Movie Toy Engineering

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Razerwire, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    Anyone else feel that the engineering on the movie toys, namely the deluxes, voyagers, and leaders fell a little short? I feel that the designs are great (minus Leader Megatron's legs in ALT mode and Scorponok's BOT mode) but the engineering of the toys needed a little help.

    Granted there are a few solid figures in the movie line. Personally the ones that I feel were engineered very well were OP, Ratchet, and Wreckage. The others all had some basic engineering flaws that seemed like it could be fixed with a simple peg here or there.

    I'm not claiming in any way to be a specialist in this. It's all personal view from the years of collecting but here's a list of what I felt of what figures needed and fell short of:

    1. Starscream: in the jet mode, the front of the fuselage/upper legs/thighs could've used a peg to join the two legs together and then two more pegs to join each leg to the upper part of the jet. That way the legs don't keep moving around under the fuselage.

    2. Ironhide: I'm can't think of a fix off the top of my head but his shoulders/front of the truck in robot mode are just held up by springs. I wish there was a way that the middle chest part could peg into each shoulder part to keep them in place.

    3. Blackout: the tail of he helicopter and his legs are near the same length. If there was a way to fold up the tail, that would've been great. But I can see it being difficult since the rotor mechanism is housed in there.

    4. Bumblebee: the chest piece with the Autobot badge could've used something to hold it in place instead of letting it swing up or down constantly.

    5. Barricade: a neck joint would've been very nice.

    6. Jazz: I don't think there could've been much done for his arms but it would've been nice if there was something the could've done better with it.

    7. Swindle: a peg to keep the cannon part connected to the upper red part of his chest would've helped keep him together in robot mode.

    8. Brawl: there MUST have been a better solution to his shoulders.

    9. Bonecrusher: a peg in the lower legs to connect both legs together in ALT mode would've really helped keep his legs in place better.

    Again, I'm not claiming that I am an expert toy engineer. I just feel that with the minor suggestions above, a lot of the figures would've held together better. OP, Ratchet, and Wreckage hold together great in both modes for me. Kinda wished it was across the board.
     
  2. SharkyMcShark

    SharkyMcShark Hi. I'm better than you

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    Brawls arms are a pain in the ass. That said it doesnt stop him from being my favourite dlx so far. Barricade would have been better if it had neck articulation, but its still a fairly good figure. and the Blackout thing doesnt bother me as much either. It just that damned Brawl arm thing.

    And thats all the movie toys ive got so far...
     
  3. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    In the voyager Ironhide Thread, someone on the last page posted a how-to to fix Ironhides shoulders (which had both truck halfs flat), but, it was debunked as another member found out that that fix damaged the toy severly over time. The same debunker (I think) posted another fix which clipped the arms and kept the shoulder truck halfs in the exagerated "V" shape.

    Also, if you put Blackout in the mild hunch-back pose from the trailers, he looks a lot better.
     
  4. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    if theyre short on specific things it means theyre on par with previous lines.

    generally, cost control measure may affect the following:
    - number of paint apps
    - number/type of articulation/joint

    note however the distribution of the above may not be necessary for each figure. the makers may opt to spend a bit more on certain figures based on potential popularity, etc.

    also, the fact that this time around hasbro has to churn a wider range of product (as opposed to concentrating solely on action figures) may affect certain sub-line.
     
  5. Gen. Magnus

    Gen. Magnus Everything is Awesome

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    I kinda thought the same thing until yesterday. I got in a BW Polar Claw and took it apart (for a custom I am working on, my first non-alt!) and saw how the jaw mechanism works when the figure is in alt mode. This kind of mechanism would work perfectly for Blackout's tail section to make it able to fold but still able to spin when straightened.

    [​IMG]

    Part 2 fits within part 1 and is able to rotate for transformation though that is unimportant for this idea.

    The gray part on 1 is curved. the middle red crest on 2 is a button that is directly attached to the shaft below the head (no pun intended). This shaft pushes against the gray plate on the polar bear head to open it's jaw when the button is pushed.

    Since the gray part on 1 is curved and moves when the legs are straightened, this pushes against the button on 2. There is a spring to pull the curved gray bit on 1 bvack to the initial position.

    If, in Blackout, the legs were replaced by a central button like the one on the ent of his tail and that was fitted within something akin to part 2, button on shaft, when straightened, the 2 shafts would align and thus the button press would operate. When turned, however, this could disable the blade function.

    I do hope this wasn't too convoluted... I've not had any coffee yet and am still very tired.
     
  6. SocrManiac

    SocrManiac TFW2005 Supporter

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    I firmly believe the Transformers of the 80's were a major reason for why I am an engineer today. I've been a fan of well-engineered toys to this day, which is why I'm still around.

    In general, this line is very reminiscent of the Alternators in that we're looking at shelled robots. It's rare in this line for blocky body parts to pull away from the mass of the toy (Ratchet is one example). I don't recall pieces of that shell ever forming structural body parts in the Alternator line, however (Jazz's arms).

    For collectors and adults, this isn't necessarily a bad thing (nor was it for the Alternators) but children are going to destroy these toys. The rather universally poor instructions compound this problem significantly.

    From a true engineering standpoint, these toys are far more impressive to me than many of the more recent lines (Alternators excluded). I haven't owned many toys from the Cybertron/Armada/whatever toy lines, as I just don't see much thought or care required to design them. It's a relatively simple matter to create a new car/ship/aircraft from a robot when you have the luxury of free form. Contrast this to creating a robot from a real world object- there's a reason the Alternators and movie toy lines have more involved transformation sequences. The most recent Omega Supreme and Metroplex toys are perfect examples of this to me- what the heck are these alternate modes supposed to be? I understand it revolves around a licensing issue, but the complexity is far below designing around real world constraints. Leader Prime vs. Leader Megatron is a perfect illustration of this. Leader Prime's transformation is far more complex and involved, while Leader Megatron's complexity is borne from poor instructions and only a vague idea of what the end result is supposed to be. Once the steps are nailed, Megatron can be transformed in seconds, while a similar level of familiarity with Prime will still take minutes.

    The automorph is a given- mass producing many of these parts is no small task while keeping costs down. I'm quite impressed by the simplicity of the automorph designs compared to the complex transformations they bring. BIG thumbs up go to the engineers, here.

    The only toy in the line that seriously disappoints me is Starscream. While Ironhide has obvious kibble betraying his disguise, Starscream has no disguise. While the transformation sequence might be fun, there's little point in my eyes to a modern Transformer that is so obviously a Transformer. Megatron has the advantage here in being free form- his alternate mode is a reconfiguration of his body for the purposes of flight. There is a purpose to it, rather than a transformation for the sake of a transformation. To me, this is more of what a "real" Transformer might be if disguise isn't the goal.
     
  7. Prowl2000

    Prowl2000 Keep it sealed TFW2005 Supporter

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    My biggest complaint about the movie toys/character design is the faces. I really don't know what they were thinking. Its very difficult to see the faces and I think when children try to see the movie they will be scared by the sharp angles and lack of human characteristics.

    The only toy I've picked up so far is Jazz and I'd like to either mod the head myself to look more friendly.
     
  8. SocrManiac

    SocrManiac TFW2005 Supporter

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    How is the face design an engineering issue?
     
  9. megatroptimus

    megatroptimus Translatorminator

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    Brawl is the only bad apple, the others are all fine as is. I could list problems for all the Cybertron, Energon and Armada toys if I wanted to.
     
  10. Beastbot X

    Beastbot X The Toad Knows.

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    Honestly, after getting Brawl I don't think his arms are all that bad. They pull out rather easily, sure, but they can at least stay in their pegs if you're careful when moving him. I don't think it comes close to ruining the toy.
     
  11. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    Of the few that I currently have, I'll admit there's some design flaws that bother me a bit. With Starscream, it's mainly the arms. Had they noth been the gatling arms, but rather his normal arms, I feel they could have intergrated better into his alt mode while giving him a much sleeker bot mode look. But his additional gimmick, that of rolling him to make his guns twist and fire, caused his arms to be excessively bulky which just hang there in both modes.

    As for Ironhide's shoulders, I think that was done intentionally as they're supposed to be loose like that. They're shoulder pads which move with the bot, so they just kinda bounce there. It looks great on mine imo, the big guy juststandin there with a hand on his hip all broad shouldered and such. What I *do* have a problem with is the head and the huge gap between his chest piece and his neck. If that lil flip up flap hooked into something I wouldn't mind as much, but as is I think it's a lot of wasted space. That and his lightpiping is REALLY hard to get working.

    I'll agree with swindle needing that extra peg though, and they could have given his neck room to move as it's otherwise built for such. But overall he's fine as is.

    The one I *really* have a problem with is Blackout. Though he looks incredible in both modes, his engineering and mechanical workings are just HORRID. His automorph just does not work. His pegs are loose and flimsey and his transformation is literally lying down. Plus the fact that he is just. too. small. For something so cool looking and a character so imposing, the mechanics of his toy, from size to gimmick to transformation, are just all poorly done imo.
     
  12. NGW

    NGW Rawr

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    Of the three I have (again, still waiting on picking up SS) I only have a couple real complaints.

    Barricade-Though my personal favorite from the line, he isn't perfect. His "long arm of the law" fires WAY too easily when you don't want it to (i.e. during transformation, or while posing) but is a pain at times to fire when you want it to. I'd liked to have had some head posability, but it's just a minor issue. My only other complaint with him is that his damn hips don't lock into place.

    Bonecrusher-I also think his legs should peg together. For alt mode it'd help keep them in place. For bot mode, I'd have liked his hips to peg together as well.

    Ironhide-His shoulder pads, they really need something to hold them into place without feeling like it is stressing the joint/spring too much. I'd also have quite appreciated it not being a bitch to transform him back to alt mode (so far been about half an hour each time I've done it -_-).
     
  13. Phy

    Phy I want... ROOM SERVICE!!

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    You exaggerate.
     
  14. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    His arms turn and fold up, his legs turn and fold up and his head flips in the middle. It's not a very complex transformation in any way. The only thing that makes it in any way shape or form difficult to transform is the fact that his Automorph feature is a pain to use, which goes against the very concept of it. Combined that with his rather small size in bot mode and it makes him seem like he's nothing more then a big Deluxe. Half his size is his back kibble/weapon in both modes, as it's made to work both Blackout and Scorponoks gimmicks. But because they put so much effort to make sure it works both toys, it makes this one much more lackluster.
     
  15. Beastbot X

    Beastbot X The Toad Knows.

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    The point is he's dead, and the Matrix died with him!




    Sorry, had to.

    Anyways, beyond the oft-mentioned Brawl problem, which I think is a little annoying but exaggerated in how much it subtracts from the toy, engineering problems I have:

    - Jazz's automorph feature takes way too much force to work. At first I thought mine was broken, but FINALLY after I pushed the rear roof piece forcefully into his back for the 20th time it worked.

    -Swindle's stomach flap is way too loose, in both modes.

    -Bumblebee's automorph feature, like Jazz's, also takes way too much force to work. I'm afraid I'm going to break the thing, even though I got the version without the tab error.

    Other than that, all of my toys are fine.
     
  16. Switchblade

    Switchblade Just a raggedy man

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    The only engineering flaw that I consider to be truly major is Brawl's shoulders. I still don't understand how something that falls out so easily could make it past the prototype stage, especially when there are plenty of better options for making that connection.

    Getting the front of Bumblebee's car mode to stay attached when transforming back to vehicle mode is annoying, but not a major detriment to the figure.

    Ironhide's shoulder pads don't bother me anymore after the first couple of days, nor do Barricade's neck and spring-loaded fist (which is actually really hard to fire on mine).
     
  17. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch TFW2005 Supporter

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    On the feet there are two tabs that can be connected to two corresponding holes in the fuselage below the head, but I do agree about a tab or something to hold the upperlegs/thighs in place would be nice.

    Do you mean have the shoulders lay flat instead of sticking up in a V? If so the shoulders can be locked down in bot mode so they are flat, the only problem I see with it is that it limits the arm movement and leaves too big of a gap around the head.

    I agree.

    I agree, but it's not that bad, no where as bad as Brawls arms.

    A beefier peg on each arm woud probably do it. There also needs to be a peg or something to better lock the tank turret to his back.

    There is a tab on each toe/tentacle that connects in under the rear wheel well. It's not the best, but it seems to work pretty well on mine.
     
  18. megatroptimus

    megatroptimus Translatorminator

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    Huh? It doesn't require any force. You just fold down the roof and everything happens magically.
     
  19. QuinJester

    QuinJester T. Bison

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  20. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    My brawl is just fine.
     

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