Editorial: Why Hasbro “hates combiners!”

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by YoungPrime, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. YoungPrime

    YoungPrime Well-Known Member

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    After viewing the recent Fall of Cybertron pictures of the Combaticons and Bruticus, it has caused people to speculate on whether Hasbro would give us a toy version of these great designs…

    Unfortunately, when looking back at Hasbro’s recent history with Combiners, it’s not likely that poor FOC Bruticus will see the light day. And you only have the failed Power Core Combiner’s line and that big ugly Rise Of The Fallen, Devastator to thank for this.

    You see in Hasbro’s arrogant mindset, those combiners were perfect and everyone should have purchased them. Mind that with the PCC only one figure transformed into a robot. And with that over priced contraption called devastator, none of those trucks didn't seperately formed robots at all. So in hindsight instead of seeing those figures as a lazy disappointment as well as being unappealing, they just dispmissed it as no one really liking combiners in General.

    Case in point, where was toy version o f the gigantic Digger/Dweller pet that Bayformer verse, Shockwave was ridding? Unless it’s Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and maybe Megatron and Starscream, Hasbro has dismissed any possibility of creating a toy larger than Voyager class.

    This is why there is yet to be any type of Typicon or Omega Supreme update. The underwhelming results of cars that form legs, arms and nothing else have the powers that be confusing excellence with excrement. And the consumer, has to suffer for it.

    Yet in the end a Voyager class G1 Onslaught and 4 transformable deluxe class figures or even one with Scout class “robots” with a Voyager torso to form Bruticus would have been a great addition to the TF collection provided it was done right.

    But the now defunct PCC line has sadly been proven as anything but…
     
  2. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran

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    Where's mx-01 archon when you need him?
     
  3. YoungPrime

    YoungPrime Well-Known Member

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    If he's waiting for quality G1 themed combiner. I wouldn't wait too long outside for him.
     
  4. Brainchild

    Brainchild Dark Flame Master

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    That right there is the flaw in your thinking, I'm afraid. The lines you mentioned were tests to see how the market took combiners. Unfortunately, the market did not take them very well. If everyone had purchased them, we could have potentially seen more combiners in the Power Core format. Instead, as you say, we're just getting giant Optimuses (Optimi?), Bumblebees, Megatrons and Starscreams. Why? Because other characters in those price ranges are not selling. If those four are guaranteed to move at least some numbers, then they're the safest bets, especially factoring in the general state of economic squalor going on. If Hasbro weren't so "arrogant", as you put it, and put out figures that we demand as fans, such as updated G1 combiners, they would be broke. Parents aren't going to run out and buy a $50 "that thing the purple guy was riding on". They're going to buy Optimus, Bumblebee, Megatron and Starscream. Because that's what the majority of kids (IE: the target demographic) want.
     
  5. stepsongrapes

    stepsongrapes Well-Known Member

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    So you're a mind reader now? Let's get this straight, they try combiners, but they don't sell. That's Hasbro fault and "arrogance" necessarily? Could it, perhaps, be that there is a lesser market for complicated toys like combiners, just as there is for larger toys?

    Note that now, more than ever, toys are competing with video games for entertainment dollars. Parental investment in large, elaborate toys is down. Hell, just look at all the Ultimate Optimuses lying around.

    But I guess it's just easier to chalk it up to Hasbro's "arrogance" rather than, once again, admitting that what collectors want isn't what is necessarily the best thing for the Hasbro's bottom line.

    EDIT: beaten to the punch by Brainchild.
     
  6. OMEGAPRIME1983

    OMEGAPRIME1983 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the pcc's were "perfect" in hasbro's eyes.. And where exactly are you getting your info?? you're making it sound as if you're in the know with someone at hasbro... I don't see this thread ending well..
     
  7. Maetel

    Maetel Well-Known Member

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    not sure if hasbro 'hates' combiners or not, but you gotta admit transformers combiners are power ranger level lazy compared to the brave series that were made during the same years.
     
  8. CZ Hazard

    CZ Hazard Sons of Unicron PTT

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    I thought Editorials had to be written by an editor of said media, IE: site owner or at least moderator?

    I think Hasbro has plenty to be arrogant about, given the turn-around Transformers has seen in the last decade, but even then I don't think they are arrogant.

    I actually agree with the point of the article, in that I really would like to see a focus on combiners, especially after the last 6 years worth of design improvements, but I can't agree with the way this article makes the point.
     
  9. wildfly

    wildfly Right notes. Wrong order.

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    If Hasbro don't make FOC Bruticus, somebody probably will.
     
  10. Kuma Style

    Kuma Style Toy Photography TFW2005 Supporter

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    This is pretty dead on.
     
  11. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    I clicked with the hope that there would be something of substance worth reading.
     
  12. Grimwing

    Grimwing Scientist Supreme

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    I don't know. It could go either way. If you look at the Revenge of the Fallen Constructicons that were made as deluxes and voyagers. There are odd connection points for a potential massive devastator via collecting the mainline. The high price devestator that came from that line did seem to sell better than any of the over-sized bumblebees. But I think even in trying to accomplish its goal of having a working Turbine crusher. The electronics and stability of the mixmaster component was bad.

    Then if you look at power core. ultimately they finished up the line with some solid toys where the early figures were weaker. But the retailers ordered it. It sold. and it served as a subline in 2010. That's a pretty normal cycle, I enjoy them even if someone else may shun their experimental nature. A low pricepoint combiner.

    Really its up to the takara tomy Engineers. who in a recent interview mentioned they would be interested in working more war for cybertron toys do to the cool style.

    That and a fatter budget from the dark of the moon sales could let hasbro loosen up on these complex projects, such as triple changers and combiner teams.

    I think they might. Its a good thing that Fall of Cybertron has only one combiner to make then. In any case. I think its a good thing that High moon has had so many of its materials prepared so far in advance. As it is going to take takara and Hasbro a full Year from design to distribution. They probably have been working on them for months as we sit and speculate.

    Otherwise. You can look to the Third parties. Who will Either pander to the fan outcry or be genuinely inspired by the Fall for Cybertron designs to invest in the project.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  13. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch

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    He's also forgetting about the legends ROTF Devastator giftset. That was the most recent example of the traditional combiner where each figure has all three modes (robot, vehicle and combined). The figure appeared to sell well enough, given the limited release at Walmart (movie colors) and TRU (G1 colors). It also had the advantage of only costing $30 as opposed to the $100 price tag for the Supreme Devastator.

    As others have mentioned toys are competing more and more with video games and other forms of entertainment for parent's money. Between that and the current global economic climate, toy companies are being force to tighten design & production budgets to keep costs down. Then fold in to the equation the difficutly in designing a proper combiner.

    Hasbro has stated many times that combiners are hard to design and thus cost a lot more to produce. This is why the energon combiners had only two unique limbs designs per combiner team.

    As for PCC, that was a test line. It would have done better had there been media (cartoon, comics, movies, etc) to back it up. As it was PCC was this strange side line that wasn't movie related and kids couldn't get behind.

    So does Hasbro hate combiners? No I highly doubt that. Sadly combiners don't have the Return on Investment that having 14 repaints of Bumblebee, Optimus, Starscream, etc does. Will we see combiners again, my guess is yes, but it will be more tightly coupled with characters that they know will sell (i.e. Prime combining with Jetfire & Overload al la Armada).
     
  14. TacomaPrime

    TacomaPrime Cybertronian Tacoma

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    The problem with the pcc line is that if someone like me who thought it might actually be cool, purchased the bombshock one, only to have a non working leg, not once, not twice, but 3 times. I pretty much gave up on pcc after that.
     
  15. PowermasterJazz

    PowermasterJazz Well-Known Member

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    The target demo hates combiners based on sales.
     
  16. NICKBOT

    NICKBOT Entitlement? Piss off.

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    LOL, "arrogant mindset". Come on, it's just not in the cards in this day and age of toys for the childens. AND coupled with the HIGH expectations from collectors if Hasbro were to release a combiner that wasn't super duper articulated then people would bitch. Well, people would still bitch if they did release a super articulated combiner...the el cheapos would complain about the price, Hasbro can't win.
     
  17. CodeXCDM

    CodeXCDM Well-Known Member

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    PCC was a poorly design gimmick/line...

    You had 1 Scout-sized figure trying to fit 3 different modes in him... which in some cases were either pretty successful (Heavy Tread) or not (Double Clutch). The transformation for a couple of them were trickier than your typical Scout-sized TFs... For the most part, the figures work well in alt and Scout mode, but again... the gimmick is a combiner robot... so...

    Then you had their gestalt limbs... THIS is truly where the line fails miserably. It's *the* primary gimmick... but it is very poorly executed. You have automorphing drone limbs... which. fail. to. work. right. I've got just about all the PCC 5-packs thanks to that Walmart Black Friday sale... there is not a *single* set where there isn't a problem with these damn drones. One limb will fail to automorph. Another limb will be so loose it'll fall out and unmorph. Another limb will require A TON of force to peg in at all. It's either poorly designed or so QC-ridden it's just plain frustrating. Imagine a kid dealing with this? The result, if you can attach all of them... is also very disappointing. Extremely lanky looking arms that are unposable... OK legs, but the figures might not be stable. The overall look of a combined figure is muddles greatly by the drones.

    There's also the matter of *no* recognizable characters. Sadly, anything *NOT* relating to Movieverse tends to sell less. Even CHUGs shelf-warm a decent bit... and you've got a good deal of folks that remember G1. These figures? Either new names or obscure references... and no ties to Movie or Classic universes.

    Lastly... the price point. Original retail had them for the price of 20-25$. You could buy a Voyager for that price easily. Why get a tiny figure with some little vehicles?

    Really is a shame too... most of the Scouts are pretty neat. Huffer/Crankcase, Undertow, and HeavyTread are *GREAT* figures for example.

    But I digress... thing is... if this line were to test the waters of revisiting larger scale combiners... then yes, I agree that Hasbro is probably dissuaded from this now.

    ^ THIS sums up the general issues quite nicely.

    All in all... We'll probably have to accept that 3rd parties will be the only ones willing to take this torch for the time being... Sadly... refer to my sig as to my thoughts on that.
     
  18. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

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    I want to say Hasbro has every reason not to believe in combiners, but part of me thinks that they haven't really given it a good shot. One of the last real combiners were the Energon combiners, who were utterly pooched by the fact that half of each combiner were released months apart. The RotF releases of these were Target exclusives, and wound up going to clearance.

    Legistator shelfwarmed pretty hard at TRU (remaining on many shelves until DotM came out), but I believe the Wal-Mart version moved reasonably well.

    Since then we've had semi-combiners, PCCs, non-transforming combiners, etc. that haven't performed well.

    Hasbro's been increasingly focused on the kid demographic. That's where the money is. They're very tentative to release large, new mold toys of non-established (to the public) characters... and Combiners will HAVE to be big (at least Leader-price). If they release them as box sets, they're afraid they won't sell (they probably won't) because they're too expensive, parents won't pick them up. If they release them individually, then they may not sell because parents won't want to shell out for all of them/combiner elements will make them individually less appealing.

    In short, they haven't really given them a "fair shot" but really, all evidence (and actual logic) is supporting Hasbro on this.
     
  19. Omega_Sentinel

    Omega_Sentinel Well-Known Member

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    I'll tell you what Hasbro DOES like! The inevitable DOTM Bumblebee combiner which includes six Bumblebees that merge to form Bumblebee.
     
  20. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    The only arrogant mind I see here are yours.
     

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