What makes an official "Transformers Toy Product"?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Karl Hartman, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Karl Hartman

    Karl Hartman Well-Known Member

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    Hi, folks.

    As an obsessive compulsive list maker, I keep track of all American transformer toy products, per year, broken down into General release, mail order, bonus or BOGO packaging, and Premium packaging (additional decoys, posters, fleer cards, etc.). Keep in mind, this is a product list, not list of robots.

    Personally, I count toys as part of the official toy line if they have a full tech spec (numbers, with text), or are clearly part of the main line, and Hasbro simply did not have the full tech spec on the package. I make this distinction because in the past we have had the Animorphs, Star Wars Transformers, and the Tonka Transformers, NONE of which I could as official main line toys.

    This year has forced me to make decisions of how to count the products. I personally count the 6 inch Titaniums as main line toys, even though they are Galoob, because they do transform, and have full on tech specs. I do not count the small ones, because, even though they have a bit of a tech spec, they are not full Transformers (in my opinion).

    These Fast Action Battlers are a big question for me. They transform, have full tech specs, but are clearly aimed at a younger audience. I think they should be counted as main line toys for these reasons, but something seems odd about it.

    I don't know. What do you guys think? I know you guys could say "I don't care, its however you count them." but I want some thought and reasoning behind any opinions. I LOVE other peoples opinions about these types of topics, as it initiates great conversation and discussion, so please, post any opinions on how or if YOU would count the following toy lines as part of the main TF toy line.

    Animprohs
    Star Wars Transformers
    Tonka Transformers (Gobots)
    6 inch Titaniums
    3 inch Titaniums
    Fast Action Battlers
    Real Gear Robots
    If there would be a GI Joe/TF crossover line with Techspecs

    Thanks for ALL opinions,

    Karl
    Collector in rehab
     
  2. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    First off great topic Karl, in fact I think this is the first TFGD topic I've seen from you. Anyway

    In my personal opinion, what I consider an official Transformers product is a product that fits in with the general Transformers concept. When I say that I mean Autobots/Maximal and Decepticons/Predacons. As those concepts have been a staple of Transformers from the getgo. So right there, that removes Animorphs and Star Wars TF from the equation. Especially Animorphs because I've seen part of the show. And kids gaining the ability to disguise themselves as animals from a dying alien to fight a parasite invasion is NOT a Transformers concept. And Star Wars TFs might be cool, but Star Wars and Transformers have nothing in common.

    So the Titaniums fit as it's Autobots and Decepticons. And since FABs are part of the movie line I'd say they count too. And if they did a GI JOE Transformers crossover line. Since GIJOE's and Transformers seem to go together like apple pie and ice cream, I'd consider that too. Actually that would be a cool line, Optimus Prime as a H.I.S.S. with Duke as the rider would be great
     
  3. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    If it's got the Transformers brand on it, it's made by Hasbro or one of its subsidiaries, and it's a toy, then I think "Transformers Toy Product" applies. I'm not sure what else you'd call that. Now, stuff like Animporphs and the Gobots may not be part of any canonical Transformers fiction, but that's a whole different debate :) 
     
  4. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    i count everything.

    i count SWTF separately tho as theyre in a different 'universe'.
     
  5. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I'd actually be interested to see how collectors of other brands view some of the cross-branded stuff. SWTF isn't part of any official TF or Star Wars fiction, but it's branded as both. The Titaniums are technically a Micro Machines product as well as a Transformers product. It's true! Check the box!
     
  6. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    I agree.

    It is not up to me to decide what a transformer is because I have no say in the licensing process. If Hasbro wanted to make My little Ponies that transform and fit in to the universe it would be a transformer.

    As for SWTF I count then as Star Wars as they don't fir in the Transformers universe.
     
  7. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    As keeper of a similarly exhaustive list (really, it's absolutely insane), anything that has a Transformers brand on it is included.

    The only thing I don't include are so-called 'Lucky Draws', unreleased items like the G2 stuff, KOs, and bootlegs. None of these products are "official" in my perception.

    However, I reserve the right to be somewhat inconsistent in application, as I do choose to include Brave, Eldran, Webdiver, and Battle Beasts; I consider them TF cousins, and close enough for inclusion.

    Here's how my list is organized. I'd love to make this widely available to people for their personal use, but a good portion of the contents have been borrowed from a million different places on the web, and I really wouldn't know who to credit:

    http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d21/amspictures/untitled.jpg
     
  8. Karl Hartman

    Karl Hartman Well-Known Member

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    You bring up an interesting point with the Unreleased G2 stuff, and one which I had not considered. I consider all of the Lucky Draw products as official products which I count in my number of products, because they were produced, albeit in very limited numbers, and some of which equals One. However, if you look at the Unreleased G2 Stuff, like the Megatron ATB, there were about 50 of those that made it out. That is considerably more than quite a few of the Lucky Draw items.

    I think what solidifies the validity of counting the Unreleased G2 stuff is that it was PACKAGED, and produced in small numbers, similar to the Lucky Draw Items. If some items were not packaged, they they are true prototypes, such as the Gobot Road Rig, and not counted in the final total.

    I find those similar to Super Rare Star Wars variations (such as the Canadian packaged Figures on the black cards, or Minirigs and other vehicles packaged with special figures). Should they be not included in lists of what was produced just because there may be less than 10 known examples in the world?

    It would be interesting to compare lists. My list of American products is close to 30pages, and the Japanese/Korean product list is about 38 pages. I also have Eurpoean lists, South American lists, and Canadian/Australia/Chinese lists of which the Eurpoean and Can/Aus/Chi list is incomplete. Yeah, I have a big problem. :) 

    Anyway, keep the comments and opinions coming. I have already changed the way I think about things, based on some commentary here.

    Karl


     
  9. OptimusSolo

    OptimusSolo Tournament Master

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    Sticker

    I was noticing on the New Commemorative Soundwave Instructions that it says something along these lines..."Want proof that what your holding is a transformer? Look for the black autobot/dec insignia sticker. This is your proof that what your holding is a true transformer."

    Obviously this only goes for certain lines though because none of the beast wars have rub stickers. Maybe it is talking strictly for transformers and not beast wars, machines etc. This i think would make the heroes of cybertron keychains NOT transformers officially since they dont have rub stickers. Thoughts anyone??
     
  10. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I think it's mostly there as a nod to the old G1 rubsigns, which were used mainly to set TFs apart from other transforming robot toys in the 1980s. Besides, a rubsign being proof of a real Transformer obviously doesn't mean that no rubsign is proof of not being a real Transformer :) 
     
  11. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Rubsigns were used for the second run of 1984 TFs through to the end of 1987, there were also Energon Chips on the third wave of Beast Wars through to the last run of Transmetals and Fuzors (Transmetal IIs onwards used Spark Crystals). Rubsigns have also come back with the reissues and the new Classics, of course.

    In my opinion, I'd have four lists. One for Transformers toys that transform (including Action Masters I guess), one for the non-transforming stuff like PVCs and smaller Titaniums, one for "Transformers brand spin offs" like the Animorphs and SWTFs, and then one for the unreleased and Lucky Draw Items. Probably not the best way of doing it, but to my mind, Transformers that transform should be divided from those that don't in a list. The non transforming guys are equally deserving of love, of course, but they fit on the northernmost fringe of the "oddities" island, camped on the area next to the bridge that leads to the land of their transforming cousins.
    This island of course has a cave where we stashed the Animorphs.
     
  12. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

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    Titanium is not a transformers line. I think, as tempting as it is to include it, you really can't if you want to be specific about mainline Transformers.

    Edit: It won't let me post the way I had it laid out, but basically Hasbro branches into Galoob and Playskool. Galoob's property is Titanium, which includes Star Wars, Transformers, and Marvel. Playskool's properties are like Mr Potato Head, which includes Star Wars and now Transformers.

    Fast Action Battlers are a Transformers line, but I too have been trying to figure out where everything belongs. It's my opinion that the only true mainline toys are those with marked size classes - Deluxe, Voyager, Leader. Stuff like FAB, Real Gear, and the so-called "Legends" are really just spinoffs.

    I assume Robot Heroes will be Playskool, but then again, Marvel Super Hero Squad are not for some reason. Either way, another spinoff.
     
  13. Orodruin

    Orodruin @deathformer TFW2005 Supporter

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    In the widest view, I'd say anything from Hastak with the TF logo counts. As part of just the main line vs a side line (not quite a sub-line) it's a bit trickier.

    I'd count FABs and Real Gears in the with the main line, no problem. Sure they're basically kiddy version of stuff, but G1 gave up battlechargers, jumpstarters, and throttlebots, which are all really pretty similar to the FABs if you think about it.

    I count the 3" titaniums in the main line since they're mainline character. I'd say put them in the category as HoCs/PVCs/statues.

    SWTFs... as much as it goes against my opening line, I don't think I'd count them. They're SW ships, characters, SW is the primary packaging header. Yeah they transform, but so do Power Rangers. They really just have the TF name on them for cross-brand appeal since they're made by the same company.
     
  14. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Personally I would class an "official" Transformers product as one either made by of licensed by Hasbro or Takara. However, I do not class SWTFs as proper Transformers (neither were Animorphs).
     

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