Best and worst gimmicks?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by SaberPrime, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime Well-Known Member

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    So with the mixed opinions on the new Mechtech gimmicks I was wandering... what makes a gimmick good or bad to you other than the obvious... Gimmicks that hinder the playability of the toy.

    Or to put it another way, if the gimmick doesn't damage articulation in any way what other reasons are there that you personally hate it?

    To me me a good gimmick is something that adds to the toy enough so that you forget it's even a gimmick.

    A bad gimmick besides the obvious is when the gimmick is kinda pointless. And by pointless I mean if you loose the part that is suppose to trigger the gimmick or even disable the gimmick it doesn't ruin the overall playability of the toy.

    I can use the Armada line for a good example of this because the Mini-con gimmick came in 3 types.

    Type A. The most often seen, gimmicks that hinder articulation of the figure. See any of TJ's Plastic Addict reviews of Armada toys for examples of this.

    Type B. Gimmicks that don't hinder the figure but don't really add anything to them either. For example Starscreams cannons that in the show need his Mini-con to access them but on the toy you can pop them out some times without even trying.

    Type C. This was really only seen with Cyclonus because there are 4 Mini-cons specifically made for him. 1 that came with him and the other 3 came as their own little Mini-con team. But all 4 of them have a purpose as a new front to his helicopter mode. The one he came with looks the best but they all add a feature to his helicopter that he didn't already have without them and none of them hinder anything by being attached to him.

    Now I personally don't know what to think about Mechtech weapons because they don't really take away anything from a figure but I don't think they really add anything to them either. I don't have allot of them but of the ones I do have the only ones that really seem to matter are HA Roadbuster's engine and Megatron's gas tank/fusion cannon. I'm not sure the HA even counts because it doesn't have a transforming gimmick like the others bit it has a peg that fits into the mechtech ports so I'm counting it anyway.

    I think these are both kinda hit and miss gimmicks. Can't really say they're all bad, can't really say they're all good either.

    All this being said... I think I'd have to say that the worst Gimmicks are Spark Crystals. They literally add nothing to a toy. Energon Stars is a really bad gimmick because for toys they really do nothing even though I kinda like how they look they still don't do anything. Cyber Keys because you can trigger the gimmicks even if you loose your key as long as you have something that fits into the slot to press the button with. And I'm really a little annoyed with having to use a gimmick feature just to transform Primus. I love the mold but I wouldn't mind having a retool that can be transformed without the cyber key or Omega Lock. Human Alliance because really the humans do nothing. And Mechalive for the same reason Spark Crystals are a stupid gimmick.

    I guess these are more pointless gimmicks than bad gimmicks but that's just my opinion of what a bad Gimmick is. The only reason I'm steering away from Gimmicks that hinder the playability of a toy is because I already know everyone agrees they're bad so there's no real point in talking about something everyone knows.

    Anyway... My idea of good gimmicks... Combiners, Triple changers, Transmetals, and double agents.

    Yeah not allot of good gimmicks, mostly bad ones but there's allot I didn't list as good or bad because there's examples of both in the gimmicks I didn't mention.
     
  2. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Best Gimmick.

    Articulations, Cyber Keys and Certain Automorph's.

    Worst:

    MechTech on most, Mech Alive, Powerlinking and Titanium.
     
  3. Boy Blunder

    Boy Blunder Hasbrown'd

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    I would say those are all pointless gimmicks, except maybe the Cyber Keys, since they don't really add or detract from a given toy, honestly.

    I remember something that was said when Hasbro was working on the Animated line. I don't have the exact interview/panel where it was said, so I'm gonna quote TFWiki on this:

    'Unlike the franchises immediately before it, there is no overarching, line-wide gimmick (such as Mini-Cons or Cyber Planet Keys). Rather, transforming is the gimmick, and the toys have other special features unique and appropriate to the character (such as triple-changing or interchangeable tools).'

    I believe that's how TFs are done best, with gimmicks that apply only as necessary. Things like Automorph are cool, insomuch as that they might not be noticeable. As long as they're executed in a way that doesn't hamper the toy if the mechanism breaks (I'm looking at YOU, Classic Camaro Bumblebee), I'm all for it.
     
  4. wildfly

    wildfly Lasers, 8 O'Clock, Day 1.

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    A lot of ideas over the years had merrit, potential, even if they were executed poorly or just plain cheaply.

    Action Masters were a bad idea from the start.

    'Hmmm....no cartoon..... sales tapering off a bit....how can we kickstart the brand?'

    'How about Transformers that don't actually Transform!!!'

    'Great Idea!'

    When G.I.Joe started to take a downturn, it's a wonder they didn't introduce civilian figures.
     
  5. Kaiwera05

    Kaiwera05 Soundwave Enthusiast

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    Best gimmicks: Transformation, Articulation, Combining, good Triple-Changers.

    Worst Gimmicks: Cyber Keys, Minicons, Mechtech.
     
  6. Dolza_Khyron

    Dolza_Khyron Well-Known Member

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    worst gimmick? any gimmick that a toy is built around, like lights and sounds, mech alive, and automorph.

    best?

    any gimmick that doesn't effect the TOY at all, like the mechtech stuff. the only way it "effected" it was causing them to be a bit smaller, which i am ok with. other then that, don't like the mechtech stuff? don't use it! then you got the weapon clips. that's a pretty cool gimmick. swap weapons around, kind'a gives transformers that "gi joe" feel, with weapons being more interchangeable then they used to be, plus now you can have ironhide covered in weapons!
     
  7. Deszaras79

    Deszaras79 I ♥ Brickformers

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    Powermaster. Brainmaster. Headmaster.:bowdown: 
     
  8. Bountyan

    Bountyan Well-Known Member

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    I like combiners as a gimmick. For worst, I really hate Cyberkeys. I stay away from lots of Cybertron molds because of that gimmick alone.

    I never mention dead obvious stuff like articulation or transforming.
     
  9. Dolza_Khyron

    Dolza_Khyron Well-Known Member

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    then you've missed out on some DAMN awesome molds from that line. i mean that key gimmick was nothing more then a spring loaded trigger release.

    most of them it didn't effect the toy at all.

    i mean optimus prime's key ports are all on his "trailer" thus him, himself has no of that.

    and he's in my opinion, is the best optimus prime ever made.
     
  10. Underhead

    Underhead Zamboni-bot

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    The best gimmick is actionmaster obviously, which is why they got brought back as part of the revoltech toyline.
    But then again, I GREATLY prefer robot modes over any sort of alt mode.
     
  11. Pun-3X

    Pun-3X Well-Known Member

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    I thought Mech Alive was the best gimmick. It was just "there," as a feature that didn't hinder anything. If it wasn't all that great on one character, big deal. When it DID look good, it really brought the toy out.

    I've otherwise not been so impressed with any of the other gimmicks I've seen so far. Mech tech, cyberkeys, Minicon ports...anything that had a functionality, I did what I could to override it (removing parts, sanding down hook bits, or just throwing things out). Honestly, I'm pretty happy with the transformation gimmick that IS Transformers. Make the toy fun in all forms, add some weapons that aren't insanely crazy and I'm pretty happy.
     
  12. Incepticon

    Incepticon Double Agent

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    Aside from simply transforming at all being the best gimmick...

    Best
    - triplechangers
    - combiners

    Worst
    - head/target/powermasters
    - pretenders
    - cyber keys
    - minicons
    - mech tech
     
  13. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime Well-Known Member

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    I'd just like to point out...

    Articulation is not a gimmick. Articulation is being able to move joints and pose a figure.

    Transforming is in general not a gimmick. Transforming is in general the definition of the Transformers franchise.

    However NOT transforming is a gimmick.

    Transforming can be a gimmick under certain conditions. There are more than 2 modes on the toy (This especially counts if one mode looks like as TJ would describe it, a step in the Transformation that Hasbro just went "This looks like something, lets call it a mode" that is most defiantly a gimmick to sell more toys.) or the toy has accessories that transform.

    So basically a "gimmick" is anything that is limited to a specific toy line or character and is not something that is typical of the entire franchise.
     
  14. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    Best: Combiners, with multi-changers second and Headmasters/Powermasters tied for third. The Mega Pretender concept was pretty neat, too, as were certain Mini-Cons.

    Worst: Action Masters.
     
  15. motorhead9999

    motorhead9999 Well-Known Member

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    I really liked the headmaster gimmick, and even the target master gimmick as well.

    I was NOT a fan of the whole cyberkey thing, or the energon stars. Powerlinx to me was an interesting concept, but just the haphazard mixing of figures tended to just look random, instead of a cool cohesive combination.
     
  16. Transquito

    Transquito Reach For The Light TFW2005 Supporter

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    Best; Brainmasters

    Worst; Pressure launched projectiles.
     
  17. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime Well-Known Member

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    You mean these ones that are held in by a ball and clip and launch by pushing on the back of the missile rather than pressing a button? I actually like them because I never use the missiles anyway and they're less likely to be triggered during transformation.

    Anyway... I thought I'd put in my 2 cents on the whole Target/Head/Power Masters thing.

    They're kinda like Mini-cons when you think about it but worse. Some of the Mini-cons have weapon modes and not the combiner weapon teams. But they also have their own vehicle and robot modes unlike G1 Targetmasters who rely on the larger transformer for transport.

    I like the idea of a weapon mode to help give other transformers more fire power but not when that's their only function. I never use the robot mode at all when they're always being used as another character's gun. There's just not much use for the robot mode if the larger transformer rely on them as their only weapon. On the other hand target masters don't suffer as much if they're separated from their partners because a robot can still function without a gun.

    Headmasters I like a little better in terms of changing modes because they don't need to function as a head when the larger robot is a vehicle. But there is still a down side to this in that if a Transformer is for whatever reason separated from their head master, the headmaster can't transform anymore because his only alt mode is a head and the robot can't transform anymore because he doesn't have a head. So they're actually worse off in terms of being able to function.

    Power Masters have to be the best of the 3 in terms of functionality because if you loose a Power Master you're not loosing fire power or a head. But in terms of the Power Master himself it has the same problem as a Target master. There's no point in using it's robot mode because it's going to be attached to the larger robot almost always. And it can't do anything... really nothing. It's just a tiny robot or an engine? So it's not a head and it's not a gun. Not only does it not function for itself but I don't think it really functions for the larger robot either.

    Rollout who is a Mini-con can function on his own as a robot, a vehicle, a Headmaster, and a Targetmaster.

    I don't really get people who like the "Masters" but Dislike Mini-cons because they over all hinder the toy even more than the average Mini-con does. You don't loose any playability of toy if you separate a Mini-con from it's partner like you do when you separate a "Master" from it's partner. Except for Overload who doesn't have a head in robot mode without his Mini-con and sense he's a weapons trailer his vehicle mode doesn't even function without his Mini-con but that's not typical of the Armada toy line.

    I hesitate to call any of these good or bad because they're only really hindered if you loose the "Master" otherwise having them doesn't really limit what you can do with them. And while I will admit some Mini-con gimmicks do actually hinder the toys it's not typical of the entire toy line. (I have the entire toy line and some of the gimmicks are really good, others really suck.)

    So any of these can really be good or bad just depending on personal preference. Like before I mentioned not having a use for Targetmaster robot modes, that's mainly because I'll loose the Target master if I don't keep him attached to the figure it came with rather than not having a use for it. So it's just my preference.
     
  18. Transquito

    Transquito Reach For The Light TFW2005 Supporter

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    Aye that's the ones.
    I just hate them :lol 
     
  19. PHLeal

    PHLeal Active Member

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    Best: Does Lightpiping count? If not, combining

    Worst: Headmasters/Brainmasters, pretenders, gimmicks that take away articulation (armada hotshot, armada sideswipe, ROTF Leader megatron's murder arm)

    So-So : Missiles... I love the damned thingies, but I also hate when they fire accidentaly, or when I lose them... also, some launchers look really weird, for instance, ROTF Jetfire (a missile firing rotary cannon? really?)
     
  20. ex dtw2003

    ex dtw2003 Well-Known Member

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    Limited experience in gimmicks but here goes.

    Old: Headmasters, targetmasters. Of those, I liked headmasters.

    New: Automorph, mech alive, mech tech. Best to worst: Automorph, mech alive, mech tech.

    My issue with Mech tech is that big ass weapons just don't work for so many of the figures and alt mode storage is pretty ridiculous for almost all of them.

    Edit: Re: Combining. I had the original G1 constructicons and while the idea of combing was awesome, Devastator was a fragile mess. Look at him crosseyed and he'd fall over. :( 
     

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