cartoon accurate toys much more than non-cartoon accurate. I was about to pull the trigger on TM2 Tigerhawk a couple of years ago. Then I realised the character model is clearly not based on the toy, breaking any connection I had to the toy.

    So I'm wondering what has stuck out to you guys as very inaccurate toys from toys you have collected/considered collecting?
    I have a list of all G1 characters that have been released in CHUG form. You can find it here. Please feel free to let me know if I got anything wrong so I can fix it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    8th Jun 2012


    The AOE Dinobots and Generations FoC Combaticons were notoriously weirdly coloured and woefully inaccurate. The logic of having bright colours on the shelf makes sense kind of, but under a little bit of scrutiny it would be driving most adult fans and a good chunk of child fans out of wanting them at all.

    Kids aren’t stupid, it takes a little more than bright colours and vague resemblance to catch their attention. The Transformers I wanted as a kid were the ones that looked most like the characters I saw on screen, mostly G1 characters that didn’t have much toy representation at the time, followed by Cybertron and then Movie characters later on. I remember being puzzled as a 6 year old that my Cybertron Optimus Prime (great toy) didn’t have blue eyes, or transform in the same way as the G1 cartoon character I loved. That said, I was also ecstatic that it came with a matrix. Same goes for Lego Star Wars stuff I wanted as a kid. The sets I and probably a lot of other kids wanted were based on scenes we particularly loved, not whatever the most flashy ship was or which had the most outrageous colour scheme. Kids also don’t discriminate/obsess as heavily between/about eras of media like adults do. I wanted plenty of prequel sets, as much as I did original trilogy sets, as in my mind they were basically one and the same. I think adults get similarly caught up a bit with what kids want with Transformers, and get in our own heads about what sells. Beyond a few differences, it’s probably quite similar to what many adult collectors want.

    Maybe my family was different, but when it came to birthdays and Christmas, we scoured catalogues and websites relentlessly, knew exactly what we wanted from what was around, and asked for it. We didn’t vaguely want a “Transformer” or a “Lego set”, we wanted a very specific toy of a very specific character(s) or scene we liked.

    It’s a little off-topic, but we don’t have to be super patronising with kids toys marketing decisions. It’s a good thing that more accurate toys and good articulation came about!

    A lot of the kid-orientated Transformers toys (excluding something like Rescue Bots which are appropriate for the very young) I see on shelves feel very patronising with transformations simplified too much, often with their articulation gutted as well. I wasn’t a kid that long ago, the first thing a lot of kids will try to do with a figure of a character they like is try and articulate their limbs (this resulted in a lot of breakages when I was young). Such toys are also not going to be appreciated as much when kids grow up, and will be more likely viewed as a piece of cheap junk than a treasure they were in hindsight quite lucky to have. I can’t get on board largely with the one/several-step changer type figures for these kinds of reasons. If I was a parent, I would rather get a smaller version of a character that maintains some articulation and detail than a simpler one, if it was a matter of money.
    Last edited by Bidoofdude; 1st October 2021 at 02:41 AM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    5th Feb 2010


    Honestly I can't say this bothers me at all, but then I've come to see screen accuracy as the back door to fake robot mode kibble (like MP52's fake chest canopy), and that's the biggest turn off to me.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    19th May 2010


    I can definitely understand wanting accurate representations of what we saw on screens. I've sold off numerous older toys in favour of more screen-accurate versions.

    The movieverse toy lines are good examples where the figures may not be accurate to what we see on screen, and this can be because the character design changes between when Takara gets the toys and when the CGI models are added in post-production, or the designers simply didn't have time to make the design 'work' as an accurate toy in time for the toy to be mass-produced and distributed in time for a movie's release. I happily bought up 2007 Optimus, Bumblebee, and Starscream, even though those toys weren't particularly faithful to what was on screen, but when subsequent movie toylines gave us more faithful versions, I bought those instead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    7th Feb 2013


    Back in my day we had to imagine Ironhide & Ratchet with actual heads above their shoulders with decent proportions. You whipper snappers have got it good with your ball joints and fancy schmancy articulation.

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