Alternators vs Binaltech | A few questions

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Incepticon, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Incepticon

    Incepticon Double Agent

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    Hey folks -

    First off, I'm terribley sorry if any of my questions have already been asked & answered a million times over by now. I'm not new to Transformers (been collecting them for over 20 years now), but I'm new to these forums and have yet to start picking up the Alternator and/or Binaltech lines... hence me needing some advice/feedback/help/whatever regarding them.

    So here are my questions:

    1. It seems that no one can agree which line is better in way of quality & price. For every person that has told me that Binaltech is where it's at because they're made of diecast and generally look better, I have someone else telling me that they only look good in vehicle mode for display purposes and do not hold up or pose as well as robots due to them being top heavy... whereas the the Alternators are much more poseable due to them being made of plastic, although less impressive to look at.

    So out of those of you who may have some figures from BOTH lines, what's your opinion on this? Is investing in the more expensive Binaltech worth for the collector factor, or should I save the bucks and get Alternators because they are essentially just as good?

    2. Do all the Binaltech designs have the driver's side on the right hand side? And yes, before you ask, it actually does kind of make a difference to me :)  I'm Canadian, which means I grew up with the North American versions of TF that were based in the USA, so it might bug me more than I should probably admit that their steering wheels would be on the "wrong" side, hehe.

    3. I always read in Binaltech reviews how Takara uses real rubber tires for their designs... like it's some sort of rare big deal. So what does that mean for the Alternators? No rubber, just plastic or something?

    I think those are the main queries I have. Of course if there are any details you can think of that I haven't touched on, please let me know.

    And thanks to anyone who takes the time to answer these questions.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    I have 5 BTs and 24 Alts. Both are a lot of fun, but the Alts are cheaper, which is my deciding factor. I worry about the BT's paint chipping, but the hefty feel to them adds something for me. For the record, I have the BT figures that weren't released as Alts- Yellow Tracks, Zoom Zoom, Undercover Prowl, BT* Alert, and BT* Broadblast. Try one of these first to see if you want the rest of the line.
    I think that they all have the steering on the right. Of course, even here in the States it was possible to get a right hand drive Silverstreak.
    Both lines feature rubber wheels, IIRC.

    Hope that helps!

    -Tony!
     
  3. Sidecutter

    Sidecutter Evil Dealer Scum TFW2005 Supporter

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    In response to #1, I have the Binaltech versions of everything released on both sides that was more or less identical in both lines, the Binaltechs that were not released as Alternators, and the Alternators that were not released as Binaltechs. The only pieces I skipped were the extra three Smokescreen variants - I purchased just one of him as BT-01 with the #7 markings.

    I have *not* had prolems posing them due to supposed "top heavy" issues related to the die-cast. A level surface makes a big difference here, though. There are certain overlooked design points on both sides of the fence. For instance, the Impreza mold's arm attachments improved over it's uses to be sturdier, IMO, on the later Alt versions of the mold. By comparison, the shoulderpads on Alt Prime are very prone to popping off, whereas these joints are secured with a fastener on the Kissplay release (ignoring the lack of die-cast there and lumping Kissplay with BT).

    I've also personally found the paint jobs to be more detailed on the BT releases, though of course paintwork is a matter of personal taste.

    As far as durability, my BT Silverstreak took a tumble off the top of my display bookshelves and did a six foot long grind down the wall behind it, with his hood rubbing all the way. When I retrieved him and rubbed off the paint-rub that had come off the wall, his arms and a leg had detatched at the ball joints, but the paint is almost invisibly scuffed in one tiny spot on the hood's corner, much smaller than the area of rubbing on the wall. I call that pretty darn durable.

    To item 2, I can only say that not ALL the steering columns are on the "wrong" sides by American standards. generally, the steering is accurate to the model, if that model isn't sold in Japan with a right-hand drive. IIRC, for instance, the WRC Smokescreen has the steering on the left, since it's modeled on a Western-style rally car, versus Silverstreak, who has it on the right, being a civilian vehicle sold that way in Japan.
     
  4. PrimeConvoy

    PrimeConvoy ShickaBAM!

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    I've collected Alts the entire time until recently i decide to get 2 from the BTA line. while they are nice to look at with the paint apps and have that hefty feeling to them, the cost issue and personaly i find them to be less playability and thats mainly casue I am afraid to chip the paint or damage it, but I'm like that with all my die-cast figures. Alts still are just as great and some do have paint and decal apps and I live in Canada and although the dollar is strong, it's still pretty price you'll pay. The 2 I have cost me around 100 CAD with shipping and for what i paid for them i could of get 3 even 4 Alternators. It really kinda depends on how you plan to treat them as well. I display but I transformer them a fair bit couple times a week. There also a lot more Alts out there to to pick from.
     
  5. Megatronwp38

    Megatronwp38 Megatron? Is that you!?!?

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    Well, I have every BT release and every alt release. The alternators are Great for the display versions. Easier to transform because you are not afraid to chip the paint. They display better because their lesser weight doesn't stress out the joints and make them become loose over time as much.

    BTs are great for someone who is going to "play" with them minimally. In fact mine are mostly still in their boxes. They just look more like real model cars with their die-cast weight and actual paint over the whole body. BTs are generally more realistic i guess. Just look at BT skids vs Alt Skids, or the fact that there is no gaudy decepticharge in the BT line. I have always though that the BT's = Classy and the Alternators = Economy.

    Truth be told, neither is perfect and neither is better then the other. They both have issues. My biggest pet peeve with the Alternators is the fact that the molded color plastic rarely ever matches. Look at alt prime, Alt Meister, those are the two that bug me most.


    They both have rubber tires : )


    Personally, if you want to get into Binaltech I suggest getting those 1st over the alternators since the line does not exist anymore. They seem to bet getting harder to find and prices are going up.

    KISS Player does not = BT. It's pretty disturbing to me and from now on I am all alternator. The draw for me to the Japanese counterparts was in fact the Die-cast which is now gone.


    As for right hand drive..I looked and these have left..The rally wrc smokescreen, Grimlock, tracks, hound, swindle, ravage, sideswipe, deadend, wheeljack...pretty much all American cars that are not sold in japan i guess. Now you could, and I do have, the right had drive Alt version of silverstreak and the left hand drive. somehow we got two :D 
     
  6. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Alternators and Binaltechs both have rubber tires.

    The only BT/BTA toys with the steering wheel on the right are Japanese models (excluding Smokescreen, who is a rally model used in Western countries), namely:
    Streak
    Meister (white and red)
    Overdrive
    Laserwave
    Prowl (police and blue)
    Alert
    Skids
    Broadblast

    The initial release of Alternators Silverstreak also had the steering wheel on the right. Later shipments had the steering wheel on the left instead.
     
  7. WhiteMocha

    WhiteMocha TFW2005 Supporter

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    I have all the Binaltechs and a handful of Alts. I have to say, I think overall the Binaltechs are better, though I'm not sure if they're worth the high premium. Here's the figures I think are worth owning in Binaltech, and the reasons why (I'm leaving out the ones like Broadblast and Alert that are ONLY available in Binaltech, for obvious reasons):

    Smokescreen: the metallic paint looks MUCH better than the Alternator version, and if you get Smokescreen GT it comes with a shoulder missile launcher
    Sideswipe: the red plastic Hasbro uses is pretty transparent, so the metal version just looks classier without light showing through it
    Overdrive (Alternator version is called "Windcharger"): Again, the red plastic issue.... plus he comes with a much better weapon (Hasbro's is neutered into some sort of stun gun versus a big rifle), has a nicer head sculpt, and according to BWTF.com uses stronger plastic in the legs. This is a DEFINITE "Binaltech is better" case.
    Prowl: He's lacking the decoration of the Alt version, but he uses a classier-looking charcoal-grey plastic for details instead of the Alt's strange blue-grey
    Meister (who's really Jazz): Hasbro's white plastic and unpainted side mirrors look cheap... the pearl white, metal-flecked paint of the Binaltech release looks much nicer
    Optimus Prime: odd case.... the KISS Optimus isn't actually metal, but it still looks much better than the Hasbro version. Its red plastic is painted so it's not transparent, and it has extra chrome and silver paint apps. It's pricey, though, and the somewhat pervy packaging turns some people off.

    Here's the ones that I would think probably don't matter so much... the versions are similar, so you might as well go with the cheaper plastic Alt versions:

    Hound
    Blue Tracks
    Swindle
    Shockblast (Shockwave)
    Battle Ravage
    Dead End
    Silverstreak
    Grimlock
    Wheeljack


    Next, here are a couple that have such radically different paint schemes between the Alternator and Binaltech releases, that it's really just best to decide which scheme you prefer and go with that one:

    Sunstreaker: Metal version is almost all yellow and black, while plastic version has red upper arms to mimic the G1 toy, and silver forearms. The plastic version also has black racing stripes in car mode, which look great. Personally I got both and mized and matched the pieces to suit my taste.
    Skids: Metal version is metallic true blue (lighter color), while plastic version is dark navy blue and has flame decals on the side (plus different paint apps on the legs)

    Finally, here are the figures that are ONLY available in one of the lines:

    Alternators: Ricochet, Swerve, Camshaft, Mirage, Rollbar, Nemesis Prime, Decepticharge
    Binaltech: Broadblast, Alert, Blue Prowl, Yellow Tracks, Red Meister

    As for steering wheel, the following BT releases have the steering wheel on the righthand side: Meister, Skids, Broadblast, Silverstreak, Alert, Overdrive, Shockblast, Prowl, and Blue Prowl. Essentially, the Japanese cars. The American ones have left-hand drive... as does, oddly, Binaltech Smokescreen (probably because it was based on a specific real-life race car).

    All Alts have lefthand drive as far as I know.

    Phew! Anyhow, I hope that is helpful! Welcome to the world of Binalternators.... I love 'em (as is probably obvious), they got me back into Transformer collecting as well! Each one is a small work of art! :)  If any of the info above is wrong, anyone feel free to correct me!
     
  8. WhiteMocha

    WhiteMocha TFW2005 Supporter

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    I didn't know about the two shipments different of Silverstreak! Good to know about that steering wheel thing (though I don't mind which side it's on).

    EDIT: Oh, shoot, sorry. First double post, dang it. My apologies. :( 
     
  9. Book of Junon

    Book of Junon Banned

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    Alternators in my opinion are way better. They are:

    #1 Cheaper to purchase.
    #2 Not made with flimsy paint that chips very easily and...
    #3 Did I mention they were cheaper?
     
  10. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Should be the one with the biggest differences between both versions amon the ones you mentioned, what with the remolded neck and painted vs. unpainted head:

    http://www.cosmicrust.com/toys/binaltech/wheeljack/pages/BTvsAlt08.html
     
  11. godsenddeath

    godsenddeath . TFW2005 Supporter

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    Neither line has a monopoly on quality control.

    On Binaltech, it started to slip as early as Grimlock, by the time it got to Prowl it was a case of poorly fitted mirrors. When it came to BTA Alert, some of them didn't even line up properly in vehicle mode.... Strangely enough Takara decided to ship the BTA line in Robot mode.

    As for Alts, common problems are missing/wrong parts, (such as some having
    two left or right hands, no weapons and even no head) Loose joints are not uncommon either.
     
  12. spyderbytez

    spyderbytez ALTERNATOR FANATIC TFW2005 Supporter

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    If price isnt an issue.. collect ALL of them from both lines! :) 

    However.. for the price of a binaltech figure.. you could have 1 open alt for display and one misb alt of each for you collection. That was the reason i went with mostly alts.. i do have some of the binaltechs that wernt released as alts also - just to have every figure/character made in the lines.

    Also there are "Metal Transforms" that are knock offs of these lines which are diecast and offer more paint variants of the already released bots.
     
  13. Optimus Scourge

    Optimus Scourge Arcee's boy toy Veteran

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    I have every Alt to date and I own a few BT's and all the BT/BTA variants that were not made as Alts as metioned above. (except the Smokescreen repaints)

    This also bears the question: do you want to keep them sealed or open them?

    I like the heft of the die-cast, and the eye candy paint, but to me it's better suited to MISB collecting or vehicle mode display in my opinion. There are only a few cases where the BT robot mode is more eye-pleasing, like Nevermore pointed out with the wheeljack head. I have a BT04 Hound I got when he came out and he seems wobbly or "top-heavy" compared to the alt version I have. The paint is nice, but if you want to transform them, You have to be ever so carefull not to scratch the paint. My #7 BT Smokescreen is chipped from about three of four times being transformed. :( 

    In a perfect world I'd love to have one of each, but the cost of alts being much cheaper and readily availible at retail (for the most part - I've only had to ebay a couple) this price difference was the deciding factor for me. (not to mention much easier to replace if you break one...)
    And if the steering wheel thing bothers you, than you may want to go with alts, anyway.
    Good luck with your quest.
     
  14. freezowave

    freezowave Well-Known Member

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    I love them both, and have each and every one from both lines. I love the BT's for the metal, the paint, and the real car finish. I love the Alt's because I feel they are more playable. However I have played with all of my BT's a fair amount, and none show any real signs of wear.

    Personally between the 2 I prefer the BT's because they have more of a model quality to them, and have never really steered away from real street decoes (hello Alt. Prowl, Riccoshit, D-Charge), and I think they go just one step further on the little details.

    People bitch about the costs, but realistically you can get most BT's for a pretty good price. Especially since the aftermarket prices on Alt's is so out of hand.

    Either way you are getting IMO some of the best TFormer product ever made. Enjoy bothe while still around.
     
  15. artiepants

    artiepants Just over here punching Unicron.

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    i heartily endorse this post.

    I've almost every BT and varient, though, because of the diecast and all over paint ~ it looks specatacular in most cases.
    i always found the paint chipping complaint to be blown comepletely out of proportion (but, i have had a couple on 2 BTs), where as the unique alts ive bought have suffered some pretty serious problems with extremely loose joints ~ Decepticharge can barely stand and hardly hold his gun up ~ or snap together very well ~ i thought i was going to break Rollbar in half getting his waist to peg together ~ and have a generally flimsy feel do to the thin plastic body panels...

    they just look and feel SOOOOOOOOOO much better to me. plus, Diecast just says 1984 :) 

    EDIT: and welcome to the boards, Inception
     
  16. seven

    seven RIP Poopers 4-1993/5-2008

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    If you're referencing the decal or what not on Alt Skids, thats a factory/dealer accessory.

    Personally I stick with Alts because I'm poor. I've never had any defects other than Richochet had some extra plastic left over on the inside of his leg from the manufacturing process that I just had to cut off.

    The only BTs I've wanted to get was Yellow tracks and almost Dead End (and thats only because a local comic shop has him, but for $70)
     
  17. WhiteMocha

    WhiteMocha TFW2005 Supporter

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    D'oh! You're right!!! You know, I wish I could claim that I just forgot about that, but the fact is I never really knew about it. I remember hearing somewhere about the longer neck on the Binaltech version, but I never noticed the painted/unpainted head thing. And the stupid thing is, that's one of the figures that I own both versions of.... but I keep the Alt in vehicle mode, so I never see his head.

    Thanks for educating me! :eek: 
     
  18. artiepants

    artiepants Just over here punching Unicron.

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    to be fair (and this is something i've never quite understood) due to poor distribution and what not, it seems like several of the 'rarer' alts that were available in both lines go for more than their BT buddies on the secondary market...
     
  19. freezowave

    freezowave Well-Known Member

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    Decal is a factory add-on, but the rainbow/sparkle window tint certainly is not.
     
  20. Vader

    Vader Well-Known Member

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    I have some Binaltech and almost all Alternators. The Binaltech is beautiful but the Alternators are more playable. If I have to choose just one line, I would choose Alternators. If money is not an issue, I would collect both.
     

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