More accolades for Alternators

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by rherk, Mar 2, 2007.

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  1. rherk

    rherk KNERDOUT

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    Every time I get bored and feel like messing (playing) with a toy, it becomes obvious immediately that I'm most likely to dig through my collection of hundreds of different toy lines for a Transformer. Simply because they have the most play value. They are like puzzles that I can sit around and transform the vehicle into robot and back again. So what is the point of this you ask? Well, I was thinking about this and realized, every time I go grabbing for a Transformer, I almost always go for an Alternator. They not only have the most interesting transformations but they just look far superior to everything else. Out of 25 years of Transformers, it is this small line of maybe twenty figures (many just retools & repaints) that keeps me truly interested in this hobby. Don't get me wrong, there are other Transformers from other years & series' that I appreciate. Generation One is where it all began and I recognize that there are some cool toys there (primarily Diaclone molds). And, I like many of the Beast wars stuff. There is some great play value there. R.I.D. was the beginning of what was to become my favorite toy line. So, I have to give it props as well.
    With all that said, I don't see how a better Transformers line than Alternators could ever exist. How could these ever be topped (Masterpiece of course but I almost consider them as part of the Alternators)? Well, by looking at the movie toys, I certainly don't think it will be there. I am not only turned off by the character designs but the quality seems to follow "the main line" style more so than raising the bar.
    What is my point of this rant? Am I just killing some time? Yeah, maybe so but I do have a point here. We all know with the Transformers movie coming out, the movie toys are sure to dominate toy shelves for a year or so and I understand that but what if Hasbro never revisits Alternators? Is it destined to be this small collectors line that will always be remembered fondly as the pinnacle of Transformers or will Hasbro/Takara find a way to keep it going and I don't mean years and years of pointless repaints (which I am sure will happen anyway)?
    I know every collector has different tastes and it is awfully presumptuous of me to assume otherwise but I think it is pretty safe to say that Alternators are of a higher quality and caliber than the rest (I actually prefer Binaltech's but I'm keeping things domesticated considering not everyone has the ability to afford them and for $20.00 a pop at retail, Alternators are very accessible to any Transformer collector).
    Is my intent to stir a debate? Not really. It's just to reiterate the greatness of a higher quality Transformer. Some people are into the Transformers for nostalgia, play value or the mediocre story created to sell toys but for me, I just appreciate a challenging toy line that shows passion and ingenuity.
    So, with all that said, here's hoping that Hasbro/Takara does not forget about the more superior & sophisticated brand that is sure to be remembered for years to come.
     
  2. maximus prime3

    maximus prime3 Banned

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    i only have 1 alt, so right know, the series that is keeping me collecting are classics, i play with them almost every day
     
  3. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    so Which Alt. is it BTW Maximus I Have only 4 (Swindle,Grimlock,Miester and Camshaft But I only like Swindle but soon I'l get Tracks and Sunstreaker
     
  4. maximus prime3

    maximus prime3 Banned

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    it is wheeljack
     
  5. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    See I really like how detailed and complex the figures are, but I hate that they are/were all cars, a jeep, and a pick-up truck. I really would've liked to have seen military vehicles (including air and sea) as well as crazy stuff like the Dinobots. And the combiner members that don't combine with each other really irked me.
     
  6. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Wheeljack Maybe I should get him too
     
  7. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    Different strokes for different folks man. For me Alternators was not what I wanted it to be. In fact, I kind of consider it one of the low points of the franchise in recent years. Yes, they're beautiful, and yes, they're detailed. That part is wonderful. But for my tastes, they're a failure. Here's why:

    They're too big. I think the $10 Deluxe is the ideal size point for a Transformer. Big enough to be detailed, small enough to be inexpensive and not take up much space.

    They're too complex. I realize this is a controversial point, but not everyone likes complicated transformations. For me, if it takes longer than 10-15 seconds, it's too long. I feel that way because for me the connection to the franchise is because of the characters and because they CAN tranform, not the physical process of transforming. Sorry if that's confusing...I mean that I like that they're like two (or three, or four...) toys in one, but I want the transition to be snappy. They've never taken 5 or 10 minutes to transform in the shows, so why should the toys take that long? There have been a small handful that literally took me a half hour the first time I tried them. That's outright ridiculous.

    They're all cars. I know there's a truck and a jeep, but seriously. The line got watered down after about 10 toys because there was almost no variety.

    Distribution. I don't think anybody can argue with this one. Alternators had some of the worst distribution of any toyline EVER, except probably for that MOTU line a few years ago where the case packs were dominated by He-Man and Skeletor varients.

    I don't say these things to say you're wrong, because for both of us it's all an opinion. I just say it to point out that not everyone counts Alternators as the greatest thing ever. I think a lot of people just assume that everyone feels that way.
     
  8. ambushbug74

    ambushbug74 Stroke me, Stroke me! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I love the Alts, and have all the ones released in the US. Still waiting on BBTS to send the last 2 (if they don't get cancelled).
    [​IMG]
     
  9. freezowave

    freezowave Well-Known Member

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    I think they are the cat's pajamas.

    It is by far the most sophistcated domestic, mass market toy line I have ever seen. I hope that it was a pet project that the designers had that they could revisit from time to time down the road.
     
  10. darksage78

    darksage78 Maximal

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    I actually love the Alternators, I wasn't around to enjoy the G1 goodness, but after BW I got into the Gen 1 figures and these guys were much easier to get and a lot more enjoyable imo. Not to mention, you actually see these cars out there. Personally my favourite is Jazz, I don't got to the money for Binaltechs but Alternators are great.

    As far as transformation goes, sure they're longer and more complexed. Transforming Smokescreen back to vehicle mode is an annoyance but I can't help but love its mold and the transformation. I own a few G1 reissues and original figures, and its amazing to see how far things have progressed.

    About Alternators being only cars, that was a problem I had with it too. I was really excited when Smokescreen and Sideswipe came out but after that some repains came out. Truthfully, I neglected the repaints at first but I am currently in the process of getting Wheeljack and Silverstreak. The others aren't that great.

    Only gripe I've got with Alternators is that they kept reusing molds and that they're pausing the line. Sure distribution was not the best, but added some fun to the hunt for me :D 

    Edit: Not to mention the great unofficial weapon packs, I can't wait to get those for my alts when I go back to HK. Gotta get some shoulder launchers and beam sabers for my alts :) 
     
  11. dlatkow

    dlatkow Well-Known Member

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    ALts are what I always wanted out of a transforming toy. I just hope that after the movie Hasbro will bring it back.
     
  12. megatroptimus

    megatroptimus Translatorminator

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    They're not a low point for the franchise, you're just not the target market for that line since you seem to prefer less expensive kiddified Transformers.
     
  13. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    I'm more with KidDynamite on this.

    1. Too expensive- In Canada they have been found for 30 - 40 bucks at retail.

    2. Too fragile and complex- I too like to fiddle with my figures, but I don’t with the alternators as I am scared that I will break it.

    3. Can't find them! I remember that I was going to collect the new He-man Figures, but after long I figured that if I was going to be unable to get them all I would not bother, some with the alternators. To this day I still don't have Shockwave (thanks to some A-hole ebay seller.), Wheel jack, Ravage, Swerve and Nemeses Prime.

    My hope is that Hasbro will release all of them again at some point for the fans...
     
  14. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    But they are meant for kids and it is probably why the distribution issues, because an solely adult market is not enough to sustain it.
     
  15. megatroptimus

    megatroptimus Translatorminator

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    1-Again, if you can't fork out a little $30 for a Transformer, you're the wrong target market.

    2-Never broke a single Alternator. Actually, I don't even know how you would be able to break one unless you throw it against a wall or absolutely don't know what you're doing.

    3-You can easily find them all if you don't limit yourself to local distribution.

    4-Despite what the box says, Alternators were not aimed at kids, but more at adult collectors with a sense of nostalgia and into detailed model cars. Hasbro should do what Yamato do with their high-end toys and put 14 years + on the box instead of the standard 5 years +.
     
  16. dasaffe

    dasaffe Morrissey Fan

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    I understand why people don't like Alternators (frustration about distribution, size/scale not to their liking, overly complex) but I'll never understand why people call for the line to end. It is without a doubt, one of the most impressive toy lines Hasbro's ever done.

    I think the crossover that the line has enjoyed among scale-model car enthusiasts is a testament to the line's quality. And underlines why they're so great: amazingly articulated robot toys that transform into amazingly detailed model cars. That's two great toys in one.

    The Cybertron toys like Jetfire and the movie toys are a great step forward for Hasbro with realistic vehicle modes and (as far as I can tell) pretty great robot modes, but the attention to detail that has been lavished on the Alternator line really makes it a cut above.

    I think if the big Bumblebee toy from the movie is a success at retail (large toys always see clearance cutbacks, that doesn't mean they're failures) we'll see more of the Alternators in the future. Considering it's the only line I really collect, that'll be great news for me.
     
  17. theLostSeeker

    theLostSeeker Well-Known Member

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    I love the Alts! They got me back into collecting TFs. I have 15 now. I'm not a completist, so I just buy the ones I like. I'm only missing 5 to have all of those I really want (Nemesis Prime, Dead End, BT Overdrive, the new Ravage & Rumble). I have Shockwave, Wheeljack, Grimlock, Mirage, Jazz, Smokescreen, Silverstreak, Ricochet, Hound, Swindle, Tracks, Ravage, Prowl, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker.
     
  18. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    I have my own list of pros and cons about Alt/BTs.

    + Incredible engineering to have pseudo to full interiors
    - Not allowing variations of focus in the engineering towards highly unique features until the final 2 figures of the line. It ended -just- when it was having a true revitalization. :( 
    + Fun revisits of older characters
    + -Incredibly- fun reinventions of other older characters that weren't cars
    - A tremendous design stagnation, mid-line
    + Some genuinely well-thought-out transformations that used the scale to full advantage
    - Some genuinely overcomplicated transformations that used the scale to have more pointlessly fiddly components
    + 'Reissuing' a few of the harder-to-find figures in the 3rd packaging iteration
    + Offering the choice between die-cast display and play durability by joint overseas marketing design
    - Inconsistent Alt shipping that made BT more attractive to some almost purely because it actually had new molds out with a semblence of quickness
    - Creating some damned stupid arguments over "kids toys" vs "collectors items"
    + Reading enough damned stupid arguments taught me how to laugh at them
    - No unique features aside from interiors and linked steering, whose prescence could have helped a few of the more boring releases

    The above are the opinions of Vangelus, The One True Fan, and card-carrying member of all target audiences catered to by toys.
     
  19. Grimlock_13

    Grimlock_13 Reformed Geewunner

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    Alts started out spectacular, then gradually went downhill. I realize they're super expensive to make and that repaints were inevitable, and I totally didn't mind picking up repaints like Sunstreaker, but when Rollbar and Ricochet came out I was majorly turned off. I still don't like the Ram mold but I was happy to get something besides a friggin' CAR. The whole Nemesis Prime debacle was the straw that broke the camel's back for me...I wouldn't have cared in the least if it was a convention exclusive, but I wanted to be a completionist and since it had it's own unique number assigned to it within the series, AND since it's price point is well beyond what I'd ever pay for an Alternator, it killed that desire. I'm just whining pointlessly now, but I'm still pretty disappointed in what the line became. Don't get me wrong, I love the detail, the complexity and feel very fortunate that I was able to find all of them at retail...but they're way too expensive to collect when there's much better products on the shelves like Classics (IMO of course)
     
  20. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    1. I don't really mind paying the 30-40 bucks for the figure and if I had the chance I would gladly do it for all of the standard releases, but I am a collector. It is different for a random toy buyer looking for something for there kid.

    2. They are more finicky then your typical transformer and it comes with the territory of being a complex figure. Personally I like to be able to transform one figure in fewer then 20 minutes and without using the instructions. I have only opened 3 of mine, but after reading reviews of some I am inclined to be a little more careful.

    3. This coming from the guy who has bought up a ton of the movie test shots...J/K :p  The fact is that I have looked online and even now there are only 5 listings for Wheel jack and nothing under fifty dollars (plus shipping). This doesn't even include the rarities like swerve and N-prime

    4. If the line wasn't meant for kids why are they sold at toy stores? I agree that they should re-work the concept and sell to exclusively older collector markets, but again the needs of adult collectors are not top priority for a child’s toy company.
     
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