Any child of the 80's knows what I'm talking about. When any popular brand got a cereal in the 80's, that brand was just about done for. To me it feels like the domestic Transformers brand is running out of steam. Between Hasbro's company wide (not just transformers) cost cutting measures, combined with price hikes, and a struggling, recovering economy. All the signs are there. The Good Years: We had a great run that started way back in 04 with MP Prime, and the Alternators. Then we got classics, and the movie hit. For those of you that like the movie stuff you got quality toys, from the deluxe toys to Human Alliance, and leader figures. There was bit of a learning curve in the design engineering for the movie figures, but by the time the Second movie line hit HasTak was doing a good job on most of the figures. While that was happening the rest of us had a continuing Classics line (however rebranded), Animated, and even an entry into Video game and comic based figures/character. We didn't get everything we wanted but there was no shortage of quality products to buy. Finally when Transformers Prime hit there was new promise of more great things to come with the First Edition figures. The Decline: Then the DotM figures hit. Enter Mech-Tech! Somehow the built in gimmick of toys transforming wasn't enough, and the gimmick based toy needed a gimmick. The idea was innocent enough but was often overly simple, and poorly implemented. Worse yet, the Mech-Tech weapons took away design and material resources from the actual figures! Leaving behind smaller simpler toys that should have been the pinacle of the series. Animated also ended abruptly leaving collectors like me with only a few random MP figures, and an uncertain classics line. "Combiners" were brought back except they weren't anything like Transformers combiners. No offense if you liked Power Core Combiners, but they obviously were crap enough that even the kids didn't want them, and the line was luckily very short lived. Enter the cost cutting! When I saw a Metch-Tech deluxe on the shelf for the first time I immediately said they are going to take away the mech-tech and leave all the Transformers Toys scaled down to these new smaller sizes. One wave of Transformers Prime First Edition figures hit and it looked like I was happily wrong. Sadly my powers of prediction were right, and the main line PRID figures launched. With the exceptions of a few really nice figures (Wheeljack, Vehicon, Ratchet) we were left with much smaller, simpler, shitty toys. The cost cutting didn't stop there! Hasbro raised the MSRP on the entire product line. But then the ultimate slap in the face! Taking the costing to the point where the material reductions purposely effected the actually design of the toy! The new PRID figures were riddled with changes to make the figure use less material and reduce both manufacturing and assembly cost. IE thighs that had traditionally been two pieces of plastic held together with a screw or push pin that came together to make one solid piece that allowed for a thigh or knee swivel. Is now one single piece with exposed hollowed out insides with no added articulation. Thats just one example, changes like that are present in every design and manufacturing aspect of almost every figure. All topped off with the use of lighter less robust plastics. After you've raised the price, made the figures smaller twice, cheapened the plastic, and reduced materials/assembly cost to the point removing playability from the figure, the only thing left to do is license a Cereal! P.S. Don't take this as I'm just bitching and HASBLOW cant do anything right, blah blah blah, because as everything I started says We've had 8 GREAT years of Transformers Products domestically! So clearly they CAN do it right, but this last year or so is showing a definite change in how things are being done, that is not in our best interest as collectors, and supporters of the Franchise. Transformer - O's!