Combiners,what approaches do like or dislike?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by NathanS, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. NathanS

    NathanS Well-Known Member

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    Personally, and this may be borderline hearsay but I'm not a huge fan of the scramble city approach. Well mixing up the limbs is a bit of fun the price of needing each limb member to be able to become a arm and a leg can really show in looks, especially in how the arm look connected.. And I find no amount fo chest plate can compensate for the long single block look look of the torso member. I find having at least two guys forming the body allows for it to look more like the body narrows after the shoulders and/or have better looking hips, and over all allows the connection to look far more solid.

    But that's just me. From what I understand lots really like the scramble city style.
     
  2. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    I think the most creative combinations for combiners that I have seen are those where the bots are more unique in terms of where they go. But ultimately, as long as it looks badass :) 
     
  3. bcm77

    bcm77 Well-Known Member

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    I like,

    The TFC approach
    ( Large scale, nicely articulated component bots with minimal partsforming. )

    The customiser approach
    ( The use of Unicron parts is a bit old now but they work well enough and there's been some great versions of all the major combiners. )

    I dislike,

    The official approach
    ( They're either too small or don't have proper transformations for all 3 modes. )
     
  4. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    The holy grail for combiner design, in my mind, is a team where the individual robots have good proportions and can stand alone as excellent toys, but also have an effective and dynamic looking combined form.

    It is something that is incredibly hard to achieve.

    I've seen combiners where the combined mode rocks, and the individuals suffer. I've seen teams of robots with great robot modes and a great combined mode - but vehicles that have not really hit the mark.

    I've seen all kinds of combiners - I truly love the gimmick of smaller robots forming a larger one so I've got every Transformer combiner and every Takara Brave series combiner as well. And honestly - I can't say that I prefer one approach over the other, because there is always a sacrifice involved to make it work, and all have their good points.

    If I had to pick on one style I really, really enjoyed, it would be some of the Brave combination schemes like Land Bison, where you have one bulky robot make the legs, one make the chest and head, and one more split up to make the arms (there's a fourth one whose main role is to link up the chest and the legs, I could make a joke about which bit he forms but there's no need).

    In other words, I like the inventive approach used by modern-ish designs, such as Rail Racer.
     
  5. Bountyan

    Bountyan Well-Known Member

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    I don't really mind mix and match. I don't like how they're starting to do stuff that only transform into limbs and not robots though. Also, I like how FP did Bruticus; there's combiner kibble (well there had to be for the official robots anyway) but it turned into accessories for all the smaller robots. I don't mind combiner kibble as long as it has a use other than just being a hand or an upper leg or a foot or a chest piece.
     
  6. Incepticon

    Incepticon Well-Known Member

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    I hated the Scramble City take on combiners. Just because the generic five-limb toys could do it, I don't think it should have been brought into the actual fiction.

    This is why I'll always like the Constructicons best. Six completely unique designs of equal size and uniform color merging together: they completely stand on their own compared to all the other five bot combiner teams. Well, expect the Predacons. I like that they too are five distinct designs of equal size and uniform color as opposed to having a giant torso bot that the four limbs randomly peg into.
     
  7. Takeshi357

    Takeshi357 "Research"

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    Dairugger XV. :D 

    Oh wait, that's not Transformers.

    Well, I still like the Scramble City style combiners, but personally, I like Devastator and Predaking and basically anyone whose components are roughly the same size.

    Landcross' bodyparts can be formed by anyone, can't they? Including the torso.
     
  8. Blot

    Blot Terrorcon

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    Same here. The giant leader (who's practically as big as the cobined mode) with little limb robots is ok, but definitely lacking. I will say though, I do like the Seacons' limbs target master ability.
     
  9. Xaddion

    Xaddion ...

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    Yeah, Rail Racer was an awesome looking combiner, but Midnight Run had these CRAAAAZY long legs which looked absolutely ridiculous in standard robot mode. They make the legs on Ultra-freakin-Magnus look tame in comparison.
     
  10. Brooticus

    Brooticus "You bred Raptors?"

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    I personally liked the Beast Wars combiner approach, whereby the the combination was totally unique to each team. While they weren't perfect, both Magnaboss and Tripredacus were solid action figures in their own right, and didn't suffer the same issues of combiners that have to confirm to a certain standard, such as the energon or Powercore combiners.
     
  11. NathanS

    NathanS Well-Known Member

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    Don't know much about Land Bison, but I do agree, Rail Racer is great. the only figure that feels noticeably weak for me is Midnight Express and his robot modes' big chunky legs. other then that each figer is really strong on their own and they form a great looking bot. And what do you know! No extra bits are needed!

    Seriously how have they taken such huge steps back on that? Puzzler was pulling that off back in 1985 for crying out loud!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  12. Dolza_Khyron

    Dolza_Khyron Well-Known Member

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    i liked the approach from the original combiner line, where you can combine any limbs with any torso. and i can't really call power core combiners, combiners as they won't really combiners, more of just little robots, with limb attachments. while it was a cool idea, it was poorly executed in most of the limbs. so i basically just left the pcc's in their robot modes on the shelf.

    i also like unique combining idea's. like the movie legends devastator. and takara's Brave line was pretty cool too. while they were not possible in any form, they did create really NICE unique combiners.

    i also always liked the "super mode" concept for the optimus prime's.

    while some of them were poorly executed, and poorly designed, others worked very well, like power master optimus prime, cybertron prime had TWO different transformers to combine with, and rotf combined pretty neatly with jetfire, even if he did become a giant brick afterwards, it still LOOKED cool.
     
  13. NathanS

    NathanS Well-Known Member

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    Yeah looking back in terms of quality BW-RiD was a high water mark for combiners. With Landfill perhaps being the best take on the "any of the limb bots can change places" to date. And even with my over all dilike of Scramble city style Ruination/Bruticus is perhaps he second best one, with Defensor edging him out for number one.

    Then we hit Energon.
     
  14. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I can sort of see the logic there, it's more economical to make and sell toys with the drones, Power Core style, than it is to make five unique robots. Less R&D needed. I think the Power Cores would have been received better as a concept by fans if the automorph was swapped for manual transformations allowing elbows and real hands.
     
  15. Bountyan

    Bountyan Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I would have liked PCC a lot more if the automorph gimmick wasn't there and the limbs were better.

    But hey, it seems to be one of the lines that aimed even more so at kids, so I can't complain too much.
     
  16. Billzilla

    Billzilla Skeptic

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    I think you mean heresy :) 

    Anyway, no, I agree with you. I think a lot of people do. I think that's why people generally dislike the G1 autobot combiners- they were ALL Scramble City. I mean, they have their fans I'm sure, but they seem generally less popular.

    On the other hand, looking back, as a kid I really dug the swappable limbs concept because I played with them and swapping limbs was a really easy storyline idea for a kid to come up with.

    Now, though, I don't really play with them. I admire them. I take them off the shelf and put them in cool poses and transform them when I'm bored, but I don't really set up big battle scenes where there's a story and stuff.. so I'm much more interested in their canon interpretations than any fun little stories that might be inspired by, I dunno.. Slingshot being brainwashed by the Stunticons and becoming a new arm for Menasor or something. Swappable limbs doesn't interest adult-me a bit, so- surprise surprise, Devastator and Predaking are my faves (although I do have a lotta love for Menasor for some reason).

    I haven't really been a fan of any of the universes where there were radically different transformation schemes like Magnaboss. Not to say I dislike them, only that my age and lack of any close younger relatives limited my exposure to later series', so I've really only read about them. They sound cool. I'd check them out if they tried it again.

    But as has been discussed much in this thread, Scramble City (and by extension, the Energon Combiner molds) wasn't really born out of it being a great idea that produced great looking figures. More about economy. And that's understandable. Not everyone out there has the resources (or indeed the interest) that you and I have.. they just want a cool robot to play with.

    That said, I'd kick some ass for some proper PCC limbs. I really dig the torso-bots for most of the molds. Sadly I'm actually not that into the TFC limb-bots so far. I just don't think they did that hot a job and they'll probably be expensive. Might be nice if they continue the concept though.

    PCCs are weird. Every time I screw around with them I think there are a lot of cues that suggest they were at some point designed to be something "more" (like the fact that an energon combiner port fits PERFECTLY where it needs to be for PCC heavytread to form Bruticus' leg, or the fact that Grimstone, Bombshock and Crankcase really look like Snarl, Onslaught and Motormaster) and then the concept was changed at some point, presumably for budgetary reasons.
     
  17. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    I like the Devastator approach: they are all the same scale, and have only 1 place to go.
     
  18. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Sure, it was cheaper.

    But taking the cheap way out didn't give the line longevity.
     
  19. Dolza_Khyron

    Dolza_Khyron Well-Known Member

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    well that'd be because bruticus and defensor were the only combiners until they later combiners, to have unique limbs lol

    superion had the same limb, 4 times, same transformation and everything, just different jet parts.

    to me the ones that really stood out of the "scramble city" design, was the terrorcons, the technobots, and the seacons.

    seacons each being a "target master" for the bigger bot. and loaded with weapons each. 4 MODES each if you counted the combiner mode as one.

    while the terrorcons basically all had the same transformation, they were each unique beasts. which is where they really shined, they won't that great in robot modes, except for hun grr. which was pretty damn articulate for a g1!I think he even has a head swivel, at least mine does!

    and then the technobots is still my favorite combiner, it just feels so much like a brave combiner, complete with the random "drill tank" one. :lol 

    afterburner is my favorite limb, simple transformation, yet totally unique compared to any OTHER limb.

    and strafe was always cool, space ship with the two guns, made a neat fighter!

    the only one that really "lacks" is the lightspeed mold. but it still looks great in both modes!
     
  20. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    In fairness, I think being a side line as a whole was what made the line less successful, it was clearly a bit more of a gamble than Generations / RTS. I'd also argue they weren't cheaping out at all, but truth is, I really love those guys, awkward blue sticky out bits and all.
     

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