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  #31  
Old 28th December 2017, 02:58 AM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Originally Posted by Bidoofdude View Post
I’m sure plenty of people would opt out of getting the Hasbro deco altogether if they cared that much about cartoon accuracy.
It isn't just cartoon accuracy. Case in point, take a look at the paint app differences on the Titanmasters with Hasbro vs Takara as just one example.
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  #32  
Old 28th December 2017, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
It isn't just cartoon accuracy. Case in point, take a look at the paint app differences on the Titanmasters with Hasbro vs Takara as just one example.
I wouldn’t rush to go slamming Hasbro’s products, as for the most part the differences between the two are a matter of personal taste, while quality is not the issue at hand. Many (including myself on many occassions) have favoured the Hasbro deco over the Takara (which although generally more appealing can easily fall flat), but that doesn’t even matter anymore. The lack of options is probably the most alarming part, without any kind of Has vs Tak fire heating up too quickly amongst fans.
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  #33  
Old 28th December 2017, 02:11 PM
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Why are you all assuming this is something Hasbro is forcing on TT and not TT's beancounters realising they can save a lot of money by importing. Their TLK releases were the same as the Hasbro figures and if those sold in the same ballpark as other movie toys it gives them great incentive to try with their other main line
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  #34  
Old 28th December 2017, 02:16 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Originally Posted by Bidoofdude View Post
I wouldn’t rush to go slamming Hasbro’s products, as for the most part the differences between the two are a matter of personal taste, while quality is not the issue at hand. Many (including myself on many occassions) have favoured the Hasbro deco over the Takara (which although generally more appealing can easily fall flat), but that doesn’t even matter anymore. The lack of options is probably the most alarming part, without any kind of Has vs Tak fire heating up too quickly amongst fans.
In some cases, certainly it comes down to different choices, but it's not that simple.

The fact is that there is a clear quality difference between Hasbro and Takara on several ground.

Take the Titanmasters for example. There aren't just different deco choices at play, the Titanmasters themselves in robot mode are fully painted (sometimes with as many as 5 paint apps on the titanmaster robot mode - eg Broadside) as compared to, in some cases, completely unpainted and moulded plastic on the Hasbro version (and yes I'm talking about the little guys, not the transector bodies). In fact it was the reason I only bought Hasbro releases of Titanmaster figures where there wasn't a Takara release.

Likewise, look at Hasbro vs Takara with Combiner Wars. It was Takara who gave us a proper Blast-Off and Groove, just as it was Takara who, even though they were recolours, gave is Slingshot and Wildrider. While the later three did see a Hasbro release, the Blast Off mould, to my knowledge, has yet to show up as a Hasbro release.

Certainly, sometimes there are going to be mere deco difference, however you can't deny that in some cases, the Hasbro product is simply inferior to the Takara product because Takara knows collectors will notice the little extras, while Hasbro is convinced that kids couldn't care less about them.
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  #35  
Old 28th December 2017, 02:27 PM
bowspearer bowspearer is offline
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Originally Posted by Other View Post
Why are you all assuming this is something Hasbro is forcing on TT and not TT's beancounters realising they can save a lot of money by importing. Their TLK releases were the same as the Hasbro figures and if those sold in the same ballpark as other movie toys it gives them great incentive to try with their other main line
Because it makes no sense for TT financially. Hasbro's bread and butter are kids; Takara's bread and butter are adult collectors. Takara would be well aware, by way of how much HLJ and other exporters buy from them, how a significant portion of Hasbro's adult collector's market would rather import than buy local because of things like new moulds and extra paint apps which Takara does and Hasbro doesn't.

Anyone applying even an ounce of common sense will know that that market will be lost if there is no point of difference, which simply isn't smart business sense.
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  #36  
Old 28th December 2017, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
Because it makes no sense for TT financially. Hasbro's bread and butter are kids; Takara's bread and butter are adult collectors. Takara would be well aware, by way of how much HLJ and other exporters buy from them, how a significant portion of Hasbro's adult collector's market would rather import than buy local because of things like new moulds and extra paint apps which Takara does and Hasbro doesn't.

Anyone applying even an ounce of common sense will know that that market will be lost if there is no point of difference, which simply isn't smart business sense.
Um, not exactly...TT in Japan still sell mostly to kids, especially mainline stuff. Their adult/'collector' domestic market is a bigger proportion/percentage, sure, but - disappointingly - TFs are still a pretty niche hobby for adults - far from TTs 'bread and butter'. It's partially why there tend to be more 'kids-line'-type TFs in stores, eg. plenty of 'Adventure' (that monster-y/awful 3-member combiner toyline they did instead of Beast Hunters) over the Legends stuff, etc etc. AFAIK even with gaijin like us ordering Japanese TFs it's still a pretty small part of their market share.

If I had to guess, I'd put it down to a cost-cutting measure from the overall TF brand - TT and hasbro TFs are apparently made in the same factories, so by using the same toys (barring the high-end stuff like MP) they can make it all a lot more streamlined, and thus cheaper. Especially since TT does tend to do the more expensive versions, i.e. extra paint apps etc. IIRC toy sales in general in Japan have been slowing down a bit in recent years, especially those targeted at 'older' kids like TFs. Trading cards are still pretty popular, model-building/assemble-your-own type toys still have decent sales (eg. Gundam), and young kids toys still sell pretty well, but the portable gaming market - and especially smartphone/tablet games - have hit most other 'traditional' toy sales pretty hard IIRC.

Anyway, my Japanese reading/writing was never all that great to begin with (bloody kanji ), so...do we have any confirmation from the latest Figure King scans about whether this is a 'new normal', and/or how widespread it's likely to be @Nihongo-Jouzu peeps?
I'm sort of interested to know if that new Titan Class Predaking will get special treatment or not...though it's probably too early for news of that one to be out.
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  #37  
Old 28th December 2017, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ode to a Grasshopper View Post
IIRC toy sales in general in Japan have been slowing down a bit in recent years, especially those targeted at 'older' kids like TFs.
On one hand this makes sense, yet on the other hand, with the higher end and pricepoint MP figures and Diaclone 2.0 releases we're getting, it doesn't fit that. Why would such projects even be commissioned if the returns simply weren't there?
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  #38  
Old 28th December 2017, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
On one hand this makes sense, yet on the other hand, with the higher end and pricepoint MP figures and Diaclone 2.0 releases we're getting, it doesn't fit that. Why would such projects even be commissioned if the returns simply weren't there?
MP and Diaclone V.2 are specifically collector-focused, is the short answer. The returns are there, but they're smaller/more limited runs that sell at premium prices and are less widespread/easily available. Niche VS mainstream target markets, in other words.
Most electronics stores - which are the main places where they sell mainline TFs, much like we have them in Target/KMart-type stores here - didn't stock anything other than the current kiddie and/or Movie line at the time, though you could place orders for MPs at some of the the stores IIRC. I lived in Osaka for 5 years, and if I wanted the latest 'kiddie' and/or Movie-line stuff it was easy, for Legends/CHUG stuff I had to go hunting a bit more and would have reasonable odds of success depending upon what I was chasing (eg. Legends Arcee sold out right away, whereas Legends Brainstorm was pretty easy to find), for MPs you might/might not get lucky fairly close by or you might have to make a trip to Den Den Town/the otaku district and hope you got lucky before they sold out. Same thing for Diaclone V.2 - if that's what you were after then it was either the hobby shops or else the 'flagship' toy stores in Umeda/Namba - even the local-ish Toys R Us didn't usually stock much in the way of 'good' TFs. Legends stuff mostly tended to go pretty quickly (much like it does over here), MPs depended on the character in question (I can only assume all the MP Soundwaves were sucked through some kind of mystical vortex as soon as they touched the shelves - not ONE anywhere on the very morning they became available). That said, it's worth noting the only shop close-ish by that stocked MPs/Legends was close to a pretty affluent area (which I also taught in 2 days a week - my students kept getting the toys before I could get them ) and also an international university, so the 'competition' for me was probably unusually heavy.

It's also worth mentioning that TFs aren't really a super-popular toyline in Japan these days - Star Wars, Marvel, the ever-reliable Super Sentai/Kamen Rider/Gundam (albeit the models rather than toys per se) all have way more shelf-space than TFs.
So, you know...not a super-high-priority line, sales are down on toys in general, 'they're only kids, who the hell is going to notice anyway' (not to mention that the whole aging population/low birth rate thing isn't helping toy sales in general), plus less admin/production costs...it's just a guess, but I'm much more inclined to put this one down to the bean-counters at Takara-Tomy taking an easy option to cut costs rather than Hasbro's influence.
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  #39  
Old 28th December 2017, 06:11 PM
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I really do not like this news .. I've been collecting mostly Takara mostly since 2008 (the exception being when they do not release a toy), and I am going to miss the extra attention to detail.

I watched several POTP reviews yesterday and all I could see were horrible stickers that were not centred or cut correctly, black wheels with no detailing, mismatched colours (looking at you Rodimus) and died a little inside knowing that Takara won't be releasing versions of these toys that take care of all of those problems.

I will cling to the hope that the missing Dinobots from Wave 1 are coming in a United Warriors gift set box (along with the same hope that the Terrorcons and Predaking get the same treatment..)
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  #40  
Old 28th December 2017, 06:41 PM
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For me my want of cartoon accurate is less of an issue now than it was back in 2007 when I started collecting. Back then it was a choice between the upcoming cartoon accurate Henkei line and the now out of stock everywhere Classics line. I liked the look of the cartoon accurate decos over the Classics decos and I've continued with cartoon accurate since then.

However at this point I have almost every G1 cartoon character in my CHUG collection. My upcoming targets for acquisition are often characters that have only ever been in Marvel or IDW comics, so there is no cartoon accurate deco Takara could do.

For me if this was inevitable at least it's happening now that I have only a handful of cartoon characters still to acquire rather than years ago when it would have been a huge headache.
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