From Drawing Board to Store Shelf: The Development of a Transformer Toy pt. 1

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Nevermore, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    From drawing board to store shelf: The development of a Transformers toy (article)

    Maz and Mijo have inspired me to start writing a new articles series.

    I've decided for a comparably general topic that should be of much interest nonetheless.

    Over the years, we've seen the occasional glimpses into the development process of our favorite transforming toys through books, BotCon panels and interviews, and there have been a few attempts by people like Bainreese and the folks at the Transformers Wiki to offer an overview, but I'm trying to give the most comprehensive rundown of the Transformers toy development process ever seen. I'm trying to be as diverse with the selection of examples as possible, but I have to take what I can get, so if you think chapter 1 puts too much emphasis on Cybertron, Universe and Generations/Reveal the Shield, feel free to provide me with image material for the next chapter. Which will most likely have some Alternators. ;) 

    Note: I originally wrote the article in German, so if you feel the wording is a little clunky in some places, blame it on the translation. ;) 
    You can read the first chapter here, or here if you prefer to read the German original. :) 
     
  2. FakeEyes22

    FakeEyes22 Well-Known Member

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    I've only taken a glance at it so far. It's amazing. Thanks for what's clearly been a lot or work that went into this!
     
  3. shadow2879

    shadow2879 Banned

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    good job.
     
  4. fa11enwing

    fa11enwing Well-Known Member

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    awesome read, good job and thank you for the article. :) 
     
  5. hardreturn

    hardreturn Ian Reid

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    great article. the only suggestion i have would be that the pics when clicked are a pop over or pop out style instead of a forward to a new page.
     
  6. Ironhidebot

    Ironhidebot Wrecker

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    very interesting article, well done :) 
     
  7. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    I've given it a quick skim myself, and I'll be reading it soon. I always enjoy your articles like this.

    I really miss that Binalternators site (though I know you wrote the "Alternators" article at TFWiki) . . . .
     
  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Added some funny trivia tidbits for the Generations Scourge, Wheeljack and RTS Turbo Tracks concepts.
     
  9. zy80

    zy80 Well-Known Member

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    loved the article, it was a good read...really appreciate the time you took to compile all that information, i'm looking forward to the next part :) 
     
  10. Knightdramon

    Knightdramon Hasbro LIES to the US

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    Nice ;) 
     
  11. havanowoncheese

    havanowoncheese Proud No Ma'amer!

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    Wow Nevermore. A well written article that is incredible informative. The translation to english read smoothly imo. But honestly thanks for the information provided that was a really enjoyable read and i look forward to the next one!
     
  12. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    You forgot about Cybertron Armorhide in the first part, who was an entirely US effort. He was a fun toy. Especially strange because you mentioned him later.
     
  13. HeroicC300

    HeroicC300 Chats with Artists

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    Good article.
     
  14. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    You are mistaken. I own Armorhide, and his copyright markings say "©Hasbro ©Takara", and his packaging says "Manufactured under license from Takara Co., Ltd. ©2005 Hasbro". My 2007 Ultimate Bumblebee, meanwhile, has copyright markings that say "©2006 Hasbro, Inc.", and his packaging only says "©2007 Hasbro". Therefore, Cybertron Armorhide was engineered by Takara, whereas Ultimate Bumblebee was not.

    I added a paragraph to the article which explains that.

    Anyway... In case anyone still owns Binaltech (not Alternators!) Smokescreen and/or Lambor, I could use scans of the instructions (the lineart, not necessarily the stock photos and system descriptions and whatnot). I may use them for a future chapter, but need them right now to verify something for chapter 2.
     
  15. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    But it wasn't sold in Japan's Galaxy Force line. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it sounds like that Takara stamp may have been because of the Cyber Planet key, not the figure itself.

    If nothing else, it's a matter worth investigating.
     
  16. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Cybertron Hardtop, Armorhide, Wreckloose, Shortround, Downshift and the Giant Planet Mini-Con Team weren't part of the Galaxy Force lineup, just like Energon Tow-Line and Sharkticon were not part of the Superlink lineup. They were co-designed by Hasbro and Takara to pad out the Hasbro lines, but Takara decided to leave them out of the regular Japanese lines and didn't invest budget in having them appear on the show. Typically, they were released as "USA Editions" (the toys in their Hasbro decos in Hasbro-derived packaging) in Japan, usually as store exclusives, but since the Galaxy Force line was doing so poorly (they made Master Galvatron a limited release, Dark Ligerjack [Nemesis Breaker] became a store exclusive, the extensive Landbullet retool Armbullet [Dark Crumplezone] who appeared on the show was never released in Japan at all, and the on-show new-sculpt toy Primus was released months later, in "Generation 1"-style packaging, unchanged from the Hasbro counterparts, whereas the equally on-show new sculpt toys Moledive [Menasor] and Blender [Quickmix] were released as e-Hobby exclusive "USA Editions"), Galaxy Force "USA Editions" stopped after Hardtop and didn't pick up again until Moledive and Blender.

    Not a big mystery there.

    Energon Grimlock & Swoop, Alpha Quintesson and Energon Kicker/High Wire were pure Hasbro designs. All the other toys were your typical Hasbro/Takara co-designs. Some of the latter were released in Japan as "imports" of the Hasbro versions, some weren't due to the Galaxy Force line doing so poorly.

    Which G1 head sculpt?
     
  17. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    Thanks for the information. I'd been telling people for years Armorhide was a US designed figure because he only had a US release.

    Look at me, I'm all embarassed now.
     
  18. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    Sorry, had multiple tabs open, posted in the wrong thread.
     
  19. hardreturn

    hardreturn Ian Reid

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    dude, nicely done. i love being able to open the pictures and read the article at the same time so i really appreciate the change. great stuff, looking forward to more articles :) 
     
  20. SydneyY

    SydneyY @syd_tfw Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Good work as always Nevermore!
     

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