Impressions of a Binaltech from an Alternator Collector.

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Dark_Convoy, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    So, I took the plunge and bought my first Binaltech figure, I presently have all of the Alternators except for Rollbar and Ricochet, so this may be interesting coming from someone who is (was) exclusively a collector of Alternators. The BT I bought was Prowl, my original intentions were to chop him up and use parts of him to make the US version look better (mainly the feet, hips, and front part of his legs).

    Impressions:

    Packaging

    I like the Binaltech packaging, it's compact and looks like the type of packing they put model cars in, it has a nice layout and displays the car nicely. That said, I really don't think this type of packing would go over well with the general American consumer. It would look out of place among the other transformers on the shelves. I fully understand Hasbro wanting to make the Alternator boxes look like the main line packing, it just makes sense to have product continuity.

    Vehicle mode:

    As far as just looking at the car mode, aside from different decals and rims, and the addition of the spoiler the car mode of both the Hasbro and Takara version look very similar, the difference comes with picking them up. The Binaltech very much feels like a diecast model car, while the Hasbro version reminds me (and always have) of a plastic model kit that one would build and paint their selves, I must say that I like the weight of the car mode, but beyond that both vehicle modes look nice and you can't tell just by looking that one is plastic and one is diecast (though that might be because in Prowl's case he is actually molded in shiny black plastic and then the white is painted on, making him one of the most painted Alternators with the exception of Grimlock and Silverstreak).

    Robot Mode:

    This is where I actually like the Takara version better as far as pure appearance goes. This is mainly because of the use of charcoal gray in place of light blue on the legs and hips, the paint on the head and arms actually looks much better on the Hasbro version, as in, the silver on the face is shiny(er?) and the paint is better applied on the alternator, the BT version's paint apps on the face look kind of sloppy.

    In addition I think the chest looks a little plain without any decals on it.

    Diecast vs Plastic, and final thoughts.

    I had always joked that I would never even want to see a Binaltech figure because it would make me hate my Alternators. Luckily, this is not the case.

    While the added weight of the diecast feels nice, it adds problems, number one, this thing is so heavy in robot mode it makes it hard to get it to stand properly, and because the way Prowl's feet are designed, the weight pushes down on his ankles and makes it look like he is wearing bell-bottoms, also the doors being metal makes them have a tendency to fall and lie flat on top of the tires on his arms. In addition, I guess because the hood is diecast, and the rest of the car's front end is plastic, the hood is very loose and will not stay open. It's funny that the fact that it is made out of metal almost makes the toy seem more fragile. The only advantage I can find in the diecast is that the panel lines on the hood, doors, and rear fenders (all are diecast on Prowl) look a little sharper than the same parts cast in plastic on the domestic version.

    I will add that I like the fact that nearly every surface of the car's body is actually painted, so even the plastic pieces still look like they are diecast, which may have been a nice route for Hasbro to take, though I have noticed that some Alternators manage to pull off a paint-like finish even though they are plastic (Shockblast, Skids and Hound come to mind).

    So, over all each line has it's advantages and disadvantages, and even though the diecast looks and feels nice, the added weight just seems to cause problems and actaully make it feel like the toy is easier to break. - Oh and the doors and arms pop off of this one just as easy as they do on the American version!

    While BTs didn't turn me off to Alts, they are kind of nice in their own way, I realized that though they share molds and in may cases paint apps, BTs and Alts are two very different products, intended for two very different audiences. I honestly think that Hasbro intended Alternators to mimic plastic model kits, while Takara was going after the diecast car model collector as well as the nostalgic transformer fan. Takara was kind of like, "Binaltech is an alternate time line to G1" while Hasbro's stand seems like "Here is a car that turns into a robot that is inspired by a Transformers character."

    I still love my alternators, and plan on having a full set one day.

    BT Prowl will be displayed in robot mode along with the rest of my Alternators, mainly because I like the robot mode colors better.

    Alt Prowl, still has a very nice looking car mode, which is what he is in right now, sooner or later I may use him for a Red-Alert kitbash... :) 

    [​IMG]
     
  2. e3nine

    e3nine Poop.

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    very nice write up.

    I had the same thoughts about buying a BT as an ALT collector ..
    "oh wow, the paint will make me hate my alts."
    "Metal >>>>>> Plastic"

    but I guess not. :) 
     
  3. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    I have only Alts with the one exeption being BT Deadend. I must say that he is awesome but overall I'm happy with my Alts.
     
  4. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    Very fair analysis. :D 

    I agree with ya, more or less. I feel that Alts vs. BT is a few steps away from apples vs. oranges, which is odd, given that they're the same physical designs.

    Really, it's wholly a matter of personal preference. Myself, I like diecast. But, I also like the lighter feel of Alts. Really depends on how I'm feeling.

    ...'s probably why I tend to double-buy one of each line. >.<
     
  5. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    Welcome to BT's . I never competed the lines but just looked at them as alternate forms of each other. Boths BT's and Alts are great in their own differences. You can't go wrong with either.
    Gotta love the paint in vehicle mode. It's easy to get addicted to that shine and go nuts on the BTs.

    Just found Rollbar & Ricochet today at OLoop Walmart. Supposedly they're floating around everywhere.
     
  6. Sonscreen

    Sonscreen Casual TF collector<br><b><font color=#FF0000>aksm TFW2005 Supporter

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    Great write up. I used to be a Binaltech collector but was sold on the playability of the Alternators. I still keep a few Binaltechs because of the nice diecast heft. :) 
     
  7. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Same here. And Dead End is the only BT I intend to get, after taking him out of the packaging and finding paint ships on one of the doors before I'd even done anything with him.
     
  8. Wreckgar

    Wreckgar Anthony Stark Veteran

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    I have a few BTs but they are the variants. I have yellow Tracks and Alert. However I did get one BT mainline figure instead of the Alt. It's Dead End. Overall, it's a nice figure but he's very heavy and I always worry about the paint. Also Alert is horribly put together. One of his doors just refuses to close. I have no idea why.

    Thus I will be sticking to Alts for price but also they just feel better.
     
  9. Doctor Doom

    Doctor Doom Doom is best pony Veteran

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    Only ones I got are BT Hound (Botcon '04) and BT Blue Tracks (placekeeper until I got the reissued Tracks last month). They are kept in carmode and my Minimates are riding around in style.
     
  10. pinoy78

    pinoy78 Shoji Kawamori having FUN

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    I have 5 BT's and 6 ALT's.

    Started collecting ALT's when the budget was tight.
     
  11. Predaking

    Predaking Well-Known Member

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    I buy Alts to open for the most part, but lately I buy them because I don't want to pay the BT price and they are twice the price as alts so cost figure heavily in my decision. I dislike the fact that Red Alert and Broadblast aren't available as Alts so I may skip on them as result. I also don't plan on getting all the Alts if I don't like the paint color, that's why I skipped Swerve and will do so again with Rollbar.
     

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