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  #51  
Old 14th August 2018, 03:50 PM
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So much drama!

Like Trent said, sometimes it's the idea that's selling well, rather than the actual toy. I remember having plenty of fun battles with my transformers that didn't require a whole lot of articulation.

I know of several instances where co-workers (Engineers of different breeds so you'd expect them to be able to nut their way through most problems) have brought in Deluxe transformers for me to transform for their kids, or have at least asked me for advice, or where I've visited someone's house and in the toy box is a half transformed mangled heap of 'robar' with missing doors or wheels because it was too hard and got left at the bottom of the stack.

Price point is what they can charge and have people buy them at, sure, we feel it's expensive, but it's the visual appeal that supports the price.
Plastic is cheap, and does not contribute to the overall price of a toy in any significant meaningful way.

Most of the deluxe and voyager toys we see on shelves probably have a dollars worth of plastic in them. if that.

The size of a toy in it's box, makes it more expensive to ship because it takes up more space, but that's about the extent of the effect on price that the size of a toy has.

If they can reduce engineering hours and mould/part count there is a lot of money to be saved there. If they can then charge a premium for 50% of their product line and still make a profit off the remainder of the line when it's discounted to Reject shop prices, they've done their job.

Longevity of brand, is something that they are probably (should be) working on, but if they can keep that up with Studio Series, and Masterpiece and the Generations style lines, why wouldn't they milk the brains out of lines like this? especially when they are producing toys that are easy to play with.

How many of you have heard the story of the parent buying the expensive toy, only to have it discarded for the box it came in... ? I'm pretty sure that's still a thing.

Perhaps, simpler toys that require a bit more imagination is something the world needs, and the transformers toy brand is doing just that.
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  #52  
Old 14th August 2018, 09:24 PM
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The unique aesthetic styles of these "kiddified" (stylised) series kinda makes them "incompatible" (for want of a better word) with other Transformers series. You can't really play with your Animated toys with figures from other series -- it looks weird. Same with Prime and RiD (which is odd because they're meant to be part of the same continuity and even putting these toys next to each other looks strange).

It also kinda takes away the "robots in disguise" magic because they look like they belong in a cartoon rather than the real world. One cool thing about a lot of TFs from previous series is that they look like they could be living among us. You get a Bumblebee that looks like a VW Beetle then you see a yellow VW Beetle in real life and suddenly you imagine that it could be a robot. Even many of the unlicensed vehicle modes look like they could be real vehicles. But the more stylised alt modes become the less convincing they feel as being part of our world.

And yeah, it also means that it's harder to blend these toys with other series.
e.g. TFP Knockout appears in the IDW comics as a Carcerian, but his stylisation makes him kinda stick out like a sore thumb compared to other Transformers, even other Carcerians (although you could very well make the same argument about Obsidian and Fat Tankor, and indeed the odd stylisation was a big bone of contention with Beast Machines). I absolutely love Animated Blurr - he's my favourite Blurr toy. But his highly stylised cartoon aesthetic means that I can't really mix him in with my CHUG toys because he just sticks out too badly. Or take Animated Arcee vs Generations Arcee -- Animated Arcee is arguably a better designed toy being not a shellformer, but she just doesn't blend with CHUG's G1 aesthetic. Generations Arcee on the other hand blends so well that you could put her next to your G1 toys and she'd look like she belongs. Same with POTP Slash. In fact, I posted comparative group shots of my G1 and CHUG Dinobots on another forum, and in my G1 group shot I snuck in Slash and didn't say anything. Nobody picked me up on it. She blends in that well!

And aesthetics aside, these are really just badly, badly designed toys. Even if they were based directly on their G1 designs they would still be rubbish.
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  #53  
Old 14th August 2018, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
The unique aesthetic styles of these "kiddified" (stylised) series kinda makes them "incompatible" (for want of a better word) with other Transformers series. You can't really play with your Animated toys with figures from other series -- it looks weird. Same with Prime and RiD (which is odd because they're meant to be part of the same continuity and even putting these toys next to each other looks strange).

It also kinda takes away the "robots in disguise" magic because they look like they belong in a cartoon rather than the real world. One cool thing about a lot of TFs from previous series is that they look like they could be living among us. You get a Bumblebee that looks like a VW Beetle then you see a yellow VW Beetle in real life and suddenly you imagine that it could be a robot. Even many of the unlicensed vehicle modes look like they could be real vehicles. But the more stylised alt modes become the less convincing they feel as being part of our world.

And yeah, it also means that it's harder to blend these toys with other series.
e.g. TFP Knockout appears in the IDW comics as a Carcerian, but his stylisation makes him kinda stick out like a sore thumb compared to other Transformers, even other Carcerians (although you could very well make the same argument about Obsidian and Fat Tankor, and indeed the odd stylisation was a big bone of contention with Beast Machines). I absolutely love Animated Blurr - he's my favourite Blurr toy. But his highly stylised cartoon aesthetic means that I can't really mix him in with my CHUG toys because he just sticks out too badly. Or take Animated Arcee vs Generations Arcee -- Animated Arcee is arguably a better designed toy being not a shellformer, but she just doesn't blend with CHUG's G1 aesthetic. Generations Arcee on the other hand blends so well that you could put her next to your G1 toys and she'd look like she belongs. Same with POTP Slash. In fact, I posted comparative group shots of my G1 and CHUG Dinobots on another forum, and in my G1 group shot I snuck in Slash and didn't say anything. Nobody picked me up on it. She blends in that well!

And aesthetics aside, these are really just badly, badly designed toys. Even if they were based directly on their G1 designs they would still be rubbish.
You're looking at it through an adults eyes. Kids are far less likely to care about aesthetic differences. How many times have you seen a kid playing with 2 different toys from 2 completely different lines completely happily? I mean, that is kinda the basis of the entire Toy Story franchise I would also argue that G1 was a terrible mess of aesthetic clashes between toys, yet we made it work .

As adults we have lost our imaginations. As collectors and fans, we are hyper sensitive to the subtle differences between styles and design philosophies between TF lines. And it becomes very easy to think that if an adult collector thinks it's garbage, then kids will too. But as I have said, my kid has lots of toys he loves that I think are absolute trash.

And just to clarify, I think that these toys are horribly overpriced. I can't believe people are buying them. But then, I think that what we were paying for TR and POTP figures was too much.
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  #54  
Old 14th August 2018, 11:56 PM
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As eclectic as G1 was, it was all still based on the Japanese mecha aesthetic. Diaclone, Microman, Macross, Dorvack, Beetras etc. all shared that common element, as did later Transformers toys made for Transformers. When you start deviating from this orthodox design core then that's when it becomes I suppose a bit weirder to mix and match the toys with G1. But don't get me wrong, deviating from the standard core isn't necessarily a bad thing. Beast Wars did this and was very successful. And you could argue that it was essential for Beast Wars to move away from the Japanese mecha aesthetic because it had already horribly failed to revive Transformers during the G2 years.

But look... design aesthetics is a pretty superficial thing, and ultimately if the toy is good then it's something that we can easily overlook. Again, as Beast Wars has proven. What really gets me with these Cyberverse toys isn't so much that they're different... it's that they're crap^sub-par. Honestly, if they made a really G1-accurate looking Starscream toy with the same design philosophy as Cyberverse Warrior Starscream, then the toy would still suck! If you look at my reviews and criticisms of the toys, none of them stem from, "Because look different." It's more to do with things like lacking articulation or being compromised by gimmicks or the lameness of the gimmicks etc. These are criticisms that I would still hold for any Transformer toy, and indeed we do have dodgy toys in every TF line including G1 (Battlechargers and Firecons, anyone?).

I guess the main difference is that other lines have been mixed bags - you have great figures, terrible figures and everything in between. So far I've only seen disappointing figures from Cyberverse. Not a single one of these toys have felt like they were worth buying. It's just been really consistently disappointing.

As for value for money, sure, our toys are overpriced. But even using the general standard price and quality of the average Transformer we can see that Cyberverse toys fall short. I deliberately took comparison pictures with previous Deluxe Class figures from the same Aligned Continuity. I didn't compare them with CHUG and I didn't compare them with Voyagers or anything else above the Deluxe Class. I tried as much as I could to compare apples with apples. And even there we can see that these aren't very good apples.

Deluxe Aligned Starscreams


Deluxe Aligned Bumblebees


Deluxe Aligned Optimus Primes


Deluxe Aligned Shockwaves


Now I've sold my Dark of the Moon Ultimate Optimus Prime, which would completely smash the Cyberverse Ultimate Optimus Prime. But then again, the old Ultimate Class was more than double the price of the current one, so it's probably not a fair comparison. There's never been a $60 price point before. The nearest ones are Voyagers ($50) and Ultras ($70). I think that Ultras vastly outclass these new Ultimates - the fact that Ultra Optimus Primal still holds his ground pretty well against Masterpiece Optimus Primal speaks volumes about the quality of that toy design.

And I'd wager that Ultra Megatron would still hold up well against the upcoming MP figure - relative to price point of course.

But how do the New Ultimates compare with the next size class down? How do they compare with the Voyagers? Well, see for yourself, and again I'm comparing Aligned with Aligned...

Voyager and Ultimate Aligned Megatrons


Voyager and Ultimate Aligned Optimus Primes


Optimus Prime especially isn't a terrible toy per se, but for a $60 I would expect those headlights to be able to get out of the way to expose the fists and for the toy to have a gun. Megatron should have elbows and an accessory (e.g. gun or sword... something!). The Legion Class toys from TF Prime have accessories and they're only $8 each! And speaking of Legions, what is up with the Cyberverse Legions only half transforming? What kid wants to play with a robot that only transforms halfway into a vehicle?!? Imagine if that happened during our childhood? Imagine if Hasbro in the 1980s released G1 toys that only half transformed.


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  #55  
Old 15th August 2018, 10:11 AM
Bemblebuu Bemblebuu is offline
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I'm with you, Goktimus. These Cyberverse figures are bad. If it wasn't for the packaging, the figures would not look out of place at a $2 shop.

Hasbro are ripping people off plain and simple, and even if they have always been, these Cyberverse figures blatantly take ripping people off to a new level.
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  #56  
Old 15th August 2018, 11:13 AM
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Hasbro are a company and they are in business to make money, as we all are in our respective occupations. And a lot more goes into making a toy than the raw cost of materials and manufacturing. I get it. But at least give your clients value for money. I have issue with paying full price for a toy if I feel that it's worth paying for.
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  #57  
Old 15th August 2018, 08:10 PM
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I saw the Ultra Class toys at Target today. These are "open packaged" in robot mode, so I could get a close look and touch.
Oh... my... flipping... god...
I couldn't even bring myself to impulse buy one of them like I have with the Warriors and Ultimates. Grimlock was the most tempting. I did scan him and was going to buy him, but my Voice of Reason(TM) came and kicked me in the janglies and forced me to put him back on the shelf.

The toys do NOT look like Ultras. They wouldn't even pass for very good Deluxes. I had a close look at Grimlock and Starscream and couldn't see any knee joints. I tried turning Grimlock's head and it wouldn't budge - so apparent lack of head articulation. All on a set of $40 figures.

My very first Beast Wars toy was an Ultra Class. Found it in 1996 sitting on a shelf at some obscure variety store (I didn't find BW toys at majors until 1997). It was Optimus Primal (below, left).

The Cyberverse Ultras are $40 which is about how much the BW Ultras cost.

"BUT---!"
Okay, okay, it's probably not fair for me to compare Cyberverse Ultras with previous Ultras (the most recent being the Universe Ultras like Silverbolt, Onslaught etc. which were at the $70 price point). So let's compare them with something of near equivalent value, which I would say is the Voyager Class (typical RRP $50, but it's not unusual to find them for $45 or less). And this was how my Voice of Reason(TM) delivered its swift kick. Because I was thinking about walking over the the counter to buy Ultra Grimlock thinking that this was "only a $40 toy" and that I can't really compare it with previous Ultras. But then my Voice of Reason(TM) told me that for an extra $5-10 I could just go and buy POTP Voyager Grimlock. And as much as POTP Voyager Grimlock doesn't personally appeal to me, it is much better value for money than blowing $40 on Cyberverse Ultra Grimlock!

Seriously. If I were a kid today looking to buy Grimlock, and let's say my parents agreed to spend $40... I'd most likely try to convince them to spend a few more dollars on POTP Grimlock instead. I would beg and even promise to be extra good or do additional chores or study harder at school etc. I know this because I used to do this a fair number of times when I was a kid in the 80s and my mum might've only been willing to spend enough money to by a cheaper Machine Man but I wanted a more expensive Transformer. Even if it meant buying fewer toys - like she might say, "You can have 2 Machine Men or 1 Transformer" -- I chose 1 Transformer. If I were a kid today with a limited budget (as children do with no disposable income) and I really wanted a Grimlock toy? Yeah, I'd take that 1 POTP Grimlock over the Cyberverse Grimlock plus another toy. And if I were doing birthday or Xmas shopping and my parents were feeling more generous? You bet your asteroid I'd be asking for the better and dearer toy. Quality over quantity. As Trev said, it really feels like these toys are assuming that kids have low standards.
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  #58  
Old 16th August 2018, 11:55 AM
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I just can't quite understand what this toyline is being done in service of. Are these figures really going to bring new collectors into the line?

I think that we're having a hard time adjusting as collectors purely on the basis that this is the toyline for the main ongoing television fiction of the series, and the toys are PreSkool level at best. Granted, RiD2015 was a step down, but the toylines for Prime and Animated were at the level of the simultaneously released movie/generations figures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
-snip-
The only part of those Ultras I've seen that even remotely tickles me is the faux macross style missile spam gimmick on Starscream.
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  #59  
Old 16th August 2018, 12:50 PM
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I have no idea who the target market for these Cyberverse toys are. They're being pitched at school-aged children but are clearly below their engagement level, yet the engineering is honestly still the level for most preschoolers. To put it bluntly, they're too simple for kids but too fiddly for infants (because they still require a level of fine motor dexterity that's beyond what your typical toddler can do. Infants typically hold a pencil or crayon with a palmer grip - either a simple cylindrical grasp or a primitive digital grasp. Preschoolers will be starting to use a simplified tripod grip but it's not really until school age that most kids have developed the dexterity to even begin learning how to hold a pencil with a proper tripod grip. And it's also more physically exhausting for smaller hands to manipulate smaller parts. This is why toys aimed at infants use larger parts - aside from preventing choking hazards, it's physically easier for smaller hands to manipulate them. Think about when you get a really tiny flat single stud Lego piece that's attached to another single stud piece and you want to separate those pieces. Sometimes it's not easy and you gotta use a strong grip to separate them. This is why Duplo uses larger pieces. It gives more more of a gripping surface that makes it easier for smaller hands to manipulate.

Similarly when we look at Rescue Bots we see that the parts that need to be manipulated for transformation are large and require less precise motor skills. Getting some of the Cyberverse pieces to tab into the slots can be just as tricky as on other Transformer toys. Watch any video review of Cyberverse Warrior Starscream and look at how the leg tabs slot into the chest when going to jet mode. Or Ultimate Optimus Prime's legs when transforming to truck mode. It's not simple! Buuuut it's not really challenging either in a fun way. It's just tricky because it's fiddly. Fiddly toys are not good toys for infants! Yet the toys are still too basic for children. What?!

And you're absolutely right. How are these toys going to bring new collectors into the line? Or how is it going to maintain current collectors to stay and not quit? Actually, the children who grew up with Transformers Prime are now teenagers. I wonder how many of them are still fans today?

Forget style for a moment. In terms of engineering I found that the early RiD toys weren't very strong, but the later figures got a lot better. By the time we got around to RiD Warrior Starscream, Blurr etc., the engineering had become actually very good. RiD Warrior Starscream is one of my favourite of the Aligned Warriors/Deluxes. He's a lot more solid than TFP Deluxe Starscream and he incorporates part of the cockpit into the chest (whereas on TFP it just sits above his butt as kibble). RiD Warrior Starscream turned out to be a better toy than I expected and engineering-wise, was a step up from TFP. Cyberverse Warrior Starscream is jump down.
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  #60  
Old 16th August 2018, 01:47 PM
Bemblebuu Bemblebuu is offline
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Thank goodness for 3rd party TF toys!
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