Does anyone else feel like the Transformers toy line has become too big for itself?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by netkid, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. netkid

    netkid Where's my Goddamn shoe!

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    I know you're probably reading this thinking that it has to do with recent news and rumors surrounding the tail-end Generations and Reveal The Shield toys, but I actually created this topic because today's news post reminded me of something that I keep feeling every time I walk down the toy aisle these days.

    Does anyone else feel like the Transformers toy line has become too big for itself? Do you ever feel that by having so many lines around at once, even if some are no longer running (but still on store shelves), that some lines are drowning out others? That we have become over-saturated with too many transforming toy robots?

    Now let me just say this, I just buy what appeals to me. I don't really commit to lines unless I just happen (by chance) to have almost every figure from it (Fuzors, Transmetal 2, Beast Wars Mutants, War for Cybertron, Legends of Cybertron, Premium class 2007 movie figures, 2006 Classics). Sometimes I'll only buy a certain size/price-range of figures and bother with nothing else from a toy line (Bionicle $10 canister sets). Recently, I decided to collect all the $7 carded Pursuit of Cobra G.I.Joe figures (I'm doing good with that, but still need a couple to catch up). And sometimes, if the line is small enough and it only lasts for a year or two, I'll collect them all (Wild Planet's Skeleflex toy line). That's just how I roll.

    Back to the discussion...

    I remember back during the days of Beast Wars and somehow, someway through birthdays, Christmas, and trips to a store that carried toys (with money from getting good grades in hand), I managed to just about collect most of the line's toys. This continued through Beast Machines and RID. Sure, there would be some I'd miss (store exclusives to stores that did not yet exist in my area (TARGET)), some I'd just pass on (repaints or those Beast Machines Deployers, Mechatron, Che), and some I just could never find (tarantulas, waspinator, rattrap, cheetor, wolf fang, transmetal 2 Blackarachina), but for the most part, I'd be able to build up a nice range of figures. And even when lines branched off into other lines (Beast Wars Microverse) I'd still manage to easily collect that stuff as well.

    Nowadays, I walk down the toy aisle and see 2007 Movie figures, Titanium, Gen.1 Re-issues, Robot Replicas, Role-play weapons, masks, costumes, Revenge of the Fallen Figures, Universe, Generations, Star Wars Crossovers, Marvel Crossovers, Iron Man Crossovers, Power Core Combiners, Animated, Robot Heroes, Activators, RPMs, Speed Stars, Stealth Force, Hunt For The Decepticons, Reveal The Shield, Mighty Muggs...

    And now we have Dark of the Moon, Kre-O, and Transformers PRIME toys on the way.

    And then there's size classes. Now I can understand the point of this being so those with less money to spend can still have some plastic representation of Bumblebee, but remember when there was just 1 Bumblebee toy from a line and not fifty-million? You as a kid could say to Mom, "I want Transmetal Tarantulas for my birthday" and she knew exactly which one to get you because there was only one?

    Sometimes I just want to say: PICK A LINE AND STICK WITH IT. MAKE IT SO PEOPLE CAN ACTUALLY "COLLECT THEM ALL!" Remember the days when the toy packages said "collect them all" and that if you decided to, you felt you had a good shot of doing so?

    I feel like all these different lines can't coexist at the same time and eventually one will destroy the other. Each one is fighting for shelf space and only one will emerge victorious, while the others will suffer.

    Some of my fellow TF collectors keep telling me that Transformers has become the new Star Wars, being milked for all it can until you have one line that sells and the rest is filler or impulse products when people cannot find what they truly want so they cave in and buy something just to fill the void. Others have told me they think the goal is to grab such a hold on the transforming toy market that nothing else will dare compete with it.

    Whatever the case, there sure are a lot of different Transformers toys out now.

    I don't really know where to go further with this post, I just wanted to jot my thoughts down and see how others feel about today's Transformers market.
     
  2. 46+2

    46+2 Well-Known Member

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    Thats pretty deep. Not yet with Tfs. I did feel like this with star wars though. I just gave up collecting anything SW because there was simply too much. Plus I like TF better anyway. we still have a ways to go I feel.
     
  3. Hot Shot.

    Hot Shot. Giving up on the fiction.

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    Probably a dumb question, but you haven't seen all of those lines on store shelves at once, have you?

    All the Walmarts I've been to recently only had ROTF, HFTD, Generations, and PCCs(Not counting crossovers and the cars, since those aren't in the same section). When you realize the only ROTF figures are Tuner Mudflaps and maybe, maybe Ejector, that's only three current lines on the shelves. The only store that still has Mighty Muggs, Universe(Ultras), and Animated are TRU, because they don't have enough sense to clearance anything.

    Multiple lines really aren't a new thing to Transformers, anyway. I remember back during Cybertron, alongside the main line were Alternators, Titaniums, and Beast Wars 10th Anniversary.


    As for personal preference, I'm fine with having multiple lines on shelves. If you're like me and don't like the movies or the designs, there's (usually) the current Classics line and/or Animated/Prime to buy. Hasbro continues to get my money, I (usually) still have toys I can buy. We all win.:) 
     
  4. netkid

    netkid Where's my Goddamn shoe!

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    Yes, yes I have. Some stores can be like time capsules if they are in low traffic areas...or if they miraculously pull shit out from the back room that they forgot they still had.
     
  5. brr-icy

    brr-icy G1 Collector

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    this^ when it was only rotf on shelves, i didn't even bother going to the toy section
     
  6. stepsongrapes

    stepsongrapes Well-Known Member

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    I think collectors need to clamp down on the OCD and just not buy everything.

    I like selection- it lets me have a lot to choose from for the few figures that catch my fancy.

    What's the fun of mechanically buying everything Hasbro feeds you, like an indiscriminating cow chomping on cud?
     
  7. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Moderator News Staff

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    I agree for the most part. There is a ton of stuff out there right now. This is why I'm looking forward to the (hopefully) end of the Movieverse. Before the movies hit and before Transformers got BIG, we really only had one line to collect. I'm interested to see what will happen after the end of the movies.

    Of course, there's always the counter argument: why are we complaining? Transformers is HUGE and because of that we're getting figures that we never would have gotten before. We have our Jazz, Tracks, Wreck-Gar, Windchar....ahhh fuck!
     
  8. Kup-is-Dion

    Kup-is-Dion Lord Cthulhu

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    I haven't seen a Titanium in ages! I WISH stores in my area were like this!
    I don't think TFs being like SW is necessarily a bad thing. It might be a pain for completionists, but at least they have the good characters available in spades!
     
  9. Abrogate

    Abrogate Nondescript Former Poster

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    If your goal really is to "collect them all," then yes, this a highly improbably and nerve-racking goal. But if you stick to only collecting what you like and don't mind buying online, the franchise is pretty easy to weave in and out of.
     
  10. videriant

    videriant Well-Known Member

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    Cherry pick.

    Think about it this way. You can separate it into three lines that are roughly the same size:

    1) G1
    2) Movie
    3) everything else
     
  11. The_Black_Sheep

    The_Black_Sheep Willyna...

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    You mean the fact that there's like 5 or 6 lines on the shelves at any one time? It used to make me wonder but now, eh, I've become immune to it. These days I ignore all that PCC & Bayverse shit as my inbuilt-GPS directs me straight to the Generations stuff. It's sure saved me alot of money in the long-run... :lol 
     
  12. tehKOREANdude

    tehKOREANdude inimitable, original

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    Dude, there needs to be much less rp toys. Still got bumblebee helmets everywhere.

    Allow me to preface this by saying I got into TFs in 2007, and started buying toys with the movie line, so my experience is not as heavy as yours.

    Anyways, I agree with you to a certain extent. I don't think it has to do with the toylines themselves, but rather the media they are supporting. Speaking specifically about the action figures, not the other merchandise, the figures cover the main cast of the characters and a few extra slots are alloted to cameo/recurring characters. The first movie managed to cover all of the movie's featured characters, while Animated and ROTF left several characters in the dust, with the fans desperately wanting a voyager ROTF Scrapper figure, or an Animated Constructicon box set. That being said, the individual toylines themselves being big are not a problem in my eyes. People will continue to purchase everything if they are fans, periodically buy the ones they're interested in, or stand to the side and wait for something new. Rather, the thing that convoluted the overall transformers toyline was the production schedule for the release of the transformers media. The 07 movie was nearly immediately followed up by the release of Transformers Animated. In addition to having Universe (which I believe should be a constant series), Animated was running concurrently with the movie toys (which were overbought by the retailers because of the popularity of the movie resulting in a surplus, paving the way for shelfwarming). Once we finally got rid of the movie toys, ROTF came out, and we had a whole new set of movie toys, competing with some Universe's and left over Animateds. 2007-09 was packed. Then they released HFTD, while ROTFs were still shelfwarming, drowning out Generations...yateyateya.

    Fortunately (and maybe unfortunately), I think the craziness will die down once DOTM has had its run. Because there won't be another movie for a while, Hasbro can focus on one or two toylines at a time (which I think is managable from a buyer's standpoint). We'll get a stream of Prime toys and maybe Classics and that'll be it for a while.
     
  13. wolfe

    wolfe Well-Known Member

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    Variety is good. I cherry pick and enjoy the fact that there is so much variety now instead of just having 1 or maybe 2 lines on the shelf at once. It would suck just having one line and not liking the style. (You hear it a bit about the movie lines).
     
  14. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    I'd love to cherry pick... but my trees have been bare.

    Yes, I'm thinking that Transformers are too big.
     
  15. ssjkazer

    ssjkazer mr dyslexia

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    i agrea they need to stick to a line at a time and play it so each so there is a set maths amount that comes out each month say a nice 150 that way people can space out how much they have spent every week for the last 8 weeks i have spent 200 per week on transformers catching up keeping up with the lines and back tracking many toys that i could'nt afford of course i could'nt afford them because there where to many comeing out at once

    well now i have 36 transformers left to collect intill i have every transformer i want up to date
     
  16. barrelks

    barrelks Captain Funtastic

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    I don't mind having multiple lines going at once if there is sufficient room on the shelves for them. I don't like PCCs, gravity bots, activators, etc, but am glad that people have them as an option. However, TRU is really the killer for me for three reasons.

    1. The don't clear out the turd shelfwarming exclusives that are in huge shelf clogging boxes.
    2. Maybe because of point #1, there is not enough space dedicated to Transformers.
    3. They have about two pegs for each different line/size/assortment where they can maybe fit one case if they are lucky, and half of these pegs are empty anyway.

    Choices are good, but it gets really annoying when a retailer refuses to cut their losses stocking a weak selling product. TRU (and all retailers with the HFTD line) have wasted valueable retail space for months and months on product that just isnt moving. I know when I worked retail we were constantly concerned with shelf data, inventory turns, etc. Gotta cut your losses at some point and get a product that sells.
     
  17. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Autobot Strategist

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    Yeah, I think it is a touch too big. Two lines should be about the most on the shelf at a time.

    And to add to barrelks' post, I can't help but see the irony that the Movieverse stuff is clogging the most shelfspace, yet the reason Windcharger is getting cancelled is because stores aren't ordering his wave to save space for more Movieverse stuff.
     
  18. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    I'm one of those who loves the fact that Transformers has become what it's become. I remember the days of Beast Wars and Beast Machines wishing for something at retail like Generations. What I really enjoy now is what others here have already tagged as "cherry picking". I really LIKE the fact that there's so much that it's not feasible to "collect them all". I'm perfectly happy with having so much variety that passing on a lot of things is actually fun.

    I would actually like to see Transformers get bigger. What I mean by this is that if the movies continue to be more and more successful, it means that we can get other things as well, like more Generations. I really feel like we're very pigeon-holed into "unless it's movie toys, we're not interested", as we see at the local retailers right now for the most part. Things like the War for Cybertron games, Transformers: Prime, the comic books either have seen or will see figures as well as Generations and, yes, the movie toys.

    One of the greatest strengths of the TRANSFORMERS brand is it's ability to reinvent itself time after time after time. I just hope it continues :) 
     
  19. G1_Cindersaur

    G1_Cindersaur Banned

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    the problem is ...stores do not carry the majority of each line now since their display space is infinite...targets around here might have HFTD, ROTF, and maybe one generation peg setup or one RTS...and walmart might have nothing but RTS...

    it has gotten to the point where if you are looking for specific lines in the TF brand you pretty much have to get it online...

    i have not seen a G2 laser RTS prime or perceptor or scourge in stores for months now...found them on clearance at a local target...

    i feel that they are going for a brand implosion like the 80's did...after the movies if hasbro does not get it's shit together and get the distribution down better i think with no movies drawing folks to the brand and toys (fans and followers of transformers will always buy them) ...they are going to see the brand consumption shrink as kids start to lose interest in the brand...

    my nephew has been bugging my sister to get him a ROTF prime and she has not been successful(have not bothered to tell her that the toy is not at retail anymore LOL)
     
  20. xion14

    xion14 Well-Known Member

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    I think with the movie it's too big but with it ending soon will slowly start to get back into a more mellow movement with just Show and some kind of Generations line going along with it at a slower rate. Instead of how the Movies tried to pump out more toys in lesser time since they had a shorter life period then a show.
     

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