I noticed there was recently a thread about the love/hate of "partsforming" or the common issue that comes with combiners of having a bunch of loose parts that you use to form a combiner. This thread is not so much about opinions about the concept, (though I intend to give my own), but about the history/why it's a thing, and the mechanics of why it should or should not have to be a thing. First my personal opinion: I absolutely loath having loose parts around that I can't integrate/store into a bot so that they don't get lost over time. The recent combiner wars line isn't too bad. The hands/feet bits can be transformed and used as big guns, and there are ways to attach weapons regardless of what form the bots are in. If you go back not long ago to the KB Toys exclusive mini combiners, (which I collected for the most part), these were a bit of a window into the horrors of the past. Loose pieces were used for the torso,chest,hands and feet, and weapon. You just plugged the bots into holes in the skeleton formed by these pieces. You could also combine these pieces to make a vehicle, but I digress. Still, in the beginning this phenomenon was a lot worse.... The History: For those of you not in the know, the Transformers (G1) began life as several different Japanese toy lines from the late 1970s/early 1980s, (Diaclones, Micro Man, etc.) Hasbro saw these as shiny new playthings and decided to repurpose them for use in the west. Since they were borrowing existing toylines they started off with two shortcomings: 1. Being toys from 4 years pryor to the Transformers debut, they were outdated designs in terms of engineering. 2. Hasbro would have zero experience designing transforming robots and be behind the curve when they actually designed Transformers themselves. It wasn't until about midway through the second season of G1 that Hasbro started putting out Transformers toys that weren't borrowed from other toylines. It should be noted that Hasbro has always had a partnership with Takara, the Japanese company that provided those pre-TF toys. Once non-borrowed Transformers toys started being produced, Hasbro became the lead of the tandem. These early figures featured a lot of partsforming. The first combiner, Devastator (Constructicons) was part of this group. It came down to this: Transforming robot design for Hasbro was in its infancy and even behind the curve at that. It took a long time before they had the know how to even explore transforming without partsforming. The Mechanics: I've heard the comments, "how can you integrate those big fists/feet into bots?", and "how else can you not have a bot stuck being a foot or a fist?" All you have to do is look at the Energon line to see how to do combiners without resorting to partsforming. (Despite the fact that the Energon combiners DID use some partsforming.) Look at the regular Energon figures. They could all be paired up--without partsforming, and either bot could be the arms or legs. For all limbs--they could be changed, (extended) from smaller limbs to larger limbs whilst combined. Honestly, you could take this concept a step further. Design arms/legs to extend Energon style, then design the hands/feet to merge together to form one big hand/foot. No partsforming, no problems hiding a big fist/foot somewhere.