Somethings are as good as you remember: Classic Beasts!

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Smokescreen38, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Smokescreen38

    Smokescreen38 Fight fire with smoke!

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    Because of a new sports car in the stable, I have been forced to tighten the belt a bit and pick only the TFs that I am really hot for... so of course, I have been shopping for the reissued Beasties :cool: 

    Waspinator and Tarantulas were two of my all time favorites from a decade ago and both of these moulds have blown me away all over again. The transformations are simple but effective... they each look good in both modes... and they have tons of personality (regardless of their superb characterization on the show!). They are just fun, simple, beautifully executed action figures and they would be great toys on their own, even if they were unrelated to the TF history.

    Obviously TFs have evolved in the 10 years since their major "rebirth" (no pun intended) and these toys do feel very different from current offerings... but in some ways, it seems to me that they have lost something captured by the early deluxe sized beasts. They definitely feel like real Transformers but they don't feel like copies of anything. They are original and fresh... not overly detailed, not "trying too hard."

    But... Just take a look at the new Primal and Beast Megatron moulds-- it wasn't enough to have a gorilla/bot, he has to be techno/gimmick/exagerated gorilla (same with Megs)... these moulds look great but the purity is gone. Times have changed.

    I'm done rambling...

    So what do you think? Have things changed for the better or the worse with mainline toys? Do you think the early Beasties hold up to the test of time?
     
  2. ErikB

    ErikB TF Master

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    it has begun! now we g1ers aren't the only ones who complain, lol. I personaly like the new BW designs, not just another bloody repaint, it shows some effort on their part.
     
  3. Boo

    Boo Addicted to candy canes.

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    Hardly seems like he's complaining about anything. :huh


    Anyway, I agree with you on some points Smokescreen38. The Beast Wars toys aren't nearly as detailed nor are they as complex and todays TFs, but In my eye htey still hold up pretty well. Like you said... there's something actually original about them.
     
  4. rattrap007

    rattrap007 Insert witty comment here TFW2005 Supporter

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    I can't wait for ten years from now when we have 20th Anniv Optimus Primal... and BW redux lines..
     
  5. Rumble02

    Rumble02 Radicon of Obliticons

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    I love the new megs mold but the new primal just doesnt suit me. I will probably get him but still. i wish they would have done the same thing with rattrap to be honest.
     
  6. SKowl

    SKowl Rubber Golem

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    I love the new beast designs, but part of me still misses the realism we got with the first Beast Wars figures. The first few waves were among the best TFs I've ever owned. Cybershark, Razorbeast, Polar Claw, Wolfang, Razorclaw... what a time to be a beastformer fan!

    Though the Transmetals, fuzors and the newer Energon & Cybertron designs are also great (Ramulus and Energon Divebomb among my all-time favs)... I'm just happy we're still getting TFs with animal alt modes! I'm holding out for beast minicons, then I'll have even more reason to rejoice!
     
  7. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    See, to be honest I don't think they hold up well at all. Maybe it's because I didn't buy Beast toys at the time and don't have any nostalgia for them, but I don't think they're interesting at all except for historical reference. It's sort of interesting to see where the roots of modern Transformer design began, but I don't feel they particularly have any charm that is missing from more recent designs.
     
  8. mag_jr.

    mag_jr. <B><font color=red>TFW2005 Article Guy</font></B> Veteran

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    I like the better Beast Wars toys. I only bought the two characters I like the most (Waspinator and Rattrap), but they make me wish I'd paid attention at the time, instead of sniffing, "They're not vehicles." Gee, neither were the G1 Predacons, genius!

    Anyway, I think the reissues are nice, from the perspective of a fan who doesn't want to pay through the nose for minty toys, yet still wants them in that condition anyway. And I think Rattrap and Waspinator hold up well, as toys.

    If it's true that Primal and Megs have force key chip gimmicks, though, I could have done without that. I'm not that fond of the keys, one of the many reasons why I'm going to ignore most of the rest of Cybertron. It's a good line, but I keep misplacing the keys, and it gets annoying :lol 
     
  9. Rampage01

    Rampage01 knockoff of a knockoff

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    Your statement, Smokescreen38, about the Beast Wars characters being fresh and original made me think. Anymore, the mainlines are so full of homages, and just plain new versions of old characters, that they can't see straight. Most of the Beast Wars figures were entirely new characters(of course, there are exceptions, like Grimlock) that had to make it under their own merits, rather than riding on the coat-tails of other characters that have come before.
    I also hear you about the "simple but effective". A lot of them have an excellent balance between complexity and simplicity. Some of my favorite figures are basic sized Beast Wars Transformers like Claw Jaw or Terragator, who are complex enough that they aren't statues like G1 Rodimus, but are also simple enough to make them more playable than figures like Alt Prowl.

    All in all, Beast Wars was an excellent line, and remains my favorite, despite all the great things that have been coming out recently.
     
  10. Grimlock_13

    Grimlock_13 Reformed Geewunner

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    I dunno, I think the original beasts were pretty boring, especially in beast mode...I mean you can tell what they're supposed to be, but they're pretty much bricks for the most part. I mainly got the reissues because I just got the Beast Wars dvds and wanted the toys for the characters on the show...the toys weren't all that great. They definitely got better though.
     
  11. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'll go along with the crowd that see "charm" in the older Beast toys, though I'll admit it may be more nostalgia than much else. Can't get enough of (a more show-accurate) Waspinator, myself.

    The main thing I didn't like about some early Beast was the occasional use of Arms that did little but tuck up under the body in Beast mode, such as Wolfang, Waspinator (he Ain't so bad though :)  ), and Takara's Ravage.

    I think the new-mold Megatron and Optimus are neat toys, but they fall kinda far outside the Beast Wars style to fit the line very well. Megatron does a better job than Optimus IMO.
     
  12. Edgewise

    Edgewise updated homage

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    I fail to see how the BW toys don't hold up at all. There's really been no advances in the design of transformers since BW.

    BW had just as much, and often times MORE poseability than modern TFs.

    BW had all the intricate mold detail of modern TFs(perhaps not the first few waves, but the TMs, Fuzors, and TM2s did... the first few waves had less "extra detail" but looked more realistic for it)

    BW had weapons integrated into the alt modes.

    If anything I think modern TFs have actually devolved from the peak of BW. Too often they seem to have inexplicable limited range of motion on some joints(Why shouldn't Armorhide's shoulders be able to lift straight outward a full 90 degrees?). Robot mode weapons are also now sometimes just stuck somewhere on the vehicle mode instead of being well integrated, such as Cyb. Hot Shot's gun and rarely did the current design team do anything to give a storage place for this extraneous plastic keys.

    That's just talking about Cybertron, go back to Energon and Armada and many of those things were HUGE steps backwards from the beast era designs.
     
  13. SKowl

    SKowl Rubber Golem

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    Quoted for Truth!

    I loved the fact that most BW figures were completely new characters, unlike the endless homages in recent years (Yay, another Prowl police car... we've never seen that before!).
    And you're absolutely right when you say that the best BW figures were the small guys. Claw Jaw, Drill Bit, Razorbeast, Noctorro, Snarl, Dead End, Bantor and (my personal favourite) Razorclaw, just to name a few, were all great figures.

    Though I'm still pleased with the newer designs, I'm hoping one day we can see a return to realistic looking animal alt modes, and even beast minicons!
     
  14. Croaker

    Croaker Well-Known Member

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    I mean, I even like Optimus Minor!
     
  15. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    I think this is one of the major reasons why Cybertron Downshift is so popular.
     
  16. Nefud

    Nefud Well-Known Member

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    Let's not get crazy! :) 

    I'd agree with you in some respects, but I feel like a few of the Cybertron toys are just as great as the early beasts. Downshift (as previously mentioned), Red Alert, Breakdown, Vector Prime...all fairly simple, nicely detailed. I'm almost as happy with them as I am with my Beast Wars collection (and Beast Wars is what got me into all this in the first place).
     
  17. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    Let's use original Cheetor as an example. Cheetor's beast mode is as much of a brick as any G1 toy, for inexplicable reasons. Why don't his front legs in beast mode have any joints at all? Why can't his head move in any direction? He has no useful beast mode articulation, outside of the ability to make his tail move straight up or down. There are joints in his hind legs, but they don't aid in giving him the ability to be posed dynamically in beast mode because they're suited more to giving him a dynamic range of motion in robot mode instead. It's almost as if the design focus for that part was entirely on the robot mode's legs, and not the toy's design as a whole.

    Moving on to the robot mode, the beast head doesn't transform and intergrate into the chest very well. It just kind of sits out there, sticking WAY out while there's a big gaping hole behind it, and you can't really manuever it to intergrate well. He ends up looking like a sort of robotic Flavor Flav, only instead of a clock he's got a giant cheetah head hanging around his chest. Why couldn't it have folded in flush and locked into place on his chest? They made it snap into place in beast mode, why not robot mode?

    And the thing is, I think Cheetor is one of the better early Beast Wars toys. He doesn't even have one of the big problems some of those early toys suffer from: the shellformer syndrome where nearly the entire robot mode just hides inside a shell that pops open and sits on their back. One of the things I really like more about recent toys is that the designers have gotten much better at intergrating the alt mode parts into the design of the robot mode without (most of the time) hindring solid articulation. Yes, there are exceptions. Chromia/Thunderclash is certainly a heinous example of a shellformer, and she just came out.

    Please, nobody take this personally. I certainly don't like ALL current toys or think all current toys are better than what we had 10 years ago. I just think that GENERALLY the designers have gotten better at creating the entire package since 1996.
     
  18. Pidgeot018

    Pidgeot018 Pok├ęcon

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    Out of all the styles in Beast series, and what came later in Energon and Cybertron, I still like the plain old organic animal alt. mode the best. Transmetals and later types of beast toys had improved on the tranformation from a beast to bot because it was made a bit easier by having a robot shaped like an animal turn into a robot shaped more or less like a person, rather than a completely organinc creature changing into a completely robotic one.

    Early "pure" beast figures were pretty clunky, but I think they imporved somewhat around the last wave of them before the switch to Fuzors and Transmetals, and I think the Japanese toys took it even further (despite some "shellformers"). I think their dinosaur (Neo?) molds were really good, at least the ones I got in their U.S. release.


    I hope that made sense.
     
  19. Edgewise

    Edgewise updated homage

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    You're taking 1 example and then extrapolating to "generally".

    When I look at the overall, in general, at BW and compare to modern toys, there is NOT an overall/general/consistent improvement in modern toys. Any single toy can be picked about for minor flaws, but the overall average in BW I'd say was definitely higher than Armada and Energon, and equal or maybe higher than Cybertron.

    Furthermore you're also taking a figure from the early part of BW.... to be fair then you'd have to compare the original Cheetor to an early A/E/C era toy... perhaps the corresponding one... Armada Hot Shot. Is THAT an improvement? I certainly don't think so. If you want to compare with Cybertron Hot Shot, then the corresponding BW figure for comparison would be TM Cheetor. I think BW wins again in that comparison.

    I don't about you, but I'm not taking this personally... just talking...
     
  20. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    That's fine. You and I disagree. I'm not taking 1 example and extrapolating out, I'm saying that MY observation and opinion is that generally toys are better now. Yours differs and that's cool, whatever. I don't have the time or inclination to provide a detailed analysis of every single toy from 1996 versus every single toy from 2006 and devise some sort of numerical formula that would calculate which line is technically better. I do that at work all day and certainly don't want to do it in my free time.

    This I do need to disagree with on a fundamental level. The original post was in regards to "early deluxe sized beasts" (Smokescreen38's exact words) and how they compare to toys that are specifically 10 years newer...which would, of course, be Cybertron and not Armada. Fair doesn't enter into it. If it's unfair to cite newer toys as being better than older ones, then it proves the point I'm trying to make.
     

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