I've noticed that there has been a lot of ill will recently towards Hasbro for not giving individual combiner components individual robot modes, and after doing a bit of poking around I have come to a conclusion: Making combiners with individual robot modes is easy. Making combiners with individual robot modes that stand up to today's toy standards is HARD. If you look at the grand master list of Combiners on TFwiki, you'll notice that the vast majority are from G1. Why? BECAUSE STANDARDS OF TOY MANUFACTURING WERE NOT AS HIGH. Not to mention the fact that toy manufacturing technology was far behind what we have today. Hasbro could afford to make a combiner with very limited articulation and almost zero posability since that was what was expected of the time. They could also get away with having individual robot modes that frankly looked rather silly since well, that was the expectation. Perhaps one of the biggest factors was the death of the "partsformer". Since there was no expectation that a robot should stay as one cohesive whole during transformation, Hasbro/Takara were free to have free pieces all over the place, a fact they exploited for all it was worth with combiners (the fact that the vast majority of scratchbuilt combiners resort to partsforming is a testament to this). I mean just take a look at the below picture of Superion's "combiner kibble" Nowadays it is much harder to get away with that sort of thing. Beast wars in particular established such conventions as high posability, heavy articulation, and cohesive transformations that are seen as standards to this day. All these made many of the "shortcuts" toy designers used back in the G1 days very hard to get away with. Sure there were still combiners, but not nearly in the amounts as back in G1. Now the Energon line was the exception to this of course, but only because its central theme was combination. Now I wasn't really in the fandom when the Energon line was active, but I have gotten the impression that the overall response to it was rather...lackluster. But ask yourself this. If the Energon toys were released back in G1, what would the response have been? Probably overwhelmingly positive, since they were of much higher standards OF WHAT WAS SEEN AS NORMAL AT THE TIME. So could Hasbro engineer a combiner with individual robot modes that lives up to todays standards? Most likely yes, but in the end Hasbro is still running a business, and developing such a toy would probably take far longer and cost much more then they are willing to spend. So maybe we shouldn't be getting angry at Hasbro for making things like the Power Core Combiners the way they are. They are doing their darndest to keep the concept of Combiners alive and relevant in today's toy market. Is the concept exactly the same as the G1 days? No. Is the concept still one worth exploring? Oh hell yes! Hasbro is just taking a different approach to the concept. It's not a downgrade, rather, it's adaptation. Good god this got long. Jesus. All nighters do WEIRD things to my brain chemistry.