Transformation difficulty and kids

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Alucard77, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    One of my friends made a good point the other day. He said the reason he doesn't like new Transformers is because the Transformations take too long. He said when he was a kid, you could play with the TF in Alt mode and transform to Bot mode in no time flat so it made it more fun.

    So it got me to thinking. I wonder how much kids actually like the new deluxe figures. I know for us collectors, we don't mind transforming something in a minute or two, but as a kid, how does that work.

    Your rolling your Optimus and want him to transform to punch Megatron in the face. I wonder if the kid is like, "VROOMMM, Autobots Transform and get Megatron" .... .... .... .... .... .... .... ..... ..... ..... .... .... .... ..... (5 Minutes Later) "I gotcha Megatron!"

    I could see how that could be less fun as a kid. I don't even want to picture a kid doing the same thing with the MP figures.

    So any of you guys have experience on this with your own kids that you can share?
     
  2. Opticron Primal

    Opticron Primal Comin' up OOOs!

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    If that annoyed kids then TFs wouldn't be seeing the sales they currently are.

    Besides, that's exactly the reason why the DotM figures are being a bit more streamlined transformation-wise, since most of the RotF figures were difficult to transform, even for adults.
     
  3. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

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    This I suspect Hasbro received a fair number of complaints and other feedback on the difficulty of the transformations in the ROTF line and decided to tone the difficulty down for DOTM.
     
  4. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    My 2cent:

    I have stated this before, but I believe a transformation can be complex or simple. The "difficulty" is not really difficulty. Its actually more of "fun". IF a transformation is INTUITIVE, COMPLEX, AND FUN, most kids won't be complaining. In fact, they will even feel a sense of accomplishment. I have lots of satisfaction, for example, transforming HA Jazz.

    The worse offenders are the transformations that are NOT intuitive, and NOT FUN. That's when even us collectors get frustrated. Especially if the smoothness of the transformation process is dependent on the QC of Hasbro/Takara/3rd party. Look at the movie twins.


    Complexity level, and fun, are not directly related. Rather, they are independent of each other. We can have a complex yet fun transformation. A complex yet not-fun transformation. A simple and fun transformation, and a simple but boring/unsatisfying transformation.

    I personally believe we can all relate to "satisfying transformation", which is independent of complexity, but dependent on "fun". "Satisfying transformation" happens when, after you transform a figure, you go "wow", that was pretty nifty. Instead of "wtf, it took me a long time, this sucks".
     
  5. Moriarty

    Moriarty = ♀

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    I think that the Bayformers Transformers are, for the most part, a little complicated for kids - especially with the small fiddly bits that can snap off, or in the case of Leader Class Prime the ridiculously long, laborous and finicky transformation (that is totally worth it...). I don't really think Hasbro had a choice - they needed to make the figures as movie-accurate as possible and trying to do that with the blockiness of G1 or the style of TFA was just not possible. There were some simple transformations - Voyager Megatron from ROTF is the ultimate "turn over and tuck arms and legs away" but they were few and far between.

    However, this is why I loved the Animated toys. They were, for the most part, solid in both vehicle and robot mode, had easy yet interesting transformations, and were so show-accurate it was uncanny. When my godmother's granddaughter came 'round we had to find a way to entertain her through the boring adult talk (she's six) so I bought down some of my TFA Deluxes and showed her how to transform them. Lo and behold next birthday she asked for some Transformers. We got her Soundwave :) 
     
  6. The Crow

    The Crow ARK BUILDER!!

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    My son (5 yrs old) loves his transformers. He play with my deluxes all the time. The only thing is he will always play right next to me, so when its time to transform them he can just say here dad I want him into a car, and I am more than happy to transform him. He does enjoy G1 Optimus over Classics because he can transform him all by himself.

    He also doen't play with many if any Movieverse toys, since he saw Seasons 1, 2, The Movie, 3 and 4 WAY before he ever saw the Bay Movies.
     
  7. Detroa

    Detroa Well-Known Member

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    There are many kids in my surroundings, most of them play with TF, including movie ones, and none of them ever complained about the figures being too long or difficult to transform.

    To be honest, I had to become a fan and join the adult fandom to see the first complaints about this.
     
  8. Sideways77

    Sideways77 its movie time here come the manbabies

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    Mixmaster took me awhile to transform. But yeah. Some Bayverse stuff is hard to transform.
     
  9. Jazz Meister

    Jazz Meister Well-Known Member

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    My son just hands it to me and says robot or car.
     
  10. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    I can't speak for kids, but when it comes to Transformers, I'm an ends justify the means kind of guy. That is, while I enjoy a clever transformation sequence, what really matters most is that the end results look good.
     
  11. 46+2

    46+2 Well-Known Member

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    let's thank god that not many kids have BT grimlock. I had to ship him in bot mode even though I had his box. I almost threw him across My kitchen when I was packing him up. I gave up.
     
  12. Kaiwera05

    Kaiwera05 Soundwave Enthusiast

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    When I was a kid and had some transformers, I always looked for the difficulty in the transformations. If the transformation was simple, it just wasn't worth it for me. The more complex and fun the transformer, the more I liked it. So I say, make the toys more difficult to transform!
     
  13. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    One to add: the biggest problem I had with Transformers as a child was that many of my figures did not have two separate legs. Whether the legs were molded together, or pinned, it would bother the heck out of me.
     
  14. Kaiwera05

    Kaiwera05 Soundwave Enthusiast

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    Yeah I agree with that. I have an old autobot (I forget who it is) that's legs separate, but they're practically together. It affects the posability, the articulation, and it just looks stupid.
     
  15. Tigertrack

    Tigertrack Back In The Game!

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    I remember being a kid in the 80's, and the adults couldn't figure them out.
    I've also numerous times heard Transformers being referred to as Rubiks Cube on crack.
     
  16. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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  17. Duximus Prime

    Duximus Prime Chronomancer

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    For me, there is a sort of tension between playability and engineering/cleverness with TFs. As I child, when I was more about the "pew pew" action scenes, I wanted my TFs to be be quickly transformable (but not so much that it felt cheap). G1 toys are great for this, despite, or rather, because they are bricks, and allow a child to quickly enact action sequences. As articulation and transformation complexity goes up, playability suffers (though there are certainly exceptions to this; namely a lot of the BW-era toys which were engineered by Kenner and not Hasbro).


    As an adult collector, I don't "play" with my toys per se. I fiddle with them, put them in different poses, and then put them on display. I enjoy a well-thought-out transformation a little more because I am working with each figure one-on-one.

    That being said, I still like the transformations to have a nice ratio of elegance to complexity (or basically what I consider "fun"). Over-engineered TFs are a big turn off for me, and is the reason why figures like MP Megatron and Hot Rod stay in robot mode on display and rarely get transformed. They are more frustrating than enjoyable to fiddle with.
     
  18. unclemarsellus

    unclemarsellus Imaginaut

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    In my experience, kids today are better at transforming these things than we are. Or at least 30-something 80's kids like me. I've become better as I've bought more modern Transformers and started to get the transformation logic used these days, but I'm one of those that sometimes can't be bothered to transform them. I haven't transformed any Masterpieces (and movie Leader classes) and after a 3 hour transformation battle with ROTF Prime, he stays permanently in robot mode too. I wondered how kids could possibly transform some of these things but I'm always surprised they do it faster and better. If they're motivated.

    Someone up there mentioned that back in the 80's, our parents couldn't figure out our Transformers while they were pretty easy for us. I never needed instructions. I'm sure it's the same now only it's us, the veterans, that have issues. :drunk 
     
  19. videriant

    videriant Well-Known Member

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    This is why I still think Classics 1.0 is the best. Animated for the most part were fun for kids.
     
  20. SharkyMcShark

    SharkyMcShark Hi. I'm better than you

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    For children/others that don't like transforming their transformers there are the smaller more simple size classes (Legends/Cyberverse, Activators) that each main character gets a release in. I liked the duality between those and main line transformers in RotF that opened the door to some truly amazing engineering (Voyager Mixmaster, Leader Optimus, etc)

    I personally don't care either way whether any given transformer would give a kid a hard time. I collect for myself, not through the eyes of others.
     

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