Robot Accuracy v. Car Accuracy

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by tehKOREANdude, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. tehKOREANdude

    tehKOREANdude inimitable, original

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    Why do you think that it's often the robot mode of TFs that get compromised for the sake of the vehicle mode (with the exception of that deluxe classics prime)?
     
  2. masishadow

    masishadow Well-Known Member

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    *shrugs* Every single TF I have is displayed in robot mode. I see vehicle mode once or twice, very shortly. I would assume it's done solely for packaging purposes and an oooh ahhh shiny reaction to the vehicle mode. (Which I do hate when I buy TF's that packaged in robot mode...looking at you HFTD Banzai-tron.)

    It is kind of misleading though. Pretty vehicle mode, super pretty robot mode bio-pic with weathering, extra paint apps and then...oh, so plain.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  3. Grimwing

    Grimwing Scientist Supreme

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    Its how they design a transformation scheme. If they have to preserve a specific robot look they will start with the robot form with all of his features and body proportions. see generations warpath for example and then draw a transformation scheme for that to change into an H-tank.

    If the vehicle mode has to be more seamless like with a licensed GM movie car. Then they start with the vehicle and have the panels and mass expand outward until it forms that robot. Usually it does leave things like wheels and glossy vehicle armor bits floating around. But that's usually a very well understood part of the look of Transformers that they have possesed since the Original generation.

    Believe me I'd love to see even crazier mecha. But a great example of the vehicle mode being compromised for the robot mode is Universe Silverbolt. Because the Robot Design pulls off a really traditional look, with only a backpack.
    While the vehicle form is often critisized for carrying the robot around on the bottom. If you don't mind it. Then silverbolt works for you. But if your way into seamless vehicles then other designs, the ones that work from the vehicle form outward are going to work better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  4. einis

    einis Want some candy?

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    Pretty cool explanation!
     
  5. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    Also, one of the things that I've noticed is that older figures (G1 mostly) have much more accurate alt modes, while a lot of the newer toys have better robot modes.
     
  6. HoosierDaddy

    HoosierDaddy Decepticon. I'm no hero

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    I like it when vehicle mode looks good. Plus when the engeneers find a way to make the robot mode look good I call that success and there are plenty of examples of success. this is why i am so turned of by so many movie figures. Seriously half of them look like a robot with an unrecognizable face and it looks as thought they just folded it up and left the vehicle mode utterly ugly. Look at examples like movie and ROTF megatron. Then look at shockwave. Are you kidding me? They are supposed to look like what? Just a chunk of metal with wheels or tracks so we'll just call it "cybertronian mode" to pull it off? I really just don't care for it. Now look at most classics and you will see an amazing engeneering job in most cases. Just my 2 cents.
     
  7. IronicHide

    IronicHide MEME GO HERE

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    Agreed with most of the above.

    Certainly, in 1984 there was a huge novelty in having accurate scale vehicles - like Matchbox cars, Scalextric, Hornby trains, and a few others that dominated boys' toys - but that turned in to robots.

    Looking back, most of those robots were pretty crappy in 1984. Little articulation, chunks of kibble, legs that didn't even separate for a lot of them, clumsy accessories, etc. (But, Lord knows I loved 'em.)

    Nowadays, HasTak have an unenviable balancing act to perform, even more so when the alt mode is a registered and recognised vehicle such as a specific military aircraft or a famous car.

    Hence, from RiD onwards, we can all think of some examples of shell-formers, dictated by having an accurate vehicle form. I'd actually list Movie 1 Bumblebee, ROTF Sideswipe and Dead End, Classics Ironhide and TFA Jazz are all essentially a humanoid action figures with car bits grafted on top.

    Just maybe a large part of the love for TFA toys is the healthy balance between screen-accurate alt modes and robot modes (Sentinel's legs aside), something which is undoubtedly aided by having the toy design process partnered up so tightly with the cartoon design process. Also, yes, it's a cartoon, they can make alt modes look however they like.

    And, not to flame, if you want a detailed alt mode that looks the part and a fantastic looking robot mode then, for all its flaws, please see Classics Galvatron.
     
  8. Auto Morph

    Auto Morph Gimmick Bot

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    I won't deny that robot modes are now the best they've ever been, but the only accurate alt modes in G1 were in 1984-85 (not actually designed by Hasbro). Once the '86 movie hit most of what we got was 100% plastic and outrageous 'futuristic' *ahem* vehicles.

    I would say the robot AND vehicle modes we have now are the best in TF history, especially when you consider the engineering that is involved in turning one form into another. Just look at the Human Alliance series or RotF leader Prime. These are toys that just wouldn't have been possible as little as 5 years ago.

    I think the HasTak designers have learnt a hell of a lot from the movie lines.
     
  9. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Depends on what you mean by "accurate alt modes".

    If you mean "look exactly like existing vehicles", then yes: With the exception of Alternators and some of the movie cast, we're not getting this sort of thing these days, because faithful recreations of existing cars require expensive licenses. Thus, most alternate modes these days are deliberately modified car designs, or hybrids along the lines of "take the curves of a Chevy, add the front of a Subaru, the headlights of a Porsche and the rear end of a Ford".
     
  10. HoosierDaddy

    HoosierDaddy Decepticon. I'm no hero

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    Agreed. That's why I love TFA.
     
  11. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    Bring back Alternators/Binaltech. That way, we can get the best of both worlds.
     
  12. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    Robot mode ALWAYS is preferred.
     
  13. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

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    agreed. The robot modes weren't that great either. I remember a lot of those being a disappointment at the time.

    As for the accuracy question, I think it's just something that comes up a lot in movietoys because the designs cheat so much.

    Animated had more accurate toys because there was more back and forth. They design the botmode, then they design the altmode, then come up with a transformation scheme, then they go back and make revisions to the botmode, and if it's no longer working for the character, then they go back and make changes to the altmode.

    I think with the movie designs it's more a case of starting out with the vehicle, then designing the botmode with no real transformation in mind. They'll put a wheel here, and a door there and some random curved vehicle parts whereever they think looks good, and then it's up to ILM to make it all work.
     
  14. WHEELSABER

    WHEELSABER Well-Known Member

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    I agree with what has been mentioned so far. The expectations these days for articulation versus character accuracy has always been the balancing act for engineers and fans alike. But with transformers, the challenge has always been to integrate the character accuracy in alt. mode and robot mode. Considering the mass market for transformers has and will always be dominated by commercial branding with company cars or "earth" mode looking vehicles is why the line flourished to begin with. Personally I loved the direction the transformers took post movie with the cybertronian "vehicle" modes. To me, that was the beginning of the core look and mythos with transformers. And the engineering possibilities that came with the look of the futuristic vehicles were probably tougher to layout back then. And considering that a lot of the post movie stuff was "new" territory in general for engineers after most of the pre-movie bots were from existing diaclone molds anyway. Nowadays, it seems like engineers could use those futuristic vehicle modes to there advantage to integrate into the whole process of creating a balanced look of screen accuracy and alt. mode. I think if Hasbro were to take a new direction in a cartoon series someday they should look into the "futuristic" or "foreign" aspects of the transformers alt. modes and go from there. Something in the vein of the transformers victory series look. The possibilities there are tempting and endless.
     
  15. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    I actually prefer alt mode accuracy. Just get the robot as close as possible.
     
  16. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

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    I'm the same. That's why I'll be pissed if they can't do a licensed altmode for Mirage/Dino.

    I tend to have at least half of my figures in altmode at any one time. I just like the hidden potential of it. They're also neater that way.

    Alternators were good for this. One time I hid some in with my brother's Burago collection, and then pointed them out to him a week later when he hadn't noticed.
     
  17. sideswipe88

    sideswipe88 Stig's Asian Cousin

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    TFTM Bumblebee is a perfect example of this:arm guards become the roof, excellent car mode.
     
  18. Dansproject

    Dansproject Drifticon

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    More often than not, TFs are packaged in their alternate mode, so they have to look attractive to potential buyers.
     
  19. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

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    that seems to apply to just deluxe class now. Whether it'll have an effect remains to be seen, but already Voyager Ironhide and Optimus seem like they have rather shit altmodes.
     
  20. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    I'm more into robot modes. The alt mode needs to be good, but the bot mode has to be better. I like to think of unveiling a TF's bot mode as a rewarding experience.
     

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