Have toys become too complicated? Is that a good thing or not?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Bass X0, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Bass X0

    Bass X0 King of Muay Thai

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    One the positive hand, complicated toys can show off Hasbro's expertise at designing detailed toys that look amazing in both forms.

    But on the negative side, even experienced fans have trouble with some toys, let alone the kids. I heard Leader Sentinel Prime has been giving people problems (although I don't have him myself). I just can't imagine a young kid who the toy is aimed at having the patience or ability to transform him back and forth.


    Hasbro can make good looking main line toys that are simple to transform but aren't part of the Activators/Fast Action Battlers range.


    I don't believe the more complicated a toy is the better. It just means I'm going to get frustrated with it more easily and less likely to pick it up later.
     
  2. JukeOutlander

    JukeOutlander Combat Antihero

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    As long as the limbs aren't popping off and both modes look good, then it's coo' with me.
     
  3. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    Well to be honest, I just like having a good variety, and complexity is just one of the factors to consider. Yeah, I get that Sentinel Prime isn't for little kids, but many of the scout/Deluxe/Voyagers are fine for kids as old as maybe 7 or 8, and it's really a matter of understanding what'll work for our kids & what won't yet.

    Then when it comes to the durability of the newer toys in general, I'm totally with you. I mean when I first started buying the stuff from 07 and onward (Hubcap, Thrust & Mixmaster were among the 1st ones), I immediately noticed how much more fragile they were compared to the G1 or even Beasties stuff, and I was in the same position as you when I started thinking about what I'd be able to let my little cousins play with. I was like yeah, these are great for me because I'm gentle, but they wouldn't last a day with the little ones.

    In my opinion, the Beast Wars basic flip formers were among the best because of how fluent & durable they were for being such a small size, so maybe you could look into a bunch of those if you've got a young person in your life who you're not confident in giving the newer stuff to. Most of them are cheap, and you can even remove the weapons (if any) if you think they'll be an issue. The Constructions are also pretty good, as they're all quite unique & blocky without posing transformation problems for kids.
     
  4. Ceric Neesh

    Ceric Neesh Well-Known Member

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    Deluxe Perceptor. Oh dear god, I still haven't gotten him back into vehicle mode, and I was one of the initial sightings.
     
  5. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

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    With the emphasis on 'heard'. Also, we're talking Leader class here. That alone, implies something.

    See, from the start of the DOTM mainline, it has been pretty clear the entire line simplifies compared to the ROTF toyline.

    For all other mainlines : If people want well articulated figures, with character-true robot proportions and a decent altmode ; it's going to take some engineering tricks.

    If Hasbro simplifies again ; don't complain for lack of articulation. Example : classics Seekers mold, showing its age...
     
  6. Yaujta

    Yaujta Broken. TFW2005 Supporter

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    For overall complexity, I like a figure to be challenging but not frustrating, and by challenging I mean more like hard to understand how the engineers could pull it off. I also appreciate a satisfying transformation with both a playable bot and alt mode.

    Examples of Good Challenging = Animated Rodimus, WfC Prime, Universe Cyclonus.
    Frustrating = RotF Mixmaster (is it... done?), Ultimate Bumblebee (panels must be EXACTLY together or it blows up), Universe Galvatron (damn arms).

    The Classics series seems to have it all. On one end of the spectrum you have the seekers. Very simple, yet satisfying transformations that are good for all ages. One the other, you have Perceptor, and in a lesser regard Wrek Gar. Perceptor took the worst of the movieverse panel-forming and made it even more fiddly. I never really had (many) issues with him, but I don't think the target audience of kids would appreciate the complexity. Wrek Gar gave me issues early on, and that was only because mine didn't line up well.

    Too much simplicity takes away from a figure, even with the intention of making it more 'kid friendly'. Personally, I hated 90% of the A/E/C stuff becasue of the boring simplicity. This is also the reason I don't collect G1 anymore. I've been spoiled by advances in engineering, and the simplistic bricks aren't appealing anymore, especially when faced off against the fun and playable figures that are produced today.

    Even though beyond simple, the Beast Wars flippers and Animated Activators were some of my all-time favorite figures. Sure, the transformation was pretty much a hand-out, but the final product was articulated and detailed enough to make for an excellent toy. I still believe Activator Megatron is the best representation of Animated Megs we got.
     
  7. Snake_eyes1975

    Snake_eyes1975 Peace through Tyranny!!

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    There is a balance.
    You can see the big difference between movie 2 and 3. ROTF stuff coups get pretty darned complicated. They were great, but complicated. Then comes DOTM and stuff is simplified, uses less parts to do the same thing.

    Best example I can think of is the new DOTM bumblebee, and ROTF battle blade bumblebee. Blades is almost masterpiece quality. The DOTM is Def more "toy" than the latter.

    I have a young boy. And right now, he LOOOVES his gravity bots. He has a lot of legends that he just loves and plays with all the time. He has a few deluxes from ROTF, but they are too tough for him.

    When we play together we play with cyberverse stuff. It's a great scaule. The bot modes are solid. Not too hard, he can tf every one. I hope cyberverse continues like it is, its great for kids.

    He will ask me to "play with my biiiig twaansfomers" and I will grab my leaders and HA stuff. It really sucks to try and play with those. They are display pieces..NOT toys. He will ask me, "can you twansform opamis pained, pweeese?" And then that is a half hour of play time. Then he wants it back into a truck...another half hour....
    On the other hand, I personally HATE how simplified leader ironhide is.

    So all in all yes. Transformers are almost to complicated to have fun if your a lil kid. I wouldent want the gobots, or new activators, wow..those look like shit. IMHO gravity bots were the pinnacle for lil kids transformer toys. My son has had them over a year and a half and they all still work perfect.

    The new line of rescue bots is THE PERFECT blend for a lil kid. I got my boy that bumblebee and he loves it, he can transform it easy. It would be nice if the arms moved, but still great for kids.

    Me? I want them as complex as I can get em

    Verdict...
    Leaders, deluxes, voyagers...mostly for me
    Cyberverse, gravity bots, rescue bots, for my boy
     
  8. Tracer

    Tracer _

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    If adults are getting frustrated imagine how the kids feel. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen a half transformed toy returned to the store.
     
  9. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

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    In a way it says more about ourselves than about the toys : whichever our own preference.

    I grew up with G1 and G1 Blitzwing was my fav toy because he offered a lot of playvalue. On the opposite side, I loathed
    the legends class figs for having fused legs. As a kid I thought "Am I supposed to believe these are individual legs !? Oh c'mon...* rolleyes * "
     
  10. havanowoncheese

    havanowoncheese Proud No Ma'amer!

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    I think that ROTF got to the level of being to complex. Granted we got some incredible figures that were very screen accurate many of them where a nightmare to transform. The figures also had a high learning curve such as leader Prime. The first 10 times transforming him were awful and took so long but once I learned it it got easier, still a difficult transformation though. Same with leader Sentinel. Very high learning curve and not so bad when you learn it. I think these complex transformations gave us incredible looking figures but for kids especially lost some play value due to the complexity.

    I actually think DOTM toys have been a great balance of incredible engineering and very fun figures to play with. This balance gives fun figures that also look pretty damn good, not ROTF good but good none the less. While DOTM has its issues i do not think fun figures that are a joy to transform are on of them.

    In closing i think that transformations should give a great balance between complexity, appearance in both modes, and play value. Over complex transformations can take away from the most important thing to hasbro's main audience of children because it destroys play value.
     
  11. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    It's not complexity of transformation that causes problems.

    It's the horrible QC and the not-intuitive designs.

    I have explained this many times on transformations, but as a transformers fan, everyone here should realize that there are complex transformations that are simple, and that you won't ever forget. And then there are relatively easier transformation, that we always seem to forget, or get frustrated to do, for example, panel lining.

    The REASON for this, though, isn't because transformations are hard or not. It is whether or not a design is intuitive or not. This is an extremely high level type of design concept though, to make a transformation design that is not only accurate, but that goes in sync with a person's intuition.

    So in short I would rather say, if has/tak have better QC and focus on the intuitive-ness of a design instead of complex vs. simple, they would be better off.

    Remember, that bots like ROTF leader prime, leader Jetfire, were difficult because one have a lot of QC issues (Jetfire, and a bit of Prime), and Prime was not completely intuitive (although the more you do it the easier it is for you to understand.)
     
  12. Yaujta

    Yaujta Broken. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Not to pick, but aren't there a veritible TON if G1 figures without proper legs rather than just the minibots?
     
  13. Powersa

    Powersa Car Robots

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    There's a sea of Cyberverse, Activators, Quickchanger, Stealthforce, Rescuebots etc out there that's easy for kids.
     
  14. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

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    Yes, but that was just one example to illustrate how simplicity
    compromised, my observations of the design of a TF ( my expectations in a sense ), regardless of size class.

    In a sense, it's like breaking suspension of disbelief. Even as a kid, I sought for the trick of Transformers ; which was about altmodes
    & robotmodes which could pass for authentic scale model cars & a robotic characters with actual limbs instead of a solid molded piece of plastic with
    relief detail which suggests individual legs.

    It's not that I didn't enjoy these TF's as a kid ( such as G1 Nosecone )...but it really left me wondering "Do these toy companies really think ALL kids are
    just going to be oblivious to an obvious lack of detailing standard ? "
     
  15. scubaboy31

    scubaboy31 Digital Gypsy

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    I have no problem with overly complex toys, I like them. But I do believe that they should be marketed as such. The mainstream Tf line has overcomplicated itself at least twice, with ROTF and RID before it, resulting in a knee jerk reaction to make things simple again. If they just realised that some of these toys are too complicated for little kids (and some of them are, on the whole - don't play the snooty "well I could have done it as a kid card) and marketed them toward a more teen/collector market I think there would be a better balance. That to say that I think the mainline should be Armada/Power bots/activators simple, more like Animated, where the engineering was sublime, but the process for transformation was simple and intuitive.
     
  16. havanowoncheese

    havanowoncheese Proud No Ma'amer!

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    Scuba i agree with animated. To this day it is one of the best engineered lines so far. Incredible screen accuracy with transformations that were so intuitive they all seemed easy. Amazing stuff there.
     
  17. EightiesKid

    EightiesKid G1 archivist TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've found the complex transformations to take away from the toys a little. I liked how a lot of the G1 toys were simple enough that you could quickly transform them to keep the action going during a battle, to mimic the cartoon. Now everything comes to a grinding halt when you transform a toy.

    I may be in the minority here, but that's why I like MP Grimlock the most among the MP's. His transformation is not overly complex, and yet he is a very accurate looking toy. Sometimes simple can be better.
     
  18. havanowoncheese

    havanowoncheese Proud No Ma'amer!

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    Grimlock is not my favorite MP overall but transformation wise absolutely. He feels more durable and his damn near g1 transformation is to much fun.
     
  19. videriant

    videriant Well-Known Member

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    Some G1's were pretty complicated. Seekers, etc. But I agree with you to a point. That why Classics 1.0 and Cybertron repaoints are still my favorite. A little added articulation but still pretty simple to transform. Keeps the play value high.
     
  20. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Mostly Harmless

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    More than complexity itself, I think it all boils down to how fun is it to transform. For me, ROTF Mixmaster is a complex figure but he's very fun to transform, and everything tabs where it's supposed to. RiD Sideburn and some alternators are complex and transforming them feels like a chore.

    Hasbro tries to offer some variety even between the same size class. For example we have DOTM Sentinel or ROTF Prime, toys any experienced fan would enjoy, and there's Leader Bumblebee who is a character that appeals to children and seems simpler to play with.

    There are others that I like a lot despite being simple and big, like Leader Animated Megatron -one of the best from the toyline in my opinion.
     

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