Customs: What makes a Binaltech?.....

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by plowking, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. plowking

    plowking I'm with ErechOveraker. Veteran

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    What makes a Binaltech a Binaltech?....or in other words, different from its plastic counterpart, an Alternator?

    As some of you guys know, I have always been an Alt guy....even when they were in the stores, I would always pass up a Binaltech for an Alternator. I had seen BT's in person, and handled them....I just didn't like them for various reasons, the main one being that it's easier to bash a plastic bot than a metal one, also plastic is more forgiving than metal is....(IMO)....and the BT's just felt "unnecessarily" heavy to me.

    Then, thanks to Wikkid, in a parts trade deal we made, he gave me a Binaltech Alert. He sited the same issues that it was "pretty much worthless" to use a "reshell/bash fodder"....I figured I could use something off of it for parts somewhere....so I took it. Then, enter Erech Overaker to the picture....he hooked me up with an Alt Ricochet for a very good price.....(thanks again man)

    So I decided to put the two together to make my own "Alt Alert"

    But first, I wanted to examine what made a BT, a BT.

    And this is what I found:

    [​IMG]

    These are the only "metal" parts in the BT Alert....all the rest of the parts, are plastic, just like their Alternator counterpart

    The four doors are metal:

    [​IMG]

    The hood and roof are metal:

    [​IMG]

    And the outside portion of the feet are metal:

    [​IMG]

    And that's it!!!.....everything else is plastic.

    So I had to ask these questions:

    Is it these mere parts that make people love the BT line over the Alt line?

    Do these few parts warrant the extra cost associated with purchasing a BT over an Alt? (IMO, no they dont)

    I know some people like both, but there are some diehard BT fans out there as well as diehard Alt fans....

    Oh yeah....that Alt Alert?.....

    [​IMG]

    All plastic baby....even painted the roof white, and added the light bar to it too....

    Feel free to discuss!!
     

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  2. Rhinox555

    Rhinox555 Insert clever joke here.

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    Yeah i'm not digging BT.
    Not that i'm an alternators fan, but i still prefer them over BT.
    All die-cast really does is make a figure heavy, and make paint chip. Plus, the bendability of plastic plays an important part in alternators' transformation schemes most of the time.
     
  3. hXcpunk23

    hXcpunk23 The Chaos Bringer

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    I was more of an Alternator guy also. I had a huge collection of them before selling most of them off (I believe I still have 4 back at my other home in Florida). My ex-bro-in-law used to be all about trying to get the BinalTech versions, then finally caved and ended up with Alternators instead. His excuse...."they're metal like G1, man!" to which I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "so, and they're also twice the price or more......no thanks". This was before I really started 'bashing, so I was in it or for the figures and the price. If I could get 2 for the price of one, guess which ones I went for? YEP, ALTS.

    I honestly think that most people love BT for three reasons. They either love them for being die-cast like G1 in some way, they are a fan of Japanese transformers toys, and they liked the Japanese paint apps over the US versions (which is usually the real reason for most people going with the more expensive/higher shipping rate, Japanese versions). That's just a guess though. It would be interesting to know though--and considering most here are 'bashers, if you use them for this purpose, why not go with the easier to hack up over the die-cast?

    Another reason why I stick to other Transformers now in their plastic forms is due to the fact that it's easier to correct a paint chip in plastic than it is to deal with the die-cast. Plus, I travel a lot, so I like the lighter weight of the plastic figures--easier to handle, kitbash, and play around with.
     
  4. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    I don't think it was strictly the fact that those parts were die-cast, but all because they were painted and shiny compared to colored plastic.
     
  5. project9

    project9 White n' Nerdy

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    Precisely! That's my reasons exactly. Compare Prime or Wheeljack... hell, compare any repainted figure on this board and that's my reason. Paint > Colored Plastic

    The colored plastic is just slightly translucent enough -- compare that to a nicely painted, solid version. It's just a world of difference. The die-cast is nice because, to me, it feels more solid/weighty and worth the money but the paint is key piece.
     
  6. Solrac333

    Solrac333 G1 got it right!

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    Still prefer Die cast.
     
  7. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    pk, first of all, my apologies for the misinformation concerning the parts. I've still not gotten the desired organization since the move and such. I'm still in transition of sorts with the new room and such for my collection here.

    I think it's cool to see you still into this line, though :)  I really hope you go all the way with this bash to make it an Alt Alert: the two-toned doors and fenders with the kanji on the doors as well. :) 

    Regarding the topic itself, a few aspects differentiates the Alt and BT lines:

    1. Diecast. You guys have already mentioned this one, so I won't beat it too hard. The BT line does have some diecast parts, as you've pointed out. Like G1, it's a mix of parts. Even the Titanium line doesn't sport 100% diecast. BTs never have nor ever claimed to. Many people wrongfully tacked onto BTs (and Alts) as "G1 reborn" or something like that, when in fact it was simply another interpretation of some of our favorite characters like any other line. If any line holds such a banner, it would be either the Classics/Universe line or the Masterpiece line, I'd say.
    2. Packaging. Sure, I can see a few chiming in here and saying, "uh, well, I don't buy a toy for the packaging!" The fact is that everyone does to an extent. When anyone shells out money for a product, a significant portion goes towards the purchase of the actual package. However, specifically speaking here, the Alt and BT lines were packaged quite a bit differently.
    3. There was an attempt at a storyline with Binaltech, albeit not much of one. The BTs came with bookstyle instructions that also had specifications and such, unlike the Alts.
    4. It had a different treatment overall as a line than Alts. This may go back to packaging some, but (while both lines ran congruently with other lines that were out at the time), Alternators were marketed on the shelf with whatever the current line was. The reason I say this goes back to the packaging is that when Energon was in black boxes, the blue boxed Alts reflected the style more. When Energon went to red boxes, so did Alts. Cybertron came out, and Hasbro changed the boxes to reflect it.
    5. Paint applications vs. dyed plastic. This has already been mentioned as well, but as far as the toys are concerned, the most noticeable difference lies here. Alt Smokescreen would be the shining example. Even the plastic Kiss Players (which are NOT Binaltechs, but I mention since the molds are shared with Alts) were painted while they were plastic.

    That's pretty much it, though. There's not a whole lot of difference, especially since it's essentially the same line but produced and marketed in two different places. Also note that I'm not saying the items I've listed are better or worse than Alts. Both lines have their strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, I love both lines for what they are :) 
     
  8. TransSpawn

    TransSpawn Well-Known Member

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    When any, none transformer fans ( yes for some reason they're still out there) see the Alts. They say kool, When they see my Binaltechs, I aways get "Wow looks so real even made out of metal." The word "Real" aways makes me shiver when someone talks about my Binaltechs. Alts are best for kitbash tho. Red alert is one of my fave binaltech, how it pains me to see him all apart like that.
     
  9. Solrac333

    Solrac333 G1 got it right!

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    I can see how from a customizing view, the Alts would be better. But if I had the choice between collecting, I would choose BT. For customs then I would choose Alt.
     
  10. plowking

    plowking I'm with ErechOveraker. Veteran

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    Excellent points you all bring up.

    So from a collectors point of view, it's:

    The "G1 throwback" of the mix of metal and plastic

    The better paint apps (in some cases....some of the Alts have their plastic parts painted....Grimlock is an example of this)

    The "better packaging"

    Is this pretty much it in a nut shell?
     
  11. Sabrina_Ng

    Sabrina_Ng La Femme Fatale

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    Hey! Wow. Saw all the explanations given but for me, it's just down to one simple thing. It's from Japan. Though probably made in China, it's a japanese thingy! Yay!
     
  12. aurascope

    aurascope Kitbash Resource Indexer

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    In Singapore, Binaltechs are actually cheaper than alternators sometimes.
    I don't know why, but it's a trend I observed.
    Probably has something to do with the proximity to Hong Kong and Japan distributors
    while Alternators ARE the imported stuff.
     
  13. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Actually, it's not "just a Japanese thing". Just look at my post and the others. I really have never seen the logic in something from Takara or TakaraTOMY being "better" just because it's made in Japan and not in the US. Could you explain further?
     
  14. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Actually from a "collector's" point of view, many of the Alts are climbing more in value due to many more people being interested in them. Also, for one who's "collecting", a majority of it has to do with supply and demand. For instance, Alt Ricochet is very easy to find, but BT Tracks (yellow) is as well. BT Meister (red) is going to cost more because the character is popular, and it was a bit of a variant (not a "chase" per se, as the red and white Meisters were essentially made with the same production runs).

    The main thing is that while Alternators and Binal Tech are two different lines, they're pretty much the same line, too. Binal Tech was created so Hasbro could make the Alternators line. Hasbro still held the reigns to Binal Tech as well. For example, originally the designers wanted the toys to be 1:32, but Hasbro wouldn't allow it. While Takara was "ok" with making the diecast parts for their run, Hasbro wouldn't do it because of cost/profit margins.

    In terms of kitbashing, I think it's safe to say that Alts are a lot easier to kitbash and such. For many of the reasons I detailed, kitbashers aren't going to care as much as "collectors" about some of the things like packaging, etc. unless the artist was wanting to know what to make to market their kitbashes to the "collectors". Aside from those two things, I'd think that's all the kitbasher would want to concern themselves with in regards to the differences. As you've pointed out with your Alert bash, there are going to be certain parts that are interchangeable with Alts, and certain parts that won't be. This is, of course, indicative to the molds one chooses to work with.
     

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