Japan vs. other countries

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Funky Munky, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Funky Munky

    Funky Munky G.I. Formers & Trans-Joe TFW2005 Supporter

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    So the Diaclones, the original 'formers were from Japan.
    Which TFs were created by the U.S. and which were created by other countries?

    I presume the change came in '86 when windows were paint like Kup and Blurr as opposed to transparent plastic.
     
  2. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    Almost all the engineering is handled by Takara in Japan. The new movie/Season 3 figures is what marked the debut of American designed figures/characters, and that's probably along the lines of where the line's direction went from there on out.

    The Japanese Beast Wars lines and Car Robots were solely Japanese efforts, as are some of the random offshoot lines (Alternity, ___ Label, etc).

    Armada marked the point where the brand was openly labelled as a joint effort. Teams from North America and Japan actively collaborated with each other to develop the line, which is the new status-quo for the mainline toys.

    With the advent of the Movies, and then Animated, and now Prime, though, the creative process has shifted heavily back to the American team.
     
  3. guard convoy

    guard convoy The Big Daddy

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    also, all masterpieces besides masterpiece prime are soley takaratomy
     
  4. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    Debatable, in the case of Grimlock and Rodimus. Supposedly, Grimlock isn't as popular in Japan, so their might have been some push by Hasbro to get him done. Hasbro might have had some input in Rodimus as well.

    Megatron is definitely Japan only, though. And Takara definitely took initiative on MP Starscream.
     
  5. guard convoy

    guard convoy The Big Daddy

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    no, the designing, producing, engineering, all of that, is takara only, maybe hasbro might ask them to do one or two things, but other than that, nope, takara only
     
  6. jasonmako

    jasonmako Voyager

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    Thats because dinosaurs didn't roam Japan and dragons are a lie. J/K American culture pushed dinosaurs on us heavily in the 80's and BAM! Dinobots. We ate them up and still do. It's part of our culture and with the amount of museums in the US that display(ed) skeletal/fake remains, it was bound to happen. Dinosaur toys have been tried numerous times before then, since then, and have failed. The only ones that made it through and continue to do so are the Dinobots. Money Money Money

    So I agree there was a push by Hasbro (the middle man and cheapster of America TF) but in development its by Takara. You can smell the quality in an original JP toy.

    Example MP Optimus Hasbro release....horrible. I feel bad for any child who has to play with that excuse of a toy but they don't know any better and nor do the parents. Us as adult collectors do.

    Regardless if development does take place in America, Takara will make there releases better and will always pisses excellence!
     
  7. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    The first-ever Transformers developed for US release came out in 1985. The second assortment of Minibots were all designed with the US Transformers line in mind. TheSpacebridge even owned the original resin prototypes but sold them off a few years back - Generation 1 Minibot Resin Hardcopies for sale - your chance to own a piece of Transformers History - Transformers News - TFW2005

    Tracks was another one, he was simultaneously designed for Transformers and Diaclone I believe, and his Transformer toy may even have predated his Diaclone release. Not 100% sure about that though.

    Then part of the 1986 line, and everything 1987 onwards was developed with the Transformers line in mind. Some of the 86 toys, like Metroplex and the first four Scramble combiners, were always rumoured to have been holdovers from the end of Diaclone.

    No, Takara-Tomy and Hasbro work together on the design. Takara-Tomy may take the lead but Hasbro is involved as the toy is developed with both markets in mind. Starscream and Megatron being the only two real exceptions, and even then Starscream is very debatable.
     
  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Toy - Transformers Wiki

    Basically, all the pre-existing toys from the 1984-1985 line-up were originally designed in Japan and simply imported to the US as "Transformers", barring the occasional color and deco change (Sunstreaker, Red Alert, Bluestreak).

    Following that, Hasbro used toys Takara had originally intended for Diaclone but which were never released as Diaclone toys because Takara cancelled Diaclone in favor of their own version of the Transformers line.

    The 1986 movie toys were a drastic change, as they were originally designed by the animators and subsequently turned into toys by Takara.

    Following that, supposedly, Takara designed new toys with some input by Hasbro. Hasbro's influence gradually got bigger (while Takara's version of the line diverged more and more to include a lot of Japanese-only toys).

    By the time of Beast Wars, the design process that continues until this very day was in force: Hasbro (or, in the early BW days, Kenner) was mostly responsible for the "stylistic" approach, the aesthetics, the intended look of a toy, its alternate mode, gimmicks etc. Takara was responsible for the "technical" aspect, the mechanisms, the engineering, turning Hasbro's ideas into a working toy.

    As time went on, the process became more and more intertwined. Hasbro's and Takara's (today, TakaraTomy's) designers communicate several times a day, each side making suggestions and collaborating a lot on the individual steps. When Hasbro submit early design drafts, TakaraTomy's people do their own revisions, suggestions etc. In return, Hasbro's designers make suggestions on improving the transformation, solving problems with the mechanisms etc. It's a highly interconnected, collaborative process. Claiming that one company does all the work alone is a slap in the face of all the hard work that goes into the toy design, and ignoring a huge paper trail of evidence to the contrary.

    There are only very few toys designed by only one company. They can often easily be spotted: In Takara's case, they're usually overcomplicated puzzles with marvelous engineering, but may often fall short in at least one mode looking disappointing (see this dude in "truck" mode). In Hasbro's case, you can see the intention, and the aesthetic approach is good, but the design has problems in execution, the transformation is lackluster etc (the transforming Titanium figures spring to mind). When designers of both companies work together on a toy, the results usually excel anything one company is able to accomplish alone.

    Things like the live action movie toys once again change things somewhat, as the original designs, at least for the on-screen characters, are created by ILM's designers with some input from Hasbro: Hasbro and TakaraTomy then have to turn these existing designs into working toys. As we've seen, there's a huge learning curve involved, and there are several cases when they've taken multiple attempts at creating toys based on the same on-screen characters, getting more accurate with each try.

    The toy-only characters, meanwhile, follow the standard Hasbro/TakaraTomy collaboration pattern.
     

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