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Transformers Super Thread 9

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well, fwiw...

i saw rotf Devastator at the local wally's yesterday for US$98.

he's big. make that, reasonably HUGE!

here's his link from online wally's: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?...uct_id=10963123

Not worth it. He's just big chunks of plastic with horrid articulation, not to mention that the individual Constructicons don't transform into robots. Plus, he's one Constructicon short. It's a challenge deciding which is a bigger waste of money - this toy or Ultimate Bumblebee (Animated Supreme Rollout Command Optimus Prime has been ruled out due to stores slashing his price at 50%).

If you want Devastator, get the Legends version instead.

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Re: ROTF Devastator, "Ultimate" Bumblebee, TFA Supreme Prime...and going all the way back to "Supreme" BM Cheetor:

Remember the days when a "BIG" Transformer was actually something you dreamed of and would still die for in rerelease form today? You know...things like Omega Supreme, Fortress Maximus...heck even Ultra Magnus and Galvatron were considered "big guys" in their time...

It is so annoying that the largest class Transformers are - these days - the worst. And given their history as shelf warmers...how does it make marketing sense to produce those things? I mean - who dreams this stuff up?

Pete

ps - since my post lacks a coherent argument...I am kind of assuming you understand what I am talking about: namely that back when I was a kid, Transformers that would fall under today's 'supreme' class category were not just big, but actually had fairly intricate Transformation, usually fit in with the rest of the line or were at least interactive with it, and didn't use cheesy cop outs (ROTF Devastator) but instead took full advantage of their size.

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True. I've noticed that designers don't take advantage of the larger TFs' size. I'd like to see the same kind of clever engineering used in certain Deluxes...only taken to the next level. Seems that's expecting too much.

Edited by RD Blade

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True. I've noticed that designers don't take advantage of the larger TFs' size. I'd like to see the same kind of clever engineering used in certain Deluxes...only taken to the next level. Seems that's expecting too much.

I have to say I've noticed the cleverness seen in Deluxes rarely is seen past Voyagers.

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True. I've noticed that designers don't take advantage of the larger TFs' size. I'd like to see the same kind of clever engineering used in certain Deluxes...only taken to the next level. Seems that's expecting too much.

There's a reason for that: the larger TFs are marketed to kids. Right, Hasbro - as if the average parent will actually fork over that much $$$ for chunks of plastic.

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Not all old big transformers were feats of engineering... Metroplex basically sits down for all his alt modes.

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That's why Metroplex is the lamest of the cities. :) The Decepticon ones were much better. Trypticon may not have the most complex transformation (better than Metro's though), but all the money/engineering went into making him walk and light up. He'd have probably had an even more impressive transformation and better city mode if they left out the mechanics.

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But even Metroplex's transformation is way more complex than that of BM Cheetor. Metroplex doesn't just "sit down" - his legs unfold three different ways. Also, I think they did take some care with his upper body as well. They could have just had him put his hands up and said "buildings" - but instead they have the half-chest opening into a helipad and one of the arms swinging backwards.

Also - again - when making these comparissons we have to remember what was possible in 1985 and what is possible today.

Today they SHOULD have a whole slew of greater possibilities. We saw this in Beast Wars, and we've seen it in numerous deluxe sized TFs as has already been said.

The argument that the huge ones are supposed to be simple because kids like to play with them is actually NOT that far-fetched. And parents are stupid by and large.

If I had a dollar for every time I've seen parents select the "big but simple" toy over smaller more intricate things - I'd be a millionaire now.

Sometimes the market does wierd things or things we don't quite fully understand from our POV.

But I think that there is a market for big, simple toys. The kids are happy because they are too small to appreciate complex intricacies and actually the more complex a toy, the more likely the are to break it (therefore making the parent think "last time I'm buying him one of those") OR to get annoyed with it, throw it in the corner and go play with something that doesn't demand that much effort from them.

These kids are what I like to call the "Screaming Ninnies."

A screaming ninny is a little kid whose value system looks something like this in terms of toys:

a) Must be bigger than Billy's toy

b) Must have flashy colors

c) Must be a main strong character who is the most powerful

d) Must make noises

e) Must be something that will make all the other kids jealous and envious of me

That's it.

No thought is given to transformation, complexities, anything like that - because the kid doesn't really care about Transformers as such, but more about having the biggest toy of the latest fad toy line.

This is augmented by parents who are Adult Versions of Screaming Ninnies.

Adult Versions of Screaming Ninnies (Parents) are characterized by the following values:

a) They must get jr. the biggest toy because to them big toy = happy child

b) They don't know anything about the toy market, about what's available, and they couldn't care less - it's just kids stuff.

c) They accept the simple idiom: "Big Item = Big Price" and don't think too far outside of that box.

To these parents, it is not surprising that something as simple and crappy as BM Cheetor (supreme) or TFA Supreme Prime costs as much as they do. These parents aren't sitting there scratching their head thinking "dag. Why does this cost so much when it's so simple compared to other Transformers half its' price?" because they've never handled TFs half the price and aren't about to start.

This is a segment of the market, and Hasbro just wants a share.

I've seen worse.

I've seen Christmas where somebody would import some cheap half assed "transforming car" that was also an RC that could be radio controlled (well, I repeat myself) - the thing so obviously cost pennies on the dollar, and it would go for like 20 or 30 bucks and parents would be eating it up because it was like 30 cm tall when "fully transformed" [aka when, Throttlebot style, the car "stood up" - no poseability... But it did have an RC motor...].

But parents bought it because it was "big" and "big" = "happy kid."

I remember once some friends of the family were visiting before Christmas, and I gave them an MISB TFA deluxe Bumblebee for one of their kids.

They took it, of course, but the look on their faces were "what?! THAT thing is SO SMALL! It will be embarassing to give that to a child as a present on Christmas."

They didn't care that the transformation on Deluxe Bumblebee TFA was out of sight, that it was cute, that it was a kiddified bumblebee, that it was kind of the "perfect Transformer" for a little kid... nope.

The main beef was - it's so frackin' small. When junior takes this to school - he'll be laughed at.

Hence Hasbro makes crappy large scale over-simplifications and sells them for 50 bucks.

Because people actually do exist who shop in accordance with the above noted criteria.

Pete

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I've owned a copy of metroplex since it was first releasedand I played the hell out of it growing up and I've taken it apart and put it back together again (to fix the spring loaded head). It sits down. Yes, the legs open up in various ways, but it's all just variations of sitting down. It's not a complex toy at all and you're giving it far too much credit while being far too harsh on more recent large size transformers.

My point is only that just like not every modern transformer is an example of the utmost paradigm of transforming toys so too can one find disappointing examples in the various classic lines.

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Armada Unicron is a great example of a big, well-made, and fairly complex (not to mention nicely articulated) modern TF toy. And Primus, while not quite as big, is typically pretty loved as well (although I was never able to get one so I can't say from first hand experience).

There was also that massive Starscream that, while pretty much an up-scaled version of the regular toy, is still a pretty good toy and no less complex than Metroplex. I kinda wish I had gotten one when they were cheap, but I never really liked the colors they chose for Starscream with that mold.

Honestly I don't place myself on either side of the vintage vs. modern argument. There are turds in the modern lines, there are turds in the vintage lines. But in the end I've got room enough in my heart for both. :)

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True. I've noticed that designers don't take advantage of the larger TFs' size. I'd like to see the same kind of clever engineering used in certain Deluxes...only taken to the next level.
Agreed
But even Metroplex's transformation is way more complex than that of BM Cheetor.
Yeah but did ANYONE like BM Cheetor? The Supreme one one of the acknowledged black sheep of Transformers.

The argument that the huge ones are supposed to be simple because kids like to play with them is actually NOT that far-fetched. And parents are stupid by and large.
The larger=simpler rule doesn't always apply either, ROTF Prime and TF1 Prime are far more complex than the same pricepoint Cybertron Prime and much, much more complex than Classics voyager Prime.

My point is only that just like not every modern transformer is an example of the utmost paradigm of transforming toys so too can one find disappointing examples in the various classic lines.
Yup
Armada Unicron is a great example of a big, well-made, and fairly complex (not to mention nicely articulated) modern TF toy. And Primus, while not quite as big, is typically pretty loved as well (although I was never able to get one so I can't say from first hand experience).
I have both and IMHO the only reason Unicron is more popular than Primus is because he has much more recognition being a character that fans wanted a toy of since the 1986 G1 movie. Primus has more intricate details and IMO looks better. Both are worth picking up without a doubt.

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Yeah- Unicron was ok. His planet mode could have been better- but without a doubt he is one of the best and most anticipated Transformers out there. I used to have him, but eventually he went bye bye, like everything else in my collection that wasn't G1.

I am not arguing the vintage vs. modern debate here. I think that debate is kind of pointless because it's a matter of preference- I'm just stating mine. Whenever I "bad mouth" modern, it's not like I'm trying to convince people to change their preferences, but instead I'm just justifying mine.

A long time ago, I used to be a Transformers completist, until I realized what Hasbro and Takara seem to have realized long long ago - namely that the Transformers fan community and market in general is not homogenous. They needed to diversify their offer because there were so many diverse fragments in the market.

Once I realized that, the burden of "being a completist" evaporated.

I just decided it was OK not to own figures from each and every line, but just own what I liked for the reasons I liked them.

Transformers for me now is all about my childhood - and that is G1. I have discovered that as much as I tried to get into the newer incarnations, and as much as certain elements of them were interesting, and heck...as much as I KNOW about the stories up through BM (which is pretty much in intricate detail)...at some point - they just lost me, and I just lost interest.

I collect Encore/TFC/G1 reissues because to me - those figures are special and more alive than any of the more poseable figures from later lines.

So...just keep that in mind folks when I dis on modern TFs (which I do a lot). I'm not trying to troll agianst modern Transformers as if it was a matter of getting people to see the light.

I just don't have much sentiment for the later ones - not as much as for the vintage ones.

Pete

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I just decided it was OK not to own figures from each and every line, but just own what I liked for the reasons I liked them.

This is pretty much where I'm at. I own a smattering of figures from the last several years, bought because of whether I liked the individual designs.

I'm more of a general transforming toy fan, and not so much a completist character/storyline fan.

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...

I am not arguing the vintage vs. modern debate here. I think that debate is kind of pointless because it's a matter of preference- I'm just stating mine. Whenever I "bad mouth" modern, it's not like I'm trying to convince people to change their preferences, but instead I'm just justifying mine.

...

Pete

You don't need to justify it, no one is saying you should or shouldn't like whatever line. It's just that when you cite certain examples or pursue certain lines of reasoning it invites discussion.

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This is pretty much where I'm at. I own a smattering of figures from the last several years, bought because of whether I liked the individual designs.

I'm more of a general transforming toy fan, and not so much a completist character/storyline fan.

Same here. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I don't carry the "completist" chromosome. The closest I've ever got to collecting an entire line due to liking them all was Classics, but even then I had no interest in the color variants like the seekers, Ultra Magnus, etc.

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Re: ROTF Devastator, "Ultimate" Bumblebee, TFA Supreme Prime...and going all the way back to "Supreme" BM Cheetor:

Remember the days when a "BIG" Transformer was actually something you dreamed of and would still die for in rerelease form today? You know...things like Omega Supreme, Fortress Maximus...heck even Ultra Magnus and Galvatron were considered "big guys" in their time...

It is so annoying that the largest class Transformers are - these days - the worst. And given their history as shelf warmers...how does it make marketing sense to produce those things? I mean - who dreams this stuff up?

Pete

ps - since my post lacks a coherent argument...I am kind of assuming you understand what I am talking about: namely that back when I was a kid, Transformers that would fall under today's 'supreme' class category were not just big, but actually had fairly intricate Transformation, usually fit in with the rest of the line or were at least interactive with it, and didn't use cheesy cop outs (ROTF Devastator) but instead took full advantage of their size.

Does Cybertron version of Starscream fall into that category, at least he's got decent articulation in robot mode.

Oh and for the Revenge of the Fallen Devastator, he's missing his nuts.

Edited by Wanzerfan

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Oh and for the Revenge of the Fallen Devastator, he's missing his nuts.
No big loss. He's not movie-accurate anyway.

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I only collect the big size TF's and MPS/BT's. I used to collect a lot more TF stuff, but I just got sick of hunting it all down, and got more into models. Anyhow, the reason I'm posting is to say that Metroplex was awesome, I still have one, and his transformation wasn't as lame as Fort/Brave Max's.

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On a somewhat related not... and out of blind curiosity... how would people feel about model kits for Transformers? Like Hasegawa does Macross models that are non-transformable, but just renditions of the jet.

Do you think Transformers fans would be interested if Hasegawa did - I dunno...say...an ROTF Starscream's F-22 Raptor in 1/48 scale?

Pete

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On a somewhat related not... and out of blind curiosity... how would people feel about model kits for Transformers? Like Hasegawa does Macross models that are non-transformable, but just renditions of the jet.

Do you think Transformers fans would be interested if Hasegawa did - I dunno...say...an ROTF Starscream's F-22 Raptor in 1/48 scale?

Pete

I doubt it. Kawamori's VF's are unique fighters that are as iconic in fighter mode as they are in Battroid or Gerwalk. But TF alt modes, especially early G1 or the movie line, are supposed to be real-world vehicles. So at what point is an ROTF Starscream model kit just another F-22 model kit? It'd probably make more sense for Reprolabels to print up some tribal stickers for an existing F-22 model kit.

Bot mode-only model kits, ala Bandai's Gundams, might work though. I've only built a few of the 1/144 HG kits, but the results are very posable. And, it's not like we don't have a precedent for bot-mode only toys. We've already got Action Masters, Robot Replicas, and a few Revoltechs.

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I'll tell you in ~10 minutes, depending if I win B)) I don't know about like a plastic traditional kit...

EDIT: YESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I won this:

http://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/111389702

And am soooooo stoked! I don't know which WonderFest it is from, and I've never seen one before, but this kit looks amazing! I need a basic Microman figure for the pretender fig bits tho. I think garage kits like this that update older figures are neat, but to be fair, this kind of figure could easily be superseded by an updated toy release, but we'll never see it.

Edited by promethuem5

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So...

Continuing along with my random questions about Transformers... next one...

What do you think the future holds for Transformers outside of the movie franchise? I don't want this to address whether there will be a TFIII or what it will be about (there's a whole thread dedicated to that).

This is sort of like...what will the next animated series be? What would you like it to be? Will it be a movie tie in? Should it? Will it be another reboot?

I'm kinda dead on Transformers nowadays. I never thought the day would come.

BUT

It's not that I'm burned out with them - nope. I'm just feeling like ...I'm still waiting to find out what happened to all the heros from the last series... I guess what I'm really bummed about is the amount of reboots.

Independent of which of them were better and which worse - just the fact that there is no longer a straight continuity bothers me. Yeah, I understand abstractions like the whole "multi-verse" theory... I guess... but... still...

I dunno.

What else can they do here?

I wish there were some character driven Transformers stories.

Recently they've been totally focused on the archetype - on Transformers as a theme, and on archetypical characters who keep "doing their thing" - sometimes better sometimes worse - over and over and over.

I miss the days when Transformers had some in continuity traction.

Meaning I miss Marvel comics :)

Pete

the equivalent in the TF Fandom of the old man sitting on the porch saying "I remember when..."

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With the exception of the Beast Wars tie-in late in season 1 (or was it early season 2?), Marvel comics was the only TF media to have actual continuity with G1. Since then, Animated, although another reboot, has been the only series to make a blip on my radar.

As for the next TF show:

Want

  • A show based on the Classics line.
  • A continuation of Animated.
  • A modern G1 remake.
  • A GI Joe Resolute-style TF show. :ph34r:

Don't Want

  • Another Japan-written TF show. (They can animate it, but please don't write it.)
  • A movie tie-in show. (Animated Megatron was already too movie-esque for me.)
  • CG used for the TFs.

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Are people here familiar with the new G1-based series from IDW?

I think the designs are the right mix of movie and classics where this should be the future, both for a cartoon and the toy line.

http://www.idwpublishing.com/news/article/803/

http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/2009-0...nsformers_N.htm

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IDW's art has its moments, but their writing and editing are absolutely god awful. I finally got myself to the point where I refuse to buy another IDW book ever. All Hail Megatron was the absolute worst dreck I have ever stupidly bought. I'll gladly take Dreamwave's WarWithin stuff, even tho Pat Lee was a crook any day over the crap IDW's put out.

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Yeah but that's because Warwithin was written by Simon Furman, who actually has a clue about Transformers and G1...

See... my problem is I'm still really waiting and wanting a continuation of THOSE stories. And you know...I don't mean "continuation" in a linear sense. I understand the time line - if I can even use such a term with regard to TF - is screwed majorly. But there is still much that can be done. There are some great great characters that were built up with interesting character arcs that could concievably be continued.

But instead of characters with rich histories and a broadening panorama - we just get more and more servings of the basic Transformers premise served up over and over and over..

You know what I want?

I want a cartoon that spoofs Bogart films and stars Nightbeat as the main hero. Have Optimus Prime be some distant icon that we see on somebody's wall as a framed poster. Have some of those great characters that Bob Budiansky wrote...

oh...

there I go again...

I used to be a lot more open minded towards new series. Seriously. I wasn't a G1 purist until pretty much ROTF rolled around at which point I just said forget it. That's the last time I'm going on the "reboot" ride... not that I saw that movie...that's probably the only movie whose trailer made me think "No. I'd rather spend the money on kitty litter."

The toys helped...

oh..but...whatever...I'm ranting again :)

I didn't mean to go all negative. I try to say positive things only... I know people like ROTF...somewhere...hm...

But yeah...so... There's much they could do with the line...

I'm curious to see which way it goes.

But as far as I'm concerned - the only thing that excites me anymore are reissues, reprints of old comics and re-editions of old DVDs... :)

I'm old.

Pete

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I'd like to see the next TF series be in the Animated universe. Animated is the only TF cartoon I've liked since G1. I'm still kind of bitter that it had to be killed just to make a little extra room for Bay's movie Transformers. At the very least they could have just put Animated on hold until the movie stuff subsided. Generally speaking, kids loved Animated, fans loved it, the toys seemed to be a hit, the artists and writers loved working on it and it showed. There was enough material for at least a few more seasons before any staleness would set in. But no, they couldn't keep it because Devastator's balls needed more room to swing around. *sigh*

I guess I'm ambivalent about what comes next. I'm still so stuck on Animated that if it's not in that universe and style I'll probably have a hard time caring much. If the new series is related to the movie TFs in any way, I'll just avoid it completely.

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IDW's art has its moments, but their writing and editing are absolutely god awful. I finally got myself to the point where I refuse to buy another IDW book ever. All Hail Megatron was the absolute worst dreck I have ever stupidly bought. I'll gladly take Dreamwave's WarWithin stuff, even tho Pat Lee was a crook any day over the crap IDW's put out.

I guess we disagree. I recently read ALL of the IDW comics in pretty much one sitting (well, over the course of a week of so, but you get the idea) and overall enjoyed it (except for Hearts of Steel, which I thought was poorly written and illustrated, and a couple separate issues here and there), never having read any IDW stuff before. I think Simon Furman's stuff reads MUCH better all at once, rather than with a month or multiple months between issues.

I also read the Dreamwave stuff right afterwards (even though I know it came out first) and, while the art was decent (except Pat Lee... never liked his art, but since I heard about how he ripped off the people working for his company, it has really tinged my view of his creative work even more negatively), I thought the writing was just terrible for the most part, with the exception of a couple specials and War Within.

Overall, I've liked Simon Furman's writing for both companies, and Don Figuroa's art for both companies.

I don't know, I'm optimistic for the new series and curious to see what this Universe chronology thing does with the whole timeline.

Regardless of any of the above though, I still say that I really like what I've seen of the new designs for the characters in the links I provided above, and think that this would be the most successful path for Hasbro to pursue, both with a cartoon and accompanying toys as, I think, movie aesthetic fans will find something to appreciate, G1 fans will likely appreciate the less-silly updating of those characters, and it isn't visually so complex as to turn off kids who liked animated (and for us adults who liked animated, well, it's over, so whatever comes next will be different somehow).

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With me - I once agreed with your line of thinking in terms of poseability. I thought - heck - these G1 toys can't pose at all. It seemed that good Transformers really started with...
Which other transformable robot toys of 84' - 87' of the same price range, did feature immensely better articulation ? Also, G1 84/85/86 toys did feature some really nice chrome app details, rubber wheels & diecast parts.

2) My introduction to Macross goods produced by Yamato, and then to Gundams and other fine quality Japanese mecha and figures. These taught me that Transformers were truly inferior toys in every imaginable way possible.
Well, that's because Yamato has the luxury to focus on a handful of variants, of basically the same robot/jet mold (which have a fairly simple transformation scheme). There are a billion TF's with a billion different altmodes.

In fact - regarding this question of the toys not looking like the animation models... call me crazy - but to me - they do. To me, G1 Optimus Prime looks closer to the animation model then Henkei Prime. G1 Megatron actually looks closer to the animation model than Henkei Megatron. Lots of the Henkei/Classic designs are actually not very faithful to the animation models and take extreme liberties. And even those that don't...they still...well... they just lack something. It's hard to put into words...
Those are some bad examples, because Classics Megatron is of course, not allowed to mirror an actual Walther P38 anymore.

All the Classics/Henkei Seekers do a better job at representing their cartoon counterparts than their G1 toy versions. It's not a golden rule though. Personally, I prefer G1 toy Prime & Megatron over their Classics versions too. But hey, that's what the Masterpiece versions are for - How come you don't like those ?

About the 'new vs old' debate : I like both new & old. From 84' G1 to current ROTF.

There's no ROTF 1/48 F22 Starscream model kit coming up, but I do love the current voyager version as much, if not more than my Universe 2.0 Starscream, and I'm looking forward to the ROTF Leader version of Starscream.

Edited by knoted

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But hey, that's what the Masterpiece versions are for - How come you don't like those ?

Simple. As you said - there are "billions" of Transformers. Part of what makes Transformers fun is that you have tons of robots, all with different personalities and abilities. Now, as much as I appreciate the level of detail that Masterpiece presents they are...ironically...not very good in terms of playability. I like making comics with my Transformers toys and having adventures with them. And it just doesn't work with Masterpiece. It's a task to transform them back and forth - and there range is so limited in terms of how many characters there are. I'll probably be like 90 by the time there are at least 10 different MP characters - and by then I'll be even less able to play with them :)

Now - I realize this is kind of a cop out, since the modern toys are more poseable than G1, and thus more "playable" and yet still simple in terms of transformations...and here I am critiquing MPs for lacking what the modern toys I also don't like have but...

I guess in the end I just am overwhelmed by all the different TF lines and varients - and as I said above - I just made a choice: one line, for consistency's sake - and that line is G1 - where I have a huge variety of characters, good playability, sometimes better sometimes worse poseability, and also the nostalgia factor.

There's no ROTF 1/48 F22 Starscream model kit coming up

Maybe not - but apparently it is under consideration.

Pete

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I'll probably be like 90 by the time there are at least 10 different MP characters - and by then I'll be even less able to play with them :)

With a Seeker mold already in existence? I doubt it'll take that long. :p

Let's see...

Optimus Prime, Naked Ultra Magnus, Megatron, Grimlock, Starscream, Skywarp, Thundercracker... 7 already, and the seeker mold has 3 more repaints to go!

Any opinions on the upcoming Device Label figures?

I think they're kinda awesome, but grossly overpriced.

The flash drives mainly, since they're almost PRACTICAL(I would TOTALLY buy Ravage if he made it out at something resembling a realistic price).

Blaster shoulda been an MP3 player. And a better one than Soundwave was.

With CompactFlash memory cards, so there's actually room to make "tape bots" out of dummy cards.

He looks good, though. But as a USB hub, he'd probably be snared in wiring.

The mice are failures. Incredibly ugly, and a wired peripheral that you aren't likely to want to remove from your PC(even if the USB cable DOES detach).

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