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  #41  
Old 28th December 2017, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Ode to a Grasshopper View Post
Kamen Rider
Yeah this has certainly been a peculiar transition. I remember when Kamen Rider was very much a series aimed at teens/tweens while Super Sentai was aimed more at kids, yet the target age of Kamen Rider certainly seems to have dropped over the years.


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Originally Posted by Ode to a Grasshopper View Post
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.
Which is likely to bite them in the ass. The movie verse figures are one thing - the DX versions tend to be at a similar level of quality and paint apps to legends series figures. However there is going to be a marked difference in the execution of these figures compared to others. I wouldn't be surprised if the figures wind up shelfwarming a fair bit.
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  #42  
Old 28th December 2017, 08:29 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.
Yeah...
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Originally Posted by bowspearer View Post
Which is likely to bite them in the ass. The movie verse figures are one thing - the DX versions tend to be at a similar level of quality and paint apps to legends series figures. However there is going to be a marked difference in the execution of these figures compared to others. I wouldn't be surprised if the figures wind up shelfwarming a fair bit.
I sort of hope so...it would be nice if we at least had the option of better/more thorough offerings TF-wise. I mean, there's a Titan-class Predaking on the horizon...
The sad bit is, I suspect it won't make enough of a dint in sales to really be worth TT's notice. Most TF sales are to parents, for kids...how many Japanese kids are going to notice or care that their Optimus Prime looks just like the foreign one, and that's a step down to what it used to be?
I am sort of interested to see how they'll deal with Dreadwind and BlackDarkwing/Buster and Hydra though - that's a hard one to gloss over, switching teal for bright red. Takara does have a pretty good record of taking the 'fans'/collectors into account, and Japanese companies by and large do tend to be pretty risk-averse, so if "Let's Hasbro" doesn't work out for them then I can sort of see them reverting to form. Fingers crossed anyway.
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  #43  
Old 28th December 2017, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ode to a Grasshopper View Post
Yeah...
The sad bit is, I suspect it won't make enough of a dint in sales to really be worth TT's notice. Most TF sales are to parents, for kids...how many Japanese kids are going to notice or care that their Optimus Prime looks just like the foreign one, and that's a step down to what it used to be?
^This. And don't forget that officially speaking, TakaraTOMY aren't supposed to be marketing their toys at Hasbro markets. They're only supposed to be targeting their toys at their own market (and the same goes for Hasbro not interfering with TakaraTOMY's market). Speculate all you like, but this is the existing legal agreement between both companies. Neither company are entitled to differentiate their products from each other. And while many Legends figures looked nicer than their Titans Return counterparts, don't forget that they were also double the price.
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  #44  
Old 29th December 2017, 12:56 AM
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So, I thought “why not?” and put through an email to Hasbro regarding the whole issue, including the response from fans. I surprisingly got an email in about 24 hours, as follows:

Response By Email (Kriss) (12/28/2017 09:27 AM)
Dear Ryan,

Thanks so much for your email. I appreciate your comments and have shared with our internal business partners.

Regards,

Kriss De Nardo


Either the inquiry to get some light on this has fallen on deaf ears or they really just can’t be bothered.

I have followed it up requesting that some kind of response would be favourable for the fan community, but not much luck I think.

The original email:



Customer By CSS Web (Ryan) (12/27/2017 12:21 PM)
Hi Hasbro gang,

A revelation amongst the broad Transformers online community has sprouted recently with Takara Tomy’s announcement of their own “Power of the Primes” toyline, with decos that are the exact same as Hasbro’s own line releasing in this coming year.

As you may be aware, this is starkly different to past releases, with Takara releasing their own, typically higher grade (and cost), more cartoon accurate paint schemes on well adored figures in the Legends and Unite Warriors lines of recent past. This has upset many collectors throughout the online community in not only the US, UK and Australia but in asian markets such as Japan and Hong Kong, now seemingly without a second option for decos of new Transformers figures, if unsatisfied with more toy accuracy-targeted figures.

Several accusations and reports have come to attention that indicate that Hasbro may have had an influence on such a huge and ultimately upsetting decision, citing a desire for “global unification of the brand” and pressure on Takara Tomy to cease creating new more cartoon-favourable paint schemes.

Could you please spread some light on this issue, so that the community may better understand its origins and clarify some of the more distressing points? Hasbro may not even be involved at all, but it is a poignant topic for a huge number of dedicated fans who would likely be better enthused in the future with some answers.

Thank you, on behalf of the fan community,

Ryan


Hope we get something at least, even just a “yeah we know about that.”
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  #45  
Old 29th December 2017, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
^This. And don't forget that officially speaking, TakaraTOMY aren't supposed to be marketing their toys at Hasbro markets. They're only supposed to be targeting their toys at their own market (and the same goes for Hasbro not interfering with TakaraTOMY's market).
A couple of points come to mind here. The first is that technically Takara haven't been marketing their figures to Hasbro's Markets. What Takara have done is market their figures to Japanese retailers and etailers, some of whom happen to be retail outlets which export to Hasbro's territories. Sure, you could argue that Takara could be expected to slap a C&D order on the likes of HLJ, but in light of Hasbro's behaviour here, it would be very difficult to make a case for it.

That leads me to the second point. Arguably the biggest contributor to Takara releases being sold in Hasbro territories, are Hasbro themselves - specifically Hasbro Asia. Every single exporter of Takara figures who operates outside of Japan, as well as US importers like TF Source, all get their figures from Hasbro Asia.

In other words, not only is it not being adhered to, but you even have Hasbro marketing Takara's products for them in their own territories.

So yes, technically the legal agreement is there, but it's one which neither side clearly views as being a hard and fast rule regarding the other's releases.
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  #46  
Old 29th December 2017, 02:03 PM
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I think this merging of the two brands can be a good thing. This means that Hasbro/Takara may now aim to release Transformers that will appeal to both Japanese and International fans in a single product line, and these toys will be available to everyone. I suspect Hasbro might have been contemplating this for a while, and even tested the waters by slowly releasing toys based on some Japanese G1 characters like CW Lio Kaiser and TR Black Shadow in Hasbro markets. For us in the Hasbro markets, it means we might get more of those Japanese G1 characters we always wanted (like Metalhawk), but they'll be easier to find on retail.

As for the Takara market in Japan, looking specifically at the the Legends line in 2016/17; the toys have nicer features (like Targetmasters, more vibrant decos, etc), but in my mind there's a couple drawbacks. They missed out on characters that were available in Hasbro's TR line, like Rumble, Alpha Trion, Sentinel Prime, Breakaway (Getaway), Krok, Quake, Ptero and even Black Shadow. True, they got Godbomber and Lio Convoy; but I think the range of characters available in TR was much greater and more diverse.

Another thing about the 2016/17 Legends line that made me think the Takara fans got the short end of the stick; the separation of the Titanmaster head components from their drones. Imagine being an Apeface fan living in Japan; to get the head component (representing the robot mode), you gotta buy Laserbeak; and to get the Jet/Gorilla drone (representing the alt-mode), you gotta buy Weirdwolf. Even if you get the 2 sets and reunite Apeface's head with his drone, the drone is still the wrong colour. But if you're lucky like us and live in the Hasbro market, and you want Apeface's head and drone in the "right" colours; all you had to do was walk into Kmart/Target and buy TR Apeface for $10 or less. Similar with other characters like Repugus. If you want a "Complete" Repugnus but live in Japan, you gotta buy Brawn AND Broadside.

Takara's Transformers are great, and even better than Hasbro's in some respects; but it's not all perfect. I think by merging the two brands, it'll allow Hasbro's strengths to cover whatever weaknesses Takara had in it's marketing approach, and bring Hasbro's product quality up to the same level as Takara's. Then again, there could be drawbacks for us as fans too. Before this merge, we had a choice between Hasbro and Takara Transformers. If we didn't like the Hasbro version, we could buy the Takara version instead. But with now with this merge, there's now basically a monopoly, and we may have less choices.
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  #47  
Old 29th December 2017, 03:36 PM
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UPDATE: I have received a respnse, with currently no information to pass on to the fan community. They have passed concerns onto their colleagues.
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  #48  
Old 29th December 2017, 03:57 PM
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Hey Bido, is there a web form to contact Hasbro or a CS email? I might email them after work tomorrow just to let them know I'm not happy with this.
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  #49  
Old 29th December 2017, 04:01 PM
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Hey Bido, is there a web form to contact Hasbro or a CS email? I might email them after work tomorrow just to let them know I'm not happy with this.
I wouldn't bother, if there is anything to say they are not planning on talking about it, and are seemingly well aware of the negative reaction that it has garnered, if they did indeed pass it on. Nothing left to do at this point beyond wait for some news, if any ever comes.
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  #50  
Old 29th December 2017, 08:57 PM
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The more I think about it the more I settle on the theory that maybe Takara are just bowing to shareholder pressure to reduce manufacturing cost and increase sales, which is what every company's shareholders want.

The prices at HLJ for the PP line are much lower than the LG line equivalent. If they want to increase their market share with domestic kids at the expense of a handful of foreign collectors then making the toys cheaper is probably the way to go.

Also jacking up the price of MP Dinobot probably helps the bottom line. But I still think that toy has much higher development cost and QC cost than an average MP.
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