A Different Sequel to TF: Prime

Discussion in 'Transformers Cyberverse and Cartoon Discussion' started by RobotKnight95, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Anthony Hopkins with a submachine gun. 'Nuff said!

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    The show is partially to blame for why the toyline was so disjointed. Characters got killed off before their toys ever hit shelves, the show was so poorly run that they couldn't implement beast hunters properly, and so much effort went into the First Edition figures that really should have just been put back into the actual main line since with only one or two exceptions, the First Editions are far superior to the PRID counterpart figures - this is in part also to blame on the show because Cliffjumper's FE is a great figure and he's got a collective full season presence of less than one full episode!

    It also should be noted that some of the line's best figures were of characters who never appeared in the show. You'd be hard pressed to believe that Knock Out's toy and PRID Rumble were valued the exact same, since the former is extremely light and hollow, while the latter is a well designed little package that is only hollow in the areas necessary to hide robot parts in vehicle mode.

    They didn't decide RID was better, because RID was an emergency thing they literally threw together to keep Transformers at retail after the failure of Prime.

    You're completely overlooking the economic situation of the time period. Gas/oil prices were surging around the end of the 2000s and combined with even the loss-leader retailers having to raise prices to be more in line with MSRP, Hasbro in turn had to cut costs in production to be economically efficient as well.

    Oh, no, Prime's toyline didn't do well at ALL.
     
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  2. Super4Ever

    Super4Ever Well-Known Member

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    @Autobot Burnout Very interesting, around me those figures flew off shelves. Guess it was a regional thing.
     
  3. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    Lot of misconceptions and lack of understanding at play here.

    See, we are not actually Hasbro's customers. Retailers are Hasbro's customers. That is is who they sell to, that is who pays them. They are the proxy between us and the manufacturer, but the ones that ultimately perform the transaction that gets Hasbro paid. Moreover, Hasbro is a public corporation, meaning it is owned mostly by shareholders. People that neither care nor even know about the idiosyncrasies of the actual product. And Hasbro's boss? Not us, not Goldner, not even retailers. Shareholders.

    You're absolutely right in one regard, the dollar is king. But you don't realize where or from whom that dollar is coming. Because it's not you, and it's not me. Not directly. And a global corporate conglomerate like Hasbro is too multi-tiered and shareholder-driven to offer the kind of consumer recognition you think they should. Hasbro is not a person, it's not even a collection of people working with the same goal. It is a company run by multiple individuals with multiple goals and owned for the most part by shareholders and sharing companies and people who have no interest or knowledge of the company's workings beyond the fiscal.

    "Quality" is subjective. It always has been, and it's even more so to the people who ultimately call the shots. (those pesky shareholders trying to make bank, the rascals) To the people who matter, to the people who keep Hasbro in the black year after year, quality means cheaper product sold at a higher price. How do they make it cheaper? How do they determine the price? How do they actually sell this product under these dichotomous restraints? The entities making these demands don't care, they just want to make some fucking money. And if Hasbro can't do that for them, they could always just sell their shares and reinvest elsewhere.

    You have no idea how little you and the plastic toys you purchase actually mean to the people in power here. The people who own shares of a company. Ever seen any movie or TV show where fatcat investors sit back and throw up a stink to their stock brokers whenever a number on their screen drops below a certain point, and you never even find out what they're actually invested in? That's what this is. Cutthroat business. The people making our toys smaller and more expensive probably couldn't even spell Optimus Prime if pressured. Because they're also invested in a hundred other businesses and corporations with their own struggles and minutia. There's nothing personal or communicative about any of it. They don't care. Then, because the world is such a wonderful place, throw in a tonne of other mishaps and restrictions and economic hurdles.

    You ever wonder why after the gas prices went back down following their stark rise around 2011/12-ish, the toy quality didn't leap back up to where it had been? You think "well, gas prices going up made our toys more expensive to make and sell, going down should bring them back to normal!" That ain't how this game works. There's no un-fucking once fucked, because as soon as Hasbro was able to adjust their model to fit those extreme circumstances and still manage a generate a stable profit in spite of it, what makes you think these disassociated shareholders and investors would ever let Hasbro a just their profit margin back down from that? For the sake of simplicity, say Hasbro makes a 50% profit margin on toys pre-2011. Then gas prices go up by 50%, forcing Hasbro to maintain that 50% margin even though the toys are 50% more expensive to make. Even once that cost goes down, Hasbro is not staying at 50%. They have to go to 60%, because shareholders don't want a steady stream of income, they want ever increasing profits and shares. And clearly Hasbro can manage, after all they handled the gas spike, no? Well that's what the shareholders think. They don't know that Hasbro only managed to keep profits green by cutting back substantially on figure quality. This is basically a hyper-simplistic example of one of the many facets of inflation. A bigger piece of an ever shrinking market. Insisting on more even though there's only ever going to be less. Gas prices, demographics, sales hurdles, a shrinking toy market in favour of devices and video games. All things that cut into that profit margin and demand instant response. That's why 3p companies get away with so much. They aren't beholden to any of the laws or investors Hasbro is. They answer only to their own higher-ups, which actually have somewhat of a personal stake in the company and its products.

    And this is all just what I know. There's so many more facets and intentionally obtuse information and rules to this 'game' that 99% of the public is not privy to, but it all boils down to the same idea: Hasbro, as a public company, is beholden to both the customer and shareholders, two mutually-exclusive parties that want the exact opposite thing. One wants higher quality product at a lower price, one doesn't give a shit about quality and just wants a higher price and therefor higher profits.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  4. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland

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    This needs to be attached as mandatory reading to the first post of every thread in the toy section.
     
  5. RobotKnight95

    RobotKnight95 Unamused and Insane

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    Just to add something to Burnout's point about the Prime toyline here's a few things.
    1) Prime only aired on the Hub for the North American audience and not everyone has access to cable in order to view the channel. Not only that why go to a channel exclusive to a toy company when there's CN, Nickelodeon, and Disney. So even if there were toys fewer likely saw the show they were attached. Compare that to Animated or Rid that air on CN and more kids have access to the show and thus will want to buy the toys.
    2) The show blew its budget causing production costs thus the second and main line of toys (PRID) were made more cost effective. For the most part this worked but at the same time you had characters that either didnt have enough screen time or didnt appear at all in the show given toys. Cliffjumper, Skyquake, Thundertron, Hot Shot, Kup, Prowl, etc. as well as the BH remolds.

    And just to somewhat abridge one of Split's points here's the issue every media production has. Artists want to bring their vision to life and aren't concerned about cost or selling merchandise. You can affiliate this with the Prime staff or the storyboard and art teams specifically. Craftsmen want to make a great product based off the artist's interpretation and need tools. This would be the toy designers and show animators. Last is the businessman who wants to make a profit off the artist's vision and is concerned about cost of supplies. This is Hasbro. All three groups hate each other given that they have different goals. Artists want to tell a story, Craftsmen want to bring quality, and Businessmen want to make money. Prime's development and maintenance brought these three groups at each other's throats due to the conflicting demands and needs.
     
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  6. Ruizu1990

    Ruizu1990 I'm a girl, not a boy.

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    Your enthusiasm is admirable, but Autobot Burnout is correct. It's not going to make any difference.

    I liked Prime too, but I've accepted it's pretty much done and dusted now. RIP Prime.
     
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  7. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    In terms of tone, premise, and visual style I was actually fine with RID as a sequel to Prime. I thought it fit the universe pretty nicely, I have no problem seeing it as a continuation. I also have no problem with the lighter tone.

    My main problem with RID is that the storytelling wasn't nearly as good or interesting. It wasn't terribly bad, but it left very little lasting impression on me. I remember a good amount from RID's first season, but the second and third seasons have almost completely vanished from my mind (and I only watched it a year or so ago). I watched TFP half-a-decade ago, and I still remember most of the storylines from that show.
     
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  8. SilverOptimus

    SilverOptimus Movie News Monster Moderator News Staff

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    I wouldn't put a blame on the TF: Prime Staff. They initially set out to do their own thing. So was Highmoon who wanted to do a prequel game to G1 (Seriously, check out their initial interviews. They actually state this.). Halfway though the process Hasbro announced the Aligned Continuity and wanted to join the new content together. This led to a conflict. Highmoon agreed reluctantly but Prime staff was disappointed. Aligned Continuity would have been a success if all the content started from square one. But that was not the case here.

    There were big plans for the Prime series. I was glad to know some of them but not sure of disclosing them here. Long story short, there's no need to cry over spilt milk now.

    Then Hasbro received letters from parents stating that Prime was too dark. Hence RID was born. In my opinion RID should have been its own thing rather than attaching itself to the end of the Prime. But this attachment may have come from the pressure of Prime fans demanding content.

    As far as I know, the Evergreen line is a "New Aligned Continuity". Lots of plans are being made and I heard that some of the plans will be showcased during Licensing Expo 2018. So that's exactly 2 weeks to go.
     
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  9. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Anthony Hopkins with a submachine gun. 'Nuff said!

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    I respectfully disagree. There was absolutely no reason for them do go completely against aligned even after Hasbro started trying to force everything in line. The Nemesis not being Trypticon isn't something that the episode itself actually goes against - no, that was the staff themselves going all out by insisting that in an interview. I wouldn't even be that pissed off about it if we actually got an ANSWER for why they didn't want this and what the hell the intelligence in the ship WAS as an alternative, but those idiots wouldn't ever come out to explain what the hell they'd been trying to do.

    Highmoon was able to make FOC work even with the more obvious forced changes (Optimus becoming Orion Pax in the past, Bumblebee being mute, etc.), but the Prime cartoon was just an absolute trainwreck because even disregarding what Hasbro tried to make them do, the show consistently went overbudget and the plotlines went NOWHERE. If it was a good show on its own, then I could overlook the fact it goes completely against everything else in Aligned, but even on its own merits it genuinely fails to tell a coherent and sensible story.
     
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  10. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    TFP staff is guilty as charged and there's no excuse for their missteps.

    Highmoon and all other Aligned creators did their own things and yet still DID follow guidelines and Highmoon even made all changes needed to their FoC.

    TFP creators went full special snowflake syndrome because they're oh-so-artistic and their show had no need to conform to anything.

    Except they were just hirelings working on somebody's else IP. They should shut the hell up and do as they're told.

    It never was high art to begin with.


    Of course part of the guilt is on Hasbro too, for not stepping in earlier to firmly force what had to be done.
     
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  11. Asher Tye

    Asher Tye Cassetticon

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    Makes me disappointed.

    I would have liked to see these ideas implemented. Oh well, maybe fodder for my own work then.
     
  12. RobotKnight95

    RobotKnight95 Unamused and Insane

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    Go for it, I say. We'll likely never see these concepts focused on so better to do the job yourself.
     
  13. Rumblestorm

    Rumblestorm Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I can't believe I am agreeing with you.
     
  14. YellowCorvette

    YellowCorvette Riko is still Best Girl

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    It's not really about the quality of the toys themselves that causes lackluster sales, and more of the disjointed appeareance of characters in the show with the show as the cause. Most of the characters featured in the Beast Hunters toyline didn't appear that way during the Beast Hunters arc, and some of the characters has already dead long before their own toys hit shelves (Prime Cliffjumper has some good toys, but some people just didn't find a reason to get those toys since Cliffjumper barely shows up in the show)

    That's not fair to generalize the entire RID toyline like that. Every single TF toyline has good toys and bad toys with no exception. Also, the majority of the RID Warrior class figures are pretty good figures, like Warrior Soundwave, Bisk, Thunderhoof and Starscream which is ironically more well received that some of the PRID figures like Knock Out and Airachnid despite came from a "Cheaper" toyline.

    As unbelievable as this sounds, Prime as a toyline didn't do all that great especially in Japan. I forget the source already, but I have read from somewhere that says that Prime as a show and a toyline (Renamed Arms Micron) performed so badly in Japan, Takara just straight up ended the show and the Arms Micron toyline abruptly to reduce the loss of money; Which is something Takara Tomy has never done before.
     
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  15. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Anthony Hopkins with a submachine gun. 'Nuff said!

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    For perspective, Takara not only ended Arms Micron at the end of the second season, but went so far as to develop half of an entirely new series with attached toyline - the other half being retooled Beast Hunters figures - called Transformers GO!, and that was seen as a more promising investment than actually letting the third season of Prime/Arms Micron simply exist.

    Like, Takara does some absolutely insane things (don't even try approaching the Japanese G1 continuity in terms of trying to understand it), but even they thought Prime was so garbage both in performance and content that they literally designed an entire toyline and series to avoid Beast Hunters and Predacons Rising.
     
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  16. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Indie Musician, Scumbag Jesus

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    People who can't let go of Prime and enjoy Robots in Disguise on its own merits are weak. Not that Prime was all that bad, it did get a lot like the Walking Dead has become. Just everyone is miserable all the time and everything sucks who dies next? Not anyone with plot armor.
     
  17. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Anthony Hopkins with a submachine gun. 'Nuff said!

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    Well the problem is that "plot armor" describes every single Autobot by the middle of the second season.

    Prime's failures are numerous, but one of the key failures is that there really wasn't any tension, there were no actual stakes to give a damn about. Even the season finales were undone completely because how dare the Decepticons ever get something GOOD happen to them.
     
  18. RobotKnight95

    RobotKnight95 Unamused and Insane

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    I know I've said it once but I'll say it again. This show was the purest form of Artists vs Businessmen. I mean the show makers' original vision was a G1 styled cast in terms of numbers with unique designs for every single character. There's no way Hasbro would agree to that given the show's budget. Even looking at the final product even though I enjoyed it anyone can see selling toys wasn't their intent which is a plus and minus. :/

    I full honesty I'd prefer if the show maker swallowed their pride and reused character models like the toys. I'm not saying they have to bring in the obvious Thundercracker and Skywarp but bring in that Dead End or a Flamewar. Hell get some of the VAs to voice two characters. If anything MLP:FiM showed having a small cast of voice actors performing multiple characters is possible.
     
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  19. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Anthony Hopkins with a submachine gun. 'Nuff said!

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    It seemed like the producers of Prime seemed to pay no heed to the idea of 'budget' by bringing in a ton of expensive people...which bit them in the ass down the line. But instead of just hiring sound-alikes or even inventing reasons in the show itself for voice changes (given Bumblebee's entire gimmick was, y'know, having a bad voicebox, it wasn't something outside of the show's purview even), they just killed off the characters wholesale. And then hired new people anyway for the exceptions like Cliffjumper showing up in the flashback.

    The show runners had NO experience actually producing a cartoon, which is why Prime sets its sights so high and falls so far from hitting them because at the end of the day, they had to make 22 minute episodes.
     
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  20. RobotKnight95

    RobotKnight95 Unamused and Insane

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    Yup. Executives are the bane of the production staff, be it cartoon, game, or any media.
     

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