TFWe Issue 04 - August 2011

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Kickback, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    [​IMG]

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ISSUE 04 IN PDF FORMAT

    ------------------------------------------------------

    As the Fandom Turns...
    [​IMG]
    written by Dan Sheehan and Silas Zee, artwork by Silas Zee

    ------------------------------------------------------​


    These days when people talk about Transformers and the movies, they are almost always referring to the Michael Bay live-action movie franchise which first made it's appearance in theaters back in 2007 and took the world by storm. A couple billion dollars later, that's all anyone ever seems to talk about anymore with a large, varying array of opinions to boot.

    But before 2007 there was only one "Transformers: The Movie" in existance, and it was released back on August 8th, 1986. To this day it remains a staple of many older fans' hearts - their favorite Transformers battled it out (even to the death) against each other and a planet-sized Transformer who called himself Unicron.

    New heroes arrived to fight the Decepticons (Ultra Magnus, Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Springer, Arcee) as well as new Decepticons rising from the ashes to fight our new heroes (Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge, the Sweeps). We saw our childhood hero, Optimus Prime, fight to his last breath to defeat Megatron. We saw Starscream finally get what he deserved at the hands of Megatron's new body and new persona, Galvatron. We saw a lot of awesome, and a true rarity is the fact that a lot of the movie still stands up as "watchable" to this day (go back and try to watch the original Thundercats or M.A.S.K. ... you can't, they're almost unbearable).

    This issue we take a look back at Transformers: The Movie and give some celebration to its 25th anniversary. Sol Fury is also back from Canada, and while dodging crowds of riotters back home in England, he's risking his all to share with us all the stories and memories from the annual TFcon convention held the last weekend of July in Toronto. We also (finally!) bring you the Community Spotlights section which has been a struggle and a half to get put together (for some unknown reason, thank you for the patience!).

    Thanks for reading! Leave some feedback!

    Kickback
    TFWe Editor-in-Chief
    Follow me @rankal on Twitter and @tfw2005 for all your Transformers news!

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Transformers: The Movie 25th Anniversary
    [​IMG] - How Killing Optimus Prime Almost Killed Transformers
    [​IMG] - Final Movie versus Early Script
    [​IMG] - Transformers: The Movie Fun Facts, Errors, etc.
    [​IMG] - An Unlikely Day - Joe Moore's Reflection on doing TFTM 20th Anniversary DVD Commentary

    TFcon 2011 - Canada's Annual Transformers Convention
    [​IMG] - A British Man Goes to Canada - TFcon Review
    [​IMG] - TFcon Headrobots Review

    Toys! Toys! Toys!
    [​IMG] - FansProject Casuality Series Thundershred Review
    [​IMG] - Gimmickry
    [​IMG] - Cyberverse Toyline Review

    Community Spotlights
    Editor's Note: We'd like to apologize for the delay in getting these pieces out! Unfortunately their initial release in Issue 02 was held back due to constraints in getting our Q&A's finished with our selections. Issue 03 was held back due to a last-minute time crunch - we didn't want to release them unless we could put 100% into it. That being said, here are the very over-due Community Spotlights. Enjoy!

    [​IMG][​IMG] - August 2011 Community Spotlights

    What's Left
    [​IMG] - Editorial - The After Market
    [​IMG] - The Final Word

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Credits

    Editor-in-Chief: Kickback
    Lead Editor: Sol Fury
    Editor: Joe Moore
    Farmhand: Secretcode
    Takes Too Many Pictures: Shin Densetsu
    As the Fandom Turns: Deefuzz and shibamura_prime
    Cover artwork: shibamura_prime
    Cover layout: Joe Moore
    Community Spotlights: Black_Oracle, Unicron-9, WhiteMocha, alucard77
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2011
  2. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    How Killing Optimus Prime Nearly Killed Transformers
    [​IMG]
    written by Kickback

    In 1985, after the booming success of the Transformers took the toy shelves and television air waves by storm, Hasbro quickly realized a small little problem - they were running out of toys to use from Takara! The Microman and Diaclone toys were in short supply, as most of the product was already used in the '84 and '85 releases. They needed new product, and fast, and they wanted a way to showcase all these new products in a way that would, as they hoped, drive kids to the toy aisles more fiercly than ever before.

    They would make new toys in conjunction with Takara. And they would showcase a good portion of this new product in an animated feature film released to theaters. That movie would be called (get ready) ... The Transformers: The Movie.

    But to get these kids to want these new toys, they had to convince them that their old toys were now obsolete. And back in the 1980's, the world was a different place, censorship wasn't nearly as common-place as it is now. And more importantly while it wasn't okay to kill humans (how's that coma working for you Duke?), it was TOTALLY OKAY to kill robot lifeforms from another planet.

    And that's where we meet Transformers: The Movie.

    Released in August of 1986, Transformers: The Movie brought the popular television version of Hasbro's 22 minute long toy commercial to the big screen, complete with a heavy metal soundtrack and, to get that PG rating (versus G), a swear word. We fast forward from 1985 to the year 2005 - in the span of 20 years the Transformers had become BFF's with the humans on Earth, built their own city, helped create an interstellar space bridge system (as seen in Five Faces of Darkness), magically discovered and colonized two of Cybertron's moons, and oh, totally got their butts whooped by the Decepticons on Cybertron, and just gave up and left. Except for those secret staging grounds on MOONS ORBITING CYBERTRON. But hush, they're a SECRET.

    The Decepticons also learned how to aim their guns, as they easily slaughtered some of the more popular Autobots from the first season of the Transformers (RIP Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl, and Brawn). Off-screen they also slaughtered Wheeljack and Windcharger, and at some point Huffer failed to escape the construction blockade and was mentioned as having died (Dark Awakening).

    And then we finally got the showdown millions of years (or two television seasons worth) in the making. Optimus Prime, the heroic and noble leader of all things amazing awesome and good in the world, against Megatron, the bad guy who mastered the art of tactical retreats. Megatron sliced open Prime's abdomen! Optimus kicks Megatron in the FACE! And then we get some nobody who tries to steal all the glory and the unthinkable happens.

    Optimus Prime is shot. Repeatidly. In his open wound. It was smoke that came out from those wounds, but it may as well have been tears of children across the United States of America pouring out in to the animated sky. I'm pretty sure he got shot in the face too. Either way, we learn Optimus Prime sucks at dodging and that Megatron would rather giggle and talk about how much he rocks (Starscream much?) then pull the trigger, allowing Optimus Prime to sit back up, do a Sudoku puzzle, and then MC Hammer slam Megatron off a random cliff in Autobot City.

    But, in a gesture of foreshadowing the future of the franchise, Optimus Prime struggles to get back up, and falls, hunched over, clutching his wound. Little kids who begged to go the movies (all 17 of them according to box office totals) sobbed and cried as their hero cluthced to life.

    And then he was gone. Optimus Prime was dead. The rest of the movie sucked for those kids (it's actually pretty forgettable past that point, sans Unicron and Galvatron) after that, and angry parents sent letters to Hasbro regarding the fact that they can't just pass the kid to the television or hand them a toy to keep happy because their favorite being of all time was dead.

    Toy sales began to slip. The firm stranglehold on the boys toys market began to fade. Ratings began to slip, and before you know it, Transformers was cancelled off television, and the toyline continued to grow shorter and shorter (and eventually smaller in size, thanks to Micromasters ... you have Micro-Machines to thank for that overall). Eventually, the Transformers disappeared entirely off the toy shelves and the franchise was all but dead.

    "How is this the fault of Optimus Prime dying?" you ask.

    Well, it's not the SOLE reason, but you better believe it played a major role in it.

    You have to remember - Hasbro was competing against itself in the boys toys category - you still had G.I. Joe, which still managed to be popular and last a little longer than Transformers did. You also had this thing called the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which was catching steam with games like "Super Mario Bros. 3" and "Battletoads", which would take kids away from toys and begin the generation of gamers, something that the toy industry still fights against to this day (it's their #1 competitor). Something else came along called "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", and that pretty much wiped out everything Hasbro had to offer at the time.

    Those, coupled with the death of Optimus Prime, really killed Transformers. Yeah, we know they eventually came back stronger than ever before, but to think that the death of one character could funadamentally cause an entire franchise to stop production only a few short years later? That's a pretty neat feat in itself.

    Transformers is back, and that resurgance started thanks in part to Kenner. That's right, Kenner. They were a Hasbro acquisition years back and they were put in charge of designing toys for this thing called "Beast Wars". Go check your first run figures from Beast Wars ... they're still stamped "Kenner" on the boxes until they fully became Hasbro a year or so later.

    So anytime someone asks you how important Optimus Prime is to this franchise, now you have an answer. And that's why you will never see Optimus Prime die, and stay dead, ever again. Even IDW Publishing admits they'll bring Optimus Prime back to life after killing him in Issue 125 ... that's some staying power for you.
     
  3. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    Comparison - Early TFTM Script VS Final Movie
    [​IMG]
    written by Kickback

    Awhile back, an old copy of "TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE" was released via .PDF form of which was an early draft of the script. That's a real treasure for Transformers fans who grew up with Generation One as it gave us an opportunity to see what the inspiration was (and what changed) for the movie that we grew up adoring for the last 25 years.

    So what's new and different? Sit down. This is going to take awhile.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Unicron is shown passing through two burning stars and eventually attacks the planet Lithone, devouring it and some of its citizens. Only a lone robot named Kranix is able to escape as Unicron destroys everything.
    What was in the early script?
    The attack on Lithone doesn't occur/is not shown in this early script. The two "stars" in the beginning of the actual movie were originally described as things on the surface of Unicron. They were even supposed to have eyes and possibly skulls visible in the mist.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    The narrator comes on and tells us that it is the year 2005. The Decepticons have conquered Cybertron, but the Autobots are preparing to retake their home world thanks to secret staging grounds on two of Cybertron's moons.
    What was in the early script?
    There is no mention of the year 2005. Instead, only a 5 year period of time from when the Autobots and humans allied against the Decepticons.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Ironhide, Prowl, Brawn, and Ratchet leave one of Cybertron's moons and head for Autobot City on Earth. As they pass by an asteroid belt, Megatron and the Decepticons tear through the side of the shuttle and attack. Ironhide and Ratchet are shot to death, while Brawn has a tear through his shoulder and Prowl's eyes light up as he is seemingly "fried" from the inside out. Megatron eventually blasts Ironhide pointblank in the face as Ironhide clutches to Megatron's leg.
    What was in the early script?
    Ironhide discusses the asteroid belt and how it doesn't feel right as the Decepticons blast through the side of the shuttle and literally "peel away" the opening. Brawn is blasted in to two pieces by Megatron. Prowl is melted down by Scrapper, while Ironhide and Ratchet are shot so often they are fused together, then blown apart.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Hot Rod, after Daniel calls his attention to the incoming shuttle, discovers that it is being flown by Decepticons and begins shooting it, eventually causing it to lose control and the Decepticons begin to pour out of it.
    What was in the early script?
    Hot Rod doesn't shoot down the shuttle, instead the Insecticons are devouring it as it descends onto Autobot City.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    The Decepticons fight the Autobots in Autobot City. There are various scenes of various Decepticons battling the Autobots. Eventually, the Constructicons form Devastator and begin a major siege on the last of the city's defenses.
    What was in the early script?
    The Autobots had a zoo, and inside that zoo was a new Autobot combiner group called the Ani-Bots. An early inspiration for what became the Predacons, the Ani-Bots were made up of Prado (a leopard), Shriek (an eagle), Thump (a buffalo), and Clump (a rhino). They engage the Decepticons and eventually the Constructicons. When the Constructicons form Devastator, the Ani-Bots form Dragonbeast, who then breathes lightning when fighting the Constructicons. Yup. Lightning.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Soundwave sents Ravage, Frenzy, Rumble, and Ratbat up to fight Blaster. In response, Blaster reveals his own cassettes - Ramhorn, Steeljaw, Rewind, and Eject (though they are not named).
    What happens in the early script?
    The same thing ... except Blaster's cassettes are Cubbie (a lion), Stripes (a tigeter), Stinger (a scorpion), and Bolts (aka Eject or Rewind).

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Blaster sends out a distress signal to Optimus Prime, who then magically appears and has the Dinobots attack Devastator. The Dinobots are easily defeated by Devastator, leading us in to the fateful battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron.
    What was in the early script?
    For starters, Bumblebee is with Optimus Prime (in the actual movie, Bumblebee is with Spike on Moon Base 2). As they approach the Earth, they are attacked by Astrotrain. After some scene changes, we go back and Optimus Prime and the shuttle get past Astrotrain. The Dinobots defeat Devastator, leading up to the fateful battle between Optimus Prime and Megatron.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Optimus Prime and Megatron battle, both exchanging fierce blows. Optimus Prime is cut in the abdomen but eventually gets the upper hand. Hot Rod intervenes when he notices Megatron is about to pull a gun on Prime, and it allows Megatron to take Hot Rod hostage and blast Optimus Prime. As Megatron stands over him, Optimus Prime uppercut-swings him, sending Megatron crashing down a cliff where Starscream kicks him and walks off ... Soundwave eventually grabbing Megatron and carrying him to Astrotrain.
    What happens in the early script?
    The battle is more or less the same. When Megatron says "I'll rip out your optics!" ... he's actually got his fingers digging in to the eyes of Optimus Prime. In the actual movie, he's more gripping Prime's face. There's slight differences in what is spoken when Hot Rod intervenes, but the result is the same. However, instead of uppercut-swinging Megatron, Optimus Prime lunges forward and punches Megatron, ripping open his chest and letting his innards fall to the ground. Starscream then grabs Megatron by the leg and drags his near-lifeless body to Astrotrain. Megatron even admits to Starscream that he's dying and that he wants peace ... referencing a Decepticon burial ceremony that allows his "life-spark" to rest inside of an urn. The arguing about leadership for the Decepticons begins before they ever leave Autobot City.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Optimus Prime dies, passing on the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus with the cry, "Till all are one". Magnus reluctantly takes the Matrix, and the scene fades away.
    What happens in the early script?
    Instead of passing on the Matrix, Optimus Prime passes on his Life-Spark. He still dies, but instead cries out "Till all life-sparks are one!". Hot Rod expresses shame and guilt over his remorse that he caused the death of Optimus Prime, but is reassured by Kup that he did the right thing.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Megatron and the defeated Decepticons (Thundercracker, Skywarp, the Insecticons) are thrown out of Astrotrain because they're too heavy and the Decepticons battle each other for rights to be the next leader. Starscream eventually wins, and a ceremony is held.
    What was in the early script?
    The Decepticons fight in Astrotrain, while Megatron continues to try and tell everyone that he's dying, that he needs to join the urn before his life-spark is forever lost in the depths of space. They eventually get to the area that is only best described as the actual movie's ceremony scene, with giant statues of past Decepticons (and urns beneath them) standing guard. They mention the previous leaders of the Decepticons ... "Ghoulon", "Murdron", and "Bloodron". As the argument over who should lead continues, a stray blast from Starscream hits a statue next to Megatron which falls over on top of him, crushing his body and finally killing him. His life-spark leaves the body and travels off in to space. As it does, he pleads that he'd do anything for revenge ... where we meet Unicron ... who is actually Ingestor ... but still Unicron.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    After Galvatron destroys Starscream, Unicron devours Moon Base 1 and Galvatron flips out, crying that all of Cybertron and its moons belong to him. He is tortured, and told to go to Earth and get the Matrix of Leadership. He takes his new warriors and they go to Earth.
    What happens in the early script?
    Galvatron destroys Starscream, and Unicron eats a moon (with Jazz and Cliffjumper on it) and Galvatron flips out. In this version, the Decepticons first must give all the energon on Cybertron to Ingestor. Once they've done that, they go to Earth to get even more energon to continue to feed Ingestor.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    The Autobots receive a distress call from Jazz and Cliffjumper, as well as Bumblebee and Spike, and prepare to take off to investigate when Galvatron attacks. The battle is brief, and they leave Earth and are chased by the Decepticons.
    What happens in the early script?
    The Autobots receive the distress call from Jazz and Cliffjumper, but are attacked by Galvatron and all of the Decepticons. During the assault, the Sweeps actually melt down Autobot City, leaving nothing and no one standing. Cyclonus flies by Gears and bombs the area, killing Gears. The brunt of that explosion sends Windcharger in to the sky, who is then sliced in to many pieces by flying Decepticon jets. Those body parts then fall down on and around Blaster (this is all called for in the script). Springer battles Bonecrusher and throws a makeshift war-club made up of the ruins of Autobot City which impales him in to the wall. The end result is the same, as the Autobots leave Earth, but in this version the Decepticons enslave all the humans around Autobot City and they are forced to bring energon cubes to a giant "transfer station" which transfers the energon to Ingestor.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    While in space, Cyclonus brings down Hot Rod and Kup's ship, causing them to crash on Quintessa. Galvatron and his ship then blow up (or so they think) Ultra Magnus' ship, however they do an emergency separation and survive the blast, eventually settling down on the planet of Junk for repairs.
    What happens in the early script?
    The same thing for Ultra Magnus and his crew, but Hot Rod's ship is actually blown apart in space, and he and the others on his ship are sucked through the hole and are lost in the vaccuum of space. They still land on Quintessa though.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Hot Rod and Kup are captured by the Sharkticons and are prisoners of the Quintessons. They meet Kranix, who tells them all about the Quintessons and also reveals Unicron and his story. Kranix is destroyed by the Sharkticons.
    What happens in the early script?
    Hot Rod and Kup are captured by the Sharkticons and are prisoners of the Quintessons. They meet Granix, who tells them all about the Quintessons. We are then treated to a brutal death scene where the Sharkticons rip Granix apart in "only a few bites". There is no mention of Ingestor/Unicron whatsoever by Granix.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    The Dinobots meet Wheelie, who informs them he knows where their friends are, and the Dinobots go to rescue Kup and Hot Rod.
    What happens in the early script?
    The Dinobots actually show up at the doors of the Quintesson Palace and are told their friends are not there. The Dinobots, being super intelligent and all that, say goodbye and leave. They then meet Wheelie who tells them they're fools and that their friends are in danger and that the Quintessons lie. They then turn around and go decide to rescue Kup and Hot Rod.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    The Decepticons, thanks to Unicron, follow the Autobots to the planet of Junk and attack. There's some running around, and eventually Ultra Magnus is destroyed and the Matrix is taken by Galvatron, who decides to use it against Unicron.
    What happens in the early script?
    The Decepticons travel to Junk to destroy Ultra Magnus and the last of the Autobots. Perceptor comes up with a plan to confuse the Decepticons to allow them to get to back to the shuttle - replica clones that will lead them away from the ship. The idea fails miserably and the shuttle is destroyed. Ultra Magnus takes on half the Decepticon armada alone, his arm hanging by a thread. Galvatron eventually transforms to his cannon mode and shoots Ultra Magnus point-blank, blowing him up. His hand then transforms in to a buzzsaw, and cuts open the chest of Ultra Magnus to grab the Life-Spark of Optimus Prime. Galvatron then decides it is time to destroy Ingestor and they leave.

    NOTE! The events that happen between the Junkions and the Autobots is almost the same as what we got in the actual movie, with very little differences (other than some dialogue). The fact that the Junkion battle is the only scene from the 20th Anniversary DVD release *NOT* to be remastered makes one wonder if that was not the very first scene actually animated by the studio for the movie.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Galvatron returns to Unicron and tries to open the Matrix of Leadership to destroy Unicron. He fails, and Unicron transforms and decides to destroy Cybertron for Galvatron's lack of loyalty. He trashes a few buildings, and the Decepticons counter-attack as the Autobots come in to view from a distance...
    What happens in the early script?
    Galvatron returns to Ingestor and plants a drilling-bomb-device that will drill to Ingestor's core and blow him up. Instead, the bomb gives Ingestor the final boost of energon he needs to transform himself in to his humanoid form (yes, humanoid). He does so (complete with ears and hair) and attacks Cybertron. He grabs handfuls of Cybertron and eats it (including Shockwave, Skywarp, and Thundercracker by name).

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Hot Rod crashes his ship through the eye of Unicron and the Autobots abandon ship, all inside of Unicron. Hot Rod falls away from the others while Springer, Arcee, Kup, and Daniel fight tenticles that are trying to destroy them. The Dinobots have their class "Me Grimlock kick butt!" moment, and then withdraw.
    What happens in the early script?
    Instead of crashing through Ingestor's eyes, Hot Rod lands the ship on Ingestor's ear and goes in through the ear canal. The other Autobots are attacked by tenticles ... which is actually Ingestor's shoulder hair. The Dinobots attack, and Slag and Swoop are actually hit by Ingestor, and appear dead, hanging lifelessly from his leg hair. Their fate is never mentioned after that point. Grimock and Sludge stay alive.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    Hot Rod and Galvatron meet, and they battle. Eventually Hot Rod grabs the Matrix of Leadership, transforms in to Rodimus Prime, throws Galvatron out of Unicron and lets the light of the Matrix destroy Unicron altogether.
    What happens in the early script?
    Hot Rod and Galvatron battle, and the Life-Spark of Optimus Prime (hanging around Galvatron's neck), gives Hot Rod the power to transform in to Rodimus Prime, with Optimus Prime's voice telling him to "Be the Autobot you were created to be!". Rodimus Prime and Galvatron then battle, but Rodimus Prime is still over-powered by Galvatron. He is saved by Jazz and Cliffjumper, who just happen to have their ship they tried to escape from Ingestor in chilling off-screen. Galvatron then announces to Rodimus Prime that he is Megatron. They battle, and during the battle, the bottle holding Optimus Prime's Life-Spark falls to the ground and shatters, releasing the pure goodness (in the form of light) throughout Ingestor's body. Galvatron is thrown out of Ingestor by Rodimus Prime.

    What happened in the actual movie?
    The power of the Matrix of Leadership causes Unicron's body to begin self-destructing, as body parts fall off and light pours out of his body. His head then severs, his body blows up, but not before all the Autobots inside of Unicron come crashing through his other eye. Rodimus Prime then gives a speech to the Autobots on Cybertron, and the movie ends with a chant "Till all are one!".
    What happens in the early script?
    Ingestor doesn't blow up. His limbs break off because he's ripping them off as he's trying to get the goodness out of his body. His head doesn't blow off, instead he just blows up entirely. Strangely, all the moons he ate are still there (there's reference to SIX moons though the script earlier said THREE) and return to their normal place. Riding out on a beam of light is Rodimus Prime with Jazz and Cliffjumper. He flies over the crowd of Autobots on Cybertron waving at them. He sees Arcee and winks at her, and she blows him a kiss.



    Looking back and reading the entire script (it was a daunting task, the script was a headache), you can easily see where some scenes got their influence from. If you re-watch some scenes after knowing the early script, you can see where maybe it was animated with this script in mind instead of the one we actually got.

    Either way, it was fun to have a piece of Transformers history available for anyone to read, and you can find the link to download it with the help of Google (sorry, we don't like direct-linking to downloads). There were some things I didn't include because they're just interesting nods or things, and I've included them in a bullet-point listing below. Enjoy!

    --------------------------------------
    • "Lookout Mountain" is referred to as "Lookout Point"
    • Ultra Magnus' hand transforms in to a bullhorn in which he shouts for Autobot City to transform. I wish I was making that one up.
    • Kickback's head isn't crushed (Hasbro apparently hates Kickback and changed it to what you see today)
    • Powerglide and Warpath take on Blitzwing and win, knocking him in to a fishing hole and bombing his flaming body
    • Bluestreak uses a laser saber (like a light saber) to cut Thundercracker in half
    • Dirge is pile-drived head-first in to the ground by Optimus Prime
    • Blurr acts and behaves as he does in Transformers Animated - as a scout
    • Blaster, Sunstreaker, and Trailbreaker are left on Earth to stop the Decepticons (who don't leave)
    • Wheeljack is not only alive, but delivers the news to the Earth Autobots that the Autobot shuttles of Ultra Magnus and Hot Rod have been destroyed.
    • Dialogue of Dinobots on Quintessa - Sludge: What "sensitive" mean? Grimlock: Shut your face, that what it mean.
    • Ingestor grows larger with more energon
    • Ingestor is the name of the entity, and Unicron is the name of the planet that is Ingestor
    • The Quintessons' heads can come off and join on another body to preserve their life
    • Interesting note: Shrapnel's appearance on the planet of Junk is called for in the script

    Kickback
    TFWe Editor-in-Chief
    Follow me on Twitter @rankal and always @tfw2005 for all your Transformers news!
     
  4. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    Transformers: The Movie Fun Facts
    [​IMG]
    written by Kickback

    One of the joys (or pains) of an animated movie that deals with a cast of dozens and dozens of characters and dozens of various groups working on the animation is that not everything in the movie ends up perfect - you have scenes that are deleted, cut, or get changed and the director either misses the errors or decides that it's too late to cut them out or re-animate them to make the scheduled release.

    Transformers: The Movie is no different.

    The staff of TFWe, along with taking information provided to the fan community over the years from Paul Hitchens of TheSpaceBridge.net, has compiled a various list of fun facts and animation errors from the original Transformers movie. Some are speculation, some are argued till this day, but either way they are what they are.

    What do you think? Discuss these fun tidbits of information!

    Why Transformers: The Movie is rated PG
    One has to be familiar with how movies, showtimes, and the theater business works to really get a firm grasp of what exactly the difference between "G" and "PG" is. Back in the mid 1980's, the consensus was that a "G" rated film would be shown in the morning and then stop showing in the late afternoon as teenagers and adults typically did not go see a "G" rated movie in the early evening, which is when a lot of bulk movie-watching occurs.

    A "PG" rated movie, however, would be shown into the evening hours and quite possibly in the actual evening itself, thus granting the movie more exposure and a greater chance at bringing in more money. The powers that be decided then that something had to be done to get that rating from "G" to "PG" (as senseless robot violence just wasn't enough). Therefore, when Unicron has a bomb blow up in his belly after eating Moon Base 2, but is shown as still being alive, Spike finally lets out the most frustration we've seen a human character verbalize in all of Transformers history:

    "Oh sh*t, what are we gonna do now?"

    You're going to be shown in the late afternoons, that's what! And that's how (and why) Transformers got a "PG" rating.

    What is up with that "early footage" Transformers trailer?
    You've all seen it at some point or another - it has a lot of things in it that people enjoyed that never made it to the final film - a different looking Autobot City (white, compared to gold, though in the final movie there are still many parts from this "trailer" that are shown as all white instead of gold), a Diaclone-colored Ultra Magnus, and some new and different shots of Unicron.

    What is this thing you ask?

    The trailer was created from some of the earliest footage made for the movie (obviously) and was used to shop the movie to theaters and other companies as a marketing tool. If you watch closely, you'll notice that none of the sound-effects actually line up perfectly, as the trailer was editted with various stock sound-effects.

    A lot of the footage was never used - some of it did make it in to the final version of the film, most notable being the Unicron footage. In the final version of the movie, Unicron sports a goatee. In the early versions of his animation footage, he does not have one. Go watch your movie - there's a few shots (especially his first full view after transforming to robot mode) where he's missing his goatee entirely. That would be the early footage getting used instead of being re-animated.

    Are there deleted scenes?
    If you watch the beginning of the climatic encounter between Optimus Prime and Megatron, Optimus Prime is standing up tall and straight like a good soldier - we see Megatron play with his fingers - and then back to Optimus who is inexplicably standing back up again.

    Huh?

    In the storyboards, they called for one of the seekers (Ramjet or Dirge) to charge Optimus Prime from behind, only to get caught and pile-drived cone-head first into the pavement (thus killing him, apparently). You see Optimus Prime getting back up because he had just finished killing yet another Decepticon jet.

    Does the footage of that exist?

    There's a rumor floating around that the footage DOES exist, but that it was removed by Nelson Shin (the director) for reasons unknown. Either way, no one has seen it, but every so often the rumor pops up again that the footage exists. Paul Hitchens, the know-it-all of the original movie, was unavailable for comment by the time this issue went live.

    If you purchased the 20th Anniversary DVD from Sony BMG studios in 2006, then you should already be aware that employees did manage to find one scene in the Sunbow library that was animated and not included in the movie. In the scene that has the Decepticons blasting off in Astrotrain away from Autobot City, the final cut of the movie has the scene fade to black and eventually Optimus Prime laying on a table. In the deleted scene, the camera pans back to the left so we can see the Autobots all rushing to Optimus Prime and Hot Rod.

    Not a huge big whoopee scene, but I can remember the excitement Paul Hitchens, Joe Moore, Rik Alvarez, and Tony_Bacala shared at the 2006 BotCon Convention when they were shown the footage.

    The last bit of footage that is rumored to exist but has never been seen by the public would be the original intended death of Ultra Magnus on the Planet of Junk. In the storyboards, the Sweeps actually quarter him - as in, they tie up his arms and legs and pull him apart. In the final cut of the movie, you see the Sweeps each fire a steady beam at Ultra Magnus, and then a shot of Ultra Magnus getting pummeled by multiple blasts. The next scene has Ultra Magnus blowing up (yet his arms and legs are already off his body when it explodes, HMM). Because of all that evidence that the before and after were animated to have him quartered, the rumor exists that he was animated as being quartered first and then re-animated to simply being shot numerous times.

    Again, Paul Hitchens may be the only individual who knows the truth of what was and wasn't animated.

    What are the animation errors?
    As stated in the opening, animation errors in a movie with this size of cast is bound to happen. So let's do a quick look at the animation errors, and then you can go back and see them for yourself!

    • The Decepticons that open fire and kill the Autobots aboard the shuttle heading to Earth are magic beings who can be in multiple spots at once. Pay close attention not only to the fact that Megatron disappears at one point (despite being in gun mode and being held by Starscream) but the Decepticons that are supposed to be standing next to each other don't end up standing next to each other, even though the amount of time from start to finish is real-time (and not one of those "A few minutes later" type of scenes).
    • Hey, why is Ironhide flying around with the Decepticons when they attack Autobot City!??! Well, that's not Ironhide, it's Reflector! He's just colored as Ironhide. We hereby dub him "Ironflector" (or "Reflectohide").
    • Is Rumble red or blue? Doesn't matter in the movie - they're both red when they eject from Soundwave!
    • Blaster has an evil twin, and he resides in the communications tower (that just happens to have a giant gun on it). His visor is red instead of white in one scene, which makes him look really evil and creepy.
    • When Hot Rod busts through Kup's construction barricade on the way to Lookout Mountain, we see Huffer, Bluestreak, and Sunstreaker. When Optimus Prime's shuttle is en route to Earth from Moon Base 1, Sunstreaker is piloting the ship. Whoooaaa.
    • The Decepticons just don't know how to stay dead. Skywarp, Thundercracker, Kickback, Shrapnel, and Bombshell can all be seen at Starscream's coronation on Cybertron, even though their dying bodies were thrown off Astrotrain and, by the time the scene starts, had been transformed into Cyclonus, Scourge, and the Sweeps.
    • Shrpanel is also on the Planet of Junk, well after the events of his death. We won't mention how often they (the Insecticons) show up in Season 3 either.

    Other Fun Facts
    - Blink and you'll miss them! The following Transformers are in "Transformers: The Movie", but have no speaking lines and only show up, briefly, in various scenes: Sunstreaker, Bluestreak, Huffer, Hound, Snarl, Beachcomber, and Reflector. Can you find them?

    - When Devastator slams his fists in to Sludge's back, in a cartoonish way, Sludge's eyes pop out and back in to his socket (this was done purposely by the animators as a comedic nod to another animator)

    - Jazz and Cliffjumper play prominent roles as they were originally intended to be major characters in Season 3. However, the unfortunate passing of Scatman Crothers and Kasey Kasem walking out of recording because he claims the show's creators were racist (the country "Carbombya, or "car-bomb-ya" in Season 3 would be the reason) ruined that whole thing (that's why Jazz isn't called Jazz in Five Faces of Darkness, even though it's TOTALLY him).

    - Peter Cullen totally got shafted - his two characters were killed off in the movie, leaving him no dedicated roles for Season 3 (until Optimus Prime's ressurection). Frank Welker, on the other hand, continued to play the lead villain in Galvatron as well as Wheelie and other characters.
     
  5. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    An Unlikely Day
    Reflection On Doing the TFTM 20th Anniversary DVD Commentary

    [​IMG]
    written by Joe Moore

    It was June 2006, just a few months before the Transformers The Movie 20th Anniversary DVD was set to be released. I had just gotten off the phone with a good friend of mine, Rik Alvarez. He blindsided me with a question that I never expected to hear...Do you want to do commentary for the 20th anniversary DVD? I thought he was joking at first. But, he wasn't. Sony BMG needed some voices for the fan commentary, and he recommended me and they agreed to it.

    So just a few days later, I was heading up to New York City. There were going to initially be three of us, Rik, myself and Paul Hitchens (aka Hitch). But Rik was able to get one more person into the group, TFW2005 owner Tony Bacala. Our first day at Sony BMG was mainly for introduction to the staff at Sony, including the person we would be working closest with during, and even after the DVD release, Ariana Tsoutsas. Hitch had brought along a sampling of his movie memorabilia as potential extras or the DVD. As we were going through that, he brought out a film reel. It was unknown footage he had obtained years earlier, but never transferred or even watched before. The staff at Sony borrowed the film and actually transferred it while we waited.

    [​IMG]

    Not even a few hours later, the crew was back with a video of the footage. What followed was a series of test effects, as well as some animation and color samples. Pretty pedestrian stuff. Then we saw it...The very first ever fully animated deleted scene from Transformers: The Movie. In the clip, after Optimus falls in the battle of Autobot City, and Astrotrain takes off, the scene continues on. The remaining Autobots rush to the fallen Optimus. While it may seem underwhelming now, then it brought us all out of our seats. It was at that point the Sony crew realized we may be the right folks after all.

    [​IMG]

    The next day, we get to the studio...The actual recording studio used by Sony BMG. We're actually in a recording booth used by countless recording artists over the years. While we wait for the crew to set everything up, we are treated to a complimentary breakfast, some foosball on the provided table as well as checking out videos of some artists who submitted tapes for consideration to Sony BMG. Even before we started, it was all pretty overwhelming. We're informed that everything is just about ready and we take our spots at the recording station. Paul takes the lead, he even has an actual shooing script, with notes from director Nelson Shin. Next in the row is Rik, followed by myself and then Tony B. We each have an individual screen in front of us, our own headsets as well as mics. During initial sound tests it's clear we're all nervous. I know I was. My nervous tick of saying "uhm" during pauses was kicking into high gear. Rik was smart enough to point it out, and I did my best to reel it in.

    [​IMG]

    And before we know it, we're off. The film begins to roll and we do our introductions. We all start to reference notes we had, but eventually we disregard them and just flow along. After a few minutes, we go from "commentating" to just conversing naturally. And we're going at a damn good clip. Looking up at the crew outside the booth, you can tell they're pleased with what they're hearing. Then it hits...I goof big time. Not going to say what it was, but it was something that couldn't be used in the commentary. So they stopped us and gave us a 10 minute breather before we kicked it off again. It took a bit for us to get going again, but the rest of it eventually flew by in a flash. We just took a few minutes to soak it all in. We had just finished an officially sanctioned fan commentary. I never thought it would actually make it to the DVD. And I held my expectations in check until the thing was actually released, and there it was. I was actually on an official DVD release of a franchise that had been a big part of my life since I was just 6 years old. I've actually only ever listened to it once since its release.

    [​IMG]

    In the years since, I look at that event as one of the happiest of my life. While I've been lucky enough to contribute to the Transformers brand in other ways, this was something that I will always remember fondly. Not only that, I got to share it with three people I consider some of the best friends I've ever had.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  6. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    A British Man Goes to Canada - TFcon 2011 Review
    [​IMG]
    written by Sol Fury


    [​IMG]
    Barricade in the lobby of the Delta Meadowtree hotel. Not shown are Bumblebee next to him and the Batmobile parked out front.


    My TFcon journey began with a decent length flight from London Heathrow (but fortunately in-flight entertainment in the form of Simpsons, Battle: LA and Paul helped pass the flight - Paul being about a couple of British guys attending the SDCC seemed ironically appropriate).

    On landing I met my host for the weekend SoundwaveCA and we were soon joined by GMFan and Artoni for dinner, ice cream and the usual debauchery, a misreading of a "Seafood Linguine" on a menu as "Seafood Lingerie" prompting an interesting discussion of how uncomfortable a seashell bra must actually be. The day before TFcon started was spent touring the anime and comic shops of Toronto, and seeing Captain America, a good film that I recommend everyone checks out.


    [​IMG]
    GMfan presents the TFCon opening ceremony in style!


    On Friday, TFcon kicked off! Botcon take note - the line was inside, and sensibly, there were jugs of iced water on tables along the length of the line if anyone got thirsty. The TFcon Opening Ceremony was awesome (Protoman sang the Japanese Car Robots intro, had to be seen to be believed). There was a video with a montage of clips of the 10 years of TFcon which had a lot of memories for everyone in the room. We laughed together at the funny moments, and we all said "Ahhh" at one particular picture of Super_Megatron included in that montage. This was followed up by the Parts Party, where some great deals were to be had, and I am now the proud owner of a Sixknight from Masterforce.

    The Saturday was the first full day of TFcon and the day the dealer room opened its doors. There were plenty of deals to be had - if you were quick there were some SDCC exclusives on sale at very reasonable prices - and a decent range of items, though mainly the focus was on vintage items. While some things were a little pricey, most dealers were open to haggling, especially if you came back on the Saturday afternoon and offered to buy two or three items (which is why I now own Deluxe Insecticons).


    [​IMG]
    Hasbro's booth outside the Dealer Room. Anyone was welcome to come up and check out the toys and play about with them.


    Let's talk panels now. The majority of the panels were on the Saturday, starting with the Hasbro Canada Transformers Product Preview Panel. This was the same basic presentation from the SDCC, but was still good for the people in the room since most of us had not been to the SDCC, and there was a lot in there that was not on the Botcon 2011 panel. Simon Furman's panel was excellent, because while he was unable to share much for his upcoming work on Marvel 81, he was still able to give us a sense of what is coming down the pipeline and it all sounds like great stuff. The Protoman's Transformers Video Games panel was the other one I attended on the Saturday, and it was an insightful look into Transformers ROM hacks and other things we simply did not know even existed. Pretty cool and fun. Sunday's panels included the Third Party Product Panel, the first of its kind, which as well as showing some upcoming third party products also gave a bit of history on how this all started up, a great touch which I thought was very insightful.

    Saturday night finished with me taking a break to go have dinner with Fairlady_Z and her husband (apologies if we lost you with all the Doctor Who talk!) followed by the Faction Feud, hosted by Internet Personality Vangelus who it emerged has never actually seen an episode of Family Feud. It was a fun evening for all involved - I was an honorary Femmebot :) 
    Afterwards I met Aaron who was rocking a new NERF gun, the SDCC exclusive Optimus Prime blaster. He uses it to terrorize Vangelus. We all headed down to the bar to check out Garry Chalk giving an impromptu guitar concert, which was very awesome, especially when Paul Eiding also joined in.


    [​IMG]
    Protoman with Chansformers and Nemesis Predaking. For reference, NP is standing on the floor while the others are up on stage!


    Sunday I spent mainly taking the customizing class, hosted by expert customizers Nemesis Predaking and Chansformers. These guys are great teachers, I feel like I've learned a lot from them and greatly appreciate getting the opportunity to learn from them.

    TFcon 2011 closed on Sunday night, leaving a lot of memories that will live on for years to come, and was generally one of the most fun weekends I've ever had.

    My holiday ended on a high note as well - a final pleasant surprise was getting myself upgraded to business class on the return flight to the UK!


    [​IMG]
    The TFcon crew pose for a photo after the convention closes. Job well done guys, same time next year?


    Sol Fury will return in September 2011 for the conclusion of his epic three-convention summer in: A British Man goes to Britain
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2011
  7. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    Getting ahead - TFcon 2011 Exclusive Headrobots Review
    [​IMG]
    written by Sol Fury

    [​IMG]
    Stronghold

    Stronghold was the first of the two TFcon 2011 exclusives, and the one that there was a non-attending package for. He's a redeco of the Headrobots Hothead. This was actually my first experience with any version of this particular release, so I really did not know what to expect going in and was very impressed by the standard of workmanship.

    Stronghold comes packaged in a similar clamshell to the original Hothead. It's a great packaging option that shows off everything you get in the set (two smaller rifles, one large rifle, a backpack module and the Stronghold Headrobot himself). This version comes with some very nice artwork by Alex Milne.

    The plastic quality of this release is excellent, and the colors are a spot-on match for Universe Onslaught, who this toy was designed to go with. The guns are excellently sculpted and look good in the hands of nearly any Deluxe class or larger Transformer. As far as accessories go, these are ace. The flat gray color means they will generally fit in on most toys, and the designs are perfectly in keeping with what you might find in the hands of an official Transformer.

    Enough talk of the parts, let's get on to the Headrobot himself! Headrobot Stronghold is a cool little toy, he actually stands a little shorter - but slightly broader - than your classic Headmaster head toy. He's got a great range of movement, with ball jointed shoulders and hips, plus knees. The knees are a little weak and the backpack a little heavy, so some poses need support, but considering the size it is suitably impressive.

    The hands are Lego style clip hands. They are slightly too wide for the majority of the weapons that come with the Machine Wars era toys, but they can still grasp onto thin pegs where needed.

    Headrobot Stronghold is mostly tan and gray in robot mode. When he folds up into head mode, you get a black head and a silver face, with a cool blue visor. The overall look is very slick and eyecatching - the tan limbs to the rear line up brilliantly and contrast nicely with the face on the front. They also blend nicely with the colors of Universe Onslaught.

    [​IMG]

    Stronghold, when fully assembled with a Universe Onslaught body, is a brilliant piece. The set comes with a custom sticker sheet to convert Universe Onslaught into Stronghold's Transtector. The stickers are a nice heavy stock and stick to the toy very well. The overall effect - a Fortress Maximus inspired design - works remarkably well. The body, big and brawny as it is, conveys the feeling of power that Fortress Maximus usually exudes in any of his incarnations. The stickers and accessories do a fantastic job of making Stronghold his own individual character. Of course, if you want you can go the extra mile - Nemesis Predaking made an excellent video on paint removal, and once the paint is removed, you can always repaint some of the parts for that extra personal touch. Shoutout to two stickers in particular which really make the set - a custom Ontario vanity plate decal for the vehicle mode, and a Tech Spec readout decal like the reader on the chest of the "real" Headmasters. Both are excellent touches.

    Stronghold is a great set with a lot to offer. The sticker sheet truly is a great touch which in my opinion takes the set the extra mile and sets it apart from being merely a Universe Onslaught with a Headmaster.


    [​IMG]
    Toxin

    TFcon's second exclusive, which was only available at the show in limited numbers, was a rather fetching black and gray redeco of the Headrobots Cobra. This version, named Toxin, sports the gun accessory from the later releases of the mold, and also comes in a resealable clamshell package. Once again, the backer card artwork is by Alex Milne.

    Toxin is actually the second version of the Cobra type mold that I own, as I previously bought the 2010 Megatoyfan exclusive Crystal Cobra. The Cobra design is based off of an unreleased Headmasters concept from Japan in the 80's, shown in the Ark Compendium by Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster. The head is a pretty unique triangular shape with a single central visor, green on this version, which looks menacing given how the whole rest of the head is black plastic.

    The head unfolds into the snake mode in a rather satisfying way, and the twin gun that comes with the set can snap onto the back for added firepower. The gun is a nice touch, since it works both as a handgun for Headmaster mode and weapons for the snake mode. The snake mode is articulated in three different spots, and a fun design feature are the treads, which I guess makes this more of a snaketank.

    It's fun and quirky, and completely enjoyable.

    The TFcon 2011 comic gives Toxin a recolored Chromedome body as his "official" Transtector, but I find the black deco works exceptionally well with Mindwipe, or quite possibly Apeface. The great thing about black is it fits well with most decos, and that makes Toxin a rather versatile little Headrobot.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2011
  8. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    FansProject Casuality Series Thundershred Review
    [​IMG]
    written by Kickback

    Anyone who has paid attention here at TFW2005.COM over the last couple of years knows that I have never been a fan of unlicensed third party products - especially the variety that are blatant intellectual property rip-offs. Call it being loyal, call it being a former employee, call it whatever you want - I just thought it was ironic how some of these companies would publically bash Hasbro and/or TakaraTomy, only to turn around and profit off them.

    Maybe I just have a warped sense of humor.

    Fast forward to today and I can tell you that I currently own TWO unlicensed third party products (both from FansProject) - City Commander and Casualty series Thundershred. The City Commander was an impulse buy due to the recent restocking at our sponsor BigBadToyStore (and the fact that the last time I thought about buying an OPEN AND USED one, I was quoted almost $400 for it). The other one I purchased simply because I have my doubts that Hasbro and/or TakaraTomy will ever revisit these classic characters.

    So yes. I purchased Thundershred of FansProject. Just a funny note - you know a company has been in touch with lawyers when they realize that legally you cannot state on a box or instructions that an item "transforms" from one form to another as that is a copyrighted and protected term by use of both Hasbro and TakaraTomy. Thundershred's warning label states that they won't replace a piece if it's broken "during construction". Just thought it was silly.

    I've broken this review down in to four overall categories:

    • Robot Mode
    • Bug-thing mode
    • Paying Homage
    • Quality Control


    My reviews are different than the 45 different YouTube reviews you've already seen about this figure. I'm not looking at this from the stand-point of how it transforms, is the transformation good, what kind of joints do they use ... my review is going to be does it look cool, does it stay together or fall apart, and is it worth the money. It's just my opinion and no way is the official review of TFW2005.COM or anyone involved in the staff of the site, or TFWe or its staff.

    There. All that's done. Let's get down to business!

    [​IMG]

    Robot Mode

    In all honesty, Thundershred is a feat of engineering brilliance. The best way to figure out how everything works in the robot mode is to try (and I emphasize try) and transform/construct it in to the "insect-bug mode". It's at that point that you're moving pieces that you don't even realize could move in the first place, and notice joints that I've never seen so blatant on a regular Transformer.

    The articulation is great - you can get Thundershred in a variety of poses (though I think on the box pictures they've editted out a stand or something ... my Thundershred likes to faceplant in some of those poses) that look menacing. I like putting his "claws" on his hands and pretending he's Wolverine. For a character that is advertised as a "ninja" he can pull of the look and the poses very nicely.

    [​IMG]

    Bug-Insect-Thing Mode

    I'll be honest - you can tell the alternate mode was more of an after-thought and that the robot mode is what they were going for when this figure was designed. The transformation is a pain - I gave up on trying to swivel the feet just right to fold the ball-joint over, so I just popped them off, moved the foot-joint-thingy, and popped them back in so they could lock in place.

    The transformation overall is yet another piece of brilliant engineering. Once you think you got it (you know how it goes, look at the instructions and begin seeing where pieces should go) you realize that you don't, and you're forced to go back and look at the instructions one more time. That's what makes it a pain! It's not a bad thing, and it shouldn't be used as a judgement on the overall figure, but if you enjoy those tricky-transforms, Thundershred will keep you happy.

    The overall alternate mode is kind of lacking and maybe even disappointing. The original Shrapnel looked like an insect - Thundershred looks like a cross between an insect and a ... robot thing with legs. This is without a doubt a "robot-mode-display" figure.

    Paying Homage

    This is Shrapnel, plain and simple. They do a great job of trying to hide that fact by never really showcasing the figure with the "horns" at the top that the original character had, even though they made sure that you can obviously and easily place the "claws" up there to get the desired look. The color scheme and the paint-applications also emphasize that you're looking at a "new version" of your classic Insecticon.

    Overall, an amazing new look for a classic character.

    [​IMG]

    Quality

    This one is tricky.

    I personally do not have any issues with Thundershred - yet. The male/female connections on the tabs for the claws/blades/whatever are tight - VERY tight - to the point that I can easily see them causing stress marks on the wrist-attachments that hold them in place. The best way I was able to remove the claws/blades/whatever after putting them in the slots was to carefully wiggle them out as opposed to straight-out pulling.

    My figure came with tight joints - there are reports that some figures have loose shoulders (due to the strange engineering on where the arms connect to the midsection). Sometimes my joints were so tight that the pieces actually popped off the balljoints while I was attempting to transform the figure or even simply move an arm in place. The arms - if they pop off the ball joint - are a pain to get back on because of the way the joint is in the actual arm. It works in a visual sense for the character but I think it may end up causing issues for some people down the road who do enjoy transforming these figures.

    The paint was spot-on - absolutely no complaints on the paint applications.

    The only loose part on my entire Thundershred is the piece that covers his head during transformation. It's loose enough that it swings freely when I move him. Looked it over and can't really see if anything is broken or if it's really just that loose. When in "bug" mode it simply attaches itself with a male/female connection, but it's not the most snug connections and it can come off depending on how you have the bug-thing displayed.

    I'm impressed with the overall quality of the figure - I heard some horror stories and prepared for the worst. If a loose backpack thingy is all I have, then I'm satisified.

    Overall

    This figure roughly goes for $50 after tax/shipping from our sponsors. If you're a fan of FansProject's work, and have a thing for Insecticons, this is a must-buy figure for you. If you're on the fence about it, it depends on how much articulation matters for you. Thundershred can get in some amazing poses that I have only seen from figures in Bandai's SH Figuarts work.

    I say pony up the cash. The figure is your standard deluxe size (maybe a hair smaller) and is pretty slick. I have no buyer's remorse and will now be purchasing the other two figures in this set (and let's hope they're not delayed). Kudos to FansProject for winning me over - I was a naysayer, and while I may not always agree with the method or the idea, you can't argue at the end-result.

    Just make sure the Kickback figure is as awesome as it looks!

    4.5/5
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  9. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    written by Secretcode

    Gimmickry 03- Playset Playtime

    Hello yet again Readers! This is Secretcode coming at you for yet another installment of Gimmickry. Looking back over the last 26 or so years of this franchise, I've noticed a lot of different trends when it came down to toy brands. Whether it was color-changing plastics, spinning disc launchers, spark-emitting toys, or the infamous rise in dayglo color schemes; there was a period in the late 80s and early 90s that the Transformers brand struggled to find its place in the competition between various toylines. But there is something in particular that made Transformers "new" again, and it's all thanks to the little guy. Or should I say little guys, as the Micromasters helped usher in a new generation of Transformers fans, as well as keep previous fans sedated as the US releases started to wane out. While the smaller ones were no doubt the lifeblood of the assortment, the real star was hands down the bigger Micromaster sets. What did they have that was so interesting?

    Playsets, baby. There was a period where EVERY toyline had to have their own playset-style merchandise. G.I. Joe had the infamous USS Flagg, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had the Technodrome, Thundercats had the Cat's Lair, and Masters of the Universe had Castle Grayskull. Hey, even in the 90s the playset pattern continued on with the advent of Mighty Maxx and even with new lines such as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Giant Power Chamber playset. If this was a non-TF Toy Magazine I'd have an entire article about it. But then we'd also be ToyFare. Which means I wouldn't be making articles period.) Transformers as a brand had previously dabbled into the playset mindset even before the Micromaster concept with the various Citybots that were around. While the toys were memorable, there is no question that the main form that kids and fans think of with those toys were the fact that they were robots themselves. And to me, that's what makes the whole Micromaster playset gimmick much more memberable.

    Let's take toys like Countdown, Skystalker, Greasepit or Erector. Each of them were basic little robot toys that turned into smaller, independant little vehicles. Cool. But they had something special alongside them: various little add-ons that came packaged with them in their cardboard and plastic prisons. While for the most part these add-ons were add-on trailers for the toys in vastly different styles, the Micromaster trailers eventually all settled down and joined up with the Micromaster bases to become what is personally the biggest draw of the whole Micromaster concept: Playsets and enviroments. I'll be focusing on three of these toys specifically: Erector, Hot House and Countdown.

    [​IMG]

    I'll start with Erector. You guys know who he is, so I'm not even going to bother with an introduction. Erector comes with a giant trailer that attaches to the back of his vehicle mode. The trailer has an expandable crane on the back of his trailer, which can be removed and attached to Erector's hitch. It's your standard vehicular trailer concept, nothing too surprising for sure. In robot mode, however, the crane turns into a full-on battle platform armed with a giant gun and a smaller (and somewhat wieldy) double barreled gun. And unfortunately, that's more or less all the toy is about. It's the issue I have with the Micromaster Transports. They're very fun toys, don't get me wrong, but only having one of them feels somewhat disappointing.

    So let's continue on, shall we? Let's go up a step in terms of the "playtime factor". Hot House himself is a simple A-10 Micromaster. Nothing spectacular. The real star of Hot House and the rest of what are called the "Micromaster Stations" are the... well... Micromaster Stations. And Hot House is no different, as his base is a Fire Station. Opening garage door, and a ramp to do the usual "pushing along smaller toy up a ramp and into a garage" shot that is in most Hot Wheels commercials. And that's not even the coolest part about the base, as after a bit of unfolding the very friendly looking fire station is turned into a very hostile tank with an articulated cannon bigger than Hot House and more or less any Micromaster. And in a bit of genius, the garage is turned into a piloting area for a Micromaster to stand in. The Micromaster Stations were more or less all like this, in terms of varying play styles between modes. Hot House is the only one of the four to have a vehicular playset, but the other three have equally impressive playsets in terms of transformation and variety between modes. But nothing, in my opinion, is as impressive as the final Micromaster I will talk about before moving on.

    Countdown is easily the most memorable of the Micromasters for me, for a variety of reasons. Sure, he was the first Transformer with a lunar rover for an alt mode (Problem, DOTM Roller?) and yeah he's one of three Micromasters to get a giant "Classics"-style toy. Those are both great things, don't get me wrong. But they're also NOTHING compared to the fact that Countdown's playset is a slaggin' ROCKET BASE. I mean LOOK at this thing:

    [​IMG]

    I fully admit that I'm biased when it comes to this thing, as I absolutely love toys with space themes. Regardless of such bias, Countdown and his other size class brethren, I feel like these are the epitome of what not just Micromaster playsets were, but how Transformers playsets should be. The Rocket Base (which has a pretty awesome Japanese G1 Commercial, by the way) is full of tiny gimmicks and interactivity for Micromasters as it is, but the bigger bases are the point of which the true piece of Micromaster ingenuity begins for me. Most of the Micromaster bases have tiny ramps and such, which at first seem like they are primarily around for doing that infamous Hot Wheels Commercial bit I mentioned earlier. But that is not all, no sir! In a bit of originality, the designers also enabled the ramps to be used as linking platforms to hook up all the Micromaster playsets together to create a true Transformer City playset (sorry folks, the city modes for Metroplex and Fort Max don't do it for me.)

    [​IMG]

    But Micromasters couldn't stick around forever. G1 came and went, and G2 arrived with nothing from the playsets side of thing. But then in 1997, Hasbro started an line called MicroVerse. MicroVerse was a line that Hasbro had created to compete against the Micro Machines toyline that was currently owned by a company called Galoob, and the line sprawled several franchises for Hasbro such as Tonka, G.I. Joe, Goosebumps, and Batman (at the time, Batman was a Kenner property.)

    Why do I bring this up? Well in the Microverse line there was a brief Transformers subline based on the part of the franchise that had just begun: Beast Wars. Hasbro had created a mere two sets for the line, for reasons I shall mention in a bit. The first of which is Orcanoch, a killer whale with a hilarious smile. Slice open and peel apart the blubbery flesh of Orcanoch, and you have yourself an (admittedly) uninspiring tower with a manned sub for the assorted miniature figures for the line, as well as a missle-armed control tower that is revealed by ripping... off... the whale's... head...

    *cough* Moving on...

    The other toy in this brief line was the massive spider that was Arachnid (Not Airachnid. Sorry Prime fans, this toy isn't another eight-legged Zoe Washburne.) who was a giant orange and purple spider that is also dissected to form a base of operations for the two small Transformers it comes with; complete with a pseudo-airport, a hallowed out volcano (which is a must for any true villain), another mannable turret, two small insects and a control room.

    And with those two releases, the Beast Wars era playsets ended. What happened to MicroVerse? Buyouts happened. Like I mentioned earlier, the MicroVerse line was aimed to be a massive competitor for the thriving Micro Machines toyline that was released via Galoob. In 1998, the year after MicroVerse was launched, Hasbro killed off the MicroVerse line. Why? Because they bought out Galoob, which also meant they now owned the Micro Machines line. Why support a line that you started a year before when you could have the brand that was basically a household name?

    And that was it. Playsets disappeared for over a decade. And not just from Transformers, as outside of lines like Star Wars and Lego the idea of playsets seemed to have become an area of mediocrity and disinterest for toy companies. But then came the year of 2011, and it seems like at least two companies are completely willing to give the playstyle another shot. Bandai of America threw a Phoenix Down down to the ground and brought back the (admittedly outstanding) ThunderCats line, along with the playset style with their Tower of Omens. (FOR MORE THUNDERCATS TOYLINE COVERAGE, CHECK OUT THE TFW SISTER SITE KNOWN AS THUNDERCATS.WS)

    What about Transformers? Would the line ever see another full-on Playset subline ever again?

    Yes. And for that, I toss things over to Shin Densetsu. As he's actually purchased the new playset-compatible toys: Welcome to Cyberverse.

    -----

    ATTENTION TFWe READERS: A Gimmickry special is coming soon, and Secretcode needs your help! Do you have a personal experience with a toy's various gimmicks that went absolutely wrong? Woes with lights and sounds? Horrific experiences with Automorph? The Horror Stories have to be truthful, and they have to be from the Transformers toyline and cannot involve QC issues. I'm talking gimmicks here. Otherwise the article would be called Quality Controlry.

    How can you send these stories? Simple: Send them to Secretcode via PM on the boards, or by posting on my profile wall. Do NOT send the PMs to the TFWe account, or post the stories in the TFWe thread. Those entries will be ignored and excluded from the article. All entries have to be turned in by October 4th, 2011.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  10. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    Cyberverse: Enter Their World
    [​IMG]
    written by Shin Densetsu

    [​IMG]

    While we have been used to small scale figures in the form of Transformers Legends figures(since Cybertron), Hasbro and TakaraTomy added a new twist this year. Legends contined with a new label, Cyberverse Legion, meanwhile a new size class/pricepoint was introduced; Cyberverse Commander. The Legion figures differ from their Legion predecessors by having more detail, and ports to plug in weapons. Said weapons come with Cyberverse Commanders, and another new pricepoint, Cyberverse Action Sets. This interchangeability is reminiscent of the Mechtech system used on the larger mainline of Transformers 3 Dark Of The Moon figures.

    Aside from the Legends figures, Cyberverse also harkens back to another previous small-scale Transformers line, G1 Micromasters! Admittedly, I only had interest in the Commander figures, mistakenly thinking they were scout size(actually 1 of them is but more on that later). However, things began to go down a different path. Hasbro says "Collect Their World". Well I have entered their world. How is this brave new world of small scale Transformers? Read on...

    Cyberverse Legion

    For the most part, many of the new mold Legion figures blow away their previous Legends counterparts. Each Legion figure has 1 port/hand to plug in weapons from Cyberverse Commanders or Action Sets. This is the most affordable pricepoint at an MSRP of $4.99. Quick fun for a cheap price. However, this does come with a compromise, as these figures are lacking in articulation. Some like Flak, have close to full articulation, however Flak lacks knees whereas Roadbuster for example, lacks elbows. I prefer to have figures with full articulation, which is why I prefer the Commanders(albeit nearly all of them lack neck joints).

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The good thing about these, is the price. Cyberverse provides a very affordable way to build teams. All of the Wreckers are Legion figures, as are 2 of the Dreads. For under $15 you can complete a team. Come to think of it, Hatchet has yet to have a mainline Mechtech figure, so there's an incentive to buy a Cyberverse figure! If you're on a budget, Cyberverse is a good line to pick up, as you can build up the cast without blowing a ton of money.

    Shin Densetsu's look at the Cyberverse continues in the next post!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  11. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    Cyberverse Commanders

    [​IMG]

    As stated earlier, the Commanders were the main reason I got into this line. My initial thought was "wait, a close-to-fully articulated Optimus Prime, pocket-sized? BOUGHT!".

    [​IMG]

    The 1st release was Jetwing Optimus Prime, which was a preview figure which came with 3D glasses. This figure can be found on clearance at Walmart. This figure was later repacked sans glasses for the 1st wave of Cyberverse Commanders. Why are we looking at Optimus Prime? Simply put, at a small scale, for an affordable price, the Cyberverse Optimus Prime figures showcase different versions of Optimus better than the larger Mechtech line(as for figures available in the US). How?

    [​IMG]

    Wanted Jetwing Prime? Bam, get the Preview or wave 1 Prime. Miss the guns from ROTF and like your Prime with his energon swords and G1-inspired deco? Bam, get Battle Steel Optimus Prime. Want a Cyberverse version of Ultimate Optimus Prime? Get the Cyberverse Optimus Prime Action Set. Unlike Ultimate Optimus, the Cyberverse Mechsuit Prime does a better job of conveying the image of Prime in a powered Mechsuit and it also turns into a base/battle station. Aside from Cyberverse, you can't get a Jetwing Optimus unless you pay up and order the TakaraTomy Supreme Jetwing Optimus Prime.

    Not to mention, between the figures, all accessories included are interchangeable, since the base figures are just repaints of the Preview Prime. Mechsuit Prime's trailer also has ports so some of the weapons from Jetwing and Battle Steel Prime can be stored on it.

    As you can see, the main appeal for the Commanders are the bigger size(compared to Legion), full articulation(close), and interchangeable weapons/accessories.

    Shin Densetsu's coverage of the Cyberverse continues in the next post!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  12. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    Cyberverse Action Sets

    One thing that got me to buy Legion figures(albeit indirectly at 1st), was the Cyberverse Action Set class. Playsets are fun and for Transformers fans, rarely seen since G1. I think most of us gave up any hope of seeing playsets. Micromasters were fun for a good number of us, but those days are long gone. Sure we've had some playsets in recent years in the form of various incarnations of Optimus' trailer, et al, but no consistent releases, until now!

    The playsets themselves have 3 modes of transformation. If that wasn't appealing enough, they also include ports to attach the interchangeable Cyberverse weapons. In addition, the bases can combine!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    That's not all though, you can configure some in your own different ways, for example, I turned Starscream's Assault Carrier into a ramp/lift off pad.

    [​IMG]

    The play style is pretty much exponential; the more you add, the more the fun! Also, some of the modes seen here, like Megatron's Mechsuit mode, do not have equivalents in the larger Mechtech mainline! I wish we could see something like that for Megatron in the Mechtech line, but that would be pretty expensive, considering how big the trailer is compared to the cab. Luckily, we have Cyberverse, which won't hurt our wallets too much.

    [​IMG]

    The World of Cyberverse continues with Shin Densetsu's coverage in the next post!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  13. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    [​IMG]
    THE ARK

    The Ark is the very first big playset made for Cyberverse. It's basically a transforming version of Sentinel Prime's ship from Dark Of The Moon. However, this isn't to scale as it was a lot bigger in the movie. Unlike the movie incarnation, this one opens up and turns into a base/playset.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Transformation is easy, all you do is lift up the cockpit. The automorphing transformation features the sides spreading while the cockpit is lifted up. Within are a spring-closing jail cell, space bridge w/pillars, missile launcher, guns, ramp, repair bay operating table, and ports for both Cyberverse and Mechtech weapons. That last part is rather neat..as you'll see later.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Overall there's a lot of fun to be had with the Ark, I just wish it was bigger! I hope we get more transforming playsets in the future at this size or bigger, even base 'bots...like Metroplex, Omega Supreme, Scorponok, the list goes on..

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The end is coming ... in the next and final post in Shin Densetsu's coverage of the Cyberverse!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  14. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    MechTech Invades the Cyberverse

    There's a reason I mentioned the Mechtech ports on the Ark before. The Ark comes with 2 guns that are Mechtech compatible. These also resemble engines and...blades...

    What most of the US/Hasbro Mechtech Optimus figures lack are swords. The moment I found out that the removable guns from the Ark were Mechtech compatible, my 1st inclination was to put them on Prime!

    Since the guns are on a swivel joint, they can be swiveled back, out of the way. They look decent on deluxe Prime, and look like tonfa blades on the voyager Primes. The swivel joint also enables them to be held like swords. Also, the missle launcher, non-firing missle launcher, and rocket pods are removable and Mechtech compatible.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now I know a lot of you want a trailer that transforms into a weapon rack like in the movie. I want one too. After seeing the Mechtech ports on the Ark, and realizing that it's opened silhouette is circular, I turned my Ark upside down. Then turned it into....

    [​IMG]
    ...A WEAPONS RACK!

    So the Ark doesn't necessarily have to be used exclusively with Cyberverse toys. The Mechtech compatibility drove interest up for me substantially.

    Now Exiting the Cyberverse

    Cyberverse has a lot of things going for it:
    • Small scale
    • Affordability
    • Versatility
    • Ability to connect playsets
    • Mechtech compatibility(to an extent)
    Small toys but a large range of ways to enjoy them. For these small Transformers, some feature a surprising amount of detail. For example, Cyberverse Sentinel Prime has the most accurate cape when compared to the voyager and leader counterparts. Sentinel also features rather intricate details on his head sculpt. The small size of these figures reminds me of diecast cars without diecast metal. I also love how these can be played with in ways that their larger counterparts can't; just imagine how awesome the voyager Megatron could be if he could be combined with a trailer.

    Hopefully as this line progresses into Transformers PRIME, we'll see more articulation on the Legion Class, as well as neck articulation! I'm aware Shockwave has a neck joint but mostly all the other Cyberverse figures don't. There is a lot of potential with Cyberverse, I hope we go beyond the movies and Prime, to Armada, RiD, G2, G1, et al. Can you imagine Transformers Animated Cyberverse figures with a Cyberverse Animated Omega Supreme? How about Menasor made from Cyberverse toys? How about RiD Optimus and Ultra Magnus Cyberverse Action Sets? Cyberverse is big fun at a small price. I hope it has long legs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  15. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    Community Spotlights - August 2011
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    written by Secretcode and Kickback

    TFWe is made up of various individuals from various backgrounds. But listening to us and reading about us is boring, especially if you have to do it every month! That said, we're hoping to include a Community Spotlight as often as possible, to take the spotlight off of what we do and to put it on YOU, our readers! Because of how much stuff we were trying to pack in LAST month, we decided to push our Community Spotlight to THIS month, so we can give proper dues to those of you who help make this hobby that much more exciting!

    Collection Spotlight - alucard77
    Secretcode sits down with alucard77 and asks about his collection, his favorite piece, his purchase regrets, and more! Check out the article to see pictures of alucard77's collection, as well as the answers to our questions about his collection!

    Fan Fiction Spotlight - Black_Oracle
    Transformers Animated may be over (for now), but that doesn't mean the stories have to stop! Kickback sits down with Black_Oracle, author of the popular "Transformers Animated: Glimpses" short stories, chronicling the past, the present, and the future storylines of your favorite Transformers Animated characters!

    Radicon Custom Spotlight - Unicron-9
    Secretcode sits down with Unicron-9 about his Beast Wars Depthcharge custom using the Reveal the Shield Terradive figure! Find out what inspires Unicron-9, what projects he has coming up, and so much more!

    Fan Art Spotlight - WhiteMocha
    One of the favorite parts about speculating for convention toys is being able to see people "digibash" up a character to make them look like another! In the case of WhiteMocha, some (if not most) of his work REALLY DID end up (coincedence or not) becoming BotCon exclusives! Secretcode sat down with WhiteMocha and discussed just what goes through his head when he does these digibashes, and asks the burning question - will he do more? Check it!
     
  16. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    Editorial - The After-Market
    [​IMG]
    written by Kickback

    There is always an on-going battle between those who attempt to preserve the ethics of toy purchasing (meaning they won't buy with an intent to re-sell) versus those who realize the value of what they're purchasing is probably higher than what they're paying and buy extra to turn for a profit (sometimes referred to as "scalping"). The war of words happens all the time - recently it was Masterpiece Rodimus Prime and our sponsor BigBadToyStore's restock of the FansProject City Commander kit.

    The term that is often thrown about by those of us who try to defend (yes, that's right, I said defend) those who sell for a profit is "after market". But what exactly does that mean? Come and join me as we take a trip down how retail works and what the heck an "after market" is.

    I hate to admit it, but when it comes to retail, I'm a professional. If you're curious to my background in retail - I am currently employed as a "department manager" (it's called many things based on the corporate linguistics, but that is the technical lawyer-speaking term) with one of the largest retail corporations in the world. Previously, I was a proud store manager for KB Toys and can hold my head up high with documented paperwork that shows that at the time of bankruptcy filing for the company, my store was one of 8 stores still positive to our LY (last year) numbers in the company. I had the honor of being flown out to California to run our most successful store in the western United States for two weeks and hire an entire new management team. And even before that, I worked as an associate store manager (or "assistant manager") for the fourth highest profitable Discovery Channel Store (remember them?) in the country. That job was stressful as it was a selling environment based upon the idea and accountability of commission but without the benefit and reward of commission - but I survived for three years before their corporate decision to go online-only.

    So yes, I know a little bit about how retail works and how both the market and after-market can fluctuate when it comes to value.

    Have you ever heard this type of wording before?

    "Wow! Those figures flew off the shelves! Hasbro must be making serious cash!"/"None of those figures are selling, Hasbro must be losing their butts!"

    Both of those assumptions are, fundamentally, incorrect. Allow me to explain.

    For starters, shelf-space in your big-box (Target/Walmart) stores is actually bought and paid for. That's right - Hasbro, Bandai, Mattel, McFarlane, etc., all pay the retailers to accumulate a certain amount of shelf space. That's why you'll see empty shelves sometimes - WalMart can get fined by a company if that company discovers a certain amount of their stores do not have "reserved space" as called for in the contract agreement for shelf-life and shelf-space. You can't place another product there unless there's a claus in the contract. Now, whether that shelf-space is determined by individual product (ie: Transformers) or simply a category (Hasbro - Boys Action Figures) is unknown and is simply worded in the contract. With something like "Transformers Dark of the Moon", you'd better believe that was was a specific name and not a mere category agreement.

    Second, the retailers have absolutely zero control in what figures they get. The smaller, more specific retailers (like your online retailers) do have the ability to make sure that they're ordering "new assortments" or "new waves" of things - but when it comes to WalMart and Target, they see they are low on "TRNS DLX", so they, or their corporate distribution center, places an order for xx amount of cases containing "TRNS DLX" to be shipped to the store. Whatever is in those cases is whatever the distribution center has - usually it's up to the supplier of the product (so in the case of Transformers, Hasbro) to maintain turnover on product so that it remains fresh and doesn't stagnate on the shelves, hence why early waves can sometimes be on the shelf and off the shelf so quick (sales numbers don't generate fast enough in the planning stages when it comes to toys). If the line is successful, they want to cycle product through so that a kid will want to go to the store every week to see if "the new figures are in".

    Okay, so we know that companies pay for their shelving space and that the larger brick and mortar stores have little control over anything other than "we're out of deluxe Transformers, order more".

    The toys you see on the shelf have already been purchased from Hasbro by the retailer. That's right - Hasbro already made their first bit of cash just by having the retailer agree to sell their toys. So if there's a sudden run on Cyberverse figures, the only way that effects Hasbro is if ALL the stores are selling Cyberverse like crazy and the retailers see it (because they're making money on the product with their sales margin mark-up) and thus start placing bulk orders in for more product. But that has to happen on a wide scale - just because your local WalMart sells out of deluxe figures all the time doesn't mean that my WalMart sells out, and if that's a trend around the country, WalMart may decide it's not worth the extra investment (as the stores that don't sell them will continue NOT to sell them) and simply choose to transfer the product to another store.

    What was nice about working at KB Toys was their system was a little more simplistic. KB Toys had a deal with McFarlane that they would purchase so many cases of Halo figures. They ordered enough that each store would receive an initial 2 cases, and get a restock 2 weeks later of 2 more cases. In the instance that a store sold through them fast enough, they could talk to the lady in the distribution center to get more product allocated for your store. When Transformers Animated was released in toy form, I requested an extra 8 cases of deluxe figures and had them on my next truck because I, being a Transformers fan, decided to feature them on an endcap with a TV playing the DVD that came in the Optimus Prime and Megatron two-pack. It worked, and because Transformers were such a steady seller for me, my allocation was bumped up to 4 cases a truck every two weeks instead of 2.

    Think of a "contract to sell you toys" to being similar to a contract given to an aging athlete. Usually the contracts are full of incentives - if xx player hits xx home runs, he will get an extra amount of money for his contract. Toy contracts are like that too - if Hasbro is able to get 95% sell through on the initial order, it may trigger that WalMart then orders an additional amount of product (like 25% of the original order).

    Confused yet?

    1) Company pays for shelf-space
    2) Stores order assortment type, not actual assortments (deluxe versus deluxe wave 3.5)
    3) Once store orders product from company, company has made money
    4) What you pay the store covers what the store paid the company, as well as a mark-up to make profit
    5) Company only makes more if store's have company-wide sell-through of product (to trigger something in contract, or to have store have to order more from company)

    So where does the "after-market" come in to play?

    The "after-market" value is not what the toy sold for from the store, but what the actual value of the product is to people who want it. Obviously, the harder to get the item, the higher the after-market value is (RTS Windcharger, MP Rodimus Prime, etc.). The after-market value is caused by the classic scenario of supply vs. demand and has little to do with the retailer who sells it or the company that makes it, as the after-market means absolutely nothing to the company or the store.

    Once the retail store buys the product from the company, the company has made their money.
    Once you buy it from the retail store, the retail store has made their money.
    Anything after that does not effect either the company who makes the item, or the store that you bought it from.

    So when people argue, "Why doesn't Hasbro do anything to stop scalpers?" ... the answer is because Hasbro has already made their money on the product once it ended up on retail shelves. To waste any effort or resources in to stopping or researching "scalping" is a waste of money - they do not gain to profit on stopping people from selling their stuff at a higher price to other collectors.

    "So is scalping wrong?"

    Technically, no. Once you have purchased the item, if you want to re-sell it you can, and you can choose to do so at whatever price you want to. That's the free-market system for you in full-effect. Morally? That's a matter of opinion - there are no laws or "unspoken rules" that if you find an item that people are willing to pay double for that you must leave it behind or "hide it for another collector". If you want to buy it and flip it for three times what you paid, that's your freedom to do so. Won't win you any popularity points, but it'll probably bring you in some cash.

    Kickback
    TFWe Editor-in-Chief
    Follow me on Twitter @rankal and always @tfw2005 for Transformers news!
     
  17. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    You look like you could use another dose of "As the Fandom Turns", so here you go!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As the Fandom Turns...
    [​IMG]
    written by Dan Sheehan and Silas Zee, artwork by Silas Zee

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The summer has been busy - incredibly busy - with conventions and all things Transformers Dark of the Moon related. From June till the time of this article being written (literally), there are Transformers-related conventions happening. In June we had BotCon 2011, in July we had San Diego Comic Con as well as TFCon 2011, and as I write this article our own Sol Fury is dodging riots to take in all that is Auto Assembly (which he will cover in our September issue!).

    That said - we're looking forward to the break in news and images being shoved down our throats and getting back to what we all do best - buying toys and talking about them! With the convention circuit over, we're planning to focus more on the little news stories and even more on toys. We have some interviews planned, some more in-depth editorials, and new ways to include you guys in what we do!

    That being said, I'd like to take the time now to tell you how you can be a part of TFWe!

    The Official TFWe Profile at TFW2005.COM

    In the future, you won't see my name attached to every article - you'll see the official TFWe account! It will have all the features of a regular poster (it just won't regularly post). It also allows us to open the door for all of you to send TFWe private messages. We'd like to hear from you regarding the following things:

    - Being a guest columnist
    - Doing a guest review
    - Asking the TFWe staff a question to answer in a future article
    - Being a guest artist for the cover
    - Any general questions, concerns, etc.

    We do this for fun and we do encourage you to get involved!

    NEXT ISSUE

    It's a surprise. Stay tuned!

    Kickback
    TFWe Editor-in-Chief
    Follow me @rankal on Twitter and @tfw2005 for all your Transformers news!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2011
  18. GrantB

    GrantB Drink it

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Posts:
    1,556
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Likes:
    +1
    FYI, that's not a copyright. That's a trademark.

    A copyright is an original artistic creation. A trademark is a reservation of a term for the marketing of a specific class of products (e.g. toys).

    By the way, your Thundershred review would be greatly enhanced if it had a picture of THE OTHER MODE.
     
  19. Shockwave69

    Shockwave69 Supreme Leader

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Posts:
    728
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Likes:
    +0
    I wish those deaths were in the movie,
     
  20. UltraMagnus3786

    UltraMagnus3786 That's what it is

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Posts:
    2,095
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +2
    what the hell? spoilers much about IDW's 125th issue?
     

Share This Page