TF show's Cast of Characters.

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by deathsheadx, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. deathsheadx

    deathsheadx Well-Known Member

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    I was looking back over the various TF's series and i realised:

    The Cast of characters has gotten smaller over the years.

    Now i know that it could be argued that the G1 cast hardly spent any time on the characters that were there, and I can agree with that, but there was a notable sense of community about the characters on both sides. starscream had his seekers, wheeljack worked with Ratchet, we knew if something was being built by the decepticons it would usually involve the constructicons and so on.

    the thing is in modern shows there is a focus on a small main cast and a few recurring/oneshot characters. and outside that small core there isn't much of a wider community feel

    Why is it like that?

    Is it a case of product placement driving who gets screen time?

    Is it a case of the limited amount of episodes each series has?

    Is it a General Story formula issue?

    Just what do you think has caused the narrowing of the cast of characters in latter transformer shows?
     
  2. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Back in the G1 era, Hasbro didn't have any experience with the brand. Esssentially, they viewed all characters as equally "important" (maybe Optimus Prime a little bit higher), and wanted to market as many toys as possibly. Back then, more than one toy of the same character was viewed as "repetitive" and "uninspired". The brand identity was "robots that transform", and "characters" were considered as a mere marketing tool.

    These days, Hasbro is aware of the importance of recognizable characters, and the brand identity is built around them. Instead of literally throwing 40 characters at you at once and hoping viewers buy as many of them as toys as possible, they use a limited cast with multiple toys for each character, and later built upon that with additional characters who get their own toys. That focuses the story as well as the toy line, as it allows them to use the core characters for marketing purposes instead of slapping Gears on a cereal box, Brawn on a toothbrush and Skids on a bed sheet and hoping that children find them just as cool as Bumblebee.
     
  3. mrgalvaprime

    mrgalvaprime #BanTJ

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    I hate to say it but.....

    Nevermore is right
     
  4. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't hate to say it. Nevermore is correct!
     
  5. Honorbound

    Honorbound The Reclusive Semi-Lurker

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    I'm joining in with the chorus. Nevermore is right.
     
  6. D-Unit

    D-Unit #1 Heel

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    Also, being a teacher, my thoughts are that part of it is due to kids having a shorter attention span than they did before. Today, kids have phones and machines that keep track of everything for them, so really, people don't have to "think" as much as they did back then. Plus, as stated earlier, it was more about selling toys back then, rather than who the characters people liked were, so all that I think is why it is why it is.
     
  7. mrgalvaprime

    mrgalvaprime #BanTJ

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    While this may seem like a total cliche of what teachers think, as a student i have to agree
     
  8. grunge

    grunge The TANK

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    Also keep in mind that perhaps, in terms of animation budget, it perhaps cost less to have fewer characters, as was the case with Beast Wars. However, maybe Beast Wars set the standard, fewer characters made for a better show. People will want to buy the toys becuase the show was better to view than something with a flavor of the week?

    Then take into account how Hasbro is, they will want to re-use a mold over and over again, so fewer characters means fewer molds that need to be produced for the toy line. They like to repaint and retool if you hadn't noticed, which leads to more and more characters being reconisable. You could almost in way, say the Transformers reflect how people are from the era they are released.
    The 80's TF may have had some repaints but each TF was a character onto itself and you could ID it will little effort. IMO people had more personality back then and over the years, people seem to be more alike than nessesary. I mean, kids seem to generic anymore, and they are all the same. Much like TF, in this respect, the Hotrod mold should have been stand alone, since no Tf looked close to what Hotrod looked like. But no. Sideburn gets repainted into that mold. Sure it looked good, however, now Sideburn is akin to Hotrod as a moldmate, thusly losing a little of his individuality. I don't mind sharingmolds but some TF should never have their mold shared with any other TF.

    BUT! I digress ... Money is likely a key factor in the question at hand too.
     
  9. Kaymac

    Kaymac I'M REALLY FEELIN' IT!

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    A smaller core cast also leads to better storytelling, and character development. There are less characters to focus on at once, and time doesn't have to be distributed to 40 different dudes. Prime has a small cast, but it allows for more focus on individuals.

    Transformers works as an entertainment before toys brand. It's evolved into this, with most media getting toys after the fact, rather than basing the media on the toys. The movies, Prime, Animated and WFC all did this, and it makes for better storytelling than "SUPER MODE COMBINE POWERLINK MINI-CON CYBER KEY"
     

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