So what makes a figure a GOOD/BAD toy for you?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Janeails22x, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Janeails22x

    Janeails22x Collector & Customizer

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    So what is it about a Transformer figure that makes, or breaks, the toy for you? What feature or attribute seals the deal? What is a must have? What is an absolute no-no? I have seen so many opinions voiced in these forums that are across the board that I will never understand it. But I am curious as to what makes everyone tick in their own unique way.

    Is it.....

    Alt. Mode aesthetic (Sleak, Bulky, Realistic, Cybertronian)?
    Robot Mode aesthetic (Bulk, Armored, Thin, Efficient, etc.)?
    Transformation (Creative, Difficult, Simple)?
    Articulation to get the most awesome action poses?
    Stability?
    Uniqueness?
    Color Pallet?
    Gimmicks?
    Weapons?
    That car is a ROBOT!?!?!?!
    That robot is a CAR?!?!?!!
    Pricetag?
    Character?

    ....I could go on and on. And I am sure that not one of us uses only one of these criteria when critiquing a toy. However, I know there is at least one item on the list that you always come back to when deciding if you like something or hate it...

    Mine is the concept of "Robot in Disguise" and vice versa (Is that car/robot....?!?!?!) as well as transformation difficulty/creativity.

    I absolutely love it when an Alt. mode looks nothing like it would turn into a robot. This is what made the Alternators so magnificent. If an alt. mode was severely sacrificed to jam a robot into it, no thanks. What make ROTF prime perfect is that you cannot tell it will turn into a robot as easily as the first (underside), and you also can't tell or fathom his robot mode turns back into such a sleek, and disguised truck.

    If the transformation is fun, unique, and complicated, count me in. If you have to make two twists and pop a head out, I'm out.


    What about you guys? Sound off about your criterion! If you use something that is not listed, feel free to discuss!
     
  2. blunghole

    blunghole The Tapeworm of Unicron!

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    I look for a cool bot mode, and a face that shows some character. The face doesn't necessarily even need to look human; I think Cybertron Sideways' face has a ton of character.

    I also look for an interesting or realistic alt mode. Classics and Universe 1.0 were great for that with a few exceptions.

    As for transformations, I'll tend to go towards the level that you would see in Deluxes and Voyagers. I bought Leader ROTF Prime on midnight Thursday and I still can't get him into truck mode.

    If it's a Beastformer, I'll buy one that has a biomechanical or monsterous look to it over one that looks just like an animal. Transmetals and Fuzors were always my favorite beastformers.
     
  3. supervir2

    supervir2 Feels like the kid in Big everyday.

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    My TF tastes have become a bit more refined as I've bought and sold hundreds over since the mid 90's.

    At the moment, the things I look for:

    1) Cool head sculpt - can trump other deficiencies.
    2) Head articulation - must at least swivel, but up and down is a big plus
    3) Arms that only do curls (ie Cyb Scourge, etc) are big negatives
    4) Recognizable modes - i like earth modes a lot, but I'm not exclusive with them. If the toy is a clearly defined ship or car or whatever, then it is cool. The Fallen = NOT
    5) character in the robot mode - things like TM2 Iguanus or Animated figs
    6) A satisfyingly different look in bot mode from robot - ie, a toy that makes you wonder how in the world they made that happen.
    7) I like certain designs and characters from G1 and BW, so toys that look like those get a boost:) 
     
  4. shroobmaster

    shroobmaster Well-Known Member

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    First it starts at the character behind the toy, do I like the way he looks? His vehicle mode? Was he cool in the show/comic/bio?

    After that I'll rate it based on overall design/engineering/gimmick/articulation (toy stuff y'know)
     
  5. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    It varies from toy to toy; what i hate on one might be more forgiveable on another if there are other things I like. I base it on the merits of a given toy, rather broad sweeping requirements for how I feel a Transformer is supposed to be done.
     
  6. slugslinger2004

    slugslinger2004 TFW2005 Supporter

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    It's all about the robot mode for me. Great bot mode=great toy, though there are exceptions (I hate Cybertron Metroplex.)

    If the toy has a good alt mode that's just icing on the cake :p 
     
  7. saberconvoy

    saberconvoy Well-Known Member

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    I say if the alt mode is good
    the color scheme is to my preference
    the toy is almost how it is in the show.
    no bright or strange colors
    good articulation
    the head mold similar to primes
    has good weapons

    a bad one is

    the complete opposite of listed above
     
  8. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    Exceptional engineering, mild boggling transformation, and it has to look and feel to me like an adult collectible. Metal content is a plus but not required.

    MP, Binaltech, Alternators, Alternity, Movie toys, etc...
     
  9. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    good over all design
    good head sculpt
    good alt mode
    a Transformation that while being challenging isn't mind bendingly hard
    a cool bio helps as well as does a gimmick that makes sense and not just added to fit in the series or inthe case of universe hotshot adding the pointless minicon when the gimmick it was used for is gone from the figure
     
  10. WhiteMocha

    WhiteMocha TFW2005 Supporter

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    I agree with many of the things already mentioned. I would say, for me, the following apply:

    Traits of a Good Toy
    -excellent articulation, i.e. ball-jointed head that can look up, bicep swivels, thigh swivels, ankle swivels
    -solid, non-fragile feel with a fun transformation
    -clever, unexpected and innovative transformation ideas
    -strong alt mode that is not an afterthought (the mention of Metroplex above is spot-on); creative alt modes are also a plus
    -some sort of connection to a past Transformers character or theme, be it overt or more subtle homage (I'd describe this as "legacy value")
    -appropriately-sized weapons that are integrated into the alt mode
    -unique, striking paintjob and color scheme (that doesn't skimp on paint apps)

    Traits of a Bad Toy
    -poor articulation
    -articulation or aesthetic hampered/compromised by gimmicks, i.e. electronics, missile launchers, combination ability, etc.
    -fragile feeling, perpetually loose joints (see Universe Hotshot), or worst of all, gold plastic syndrome (just bad quality control in general)
    -non-intuitive or over-designed transformation that is needlessly complex (see Energon Slugslinger), or a transformation that routinely leads to parts popping off
    -parts-forming (not that we see this much anymore)
    -overly bulky, oversized, cartoonish-looking weapons that don't integrate well into the alt mode and look silly in robot mode (i.e. most of the Energon weapons)
    -boring color scheme with badly-applied or skimpy paint apps

    Now, having one or two of each of those categories doesn't automatically make a toy good or bad; most have a few good points, and a few bad points, and fall somewhere in the middle. It's only when it has a majority of one or the other category that it really becomes solidly great or terrible.
     
  11. Skylock

    Skylock Rogue

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    Articulation, Transformation, Robot mode, and Color.
     
  12. SoundMaster

    SoundMaster Likes RID Bulkhead.

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    Nice clean colors- I don't have to go too deep into this discussion. We all want our tfs to look nice and shiny.

    Solidity- I want the figure to be nice and solid. No floppy parts/kibble. I don't mind cool kibble, that allow for different looks in bot mode though. Ex: U Inferno, rotf Sideways

    Articulation- I don't need anything special, but I do want the figure to be articulated. I don't need wrists or waist joints, but just enough to get him in some nice poses.

    A solid vehicle mode that looks like something that can be seen in real life. This of course doesn't count for cybertronian vehicles though.
     
  13. thenatureboywoo

    thenatureboywoo Veteran

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    I like almost every tf i got. I really don't discriminate. Unless they have a hard time standing. I hate tf's that have to be ballanced perfectly or they will fall over.
     
  14. LightningZERO

    LightningZERO The Alternity

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    I don't have that much preferences. As long as they look cool (especially the head), fun transformation, I will buy them. I'm easy to please
     
  15. Paxtin

    Paxtin Why am I here?

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    For me, one of the things that must always come first is the alt-mode. The whole concept of a Transformer is that it turns into something.
    The alt-mode for me must always be solid. Very few visible seems and the ones that are visible are flush with the body line of the alt-mode. Case in point of bad seems on a toy would be Universe Ironhide.
    I so tried to convince myself to get that figure, because it's Ironhide, but I just couldn't get past that cracked up looking alt-mode.

    Another thing that will turn me off from a TF are visable robot parts in alt-mode.
    Now, I don't mean like if you flip over a car bot and see him looking out from the bottom. (You'd be in trouble if that's something that really gets to you.) I mean cases like Universe Dinobot. He has robot arms hanging out of his chest in dino-mode...That just looks silly. I just can't get past that, no matter how much I like the character.

    Something I look for in a transformer is a unique or engaging robot-mode. That's why I really like the movie line. These robot designs are very fresh takes on transformers, and I love that sort of thing.
    I also liked Animated, because of how stylized they were, the figures had a lot of character to them. Even just sitting on a shelf, they look "animated".

    Case in point of Robot modes I don't like, and this may come as a surprise to some, Universe Sideswipe and Sunstreeker. I just thought these guys looked boring.
    I'm not to going to harp on the molds if you like them, but for me they didn't really offer anything that interested me.
     
  16. Ethereal

    Ethereal A Sad Flareon

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    I like toys with a complex enough Transformation, but not headbangingly complex. I bought Universe Dropshot and he just...unfolds and BAM, there he is. However, I did buy ROTF Rampage and I'm having a hard time figuring out if I've got him in the bulldozer mode correctly.

    Animated Blurr was a good example of complex-while-still-fun transformation.

    Unique alt modes is another standard. I'm not as picky about it, but you bet your sweet ass I picked up Ransack the moment I saw him. Quirky, cool alt modes are what draw me to a figure. Anyone can be a car, let's have a toaster ^_^
     
  17. rapid_fire

    rapid_fire TFW2005 Supporter

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    It has to look like the show/movie or else I won't bother with it (within reason, and G1 exlcluded)

    And it should have some level of posability, and not fall apart when you go to pose it.
     
  18. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    I usually don't care too much about the type of TF (beast, vehicle, real-world, futuristic/cybertronian). It usually works out in this order: (of descending importance)

    * Robot mode looks/sculpt - my TF toys spend most of the time in robot mode anyway
    * Design/Engineering - how solid in either mode, the complexity of transformation, balance, stability, does anything fly off when posing or transforming?
    * Articulation - It doesn't need to do yoga or have every joint a human does, but it's nice to pull off a "natural" stance at least.
    * Color - I'm more tolerant about this, so color is rarely a 'deal breaker' on a good mold, but it will affect what repaint I pick.
     
  19. Janeails22x

    Janeails22x Collector & Customizer

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    You know what the most obvious thing about these responses are? I agree with the majority of them. I forgot to list movie accuracy, robot parts hanging out of an alt mode hoping not to be noticed. Some of you are mentioning things that I basically said to myself while watching a review or seeing a figure in stores...

    "That universe Ironhide looks like shattered glass! Terrible."

    "Dinobot has 4 arms??? Why, that's just lazy."

    "Supreme Devastator is ass."

    "That doesn't look anything like cartoon/movie"

    One of the biggest pardoxes I have faced is Movie 1 Leader Megatron. Why? I think his jet mode was very screen accurate (feet dangling from the wings notwithstanding) to which I liked very much. But his robot mode is just....blech. Kibble-tastic, Crap-tastic, unposable POS. Buuuuuuuuut...I sort of ultimately like him because of the screen accurate jet-mode. Maybe that's just me not hating myself for spending 40 bones for this blue and pink, cotton candy disaster. Did I buy the premium? No. Will I if I find him for 5 bucks.....no.

    Another thing I have noticed about this thread is that there aren't that many opposing thoughts. They are pretty well consitent of each other. I suppose the ultimate factor lies not within the features or attributes of what makes a figure great or poor, but the perception of what is "acceptable *blank* " by the individual. Fill in the blank with any feature you want...articulation, screen accuracy, color, etc. Your idea of acceptable or good articulation may be the complete opposite to your neighbor's idea of the same concept.

    Look at the number 3. To some, it is a number and solely a number. To others, it may be a bird flying, or even a nudist sitting on a beach if rotated 90 degrees.

    Long story short, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in which "beauty" is a limitless, misunderstood ideal that will never be absolute, nor ultimately defined by the masses.

    Long live opinion!
     

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